Alex ran at Anthony, transforming into his inner wolf midstep. With a feral growl he leaped forward and pinned Anthony to the floor. Anthony's nose scrunched up before he reared back as much as he could before sinking his fangs into Alex's neck. Alex yowled in pain and jerked back, releasing his hold on Anthony. The newly made vampire attempted to pounce on him, but was pulled back sharply by a wire around his neck. Droplets of blood ran down his throat.
"What are you doing?" Anthony demanded, baring his fangs. He glared at the man hovering over his frame.
The man stepped in to the light and smirked purposefully, "We wouldn't want you to kill our guests, would we?"
Anthony ducked his head in a show of submission. "No sir, we wouldn't."
The man stepped closer and placed a comforting hand on Anthony's head. "Good-"
"Get your filthy hand off of him, Christopher."
Christopher looked up at Maria, startled. "Oh, the little half-breed is here to stop me? How very unlikely."
Maria let go of Taylor and balled her fists at her side. "I'm no half-breed, Christopher," she growled.
He let out a small chuckle as he shook his head. "Keep telling yourself that, kitten."
Maria's frown deepened. She opened her mouth to say something, but she was interrupted by Taylor yelling, "What the hell did you do to my brother?"
Christopher glared at Taylor in disgust. On the floor Anthony jumped and hid behind his "maker".
"See what you did, girl?" Christopher asked, threading his fingers through Anthony's hair, trying to calm the boy. "You frightened him."
Tears pricked at the corners of Taylor's eyes. "What did you do to him?!"
Christopher smiled down at Anthony, who was leaning against his leg. "I fixed him." The statement was so simple, but the meaning behind sent Taylor reeling. Maria barely held her back.
Alex stood up, having stopped the bleeding in his neck, and walked toward Christopher. The older vampire allowed Alex to take the wire from his hand and undo if from around Anthony's neck. When Alex made to lead Anthony back to the girls, Christopher placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Where are you going with my prize?" The hiss was laced with malice as he spoke into Alex's ear.
"He's not your prize nor was he broken. I'm taking him back." He shrugged the older man off without hesitation and glared up at him.
Christopher chuckled. "Very well. I'll let you take him. But beware ghostwolf, this isn't the last you've seen of me." He then disappeared.
Anthony shuddered and fell to the ground, gasping for air. Taylor ran to him and brought him into her arms. When he started crying, blood running down his face, she looked up at Alex. "What's happening?"
Alex knelt down and gently placed a hand on the back of Anthony's head. After a few seconds he jerked back as if burned.
"There's a bond isn't there," Maria said.
"A pretty strong one despite the short amount of time he had him."
Taylor looked between them confused. "What's a bond?"
Alex glared in Maria's general direction. "Does she know nothing of our world?"
"I haven't gotten around to telling her about things that haven't happened in thousands of years." She snapped and turned back toward her friend. "Okay, Tay. A bond is when one of three supernatural species, a vampire, wraith, or werewolf, enters into the mind of someone they love and place a two-way telepathic bond between their minds." She stopped talking so that Taylor might process this. When the girl nodded she continued, "It allows them to communicate words and emotions telepathically." Maria glanced at Alex who motioned for her to keep going. "Well, a bond without consent hasn't been created for several thousand years."
Taylor blinked in confusion before a look of anger flashed across her features. "So basically that creep mind raped my little brother."
Alex flinched at the crude determination, but nodded none the less.
The ghost looked between them anxiously. "Can you fix it?"
Alex shook his head. "Breaking it would kill him. I can weaken it enough so it won't hurt him, but he's always going to have Christopher in his head."
"Do it now." Her eyes were hard as she stared at the place where Christopher had disappeared.
"Alright," He glanced warily at the ghost girl and moved closer towards her sobbing brother.
Alex maneuvered Anthony to where the still sobbing vampire was directly facing him. He placed a hand on the back of his neck and brought their foreheads together. Both stilled for a long time, Anthony's sobs slowing in frequency and lowering in volume. After a few minutes Alex stepped away and glanced at his companions.
"Are you okay, Anthony?" Taylor whispered, rigid with fear and anger.
"I'm fine, sis," Anthony mumbled, his voice hoarse as he rubbed the back of his head. He looked up and stared at her in confusion. "What happened?"
Taylor stayed silent for a second before she launched herself at him, wrapping him into a tight hug. "Oh, thank god you're okay!" She murmured in relief.
Anthony wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and laughed a little bit at her reaction. "How are you here? You were killed."
"Umm... I'm a ghost."
Anthony pulled away and froze. "Holy mushrooms."
Maria snickered behind them. Alex glared at her, though a smiled tugged at his lips, too. Taylor didn't answer her brother; instead she looked up at Maria with worry riddling her eyes. "We should leave, shouldn't we?"
Maria nodded her head, helping Taylor stand up. "You're right. Alex?"
The ghostwolf glanced up from helping the newborn vampire stand, and grunted as he received the full body weight. "What?"
"Can you drive us to my house?" She asked and tugged Taylor away from her brother.
"I guess, if you tell me where it is." Normally there would have been a shrug to go with it, but it was all he could do to stand.
Maria started walking toward the still open door. "Thanks." Maria took the front seat this time and buckled. "Take a left at the next street and stay straight." Taylor began to fuss in the back seat over her brother, prodding him in places that should definitely be kept private. "Another left."
Something vaguely resembling a shriek of protest erupted and Maria chose to ignore the brief look of worry flashing over her escort's face. "Right." Taylor's interrogation wouldn't last too long; the ride was only ten minutes. "It's 719." She spoke so calmly you might forget the insistent cries of injustice behind her.
Alex quickly put the car in park and slid outside it, murmuring swears in a native tongue and glancing into the back seat. Anthony scrambled to get out the car, and away from his sister. "Taylor, stop touching me! I'm perfectly okay."
Taylor followed suit and marched toward him. "No, you aren't. You were kidnapped and that vampire-"
"He didn't! I've been telling you that!" He was practically begging his sister to understand.
Taylor grabbed his wrist and pulled him to the front porch where Alex and Maria waited. "I'm not sure you fixed him," she grumbled at Alex.
"I did my best." It almost sounded apologetic.
Maria rolled her eyes and stepped into the house. They stood in the foyer for a second, listening for and hearing voices coming from the living room. Maria led them to the left and continued walking even when her companions stopped.
In the large living room William Campbell, Maria's father, was standing, and looking out one of the four floor-to-ceiling windows. Another man with sharp angular, yet somehow still soft, features, dark wavy hair pulled back in a bun, and wide set emerald green eyes sat on one of the oversized black couches.
Maria walked past him, offering a quick, "Hey, Reaper," as a greeting as she approached her father. "Dad, Taylor had a mishap at school."
Bill looked down at his daughter and nodded. "Go upstairs and see if you can figure it out." He smiled warmly in an attempt to get something more, but to no avail.
"Okay." She turned and left, offering a small smile to the man in the couch. She gestured for her friends to follow her even though Taylor had the placed memorized anyway. The four walked up the stairs to Maria's room.
Reaper watched them leave with contentment. "She's lying you know." It was a sort of snarky comment aimed at the older man's pride.
Bill nodded; either ignoring the insult or it hadn't affected him at all. "I know, but let's not dwell on that. I'm sure that she has her reasons and will tell us when she's ready."
Reaper snorted. "Your daughter hasn't told you what's bothering her in years. And Kathryn isn't going to tell you even if Maria tells her."
Bill glared at Reaper. "I know that, Simmons. You don't need to remind me."
Reaper cocked an eyebrow and settled back into the couch. Bill watched him carefully, it wouldn't be the first time one of his subordinates had tried to kill him. Reaper merely began playing with a strand of hair that hand fallen out of his bun.
Bill shook his head and sat on the couch across from Reaper. "Have you heard anything from Ava and Angie?"
"Tomas and the others have continued to elude capture, and currently there is nothing pointing to their current location."
Bill swore and waved his hand, dismissing Reaper. He nodded and left the room, heading toward the stairs. He passed a blonde woman wearing nurse's scrubs and nodded to her. She ignored him and continued to the living room with a determined expression.
Alex snickered softly from his perch on Maria's bed. Taylor had insisted on checking nearly every inch of Anthony's body for any external injuries. Anthony was very uncomfortable with his sisters poking and prodding. He looked to Maria for help, but she just shook her head.
Once Taylor was finished inspecting her brother and Alex had stopped laughing, all four sat on Maria's bed. No one spoke for several minutes until Maria broke the silence and asked. "Why did Christopher call you 'ghostwolf'?"
Alex smirked. "'Cause I'm a dead werewolf."
Taylor's had snapped up. "I'm not the only ghost in the room?" She grinned at him, looking as though she was going to inspect him too.
"Nope," Alex smiled sincerely but decided it was best scoot away slowly. "What about you, Maria?"
"Wizard." She stared at him, as if testing his wish to live.
Anthony frowned and ignored the invisible threat. "Chris called you a half-breed."
"Christopher Gore is a liar."
"No he isn't," Reapers said from the doorway. "Chris is actually spot on."
Maria redirected her anger at Reaper. "What the hell are you talking about?" The air was charged with her unbound fury.
"Bill is-" he stopped speaking momentarily as a knife flew through him and embedded itself in the wall.
Anthony and Alex both let out a small shriek as the knife sailed between them and through Taylor. She blinked and looked down at her chest in confusion before turning and prying the sharp object out of the wall and examining it.
"-A wraith," Reaper finished, turning to glance at the man in question. "Why'd you throw a knife at me? I'm a ghost remember?"
Bill snarled. "He's lying, Maria, honey."
Maria shook her head. "Reaper doesn't lie." Bill didn't respond; he merely turned around and walked back down stairs.
Reaper watched until Bill reached the bottom and then he turned back to the room. Maria was sitting with a blank expression on her face, not appearing to have even registered that her father had kept such a secret for sixteen years.
"Ria-" Reaper started, hoping the pet name would calm her down.
"Shut up, Reaper," she growled out.
"It's not what? That bad? The end of the world?" Maria yelled at him. "Well, guess what, Leo, it's the end of my world. You know what they do to wraiths. And I'm a hybrid! I'll be lucky if I manage to survive the week now!" She paused for a moment and glanced at Taylor, sending a private message through their friendship. "What do you know? You're just his lackey."
Reaper placed his hands on her shoulders. "Ria, nobody else knows, and unless your council brat," he nodded at Alex with a bit of disdain," decides to tell anyone, no one else will know." He pulled her into his arms and held her tightly. "It'll be okay. I promise."
Maria sniffled and feebly wiped at the tears forming in her eyes. "That's not something you can promise me."
Reaper smiled. "Doesn't mean I won't try to keep it, Ria."
"I hate to interrupt this touching moment, but Anthony just fainted," Alex said, leaning over the vampire's body.
Maria looked around. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure. I have a theory though." He avoided looking at Taylor before proceeding with his intentions.
Alex once again placed a hand on the back of Anthony's head and entered his mind. He was met with very little resistance, something that worried Alex. He pushed through the mass of memories and stray thoughts until he found what he was looking for, a bright blue cord was stretching from a memory of Christopher (Alex didn't pay much attention to that) off into the dark corners of Anthony's mind. It was getting steadily brighter every moment. Alex had to pull out of Anthony's mind from the sheer force coming from the bond.
"We have a big problem," he said, glancing at Taylor, noting the fear on her face and remembered why he hadn't looked there earlier. "The bond is re-strengthening."
Maria squeezed her eyes shut. "Why?"
Alex shook his head. "I can't tell. I think he's willing it back."
"Can you do anything?" Taylor asked, trembling in fear.
"Not this time. All we can do is find Christopher, and he could be anywhere." Alex looked at her with
Reaper turned to the door, Maria still huddled close in his arms. "He's at work."
Alex's eyebrows knit together in suspicion. "Where does he work?"
Reaper frowned. "The Hospital."