The boat rocked as it made its way to the final destination. Eric and Eliza were on the deck, watching as the coastline of America drew nearer, catching the magnificent blue of the ocean contrasting with the green of hills and assorted colors of buildings as the sun shone from behind them. They were now extremely happy that they had decided to take the sea route as opposed to the air. Flying would have been out of the question as soon as they received Railyn. She had just been born when they had been given her and, therefore would not have been permitted onto a plane.
The boat slowed as the docks became clearer. Eliza held her breath as the events from five nights ago came back to her. There was a vampire who had shown up with the intention of betraying her king, and was willing to help them in any way she could. Both of them had told the vampire that Railyn was indeed, their own birth daughter, not adopted. For all America new…Eliza had given birth on the boat and therefore did not receive a birth certificate for the small child because they had wanted her to be a true citizen.
As the boat came to a stop, Eric saw their friend. It was the very person who had convinced them to move all the way to America in the first place. She was smiling as they made their way from the deck of the ship to the dock. Her red hair gleamed in the sunlight as her blue-green eyes shined with happiness.
"Hiroko," Eric shook her hand. "It is great to see you. I am glad that you finally convinced us to move. From what I've seen so far, the pictures you sent of this country do not do it justice."
"It's great to see you, too, Eric," she smiled at him. "Who is this little baby? I thought that Eliza wasn't able to…"
She trailed off as Eric shot her a warning glance as a customs agent came walking up to them. "Names, please."
"Eric and Eliza Takeryou," Eric said swiftly. "This little bundle of joy is our daughter, Railyn. My wife had just a week left in her pregnancy before we boarded. As you can expect, we want her to be a full American citizen with no way to be exported."
The customs agent eyed the baby in Eliza's arms. He slowly smiled as Railyn cooed and reached her tiny little hands up toward him. "Railyn Takeryou…born out at sea on September 28th. Therefore, she is an American citizen by being on no land during her birth. Parents are authorized to become citizens within a month to be able to care for their child with a smaller chance of being deported."
"Thank you," Eliza smiled at the agent as he made notes on his clipboard.
Once he was away, Eliza and Eric followed Hiroko out of the crowded dock, and to her awaiting car. Railyn was silently looking around her, taking all the new colors and sounds she had not been able to see or hear while on the ship. Hiroko didn't say anything more about the infant in Eliza's lap. Though, she did have many questions running through her head about the small child as she continued to drive out of the city and toward the country side.
"This is a beautiful home Hiroko," Eliza walked through the fully furnished home. "You really outdid yourself this time. You even got us cars to drive.
"Well," Hiroko smiled and carefully walked toward Eliza as to not wake the sleeping baby in her arms. "When you are a shape-shifter, it tends to make things go a little smoother. The truck for Eric is paid off, while your car only has four payments left on the note. Now, where did this pretty little thing come from?" She held the baby up and nuzzled her head with her nose.
Eliza smiled tentatively before answering her question, "Karinka Tsukyo died in child birth. Her hand maids sought us out, and said that Karinka would have wanted us to have her. Her only wish was that she was named Railyn. Which we obviously granted. I just can't believe that the customs agent got her birth date actually right. I mean, she really was born on the 28th of September."
"That is a little strange," Hiroko mulled over. "Are you going to train her to be one of you?"
"We are going to allow her to decide that. Though, I think that we are going to enroll her into gymnastics, swordsmanship and karate, or something along the lines of it. It would be good for her to lean those skills anyway."
"That is fair. I am just wondering how skilled she will truly be, seeing that she is not exactly blood related to either one of you. I can't help but feel that it may be a waste of your time to try to train her."
Eliza glanced from Hiroko to her daughter and back. "You have the opposite theory of my husband. He believes that she will be a great fighter and a magnificent asset to our team. Speaking of which, one of them wants to join our ranks. It was strange, but she honestly hates her king. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of him. She even killed one of her own."
"One of them? That is hard to believe…because they are all usually so loyal to him. Don't forget though, it is not just one clan that we have to deal with. There may only be one king, but there are multiple clans that answer to him, including his own. Besides, now that you have a child, she will become a target for attack and be used against you once her presence is known."
Soon, the conversation came to an end as the sun fell below the horizon. Railyn was currently lying in a newly bought crib. Eric had left earlier, while the girls were talking, to go to the store and buy it. Seeing as she was a surprise, Hiroko wasn't able to buy the necessary things for a baby. Eliza and Eric were standing over her and watching the two-week-old sleep. What Hiroko had said was still fresh in both their minds. Neither one of them wanted their daughter to become a target for any of the clans to use as leverage.
"Did you take a look in the basement and below that?" Eric questioned.
"Briefly," Eliza smiled at him and tenderly stroked the face of the sleeping girl. "Hiroko really outdid herself. She seemed concerned for Railyn, and truly concerned. I think that she is pretty much going to be a big sister to her. It will be interesting to watch as she grows up."
The two of them walked out of the room and closed the door. Leaving Railyn to sleep in the dark.
Seven years passed quickly and Railyn watched the sunset through the kitchen window as she ate spaghetti in her leotard. She was waiting for her dad to pick her up and take her to gymnastics, then to swordsmanship. However, she knew all too well that he should have been home by now. Looking back toward the entrance, she saw her mother walk in and start washing the dishes. Getting up, Railyn took her plate to her mother.
"Railyn, you still have food on your plate," Eliza took the plate from her daughter.
"I ate till I was full," Railyn smiled. "Do you know if daddy is going to be home soon? It's almost time for us to leave for my gymnastics class at 6."
"Oh," Eliza scraped off the left over spaghetti off the plate into the trash, "he called and said that he can't make it home tonight."
Railyn sighed but before she could say anything, another voice came from the entrance of the kitchen, "That would be why he sent me."
"Jade!" Railyn was surprised by the appearance of her 'sister'. She ran up and hugged the girl who looked no older than 22 with long black hair and piercing green eyes.
"Hello Railyn," Jade smiled at the young girl, "Sorry Eliza. I would have been here earlier, but…"
"I understand," Eliza smiled at Jade. "Thank you though for coming to pick her up."
"It is my pleasure. Besides, now I can spoil her like the 'big sister' that I am," Jade laughed as the Railyn let go of her. "Ice cream after your sword lessons right?"
"Of course!" Railyn confirmed and ran to get her bag.
"Is it really taking that long to deal with the new outbreak?" Eliza asked quietly.
"Unfortunately," Jade watched as Railyn disappeared into her bedroom. "He should be home by midnight. There weren't that many when I left this morning. I'm sorry about it…I know you would prefer if the shape shifter came to pick her up."
"I don't mind you, Jade," Eliza went back over to the sink and began to wash the dishes. "You have proven that you will not hurt her on many occasions. You really do feel like she is your younger sister, along with Hiroko. She feels the same way that you do. Just relax. My first instincts toward you are gone."
"Are you ready Jade?" Railyn appeared in the entrance way.
"Yes," she smiled.
"Bye momma!" Railyn called as she walked toward the front door.
"Have fun sweetie," Eliza smiled as she called back. This was the distraction that Eric knew Jade could create. Take Railyn's mind off of the fact that he wasn't around like he should be.
AN: Hi everyone!! Sorry it has taken so long to update this one chapter....but I ran into some difficulties. ^_~
Thanks for reading so far!! Thank you to my beta---Juli-chan!!! This chapter would have been very confusing if she wasn't there! Please...read and review!!!
(P.S. -- If most of you are wondering about what is below the basement...it will be explained later. Aren't you all just curious now?)