Live This Life
Sequel to I Need You to Love Me. It is strongly recommended that you read that first or else you won't know half the characters. She doesn't own a dress, and her hair is always a mess. If you catch her stealing, she won't confess. She's beautiful. Here she is again on the phone. Just like me, she hates to be alone. We just like to sit at home. Well she wants to live her life, then she thinks about her "life". Pulls her hair back as she screams, "I don't really wanna be the queen, I--I don't really wanna live this life.
Well she wants to be the queen, and she thinks about her scene. Wells she wants to live her life, and she thinks about her life. Pulls her hair back as she screams, "I don't really want to be the queen. I don't really want to live this life." As always, it belongs to SM, except for the summary. those are the lyrics to change your mind by all-american rejects.
5. Chapter 5--It's Not Over
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Eyes snapping open, Gia sat up swiftly. Her head grew light from the sudden movement as the room titled. As the world righted itself, she looked around. She was most certainly not in Volterra. Had Alec finally caught up with her and was holding her prisoner in some fancy hotel room in an attempt to convince her to come back? That was just like him! Throwing her covers back, Gia’s eyes widened when she realized that she had been bathed and redressed--in a nightgown that most certainly was not hers. He was so dead.
Furious, she marched over the door and yanked it back. She blinked. This was the oddest hotel that she had been in. It looked more like a house. Not to be deterred, she marched down the hallway, not taking the time to look at the many paintings and portraits that line it or to be cautious of the undoubtedly costly rugs that she stomped on. She didn’t care. She was going to cause as much damage to this hotel as she could just to make him pay for it all! That would teach him.
She opened each door. Most of them were bedrooms. There was a library however. This had to be the most intimate hotel that had ever been created. There certainly was a homey feeling that made her feel warm and invited. If she had not been so overcome with fury, she might have taken the time to explore it fully. None of the doors were locked, so that made her wary. She hoped Alec had the sense to hide her luggage--she really didn’t care about his. Her stupid mate was not in any of the rooms. He knew she was angry and had to be hiding. The coward. She pressed on.
At the end of the stupidly long hallway was a staircase. Gia looked over the edge to see an open dining hall. Four people sat at it, enjoying their breakfast. Gia rolled her eyes. What was this place, a vampire hotel? The four looked up at her with curious eyes. She realized that she must have looked like a sight, furious in a nightgown with her hair all bushy and ratty. She did not care. It was easy to tell that Alec was not with them. Fine. She did not feel like interacting with the other guests any way.
She quickly but daintily skipped down the stairs. The man at the head of the table stood to greet her, but she paid him no mind. Even if he was the proprietor, she did not care. She formulated the perfect tongue lashing in her mind and dammit, she was going to find Alec before she forgot it. She turned down the first hallway that she saw, leaving the now standing guests to stare after her in shock.
“What is their problem?” Gia muttered to herself as she opened the first door. Nope, it looked to be a gymnasium of some sort. She had to admit, this hotel went all out.
Aggravated, she threw open the next door. It was an office of some type. Gia blushed and softly shut the door. She did not want to be caught riffling through the records and bills. That would not look good, no matter what she said. Halfway to the next room, she stopped when a thought hit her. Of course, that would have been the perfect spot for Alec to hide. He knew her well enough to hide somewhere where she would have to invade people’s privacy. That was low.
Even angrier, she stormed back to the office.
“Hey!” a man’s voice yelled at her.
Gia looked up. Involuntarily, she took a step backwards. Her nose had just about been planted into some guy’s chest. She looked up to see a boy about eighteen years old looking down at her. His resemblance to Alec felt like a punch in the stomach. “Can I help you?” she snapped acerbically.
The boy blinked, obviously not expecting her tone. “What are you doing?” He recovered quickly.
“Looking for someone. What are you doing?” she retorted, arms crossed and eyes blazing.
“Bringing you back to Callum.”
“Tough luck. Come on.” Grabbing her wrist, the boy started to pull her down the hall.
Gia squirmed all the way. “What!” She yanked her arm back out of his grasp. He was not expecting that one, for he turned and looked at her with big eyes. “No! You can’t make me!”
“Yes, I can,” he snorted. He pulled her arm all the harder and determinedly, she dug her heels into the carpet. She grabbed ahold of the door frame and held onto like she never had before. The boy jerked and she was held firmly in place. Searing pain shot through her shoulder, but for Gia, it was mind over matter. There was no reason why should lose to the kid in front of her. He was little and too skinny, probably a wuss. Gia’s fingers slipped a little bit as he jerked at her again, but she dug her nails into the trim.
“Ezekiel! What are you doing?” a girl standing behind him asked in alarm.
Gia rolled here eyes. Now it was going to be two against one.
“Let her go, right now! She is a guest!” the girl continued. She wrenched Gia’s wrist out of his grasp. The boy, Ezekiel, looked peeved at her intervention. Gia scoffed. The fool thought he could have bested her!
“Georgiana!” Ezekiel protested.
“Go back to Callum. He is waiting,” Georgiana snapped at her dark haired friend. To Gia, she turned and smiled sweetly at her. “Are you all right? Ezekiel can be a pain at times,”
The understatement of the century. “I’m fine,” Gia said, wincing as she rolled her shoulder. There would be a kink in it for weeks.
Georgiana smiled brightly at Gia. Her dark blonde hair fell down her back in ringlets, and framed her heart shaped face. She was not a vampire. Her skin was tanned, though not as dark as Gia’s, and her eyes were a soft amber color. But she was not human, that much was obvious. She moved with too much grace and confidence to be a complete human. Maybe half human, if that was possible. She was tall for a woman, almost six feet. “We should probably go, then. Everyone is waiting.”
Gia rolled her wrist, loosening it. “What do you mean?” she asked disinterestedly.
Georgiana laughed gaily. “I mean, my family has been waiting for you to wake up for the past two days. We have many questions,”
“I’m sure you--wait.” Gia looked up in alarm. “Your family? Is this…is this your house?”
“Of course, silly. What else would you think it was?”
Gia blinked, her plans of yelling at Alec and her secret joy of being reunited with him deflating. “A bed and breakfast,”
Georgiana laughed again. “No, no. It is our home, and has been for the past several hundred years.”
“Then why am I here?” Gia asked. She followed Georgiana down the hallway.
“Callum is too hospitable to allow you to stay at some meager hostel in Myth. Besides, you interest us.”
Gia stopped. The last time someone had told her that, she had ended up in a life of servitude. Georgiana did not seem to notice her lapse in stride.
“You are like us, you know. An anomaly. Not quite a human, but not quite inhuman either.”
Gia snorted. “I doubt that we are very similar.”
Georgiana laughed, again. “You are amusing. In reality, we are more similar than you could ever imagine.”
“How?” Gia asked. She did not want to admit it, but she was curious.
“Did you think that you were really the only one that non-humans feared?”
“Non-humans?” Gia tried to sound naive.
Georgiana turned around. “That is why you are here, right? In Myth, I mean. You are running away?”
Gia slowly nodded, frightened.
“From what? Vampire? Lycanthropes? Chimeras?”
Gia held up her hand. “Stop…stop…stop. What are you talking about?”
“You really don’t know? Wow,” Georgiana closed her hanging mouth. “Callum is really going to have a lot to explain.”
“How do you even know that I am like you?” Gia prodded. Any and all knowledge could be used to her advantage.
“Because vampires found you, that is how.”
“Did they bring me here?” Gia asked.
Georgiana nodded. “Yes.”
“I see,” Gia said as she looked around. They had entered the dining room that took up literally one side of the house, a bit excessive for five people.
Three of them sat at the table. At the head was a silver haired man sat. There was an imposing air around him that let her know that he was Callum. On Callum’s left sat a rounded boy who had to be younger than Gia. He looked like a mouse. Beside him was a plate that had already been used. That must have been Georgiana’s place. Ezekiel sat on Callum’s right, looking very disgruntled.
“Hello,” Callum said, rising. That was the signal for the other two to do so as well. “Welcome to our home.”
Gia just stared. She probably should have said a thanks but was unsure how to word it. Callum waited in the awkward silence for a moment. After it became clear that she was not going to speak, he continued. “I am sure that you have several questions,”
At the moment, Gia did not. The deja vu was hitting her like a car speeding into a cement wall at a hundred and forty miles an hour. There was no way that this was coincidence.
“And I am more than willing to answer them.”
“When can I leave?” Gia asked.
Alec had been gone one week. If his timeline was correct, the Gia ran away nine days ago. On top of the five days that he had been in England, he arrived at twelve. Never before had they been separated so long. He wondered if she was all right, if she was eating well, eating at all, sleeping well, if anything bad had happened to her. He worried constantly, like an old woman. Gabriel was a constant annoyance, and Adrianna began to chaperone Alec just so she could keep her unfaithful lover in check. Alec suspected that Lady Emaelia had put her up to it.
Master Marcus had not spoken to him since Alec was told that Gia had left, but Alec felt his support. He tried to tell Alec where his mate was without words, but thus far, it had not clicked. Alec remained clueless as to where Gia was. He became useless to the masters. He prefer to be alone in their room, lying on the bed which still smelled of her. She had left most of her belongings in Votlerra, so it smelt as if she was still present. He wanted to lie there forever until her scent faded and he was left as a depressed soulless being, much like Master Marcus had been, sullen and apathetic.
Emaelia wrung her hands in indecision. Her husband stood beside her, frowning. “You have to tell him,”
“I can’t. I promised,” she argued, though her heart really was not in it.
“Your silence destroys him day by day. He should be at least allowed the opportunity for reconciliation.”
“It is not that I do not want them to be together, Marcus. I really do. But Gia does not want to be found.”
“Why not, beloved?” Marcus sighed.
Emaelia turned to look at her husband. Her eyes were alight with fury. “She should not have to watch her mate leave her when she grows old. Do you have any idea how deep that type of rejection would cut her?”
Marcus flinched. “I don’t think that Alec would do that.”
“You never know,” Emaelia crossed her arms.
Marcus wrapped his arms around her. She snugged into his embrace. She grinned. Resting his chin on her head, he solemnly whispered. “I would,”
Her heart melted. “I know,” she whispered, “I know. He takes after you, you know.”
Marcus lightly chuckled, making her entire body vibrate. “I know,”
“Perhaps I should tell him,” she muttered.
“Aye, you should. You owe him that much, beloved.”
“I know that I do,” Emaelia whispered. “I do,”
“He loves her,”
“That he does,”
“He wouldn’t have left her,” he said.
“Even if she was dying right before his eyes? If he could see it happen and do nothing to stop it?” Emaelia asked. “Would you stay? Watch me die?”
“Yes,” Marcus whispered, his voice tight in his throat. “I would,”
Emaelia pulled away from him. “Some how, I have trouble believing you.”
“It is hard for you,” he called to her as she walked away, “to be loved by someone.”
Emaelia looked over her shoulder. “Only when I’m not sure if I even have the capacity to love him as much as he loves me,”
Marcus could not help but smile. “Beloved, you love as much as it is possible for anyone in the world to love. Don’t doubt yourself,”
Emaelia turned and walked down the hall. A moment later, he heard a room door creak open and his wife began to speak. Suppressing a smile of triumph, he went over to the bookshelf and pulled of Virgil. There was a rap at the door.
“Brother,” Aro said as Marcus opened the door.
“Yes.” Marcus moved aside, allowing the leader of the coven to enter his private drawing room. “Please,” Marcus drawled, “Have a seat,”
Aro disregarded his brother’s hospitality. “I have just heard about dear Gia’s leaving us,”
Marcus shot up his eyebrows. “Really? She has been gone almost a fortnight. Word normally does not take so long to reach you,”
“I have been busy these past few weeks with the British uprising. You of all people should be aware of that,” Aro declared with a wave of his hand.
“Do you have something particular that you wish to discuss?” Marcus inquired, valiantly keeping the politeness in his voice.
Aro looked at Marcus in shock. “I am here to discuss how we shall find our dear little Gia before something terrible happens!”
“Emaelia gave her dear Gia permission to leave the coven. I am sure that you know as to why Gia felt the need to leave,” Marcus said evenly as he glared at his brother. He folded his arms, reminding Aro that while he was the oldest member of the coven by eight years, he did not control every idiosyncrasy of it.
“Brother,” Aro said, “I do not think that you realize the danger that you have not only unwittingly put this coven in, but Gia personally as well.”
Marcus rose to his full height and loomed over Aro. “What are you insinuating, brother?”
“I must speak with your wife, and Alec, now,” Aro ordered.
“We are a group of semi-humans. It is our job to patrol the world, making sure that all of our kind--and by that, I mean the monsters that slaughter countless humans every year--do not expose the rest of the mythological world that behaves itself,” Callum explained to Gia. “We try to civilize most of the monsters that cross our paths. Regretfully, some, however, are beyond sanity, and they must be exterminated.”
“So you are group of vigilantes,” Gia concluded with a sarcastic smirk.
Callum matched her smirk, only he added a malice that froze her heart. “Not a group. A natural order. That’s right,” he said as he watched her face fall, “We are born, not created like werewolves, and vampires. You are not foolish enough to assume that you are the only one born with such abilities,”
“What is going on?” Emaelia asked glaring up at Aro. He had gathered her as well as Alec, Marcus and Caius in her own quarters, and she wanted to know why. The impudent man had the audacity to stare down at her sympathetically as if her world was about to end dramatically.
“Where did our Gia go?” Aro asked patiently.
“She is not our Gia,” Emaelia hissed. “She is her own person, as evidenced by her actions.”
“Do not be evasive with me, Emma. Tell me where one of my vampires went,” Aro ordered.
“She was my vampire, so no. It’s none of your damn business,” Emaelia snapped.
“You do not realize the danger that she is in right now. We must find her and secure her before some one else does,” Aro tried to keep his voice level. His aggravation was plain for all to see.
“What do you mean?” Emaelia retorted. She held her hand up, forcing Alec to remain silent. Inside though, he was filled to the brim with question that threatened to burst out of him, despite his mistress’s warning. He bit his lip to keep them inside.
“Do you truly think that I would do something as foolish as to bring an anomaly into our coven without first knowing every minute detail about said anomaly? Do you think that I would not do my research?”
“You knew that the transformation would fail,” Emaelia gasped.
Aro shook his head. “I suspected, but I was not sure. I am as surprised as you as to the fact that it took so long for her body to reject it.”
“There is more,” Marcus said, halting whatever his wife was going to see.
Aro nodded his head. “Gia is one of the rare remnants of a dying breed. A breed that I thought I had saw to the destruction of almost one thousand years ago.”
“If the genocide occurred, then how do we have Gia?” Emaelia bristled.
“It is a recessive trait,” Aro said in way of explanation. “Naturally, it would be impossible to exterminate them all, but the chances of two carriers ever reproducing was astronomical.”
“And they did so with Gia,” Caius guessed.
Aro sighed. “Not just Gia.”
Gia looked at the four in front of her in silence. She understood everything this far up to extermination. What boggled her was the fact that there were more people like her than…well, just her. “So, five of us exist?”
“No,” Callum said seriously. “A whole colony does. One thousand two-hundred thirty-six strong, you included.”
“How was it that you were able to remain undetected?” Gia pressed.
Callum gave Gia a triumphant grin. “Practice. And arrogance. The vampires thought that they had destroyed us. They were wrong, and we shall show them in full force when it is time for the next genocide.”
“Wait. You are lining yourself to be slaughtered again?” Gia asked for clarification. This guy sounded insane.
“No, no, young one. For it is not our race that shall be obliterated, but the vampires.”
“Oh-kay,” Gia said backing up. Callum was just officially declared insane by the California Mental Health Council. “And just how do you propose we do this?”
“It is over a thousand of us exactly like you, my dear.” Gia flinched when she heard those two words. Callum did not notice. “We shall take away their monstrous natures and then kill them before they have a chance to revert back into madness.”
“That seems unfair,” Gia countered.
Callum shrugged. “It is Social Darwinism at its best.”
“Not really,” Gia retorted.
Callum shrugged. “It does fit the description,”
“I…guess you could say that.” Gia felt it was best to agree with the lunatic. Keep him happy, keep herself alive. The rest of them could fend for themselves.
“Are you willing to join us? To become one of us?” Callum extended his hand formally.
Gia looked at it suspiciously. “One of what?”
“How many?” Marcus demanded.
“Over a thousand,” Aro admitted ruefully.
“You have kept this a secret far too long, brother. Your arrogance has only grown if you think that this was something that you could handle on your own! The last time you tried this, my wife died!” Marcus roared. Emaelia flinched. She had known that her husband was previously married, but he rarely outright spoke of Didiame, and he was always gentle where Emaelia’s feelings were concerned. “I will not loose another one! I refuse to let Emaelia die!”
“You don’t know that she will,” Aro snapped.
“They will attack us, here.” Caius interrupted, “At our stronghold where we are the weakest. Last time, we barely survived. And-” He threw a glance at Emaelia who stood with her arms crossed over her ample chest, glaring at her husband. “Have you met the woman? She’ll be right in thick of things.”
“Damn straight,” Emaelia added. It was a Kodak moment. Caius and Emaelia actually agreed on something for once. Marcus glared at his wife who was unresponsive.
“If they find Gia, then they will know all of our weak points,” Alec concluded.
Aro nodded at the young vampire. “That is why we must locate her before they do. Else wise, we have little hope for survival,”
“Gia would never tell!” Alec defended his mate.
“Information is not always given willingly,” Marcus reminded Alec who flinched.
“If she has any sense, the twit won’t tell anyone that she is from here. They will slaughter her before they realize that she is of any value,” Caius offered his opinion.
If it was possible, Alec would have been vomiting up every piece of food that he had ever eaten in his life.
“I’m confused,” Emaelia interrupted as she held her hands up. “Who is coming to attack us? Between talent and numbers, we should have the ability to beat them off without trouble,”
The three masters looked at her innocence pityingly.
Callum nodded his head. Gia did ask a fair question. “Hunters. We are called hunters. Are you with us?”
Gia looked around. “If I say no?”
“Then you do not leave.”
“Then, I would love to help you destroy some vampire ass!” Gia declared with a smile. Her smile faded as she proceeded to vomit up stomach acid. She did not have any recent food for her body to reject at the idea of ruthlessly slaughtering her own kind.
“Oh, you poor thing!” Georgiana exclaimed as she rushed forward. “You haven’t eaten in days. Your body is going into deprivation. You need soup and fast.”
Soup had to be the worst food ever created. Gia wasn’t hungry. She was scared to death, and already, she was trying to figure out a way to get back to Volterra to warn her coven.
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