Chapter 1: The Vampire vs the Vampire Hunter
Johnathan woke slowly. His vision blurred and his head throbbed. What had been that syringe he'd been stabbed with? He didn't think he could hurt this much without being forced into sunlight. His body still ached as he regained the ability to move. Placing his hands on the ground as he pushed himself into a sitting position. The ground felt strange under his hands. Odd, it felt like he was laying on metal. A sewer grate perhaps? Perhaps he had been thrown into the metal pillars. Wait those weren't pillars. They were bars!
With a surge of adrenaline Johnathan threw himself up and backwards. His back slammed into the side of the cage. His vision was starting to clear proving he was in a cage. No matter, he would just dissolve into the shadows. Johnathan looked around and saw shadows in the corner of the room. He jumped but instead of dissolving his face slammed into the bars. He heard a sickening crack as his nose broke. He clutched his now bleeding nose.
"That's not going to work leech." A very familiar voice called from the shadow. "That new piece of jewelry will see to those pesky powers of yours," Geoffrey said as he stepped forward. He was no longer hidden in the shadows. At Geoffrey's words Johnathan finally noticed the metal collar around his neck. He grabbed at it with his fingers and could feel symbols engraved into it. "What is this Geoffrey!?," He said in a weak raspy voice. "It's insurance. That way you will stay right where I want you. Its a relic from the old days." Geoffrey walked up to the edge of the cage and looked down at the doctor. He was glad to know the collar worked. He hadn't honestly been sure.
Johnathan looked up in disbelief at his capture. He had hoped when he spared Geoffrey in the hospital all those weeks ago it might make the man see reason. Perhaps treat Johnathan as more than a rabid animal. It would seem however, he was horribly mistaken. Johnathan forced himself up on shaky legs. Now he was staring directly into the hunter's eyes. "So even after everything; including sparing you,ending the plague, and saving the city. You still paint me as a villain?" Johnathan's voice dripped with venom.
Geoffrey looked the leech in the eyes. Yes, it was true a part of him wanted to trust Johnathan, but he would be damned before he admitted it. He wasn't about to take that risk. "You are what you are. Just because you are holding some reflection of humanity, doesn't mean you have it in you to be more than a filthy leech. So you spared a few people. So what? With enough time you will be taking more lives than you saved." Johnathan spat out, "Why the cage then hunter? If your so convinced, why not just kill me when you had the chance?" The words felt like rancid meat in his mouth.
Geoffrey looked Johnathan dead straight in the eyes. "You are the strongest ekon the guard has seen in hundreds of years. You've got a lot of tricks in your sleeve doctor," Geoffrey sneered. "The guard could make more use of you alive. For now anyway." The vampire hunter turned and left through a door on the far wall. It left Johnathan time to wonder exactly what he would endure at Priwins hands. It also left him wondering for how long before they would finally kill him.
Johnathan figured from how tired he was that the sun would be rising soon. He sat in the cage thinking and turning over all the possible outcomes in his head. He was also trying to figure out how to get of this when he heard the door open. A short man wearing glasses and a cheerful, yet unnerving, smile. Two large guards followed him into the room. "Well, well. Look at him! He is quite an impressive specimen, isn't he," the small man said as he walked to the cage. Johnathan didn't like the feeling the man was giving off. It reminded him of the men during war that had taken to much pleasure in extracting information. "I simply can not wait to start the experiments. There is so much to be learned and I have a feeling this one won't die as quickly or easily as the rest!" The man sounded absolutely delighted, like a small child opening a greatly desired gift on Christmas.
The vampire doctor resisted the urge to shudder. Now was not the time to show weakness. Especially in not front of an enemy. Still, he could feel his stomach turn over. Most didn't know this, but this would not be the first time he would endure capture and torture. When his mother and Mary had thought him dead it had almost been true. He had spent six weeks in an enemy military camp. Thanks to one of the other doctors, with less brass than the rest, it became known that Johnathan was a well born doctor. Not only that but that one of the generals favored physician. They had been convinced he had seen or heard something of important attending a man of such high rank. They tried to break him.
Johnathan watched the men in front of him closely. He got ready to defend the best he could. That's when he felt something stab in the back of the neck. He reached back and snatched the dart out but he could already feel himself losing consciousness. He hit the floor hard though he didn't feel it as he passed out before his knees hit the floor.
When he woke again he was strapped to a table, not unlike Marry Shelly's creation in that book. Tubes were already in his arms, shirtless, a fucking muzzle on his mouth, and that damned man with the glasses whistling to himself as he lined up the equipment. God, how had he been so stupid. Of course there was more in the room than just those three. "Oh your awake! How wonderful! Now I can study your reactions and the effects." The small man came closer with a scalpel. It glinted wickedly in the light cast over Johnathan's body. "I was just about to make the first incision. I've always wanted to see how the ekon's body functions with a healthy subject. The boys usually bring them to me all broken up inside."
The scientist, if that was what you wanted to call this man, and Geoffrey where right in some aspects. Johnathan wasn't human anymore which could be bad at times. Like now of course. His new body could take far more pain without losing consciousness. His body's healing ability meant he could endure far more before it would give out. He had wished for death many times since the start of the war and his transformation. Mostly it was over the lives he took. Jonathan watched the doctor lay over his open chest during his living autopsy. He wondered if somewhere in it all he had died and went to hell.
It had been two excruciating days since Johnathan capture. He had not seen Geoffrey since that first day. From the little bits he had overheard from the guards there where some powerful ekons showing up. This had the guards busy gathering intel as to what had drawn them here when so many had fled the city.
Chapter 2: Those Eyes
Geoffrey has to deal with the fact that watching Jonathan suffer is harder than he'd thought it would be.
Ok the updates are not going to keep coming at this speed, these chapters are some I already had written and edited. that being said I am going to try to do a chapter every week possibly every two weeks if things get busy. but don't get used to them every day or I'll end up disappointing you. also think you to everyone who took the time to read it and to those who left kudos <3.
He had not had much time to think on it. The short man, who he now knew in fact was a doctor, specialized in biology and the evolution of organisms. He had run several "tests" on him. Among them where the autopsy, a biopsy of his liver, a study on the affects of certain herbs via injection, and various test of has regenerative abilities. That first day he had laid Johnathan's chest open he had forgone stitches in favor of " Seeing how long it would take the Ekon's body to heal on its own."
It had taken four hours because Johnathan hadn't fed in days and received no nourishment to aid the process. The second day the doctor had decided to test how long it would take when Jonathan had blood. It wasn't enough to give him much power, just enough to make the healing process visibly faster. Johnathan let out a groan as he rolled over on the floor of the cage staring at the ceiling. He waited for the sun to rise so he could get a couple hours reprieve before the next round of tests began.
Geoffrey arrived at the headquarters a little after two pm. He was exhausted and irritated. They had found out very little the last couple of nights and he was on edge. As he walked through what had been a grand garden of the estate, at the edge of the city, it was now utilized as a training grounds. He was deep in thought about what the guard's next move should be when he heard a deep throated cry of agony rip through the air. It was coming from the direction of the old stables turned med bay and lab. That area had most recently been used to house the caged leech.
His first instinct was that somehow it had broken free and was massacring his men. Geoffrey broke out into a dead run in that direction. Drawing his sword, he threw the doors open and took the stars two at a time following the sounds of profound pain. When he broke through the door at the top floor where the sounds where coming from it processed quickly that he was mistaken. It had been Reid making those sounds. Dr. Cornwal had Reid strapped to a table with the left side of his body exposed to the blazing evening sunlight. It streamed through a window that had been partly covered in order to only have the leech's left side burning. "What the hell are you doing Cornwal? If I wanted it dead, I'd have taken it's head that first night." Geoffrey didn't like to admit it but seeing the good doctor like that made him feel...he didn't finish the thought as Cornwal turned to talk to him. "Oh I assure you he will not die. He is remarkably resilient!" Cornwal said this breathlessly like someone on the edge of rapture as he motioned for the curtain to be dropped.
"He is the finest specimen I have ever studied," He said as he moved to examine the very charred left arm. Little more than seared bone where the once elegant hand had been...elegant hand? Geoffrey refused to examine that thought. "So tell me Dr. Cornwal, what is it you are trying to learn from roasting him? We already know the leeches are hurt and killed with fire and sun." Geoffrey was more than a little put off by the man's demeanor but he always helped the guard develop new and more efficient ways to fight the creatures of the night. It kept the battlefield a bit more even in this war. If this served a legitimate purpose he would allow it. If not he would order him to stop and move to other tests. "Yes we know these things but we have also established that while they are affected by the sun and fire there are varying degrees. I have done this test on a skal, a sewer beast, and a weaker Ekon but Reid here is far more resilient to the effects. Why I believe if he where not restrained he would still be capable of combat!"
At the doctor's words, Geoffrey recalled his fight within the hospital. Reid had bore the damage of those lights and still overpowered Geoffrey in the end. With that also came the memory of Reid standing over him. The hunter was completely at his mercy. Those ice colored eyes had been just as cold as a winter's night at first. However, they had softened around the edges as he'd spared Geoffrey's life and mortality. Reed's manner had shifted from one of a killer to that of an annoyed noble man.
Those sliver blue eyes now looked at him with blurred desperation and suffering of a tortured animal. It made Geoffrey's stomach turn. "Yes well I would say you have gathered enough information on this matter. Take the rest of the day off and give the leech a rest." The doctor looked at Geoffrey as if he'd grown another head. "Give it a rest? Don't tell me you are going sof-" Geoffrey cut the man off with a burning gaze his voice taking on a dangerous tone as he spoke. "You would do well to not finish that sentence Cornwall. I unlike you have been in battle for three nights and would like to get some bloody sleep without the sound of a leech screaming all day. Now I'm ordering you, PUT IT BACK IN IT'S CAGE AND TAKE THE DAY OFF! His tone left no room for disobedience. The two guards started wheeling Reid away to his cage. Geoffrey departed to get some sleep but his mind was far to full to be restful.
Chapter 3: Same story new pain
Johnathan remembers past trauma and endures new torments, Geoffrey struggles with what he's known to be "right" his whole life and the feelings he can not shake.
okay lovely's I'm going to try to post new chapters every Friday. this one is going to center mostly on Johnathan and some of his past.
Jonathan heard Geoffrey's voice as if it where coming from far away. The pain radiating through the left side of his body was enough to cause his vision to blur and his hearing to go dim. He felt rough hands as he was unstrapped and taken back to his mercifully dark safe cage. If he had had the strength he'd have walked right in on his own but he was far to weak. The guards tossed him in and pulled his injured hand to his chest. Huddled in the corner, he did not have the presence of mind to wonder when he started to think of the cage as a safe place.
Geoffrey had a very poor night's sleep. Waking at 6 p.m. gave him about four shitty hours. He got dressed and tried without much success to drive the memory of Reid's horribly burnt hand from his mind. It was for the greater good that the leach was suffering. They needed to know when they went into battle that they were ready for anything. That they could take down the most powerful and that is what Reid was. Geoffrey had never seen his equal. So he told himself that it was just and right that they did this. Reid's not even human. Just a blood sucking parasite. At that, contradicting thoughts about those beautiful piercing silver gray eyes overflowing with all too human emotions filled his mind: pain, sorrow, rage, mercy, compassion, pleading...Geoffrey shook himself hard when he heard a knock at the door.
"Who is it," He shouted as he threw on his jacket. "Maculum sir, we have a lead in WhiteChapel." Geoffrey would deal with his crisis of morality and other thoughts where the good doctor where concerned later. Right now he had a job to do and with that he and twenty of his men rushed back towards the city.
Jonathan had considered not drinking the cup of blood left for him but he couldn't resist. He needed to ease the pain and as the exposed skeletal fingers turned to new flesh he was glad of it. His mind was still fuzzy but he had so many injections he wasn't surprised. Reid had heard Geoffrey and his men leave. Would the sadistic doctor respect the man's order not to touch Jonathan that night without him here?
He had been left alone for the night but bright and early the next evening they had came for him. Jonathan had whined and clung to the bars of his cage but it was no use in his weakened condition. They had dragged him to the lab and stripped him down. All he could think was " I want to go back to my cage. I'm safe when I'm in there. They don't hurt me while I'm there." The nearby doctor washed his hands and started setting out the tools he had chosen. Johnathan started having flashbacks to the war.
"I've told you. I don't know where the general was planning to take the regiments or anything else of importance. I'm just a military doctor! I take care of the woun-" His words where cut off by another hard punch to his ribs. They had stripped his shirt and tied his hands above his head. "I will not listen to your lies any more today." The man he assumed was in charge here spat. As he headed to the door he addressed the man that had been torturing them. "I want you to make sure he doesn't die but see if you can't loosen his tongue. I want some answers tomorrow." Johnathan had watched the man spread out his tool putting the ends of some in the fire and did his best not to show fear. It had been four days since their capture and three days since his colleague had told them he was General Devenports personal physician and suspected consort. Apparently, the men had suspected that they where closer than colleagues and friends.. The worst part was they was right. Johnathan Reid and Mathew Devenport had been secret lovers for over a month. Reid would admit to himself that he had thought Mathew would come for them, for him, by now. The red hot iron touched his back. A scream caught in his throat.
Jonathan didn't know how long it had been since McCullum left. He lost count after the third day. A part of him had hoped he'd come in and make the docter stop again but he hadn't. Of late the doctor had been alternating his injection tests and his study on what an Ekon could regenerate. Yesterday he had removed one of Jonathan's kidneys to see if he could regrow it. The only consolation for the agonizing pain in his side was that the doctor wanted to wait two days to see the progress unhindered by further experimentation. So for two blessed days he sat in his cage alone with only a cup of blood once a day set out for him to look forward to. He stayed in his favorite corner, the back right. It was the one that is the darkest and also furthest away from the door. He was thankful just to lay there. The only thought to invade his mind was when would Geoffrey be back?
Chapter 4: Breaking through
Geoffrey returns to find the doctor has made a big break through with his research and Geoffrey's past starts breaking through to the present .
Okay ladies and gents I wanted to thank those who left the comments on chapter three. They gave me a much needed lifting of spirit. So thank you SDSlanderson, Dark_Lord, Lotus Child, and deityofgarbage. To answer some of your questions I do intend to let there be both soft and steamy moments between the boys but its going to be a wild and a bit painful ride to get there so hold on tight. Also just to let you all know that you are not suffering in vain. I fully intend to finish this story and it is lengthy so we will be sharing in this experience for a while to come.
*Edit: it was just, rather rudely, brought to my attention that I missed a piece of lore when I played the game so I would like to explain. I played the game once before Christmas and fell in love with it but I did miss a few pieces of dialogue as I have roommates and they are not always quite. I have been wanting to do another playthrough but life gets in the way so I haven't had the chance. That being said I have already poured my heart and soul into the next several chapters. I have decided to add the tag Canon divergent as I will be taking liberties with the boys pasts and altering them a bit for this work. I will, however, go back and fix the names of the pre-existing characters. Thank you all. I hope to see you in the next chapter.
Geoffrey came back to the compound a week and a half from the day he left. He now had 14 of the 20 men who went with him. They managed to seize some documents that a fancy leech had in his den. He would start reading them tonight. It was time to check on the resident leach and Cornwal's progress. When he got to the lab Reid was not there but Cornwal was. Geoffrey walked over to him while the man was mixing herbs in mass quantities. he had another man putting the solution in dart rounds and pocket syringes."What's that," He asked the doctor. the man turned his eyes, shining with excitement. " Oh my good man we have made a marvelous breakthrough! for you see this," He picked up a dart round, "will certainly help tip the scales for you and your men."
"For you see this chemical compound slows their regeneration by half even when feed!" McCullum looked at the rounds impressed despite himself. That would certainly help his men a great deal. Perhaps even save some of their lives if the leeches could be taken down more quickly. "How did you come to know this would work? Have we tested it?" The little man positively beamed, " Ah yes of course! You see about eight days ago I took out one of the specimen's kidneys to see if he would grow it back and how long it would take. Well four days later it was fully back. Can you imagine? Now I'm not sure if this would happen with all body parts, that's for another time."
Geoffrey's breath slowed and it took a moment to fully comprehend what he had heard. "Let me get this straight, you took out one of Reid's kidneys?" The doctor didn't miss a beat. "Yes that's what I just said. Please try to keep up now. I decided to do the procedure again using an herbal mix I have been developing. That was four days ago today and I checked to see if there had been progress and while the specimen is healing he has not gained full regeneration. As a matter of fact I caused some superficial cuts, the kind that an ekon heals almost instantly, this morning and they just closed an hour ago!"
Geoffrey was of two minds, as he had been since he'd caught the damn leech and caged it. On one hand this was an amazing discovery that would help his men continue the fight to protect humanity. It would save countless innocent lives and the lives of his soldiers. While on the other hand, was the turning in his stomach at the thought of what was being done to Reid. He shouldn't care but he did. Damned leech with his stupid eyes of ice that haunted Geoffrey. He saw them as they had been when mourning his sister and then how they had filled with such human sorrow as they had looked at cast off youth of the city. Geoffrey had followed him one night to see if he would feed and be caught off guard what he had seen was that Reid had more compassion than most men.
And he would never forget the way they had been in the hospital that one night. Staring him down at him with the look of an all powerful predator one moment and than a soft slightly annoyed gentleman the next. Geoffrey shivered at the memory. He had told himself time and again, "He will change. He will kill Innocents. He will be a danger to everyone. Remember your brother?" At that McCullum thought of his ill fated family.
~Geoffrey and his older brother Timothy had been thick as thieves. Geoffrey had followed him everywhere and idolized him. Timothy , being three years older, set the example. They both doted on their little sister Joanna who was four years younger than Geoffrey. They were a poor family but did there best to make ends meet. There father was a laborer who traveled from county to county following work. He was rarely home and sent money back to his wife and three children. However, he always came home in the winter. It was always a joyous time in their house. While there father was away the children, their mother, and their Great Uncle Martin (who lived above the barn) worked the small farm they owned on the edge of Kilkenny county. They would do their best to store up supplies for the winter and put away money for the collectors. It was hard sometimes but it was beautiful in its simplicity..until things changed.
It was the fall that Timothy turned 15. There had been several children going missing. The authority's were at a loss as to what was happening. Their mother did her best to keep her children close. Little Joanna at the tender age of 8 rarely left there mother's side anyway but Timothy and the now 12 year old Geoffrey would usually ride into town several times a week to deliver eggs, home made jams, and other things there mother sold for extra income to Miss Mary at the general store and they would pick up supplies as well but that had stopped two weeks ago when one of the neighbor's boys went missing. They all stayed close together now no exceptions. Except boys will be boys and Timothy reasoned that he was almost a man now anyway so late one night after everyone was asleep the two snuck out to go night fishing at the pond in the woods. It just a half a mile from the house.
"Timothy, do you think maybe we should do something nice for ma? Like maybe get her a new apron. Hers is full of holes again" McCullum wanted to make some of the worry that haunted his mother's face left for a while. "We could do some odd jobs in town like help at the shop or maybe do some work in the fields for Charley's dad. Just need a little coin and it wouldn't take more than a week I think." Timothy turned to his little brother. A gentle smile in place, "Your a very kind and thoughtful boy Geoffrey. Far more than most. I recon' you'll end up being a groom or somethin like that where you can take care of animals. Hell, if we had any money for school I'd say you should be a doctor or the like. Always worried about people and trying to help hurt things. But yes, I think that's an capital idea." He turned to pull in a fish he'd hooked.
Geoffrey smiled and tuned back towards the pond. That's when he saw it. A man standing on the other bank but something seemed wrong about him. Timothy noticed too. He stood up and Geoffrey followed suit. "What do you think he wants Timothy?" His older brother tried to act casual but he was tense. No one should be out here. "I don't know Geoffrey. Let me do the talking and if I tell you to run you get. Go to the house and get Uncle Martin. You don't stop or slow and I mean it." His brother looked in the man's direction. He'd been staring at them but hadn't said anything yet. Timothy spoke, "Excuse me sir, but this is private property. Are ye lost?"
Then the man let out a growl that made all the hairs on McCullums body stand on end. He leaned forward, the light of their small lamp caught his eyes. They where blood red, "Oh merciful Jesus GEOFFREY RUN!" Geoffrey and his brother turned and was running flat out for the house. He could hear a sound like something shifting in the wind. He looked back and saw the man who was not a man turn into a shadowy smoke catching up to them. "DON'T LOOK BACK! JUST RUN," His brother screamed as he drew his pocket knife and turned to face the thing. Geoffrey ran faster. His brother needed their uncle's help. Martin had a gun.
Geoffrey yelled for his great uncle. He was a well kept man who was on his feet with his gun in less then two minutes. Their mother had woken but Geoffrey and his uncle ran past her. They needed to get back to Timothy. They had been less than a hundred yards from the house and it had taken only a few minutes but there was not a single trace of his brother or the man. They looked for hours and found nothing. His mother had clung to him crying. Insisting that he not leave her sight again so Martian had gone into town to get help to look for his brother.~
McCullum's flashback was interrupted by the doctor. "Mister McCullum, are you still listening to me?" Geoffrey pushed back those thoughts for now. "Yes, I'm listening. You've done a good job. Take the next few days and concentrate on making this stuff for the boys. Let the leech recover fully." he walked out not looking back. He missed the suspicions in the doctor's eyes.
Chapter 5: What is Glass but Tortured Sand?
This chapter is giving a look back on what made Geoffrey the hunter he is. It is mostly centered around his memories and does contain quite a bit of trauma and angst.
I wrote this chapter to describe the events that I felt shaped Geoffrey into the hunter we know him as. I did not catch the fact that his past was somewhat already online. Therefore I wrote this chapter completely of my own violation. It is my imagining of what his past would be. It is not canon. If it will make you feel better think of it as an alternative path that it could of have taken.
I have done my best to go back and correct some mistakes made. I will edit the earlier chapters but will not be changing the story entirely. It took a lot of time and care to write it and I think it is well done. I have added the appropriate tags to let people know it strays from canon. It's got dark parts so if your still here I'm going to assume you realize this. If you want to finish reading it anyways to those of you who have been supportive, Thank you.
Just one more thing I do intend for romance and some fluff eventually but its going to be a journey. You can't take two broken people as broken as them to have a happy lifestyle and expect them to have a healthy life right away. They are going to have to do some healing and recovering, It will take time to overcome the obstacles and trials.
He walked to Reid's cage finding him huddled in a corner. "Reid are you awake?" Jonathan rolled over looking up at Geoffrey. Pain and something else showed in his eyes. They were not as sharp as usual but he was probably drugged.
Jonathan woke slowly. He was still feeling the effects of the drugs the doctor had given him and the pain of his organs slowly growing back. He heard Geoffrey's voice so he turned his head to look for the other man. "Geoffrey, how good of you to stop by. I don't suppose it's to tell me you've finally decided to free me?" He asked somewhere between an attempt at a jab and pleading. He couldn't really hide the pain, exhaustion, and fear in his eyes.
Geoffrey felt something inside of him twitch and roll over at the look in Reid's eyes. For a moment he wanted nothing more than to open the door to the cage and let him go but he stood firm and simply replied, "In your dreams leech. I don't make a habit of releasing rabid beasts into the city." Geoffrey looked away. The truth of it was that he found it harder to convince himself that what he was saying was true while looking at the good doctor." Have they fed ye today?"
Jonathan hoped that Geoffrey cared more than he let on. He saw a flicker of it in his stormy blue eyes before the mask appeared again but he just bantered in reply, "Why? Are you worried I might die before my usefulness has run out?"
Geoffrey paced in front of the cage "I always said you where smarter than the average leech but you were a doctor I suppose... Speaking of which you won't be seeing our Dr. Cornwall for a few days. I've ordered him to let you heal...for the same reason of course. If anyone is going to kill you it will be me." He turned to leave.
"Geoffrey!" Jonathan cried out and Geoffrey turned at the sound of his first name and was hit with soft silver grey blue eyes. How could eyes hold so many colors? They were full of tender feeling. He wasn't sure what unnerved him more, the tender look or the way it made him feel. "Thank you," A breathy whisper barely reaching his ears making Geoffrey flee. He walked hard and fast trying in vain to get away from these feelings in his chest.
Jonathan couldn't explain what he was feeling. By all rights he should hate Geoffrey for what he'd done but he just couldn't. On top of that, as unlikely as it seemed, Geoffrey was currently his only ally. His only protector... Jonathan was starting to wonder if there was still hope of the man changing his mind about him.
Maybe just maybe he could forge a connection and be free of this. Maybe one day Geoffrey would look at him with...with what? Trust? Fondness?.. Yes Jonathan was having a hard time sorting out his thoughts and emotions. Especially lately where one steely eyed Celtic hunter was concerned.
Geoffrey firmly closed the door to his room locking it for good measure. He didn't want to socialize tonight. He just wanted to be alone and for his thoughts to sort themselves. He walked over to his desk and pulled out a bottle of fifteen year old Tullamore D.E.W from his drawer and didn't bother with a glass.
Forty-five minutes later he felt himself start to drift. Memories of the past drifting in and out. He didn't want to remember these things but perhaps he needed to.
His mother with tears in her eyes had asked what they where thinking. He didn't have a good answer. It had seemed innocent enough. It was something they had done often but now his brother was missing and he felt responsible. He should have done something to help. Hs uncle and a group of men had gone looking for his brother.
Most didn't believe him about the unnaturalness of the man. It was just a child's fears they said except some of the elders who crossed themselves and said Ian had been taken by a demon. His mother wanted to believe it was just a man and that his great uncle and the men would find him unharmed but days turned into weeks. The only thing she did more than cry was pray.
It had been a month since Ian went missing. Their father had come home as fast as he could travel. It had still taken him a week to get to them. He had joined the hunt and tried to console their mother and more than that he believed Geoffrey. He took Geoffrey and Martin into the barn after making sure the girls where asleep and told them a story from his travels.
"Son, I believe ye saw what ye say. A few years back when I was working on the northern coast for the rail road there was a bunch of strange murders and missing people. Well one night near our camp we heard the sounds of battle. It was like a war had erupted in the woods. Most of the boys ran for the town near by to get the guards but a few of us grabbed our pistols and went to see what was happening.
There were about fifteen men in military dress. A few were carrying crosses on poles like priest of the church and the were fighting..something that was a man but not just like ye said. I'll never forget the red of its eyes. Well the man who I assumed was the leader spotted us and walked over. He told us we should leave. That they had things under control and that this was no place for civilians. Now the rest of the boys left in a hurry but i wasn't satisfied with that.
So I asked him, "Who are ye then if not civilians?" He regarded me for a moment as if considering something then answered."We are the Guard of Prewin and we are the ones who fight the darkness so people like you can sleep in peace at night." Then the thing gave out a horrible shriek as they finished it off. "You should leave son. Go home to your family and forget this."
"And Lord knows I've tried. I wish I had learned more maybe we'd still have Ian." His father had said he was going to try to find those people. That maybe they could help. He began chasing anything related to them. As it was Ian showed up on their doorstep four nights later. Only he was sickly and his eyes where not right.
He had told them the thing had bitten him and that he was like it now. He had cried and said he had killed a man when he'd woke up different but that he didn't mean to. Their mother had held him and cried and said they would help him. Geoffrey's father was shaken. He wanted to save his son and he redoubled his efforts to find the Guard of Prewin. He said if there was a way to save Ian that they would know it.
In the end it was decided that they would lock Ian in the shed until they could get him help. They didn't want him accidently hurting anyone he had agreed with them. This went on for three weeks. He couldn't stomach the human food their mother had given him and by the second week he pleading for relief from the thirst.
He had gotten so bad they had decided to try giving him animal blood but that had not worked either. His father had gotten word that a man in the next county had information and possible ties to the guard so he told his family not to go near Ian until he got back. He'd only be a day and he left.
Geoffrey didn't know what happened. He didn't know how his brother managed to get out of the shed. All he knew was that he went out to check the animal's before bed and he heard his mothers screams. From the house it went quiet just as he got to the front door. It was dark inside except the small fire place but what he saw was burnt in his mind in vivid detail. His mother's lifeless body lay on the ground. Blood dripping to the floor from her neck. She was staring but unseeing and Ian was standing there with Johanna in his arms. His teeth sunk into her neck.
Geoffrey picked up a stick off firewood and hit his brother in the side of the head. Ian was taken off guard and dropped Johanna. He turned towards Geoffrey and hissed at him. He started stalking forward towards. Geoffrey threw the wood at his head and dove around the table trying to reach a kitchen knife.
His brother swatted the hunk of wood away and threw him towards the fire place. "Ian please! Fight it." He pleaded with his brother but he did not hear him. He crouched to lunge forward at him. Geoffrey reached for the fire poker and raised it in self defence. His brothers momentome drove it through his heart.
Ian looked down at him as his eyes lost there light. His rasping breath stilled and he went limp. Geoffrey drug himself out from under his brother's body shaking from head to toe. He.. He killed his brother.. That's when he heard Johanna's labored breathing. She was still alive! "Johanna!" He ran to her she was struggling to breath and was losing blood through the wounds on her neck "Geof-Geoffrey Help!"
She began coughing up blood. He held her in his arms. "It-It's going to be alright Johanna. I'll -I'll get hel-" Her eyes rolled back and with one final gasp she was still. "Johanna? Johanna! He gently shook her "JOHANNA!...please.." he clutched her to his cheek and begain to cry.
He was still settling on the floor holding his sister's body when his father got home the next morning. He couldn't remember a lot of details from those first moments but he remembered his father's pained cry and sobbing. He remembered feeling empty as he and his father dug four graves. Ian had gotten there great uncle before going to the house.
He remembered that he couldn't stand the idea of going back in the house so his father made a mat in the back of the wagon. He told Geoffrey "Ye need to try and rest son. Tomorrow you'll go to the Johns. You can stay with them a while." and then he tucked the blanket over Goeffrey and walked back towards the graves.
It was pure exhaustion that caused Geoffrey to pass out and it was the deafening sound of a gun shot that woke him. He supposed any other boy his age would have ran to the neighbors upon finding their father had shot himself but he was no longer a normal boy. Something had broken in him so instead he got a shovel and started digging.
He was a fit boy but he was only twelve. He had just lost his entire family so digging a grave big enough for his father had taken all day. He thought he heard something else digging almost like in echo of his but he figured it was just his imagination.
When he climbed out of the hole and went to start dragging his father to the grave he looked over and saw that his sister's grave had a hole dug in it. He froze as he watched Johanna walking around smelling the air. Her eyes unfocused just like Ian. No. God no. He couldn't, not her. She turned in his direction and lunged. They fell to the ground and she pulled back her lips to show the fangs. Geoffrey waited for her to rip his throat out.
Instead a shot rang out and she fell backwards. Geoffrey looked in the direction of the shot and saw five men wearing uniforms like the militia. The man in front with greying hair and hard eyes was holding the gun. "Go get the boy and bring him here." He barked at one of the others who followed the order immediately pulled Geoffrey from the ground and dragging him to the first man.
This man looked him over then poured some smelling herbs on him. "He's still human alright? Where is Michel McCullum boy? He sent word to us that one of his sons was turned." Geoffrey pointed to the graves. In a near lifeless voice he told the tale of all that had happened. The man listened intently.
When he finished the man put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry boy you've been through something horrible. Most of us understand but most regular folks won't." He seemed to be thinking. "You got any family you could go to?" Geoffrey shook his head.
"You could come with us. Learn to hunt these things that took your family. It's a hard life I warn you but I think you've got the kind of soul for it. Make your decision." And that's how Geoffrey had come to join the Guard of Prewin at the tender age of twelve.
He swore that he'd save as many innocents as possible and if he couldn't save them he would save their families the pain of having to end them as he had his brother. The hunt was his whole life and all he knew. The pain of that night was a reminder that the beast nature always won in the end.
Geoffrey drank the rest of the bottle hoping he would pass out hard enough to not have nightmares of his family's dying faces all night.*
Chapter 6: Updating you all
I'm updating everyone on what's going on and reassuring that the fic will continue.
Dear readers, I have been confronted with some new obstacles in my life. This in no way means I am stopping the fic here. I still have no less than 3 chapters going through the editing process and I am still actively working on the fic when I am able. I will make updates as often as possible but the next month is going to be very touch and go for me. If the state of the fic is all that concerns you feel free to stop reading here with my best wishes and hopes to see you in the next chapter. I assure you that this fic is not dead in the water. However if you care to know the writer a little better feel free to keep reading my letter.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression for many years now. I'm not telling you this for pity but only so you may understand my situation. I hope finally talking about it will help me start to heal. I have been through many things in my life that have damaged or almost ended me.
I spent many years trying to cover up this damage only to realize it was making it worse. I avoided doctors about it because the thought scared me but I have reached the point where I no longer have a choice. My anxiety led me to a trip to he ER this time and had to ask for help. The doctors are going to be working with me over the next month or so to find medicine that works. They will also be running other tests to make sure there are no other medical reasons that are causing my panic attacks. I wrote this letter for myself and for anyone else in similar situations.
I have spent three days in bed wondering what's the point. I have had fits of panic attacks that have kept me awake for days. I am terrified of both the medicines and the doctors... but I'm still fighting.
I got up today and I wrote this letter. I'll get back up tomorrow and start those meds.. because I won't give up... not yet. I don't want you to give up either. So lets take this one day.. one hour... one minute at a time if we must.. but keep going. Don't give up.
Chapter 7: What is life but death pending?
Johnathan reflects on his past. Recalling the last time he trusted his heart to someone, and the pain that followed.
Okay my lovely readers I have a question. Would you all prefer longer chapters with a possible longer wait or are you all happy with the size of the chapters as is? Please comment your preference.
Johnathan had laid there for several hours after Geoffrey left. He was trying without success to sort his thoughts and emotions so now he was just letting them flow freely. He found them drifting back to the war, to Matthew, He remembered clearly the first time they met. He also remembered vividly their first kiss as well. They were under siege and had been pinned by the enemy for three days, Johnathan had been awake the whole time having many wounded to take care of.
Among them was the young general Mathew Davenport. He and Jonathan Reid had been fast friends ever since they had met three weeks prior. They had spent much time in each other's company both being from the same neighborhood and had much in common. Johnathan felt they would have been fast friends before the war if Matthew hadn't been sent away to live with his uncle when he was eleven. As it were he had not returned until Jonathan was already in medical school so they had just kept missing each other it seemed.
Well they knew each other now. On the first day of the attack Matthew had taken a bullet to the leg. Jonathan had removed it easily and had wanted him to rest it. However, the other man had insisted he get back to his duty so they made an exchange. Matthew had to come by every day. Johnathan would check on the wound and change his wrappings. They where now three days and Johnathan was just putting on the fresh bandages when Matthew tuned to him "You know Reid, you are exceptionally handsome as well as talented. It hardly seems fair." At first Johnathan took this as a good natured jab. He had expected a quip about how when they got home he'd be stealing all the ladies attention.
Instead the other man had put a hand on the side of his face. A smile gracing his own face as he continued. "Just take your lips for example exquisite." He ran his thumb over Johnathan's bottom lip. "I bet they test divine as well." Johnathan was stunned. He had always been just as fond of the male form as the female but he didn't exactly advertise this fact. Did Matthew know some how? Was he fishing? Was this some kind of poor tasted joke? Taking his silence for interest Matthew leaned in and gave Reid a deep kiss.
There was no hesitation in running his tongue along Johnathan's bottom lip and into his mouth before pulling back with a glint in his eyes. "Yes indeed, I'd say they are even sweeter than they look" and with that he'd hopped down and left leaving the other man confused and blushing. The next time he came to see Johnathan it had been with a bottle of wine after they took the hill and could finally relax a little. "Are you mad at me sugar? I admit I took some liberties but you are hard to resist and," He moved forward and set the bottle down. He stepped up to stand right in front of Johnathan, his voice dropping "You didn't seem to dislike it to much if I may be so bold."
Johnathan was very tired but his heart was pounding. Matthew was a handsome man and he was standing right here waiting for his answer and Jonathan knew that depending on what he said there could be something pleasurable on the horizon. Maybe it was the fatigue. Maybe it was the need for something nice in all this horror. Maybe it was just basic cravings of his body talking but Johnathan stepped forward and pressed the front of his body against the other man's reaching for the bottle of wine and bringing their lips close again. "How about you open this for us somewhere more private, Matthew?" That was how it all started.
Matthew lavished him with complements and sweet words. It was that kind of smooth charm that would have had the ladies scrambling for his attention. While Johnathan enjoyed it to an extent, he would have enjoyed simply more time with him. Matthew called him John in front of others implying they where close friends and called him sugar when no one was paying attention. Despite the fact that he did not care for that nick name.
This went on for almost a month. Matthew worked his way under Johnathan's skin. He had recently started to talk about the future. "When we get back to London I want us to go on a trip to the country. We could go to my family's land there and I'll show you my favorite places."
Johnathan had been trying to hold part of himself back but upon hearing Matthew talking about him being a part of his future, he couldn't help but hope. When Johnathan and the others had been taken by the enemy he had that hope too that Matthew would find him. That he had meant enough for Matthew to come after him. After the third day of torture he still had this hope. After the second week he had started to lose it but then the sounds of the British rushing the camp had brought it back full swing.
After the enemy had been subdued and all the men released he'd asked one of the solders where Matthew was. "General Davenport has joined the battle at Tannenberg. He left four days ago. We were called in to rescue you gents in his company's stead. Sorry it took a few days to get here, we where stationed nearly 40 miles away but we were the closest to you other than them and they had to pull out quick in order to make it in time" Johnathan went quite because of course a large battle with hundreds of lives at stake was more important then him but being left when there company could have been here two days sooner stung a little.
"Well that's understandable. We are stretched thin recently I'm sure they wouldn't have called for him if their need was not dear," Johnathan said as he climbed into a wagon. The solder replied in an almost awed tone. "Oh no sir. They didn't send for him. He volunteered! Never seen a man so eager to go to the front. There is glory to be had there for sure but I don't think I'd be in a hurry to seek it. Probably why I'm just a foot solder and not a great general."
The weeks past and it turned to almost a month before Jonathan saw Matthew again. He went to his tent the moment he heard they where in the same camp. "John, it- its so good to see you please sit." Johnathan could feel the tension in the room and he felt part of himself already cracking at the truth that was there but he didn't want to acknowledge. "I think I'll stand, I hear you are looking at quite a few metals when we get home Matthew-"
A deep and authoritive voice from the door of the tent interrupted, "Indeed he is. Couldn't be prouder of him" the older gentleman walked in past Johnathan to clap Matthew on the shoulder. "Of course we Davenport men have always brought honor and glory to our name."
"Ah yes, father this is my friend Johnathan Reid-" The older man interrupted again. "Ah the bright young doctor! I hear you are leading in your field. It's good to see my boy keeping such good company. You will have to come stay with us when we are back in London celebrating our victories. Oh son, you should invite him to the wedding. I'm sure Emma would love to meet the man who saved her fiance's leg."
Johnathan registered many things simultaneously at once. One, he had been left so Matthew could pursue glory for his family name because that was more important than his lover's life; two, that he had never meant as much to the other man as he meant to Johnathan; and three, that hope was hard to kill but when it died it was agonizingly painful. You could feel your heart brake physically just the same as much as any other body part. Every heartbeat made the pain increase and spread through your entire being.
Johnathan felt sick. He couldn't breath he needed to leave. "I'm so sorry please forgive me" and with that he turned and left the tent walking hard and fast with no real direction in mind. He just had to walk. He had to keep moving he had to. The worse part was Matthew never came after him. Not even to explain or apologize. Not even to laugh and mock him.
To Johnathan this said "You truly mean nothing." He nursed his broken heart alone through the rest of the war and when he saw London from the front of the ship he thought to himself how glad he was to be home. Everything will be fine now. I can't wait to see mother and Marry. I can confide in her."
His sister was the only person he trusted with his secrets. Marry had accepted him as he was with nothing but love and support. He needed her now. She would help him find his way back from the dark places this war had dragged him too. She'd probably smother him in one of her mother hen hugs. He would not complain he had missed them. "My dear sister, I have missed you so much. May we both find some peace now." He'd find work at one of the hospitals and they could take their mother for picnics like when they where young.
Things would finally start getting better, The war was over for him he was home. Johnathan fell asleep on the cage floor sobbing into the night his new abilities may fix a broken body but it could not fix his broken heart.
Chapter 8: Two minds are better than one.
Geoffrey decides that Johnathan can be helpful in another way. And together they find new information about the new threat.
I'm sorry its taken longer to get this chapter out but there has been a lot going on this month. I will try to be more consistent soon. Hope you all enjoy and rest assured there is much more to come.
It had been three days since Geoffrey had seen Johnathan. His memories had helped strengthen his resolve. However, he'd be lying if he said he wasn't worried that resolve would break down if he spent to much time in his company. That being said he couldn't avoid him forever and Geoffrey had a feeling he'd be testing that resolve very soon.
He had been pouring over the documents they had gathered in his office all day. With little sleep and little progress. He felt like he was missing something important. A key that would make some of this make more sense. He had devised that there was a small group of Ekon aristocracy nested here in the city. They had plans to grow their numbers or "rebuild the empire " but he couldn't find much more. He felt it was here though he just wasn't seeing it.
He needed help but most of the boys were street or war smart. There were not many that had book learning and most of these documents where written in that highborn university language. It had taken him years of training by his mentor to understand. His mind turned to the only other person he knew able to easily understand the lingo. They could also think on a high logical scale and may be able to see what he was missing. With that in mind he straightened the documents on his desk and made his way to the cage.
Jonathan's pain was starting to lessen and some of the drug effects were wearing off but he still felt off somehow. They had been sending in a young boy to give him his blood this past week. Probably trying to torment or toughen him up by making him deal with the monster in the cage. Johnathan recalled how he'd shook but stood his ground that first time and the shock on his face as he'd been polite with the boy. Over the next several days it had evolved into short conversations. They were not unpleasant and he hoped he'd found another sympathetic soul. The boy's name was Kal.
Johnathan was laying on his right side back to the door when he heard familiar footsteps in the corridor. They were not Kals, far to heavy and purposeful. When the door swung open he didn't have to turn to know who it was. "Hello Geoffrey, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company this evening?"
"I see you've got some of that Lordly sass back leach." Geoffrey came closer to the cage, "As it where I may have found another way for you to be useful to the guard. If you agree to help me with this task I'll see to it you are not bothered with the doctor a for awhile." Geoffrey stood by the cage door waiting for a response.
Jonathan under usual circumstances would have held to his pride and denied the offer. However, the temptation of sweet relief from experimentation for a few days was to great to pass up. "Very well hunter. What is it that you require of me?"
"We have been hunting a new section of ekons lately that we believe are trying to recruit and take over where the Ascalon Club has left off. Possibly be even worse for the city than those pretentious asses." Geoffrey opened the cage door and pulled out some chains " Got you some more jewelry. You'll be wearing these and the collar while your out of the cage. We can discuss the rest of the details in my office."
Jonathan cringed slightly. He did not want to leave the safety of the cage but how was he supposed explain these feelings to the hunter when he barley understood them? So he tried to think of another way to get what he wanted. "Won't it look bad to the men if you start letting me out all of a sudden?"
Geoffrey turn a very calculating stare at Jonathan. He could not tell whether the leech was being a smartass or showing general concern for what the men thought. Either one was not exactly comfortable for him. "Do you want to stay in this fucking cramped cage while we work? I don't want to and my men will not question me without my boot meeting their ass. Now get over here before I change my mind." He moved into the cage with confidence and started putting the restraints on the good docter.
Jonathan was really not as bothered by Geoffrey chaining him as he should have been. It felt different with him. As reluctant as he was Jonathan actually trusted the hunter to not cause him true harm. When the others had chained him it had brought back the worst memories from his time in the war camp. They had hurt Jonathan... in so many ways... The doctor had hurt him and while yes Geoffrey aloud it to happen...it just wasn't the same as him doing it himself at least not to Jonathan.
No, as strange as it was all he could feel when Geoffrey put the cuffs on him and walked through the compound at his side was safe...Geoffrey, the hunter, made him feel safe... How was he supposed to prosses that? They made their way back to McCullum's private chambers swifty.
As they entered the door, Jonathan began to survey the place. It had a decent size bed against the far wall and a small wash basin. Against the other wall there was a bookshelf and a large oak desk with a high back leather chair behind it. The wall's were lined with a collection of weapons. All were well taken care of and the whole room smelled of the hunter's leather, gun oil, tobacco, and a deep musky but clean scent.
It was like the first breath of winter through the pine forest. It was rich and heady sinking in and wrapping around the sense "Hey are you listening to me damn it!" Geoffrey's shout brought him out of the trance he was in. "I'm terribly sorry McCullum. Please repeat what you were saying. You have my undivided attention."
Geoffrey had been watching Johnathan wearily out of the corner of his eye the whole time. It was more out of trying to force himself to treat Reid like another Ekon instead of...instead of what? a human? a Friend? A beautifully made man with a sharp mind that he may think of in the wee hours of the morning in ways that betrayed everything he was?
He needed to get a grip. He needed something to distract him from the fact that Reid had just made a sound suspiciously like a purr as he'd taken a deep breath standing in the middle of Geoffrey's room. He forced himself to think of his family again and when he next spoke it came out much even sharper than he'd intended. "Stop acting like a god damn animal and pay attention. Lives are on the line!"
Johnathan shrank back a little at Geoffrey's tone. The rebuke brought a little color to his cheeks as he thought of his behavior, but he did not retreat. Instead he walked to the desk. "I'm terribly sorry Geoffrey. I will indever to conduct myself more professionally. Please tell me how I can help."
Geoffrey immediately regretted his harshness at the dejected look on Johnathan's face. When he replied with an apology instead of venom of his own it made the guilt worse. He pushed it down and moved forward. "I need your help looking over these documents. We have found a connection to the group I told you about." He set in the chair behind the desk and started separating the papers. "Please sit Johnathan. There is much to go through and time is of the essence."
Johnathan decided against pointing out that Geoffrey had used his first name. Instead he took up the opposite chair and got started. They worked into the late hours which was surprising and in Geoffrey's case unsettling. It was the ease in which they worked together. He would have been ready to murder most after so many hours spent in there company and working on something vexing but he...he enjoyed the other man's presence. He didn't need to be going soft right now they head a job to do. He had a job to do and he couldn't afford to become attached to a leech he'd most likely have to kill one day. That's what he kept telling himself.
"Geoffrey I think I've found something, look here." He pulled out a scrap of paper. "This suggests that the one pulling all the strings is connected to Lord Redgrave. It implies that he was the leader's sire."
Geoffrey listened intently and picked up the paper that Johnathan had called unusual. "What of it? Your kind does that quite a bit. Especially the highborns."
Johnathan looked to be considering something then took a breath. "Geoffrey it would be in everyone's best interest that what I'm about to tell you stay between us".
Geoffrey considered it. "Unless I think that knowing the information is necessary to my men's survival, it will stay between us" Johnathan looked slightly more at ease.
"Lord Redgrave cannot sire an ekon His blood is to weak. He can only makes skals..." Geoffrey let that start to sink in.
"So if this is to be believed then a skal is pulling the strings and probably holds quite the grudge. Though I'm not sure how they managed to live. Redgrave would have surly killed many to keep what he saw to be a shameful secret." Geoffrey set back. "I suppose I will have to pay the dock's saint a visit."
Johnathan went paler if possible and stood. "You can't hurt Sean, Geoffrey. He is a good man, All he ever does is help people. I've helped him get his condition under control. He's no threat!"
"JOHNATHAN! Calm down. I know that Sean is as good as his kind can be. He saved the lives of quite a few of our new recruits not long ago and we talked. I made it known I'm keeping an eye on him and if he steps out of line then I'll deal with him. I'm satisfided with that for now. So sit down before you have an aneurysm."
Johnathan tried to slow his breathing and believe what the other said. He wanted to desperately. "You.. you will forgive me but it's just hard to believe that given my current circumstance." He looked down at the cuffs and chains. Geoffrey explained the only way it would be believed.
"Let me put it this way Reid. Skals are more likely to desecrate the already dead. Not go looking to make more. Also he hasn't had to feed in quite some time so whatever you did must have helped that. He's resourceful and gives good information so as long as he's a good little ghoul he's worth,"
Johnathan finished it for him. "Worth more alive" His voice was strained and his eyes hunted. Geoffrey had to look away. He was afraid of this. He was going soft where the good doctor was concerned.
Chapter 9: Not Confessing to the Saints
Johnathan continued to go over the paperwork. He found references to a partnership of sorts. That would explain how a skal would be able to build an empire. It would have to be pulling the strings from behind the curtains and would need someone who could sire strong new Ekons.
He couldn't find any names until the false back on one of the books revealed something akin to a love letter and this one was addressed. "Who are you Miss Kilkenny?" Johnathan wondered aloud.
Geoffrey dropped the coffee mug he'd been filling. "What the hell did you just say?" He turned piercing eyes on Johnathan.
"I said who are you Miss Kilkenny? It's who this letter is addressed to." Johnathan held up his find to the hunter.
Geoffrey took it with shaking hands and read.
"My dearest Miss Kilkenny,
I heard you've arrived safely in the city and look forward to seeing you and so does the family. I have a great deal planned for our reunion and can not wait to see your beautiful face again. You should know the streets of London are not very hospitable right now but you are a smart women so I'm sure I don't have to tell you to not venture out alone. It will be much safer for you at my family's house so please be of good cheer. We will be together soon and I shall show you the wonders of the city. Just thinking of you finally coming to live with me fills me with such jubilance. To think it's already been so many years since we met. Soon we will be united. The contracts signed and finally we will share our lives here. I'm so happy that our relationship has flourished. Once we get you settled in and get the formalities over with we can start expanding the family. I know you have lost children in the past but things will be different here, You'll see. Considering the legacy for both our houses is important to both of us. My family would support you in everyway. I can not wait to call you misses instead of miss.
Yours most devotedly."
Once Geoffrey lowered the letter Johnathan started talking. "The letter is obviously coding for the two parties. Its talk of meeting and starting a new line of Ekons but the name seams important. Nothing else had a name on it. So why is this one and is it a person, a ship maybe, a place-"
Geoffrey cut him off "Its a place...a county in Ireland" he was visibly shaken as he spoke. There was no way this was a coincidence but could it really be? Was fate finally giving him the chance to avenge his family. He was getting ahead of himself he knew but there was a chance and he wanted it desperately.
Johnathan watched as a dozen emotions play across Geoffrey's face. This bit of information meant something very significant to him. " Geoffrey? are you alright," He asked in a soft voice not wanting to upset the hunter. Geoffrey looked back at him and just shook his head.
"Yes I just think I've chased this leech before is all. If I'm right it will be a pleasure to stake the bastard" Johnathan could tell there was more to it then that but he decided against pushing. Instead he went back to the papers in front of him. Geoffrey scratched his scalp and laid the letter down. "Listen Reid, I need to visit the saint. I'll be sure to tell the boys you are not to be removed from that cage until I get back and that ye are fed so ye can heal up."
He walked over and started getting ready to go out. Johnathan pondered about Geoffrey. He was sending mixed signs with how he treated Ekons but Johnathan suspected the hunter wasn't even sure about what he thought or felt at the moment. He'd just have to give it time and see. "Very well dear hunter. If I may take some of these documents with me I will continue my work."
At Geoffrey's nod he started gathering the papers. He felt he should be looking at a couple of more files so he tucked a couple under his arm. "Oh and Geoffrey perhaps...if it's not a bother I would be grateful of a proper bath."
Geoffrey had not been expecting that but he could understand. Whatever he may be now, Johnathan Reid was a well born and a doctor. Cleanliness would mean a great deal to him. He decided he'd arrange it but didn't want it to come across as too caring. "Sure Reid I'll even get them to change the hay in ye cage. I mean even animals get that curtesy."
And with that Geoffrey gave his men the orders concerning Reid and headed down to the East end docs. Arriving at the night shelter 20 minutes later, Geoffrey had the man who was watching Sean Hampton a cup off coffee only to find he already had that and a plate of ham and bread. The man smiled sheepishly. "The saint sends something every night. Can't see letting good food go to waste and all and that Miss Lodi is alright pretty seems rude to send her away."
Geoffrey couldn't help the small smile at the corner of his lips. "Indeed, how have things been of late?" The man reported that things had run pretty much the way you'd expect at a night shelter with the gathering of food and tending the sick. he also commented that Sean was getting worried because Johnathan hadn't been by with medicine in a while.
Geoffrey winced slightly at that. He imagens the Sad Saint would be very distressed about what was happening with Johnathan. Why did his chest ache so? Geoffrey shook himself hard and made up his mind. If it got brought up he'd just have to lie. He made his way towards the entrance. Most people gave him a wide birth intimidated by him but the Paxton sisters. They were something else. Lotti stopped him to say hello and ask how he had been of late. Her sister grumbling about the work conditions in the factories.
When he made his way inside Sean was dressing a sprained wrist on a young man. "I've told ye before David. It's not safe for you and the other boys to be playing around the run down docs and sewer ways. What if the board that broke out from under you had been over some of that broken rubbish that's always piled up or if ya had fell on ye head instead of this arm?"
The saint didn't say it in a scolding tone just the soft concern he always showed and the boy looked appropriately contrite, "I'm sorry Sean. I promise me and the boys all be more careful from now on." With that he finished and dismissed the young man.
"Hello mister McCullum. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company this evening?" He picked up the med kit and turned to face Geoffrey.
Geoffrey walked over "I need to talk with you. Preferably in private." He motioned towards Sean's office. The other man nodded and lead the way.
Once inside he shut the door and went to the little table in the room. "Would ye like some tea or coffee McCullum? Its a bit chilly out or so the tenants say." Of course he didn't feel the elements like the others. To be honest, it was even harder to remind himself that Sean Hampton was a creature of the night than it was with Johnathan. With the good doctor at least he showed some fight and fang.
He doubted the saint ever even raised his voice to anyone. "No thank you. I'm here because I suspect that one of your kind is involved with a plot with a Ekon we are chasing. Have you heard anything about new people wondering around here or anything among the talking of people that sticks out?" The saint was wearing a considerate expression
"I haven't heard anything directly lately but I can keep an ear out. Maybe do some asking" Geoffrey nodded at the offer.
"Thank you Saint. It is of great importance. Also keep an extra good eye on your flock. Things are still very dangerous in London."
"Of course Mister McCullum. Do feel free to stop back by if you need." Geoffrey turned to leave but the saint stopped him at the door.
"Oh Mister McCullum, I was wondering... Dr. Reid has been absent of late... I-I understand that you two have a truce of sorts and was wondering if you could check in on him."
Geoffrey took that statement in. "You know we have a truce?" He questioned over his shoulder. Sean looked in his general direction but not in his eyes. He seemed to be uncomfortable.
"When Dr. Reid came by to check on us after his return from Scotland. He said that you where actually very agreeable, for a hunter, and that he felt that you had a sort of truce between you that he hoped would continue."
Geoffrey found he could not look the saint in the eyes. He didn't even answer that. What would he say? He just walked out the door into the cold night feeling the turmoil inside him growing steadily worse. When Geoffrey got back to the base he stood in the court yard for quite some time staring at the building Reid was in. "Oh, fuck all." He stormed up to his bedroom. He'd talk with Johnathan tomorrow.