Chapter 8

I really wish my mother would hurry up and come home…as a matter of fact, I have a big beautiful house in Malibu that I could go and relax in and here I am stuck in the house with a half vampire, a ghost, and a sibling who is in love with a fairy. How magical. I am feeling incredibly drained emotionally, and my aunts are doing their best to pretend that none of this has happened. Anya had went in her room I suppose to call Lucian; Aunt Brielle was in my mother’s room supposedly looking for something of great importance and Aunt Luna was pretending that she was interested in CNN’s current newsbreak. It had been almost two hours and I had not heard from Nino, but knowing him he would call me as soon as he handled whatever business he needed to handle and we would be back home making love until the sun came up and all would be right in the world. To be honest, Minerva was the least of my concerns at this point. I reached for my phone which I had placed on the brown coffee table that was heavily stacked with magazines when Aunt Luna glanced at me sympathetically. I really wanted to glower at her to let her know that I am still pissed off at her and everyone else, but then…I cannot be mad too angry with her. I sigh and shake my head. “I am sorry Aunt Luna,” I finally say, suddenly feeling exhausted. “Don’t be,” she said as she scooted closer to face me. “I would have been angry too. Hell, I was mad when I found out that Minerva had been blocking you and Anya’s memories. Your mother is hopelessly forgiving when it comes to Minerva…hell when it comes to anyone she loves. She asked Minerva to do it instead of going to Artemis like she should have because she was scared that you and Anya would suffer the consequences of her…mistake.” “Mistake?”  I asked slightly indignant. “Not a mistake in the sense that you and Anya should have never been born; a mistake in the fact that she married a human and conceived children by this human. Your mother is goddamn goddess! There is a heavenly order that immortals are not supposed to intermingle with humans. Period. Your mother violated that order and for that your father paid the price. She was scared that you and Anya would be next, but Artemis was merciful and the only thing she did was strip your mother of her title. Your mother is no longer the Goddess of the Moonlight but she still maintains all rights and privileges of the position.” I held my Aunt’s thoughtful gaze and realized that I owed my mother a serious apology. I owed everyone in here a serious apology. But, there was one thing I needed to know. “How did you become a half vampire?” Aunt Luna looked away and her shoulders slumped as if in defeat before returning her gaze to me. “Minerva was jealous because I had found favor with the god Helios who granted me the opportunity to become an immortal. I had returned an item that had was stolen from one of his temples that was of great value to him and in return he gave me immortality. He did not make me a god like Selene but he felt it unfair that two of my sisters could live on forever and I could not. He said when the last one dies then I will with her and he graced me with immortality. Minerva was already disgruntled about being jilted twice and when she found out that I too had received the gift, she cursed me to live the life that she felt I actually deserved: vampire. But, Helios corrected that somewhat. Gods do not have much power to reverse curses, they can only undo some damage. Being that he is the god of the sun, he made it so that I could still walk in the day and that I would not be subject to the aversion of silver, and a stake through the heart could not harm me…but he could not undo the bloodlust. He did however, say that Minerva would never see forever; that the very thing she tried to corrupt me with would be her undoing.” ‘A vampire would kill her?” And I know exactly who that vampire might be. Nino.  “Yup. That is why she hopes to drain you and Anya of your powers so that she may be invincible.” “Have you seen Helios since then?” I inquire. I need to talk to Nino. “Well, he visits from time to time. He and Aphrodite have their own modeling agency which has been quite the success. He has even invited me to come visit them in the south of France during the summer. I think I might take them up on their offer. “Aunt Luna,” I say, still debating on whether or not I should reveal to her what I feel I have to reveal. “Oh hell you have that same suspicious look your mother gets when she is about to drop a bomb on me. What is it?” That is when I proceed to tell her everything about Nino, his family and his plans for ending his curse. I told him his version of Ambrogio and my mother and when I was done Aunt Luna’s jaws had dropped so I thought it would hit the floor. “Does your mother know?” she asked in pure shock and disbelief. “Not the part about Nino wanting to kill Minerva.” “Well then we have a problem then.” She said rubbing her chin indicating that she was in deep thought. “And what’s that?” I ask nervously. “If Nino is successful in killing Minerva that means not only does she die but he dies too…” The thought of losing Nino was enough to make me panic. But, then there was the sudden realization. “Aunt Luna, what happens if a vampire feeds from an immortal?” Aunt Luna eyed me suspiciously. “What the hell are you saying?” “I think you know what it means….” “Fuck Rita are you insane?! Do you know what you have done? Helios, Artemis, and every god still in existence may come out of hiding and put an end to you, your mother, me, and the rest of the family!” Brielle, upon hearing my dear Aunt Luna’s outburst came bursting out of my mom’s room with Anya in tow. “What is the matter?”  Aunt Brielle asked clearly panicked. “Your niece allowed a vampire to feed from her and now we may have a problem.” I could have sworn when Aunt Brielle gasped she sucked in all of the air in the room and before releasing it back into the atmosphere. “Have you any idea what you have done?” Aunt Brielle exclaimed. ‘Your mother is petitioning Artemis right now as we speak and knowing her, she knew it the moment it happened. So, now we have no idea what the consequences of that foolish decision will be until Selene comes back in one piece!” “Listen, if the gods are no longer in position to rule over humanity like they once were, the only thing they are responsible for is themselves. And, if by chance Artemis decides she has a problem with it she can come see ME!” “Rita-“ “No, don’t Rita me,” I snap. “Nino needs my help. He has to know so-“ “You would betray your own flesh and blood for him?” Aunt Brielle asked incredulously. “How the hell is it betrayal when the same flesh and blood wants to drain you of your powers?” I demand.  “Now look,” I continue. “We just can’t sit around and wait on the great and powerful Artemis to-“ My phone began to vibrate. It was a text from my beloved Nino. It read:

Whatever you do, do not go out at night. I have to find Ambrogio. Do not call me until I tell you it is safe.

Love Always, Nino.

I text him back:

I miss u babe. My blood makes you immortal. Call me.

I wait for him to respond but after a few minutes of nothing, I can tell that he is not going to. Both of my aunts and my sister are looking at me silently waiting for answers. “He is going to look for Ambrogio. He needs my help.”  “Well you can’t leave,” Aunt Brielle said firmly with her arms folded across her chest. “Your mother pretty much barricaded us in.”  “Who is Ambrogio?” Anya asked nervously. Unfortunately, I did not have the energy to explain everything all over again. “I have to get out of here,” I say shaking my head. My mother cannot expect me to stay locked in her house until Artemis sees fit to release her. The clock was ticking. “Your mother’s wards are too strong. You will not be able to cross the threshold of the door without being electrocuted,” Aunt Luna pleaded. “Hmmmm,” I say as I rise from the comfort of the recliner and make my way to the front door with everyone in tow. “Rita! I have seen what happens when someone crosses the wards!” Aunt Brielle cries out. “You do forget I am my mother’s daughter,” I say refusing to break my stride. “Rita STOP!” Aunt Luna grabs me by my shoulder, spinning me around to face her. Her face is lined with panic, anger and frustration. “You cannot leave! Even if you are successful in crossing the barrier you will be putting yourself at risk. Minerva is looking for you; what part of that do you nor understand? You are a fledgling goddess. You have no clue on what your abilities are or how to use them.” Now that got my attention. “I am damn near thirty years old and it was not until Friday that I learned that I am not 100% human. The least either of you could do is educate me on exactly what type of demi god I am so I have an idea on what to expect from myself. I know my powers are connected to my moods and can light up a room with almost as much power as the sun if provoked. It was not until Friday that I knew vampires existed; and it was not until Saturday that I could live forever. I am already growing tired of the daily surprises, and whether you like it or not I am walking outside that door.  Spare me at least one.”  Aunt Brielle and Aunt Luna glanced at each other, appearing to sense defeat and it was Aunt Brielle that spoke first. “You and Anya are the most powerful of the demi gods that still walk this earth. But, you Rita have something that your mother has tried to keep hidden. You have the ability to manipulate time. You can stop it and restart it at your will but it is only temporary. Still, it is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Both of you can manipulate the light, control the moon’s gravity, manipulate reflections and even call whatever is being reflected in a mirror into being. You can control the tide, which makes you a dangerous entity when near water.  The individual gift that you possess is Time manipulation; like I said earlier, Anya can manipulate people’s emotions. But, the there is a theory that the two of you combined…would be unstoppable.” But, the theory is that the two of you combined would be unstoppable, I replay my aunt’s words in my mind as they stare at me intently; desperate to know what I was thinking and what make next move is. I scan their faces searching for answers to questions I do not even have yet. I love my aunts; I love my mom but fate has forced its hand on me. I know it sounds selfish, but I have to do what is best for me and what is best for me is the life of the one man in the world who loves me unconditionally. He is looking for a way to reverse the curse; but in searching for that answer may result in him having to sacrifice his own life. I cannot live without Nino, especially knowing that we could have an eternity together. I look over at my sister, Anya who is nervously poking at her freshly manicured nails. She catches my gaze and I smile. “Come with me Anya,” I said stretching my hand to her for her to take. “No! I told you what you wanted to know and since it is obvious that there is nothing I can do to stop you fine. But, you are not taking your sister with you on a suicide mission!” Aunt Brielle slapped my hand away and stepped in front Anya as she were body shielding her from some mysterious threat. I guess that threat is me. “Come on Anya,” I say ignoring Aunt Brielle’s protests. “I understand if you want to stay, but I need you. I would do the same thing for you if Lucien were in trouble.” “No Anya don’t you do it! Don’t you do it!” Aunt Luna had become so irate and upset that her fangs had dropped and her pupils flashed a tinge of blood red coloring that had not been there before. “What the fuck are you going to do if you are attacked by vampires? Huh? They can smell you a mile away! If something happens to either of you there will most definitely be a war. Your mother will raze the earth seeking vengeance! And what do you think she will do to-“ “Alright,” Anya said softly, sneaking her head around Aunt Brielle’s protective body block and catching my gaze.  I smile victoriously. Anya smiles back and makes a dash for her keys and slips her sandals back on and finds herself once again body blocked by Aunt Brielle.  “WHAT?! NO! Anya, you stay right here.” Aunt Brielle commanded, her body losing its transparency with each raise in octave. So, it was true: my Aunt Brielle is a spirit without a body.  “Aunt Brielle,” I said carefully. “Anya and I have to go. This is what I have to do and my sister has made her choice. I love you both but I just can’t sit here and wait for something tragic to happen.” Both of my aunts’ shoulders slumped in defeat. “You are going to put your life at risk for what? How are you going to defend yourself against the dark magic of a witch as ancient as Minerva? Huh? What are you going to do?” Aunt Luna demanded. “You said so yourself that between the two of us”, I said taking my sister’s hand and leading her to the door. “We are unstoppable. Tell my mom I love her.” Anya tightens her hold on my hand as we look back at our anger stricken aunts and then at the front door. I turn my head to face her and ask, “Are you ready?” Anya just nods her head and closes her eyes as I grab the doorknob and swing the door open. Once we cross the threshold I can feel the heat being emitted from the invisible barrier attempting to do more than just singe the surface of skin. And my first thought was right. We are our mother’s children. We are outside and on the grass unscathed. “Now what?” Anya quizzed glancing around nervously and fiddling with her hair. “You have your car right?” I ask scanning the driveway for her car only to find Aunt Luna’s Jaguar and Aunt Brielle’s Prius parked outside of the garage. “Yeah, I parked down the street.” Anya replied as she began to lead the way to her Mini Cooper. I turn to look back at my mother’s house and I could still see the silhouettes of my aunts possibly arguing back and forth about how they were going to break the news to my mother explaining how they let two grown demi gods out of their grasp. Mom was definitely going to be pissed off. But, one day she would understand. It isn’t like we don’t have eternity.



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