Evangeline, Evie to the fools who thought they could shorten her name, slung her legs atop the long wooden expanse of the desk where her overworked sometimes-ex lover sat.
Garrett looked up at her with a frown, but the frown slipped from his features when he realized it was her and not one of his sisters, shifting into a playful smile. Evangeline cocked her head to the side, a smirk making its way onto her face.
"Uh oh, who's in for it this time?" Garrett teased and Evangeline grinned.
"Conner, the little shit of Infinity. He thought it smart to steal my underwear and craft them into a rope that he hung Galen by his feet from. The poor boy didn't even realize. He was dead asleep." She shook her head in exasperation and Garrett grinned, the seriousness dropping from his face completely.
"What did you expect? He is Sully's son. He's got Sloth in his blood."
Garrett leaned back in his leather chair. It didn't lean back to accommodate him, and he quickly leaned forward once more to escape the stiff back. Evangeline's smirk made a reappearance. He let out a chuckle while his fingers played his pen across his hand nimbly.
Evangeline and Garrett stilled as the air around them thickened briefly.
Someone had made a crossover nearby.
"It's probably Conner." Garrett shrugged and Evangeline nodded, but not before stretching out her senses to figure out who had done the crossing over for herself.
"No…"Evangeline murmured, "Though Conner is one of them. He brought two others with him, a male and a female. The female feels familiar, but I can't place her…"
Garrett stood, pushing back his chair. The floor screamed in protest, but they both disregarded it.
"Let's go introduce ourselves then." Garrett stated, already walking out of the room.
"Let's go introduce ourselves then," She mimicked with an annoyingly low pitch.
Evangeline sighed and kicked her booted feet off the desk, pushing off the chair and following Garrett's scent through the halls to the front door. His house was large, but it had to be seeing as how Conner and a few of their sisters lived with him.
Garrett opened the door when she caught up to him, revealing Conner on the doorstep, the redhead's face down towards a large key ring with an insane amount of keys. Evangeline frowned at the keyring, it was large like a ring for a dungeon's keys and she wondered vaguely where the vampire put it when he wasn't using it.
"Now, which one…"
"Conner?" Garrett asked, but the redhead didn't look up.
"Shhhh, I'm busy! Which one opens this door? Guess I'll try the-" He finally looked up, "-m all."
His face split into a wide grin, "Big bro! Just the vamp I was looking for!"
Garrett sighed, and held open the door, "Who's with you?"
Conner looked back over his shoulder through the open gate at the bottom of the drive where two figures were just making their way up. He frowned, "They are. Slow, aren't they?"
Evangeline sighed, "No, you're just fast, Conner. Go on inside, I'll wait for them."
Conner nodded and sped off into the house, leaving Garrett and Evangeline in the doorway. Shitty rock music began to blare through the house and both of the sometimes lovers sighed.
"Really, he's been alive since the dawn of time and he picks polish punk metal to get attached to?" Evangeline whined and Garrett nodded.
"Be grateful you weren't alive for his russian polka music phase."
Garrett shuddered and they both stepped out onto the porch. Evangeline turned her head to look at him, "Russians have a polka thing? Isn't that only supposed to be polish?"
"You would hope."
"Well," Evangeline began, "At least it isn't russian metal polka."
They both shuddered at the idea.
"More like pray that isn't next." Garrett swallowed.
They were quiet while they waited for Conner's guests to arrive. Ten minutes later they came through the gate, revealing their features to Evangeline's human eyes. Garrett had already begun to tell her what they looked like for a few minutes, but they were finally clear to Evangeline.
Evangeline was a human, physically, like most witches were. While she was technically considered one of the Family by her descent from Hecate, physically she appeared almost as average as a garden-variety mortal. But make no mistake, Evangeline was one of the most skilled witches within Infinity, specifically with her gifts pertaining to necromancy. She could bring just about anyone outside of the Family back to life, even if they had been reduced to ash. As long as the body or it's remains were kept together, she could piece it back together and have the formerly deceased on their way by the next night.
Evangeline herself was made up of thick straight black hair, blue eyes, and stubbornly cute facial features that made her feel more like a doll than a person when people commented on it. She took after her sister witches body-wise, she was wider and taller than a lot of women, but her proportions were even and perfectly distributed.
She might've been a little biased, but she thought she looked better than the average twig that centered on a human french fashion magazine circa 1992.
But anyway, she focused her eyes on the male and female that approached her.
The male was tall and muscled, and looked incredibly uncomfortable in the t-shirt and jeans that he had clearly been forced into. His straight black hair was cut to his shoulders and his pale green eyes looked vaguely like some of the crystals she kept in her room. A pale jade, maybe?
The female was short and slim and wore tailored brown pants that she tucked into her knee high riding boots that gave her an extra inch of height. Her top was loose and army green, and the coat she wore was made of patchwork antique bronzed leather and hung to the back of her knees. A scarf was untied and hanging from her neck and her hands were in her jacket's pockets, probably a bit cold, this area was always a bit colder in the Homelands.
Her features caught Evangeline's attention.
Soft bone structures, auburn hair and almost honeyed brown eyes.
"Eleanora! I haven't seen you since 1515 in Germany!"
Eleanora narrowed her eyes on Evangeline till realization dawned, "Evangeline Cartier? No way, I was sure you had finally moved on when I hadn't seen you since then!"
Evangeline tossed her a wicked grin, "You know me, ain't nobody able to keep me down for long!"
They laughed and Garrett smiled, "Eleanora, it's a pleasure to see you as always."
Eleanora angled her head towards him with a pleasant smile, "Garrett."
"Well, who is this beside you? Don't leave him hanging!" Evangeline laughed and Eleanora nodded.
"This is Alcaeus. He was dropped off on an island for more than a couple thousand years. He speaks Anatolian-based greek, but I was hoping one of your sisters could help him learn some other languages. Diddy, maybe?"
Garrett nodded, "Diddy would probably be the best."
He turned to Alcaeus and held out his hand, switching to the demigods native tongue with ease, "Pleased to meet you, Alcaeus. I bet you are having fun having to adjust, I know I have when I wake up after going to ground."
Alcaeus cocked his head to the side,"What is 'going to ground'?"
Garrett chuckled, "Some of us wish to experience respite from living for a time and so we 'go to ground', sleeping for anywhere between a few decades to a few thousand years."
Alcaeus nodded, but it was foreign to him and obvious to Evangeline.
"Don't worry, it's overwhelming, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough."
He nodded again and Garrett held open the door to his home, "Come inside! I know it gets cold, something to do with the nordic leaning witches a mile or so away."
They entered and made their way into the sitting room adjacent. Garrett told them to get comfortable while he looked for his sister.
It wouldn't be hard to find her since she was probably about to beat Conner to a bloody pulp for blaring his music. Evangeline grinned at the thought and sure enough, Conner came bolting into the sitting room hiding behind Evangeline.
"Diddy! No need to hurt your best bro! I still have the bruises from yesterday!"
Diddy came into the room next, "You idiot! You and I both know you've already healed! Come take it like a man!"
The blonde vampiress narrowed her cosmic blue gaze on the cowering Conner.
Diddy, one of the Dianas of the family, disappeared into mist and reappeared behind Conner tackling him from the side and socking him in the jaw. Evangeline turned to Garrett who appeared in the doorway, "Got any popcorn?"
He shook his head, "Altessa, Ambrose, and Ambrosia cleared me out, sorry."
Evangeline reclined into the couch, her feet resting on the table in front of her. "Pity."
Alcaeus and Eleanora were sitting down beside her, Alcaeus in between the two females. Evangeline turned to the demigod, "My money's on Diddy. She's talented when it comes to analyzing her prey. How bout you? Wanna place a bet?"
Alcaeus shook his head, "I don't have any money."
Evangeline pouted and turned to Eleanora, "How bout you, Nora? Feel like losing some cash?"
Eleanora laughed, "I doubt anyone would take that bet. Nobody ever successfully bets against a witch."
Evangeline dropped the pout and they watched the two siblings battle it out.
Diddy was winning, but that wasn't surprising. Conner had a thing about hitting girls that he never quite got over when he was a kid. It was kind of sad when he pissed off his female family members, because they certainly didn't return his kindness.
The blonde was straddling her brother and pummeling his face with a ferocity one wouldn't think she had, seeing as how she looked like the angels you saw in paintings. Or the goddess Aphrodite, Evangeline supposed.
Diddy was a beautiful woman, and she tended to outshine most other women in the looks department. Golden skin, golden honeycomb colored hair, large emotive blue eyes that took after her siblings in that her eyes almost had an exploding-star effect. Besides that, she had delicate aristocratic boning, and had an aura that just radiated 'bow, petty mortals'.
That was why it was so amusing to Evangeline that the sweet angelic Diddy was viciously ripping into her brother, who was whining and pleading for her to stop.
Garrett took up seat in a comfortable worn leather chair and allowed the fight to continue, turning his head to Eleanora.
"How have your travels been?"
Alcaeus looked at the vampire blankly and Garrett quickly switched back to the demigod's tongue and repeated his question.
"Good," Eleanora replied, "I ran into Ava who was infiltrating the Grand Game in Paris about a decade ago."
"What year was it in that Paris? I'm assuming a few centuries before the second millennium. God knows the Game really toned itself down during the twentieth century." Garrett complained, his hand running through his unruly black curls, pushing them back off his forehead. It was in vain and they quickly returned to their prior place.
Eleanora sighed, "I think it was early eighteenth century, but the calendar was a mess in that world, so it's hard to say."
Poor Alcaeus looked overwhelmed at their discussion and Evangeline patted his hand, "It's alright, you'll catch on eventually. It'll just take a century or two."
He followed Garrett's example and frowned.
Diddy popped up to her feet and gave one last kick, this one much lighter than her standard. Guess she had decided he had enough.
Evangeline scanned the blonde, not a single hair out of place.
Her hair was split into thirds, the two at her sides were tied back along with the middle lot into a french bun, how she managed to do a new and different style of hair every day amazed Evangeline. Her own hair did two things on a lucky day, down, and in a ponytail (which sometimes broke free within a minute.). Evangeline snorted.
Diddy looked up at her and grinned, "Evie, how are you?"
Evangeline bit back her anger at the incessant nickname the blonde knew she hated.
Instead, she pasted on her bitchiest smile and replied warmly, "Perfect, Diddy-girl. Hows it goin' with Mark, or was it Andrew this time?"
The blonde narrowed her eyes on Evangeline, fire alight within them. Evangeline smiled to herself and quickly disregarded the blonde, confident she wouldn't lay a hand on her. Diddy had a habit of accidentally killing her children when they were young. She wasn't exactly suited for motherhood, forcing the fathers to take them or forcing the children on the community to raise. Evangeline pitied the children, their mother was a shithead, she wouldn't blame them if they all banded together as an angry mob and hunted down the blonde vampiress.
Evangeline smiled softly at the thought.
Alcaeus and Eleanora stared at the two women and Evangeline could tell that Eleanora was amused to say the least and Alcaeus was just confused. They'd switched their language back again. Damn! She would've killed to see the demigod's reaction.
Evangeline leaned back and crossed her ankles, wrapping an arm around the back of the couch. Garrett was looking at her with a frown, he didn't like it when they fought since Diddy was one of the better roommates. She didn't blare her music, cooked on occasion, kept tidy, and only occasionally burst into violent outbursts. Evangeline could see why she was one of the easier of his sisters to put up with.
But she'd never let the blonde know, she was too entertained by the interactions they had. Evangeline smiled at Garrett happily and he sighed.
"Aren't you supposed to be in school somewhere, Evie?"
Evangeline looked down at her outfit. It was a well-tailored white jacket with an emblazoned red snake on the collar, beneath was more well tailored clothing, a pressed black silk shirt and a white pleated skirt that she had pulled up to sit at her waist, ending at two inches above her knee. She looked good, it wasn't always that she felt confident in that, but she did today.
Evangeline snorted, "Don't you have a strip club to attend to, Diddy-girl? I imagine they would be missing you, what with you being the easiest chick there?"
Diddy glared at her once more, taking a seat across from Garrett and a safe distance away from her witch cousin. Evangeline smiled snarkily at her and Garrett released another sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Chin up, Gare!" Conner consoled, his red hair sticking up in odd places and sticky black tar dripping down from his nose.
The sticky black tar was the blood that run through the descendents of the ancients. It was thick, black (as she had already stated), and could burn through just about anything it touched beside the descendents themselves.
Evangeline, of course, did not have it running through her veins. Too closely related to mortals for her to be given that ability. She could consume it though, and boy, could that tar (Hellfire was what it was called) heal just about any wound, it even produced a drug like effect, giving it's drinker a euphoric high. Humans couldn't consume it though and she pitied them that, Hellfire could cure just about anything, even birth defects, which is why the Family never had any no matter what they did.
Which was probably why so many of them inter-mated, that and the fact that they could not easily conceive with humans, and when they did, it often had disastrous effects. Monstrous creatures could be born from such matings.
Granted, occasionally there was one or two half-bloods that survived unharmed by their own… genes? They didn't really have DNA, so that probably wasn't the best term for it, but it would have to work. Anyway, half-bloods weren't usually accepted by human society, and were kind of a running joke among the Family, who did accept them, but teased them about it for their entire lives.
Which would probably be longer than a human's, but definitely shorter than a descendent.
You see, for the descendents, they would age to maturity faster than a human, but their aging would stop after that, usually leaving them in the prime of their lives. But anywhere from two hundred and fifty to five hundred years into their lives they would go through their transition which only had a fifty percent survival rate, even among full-blooded descendants. So they were at a definite disadvantage when it came to surviving the transition.
Witches usually lived human life spans unless they either A) figured out how to jumpstart it, or B) found a way to prolong their lives and stop their natural aging. Not exactly easy either way, well, unless you made a deal with a deity or practiced expression (which was awful hard in most worlds because it was technically human sacrifice. Well, theoretically it was just sacrifice in general, but animals didn't prolong shit, and humans were usually the easiest to come by. Immortals would make the best option, but they're hard to catch, and definitely hard to put down in any world.)
Conner climbed to his feet, still unconsciously twitching like always, and brushed a hand through his hair. His shirt was ripped in several places by Diddy's sharp nails (which were often used as claws), and she vaguely wondered if that was a constellation on his chest, playing connect the dots with her eyes as she flicked her gaze from freckle to freckle.
"Is that?" Evangeline murmured and Conner nodded.
"Yeah, it looks like the phoenix, doesn't it?"
He turned back to Garrett, "At least Mara isn't here. Mara still hasn't forgive Diddy for-"
Diddy hissed, "Drop it!"
He swallowed, "Anyway…"
"What were you saying, Conner?" Eleanora sighed, almost as if she regretted asking.
"Anyway, since Evangeline is here, Clara will be back soon! Aren't you excited?" Conner was smiling but Garrett sighed sadly.
"And she'll just die again, Conner. We both know that's how it goes."
Alcaeus appeared confused and Evangeline whispered in his ear.
"His mate, Clara, is tied to my… soul, I guess you could say. Whenever I make a reappearance, meaning I'm reborn, she is soon to make a reappearance as well. But when either of us dies, the other one will die within weeks."
Alcaeus frowned and looked with pity at her. She pat his shoulder, "Don't worry yourself, Sugar. It's out of our control at this point. It was done such a long time ago that I have forgotten most of the specifics. It took us a while to figure out everything, too."
He nodded, "What is 'sugar'?"
Evangeline's eyes widened, "Boy, you were really out of the loop. Sugar is a plant based sweetener."
She hoped he wouldn't ask her to elaborate on that. She would really have trouble with that one.
Eleanora turned to Diddy and began to explain the situation.
A few minutes later Diddy was nodding, "Sure, I'll tutor him a bit. I need to brush up on my Anatolian anyway."
She smiled at Alcaeus.
She switched to his tongue nearly flawlessly except for the accent, "My name is Diana, but everyone calls me Diddy to distinguish me from the several other Dianas in the Family."
He nodded, "I am Alcaeus."
"Nice to meet you, do you want to walk with me to the library. I believe we can start with switching to ancient greek and then onto modern greek and then move on from there." Diddy stood and he began to follow her out of the room, looking to Eleanora for her response.
She smiled encouragingly.
"What language do you speak?"
They could hear her laugh, "Most of us can speak most languages, but our own is called, 'infleterian'. It hasn't been commonly spoken in the past couple thousand years as more of us make crossovers."
Her voice drifted away as did the sounds of their steps.
Garrett looked at Eleanora, "How did you find him?"
She sighed, "Vision. I saw that I would travel to where he was, what he called Acermonos, and pull him out and befriend him."
Garrett's brow rose, "That's all? I know you, Nora. You don't just befriend people based on what your visions tell you. It must've been an important vision."
She blew out a breath, "It was. But let's drop it for now."
They nodded and turned to Evangeline, "So, what have you been doing since 1515?"
Evangeline sighed exaggeratedly, "You know, a little bit of everything. Garrett still owes me nine goats from that bet we made two centuries ago in Scotland."
He frowned, "What do you plan to do with your nine goats? Sell them? How much does a goat cost?"
Evangeline held out her hand toward him in a 'see?' manner to Eleanora.
"I believe that's not what she cares about anymore, Garrett." Eleanora leaned back onto the arm of the couch and flung her legs onto Evangeline's lap. The witch merely sighed once more.
"Anyway, recently I've been taking a tour of the educational establishments on the American coasts for the past several lifetimes. The current one was boring me so I left. I like the uniforms though, so they are definitely not going to get returned." She laughed at the end, almost sinisterly.
"What did you do?"
"Burned down the gym. God knows the arts deserved more funding." Evangeline muttered softly, tapping her hands lightly against the toes of Eleanora's boots.
"What have you been doing, Garrett? I haven't seen you in at least three centuries." Eleanora asked, her tone welcoming and kind.
He sighed once more, "Studying a bit of everything. I've learned a bit of magic from the witch next door. She also helped me with my healing studies. For a time I went to a mortal medical school. Other than that, I spent some time with Clara and Evangeline here, well off and on."
He leaned back, "I don't want to go through it all again, Nora. I can't do it anymore."
Evangeline swallowed. She hated seeing Garrett torn up, she hated forcing him to deal with her deaths when he already had to deal with his mate's.
And she hated how she had to lie to him like this.
About how it all began and about how they met.
He only bore the memory of their first meeting when she had only been accepted into Hecate's line.
She looked away from him, her heart stuttering in well-concealed grief while she forced herself to break the silence.
She interrupted Eleanora before she could try to console him.
"Conner, have you gone to see Amos' oracle? She demanded to see you when you returned."
Conner perked up, "Adventure time?"
She released a grin, "Adventure time."
He bolted from his seat and up the stairs to change clothes.
Evangeline stood and patted Garrett's shoulder as she swept into the hall without a word.
Conner appeared a moment later, outfitted in what appeared to be what Disney's Prince Charming would wear to a leather orgy.
He beamed and spinned in a circle.
She grinned, "You look good, cuz. Amos will be pleased to know that one of us cares to follow his court's dress code."
"Did someone say 'court' and 'dress code'?" A voice called, followed by an identical second.
"Cuz, you should know better than to leave this house without appropriate dressings."
Evangeline rolled her eyes and turned to face the identical twin vampire males.
"Yeah," Said the first, "Think of the shame you'd bring the Family if you didn't put your best features on show."
He was not talking about her face and she glanced down briefly before placing a hand over her breasts.
"Alright, soul-leaching cousins of mine. Do. Your. Worst."
Ace grinned at her and gestured to his brother who snapped his fingers and with a puff of smoke (for dramatic effect of course) she was clad in a black leather bodiced gown, layers of red silk cascading to the floor from her waist.
While Conner coughed from inhaling the smoke, Evangeline glanced at herself in the mirror, satisfied with the perfectly kohl-lined eyes and wine colored lips. She brushed a hand through her hair flippantly as she turned back to the twins.
Acton resembled a cat who ate the proverbial cannary, like the smug prick he was.
Ace clapped him on the shoulder and his abysmal eyes practically radiated pride.
Conner righted himself with a final cough and turned to face her with a thumbs up signal.
The twins turned tail back down the hall, the warm lighting catching the golden lowlights in their auburn hair.
"Have fun! Try not to kill them all. You know, leave, like, three to spread the tale at least." Ace called as they left.
Conner held out an arm and Evangeline latched on.
She narrowed her eyes on him, "Let me guide the crossover."
He nodded and she threw open the door, winds sweeping into the hall and consuming their forms from view, depositing them far, far from there.