Chapter 8- Mages

Amy, Conant, Ken and Sahen all jumped to their feet when the door flew open. Amy and Ken relaxed when they saw their parents standing there. Though something about them was causing Amy to become slightly uneasy. She couldn't figure it out until Conant growled.

"Don't growl at me boy." Mrs. Corwin said, glaring at him.

"Mom! Dad! Are you alright?" Ken asked, relief evident.

"They are not your parents." Conant snapped. "You may be able to fool my eyes but you will never be able to fool my nose."

The two mages exchanged a glance. "You're obviously mistaken, boy."

Now that Conant had said it, Amy noticed how much younger these people were. They looked like her parents had in their late twenties not the way they look now. "If you're really my parents, then what's my best friend's middle name?"

"Why would we remember something like that?" The male mage asked.

"Wrong answer." Conant replied, lunging forward, only to be sent flying backward as he struck the shield about them.

"Are you alright?" Amy asked as she knelt to help her friend up.

"Fine." He snapped, angry at himself for not scenting the shield.

Sahen stood in front of the other three, acting like a living shield. "You will leave." He hissed.

"And if we do not?' The female mage asked, bright red hair now visible as she, and her companion, had dropped their false forms.

"Then I will force you to leave." He replied, fangs beginning to grow.

"Another piece of non-human trash. Well I guess we can't expect anything better from the children of the blood-traitors."

Conant growled as he moved up to stand beside the vampire who hissed. Suddenly the two mages whirled about and went flying through the air and out the still open door. A few muffled yells could be heard before silence descended.

The were-wolf grinned at Amy and Ken. "See? Told you no bunch of jumped-up mages can stand against your parents."

Amy returned the grin as her parents, her real parents, walked through the door.

"Well," Said Mrs. Corwin. "We're going to have to dry out the front rug. The rain has positively soaked it!"

"Ah! Ken. You're home a bit early aren't you?" Mr. Corwin asked.

Ken managed to smile weakly. "Things came up Dad. Things came up."

"Well we might as well discuss them over tea. Oh, Conant dear and… you must be Sahen, you two stay as well." Mrs. Corwin ordered, shutting the front door and bustling into the kitchen to make tea.

"Well thank you Conant for once again looking out for our daughter. And for not making those people bleed all over the carpets. Blood is so hard to get out."

"Only too happy to oblige." Conant replied sitting down on the couch. Amy, Sahen, Ken and Mr. Corwin followed suit.

Mrs. Corwin came back in carrying a tray with six steaming cups of tea and a plate of cookies on it. "Help yourself everyone." She said, taking her own cup and sipping daintily.

"Well then Ken I'm sure you're still trying to figure out exactly what's going on here. First though, why don't you tell us why you're home so early?" Mr. Corwin said after helping himself to a cookie.

"You remember my friend Reyhan?"

"Oh yes, charming boy. Woodland sprite unless I'm mistaken."

Ken choked on his tea. "Woodland sprite?"

His mother waved at him to continue.

"I told you about the disappearances? Well Reyhan and a bunch of his friends went missing so they closed the school and sent everyone home. I was going to stay but Reyhan had told me about how he was being followed and that if something happened to him I should leave. I thought he was just being jumpy but then he was gone and I was being followed by weird people in trench coats, so I came home."

"Well then I'm sure you heard from Amy about us being mages." Mr. Corwin said after his son finished. "We're retired now and hardly use our magic. Neither of you showed any magical ability so we decided it would be best to not tell you about it. We told Amy because eventually she might have figured something out, what with Conant always about. You on the other hand might very well have tried to have us committed; you're so centred in the realm of non-magic."

Ken flushed. "It would've sounded crazy."

"Since we gave no hint about it yes, I suppose it would have."

"So why were the mages after us? Were they really trying to make you do something?" Amy jumped in, unable to remain silent any longer.

Both of her parents froze and very slowly turned to look at Conant who reddened. "I had to tell them something!" He cried as he shrank into himself. "There were mages breaking down the door."

Mrs. Corwin sighed. "I suppose you had to. And as for what the mages want it's nothing of you two's concern. They'll probably leave now that they know you two are protected."

"You have to tell us!" Amy protested.

"No we don't." Her father replied, pushing his glasses back up from where they'd been threatening to fall off the end of his rather long nose.

"Yes you do! It's only fair."

"Amylrin Sarah Ginil Corwin, don't you dare speak to your father that way!" Mrs. Corwin snapped. "As for fairness, I'm less interested in that and more interested in keeping you two safe. If we told you it'd only make things worse!"

Mr. Corwin laid a calming hand on his wife. "Look you two, it's complicated and is wrapped up in our past. We left that past behind when we severed our ties to the magical community. We don't get involved and the same should go for you two." Mr. Corwin said.

"And if they come again? Do you honestly expect them to halt after being beaten just once?" Amy asked, still angry at being left in the dark.

"They won't do it. Not a second time. They're not stupid." Amy's father said with finality, making it clear the conversation was over.

Amy glared at her parents before standing up and stiffly walking up to her room and slamming the door shut. She buried her head into her pillow and listened as Conant and Sahen said their goodbyes and her house returned to normal. Eventually she drifted off to sleep, waking in the morning, late for school.

By Thursday of that week, Amy had begun to grudgingly believe her father had been right and that the trench coat mages had just given up. And since after school Friday Amy ended up going out with Sahen again, the mage problem was pushed to the back of her mind.

This time the pair went out for dinner at the pizzeria and then for a walk outside. It was only the middle of October so it was still warm enough out to be comfortable. They walked hand in hand as they strolled randomly downtown. Amy was much more relaxed then she'd been on their first date, having grown more comfortable with Sahen. Having kissed each other a few more times hadn't hurt any either.

It was as they stood side by side, both leaning against the railing bordering the river that Sahen spoke. "Amy?"

"Mmm?"

"You remember that day at your house?"

Amy snorted. "As if I could forget."

"You remember what Conant said. About me."

She looked at him blankly for a moment before grinning. "Oh yeah. About you being a vampire. I forgot about that."

Momentarily shocked, Sahen stared at her before chuckling. "Only you'd be able to forget about something like that."

Amy flushed. "Well on top of everything else it didn't seem so serious at the time. Not to mention I'm kind of getting used to those around me revealing things I used to think were impossible. So. Do you actually drink blood and all that?"

Now it was Sahen's turn to blush. "Ah, yah. It's a lot more complicated then you'd think."

"Really?"

"Well until I turn eighteen I really don't need to drink blood. Unless I get hurt badly, but that really doesn't happen too often if you're careful. It's right before the eighteenth birthday that things begin to get problematic." Sahen explained, running a hand through his hair nervously.

"When's your birthday?"

"End of June. That's why my parents are starting to get worried."

"Are both your parents vampires too?"

Sahen laughed. "No. It's only my mother. All vampires take a non-vampire as a life-mate. It just wouldn't work the other way."

"Why not?"

"Well it's the whole blood thing. We need to take a certain amount of blood each day to keep living. After a while the life-mate begins producing extra blood so they don't even notice. Without a life-mate we'd die."

"What's a life-mate?"

"Uh well it's sort of like a marriage. We need a life-mate to provide us blood. We in turn do our best to keep them safe and remain loyal to them. Betraying one's life-mate is one of the worst things a vampire can do. Pretty much we choose some one we think we can get along with for the rest of our lives as we really can't leave our mate once we've chosen."

Amy frowned. "Why not?"

"Because once we choose a life-mate we bite them on the night of our eighteenth birthday. The very moment midnight comes. That blood is then the only kind our body can take small amounts of to survive. If you don't take from your life-mate you'd end up draining the person and killing them. If however you don't get a life-mate or your life-mate is killed, you normally become a sort of mindless monster who goes around and randomly kills people. That's where most of the negative stereotypes came from. Rogue vampires. The rest of us do our best to kill the rogues as they pop up but sometimes it's difficult."

"That's… that's horrible!"

Sahen shrugged. "Most of us are used to it. It's part of who we are."

"Wait a second. You don't have a life-mate do you?" Amy asked, suddenly suspicious.

"No." Sahen said, flinching.

"Then…wait… You're not thinking…?"

Sahen flushed. "If you don't think for whatever reason that you can't the please tell me now. I'll need time. And I only have a few months left."

Amy just stared at Sahen for a minute. "I…don't know. I mean I really like you and all but this? I just don't know. Do I have to answer you right away?"

The young vampire shook his head. "No. We can just pretend this conversation never happened. I'll ask you again around Christmas time. I'll need an answer then, though."

"I should be able to come up with an answer for you by then."

Sahen grinned. "Alright then. Let's go and get some ice cream!" He said grabbing her hand and suddenly dragging her off, startling her into laughter.