I know it has been forever since I have uploaded a chapter! But I am sure that you will all be happy to know that I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation and am done with school! What does this mean for all of you? This means I have more time to focus on my story! Which I am super excited about also.
I apologize if I haven't responded to messages or reviews over last several months. My email was sending all my fanfiction alerts to my SPAM and I haven't had time to catch up on responding. I promise to do better now that school is over for me.
Well I think you guys have waited long enough. Here is the next chapter.
Chapter 29: Hard Truths
I was in shock. Could it be true? Did Riley change my father into a vampire?
Impossible! He would have come for us….right? If he was changed why didn't my father come look for us after? What happened to my mother?
My head started to ache with the sudden onslaught of my own questions.
"My father's a vampire?" I ask Jasper simply. Maybe I misheard him.
"I didn't want to tell you this way," Jasper confesses.
"I don't understand," I say dumbfounded. My headache is accompanied by a wave of nausea and dizziness.
"Easy Edward," Jasper says helping me find my balance as he holds me by the waist. "I think I should get you inside."
I accept Jasper's help as he wraps my arm around his neck and gently grips my waist for support. He leads me inside Masen Manor and sits me on the couch in the sunroom. Everything is dark, quiet and still. All I hear is the sound of Jasper's footsteps as he paces unsure of what to do.
It was only a few minutes ago that I was filled with anger and rage towards Riley for murdering my father. And now I don't know what to feel. ….I feel nothing….I am numb.
I stare at Jasper in silence. He returns my gaze and sits beside me as he places his hand in mine and squeezes it gently.
"Edward, I cannot feel your emotions. Are you alright?"
I look into his wide blue eyes. It is clear Jasper is panicked.
I should have never told him like this. Stupid! What was I thinking?!
I didn't respond to Jasper's question… I couldn't speak. My body was no longer responding to me. I felt numb and trapped… I had no control.
The sound of soft footsteps emanate from the stairway.
"Edward are you okay?" I hear Alice ask.
I stare at her wide eyed but do not respond. How am I going to explain this to her? Our father….he is not dead…..he is a…vampire.
"Edward?" Alice tries again. I stare at her…but I can't speak. Even if I could…I am not sure I would want to.
"Jasper, what happened to him?" Alice demands.
"I think he is in shock," Jasper responds.
"NANA! SAM! SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH EDWARD!" Alice calls out.
In an instant I hear the sound of more footsteps running down the staircase.
"Edward what is it?" Nana says concerned and slightly winded.
I do not answer.
Sam also stares at me. Worry is written all over her face. Her eyes travel to Jasper and she withdrawals a wooden stake from beneath her robes.
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM!?" Sam screams rushing towards Jasper.
The fear that Aunt Sam would hurt Jasper breaks through my numbness and I suddenly find my voice.
"It is not his fault," I say softly but confidently.
Sam turns to face me lowering the stake in the process. A sense of relief overwhelms her.
"What has happened to you my boy?" Nana asks softly, engulfing me in a full hug.
"Dad….he isn't dead," I say softly as tears escape my eyes.
"Edward, I know you must be upset, but soon you will realize…."
"No Nana. You don't understand…..Riley….he didn't kill him…." I try to explain but cannot finish.
"What are you talking about Edward?" Nana asks me. Sam walks over to stand next to Nana's side and Alice kneels at my feet.
But, I couldn't explain. How could I explain what I still did not understand? I look up at Jasper.
"Jasper?" I say simply.
Jasper realizes he would have to explain what I could not.
"Ms. Bennet. I am sorry, I did not mean to cause your family anymore distress. But I couldn't lie to him….not again….he had to know…"
"What is Edward talking about?" Nana says impatiently.
"Riley was trying to explain earlier…..he did not kill Mr. Masen….. he changed him."
Nana's eyes are wide….as are Sam's…. Alice is simply confused.
"Changed him?" Nana asks surprised and wanting clarification.
"Into a vampire," Jasper clarifies.
Now Alice's eyes match Aunt Sam's and I can tell she too has lost her ability to speak. My body begins to respond to me and move towards the floor where Alice sits. I wrap her in a strong supportive hug but she says nothing and continues to stare at Jasper.
"Lies!" Samantha says outraged. "Alice saw in her vision her father begging for his life! RILEY KILLED HIM!"
"Alice did not see all of it. Mr. Masen was not begging for his life….he was begging to be changed." Jasper clarifies.
"Anthony would never do such a thing!" Aunt Sam objects.
"Why would my son-in-law asked to be changed?" Nana joins in on the questioning.
"Riley does not know," Jasper confesses.
"How convenient," Aunt Sam retorts.
"Riley does not remember much. It is as if his memory has been altered. The only thing he remembers is that after draining Mr. Masen of his blood, he fed him his own. But he remembers nothing after that. The last thing he remembers is waking up in a clearing not too far from the accident and Mr. Masen was nowhere to be found. Riley wasn't even sure the events of that night were real….until tonight," Jasper explains.
"We don't believe you!" Aunt Sam says outraged.
"Jasper would not make this up," I say.
"How do you know...your telepathy?" Alice asks, breaking her silence, tears in her eyes.
"I don't need my telepathy. Jasper has no reason to lie to us," I say.
"Of course he does. He is trying to protect his brother!" Sam retorts.
"I told you I am only concerned about protecting Edward and Alice," says Jasper.
"Because you love him….my grandson…you love him?" Nana asks making direct eye contact with him as if looking into his soul. The way she stares at him makes me wonder if she secretly shared her mother's gift of truth seeking. It is as if she would know if Jasper was lying.
"Yes Ma'am," Jasper answers.
Nana relaxes feeling confident in Jaspers desire to protect us.
"This just does not make any sense," Nana says frustrated. "We need more information. Your brother….will he allow us to probe his mind?"
"Probe his mind?" Jasper asks confused.
"Attempt to retrieve his lost memories," Nana clarifies.
"You can do that?"
"We can try."
"That is for us to worry about… will he agree?" Nana says growing impatient again.
"I am not sure," Jasper says reluctantly
"Well if you are as adamant about protecting Edward and his sister…I suggest you convince him," Nana says simply.
Jasper looks at Nana determined. "I will speak with him."
"You do that. If he agrees, we will attempt to probe his mind and find the answers we need tomorrow evening. It is the only time we will be able to do this," Nana warns.
"Then I should go," Jasper says looking at me.
I am so sorry about this. I didn't mean to cause you more pain.
I force myself to give him a gentle smile.
"Yes, you should go," Nana agrees.
Jasper begins to make his way towards our front door before Alice stops him.
"My mother…did Riley say anything about my mother?"
"Riley saw two other people in the vehicle. A woman and a man….they were already dead. I am sorry Alice," Jasper says before turning and leaving Masen Manor.
Alice stares at the door as Jasper closes it behind him. Her tears fall quietly down her cheeks as I walk over to my little sister and hug her from behind. Too much has happened today. She shouldn't have to go through all of this. She is just a child! I hold her even tighter.
"It's okay. It's going to be okay," I say trying to comfort her.
"No….no it's not," she says with a sense of truth that chills me to the bone. I stare at her, tears still fill her eyes. She weakly breaks our embrace and walks over to Nana and Samantha.
"Nana, how do we retrieve lost memories? And why is tomorrow evening the only time we can do this?" Alice asks.
"My darlings, you have been through so much. I am so sorry…. Your Aunt Samantha is right. Perhaps we should have done more to ensure that you would never come into your powers. There is no need for you to go through all of this. You two have no need to worry about tomorrow evening. Your Aunt Samantha and I can deal with Riley and get the information we need."
"NO!" Alice shouts in frustration. Nana stares back at Alice in surprise. Alice has never shouted at Nana before… sure she has talked back to her every now and then…but never shouted.
"It's too late to keep us in the dark now," Alice says more calmly. "I want to be there when you get the memories. I want to know what happened!"
"Alice is right," Aunt Sam says. "Mom, we could have tried everything we know of…if Edward and Alice truly are original witches….nothing we tried would have bound their powers. We can't keep trying to protect them. We need to train them both in the elemental magics…and self defense. They may need it."
It was odd to see Sam advocating for us to learn more elemental magic. A few weeks ago she was so adamant that we stop practicing magic all together. But something had changed in Aunt Sam. She knew something wicked was coming and she wanted us to be prepared.
"Yes, your Aunt Sam speaks the truth," Nana says. "I believe it is time you learn the last elemental magic…. the power of water. This is the magic we will use to retrieve Riley's memories and it is strongest during a full moon."
"Full moon?" I question. "But that's…."
"….tomorrow evening." Nana finishes my sentence. "We will begin your training tomorrow morning. I suggest you two get plenty of sleep. You will need it."
Right…as if I could sleep.
I know...kinda short...but I wanted to upload something so you all know I did not abandon the story! Don't worry, I will not keep ya'll waiting as long as before. Leave me some love!