"This is DJ D, the voice of the Underground. If you can hear this broadcast then we're looking for you. Seems that our tomcat has revealed much to the green eyed swamp rat. So much that the rat knows not what to believe. But be wary rat. Or you will find that some secrets that are best kept untold.
Angelo's eyes were glittering with anticipation, he was waiting for me to react to this mindfuck he just gave me.
He wanted a reaction. Angel Boy always wanted a reaction and the best way to mindfuck him back would be to be totally and completely....
Calm. (You were waiting a long time to spill all that, weren't you?) I remarked in the best bored tone I could muster.
It was fleeting but I saw the disappointment flicker in those hot dark eyes. Then that flat lack of emotion which meant he was shutting me out but at this point I didn't care. (Don't you wonder why your precious Auntie didn't tell you any of this?)
(Not really,) I said softly.
(Then you don't believe it?)
I smiled sweetly. (You never lie, Angelo. Unless you've just started.)
The frustration was getting harder to mask. (But you don't believe me, Weasel. If you did -)
(I'd react differently?) I finished for him. (Well, it's not that I don't believe you, babe, it's just that it doesn't jibe with what I know.) I narrowed my eyes at him. (What you told me. What I believed.)
To my surprise, Angelo sighed and his eyes softened. Fuck I hated it, it was so hard to be pissed at him when he looked so vulnerable. (Fair enough, kaloz mou. Tell me what you think doesn't match and I'll tell you why.)
I was ready for him to be his arrogant self telling me to fuck off if I didn't believe him. I didn't expect Angelo to be reasonable and I wasn't prepared for it. I took a breath I didn't need, to give me a moment to gather my thoughts. Then I let him have it.
(Fine,) I replied. (Let's start with how I'm "cursed." I get it how I started frying in the sunlight when I was tied to the stake. But when I got banished to this world and all the time I was with Flin, I was in the sunlight Angel Boy,) I pointed out. (Flin had me working day and night and not once did I feel the sun burn me. Explain that.)
Angelo did. (Do you know how curses work, dearheart?)
I was about to blurt, "Of course." Then I realized Angelique never taught me how they work. In fact, she didn't mention them at all. Odd. But I wasn't about to give Angelo the satisfaction of seeing my ignorance. Instead I made a stab in the dark. (Easy, just say the right incantation and cast it on the victim you want to curse.)
Angelo shook his head. (I didn't ask you how to cast curses, dunderhead. I asked you if you knew how they work.)
I rolled my eyes. He couldn't just tell me I was wrong, he had to give me the whole song and dance? (Just tell me already!)
(Curses have to have the right...) Angelo paused, looking for the word, (factors and circumstances to be triggered,) he explained. (Burning by elemental fire set it off, the curse protected you because it wouldn't let you die that way. But that meant that when the sun rose, of course it would kill you and that was why you began to smolder.)
I wouldn't admit it to him but it made sense. But not completely, which was typical Angelo. (Yeah, yeah yeah. But you just said the curse was triggered. But nothing happened when I got here.) I tapped my foot impatiently.
Explain that Angel Boy!
(When you got here, did anyone try to kill you?) Angelo asked me. With a straight face. Was he fucking insane?
I laughed but there was no amusement. (No,) I said mockingly, (No one tried to kill me.)
Angelo didn't take the bait. (You don't get it. The curse keeps you from dying. The first time was your stake fun. When you got here, the curse lay dormant in you, ready to be re-activated if you were about to were killed. It never happened,) he explained with a touch of an edge to his tone. (You get it now?)
And I did. Angelo had to dumb it down for me but I got it. Any time my body was about to die, the curse stopped it from happening. Since it never happened, the curse went into hiding. No curse, no burn.
Then something suddenly occurred to me. Something I should have questioned from the very beginning of my first night as a Nightchild but I'd been so overwhelmed with my new "life" that I swallowed everything Angelo told me whole. Being in the Baptiste tomb triggered memories. Then when Angelique broke the amnesia I'd fallen under with the spell my half brother Drew had cast, I had remembered my mama and how she and I managed to hide our true natures from my father and the whole community. And how Angelo had told me that she must have fed me blood along with breast milk when I was a baby.
How the fucking hell could Josie be Ardoin and Angelique's half sister when she was in the same world as I was? My supposed aunt and uncle were from this world, witchblood or no witchblood.
So was the guy who Angelo claimed was my grandfather.
Unless my mother wasn't from Venefica....
Wait, she couldn't have been, there were no Sangsue there. So somehow she had to have jumped through the portal into my homeworld. But how could she, only a witch could and I knew there was nothing witchy about my mama.
Were Ardoin and Angelique really my uncle and aunt? Forget that, I could feel they were. But if they were cursed what did that make them? They were not alive and not dead. Undead.
Undead that fed on the blood of the living.
And they created "children" who Sired other offspring.
The more I thought about it, the least it all made sense. Including why Angelo was the one telling me shit about my family. MY family. I met his eyes. (How the fuck do you know all this?) I asked softly.
Angelo didn't even blink. (Is that a question or a demand, Jacques?)
I froze. Angelo had his many endearments and insults. But he'd never ever called me that. I did know the mocking tone, though only now there was a tinge of .... resentment?
Yeah, resentment. Angelo had nothing to hold over me anymore and I was learning from a new mentor who was teaching me things he'd never be able to do. Like his bastard Vaso, Angelo had years and experience over me. Because of that, Angelo and I were equals.
Now. But eventually we wouldn't be.
That was what he really resented. That even though he Sired me, in the not so distant future, I'd become much more powerful than he could ever hope to be. The student would surpass the teacher and Angelo would not be up to my level.
Whoa wait a minute! I'd been with my aunt too long, I was beginning to think like her.
But I was not imagining the acerbic tone. Using my Truename was his way of lashing out. I couldn't let him shake me up or Angelo would win this little dance we were doing. (You know I don't like that name,) I told him coolly. (You want me to use your full Truename?)
Angelo shrugged even though I knew he hated his as much as I hated mine. (Do what you want.)
He could be Mr. Nonchalant all he wanted to be but I had a card up my sleeve that would rattle him. (Okay, Costas.)
I'd forgotten how fast Angelo could move. Before I could think, he'd seized me and slammed me against the wall. "You never wanna see me again?" he hissed through bared fangs, "keep rubbing my nose in the fact that you and my pig of a cousin are fucking behind my back." Angelo released me by dropping me back on the bed.
Fuck! Now I was rattled and didn't bother to hide it. (Angel Boy,) I said softly, stroking his cheek. (I only meant to use your middle name to get even with you calling me Jacques. Nothing else.)
But he knew about Dimitri and me and hadn't said a word up until now.
Angelo jerked away from me with a snarl. (Don't play dumb, you know fucking well why Dimitri gave you my father's name.)
I blinked. (Your father's name?)
Angelo's face twisted in disgust. (Costas,) he spat. (It was Dimitri's cute little "fuck you" to me. And he only told you so you'd throw it in my face.)
(Fuck that!) I growled. (You fuck around all the time and you have the balls to get pissy because I am?)
Instant calmness. Angelo had just made me react and he was back in control. Fuck. (If you wouldn't go nosing around you'd never know.)
(That's not the point!)
(The point is I don't shove it in your face,) he said quietly. (And you're the only one I bother to hide it from.)
I suddenly realized that Angelo had managed to distract me from what I'd asked him before. (How do you know all this, Angelo?)
(Know what?) he replied, all innocence.
I fucking hated when he did that and I wasn't playing that game. Not tonight. (How do you know so much about my family?)
(Ardoin,) Angelo said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Something flashed in his eyes that he quickly squelched. But not quick enough.
For the first time since I met him, Angelo was lying to me. No, not lying, there was some truth to it. But there was so much more that he wasn't telling me.
And never would.
Black Widower©Janette, 1997
Black Widower©Janette, 1997 - 2010
Last Updated 07/10/10
Page Last Updated 07/10/10