Chapter Eleven

There was a constant soft patter behind the couch. Getting some sleep in the lounge seemed like a good idea at the time but for some reason, there was traffic. No… it was only one person… pacing. There was another that was staring at me but there was no threat. When I opened my eyes, I saw Laran. He looked as though he hadn’t moved since sitting in that seat last night. There was a strange glint in his eyes as he looked at me. Almost, possessive. It didn’t make sense, so naturally, I ignored it. Dahlia was behind; pacing and she had a look between fear and frustration. She ignored everything and everyone. I got out of my so called bed and went to the bathroom. By the time I came out, Dahlia was becoming more frantic. “Don’t ask.” Jason said when he saw me looking at her, “She senses something but doesn’t know what.” “Must be something bad,” Laran said, coming to stand next to me, “if she looks like that.” He looked at me again and I got the feeling that I was missing something, “Stefan phoned. He wants you three to be there early. Kind of like intimidating the enemy.” Right, the Hunters were coming today, “Where’s James?” Jason scoffed, “Tracy’s, where else? He said he’d meet us there.” “We should go.” Laran said, taking my hand gently and pulling me towards the door. I let him, for some unexplained, undetermined and unfathomable reason. “I’ll stay here. With D.” Jason said. There was something in his voice. The same something he had when he told us about Nikki. I didn’t have to be an oracle to know that he was falling her. Laran knew it too and he just smiled. The town was the busiest I’ve ever seen it. People; werewolves, witches, humans and the few warlocks, were going in and out of the town hall. They tried not to seem anxious but with a trained eye, it was obvious. “They’re preparing.” Laran said, answering my unasked question, “Some for the so called party and others for the worst.”

“We’re having a party?” “To welcome them.” “But no one wants them here.” Laran chuckled, “Welcome to the world of politics.” I was beginning to miss my days of just hitting and moving on. There was no need for any pretence. We didn’t go down to the cave hall. Laran said that that area was for residents only. The town hall was being prepped for a party. The chairs were removed, a tree was placed back end of the hall and was being decorated and tables were brought in for refreshments. All in all, the hall didn’t look the least bit scary when we were here. “Amazing huh?” James came in dressed in black, “They should pay their interior decorators more.” “James.” Laran said stepping forward and shaking his hand. Clearly, I’ve missed a few things last night. Since when had they become… friends? “How long will it be before they actually get here?” “They’re here.” James said. “I just met them.” He looked at me, “And don’t you dare entice them into a fight, Jordan.” “I do not entice people to fight me, James. They just can't handle the truth.” “There are other ways of handling the truth. On second thoughts… try not to say anything to them, okay?” I nodded, “Aren’t I here to just look scary?” James smiled, “Sure.” Laran said he had things to do so James led me back outside. There was hardly any sun and people were dressed warmly. Only James and I were dressed with top and a jacket. The cold was never really a problem for us and after awhile, people stopped gawking at us now and just accepted our under-dressing. “Jordan, there’s something I want to tell you.” James said slowly, “I know that you won't have as big as a problem with this as James will.” “You and Tracy, right?” He looked startled, “It’s amazing how obvious things become when emphasis is put on them.” I said. “I want to marry her.” “You can't become a vampire, James. Their venom will kill you.”

“Yeah, we’re working on that.” He looked around, “I know I love her. I know that you’re leaving. And I know that mom and dad would want me to be happy.” “Happy and alive.” I added. “Oh, look. There are some of the Hunters we have to intimidate.” They were being led by Lizbeth and oddly familiar looking man. He was tall, extremely taller than Lizbeth and stocky. He made a show of his guns on his shoulder holsters. His eyes kept darting around looking for a threat and at the same time nodding to whatever Lizbeth was saying. “They said that they found their missing Hunter.” James said, “They keeping quiet about really happened.” “Jordan?” I heard the whisper of my name and turned automatically. My eyes trained on him as easily as they had found him two days ago. “Eric.” “Jordan!” he broke from his group and came up the steps, “What happened to you? Are you okay?” he bombarded me with useless questions. Most of which were the same but in different phrases. “You know him, Jordan?” James asked. Eric stopped asking his questions. He looked around as it dawned on him where we were, “Oh, God. You’re one of them.” Lizbeth and the Hunters came. “Jordan, you said that you’ve never met a Hunter before.” “I didn’t.” I said. I still felt drawn to Eric. That nonsense should have stopped when the solstice was over. “What did you do to me?” Eric shouted. He became angry so quick and I was the only to notice that his eyes had changed too. They were still their golden colour but there was a slight glow to them. Eric rushed over, “Tell me!” “Jordan?” James said, “What really happened that night?” “I slept with him.” James eyes widened, “What?” “You heard me. I went to a bar. Saw him and we left to a motel. After we had sex, I left but I didn’t get very far.” Images flashed through my mind but I still managed to see James lunging for Eric.

Eric didn’t see the first punch coming and was knocked over the steps. Things got out of the hand when the other Hunters drew their weapons. Lizbeth held her hands and tried to calm them down. James and Eric ignored them and carried hitting each other. “Jordan! Lizbeth shouted, “Do something.” “Sure.” I walked over to them and pried them apart. I pushed Eric to his group, “Hold him.” I held James, “Calm down.” “He slept with you!” he shouted. By now, the other guards had come over and were waiting for a chance to get in the fray, “If we were there…” “‘If’ does not help things.” I said, “I slept with him because I wanted to. This was my decision and you and Jason cannot be responsible for me anymore.” He calmed down a bit, “Fine. But he stays away from you from now on.” He pushed me behind him and looked deadly at Eric, “Got it. You stay away.” “What the hell?” Alexander said. He seemed even angrier than before, “What did you do now, slayer?” “Laran,” James said, “take Jordan inside.” Laran, whenever he came, took my arm and pulled not-so-gently. “Stop this now, James.” I pulled out of Laran’s grip, “If you want me not to see Eric again, fine. But don’t think that means you rule over me.” “Would you care to explain what happened that night?” the one whom I assumed to be the leader of the Hunters asked. “She just told you.” James said annoyed. “What happened afterwards?” “I think I’ll go inside.” I said. I didn’t want to hear it all again. Laran followed me inside. He was behaving just like Dahlia. “So you and that Hunter.” He said as I found a chair that wasn’t covered in some white cloth. “It was just one night.” He lit up, “Like a one night stand?” “If you’re asking me if I’m going to have sex with him again, it isn’t any of your business and no.” “I can't have been that bad.” Eric said.

He stood in front of me, still kind of mad looking. That pull thing was becoming a bit of tiresome. “No. It isn’t that.” I said slowly. “Then why did you leave me?” “Because she doesn’t want you anymore, idiot.” Laran said. “Oh, and I suppose she wants you? A witch?” “I am a warlock, Buffy.” “You’re a–” “Enough.” I said standing up, “What is wrong with the two of you?” Not waiting for an answer I left. I managed to find solace in an empty office room. It was all posh and business looking and probably belonged to one of the Representatives. Not like I cared. I wanted to go home but because of this ridiculous party, I couldn’t leave. I felt as though I owed this town something. Maybe it was because of the way werewolves protected Jason and maybe because James was so in love with someone whom he could never really be with. If there was a way James could be with Tracy, he will find it and I would help him. The door opened and Bevan came in. He jumped when he saw me then smiled, “Hiding?” “Something like that.” He put some papers on the table and leaned against it to look at me, “Right. I would too. James is glaring at that Hunter and now he has a partner too.” I growled, “Laran.” Bevan nodded, “I know Laran. He wants you and he doesn’t do too well with not getting what he wants.” “Fantastic. Yet another problem.” and another reason to leave. I couldn’t tell Bevan that. He was on the council and they would have a problem with that. He gave me a sympathetic smile, “Well, you hide all you want to. But you have to come down soon.” He left and I waited. When the sun was fully set, I ventured outside. If James, the even tempered one, acted like that, imagine what Jason would do to poor Eric.

But Jason and Dahlia were missing. The party had just started. And it was nothing like a party. The Hunters, seven of them with Eric, were sitting at one table. Everyone else pretended otherwise and danced, laughed and told stories, ignoring them. Eric stood up when I came in. he was seated next to the Head Hunter and the old guy pulled him down and told him something that looked fierce. Laran came out of nowhere to stand next to me, “Where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere for you.” I turned to look at him, “Laran. I don’t know who you think you are, but you are not my brother. You do not have a say at all in my life.” Laran gave me a mischievous smile, “Who said anything about being your brother.” He leaned down and kissed me. This was the possibly the very first time in my emotionless life that I was stunned. Too stunned to even move. But I didn’t have to worry about that. Eric came charging at us and tackled Laran to the ground. They crashed into one the buffet tables and everyone started screaming. I watched them wrestle for a moment, wondering what the hell was truly going on. Alexander and Stefan came and pulled them apart. Eric had a busted lip and Laran had what looked to be the beginning of an excellent shiner. “This has got to stop.” Alexander said. “We… apologise. Eric has never been like this before.” The Head Hunter said. He held Eric tightly on the arm to hold him back. “Women tend to do that to you.” Alexander said, looking at me. “Then let’s settle this.” Stefan said. James took my hand, he looked as though he was about to faint. “Who do you choose, Jordan?” Stefan asked. “Pardon me?” “Who do you want?” Eric pressed, “Me or the witch?” It dawned on me then. “You want me to choose… a boyfriend?” James’ grip got tighter. “Yes!” they all said. “But I don’t want a boyfriend.” I nudged James, “You explain.” James stepped forward, “Jordan doesn’t have boyfriends. So… you both loose.” I could definitely hear the smirk in his voice.

“Bryan,” Stefan said to the Head Hunter, “Get the boy a drink. Lizbeth?” Lizbeth smiled, “I got it.” She took Laran by the arm and led him away. Not a second later, Dahlia burst through the doors, “Demons are going to attack!” She looked hysterical and so close to tears. “Lizbeth?” They did it so quickly. Stefan and one of his cronies closed in Dahlia and gently took her out into the hall. “Is there a problem? Bryan asked me. “Demons are going to attack.” I repeated and followed Alexander, Lizbeth and Laran. Dahlia sat on the green decorated bench and held Jason’s hand. “Tell us what you See, Dahlia.” Stefan said slowly. “It comes and it goes. They attack and we die.” She looked at Stefan who was kneeling in front of her, “We die, Stefan. We don’t stand a chance against them.” “Details, Dahlia.” Alexander said. She gave him a cold look, “Sorry if I don’t want to see the details in my friends’ deaths, Alex.” He growled but didn’t say anything. “She said that there were over twenty of them.” Jason said and he looked over at me and James, “She said that James and I are the first to fall and that Jordan was nowhere in the picture.” “I will always be there to fight demons.” I said. Dahlia stood up and stood in front of me, “That’s just it Jordan. With you, I don’t See. But I can See all of this. That means… you’re not going to be there. Somehow, you just let us all die.”