Disclaimer: I don't own the Hollows – my poverty is proof of that, it's also why you shouldn't bother suing me.
I give you chapter, and it only took 9 months how's that for efficiency?
So it's a good chapter?
Err… I give you chapter. Let me just say confused Rachel=confused ramblings=confused author and so if you are confused by Rachel then you are in good company.
Thank you to Agmartin40 for being my beta, any mistakes left are down to me. And to everyone who has left a review I would just like to say thank you and you're awesome.I hope you all had a great holiday season and new year. I have also posted a corrected/updated version my one shot Troubled Sleep which may or may not get an epilogue in the near future.
Previously on heartbreaker
"That was when you were merely a witch capable of having demon children." Newt smile wasn't reassuring at all.
"And what am I now?" Rachel sounded as if she didn't really want to know the answer.
"You're a demon child raised among savages who thinks she's a witch."
As far as I have gone, I knew what side I'm on. But now I'm not so sure, The line begins to blur
To say that our conversation with Newt had been overwhelming would be something of an understatement. Even the demon seemed to understand we need time to absorb the day's events, sending us home with a negligent wave of her hand. Rachel had been quiet after the revelation that she was considered a demon now and that we were in some sort of quasi legal marriage. God it was never a dull day with Rachel. I glanced over at the red headed witch next to me.
Moonlight flitted about the cemetery. The cool evening air smelled sweet and fresh after the over powering burnt amber of the Ever After. We both stood there for a moment, simply soaking in the feel of being home. I had more sympathy now for Rachel taking her time before coming into the church. She looked pensive as she stared blankly ahead and not for the first time I wished for telepathy.
The chirp of pixie wings reached my ears, and moments later Jenks streaked in front of us. The moonlight glinted on the sliver dust slowly falling from the wings of our landlord. With his devil may care looks, and sword sharp enough to slice through flesh and bone, Jenks was hell on wings.
"Ivy! Thank the Turn you're alright. Tink's titties, Jurmoke wasn't lying. You really are naked." Jenks sounded more amused than anything else and I was curious how long it would take for Jenks to lose interest in joking about this. But then he turned to Rachel noticeably angry. "And you! What the hell was that, you left me behind! Did you even think about the rest of us?" Ah not long at all then, it was probably too much to expect he would never bring my state of undress up again, but a woman can hope.
"I wasn't, there wasn't time. I had to get her out of there." It was interesting to see Rachel's pout directed at someone else, clearly it wasn't as effective on Jenks as it was on me. But I could see some of the fight go out of him.
"I thought we'd worked this out." Jenks sighed. "You have to stop running off without back up Rache. We're a team. If you do that again I'm going to have my kids break the coffee machine every day for a month." So Rachel had jumped me away in front of witnesses, interesting. I would have to corner Jenks later and find out if there were any I needed to have a friendly discussion with.
"I'm sorry, it was a stupid thing to do but I just couldn't let them amputate her arm when I knew I could fix it." Guilt was thick in her voice.
"Let's just get inside. We can discuss Rachel's pathological need to be an idiot inside." I didn't want to watch the pixy rake her over the coals anymore then he had to. Rachel squirmed uncomfortably besides me. Jenks chuckled at the red headed witch who was carefully avoiding eye contact with either of us.
"You might not want to do that."
I narrowed my eyes at him suspiciously. The bug sounded far too amused. "Oh?"
"Your mother's here."
Only years of practice kept me from swearing.
Why is it I can live with Ivy for nearly two years and never meet her mom, and now, I get the 'pleasure' of her company twice in as many days? At least this time Ivy's awake and not bleeding, I shuddered slightly, crossing my arms as I remembered her lying deathly still. My eyes slid sideways raking across the reassuringly unblemished skin. God she really is incredibly toned, soft and strong like perfectly tempered steel or a goddess of the hunt. My eyes took in the soft roundness of her breasts, the dusky nipples proudly displaying their presence in the cool evening air.
"See something you like there Rache?"
My face burnt furiously as I tore my eyes away from Ivy "Shut it you, I was just checking on her tattoos." Damn pixies, they never miss anything.
"Uh huh, I hate to tell you this Rache but those are nipples not tattoos."
"But, what... They're gone!" I tried to see if the mark on Ivy's forehead was still there but her head was turned down, silken ebony hair cutting me off from a view of her face. Oh damn it! I guess I really shouldn't have stared. It was just... Turn it. How was I meant to not stare? I mean I know she deserves better than having confused witches staring at her and I'm probably triggering all kinds of instincts but I... gah. I really don't know what's going on between us anymore and how am I meant to work it out if I don't stare? Stupid sexy vampires.
"Ivy..." I sighed heavily, I wish I was better with words. "I'll go fetch your robe." I had asked her out on a date, sort of, surely that meant I got to stare a little bit. Or maybe it made staring worse?
Jenks snickered at me. I swear he lives to mock me. He's probably gotten enough material out of tonight to tease me with for the rest of the year. "Don't bother Rache, me and the kids can handle the robe. You just enjoy the view. Sides you might slip on the puddle of drool."
"I am not drooling you pile of toad droppings!" The back of my hand wiping across my mouth just to be on the safe side didn't really help my argument and Jenks doubled over with mirth. I get no respect.
The sight of pale creamy flesh moving through the velvet night drew my thoughts away from experiments involving pixies and large amounts of leyline energy. Ivy was a vision of perfection, an apex predator, confident and self-assured in her natural environment. The night seemed to cloak her in power and secrets, and in that moment I wanted to know every single one of those secrets, to understand everything that made Ivy, Ivy.
"Oh fairy farts. Ivy wait, don't -" the back door swung shut as Ivy walked into the church "well crap. Looks like her dad's about to get an eyeful."
I winced at Jenks words. Vampires in general were a lot more relaxed about things like causal nakedness. But I was pretty sure no one was relaxed about their dad seeing them naked. I was in absolutely no hurry to go inside but I reluctantly followed as Jenks blazed towards the church. I really didn't seem to be having much luck making a good impression on Ivy's parents. Still at least this wasn't the first time I was meeting her dad, not that he'd been anything but disappointed in me that time either. I'd met her dad when Skimmer arrived to work on getting Piscary out of jail, and earning her place in Ivy's bed – I mean the camarilla. I'd been left with no doubt that he was hoping Skimmer succeeded in all her goals.
It just wasn't fair. I normally never had such a hard time getting parents to like me, well actually thinking about it, I can't remember ever meeting the parents of anyone I dated. And that was what me and Ivy were doing or at least planning to do right? I mean I'd asked her on a date and she didn't say no, I mean she was a wolf at the time but still she didn't exactly bite me or run off. Sighing I pushed my continued angst about just what was happening between us aside. I guess in the end I just wasn't the sort of girl you took home and showed off. Suddenly I felt incredibly sad that I had never rated a meet the parents' dinner. The closet I'd ever come before was that meeting with her dad. Turn it, I need to focus.
The warmth of home enveloped me as I stepped inside and I felt muscles I hadn't even known were tense, relax. I felt sore and worn out, all I wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep hugging a pain amulet. Ivy could deal with her parents, it wasn't like they were here to see me. I wondered if Ivy would try to make me eat brimstone? She normally tried to find a way to dose me up with it whenever I had my throat torn out. God what did it say about my life that nearly bleeding to death was almost a normal occurrence? I really needed to make some changes in my life.
I winced as my neck twinged painfully. Ok so pain amulet and then bed. Guilt licked at me for thinking of leaving Ivy to it, maybe I could get changed and just say hello, that way if Ivy wanted me around I could stay or if not escape guilt free to my bed. The back door was the bottom of a tiny T shaped hallway connecting the kitchen and back living room to the outside. These were the unsanctified parts of the church and the living room was where we normally met with undead clients, well, where Ivy met with them anyway, and I was hoping that was where Ivy's parents were.
Standing on the welcome mat Jenks had brought Ivy for her birthday, I started to bend over to take my shoes off when I remembered. They weren't my shoes, they were also more like slippers. Shuddering slightly as I wondered if Newt would turn up in person to take them back I straighten up. My back was stiff and aching with pain, there was no way I could have bent down enough to take them off anyway. I shuffled the slippers off my feet wincing as even that translated into increased pain.
Normally I just wore socks inside but since they weren't part of the outfit I guess I was stuck barefooted till I could grab a pair. I didn't know what had happened to my bunny slippers, they were probably in that god forsaken alley. Taking a deep breath I poked my head round the corner, peering into the kitchen only to find it blissfully empty. Mentally I was already picking through my wardrobe trying to find something that a) didn't expose my ass and b) didn't make me smell like a demon and look like a fantasy movie reject.
"Rachel" Ivy's voice had me turning to face her, the door to the living room was open. The soft light spilling out of the doorway created strange shadows across Ivy as she stood in the hallway. "We're in here."
I looked longingly at her jeans and blouse. She got to get dressed, why couldn't I?
"Come on. My parents want to discuss what's happened." Her look clearly said she wasn't facing that alone. I didn't blame her but couldn't it wait just a few minutes. I gave one last longing look towards the direction of my room before turning to trudge back towards Ivy and the living room.
Ivy lounged in her chair as her parents sat on the couch across the coffee table from me. I was carefully studying my hands, I wasn't Intimidated. Not one little bit. I mean, I could feel their eyes staring at me, and sure one of them was undead, and maybe I had run off with their unconscious, seriously injured, daughter last time I saw either of them. But I was perfectly relaxed.
"Would either of you like to explain where you've been and why exactly Ivy was naked?" Robert's voice was cucumber cool. Looking up I barely managed to avoid flinching at the black eyed stare Ivy's dad was giving me. So maybe I exaggerated about the relaxed part.
"Dad..." the softness of Ivy's voice drew everyone's attention "we can deal with that after, I need to know the situation here."
"She stinks of guilt and fear, not to mention you both reek of demon. I want to know why. Do you have any idea the situation you put your mother and I in?"
"I'm not afraid." Three sets of disbelieving eyes stared at me. Damn stupid vamps and their stupid sense of smell. Why did I even say that? Normally I didn't have a problem admitting to being afraid but this time I hadn't been able to stop myself from denying it.
"Of course you aren't " Ivy's voice was gently mocking and I began to feel like the smelly dog in the corner whose owners worried it would feel bad if they talked too much about how it stank. Ivy faced her father, her face impassive. Robert's stiff shoulders and the set of his jaw made his opposition to dropping his question crystal clear. As the silent eye communication continued, his jaw clenched and his lips twisted before he sat back, yielding to Ivy. Mama Tamwood gently ran her hand soothingly over her husband's back. The gentle waft of pheromones reached my nose and I felt myself relaxing as Robert did.
"I would have thought you had fixed that by now." There was a disappointed censure to the Tamwood matriarch's voice that made it clear she was talking to her daughter.
"Mother." The low warning in Ivy's voice was clear.
"Fine, fine, another time. But we will discuss this."
Was it wrong that I was relieved I wouldn't have to listen to Ivy's parents arguing I should be a good little bound shadow? There was a time when I would have tried to protest them ever having the conversation, after the last couple of weeks it just didn't seem as important. There was still a low level unease bubbling in my stomach at the thought of Ivy and her parents discussing me like that but it was easier to push aside. My mind skittered away from thoughts of two days ago when Marissa attacked me, that bitch had proved one thing though, I could resist being bound, I couldn't be locked inside my own mind.
"Events have moved on while you have been off doing whatever it is you will be telling me about later. Rynn has issued an edict that any vampire, living or dead, who knows of your whereabouts is to contact his scion immediately. He hasn't declared you to be a consanguinity enemy, he has no need to, it is what everyone is assuming. Some are arguing for moiety but most believe thatit cannot be solved so peacefully." I stared at the older Tamwood in concern.
"Wait, I don't understand. Why would they think that? And what is moiety?" Oh yeah that look said I was definitely the smelly dog in the corner as far Ivy's mother was concerned. She pursed her lips and left it to her husband to answer my question.
"Moiety is when a camarilla splits and forms into two separate camarillas. As for why they think Ivy is now their enemy, it's very simple. Master vampires generally object when members of the camarilla go around killing each other without permission." trying not to wince I nodded at Ivy's dad. My eyes widened as it registered Ivy had killed for me.
"Marissa's dead?" The breathy question caused the room to pause. I sought Ivy's eyes hoping to see the answer. Just which answer I wanted I don't know. When the coven for moral and ethical standards attacked us a few months ago I killed for the first time. Fairies had invaded, they were winning, and everyone would have died, so I helped cast a spell to kill them. In the end I couldn't go through with it, and I pulled the spell back before it killed all of them. Still some had died because of me. I don't know how I feel about it, sometimes I find myself more bothered that I used magic to kill then by the fact I killed, which only makes me feel worse. Other times I feel guilt for not having seen it through, for risking the lives of my friends because I wasn't willing to do that. Jenks' wife had died in the attack and I will never know if she was injured before I started to cast the spell or if she was mortally wounded because I stopped it. I had failed to protect my friends that day.
"Unfortunately she's not." It was Mama Tamwood who answered, although her gaze was fixed on Ivy. "However, I have managed to capture the rest of her family. You need to make a decision about them."
"Mother - " Mrs Tamwood ploughed on ignoring her daughters interruption.
"Ideally you should kill them tonight, the longer they live, the worse." she sighed, her eyes narrowing "Honestly either she is with you or she is not but the time for babying your scion is long since passed."
Ivy was on her feet now and her parents rose as one to meet her.
"Your mothers' right. You've made your choices and you need to start facing up to them."
"I am facing up to them." The snort her mother let lose clearly showed her disagreement.
"If you were facing up to them we would have killed them by now"
I knew they were still arguing but I couldn't seem to be able to listen to it any longer. I just stared blankly ahead. I still hadn't got my pain amulet and I wanted it, I could feel a headache growing by the moment. Turn it, they were talking about murder in front of me and all I could think of was my crappy pain amulet. At least I knew Ivy didn't have any of those pesky worries about the right and wrongs of killing, given her parents I was amazed she ever decided to stop draining people dry. The words she whispered to me as the fairies died echoed through me "Everyone kills to live." I stood up, I needed to get out of here.
"I'm going to get some coffee." Ivy looked at me, her face alive with emotion for one brief moment before the shutters slammed shut and it was gone. For a second I thought she would try to stop me but she merely nodded.
The kitchen was blissfully empty as I waited for the coffee to percolate, the newly invoked amulet dulling almost to nothingness the pain I'd been feeling. I stared at the coffee maker. Maybe the coffee machine had the answer to how my life had come to resemble a fairy vomiting in the wind?
I wasn't stupid, well sure sometimes I'm wilfully stubborn and blind as a badger – my mother's words not mine – still, I'd suspected for a long time that Ivy had probably killed people. But well, I guess I just thought it was bloodlust, the vampire in her forgetting that it was person and instead of just a tasty snack. Not a premeditated decision to kill someone. And somehow part of me thought that was better. That it was less monstrous to kill for something other than hunger. Was that really true though? I had nearly been drained dry before in the back of a van by Ivy. It hadn't seemed monstrous, just sad. There was such pain and hunger in Ivy's soul and even as I lay there dying it had felt beautiful to be the one able to fill it.
I had always forgiven others who killed, hell Kristen had blown up the boat I was on killing everyone else and I had still dated him. Was I really unable to accept Ivy was a killer or was I just scared because of how much I had enjoyed my near death at her fangs? Sure the recovery had been not fun but I'd been more worried about how Ivy was going to cope with my death then I had been about dying. Damn it why couldn't things be black and white? The bad guys were meant to ware black hats and have handle bar moustaches while the good guys were brave and true riding round on the white horses. Now all I could see was grey.
I couldn't kill a family of vampires just because one of them attacked me, I wouldn't let myself commit murder. But I didn't have to, did I? Ivy was going to kill them and I'd never have to get my hands dirty. My heart started to pound and my mouth felt paper dry. How many of my problems had just disappeared since I'd met Ivy? After I had saved Nick and made off with the Focus I'd been sure the Mackinrow Weres would come after me. At first everyone had thought the focus was at the bottom of the river, but it was an open secret now that David had it. And I'd killed their alpha bitch. I'd been convinced Walter would come after me but I'd never heard a howl out of them since. Memories of the fear on the faces of vamps who'd tried to play with my scar flashed through my mind, had they paid the ultimate price for that attempt at poaching?
A soft breeze ran across me, my heart pounded and goose bumps broke out across my skin, arms appeared besides mine and I could feel the press of a body against me.
"Where did you take my daughter?" The warm words caressed my ear, her lips scant distance from my vulnerable skin. I knew she was on tip toes in order to have her lips so close. Tingles were running through my body, the new bites seemed to throb and hum more than the older ones and I clutched at the countertop, my body shaking.
My heart jack rabbited in my chest, I could feel the brick wall against my back, feel her fingers digging into me. The rancidness of her soul slipping into each wound. "I can make it worse. My daughter has never shown you just how much you can feel, just how vulnerable you are." The voice was wrong, and my mind wavered, lost and unsure. "Tell me where you took Ivy."
"The Ever After." It wasn't right, I could remember the kitchen, I was in the kitchen. But the feel of warm moist air being breathed across my skin and throb of pleasure held me in the alley. I was grateful for the voice that wasn't Marissa's, that wasn't whispering inside my mind.
"You took my eldest daughter to the demons?" the words were a hiss and the feel of spittle on my skin sent me reeling. "And what price did you get for delivering her to them?"
Marissa's face grinned at me as she leaned forward, not again no not again. White threaten my vision, creeping in from the sides. I couldn't let Marissa have me again, I couldn't. The line was there I could feel it. I yanked hard, the power of the lines flooding my mind and chi to bursting and I flung it outwards. Driving that bitch back, driving everything back and clearing my vision.
I was shaking on the floor, the line still ran through me the raw power felt like a scolding hot shower on torn muscles. Ivy's mother was picking herself up off the floor, her hair was a windswept mess and she licked the blood from her broken lip. I couldn't help but try to act as if nothing had happened. I didn't want her to think I was broken, to think she could take me.
"I made them heal her."
"Demons do nothing for free. And you are nothing but a paper scion. Not even willing to bleed for my daughter, never mind sell your soul. So what part of my daughter did you sell?" Her eyes were black and colder than the devils heart. But she stayed back, wary of the ley line.
"She didn't have to sell anything mother." Ivy moved between us and I felt infinitely better for seeing those long legs standing ready to protect me. "The demons consider her to be one of them. Rachel agreed to more lessons and that was the end of it."
Was she really there though? I'd thought Marissa was here, what if that was reality and this was the dream? My fingers stretched out ward, poking the back of her knee. A great gust of breath escaped me. She was really real. The leg moved and I grabbed it, clinging on before she could disappear. Twisting and bending as only a gymnast or vampire could, Ivy's eyes met mine with concern.
"This isn't right and you know it. You need to take control of the situation – of her, not allow yourself to become a lap dog." Ivy drew herself back up, seeming to swell and grow ever taller with each word. "Your father told me what your hoping to get out of this, and certainly I can see she has a certain… rustic appeal," Ivy started to say something, only to be cut off. "I accept that she is your choice. My quarrel is with your methods. You learned from Piscary, but you are making the same mistakes. Enough is enough, you've given her a long leash for too long. Manipulating events from the shadows is not enough anymore, it's time to bring her to heel before she does you any more damage. "
"Mother she hasn-"
"All the pain and loss you've suffered these last two years, every bit, she played a key role in bringing it about. You may hate the sight of me, hate the vision of your future you see when you look at me but I am still your mother and you cannot hide from me. I need to know what is going on. You're my daughter and you are off gallivanting around with a black witch who has shown no sign of being willing to sacrifice for you. The idea is valid, it kept Piscary alive long after most had met the sun but even he did not find the perfect companion at first try. If you are convinced she has attributes that you want, then breed her and try again with the children."
Loses? What was she… Kisten's smiling face answered that question. And he wasn't the only one Skimmer and Piscary were gone along with her inheritance and who knew what else. Her best friend, her lover and her… whatever the hell Piscary was, there really was no one left for her. I'd taken them all away and done nothing but reject her.
"I'm not having this conversation with you here."
"Yes you are. I will not watch you throw away your life! If it wasn't for your foolish notions we wouldn't be in this situation. You would have died your first death and taken your place as you were meant to. At the very least you would be settled with someone suitable and continuing our line!"
Ivy's hand rested on my shoulder gently, even as the other clenched into a tight fist. "Living my life how I want to is not throwing it away, I won't allow myself to turn into that monster. I have always planned to die my second death as soon as I awaken from my first."
"No…" Ivy couldn't die, she was meant to live forever, the stupid risks I took weren't meant to drag her down and now, now I was going to live forever and be alone. No Jenks, no David, no Serena or Cali and now… no Ivy, the only people I would have to talk to would Al and Newt. "You can't die, you cant."
Jenks' wings buzzed in the stillness that met my words.
"I can't, I don't know if I can save your soul and if I don't – how can I live knowing it was my fault you died."
"You won't have to worry about that, if Ivy commits suicide, then I will kill you."
"You can't kill a demon, I'll be alone forever."