Hey there all. Just checking in for the newest chapter of 'The Presence of Snow.' Hope you all are having a lovely day or night because I am. Well not really, I was in a little bit of a car accident so I was pushed back from posting a couple of chapters on this and another story.

Enjoy.

Chapter 2

A single heartbeat penetrated the silence of the earth and Snow yawned, opening his blood red eyes. He immediately scanned the area around their sleeping chamber and found nothing out of the ordinary. His children were upstairs with Manny and Galen, probably causing the poor humans grief. He also sensed the late afternoon sun's slow descend and made a move to rise. With a flick of his hand, the soil parted and he saw the chamber's ceiling. He stood up, getting out all the kinks out of his old bones and careful of her belly, gathered a naked Leticia in his arms. He floated to the surface and waked over to the larger king size four poster bed and gently placed her on top of the covers. He did the same with Lilith and tuned to the fireplace, clicking his fingers. Fire instantly sprang to life and filed the spacious room with warmth. It was not like their sleeping chamber at home but it was cozy and the soil was rich with minerals. Of course he cleansed the soil before going to ground.

He tied his long white hair up at the base of his neck with a leather tie, forgoing his mohawk, dressing in the way of his people in jeans and a black ACDC shirt with a picture of Angus Young-his sons love that band- and heard a faint inhale of breath. He looked back at the bed and Leticia was staring at him with her big dark eyes and he didn't miss her sly smile and the look of pleasure. He threw back his own devilish smile which knew from experience made lifemate's toes curl.

'Seen something you like?' he put his hands on his hips like he's seen his wives do, which his daughters where starting to pick up when they wanted their own way.

'Don't know. Take your clothes off and I'll tell you.' she teased and rubbed her swollen belly.

'Saucy wench.'

'You know you love it.' Lilith said and turned on her side, her head resting in her palm.

He gazed over the many curves in front of him, lingering over the tiny tattoos of his name over their hips and wanted to kneel in front of Fate and kiss her dainty toes; unfortunately he and the bitch weren't on great speaking terms at the moment. That would happen when you told her to piss-off. He walked over, loving the two dark pairs of eyes following him and leant over, kissing Leticia deeply before he moved to Lilith and kissing her with equal passion. He felt their hunger, double for Leticia seen she's eating for two and stood up and looking down at them, trying to look as intimidating as possible, although with them they would just laugh and say if he wasn't careful his face might freeze like that.

'I'll check on the kids then I'm going out to hunt and when I get back you had better not have moved my dears, otherwise a little spanking might be in order.'

'Is that a threat, dear koje?'

'Not a threat, a promise.' He kissed them both again and gave them a salute, turning to the marble stairs that led up to the main house. Disabling his many safeguards- many as in almost over the top- he pushed open the thick wooden trapdoor and stepped into the kitchen, blinking from the bright light overhead. Shutters had been put on the outside of the windows so no light got through. Movement came from the next room and Manny appeared carrying a box full of toys and colouring bits and bobs. His daughters must have gotten inspired.

'What up, Manny.' Manny, being a six-foot-nine human with shaggy chestnut hair, a body like a pro wrestler on steroids and arms that could double as tree trunks, gave him the thumbs up. His children called him the BFG and Maya and Madeline were sometimes used as weights when he exercised. It was pretty hilarious to watch the human lift a wide-eyed Maya up with one hand, her little feet dangling in the air. Manny wasn't much of a talker- Galen did enough for the both of them- actually he didn't talk at all. His voice box had been crushed in a horrific car accident when he was sixteen, killing his mother and brother, leaving him with terrible scars on his throat. Manny had come to work for him about twenty years ago and became his daytime house sitter by chance when Snow found him fighting for his life against a vampire. A human no less. An amazing feat in its self, leaving Snow quite impressed. The scruffy, malnourished eighteen year old boy looked to be at death's door and he managed to hold off one of the undead before Snow disposed of it. But with a little TLC from his wives, a job, food and a tight training schedule, he went from skinny and hollow to big and buff who wouldn't hesitate jumping into a pit of vampires to save his children.

He clapped Manny on the shoulder and walked into the living room and found Maya and Madeline colouring while Malachi and Michael attempted to draw on a sleeping Galen's face. Snow raised and eye brow and wished he had a camera. The big scary vampire hunter, asleep with his head thrown back over the armrest, his one arm hanging over the side, the other over his stomach, mouth partly open, snoring like he had something stuck up his nose. His short sandy blonde hair covered one eye and part of his scar. Totally a Kodak moment. Malachi started to draw a moustache when Snow cleared his throat. They jumped up and Malachi hid the marker behind his back. They had gone for the spiky haired look today with silver chains around their necks and wrists.

'Father. You're up.'

'Yes, just in time it looks like.' He raised an eyebrow.

Maya and Madeline looked up. 'Isa- father.' They jumped up and hugged him around the legs and still Galen remained asleep. He must be tired. Poor thing. He kissed them both on top of their black and white head. 'Good evening, my dear princesses.' Somewhere along the way, his daughters had inherited a mixture of both their parents hair colour so that half their hair was black and the other white. Galen called it 'the weird Snow effect.' A little mean but Galen was mean to everyone. But god help the male or males that ever made his little girls cry. Blood will be shed.

A particularly loud snore from Galen brought Snow out of his death musings. Right, back to business. He smiled slyly and looked at his headstrong, wilful sons, shaking his head.

'Boys, boys, boys. We're Carpathians; we don't graffiti people's faces. We scare the crap out of them. Have I taught you nothing?' he held up a finger. 'Watch this.'

Transforming into a giant white tarantula, he scuttled across the floor on eight furry legs and climbed up the arm of the sofa. He jumped onto the cushion Galen's head was resting on and sat right next to his face. Galen was such an interesting human and he and he had met many in his long life and if there was one thing he knew about his vampire hunter buddy: he hated spiders. Other insects he could tolerate but spiders, wouldn't even be in the same room. He loathed them. Despised them. Screams like a little girl when a harmless daddy long legs is hanging from the ceiling.

'Father, that is so cool.' Michael whispered.

His eighty beady eyes watched Galen's sleeping face for a moment before Galen shifted and his dark eyes opened and immediately they widened into the size of saucer, blood draining from his face. 'Holy aepbmo' He swore in Russian and jumped into the air, running from the couch to the other side of the room, trying to get as much distance as he could from the hand- size tarantula casually sitting on the cushion. The kids laughed but Galen didn't seem to notice. He stuttered and pointed a shaking hand at Snow.

'Fucking hell. Is it just me or is there a really fucking huge white tarantula with red eyes right over there?' He paused and finally noticed the kids watching him, trying not to burst out laughing and narrowed his eyes. 'Wait, wait, wait white spider. Red eyes. Snow! You dick.'

Snow turned back and almost doubled over in laughter. The look on Galen's face was priceless. He wiped his eyes and ducked just in time to miss the knife Galen threw at him. He was literally shaking with anger and his face was flushed with furry. Or was it embarrassment.

'I didn't know you were such a loud snorer. You could wake even me up and I sleep in the ground.'

'I hope you have all your affairs in order, fanger because you are about to meet your maker.' Galen threw his knife in the air and caught it. Repeating the action with the same look of furry.

Snow wasn't really that bothered. Lilith and Leticia could be scarier and watch out when they decided to tag team him. Galen, Galen always had a scary face even if he didn't have his scar. 'Come on I was just having a bit of fun. Teaching the kids the Carpathian ways and all that.'

'Is that all I'm good for? Something to amuse yourself when you get bored.'

'Oh Galen your more to me than that. You're like Wilson to my Chuck Noland. Starsky to my Hutch. Chewbacca to my-'

'I'm going to kill you.' Galen snarled and charged him.

Snow laughed again and dissolved into mist and quickly streamed through the tiny key hole of the door and out into the dying light, transforming into a large white raven. At this late in the afternoon, the sun didn't bother him, being as old as he was. Still the light made him squint at first. It was the sensation you get when you suddenly turn on a light and your eyes try to adjust from being in darkness for so long. But that's what sunglasses were for.

'You're such an evil old geezer, Snow Iazarovichi. Poor Galen. The man's going to lose it one of these days being associated with you.' Constantine chided. 'I heard him swear and curse your name all the way from my hidey hole. Peyton wanted to know if I had gottten a new alarm clock.'

'He'll get over it? In a few hours he'll have a laugh and go back to being the grump we know and love. You've known me for almost two and a half thousand years and you've done alright.'

'Don't remind me. Sometimes I think, being aquatinted to you, I deserve to be a member of loony toons or Jerry Springer or something.'

'Thanks Connie. You're a real pal.' Snow shot back sarcastically.

'Anytime, Oma.'

'Hi-larious.'

A chuckle then Constantine was gone. He had such great companions. Snow glided on the air currents over the many farms and valleys, looking at nothing in particular. His sharp eyes spotted scampering squirrels and fleeing rabbits. He paid them no mind. He'd had animal blood before. Not very nutritional but it would do in a pinch. Skimming the trees with his wings, Snow threw his senses out and found a few hikers had set up camp for the night. This was very dense forest so he was lucky to find humans so far from the nearest village, a couple of hours away. Diving down, he transformed back into human form and landed graceful on a branch of a tree and jumped down on to the ground, hiding in the shadows. It looked like a couples retreat. His blood red eyes sized up the two athletic males of the group, talking to their female companions, unpacking and setting up tents, thankful he had not suggested his lifemates accompany him. Even the thought of their lips on another male's skin made him see red. This old man was just as possessive as the next Carpathian. Although his lifemates have warned him that if he touched the neck of any female, they would have his little man on a silver platter.

Yeah, he learnt his lesson last time.

Quietly stepping out of the shadows, fangs elongated and eyes glowing red, he made himself known, his intoxicating scent filling the air and the males spun around, immediately falling victim to his hypnotic stare and captivating essence, the females following suit. They had never smelt anything so rich and potent, instantly wanting to obey whoever had that bewitching scent. He softly told the females to go have a rest in the tent because they were tired from their hike.

They did has he commanded and turned to the males who continued to stare straight ahead. He was a few inches taller so it made it easier when he directed them to till their head to the side and Snow lowered his head, sinking his fangs into warm flesh. Pure, hot blood filled his mouth and down his throat, filling his empty belly and reviving starving cells. When he heard the male's heart begin to slow, he released him and sealed up his mark with his healing saliva. Snow lowered the man on the log behind him and moved to the next man, taking just enough to ensure his lifemates were properly cared for. He sealed the pinpricks once more and sat the man next to the first one. They slouched a bit and were staring a head with heavy eyes.

'You are feeling sleepy because of hiking. You will remember nothing except that you went straight to bed and you will wake up tomorrow feeling a little light headed.' Snow's voice was deep and hypnotic; the two vexed humans nodded and head straight for their tents. Snow went around the campsite, making it look like they had set up their camping goods before retiring, finding a very fascinating magazine about motorcycles before he turned back into a raven and launched himself into the sky.

He flew across the sky, the dying rays of the sun hitting his pristine white feathers when he looked down and something red below caught his eye. Something he couldn't ignore. He dived down and landed on the ground. He hoped over the stared at the familiar red flower of fate. There was no mistaking her calling card. Snow called it the 'fire flower' because that was what it looked like. Fire on a steam. She certainly took her time. Must be tiring screwing and butting in to people's lives. He had expected her summons years ago when he decided to break the circle of fate and get his hands dirty preventing the extinction of his people, but she had been strangely silent. Not a good sign. She was, to say the least quite angry when he basically told her to piss off the last time they had shared words.

Good old Fate. she knew how to hold a grudge.

This was not good. And he didn't want to deal with the she-bitch right now.

He launched himself skyward with the deep feeling of foreboding and flew with heavy wings to his home. He turned into mist and thankfully, because the sun had just set, Manny had opened the window shutters so he streamed in unseen, thankful again that Galen was not inside. His kids however were but he slipped past them, not before checking that they were ok, then slipped under the door heavy wooden door and down into the underground chamber. He formed back into human form and approached the bed, eyebrow raised, staring at the empty bed. He certainly had some saucy lifemates. And he kept his promises.

He then heard splashing and laughing and knew his wives had decided to wait for him in the underground hot springs. He grinned, taking of his clothes with a single thought, too impatient to do it himself and stalked his lifemates` scents. He found them lounging on the edge of the pool, talking, their heads resting on their arms, legs lazily moving up and down in the steaming water. He had never seen anything more breathtaking. His lifemates surrounded by swirling steam. Leticia pregnant with his daughter. There creamy skin and luxurious black hair. All his.

Mine.

He folded his arms over his broad chest and stood on the edge of the springs behind them. 'I see my errant wives like getting spanked.'

'You said don't leave the chamber, well were still here, we just left the bed and thought we'd go for a swim.' Leticia said and turned around her eyes sparkling with feminine admiration, traveling down his tattooed arm and over his muscled chest, going lower still.

'Is that so?'

'The water is lovely koje, come join us.' Lilith turned also and held up her arms in invitation, matching her twin's look of pleasure. They were twins through and through. Two sexy sirens, luring him in with their call. Not one to pass up an opportunity, he descended the steps into the steaming water.

Lilith and Leticia sucked in a breath of anticipation when Snow began moving towards them with predatory slowness through the water, his blood red eyes never leaving them, so dark and wet they looked like glowing jewels, just like the one dangling around his neck. The look on his face was pure animal. Voracious. Hungry. A male, a Carpathian who was ready to claim what was his. Anyone who got in the way of that would suffer the wrath of a five and a half thousand year old Carpathian male. He had fed well this rising, his skin glowing under the light from the torches around the cave, his tattoos much darker and swirling with the gears of time. Skin that stretched over defined muscles and sleek sinew. Down until it disappeared under the frothing water. He let his pheromones thicken the air around them, calling them with the promise of passion. It could reduce them to a pile of goo. Lilith and Leticia met him half way; Leticia a little slower because of the extra weight she was carrying and Snow's strong arms wrapped around their waists and drew them against his wet, naked chest. They could feel the blood rushing through his veins calling to them and fangs threatened to lengthen.

'I feel your hunger, my dear ones. Feed and become one with me.' Snow's deep voice rumbled through his chest and penetrated right down to their bones, deep into their heart.

Leticia and Lilith threw their arms over his neck and nuzzled his neck. He tightened his arms around them, bringing them as close as he could get. But it wasn't close enough. Leticia licked the end of a swirling tattoo just under his chin and down his neck, knew it drove him wild and Lilith kissed his neck, loving the taste of his skin. He had been out in the sun, she could taste it. Snow was about to growl at their teasing when two sets of fangs bit gently into his flesh. Sparks of electricity passed from him to them.

And it was glorious.

Even after two thousand years together, the taste of Snow's blood was still as potent and pure as the first time they tasted it. This is what life tasted like with a hint of sunshine. Lilith closed her eyes and let the sensations rush through her like it did every time she tasted her mate's lifeblood. Leticia couldn't get enough of the taste. Heaven mixed with pure passion. She knew the reason why Snow only allowed those closest to him to share his blood. One taste and addiction would set in. You could search the world and never find something that tasted better. Or find a man as sexy as Snow.

'Say the words, koje, please.' Leticia and Lilith whispered in union through their private channel.

Snow knew what they wanted, he had said them thousands of times before and he would keep saying them for another thousand more. Who was he to deny them? 'You are my lifemates. I claim you as my lifemates. I belong to you. I offer my life for you. I give you my protection. I give you my allegiance. I give you my heart. I give you my soul. I give you my body. I take into my keeping the same that is yours. Your lives will be cherished by me for all my time. Your lives will be placed above my own for all time. You are my lifemates. You are bound to me for all eternity. You are always in my care.'

The treads of eternity that had been spun around for thousands of years flared to life. Snow felt it; his lifemates connected to him felt it also. They retracted their fangs and sighed in licked the pinpricks closed, laying their heads on his shoulders. The three of them remained silent, the foaming steamy water lapping at their bodies the only noise, content to just drift in the water, enjoying each other's company. They didn't need words to describe the peacefulness that had settled upon them. The moment was perfect. A picture of Fate's dainty, elfin like face flashed in Snow's mind's eye and the feeling of foreboding swept through him again and unfortunately his wives picked up on his distracted mind.

'Snow you are distracted, what causes you so.' Leticia looked up and noticed his pinched face. She cupped his face.

'Yes I feel it also.' Lilith agreed.

Snow sighed and wished he would have a vision so he could forget the upcoming meeting with his old homegirl, Fate and he wouldn't lie to his lifemates, not now. 'Fate left me a calling card tonight and I can say, with certainty that she is not happy.'

….

'Are we at the right place?' Gregori asked as they stood in front of a very bright house

Snow's home was certainly a lively place, to say the least. Laughter, kids screaming, music. Yes, a very lively. Gregori glanced at Mikhail, who glanced back. He and Gregori had travelled to the home the priest had taken with the intention to discuss the pending crisis further with him. Jacques, much to his protest and Shea had come along and brought little Stefan. She thought it would be nice for him to have a chance play with some children his own age. And Mikhail thought it would best to bring along Skyler and Syndil since they had an intimate connection with the earth. Barack demanded that he accompany them but Mikhail assured him his lifemate was safe with them. Dimitri wouldn't take no for an answer so he kept to the shadows and was watching them even now.

'Has the priest mentioned how he has managed to keep his children from suffering the same fate as so many of our young?' Shea asked and looked down at her son, knowing she almost lost him to the same fate. Jacques kissed her temple and pulled her close.

'That is what I'm hoping to find out. The priest has not been to the mountains in many centuries. It is possible he could work with Syndil and Skyler to restore the earth to what it once was.'

'He would know what the earth here was like five thousand years ago.' Syndil put in.

Mikhail nodded and moved to go up the stairs and was expecting to be met with protective safeguards but he felt nothing. The priest had probably sense them coming and removed them. Gregori moved to stand in front of him, going all protector mode on him and rang the doorbell, as if Mikhail couldn't do it himself. They waited a few moments when they heard tiny footsteps coming to the door and it opened with two little girls with white and black hair standing there, giving them the eye with their red orbs. Unusual. They weren't even afraid of Gregori and he scared even Mikhail sometimes. Guess they really where their father's daughters

'Who are you?' one of them said.

'I'm Gregori and this is Mikhail. Who are you?' he said gently.

'I'm Maya.'

'And I'm Madeline. Are you Carpathian too?'

'It's a pleasure to meet you. Yes we are, just like you. Is your father home?'

Suddenly a seven foot human, with arms like tree trunks came up behind them and touched them on the shoulder; they looked up and smiled at the tall man, ignoring his look of displeasure. 'Manny, look these people are like us.'

'It's ok Manny, I got this.' One of Snow's lifemate's, Lilith tapped his arm. He nodded and left leaving Lilith and her two daughters at the door. She looked down at them. 'You know the rules about opening the door without me or your father.'

'Sorry mother but father said it was alright because we were expecting royalty. Is he the prince? Father said he was tall with long hair and scary looking.' They pointed to Gregori and Mikhail almost burst out laughing. He coughed into his hand instead, completely ignoring his friend's narrowed gaze and stepped up, kneeling down so he was eye level.

'I'm the prince. My name is Mikhail Dubrinsky. It's a pleasure to meet such lovely young ladies.'

They smiled toothy grins and Mikhail stood up. He heard fussing behind him and Shea came forward with Stefan. The little boy with his father's eyes squirmed to get down. 'Alright. Alright.' Shea obliged him, putting him down. He grabbed Shea's pants and stared in fascination at the two little girls in front of him. They stared back before smiling and each grabbing a hand, startling poor Stefan.

'Hi, what's your name?

'S..Stefan.'

'I'm Maya.'

'And I'm Madeline. We don't get to play with kids like us very much. Do you want to be friends? We'll show you all our toys. Father said we have enough to open out own store'

Stefan eyes lit up and he looked up to stare at his mother. 'Mummy.' She smiled and nodded. 'Go on. Have fun.'

Lilith moved out of the way when he ran in after the two girls.

'Oh and Madeline Iazarovichi stay away from the glue. It's not face paint.' Lilith called out after them. She turned back and smiled. 'Sorry about that. She has a fascination with paint. But don't worry,' she touched Shea's arm 'your son's safe. She'd rather paint her own face. I swear she is just like her father. Oh I'm jabbering, come in. come in. Mikhail. Gregori. Nice to see you again.'

Shea liked the woman immediately. She was open and friendly and had the same dark colouring as other born female Carpathians but her eyes sparkled with humour and wisdom. Shea had heard one of the lifemates of the Carpathian priest had two sets of twins. Fascinating. They stepped inside the warm hallway and Lilith closed the door.

'I'm Lilith by the way.' She held her hand out to Shea who took it. Lilith looked over her shoulder. 'And this must be your lifemate?'

'Yes this is Jacques. His not much of talker.' She whispered but Jacques heard her.

'I wish my husband was like that. He never stops talking but when you've been with a man as long as Leticia and I have, you tend to overlook their faults.'

'I heard that, woman.' A deep voice called out from the other room.

'I was talking about you, not to you.' she called back and noticed the two young women looking a little uncomfortable. Not hiding but trying to not be noticed. 'And who are these lovely young ladies.'

'This is Skyler and Syndil. Our earth healers.' Mikhail touched their shoulders. They nodded and both gave shy smiles. Lilith would offer her hand but she sensed these girls didn't like being touched very much by people they didn't know so she just smiled and motioned for them to come through.

'Nice to meet you, I'm Lilith Iazarovichi. please come through. Mind the toys on the floor.' Lilith stepped over a doll and a play phone and took them into a spacious living room with the kitchen to the side where Snow's other lifemate; Leticia was pacing back and forth, talking rapidly on a cell phone. She had a hand on her belly and she looked distressed. Payton, Constantine's lifemate was also on her phone but she was laughing and looking over what looked like coloured samples. On the other side of the room where two large white sofas and a big flat screen TV. Gwen, Theodore's lifemate was quietly reading, biting her lip as she turned the page and in the middle of the room was a big oak dining room table where Snow, his companions and his sons were playing cards.

'Dubrinsky, Daratrazanoff. Welcome. You can tell Dimitri he can come in. we won't bite.' He said merrily and looked up, noticing Shea and Jacques, Skyler and Syndil, who stared at the priest as if he had two heads. They had never seen anything like this man before. Pure white hair and blood red eyes. Swirling tattoos up one arm, stopping under his chin. Laugh lines around the corner of his eyes. He didn't look a day over thirty and yet he was over five thousand years old. He didn't seem to mind their stares

'Oh new guests.' He clapped his hands and stood up, coming around the table. He slapped Jacques on the back who was quite stunned by the action. 'Jacques right, Snow Iazarovichi and this must be your lifemate, Shea.' Snow innocently held his tattooed hand out. Tattoos that, on closer inspection looked like dials on the inside of a clock. Shea only felt warm acceptance from this priest with usually white hair so she shook his hand. Jacques wasn't happy though. He growled low in his throat but Snow seemed to not notice. 'I've heard such wonderful things about you through the grapevine. You're a miracle worker for our people'.

'Thank you.' Shea said and let go of his hand and a very pleasing scent drifted across her nose. Chocolate and sunshine. She could almost taste it on her tongue. He smiled and his eyes greeted Skyler and Syndil with the same warm acceptance.

'So this must be Skyler and Syndil. Nice to meet such lovely ladies of the earth.' They nodded and felt at a loss at what to say, but Snow helped them out. 'You've met Lilith, that's Leticia over there. Peyton. Gwen. Constantine, Theodore, Galen, and yes he is a bit scary and these are my two sons, Malachi and Michael.'

'What up.' Malachi and Michael waved without turning around.

Snow reached over and cuffed his sons around the head. 'Did I raise you in the wild? That's not how you greet such lovely young ladies.'

'Ok sorry.' They stood up and looked a little embarrassed. Piercings. Spiky hair. This two reminded Skyler of Josef. 'Um nice to meet you.'

'What do you mean he won't do it? He has to.' Leticia said, getting upset. Snow immediately turned to her.

'What's wrong?' Snow asked.

'Lance won't do the show. Roland's freaking out and I've got back pains.' Leticia looked on the verge of tears. Must be pregnancy hormones.

Snow's low growl rumbled around the room and he snapped his fingers. 'Leticia give me the phone.'

She walked over and handed it over to him. He put it to his ear. 'Roland. Roland shut up for a sec. what's the problem. Ok. Ok put the Lance on the phone.' A pause and Snow pinched the bridge of his nose. 'Oh good so you can come to the phone but you can't do a simple act. You're doing it. Yes you are. You're causing my wife distress and you know how I feel about that. No, I don't want a debate about, if I find out you didn't do the show expect to be back doing kids parties by the end of the week.'

Snow hung up and handed back the phone, smiling at Mikhail. 'Sorry about that. I own a dance club in London and my managers get all stressed out when Leticia or I aren't there to manage the stars. Lilith owns a publishing company that produces children's books.'

A scream came from the other room and a long mane of black and white hair came charging into the room and pulled Snow's shirt. 'Father, Madeline glued the paint brush to her face again and she won't stop crying.'

'Did she now.' He shook his head. 'I'm surprised it took her this long. Tell her to come here.'

A few moments later a crying Madeline ran into the room and threw her arms around her father's legs. 'Daddy.' She sobbed. Snow patted her head and kneeled down so he could look at her. He chuckled and pulled gently at the paint brush. Yep it was defiantly stuck to her cheek. 'Yep it's stuck there alright. Sorry princess, but I'm afraid the only way we are going to get that off is to have the bed monster to lick it off and he loves little girls. Says they taste like chicken,' Snow winked at Mikhail. 'Isn't that right, prince?'

He nodded. 'Yes I have heard that also.'

Madeline paled and started sobbing harder. 'No, daddy. I don't want the bed monster to get m..m..me.' she hiccupped and the paint brush fell to the floor. Snow picked it up and handed it over to Lilith.

'Tears. Works every time.' Snow said and kissed his daughter's cheek where the paint brush had been hanging from. 'There all better now. Now stay away from the glue.'

She nodded and her and Maya ran out of the room. He stood up and clapped his hands. 'Ok time to get down to business. Malachi, Michael make sure the children don't come out. Lilith can you get me the incense and dried herbs and bring me my flask, oh and my mortar and pestle. I'm going to need it to contact mother earth.' He walked over to the table, vacant now and sat down. Constantine, Theodore and Galen standing behind him. He gestured to the three seats in front of him. 'Skyler. Syndil and Shea if you will take a seat.'

The three women suddenly looked at each other. Wide eyed. Syndil became suddenly afraid and immediately Barack was sharing her mind. She felt her fear ease somewhat 'Syndil, I feel your distress.'

'It's nothing; I just got a bit of a shock.'

'I can be there within moments.'

'No. I'll be fine.' And she would be. She could handle this. Skyler felt the same. She had seen so many things since coming into the Carpathian world and she was stronger than she had been before. She helped save Savannah's daughters from Xavier's grasp. She could handle this.

Jacques and Dimirti didn't seem to agree.

'What is this about, oma?' Jacques asked and shielded his lifemate from the priest's view. A loud bang came from the front room and Dimitri strode in, dark and intimidating, pulling Skyler behind him.

'They have a connection to the earth. I'm going to deepen that connection. That's the reason they're here. destiny has brought them here, to this very moment. I have foreseen it. That's the problem with the future. One way or another, it always comes. Trick is to greet it with open arms.' Snow was calm as he pierced Jacques and Dimitri with his glowing stare. They knew they had overstepped their boundaries. This was the Immortal priest. One as old as time itself. 'As the immortal priest, me and mother earth have a…special bond. So do these ladies. They just have to believe in it.'

'We're ready.' They said in union, despite their lifemate's obvious protests.

'Excellent.'

The three women took their places in front of Snow. Lilith returned with a white bone flask, a bunch of herbs a marble mortar and pestle and four incense sticks. She handed the flask, herbs and mortar and pestle to Snow and placed the incense sticks in holders and lit each, placing them in a square. Snow took the herbs and sprinkled the leaves into the marble bowl. Rosemary, sage and mint. He took the marble pestle and started mashing up the leaves. Silently, he held his hand out and Galen handed him a lighter and a pair of scissors. He took a strand of his long white hair and cut a few inches off into the bowl. Taking the lighter, he flicked the button and the flint flicked, producing a flame. He lowered the flame into the bowl and the hair and herbs ignited instantly, flicking and spitting for a moment before dying out and only black ashes and smoke remained. Tendrils of smoke twirled and spiralled through the air and the scent of frankincense and healing herbs filled the room. Snow unscrewed the flash and poured the soil out into the shape of a pentagram.

'I took this soil from these mountains five thousand years ago. It has never left my side. Each point of the pentagram means an element that is connected to every living thing, even us. Spirit. Water. Fire. Earth and air. Our soil is causing us harm, well what better way for us to strengthen our bond with the soil and drive out this poison.'

Snow reached up and unclasped the chain from around his neck, the bright pink crystal dangling from the centre and placed it in the middle of the pentagram. 'This crystal was given to me at my birth by my mother. A crystal that has been passed down from priest to priest since time itself began. It holds all our ancient wisdom and when my daughter is born she will inherit it.' A fingernail extended into a black claw and he sliced open his palm. He squeezed his fist until a single drop of blood formed and dropped onto the pink stone. He reopened his palm and the wound was gone.

'Ok this is how it's going to go. Once we get going, you can't break contact. No matter how intense it gets. Let the words and sensations flow through you. Think of them as water flowing over your bodies. It will make it easier.' He cracked his neck from side to side, shook out his hands and held them out

'Ok everyone take a hand and close your eyes. If you see Jim Morrison or Bon Scott along the way, just wave.' He tried to lighten the mood.

Galen coughed to hide his laughter as Syndil took Shea and Skyler's hand while they took Snow's. Instantly, surges of ancient power flowed through each of them and realised it was coming from the priest. His power was like nothing they had felt before. It was like prickles poking the skin, causing goosebumps to form over flesh. Soft chanting, faint at first then started to become louder until it drowned out everything else and the earth fell away. Leaving nothing but a black void the voices were so beautiful, the melody, the language was deep and ancient. Voices, voices of the earth, calling, calling to them, urging them to join in. They felt a burst of power and the voices became a symphony, the priest's voice was right in the thick of it.

Dori me, interim
Ayapare, dorime
Ameno ,ameno
Latire, latiremo
Dori me.

They couldn't deny the pull and longer. It was just too strong. Too tempting. It washed over them with the force of a tidal wave. Images flowed through their mind. Pictures of ancient times when the soil was pure and the Carpathian people were plentiful. And happy, so happy. Fingers digging into the rich fertile soil, the call of mother earth too strong to resist. They joined in with the chanting, letting the feelings from the pictures be their power. Their voices mingling in with the others.

Ameno
Omenare imperavi ameno
Dimere, dimere matiro
Matiremo, ameno.

Suddenly spears of pain, dull at first before becoming almost unbearable. It was like fire and ice were raging inside their bodies, consuming them. A thousand needles pricking the skin all at once. Shea and Skyler cried out, but their eyes remained closed lost in the chant. Jacques and Dimitri rushed to reach their women but Constantine and Theodore blocked them

'Get out of our way.' Jacques snarled.

'If you try and disrupt them now, you could hurt them. Right now they are all connected through Snow and Snow is connected to the earth. For fuck sake man, have a little faith that your lifemate knows what she's doing. Snow would never allow them to come to harm.'

Mikhail felt Jacques pain. If Raven was in the same position he would move heaven and earth to remove the threat to her. But there was no threat inside the room, only inside their minds. The priest literally glowed with ancient power, his essence mingling with the smoke from the incense sticks, swirling around the three women. It was connecting them all together. Was this the Snow's power? He had never felt anything so heavy. It covered the room like a blanket. A bright pink glow came from the centre of the table. The pink crystal was pulsated with energy, growing with the power their words were creating. Shea cried out again and Mikhail had to hold back his brother who was a hair's breath away from going berserk.

'Shea!'

She jerked but remained seated.

'Don't break contact.' Snow said, his eyes closed, his white hair flowing around him but the voice that came out of his mouth was not his own. The women continued chanting though the pain was excruciating. Still they had never felt so much power run through their veins. It was heaven and hell. They were all connected. One entity.

Omenare imperavi emunari
Ameno
Omenare imperavi emunari

'Their glowing.' Galen said in wonder.

'The spirits inside the soil are calling to them.' Lilith told them

Ameno
Ameno dore
Ameno dori me
Ameno dori me

One second the pain was there, the next it was gone and left behind was a deep sense of peace and belonging. The connection to the earth flared to life inside of them. So strong it was a living entity. Three pairs of eyes snapped open and stared at the glowing red orbs of the priest who stared back. His tattoos glowed with power and the time dials spun and twisted with speed but tiny cuts in his skin trickled with blood and each one realised Snow had taken their pain inside himself. The pain must be tremendous, but he didn't show it. His face was calm with serene peace.

Ameno dom
Dori me reo
Ameno dori me
Ameno dori me
Dori me am
Ameno
Ameno

The voices faded into nothingness and reality resumed itself around them. Snow let go of their hands and stood up, not looking at anybody before he stumbled and leaned against the table. 'Oops.' His hair shielded his face but his body was racked with tremors and the cuts crisscrossing his tattooed arm, wept continuously. Then suddenly his wounds begun to heal on their own, skin knitting together until his skin was smooth once again. Although he still continued to shake, as if he was cold. Lilith and Leticia were instantly at his side.

'Snow, you idiot. You over did it, again.'

'Nonsense.' He waved away their concern. 'I am perfectly fine. But I think I saw Freddie Mercury smoking a joint. He waved to me.'

'Ok. Whatever is in those incense sticks must be some good shit. Rest before you hurt yourself.' Constantine insisted.

'I'll rest when I'm dead.' He sounded drunk and took a step, stumbling again. This time Constantine caught him and sat him back down on the chair.

'Fine my ass.

Shea wanted to check him over but she was pulled from the chair and crushed against her lifemate's chest, his steel-like arms wrapping around her. His face buried in her hair. Jacques was trembling, why she didn't know. She felt absolutely fine. More than fine. She felt like she was looking at the world around her in another light. That she was a part of something big. Maybe it was some male Carpathian thing. She decided for peace's sake to humour him.

'I'm fine Jacques. Really. Snow took most of the pain into himself so we would not feel anything.'

'Don't ever do that to me again.' He growled, the sound rumbling through his chest.

'I can't promise you that.' She laughed and turned worried eyes to the suffering priest.

Suddenly a streak of black blurred past them and knocked Lilith over into a chair and an enraged Dimitri had Snow pinned to the wall, his hand around his throat. His claws digging deep into flesh. His fangs were extended and murder shone deep in his eyes. His companions rushed to his aid but he held up a hand to halt them. Snow never flinched. Not even a tick. He just stared into those dark crazed eyes.

'Do it. I dare you.' Snow said calmly. Too calmly. 'But ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky, well do ya, Punk.'

Quicker than the eye could see Snow had Dimitri pinned to wall with his hand, like a butterfly, the crazed look leeching from his face. Snow smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. No, his eyes glowed with barely repressed rage, rage that had sucked all the air out of the room. He shook his finger at Dimitri's face. 'I like you Dimitri. I really do. You remind me of me when I was young. But you see we have, a bit of a problem. In your misguided rage to hurt me you pushed my lifemate over and for that, I should kill you. I could crush you like a bug but how would that solve anything.'

'Snow.' Lilith and Leticia touched his shoulder.

He relented, thanks to his lifemate's soothing voices, but didn't release his grip. 'I understand that Skyler is your lifemate and you have not claimed her yet but going all berserko on me won't win you points in the affections department, I should know I tried so here's how it's going to go. You have two choices. You can apologise to my lifemate or you can get the fuck out.'

Dimitri nodded. 'Yes, oma.'

Snow winked at him and released him, stepping back. He took his lifemate in his arms and kissed her head. Dimitri righted himself and turned to the woman in the priest arms. There was no contempt or mockery in her stare. Only quite acceptance and understanding. She did not hold his actions against him. This was a woman of worth. He lowered to one knee and bowed his head.

'Please forgive my actions. It was not my intention to cause you any harm.'

'There is nothing to forgive.' Lilith put a hand on his shoulder. He rose and went to Skyler. Snow nodded his understanding and ran a hand over his face, feeling as old as he was. Lilith could feel his exhaustion and mental stress and it didn't help that that painted toed, shrewd eyed, she-bitch was making his life more difficult. Oh how she would love to give Fate a good hard slap.

'You need blood, old man.' Constantine said and held out his wrist. Snow pushed his arm away in protest but Constantine wasn't having it. 'do you want me to force feed you through a straw like they do in nursing homes to old people or are you going to stop acting like a child and take what I offer.'

'Do I get a choice?'

'No.'

Snow suddenly froze and sniffed the air. Constantine, Theodore and Galen noticed his rigid posture, suddenly alert. The other Carpathian males following suit. 'What is it Snow?'

'I smell something heading this way. Whisky I think.'

Constantine raised an eyebrow and took a whiff. 'Irish whisky to be exact.'

'And am I sensing deep profanity with a hint of drunkenness.' Theodore put in slyly.

Constantine and Galen looked at each other and smiled knowingly. 'MacKenna.'

….

'Damn that Snow. Making me drive out here in the middle of the bloody jungle, with only this kids drawing of a map to go by and all this equipment he insisted I bring. I could be doing something so much bloody better.'

Dr Shamus MacKenna's cursed; his accent thick with his Irish brogue as he bumped along the only driveable road in his jeep could cut through. Tree branches scratched his windows and dirt sprayed up the side of his car from the speed he was driving. He took a swing of his whiskey, enjoying the smooth burn of the amber liquid. He turned up the volume on the car stereo and let his Irish music blast through the speakers. He tapped the steering wheel in time with the music and bobbed his head, taking another mouthful of his whiskey.

He smacked his lips. 'Ah, nothing beats a drink of whiskey then another drink of whiskey, listening to good Irish music.'

He heard a loud howl over the loud humming of his jeep and looked back, saw nothing and shrugged, turning back before spotting something up a head. It was too dark to see with only his head lights and the moon to guide him but even he could see something huge was blocking the road. He rolled to a stop and stared out the window. Now, it could be the alcohol making him see things or the many sleepless nights he's had but he swore he saw a pair of yellow eyes on the face of a giant black wolf. It snarled at him, trying to intimidate him. Shamus just rolled his eyes.

'Great. What spoils a good drink of whiskey? Carpathians who know how to crash a party.' He mumbled and hopped out of the car. Closing the door, he walked forward and put his hands on his hips, glaring right at the wolf. No matter that he was about the size of a six year old. That's right, he was, as Snow liked to call him- a midget

'Cut the crap, asshole. I know you're a Carpathian. Might as well stop with the scary red riding hood act.' He called out.

The wolf seemed to scrutinize him for a moment before he formed into a very large- to him he was large- male with flowing black hair but couldn't tell what colour his eyes were because of the headlights, probably black like most Carpathians. He crossed his arms over his broad chest and stared down at him as if he was the fuckin' king.

Shamus just stared right back. 'Take a picture, it'll last longer. That is if you know how to use a camera. Your people are kind of old.'

'How do you know about us?' the arrogant Carpathian asked, going to his full height.

'I looked you up in the phonebook.' Shamus dripped with sarcasm. It was the only way to deal with this hot-headed night dwellers.

'I'm afraid I can't let you go any further, small human man'

Shamus laughed, hardly intimidated. 'Small human man,' that's new.'

'Stand down Vikirnoff. He's a guest.' A man, forming out of thin area, touched the shoulder of the arrogant asshole. He had the same stature and colouring but he held himself with authority.

'Prince.'

'Well if it isn't the midget.'

Shamus turned around to find Constantine, Theodore and Galen sitting casually on his bonnet. He didn't even hear them approach. He put his hands on his hips and scowled.

'Well if it isn't the three stooges. Where's the forth?'

'Watch it shrimp.' Galen pointed at him. 'I could curse you and make you shrink 1cm every day and it's only one hundred and fifty six days until you vanish.'

'You've been drinking and driving again, haven't you Shamus? I could smell it all the way from my home.' A deep familiar voice came out of the shadows and Snow stepped out with another Carpathian behind him. This one had unusual silver eyes.

'So sue me. I had to lug around all your equipment across this green covered wasteland.'

'Oh how I missed that sarcasm. Dubrinsky, this is Dr Shamus MacKenna. Shamus, the prince Mikhail Dubrinsky. Don't mind him.' Snow addressed the prince. 'He has little man syndrome.'

'Welcome.' Mikhail bowed his head. 'I've never met a small adult human.'

'Pleasure. We prefer dwarf. Where is your nearest bar? I'm almost out if whiskey.'

'Pardon me.'

Suddenly all Carpathians attending this little met and greet lifted their faces to the sky in the direction of the west, where a small village was located, and growled. It sounded like a pack of lions warning of an enemy. Shamus felt it through his chest. The only thing that got a reaction like that was a vampire and Shamus had been around Carpathians long enough to know how much they hated the fuckers. And they were U.G.L.Y. An even better reason to hate them.

'They sure took their time.' Constantine cracked his knuckles.

'They are hunting the village to the west.' The silver-eyed man cut in.

'Call in the others.'

'I'm afraid your midnight cap will have to wait. We seem to have some vampire company and they aren't here for dinner and my guns are in need of a workout.' Snow smiled, showing a hint of fang before out of nowhere, a white light enveloped him and he was gone.

To be continued.

That took me longer then was necessary. I had half the chapter written then re-read it and deleted most of it because I was unhappy with it. Hopefully this is a little bit better. Oh and work has been holding me back. And for anyone who doesn't know who Wilson and Chuck Noland are, watch castaway. And 'aepbmo' means shit in Russian. And the song 'Ameno' belongs to Era. Great song by the way. Anyway please read and review.