The house looked like a normal Itallian house at least every one on the street. But it felt so much different. Ant walked across the line of the rod iron gate but Vincent stopped just before crossing the invisible line. I felt the shiver of magic as I crossed. I looked at the newest vampire. “Sacred ground I cannot pass.”
I looked at Ant and then back at the vampire. “Because you are embraced and Ant is born?”
Ryan laughed. “It’s much more stupid than that. Ant doesn’t beleive in sacred ground. He was raised godless and a heathen as most would say in the time he was born. Sacred ground really only works on vampires who beleive there is a god. Their beleif makes the magic around the place real.”
“So he’s keeping his own self out based on his years of ingrained Christianity as a human?”
Ryan nodded. “Yep.”
“So Tony and his father and the Primeval vamps can cross?”
Ant laughed. “No. My father and grandfather beleive there is sacred ground. They beleive crossing into it will fry them because that is what they were taught to beleive.”
“So why can you?” I asked Ant.
“I do not beleive in it. My mother taught me from an early age that preconceived notions of right and wrong were what others beleived. I was to determine my own course. If I chose to beleive in a god, then she would find me a teacher who did and ingrain such trivialties in my mind. But I choose to follow her teachings instead. And I learned about religion as blending in technique like everything else.”
I nodded only vaguely understanding. “But this isn’t Chrstian sacred ground? It was blessed by the Wiccan goddess Hecate.”
“How the fuck did you know that?” Ryan asked.
I shrugged. “I just did.”
A woman with long brown stepped out. She was neither beatiful or ugly. Commonly was kinda the word I was looking for but it didn’t fit right either. There was an unearthly glow about her pattern that dwarfed her beautify. I couldn’t see anything beyond it and I wasn’t even trying to see the patterns. She smiled at me. “It is not often we find one of us among your kind.” Her fingers touched the exuli tattoo on my temple and a shiver ran down my spine as her magic touched my soul.
“One of you?” I asked.
“How else did you think you know who blessed our grounds?”
“You are saying I’m wiccan on top of everything else I am.”
“But of course.” She smiled, “How else shall the Regnans unite the clans?”
“I’m not the leader of the Venatori. I was exiled.”
“Tell me, sweet boy, what it is you think the Regnans is. Or who rather.” She teased.
“The Regnans our leader, the watcher of the Clandestine Providence. The strongest and most powerful Magnus.”
Ryan laughd. “You are then Nox. Everyone knows Mark Green the current leader of the Imperordo is a pussy compared to you.”
“The first Regnans was the first leader of the Aeternus. The man who created the Clandestine Providence, the one who wrote the laws so to speak we all live by. Protect humanity from all that is special because it is so fragile a race but such a race we should strive to be.” She laughed. “It was his death that created the title Regnans among your people. They needed a watcher and who else but the most powerful among you. But then it was a war of combat that declared Regnans. The strongest of the Aeternus fought to the death, only one champion to survive. Anyone was welcome, but it was always Aeternus who won. Until the Aeternus decided to expand with their hunters. One hunter, another Ascendant came, he saw the narrowness of the Aeternus. He had them all killed so nothing but Venatori survived – partially of all the races – what better way to watch the Clandestine Providence than with a mix of all the bloods. Except it was impure. Regnas became title for your most powerful magic weilder – one who was of all the lines – human dragon and aeternus. Vampire wasn’t included. Vampire policed themselves so there was no need.”
Ant sighed. “Vampires created other races – the embraced. The wiccan cursed the first of us to become true monsters and they became beasts when the moon was full – their animal instincts their only guide during that time. Vampires broke the Clandestine Providence and created diseases that harmed humanity. And so vampire was outlawed – kill on sight. And that is why your kind hunts my kind without mercy. It eventually traveresed into the other races. As does all dogmatic systems. The Venatori thought they were rulers of all. They’d lost their original way. And now, another Ascendant is born. The rightful Regnans, except this time, he’s tied to us all – human, venatori, therian, wiccan, dragon and vampire by blood. Mother will be pleased to find the wiccan heritage, Gemma.”
The woman smiled. “It is good to know that Cari Giovanni has embraced the boy into her family.”
“I’m standing right here.”
She laughed. “You are. You come to offer protection, but it is I who must protect you from the battle ahead. The war is just starting, you must gather your allies. Your strong hold must be of all. Take with you my daughter Isabel, she will guide you in wiccan lore and protect your dominion of the spirits. And perhaps a young man like yourself will take her to your bed.”
Ryan and Ant both laughed. I rolled my eyes, “I have enough in my bed thank you.”
Gemma looked at me with wide brown eyes. She saw past me, around me, through me and I ducked my head. I only ever did that with my boys. She smiled. “Yes, you do, don’t you. Perhaps my son then…” She looked at me then shook her head. “No, Isabel it is. She will be less of a temptation.”
“I think whoever you find fit to send with me will be fine no matter their gender. I can keep my hands to myself.” I said with all my charm I could muster at being treated like a peice of meat.
“My son doesn’t…. swing both ways, as you kids today would put it.”
I grinned. “Then he is probably the better bet, because all of my boys do.”
She smiled, “It is not your boys I worry about.”
I raised an eyebrow. “You mean Dee.”
“She is more than she seems.”
I nodded. “I know she is. I see it now that the demon is gone and taking all her energy from her. She’s Exuli. At least half anyway. She didn’t inherit the super strength and spead or even the extra healing, but the empathy is strong.”
“Fourth Generation Exuli rarely do.” Gemma said. “You haven’t told her.”
I shrugged. “She doesn’t need to know. She’s having issues dealing with being an empath.”
The door opened and a woman walked out with the same long hair as Gemma. Her eyes were a golden brown and she smiled and Ryan whispered, “Fuck me!”
I laughed. I offered her my hand. “Nox Sétanta.”
She took my hand and shook firmly. There was a flair of magic and then it subsided. I wasn’t sure if anyone else had seen as I raised her hand to my lips and kissed her knuckle softly. “A pleasure.”
Gemma introduce her, “Nox, this is my daughter Isabel.”
Isabel jerked her hand from my grasp with a frown. “Your charms don’t work on me. She flashed a tailsman hanging at her neck to me.”
I laughed. “Pretty. You thought I was trying to magic you in some way?”
Ant grinned, “You did magic her. You do so with ever person you meet. Gemma offered you an ally, your magic snaked out to it and Isabel blocked it. That was the flash of light.”
I dropped my hands to my sides. “Fuck! I’m sorry.”
Gemma sighed. “Izzy, you must. It is the only way.”
“Why me, why can’t Gino to.”
“Because it must be you. You feel it too.”
Isabel sighed and lifted the tailsman from her neck and handed it to Ryan. “I want that back.”
He nodded his head and blond strands flicked into his eyes making him brush them aside. “Yes ma’am.”
Isabel grinned. “You are a good pet to have around.” She stuck her hand out again and sighed. “Let’s get this over with.”
I shook my head. “Sorry to disappoint you. But that’s not my way. If I’ve drawn people in against their will then I’m sorry for past transgressions, but I won’t do it knowingly. Ant can’t break the bond. I won’t force others to it.” I turned to Gemma. “Explain it to me, please, how this all is working.”
“Vincent, ” Gemma said to the vampire still outside her yard. “Take one of the bears from Igor’s strong holds and deliever the lot of you two Il Cane’s domicile and wait for them to return. You must move quickly and a bear is required. Preferrable a strong dumb man from the bears hold.”
Vincent grinned. “Yes Priestess, as the Regnans wills.”
“Don’t call me that.” I said
Gemma patted my shoulder. “Come, son, let us all talk.” She turned to her daughter, “Ready your things, you are still going.”
Isabel’s shoulder’s slumped and she nodded, “Yes Mother.” And she hurried into the house and me and my entroage followed… Fuck this was getting mystical!