Vendetta(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 4)(16) by Connie Suttle
"I’m fine, Ashe. I thought it would be enough to ignore those jerks at the restaurant." Wynn brushed platinum hair behind an ear and gazed out the window.
"They were drunk," Ashe said.
"Yeah. It wouldn't have been a fair fight. I wanted to punch that blond one so bad." She'd named their main adversary.
"Wynnie, maybe you and Dori should work out with Sali and me," Ashe said. "Trajan can teach you self-defense."
"Really? You think Trajan would do that?" Wynn turned and flashed a smile at Ashe as they opened the doors to get out of Sali's car. The ferry flew smoothly through the water as Ashe and Wynn searched for dolphins again.
"I think he would," Ashe smiled back.
* * *
"Dude, was that compulsion?" Sali asked after they'd dropped off Dori and Wynn at the Anderson home. Sali parked in his driveway but walked with Ashe toward the Evans’ home.
"I guess," Ashe shrugged. "It could be the weakest thing in the world, though. Those guys were pretty drunk. Even I could smell them."
"Yeah. They were blitzed, all right."
"Dude, I know you would have beaten all four of them to a pulp," Ashe turned to Sali. "But we don't need the notoriety. And your dad doesn't need to come bail us out of jail."
"I know. But it might have been nice to punch ‘em a time or two."
"Yeah. I feel the same way. There's no cure for rude or stupid, Sali. Come on, let's go to my house and get something to drink."
"What are you going to do when your dad leaves?" Sali turned his glass of iced tea around, watching the damp ring it left on the granite island.
"What can I do? He won't be here. I’ll have to live without my dad." Ashe had been avoiding that subject throughout the day. Sali was now asking about it directly.
Sali's phone buzzed with a text. "Dude, I better go," Sali said. "Mom's texting."
"Yeah." Ashe agreed. He followed Sali to the door and waved as Sali trotted toward his home.
* * *
"Ashe?" Adele walked into the kitchen looking a bit rumpled. She was dressed in an old T-shirt and jeans—something she used to wear when gardening.
"Mom, are you all right?" Ashe hurried to get a glass of tea for his mother.
"I’m fine. Is there anything to make a sandwich?" She sat at the kitchen island.
"Yeah. Ham okay?" Ashe pulled ham and mayo from the fridge.
"That's fine. Hand me the tomato and I’ll slice it." Ashe slid a plate, knife and the requested tomato toward his mother while he spread mayonnaise on two slices of bread. Adele had a sandwich in no time.
"Mom, I have a proposition for you," Ashe breathed while his mother ate. He'd been thinking furiously ever since Sali left.
"What's that, hon?" Adele looked up from her meal.
"Pack a bag. Go with Dad for a couple of weeks. You can clean out his house or something. Mr. Winkler can find somebody to watch over Victoria's until you get back. Just give me a little time to work on this. Dad can't just leave. They have to reconsider."
"Your father says they won't," Adele dropped half her sandwich on the plate and dusted crumbs off her hands.
"Finish your sandwich, Mom. Give me two weeks. Give Dad two weeks. Then you can come home and we're no worse than we were. I think Mr. Winkler would have my head if I don't behave while you're gone."
"I don't know," Adele lifted her sandwich again.
"You could come home anytime, but two weeks is sort of standard for a vacation, don't you think? You can take pictures with your phone and send them to me. There's plenty of time to mess with the restaurant here and with Victoria's when you get back. Come on, I'm sure we can come up with something in two weeks. I think the Council just wanted to do this quick so they could catch us off balance. They're counting on our emotions getting in the way of reason. If they send Dad out right away, then you can do some sightseeing during the day and shoot anybody that walks through the door at night. Unless it's Dad."
"How much time do I have before sunset?" Adele glanced at the kitchen clock.
"You have nearly two hours," Ashe said. "Enough time if we hurry."
* * *
Adele was dressed nicely and had two bags packed and ready by the front door when Aedan hauled two bags of his own from the bunker beneath the garage. "What's this?" He frowned at Adele's bags.
"I’m coming with you. For two weeks. I haven't been to London since we met, Aedan. I’m taking a vacation now. If those vampires don't want me on their jet, I’ll find a flight out tomorrow and follow anyway," Adele said. "Ashe said two weeks. I’m taking his advice."
"Ashe," Aedan was now frowning at his son.
"Dad, there's a way around this. There has to be. That old piece of shoe leather isn't breaking up my family."
"You're calling the Head of the Council an old piece of shoe leather?"
"Yeah. Mom should go with you. If nothing happens, she’ll come home after two weeks. I already booked a flight from London; here's the ticket information." Ashe handed an envelope to Aedan. "I’ll miss you Dad, but I’ll miss you more and I’ll kick myself if I don't at least try to get you back. Now, I have one question before I drive you to the airport."
"What's that, son?" Aedan stared at Ashe.
"Was I born with pointed ears?"
"The doctors said it was just a slight deformity. You had surgery when you were two," Adele said on the way to the airport. "I put away all those photographs so you wouldn't see them and think you were abnormal."
"But I am—abnormal, that is." Ashe sat in the back seat—his father elected to drive on the first leg. Ashe would drive back.
"Son, we don't know much about what is normal or abnormal for the Elemaiya. I hope to learn more while I’m in London."
"I hope you learn more, too. Some of this stuff is driving me crazy."
* * *
Radomir waited at the bottom step leading to the large jet sent by the Council. "Those vampires must have some money," Ashe breathed as he pulled one of his mother's bags behind him.
"Good to see you again, young one," Radomir smiled slightly at Ashe. Ashe handed the bag to his father.
"Mr. Radomir, I think about you sometimes," Ashe said. "And I hope you're doing all right when I do think about you."
"That is kind of you," Radomir inclined his head. Ashe wondered how old Radomir really was. His father was pushing nine hundred, after all. "Are you not coming with your parents?" Radomir asked politely.
"No. I have things to do. Mom's only coming for two weeks. She's taking over a restaurant and building another. And just so you know; taking my dad away like this is bullshit." Ashe turned and walked away. Sorry, Dad, Ashe sent mentally. He could almost see his parents staring in shock at his retreating back as he strode toward Aedan's SUV.
* * *
"You're not half, you know," the brown-haired man was back—appearing in the passenger seat beside Ashe as he drove toward Star Cove. Ashe did his best not to jump and wreck his father's vehicle in the process.
"A quarter? I thought you said I was immortal. Halves are immortal." Ashe might have thought the man was lying, except Winkler said he couldn't lie.
"Quarters are most certainly not immortal. Think for a moment. What else might be immortal?"
"Only a half-blood or better," Ashe scoffed. "I’m half."
"No. You are not half."
"The only thing left is a pure-blood," Ashe pointed out.
"Now he gets it." The man smiled and disappeared.
* * *
"Where are those papers?" Ashe searched frantically through the records his father kept in a fireproof safe. It wasn't hard to mist inside, gather everything he needed and then mist right out again. He finally came to the folder he wanted—he'd scanned through it once before but he didn't have as much information then as he did now. "Ah, here it is—dang. Both donors listed as anonymous." Ashe flopped the paper onto his father's desk with a sigh.
Winkler expected Ashe to sleep at his temporary home—it was one of the conditions his father had set before he'd allow Ashe to stay behind in Star Cove. Ashe would have given anything to go to England with his parents. On vacation. Perhaps that might happen someday. Ashe strode from his father's study to pack a bag.
* * *
Ashe ate tacos at Winkler's kitchen island with Trace, Trajan and Winkler. "Trajan, Dori and Wynn want to come and work out with us," Ashe said as he dumped taco sauce on a third taco. "They want to learn self-defense."
"That's a good idea," Trajan agreed. "They're welcome anytime. As are any of the others."
"Mr. Winkler, I had another visit from that man. He showed up while I was driving home from the airport."
Winkler carefully set his taco down—he'd been about to take a bite of it. "What did he do this time?" Winkler's dark eyes were concerned.
"He says I’m not half."
"He said the last time that you were immortal. That spells half, Ashe." Winkler cursed softly to drive home his point. "You're not a quarter, I'd bet money on it."
"He said I wasn't a quarter, either."
"But what's left?" Trajan grabbed another packet of taco sauce.
"Full." Winkler had gotten there first.
"Yeah. I went through the folder of information my parents have locked up and both donors are listed as anonymous," Ashe muttered.
"So the egg was donated by a female and then fertilized by a male Elemaiya. That's the only way this might have happened," Winkler observed.
"Yeah. I was born with pointed ears and everything. Mom said they did reconstructive surgery when I was two. The surgeon said it was only a slight deformity."
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