By the time we reached Lord McAshton's mansion, my lips were blue and I was absolutely freezing. I pulled the hood up on my parka and prayed we'd go home soon.

Rudolph played with the lock on the window and Tony pulled him in with him. "Would you like my jacket?" Gregory asked softly.

"N-no, I'm fine!" I stammered, feeling silly in my boots and my legs being flashed at everyone.

The vampire scoffed and pulled his jacket off anyway, wordlessly handing it to me. "T-thanks!" I smiled slightly at him and unzipped my parka. I quickly removed my jacket and put his on, then put my parka on again. It was slightly warmer. I slowly buttoned his jacket up, my fingers trembling but my body was slowly getting warmer. "O-oh, what's your m-mom's name?"

"Freda, why?" he replied, smirking. He must think I'm a stalker...

"'Cause I'm curious?" I replied smartly. I was tempted to hit myself in the head. Freda and Frederick, huh? How did they get Rudolph, then? Freda, Frederick, Gregory, Anna... Rudolph. Hm. All regular names... and then a reindeer.

The sound of screams filled the air and I sniggered. "I'm not allowed to go after them, you know. My mom said I could lose dad his job, so the other day when they got him to the ground and emptied his bag out, I couldn't do a thing."

Gregory didn't reply.

Tony came out, cackling to himself. Gregory grabbed me and Rudolph shot off, smiling brightly. We followed at a quicker pace and soon passed them. I laughed; I hate heights but this was amazing.

"Is this where you live?" Gregory asked me, shouting over the wind.

"Yeah!" I shouted back. "Go 'round the back and land on the balcony with the rope!"

He did as I asked and I invited him in to my room. "Why do you have rope?" he asked me quietly.

"So I can get out of the house when I'm on lockdown or stressed out." I grinned and went to wash my hands. I turned the tap on to boiling and filled the sink up with the hot water. I dunked my hands in and nearly swore from the pain but carried on, keeping them in then for a minute.

"You'll hurt yourself doing that," Gregory chastened. "Why are you doing that, any way?"

"Cause of Rookery - " I stopped myself from talking but I think he knew what I meant. He left me to it and I heard my bed squeak.

He better not be getting my bed dirty. "Your bed is brilliant!" he called from my room.

I snorted and dried my hands on a towel. I took off the parka but kept his jacket on. It smelt of earth and it really was quite warm. "Are you heading back home tonight, or are you staying?"

I removed my shoes and grabbed the bottom of my wardrobe. I began to pull but it seemed heavier than before... and then I heard Tony's giggling. "Tony, get out." I flung open the doors and grabbed him by his foot.

"Balls!" Tony squealed and my eye began to twitch.

"What did you just say?" I howled at him.

Tony was thoroughly terrified and his mouth was full of soap suds. "I still don't know why you did that to me." He stuck his lower lip out and I tugged on it roughly.

"No brother of mine is going to cuss like a dirty sailor." I told him firmly, mindful of Rudolph and Gregory watching us.

"But you say all those swear words!" Tony began.

"And if you ever repeat them, next time I'll use bleach on you, okay?"

I smiled sweetly and hoped my message had sunk in. Swearing and cussing was not a good thing to fall into and I would try my hardest to not let him do it.

"Can one of you two help me with my wardrobe?" I looked pointedly at Rudolph when I said this. If he was going to sit in my clothes, then he was going to help me move them.

The boy sighed and nodded. He began to push one side while I pulled another and soon, the wardrobe was in its correct place.

"Someone's coming up the stairs," Gregory muttered. "Where do we go?" He gestured to himself and Rudolph quickly. I pointed to the wardrobe and the box.

"It's your mum." Rudolph told us and I couldn't help but laugh at him saying mum. How British! He got into the box and Gregory flew into my wardrobe, shutting the door behind him.

I panicked, remembering I still had Gregory's jacket on and I ran into my bathroom, locking the door and putting the shower on.

"Rowan?" Mom called and then I heard my bedroom door open. "Oh, Tony!" she exclaimed.

Tony said something to her and then heard her come very close to my door. "Sweetie, I know it's late but me and your dad need to go out, is it okay if you look after Tony for us? He doesn't have to go to school tomorrow, he just needs to be in bed before midnight, okay?"

I yelled a quick, "Okay! Love you mom!" and shut off the shower.

I waited until she had left my room to come out. "Where do you think they're going?" I asked Tony, rolling the sleeves up on Gregory's jacket. It was too warm to take off now.

"Dunno," Tony shrugged his little shoulders. "Don't care."

"Can we come out now?" Rudolph asked sweetly.

"Of course!" I stammered. "Sorry!"

I heard the wardrobe open behind me. "May I stay here tonight?" Gregory whispered in my ear and I shivered. My heart fluttered and my face probably went a deep shade of red.


Just what was going on with me?

"Thanks," he purred.

Well, shit. "Tony, are you hungry?"

"Yeah, go make me some food, wench." Tony waved his hand in the direction of the door. My eyebrow rose and I went into my bathroom, grabbing a baby pink lipstick tube.

I whispered, knowing that the vampires would hear me but Tony wouldn't; "Can one of you two hold him down?"

I heard the squeak of my bed and then Tony let out a muffled cry. "Rudolph?"

I ran in, armed with my make up and pushed Rudolph off of him, pressing him down by placing my legs on his arms and sitting on his legs. This was testimony to my height, really. I was short. I unscrewed my lipstick and began applying it heavily on his forehead, saying 'ROWAN', most of it going into his eyebrows.. "Pucker up," I grinned evilly and he began to writhe beneath me.

"No!" he screeched, laughing. I held his lower lip in my fingers and applied it thickly, leaving behind bright, baby pink lips. I did the same to his upper lip and clambered off of him.

"The wench will go make your dinner now, miss Tony!"

I leapt over his little body and ran down the stairs, my heart still fluttering slightly. Why was that vampire having such an effect on me?

I walked into the kitchen slowly, dragging my feet. I started sing under my breath. "Baby I'll try to love again but I know... the first cut is the deepest. When it comes to being lucky, she's cursed, when it comes to loving me... he's worst," and made my rendition, of course.

"Tony, do you want to watch the Labyrinth?" I yelled up the stairs.

"Sure!" he screeched back.

"Bring down my pillows and duvet and tell Rudolph and Gregory to come down, too! I'll make sure the curtains are all drawn and lower the brightness on the TV!"

I didn't wait for a reply and grabbed all the sweets from the cupboard. I also grabbed several bottles of soda and went to sit in the living room. I drew the curtains and fiddled around with the television, but eventually it was lowered enough to barely cast a shadow in the dimly lit room. I found the Labyrinth and forced it into the video player.

I turned around to see Gregory, Rudolph and Anna sat down, smirking. I jumped and my vision went black for the tiniest of moments; however, it was enough to make me sway and hold the television for support. "Do not do that again." Where did Anna come from?

Tony came barging in, covered by my pristine white duvet. I took it out of his arms and plonked it on the vampires. "I'm going to get changed," I muttered and left the room. My face was bright red and I felt so itchy. I took the stairs two at a time.

I reached my room in record timing, only to die inside again when I saw Gregory sat on my bed. "Fucking hell!"

"A lady shouldn't use such foul language!" the boy reprimanded. "What is wrong? You looked faint..."

"...Nothing." What is wrong with me?

I shook my head at him and grabbed my make up wipes, sitting at my vanity and removing my 'face'. I pulled my hair loose of the messy bun and began to brush it through, feeling the soft strands slip through my fingers. My hair was a dirty blonde, thick and curly. I had bright blue eyes and a smattering of freckles over my nose. My skin was pale and my face shape was slightly heart, slightly round. I was... boring. I was typical. I grabbed a pair of scissors from my vanity table and began to slide them gently, opened, through my hair. Slowly but surely, long strands of curly hair fell to the floor, until my hair was layered and reached the small of my back and not the tip of my bum. I leant forward and brushed my long bangs out and began to slice upwards, creating a messy full fringe. It went straight across my head but it was still curly, so I knew that once it was straightened it would be longer still.

"Why are you doing that?" Gregory asked from behind me, wrapping stone cold hands around my shoulders. I gazed at my reflection and shook my head, throat constricted. "Hey, hey..." Gregory muttered, kneeling beside me. "What's wrong?"

I don't think he was quite ready for me to burst into tears, but I did. "Stop being so nice to me, damn it!" I pushed him away gently and hid my face in my palms.

"Anna, could you come up here?" Gregory called, but it sounded more like he was speaking normally. Two seconds later, I was pressed into Anna's small waist and couldn't stop crying.

When I woke up, I was cushioned on something very, very cold, with a blanket thrown over me. Tony was on the floor beside me and he was clinging to both Rudolph and Anna. I looked down at my cold cushion, to find red eyes looking back at me. "What?" I whispered, confused. The last thing I remembered was crying and then taking my old medication.

"Good afternoon," Gregory greeted me. "Your parents came in at around one in the morning and were very, very scared by the fact that there were three new people in the house. I had to quickly explain that we were your friends and that you heard a bump in the cellar. We then rushed over and kept you company. Your mother seemed very happy and your father looked amused. Your mother checked on us earlier and asked who I was. I told her my name and she looked confused, so Rudolph sat up and said he was Rudolph. She seemed very pleased and walked away, humming and talking to herself about her babies finally having friends!"

"Oh... Okay. What time is it?" I yawned, sitting up and stretching my body out. The way Gregory talked amused me. He was very short and clipped, but still managed to keep an English charm to it. His impression skills were lacking, though.

"It's currently around three o'clock. You and Tony have been asleep for roughly fifteen hours."

"What?" I replied dumbly. "Seriously?"

"Seriously." The boy nodded to affirm his point, before smirking. "Okay, not seriously. It's just turned twelve o'clock, midday."

I groaned and let myself flop down on him again. He stiffened but pulled the duvet over us. "I'm so sorry for breaking down on you." I told him meekly. He was going to think of me as a freak, I just knew it.

He scrunched up his nose and replied; "Why were you upset? It confused me."

"My emotions are highly unbalanced and I used to have to take medication for it. I thought I was fine but... obviously not."

We lay silent for a few minutes and eventually, my eyes closed.

"What's it like, being a vampire?" I muttered into his ear.

"It's like nothing will ever be happy again," he confessed. "The sky will never be blue, the birds won't sing, the flowers are never open... Friends are something scoffed at and family becomes your everything. Many mortals give up their life so callously, killing themselves and destroying others, disrespecting the life they are blessed with... Some kill others, taking away their life; the people are innocent! They believe that they are God and are all-powerful, but they are not." I felt a slight sting at his words. "In the history books, they refer to me as Gregory the Gruesome. They call me this as I have slaughtered many and relished in their deaths. I am a monster, plain and simple."

I hm'ed. "I don't think you're a monster, Gregory. I think you're a boy forever stuck in puberty with daddy-issues." He stiffened again. "It's not about how you felt when you killed someone, it's about how often it occurred and who the people dead were. Where they murderers? Rapists? Or innocent people, plucked from the street? Do you revel in the killing of the innocent, of children?"

"No." his tone was cold and hidden.

"Oh, Rowan!" my mom sang, pulling the duvet up. I hadn't realised this before, but Gregory was completely stripped off aside from a pair of bunny trousers. My bunny trousers.

I started sniggering, which soon turned to full blown laughter. "What?" Gregory muttered, before looking at what I was laughing at. He groaned loudly, grabbing a pillow and throwing it at me. I landed on Rudolph and Tony and laughed harder, clutching my stomach.

"Oh..." I gasped. "My God!"

"What is it?" Tony shot up, hitting his head on mine in the process.

"Ouch!" I yelped, but I kept giggling. Anna stayed stubbornly asleep. I threw the pillow on Gregory's legs and stood up shakily, my sides hurting.

"Afternoon, Row!" Mom chirped, giving me a look that promised a womanly talk. "How about you move so I can open the curtains?"

"No, mom!" I moaned, heart pounding at the thought. They'd die! "I'm still tired, can't we just stay down here?" I whined, dragging the "e".

"But they haven't ate-" She gestured wildly to Rudolph, with his mussed up hair and I belatedly realised he'd stripped too, wearing some of Tony's pyjamas. "And I don't want to send them home hungry!"

"I'll make us something, why don't you go shopping? I know you've been dying for some new clothes!"

Mom paused for a moment and gave me an angry scowl. "You've twisted my leg," she sighed. "Okay." She grabbed her bag and left.

I blinked. "Well, that was simple. Tony, you hungry?" I didn't wait for a reply and made him a salad sandwich, handing it to him on one of Mom's china plates.

"Aren't you having anything?" Tony asked, through a large mouthful of food.

"Not hungry, I'm going to the library!" I chirped, clapping my hands together and rushing upstairs.

I had a quick shower and left my hair down, still wet. I changed into a brown top, cream chunky knit cardigan and high-waisted black jeans. I wore my chunky brown wedge shoes and left through my window, not trusting the heavy front door we had. The vampires would be blasted with light immediately.

My eyes sought out my bike eagerly and soon after, I was off. The trip took longer than expected; it took me an hour to get to the library and it took me another three to find the books that I wanted.

I leaned up, pulling out the Crests of All Ages book that the library carried, comparing some of them to what Tony described. Only one matched; the McAshton crest. I gulped and placed the book back.

"Thanks, Miss!" I called and left quickly; the sun was beginning to set and the vampires would be leaving soon.

The trip took less time on the way back; I knew which way to go and it took me forty five minutes.

When I got home, Tony was no where to be seen and the house was cleaned. "Mom? Where's Tony gone?"

"He's gone to Rudolph's house, honey!" mom replied, smiling. "That Gregory seems like such a nice boy, he says you should go too!"

I nodded and left, this time on foot.

Tony paced, chewing his lip. Rudolph watched the small human carefully, not daring to breathe. Tony had tripped on the way here and his blood was something akin to melted chocolate and vanilla to the vampire. His sister and his parents smelt similar, too; however, Dottie smelt of an old red wine and Bob smelt of dark chocolate, with a hint of burnt wood. Rowan was peculiar. She smelt like Tony, except different. It was more... honey, than chocolate, but still chocolate. How could a family smell so similar but so different?

Rudolph knew that Rowan wasn't innocent, nor was she as wonderful as Tony proclaimed her to be. She had her bad times, when she started smoking and her blue eyes glazed over, and her good times, when her eyes lit up and her heart started pounding.

Rudolph also knew that Tony wasn't as perfect as Rowan thought he was. He was slightly spoiled but slightly ignored; his mother adored him, his father was slowly rejecting him for something his son couldn't control. He was teased, bullied but still managed to handle everything like it was good and fine.

The humans were very confusing.

Gregory watched the little boy pace too, his thoughts swirling. He had told the human girl too much and he wanted to distance himself. It would only mean heartache. Tony glared at him angrily and Gregory sneered back. Who was this brat to glare at him with no reason? Rudolph shook his head at the older boy.

The girl stumbled and let out a loud groan of pain. "Who put that rock there, really?"

Rudolph couldn't help but laugh. "Your sister is near," he told the little boy with a smile. "Stop pacing."

Tony grinned and nodded, sniffling slightly. "Is she okay?"

"She just tripped." Gregory smirked cruelly at the little boy, finding it amusing the way he jumped.

"How the hell do you get in here?" the girl yelled and stomped on the ground.

"She can't get in." Anna smiled charmingly.

"Couldn't somebody go, I don't know, get her?"

Gregory snorted and stood, moving through the shadows of the crypt. "Rowan!" he called from the slitted opening.

"Yes?" the girl called back, stumbling blindly over tombstones.

"Oh for goodness sake - " the boy hissed. He left the crypt and grabbed the girl by the waist, swinging her over his shoulder and carrying her into the crypt. "We really need to make you a little map of every opening - "

"You say that like you're not going to distance yourself from me!" the girl barked out, the blood rushing to her head.


"Don't you 'What?' me!" the girl growled, kicking her legs. "I do have ears you know! You may not think you're that loud, Mister I'm-Over-Three-Hundred-Years-Old, but you most certainly are!"

The boy said nothing.

"Why do you want to distance yourself from me?" the girl's voice was quiet, barely a whisper; Gregory felt a stab of shame hit him before he roughly pushed it away. It was no good feeling like that- "Why would it lead to heart-break?"

Why would it lead to heart-break? He paused in his movement's before twisting on his foot, heading up two steps before twisting again, mindful of the girl's head and the narrow walls. He took her down, lower in the crypt, into what he classed as 'his' room. He set her down on his bed gently and sighed.

"Because when we get turned back, we remember nothing. The only things we remember are our family and even then the relationships are tense. We are given new backgrounds, a reason for being where we are and we'll be in England while you'll still be here in Scotland. We won't have a reason for moving to Scotland and we won't move to Scotland. We will forget everything. I do not want to get attached to you or your family, because it will only hurt you in the end."

"But that doesn't mean we can't be friends, does it? When do you have to find the stone for - ?"

"We have to find the stone in twenty-four hours; in a day! How are we expected to get it? Chances are, we won't get the stone - "

"So why can't we be friends? I don't have any friends here but I thought, maybe, you and Rudolph and Anna could be my first ones - "

"If we do not get the stone, we will move."

It felt like he was shredding my heart into pieces and stamping on the tattered remains. It felt like he was pouring salt into a gaping wound. It hurt. I know it was my own doing; Rudolph had slowly but surely become a younger brother to me, Anna like a little sister that had been estranged for a while... and I stupidly thought Gregory could become my brother, too.

"Why?" My voice was so tiny and weak. I felt so stupid.

"That's the way it has to be - "

"No it doesn't!" I yelled and my voice echoed down the halls. I didn't know where we were and I couldn't see a damn thing.

"Yes, it does. The stone forever moves; if we missed our chance, it will move. It was in England and the older vampires missed their chance. It is now in Scotland and who knows? Next time, it may be in Wales, may in Ireland... We have to follow the stone. This is why we were never allowed to form human attachments; or, at least, I wasn't."

"What do you mean?"

I felt a shift beneath me and a cold hand wrapped around my own. "Father treats me like his prodigy son; I am a thing to be gasped at and awed by, but never to be shown affection."

The girl fell asleep to Gregory murmuring; "Your eyes are getting heavy... You're falling into a deep sleep..."

Tony had left after Frederick snarled at him; the boy didn't want to leave without his sister, but Rudolph had taken him home. Gregory gazed down at the girl thoughtfully, eyeing her throat. If they didn't get the stone... maybe he could turn her? She was different and he liked it. Liked her? Maybe. The idea of spending his life with her was appealing.

He shook the thought off and pulled his blanket tighter around her, hearing a human shuffle around in their home. His eyes seemingly brightened in the dark. He was hungry.

The dark being shot off, fangs already poised at the old mans' jugular. He clamped down and sucked, sucking the sweet, sweet life out of the man. But then, he began to move... Attached by a wire. Gregory wanted to let go but couldn't, the blood was brilliant, it was fresh and it was oozing -

"Gregory, let go! It's a trap, Gregory! Let go!" Rudolph yelped, dragging the boy and finally, Gregory let go, the blood still dribbling down his chin. He licked it up, smirking wildly at his brother.

"Bet you wished that was you and Tony, huh?" Gregory sneered and heard the sounds of Rowan awaking. How? She couldn't be awake yet!

The little vampire smacked his brother on the arm. "You bit him?" Frederick roared, slamming his hand into the wall. He daren't look at his son.

"Just a taste," Gregory moaned, digging the knife deeper.

"Was it worth betraying your family?"

"Well, you're the traitor. Forever denying the truth of us." Gregory paused, hearing the girl curse and stand up on shaky legs. He knew she could hear, but he didn't care. She should know it didn't apply to her. "We are the dark Gods! But you've turned us into cowards, skulking 'round our holes like worms!"

"What would you have us do?" Gregory knew that his father knew of the girl in his room, because his father grimaced and his voice was lowered. Gregory shot him a victorious smirk.

"Fight back!" Gregory yelled. "Make these mortals blood run cold!" Gregory heard his girls' heart speed up. Wait... His girl?

"You could do it, Gregory." His father's tone was placating. "You're young, strong, ruthless... And willing to take a stake through the heart to prove it!"

Freda hurried Anna off, probably sending her to find Rowan. "Gregory's room." Rudolph whispered to her and she shot off.

"Better a stake than this prison." Gregory mumbled but he knew everyone could hear him, especially Rowan. She gazed at him with betrayed, tired eyes and he frowned. She must be freezing. Did she still have his jacket?

Gregory heard the sound of Rowan's brother returning. Hm. If he wanted her to join him, then her brother would need to be turned too. And her family...

No words were said for a while. Everyone, excluding Rowan, could hear the sounds of Tony's tiny pants, sucking in cold air.

"Do you think me oblivious?" Frederick sighed, dropping his head.

"What does it matter to you what I think?" Gregory snarled. "Or... If I think?"

"It matters greatly." Frederick looked his son in the eyes, green-tinged red eyes staring into eyes so similar but so different. "I feel your sting." he confessed lowly.

Rage grew in Gregory. "But you are Frederick the Great! You feel nothing!"

Tony was closer now, but so was something else. Something Gregory ignored. "Let there be light!"

The family screamed as one and Rowan yelped, covering her eyes. She leapt down a set of stairs and grabbed Gregory, pulling him over to Freda. The woman was curled around her youngest children, trying not to scream but she couldn't. Rowan covered the woman as best she could.

Fredrick concealed his screaming, covering his family at the risk of his own life.

Rowan wished someone would help; the family was dying around her -

The light went out with a massive bang. "Goal!" Tony beamed. Frederick dropped to floor, barely being caught in Freda's arms.

"My hero!" Anna cooed, gazing at Tony adoringly.

Rudolph grinned and whistled. "Wow."

Gregory gazed his girl and wrapped his arms around her. "What are you doing?" she whined. "You knocked me unconscious and now decide to hug me?" She wisely chose not to mention the fight she'd witnessed.

"You must be cold," he soothed. "So I'm warming you up, love."

"Ah - I find out about the coat of arms," she told the family loudly. "It's the McAshton family - "

"Its my father's boss," Tony cut in. "I think the stone must be at his house!"

Tony beamed, waiting for some recognition. Gregory's arms tightened around Rowan and she wriggled slightly. "D-did you hear me, sir?" Tony stammered.

"You barely saved my life." Frederick spoke softly, his voice reverberating through the crypt.

"He's very, very weak." Freda chimed in, her voice as soft as bells in the wind.

"I know just what you need!" Tony grinned.

Gregory's brow rose. "And what is that?"


Freda smiled and nodded, standing up.

Soon, Gregory was wrapped in a straight-jacket and he was being fitted with a muzzle. "Is that - ah, necessary?" Rowan asked nervously.

"I've bit someone." he told her calmly.

"W-what?" She inwardly cursed herself for acting so... urgh.

"When you were asleep - "

"Unconscious!" she interrupted.

"Asleep, a mortal entered and I... Flipped."

She froze. "Would you flip on me?" she whispered into his ear. Gregory could feel her fear in her trembling shoulders and in her pulse; her heart was thumping erratically, like a hummingbird trying to escape a cage.

"Never." he whispered back, cold air blowing on her face.

"E-hem!" Tony tapped his foot impatiently, handing Rowan Gregory's leash. "Your family has already gone ahead." He looked at Rowan and she flushed, her pulse speeding up. Tony snorted and ran.

"L-let's go, then!" she chirped, pulling on the leash.

"Rowan? May I have your permission to court you?" Gregory asked her carefully after five minutes of slow walking.

Gregory could see his mother stiffen and look back at him with a shocked smile. "Court me?" Gregory smiled. Her nose was scrunched up and she was in thought. "Court?"

"I believe in modern times it's called dating!" Anna called to her. Rowan blanched.

"Oh! Rowan and Gregory, sitting in a tree - K-I-S-S-I-N-G -" Tony began. Rowan's eye began to twitch.

She pulled ahead and cuffed the small boy around the ear, hard. He hit the floor with a loud omph and a cry of pain.

She shot him a cold smile and stormed back to the vampire. "I thought you wanted to distance yourself from us?" she asked the boy, her voice icy and withdrawn.

"I - You're twisting my words!" he exclaimed, his red eyes showing his confusion. Surely that was what she wanted?

"No, I'm not. You say you're either going to forget me or leave me anyway... Why would you thinking courting is a good idea?"

His girl was quiet and furious. Gregory smirked behind the muzzle. Good. "Because..." He got closer to her, aware that he couldn't move his arms and he couldn't get too close. "You're mine."

"I'm sorry?" Her voice was slowly but surely rising; Rudolph, Tony and Anna were waiting at the top of the bank, Anna with a hand on the boys' ear.

Mother and father must have gone ahead, he thought. "You're mine, love."

"I do not belong to anyone, Gregory Sackville-Bagg! You would do well to remember that!" She tugged once, twice on his leash and pulled him up the incline.

"Oh but you do, my sweet. You belong to me."

Rowan was furious. How dare he? She was not a possession and she belonged to no one. How dare he assume she belonged to him?

She was still furious after his mother gave her a subtle wink. "I give you my blessing," she chimed.

"As do I, but be warned, mortal. If you hurt my son, in any way, I will not hesitate to destroy you." Frederick joined in, an amused twinkle to his eye that infuriated Rowan more.

"Surely he would be the one hurting me? You know, if you actually manage to find this stupid fucking stone! He won't remember me and you'll live in England, remember, sir?" she spat, her hackles rising. The vampire didn't expect it and he visibly shrunk back from the angry mortal. "And if you don't get the stone, oh! You'll move away, yes? I'll grow old, clinging to my lost love," She sneered, knowing that she was probably causing a scene but so long as Tony didn't witness it, she didn't care. "No. I refuse his courtship. Even if you didn't move away, he'd still be a vampire and I'd still be a mortal and no, I will not get turned!" she hissed at Gregory, who'd just opened his mouth to suggest exactly that.

Frederick watched with lidded eyes. He was still weak but he knew that this girl felt strongly about his son... but he also knew that she was speaking the truth. He nodded at her and let himself droop against a hay bale. "I must find a place to hide you children!" he gasped, shooting up.

"You can stay at our house, right Rowan?" Tony grabbed the girl's hand and grinned up at her, swinging it.

"We need darkness, dampness and decay..." Frederick trailed off, staggering up and beginning to pace.

"The cellar!" He beamed.

They began the trek and Rowan made sure she was pulling Gregory along, next to the children. She didn't want to speak to him.

Dogs barked as they passed. Gregory was in thought. He wanted this mortal and he would stop at nothing to get her.

Tony pushed the side gate open, using a side door to get into the cellar. "Rowan, dear... why is there a rope hanging from one of the rooms?" Freda asked politely.

"So I can get out of the house," Rowan replied, removing the leash from Gregory's collar. "When I can't cope with things."

The girl slid one of the bolt locks on the door, opening the door and wincing at the creak. She moved down the stairs carefully, knowing they were rickety with age.

"I'm sorry it's..." Tony trailed off, wrinkling his nose.

"Perfect!" Freda whispered, looking around in awe. It was like something from the Victorian era; Dottie had gone through everything that was left from the old owners but she couldn't bring herself to throw anything away.

Rudolph settled into a padded box, probably for storing old pieces of cloth that were too expensive to store by regular means. Anna settled on an old chaise that had the covers torn up, pulling the covers over her and settling down. You couldn't tell her dress from the fabric.

Frederick settled down on an old, padded rocking chair and Freda settled beside him, settling her head in his lip and holding his pale hand in hers. Gregory just smirked. "I want to sleep in your room," he told Rowan. "And I refuse to take no for an answer."

Rowan's very short temper snapped and she pulled out her lighter, lighting it and placing it very close to him. He hissed and backed away, holding his hands up. "Stay the hell away from me." she growled and she stormed off, wiping her eyes at the stairs. She was such a girl. Her hands trembled and she growled, storming up the stairs and leaving the family.

"What have you done to her?" Tony scowled, glaring at the colourful vampire. "She's acting like she's ready for a panic attack because of something you did. You correct this, or I'll burn you myself."

Rudolph gaped at his tiny friend. "Rowan?" he joked, looking around, placing his hand where his heart would be.

"Shut up, dude. Have a good day's sleep!" the boy chirped and he began to walk away. "Don't worry, I'm on it."

"On... On what, dear?" Freda puzzled herself.

"Finding the amulet, mother. It's how we kids talk these days." Rudolph piped up, sharing a look with Anna and smirking. He refused to look in Gregory's direction and the boy huffed, pouting.


Gregory waited until his family had fallen asleep and began to sneak up the stairs, ridding himself of the straight jacket and muzzle as he went. He paused in front of Tony's room before moving on. He knocked on Rowan's door gently and let himself in. "Rowan?" he called into the room, sliding back the drapes on her bed. He knew it was wrong, entering a lady's room uninvited... but it was his lady.

"What do you want?" she mumbled, burrowing her face into her pillow.

"I'm sorry. I did not think that you would think so adversely to a courtship proposal." he told her smoothly, sitting beside her on the bed.

She groaned and glared up at him with half-lidded eyes. "I think it was more of the fact you knocked me unconscious," She attempted to make a joke, pushing herself up and settling on her heels. "But."

"But?" he prompted, smiling.

She flushed a bright red, staring at her hands. "It's just. You won't remember me..."

"If we do find the stone, I'll make sure we move to Scotland. I'll remember you." he vowed, lifting her chin up and staring into her eyes. "Do you know how to whistle?"

She nodded and let off a twinkling sound. "Rudolph taught it me." She grinned.

"When we move out of Scotland, which we will, all you need to do is whistle. Find me and whistle."

She nodded again and let herself flop. "Can I stay with you tonight?" Gregory asked bluntly.

"In the trunk?"


Gregory smirked as he heard her heart start pounding again. She nodded hurriedly, not looking the boy in the face. Gregory removed his shoes and got under the duvet with her, spreading out one arm and linking his hand with hers.

"Does anyone know what happened to Rookery?" she asked after a few minutes of silence.

"You scratched his retina and he's desperate for revenge. He doesn't know where to find you and he's annoyed. He refers to you as the monster."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." she quoted, turning to face him.

"And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." he spoke back, pulling the curtain around the bed and pulling the girl towards him.

"H-hey!" She giggled. "You're freezing!"