Roswell Council : Innocence

May 2nd,

 

I do not understand the world in which I live in today. The violence and the hatred that man harbors for his own neighbor it makes me sad. I can no longer find a connection between this world and the world I once shared with my Bessie. I find myself longing for those old days when life was simple. A time when the only thing neighbors harbored one another was good will. I find only a small comfort in the knowledge that these angry faces will fade into the wind as new faces emerge. I accept that I have no right to complain about the quality of life as this is my penitence for my unforgivable sins. I do hope the future will bring a more peaceful world for the sake of mankind. I have spent one hundred and fifty nine days on this earth and with each passing day I watch humanity dwindle like a wick on a burning candle. My fear is soon there will be nothing left to burn and all of humanity will be lost.

                                                          Brady Andrews

 I closed my notebook just as Foster appeared in the doorway to my room. I did not need to ask why he was here the look of anticipation is alive on his face.  Katherine had called an emergency council meeting with all members of the guard to be in attendance.  I nodded my head in acknowledgment of his arrival as I tucked away my notebook under a pile of fresh sketches.     

I paused lingering over one of the sketches I did last night. The sketch was of the same girl whom I’ve never met but have been painting or in this case drawing for the last fifty-two years. What was irking me more than my insane obsession over this girl was this one picture.                            

It somehow was different from all the others yet I could not put my finger on what caused this solitary picture to stand out.

I sighed laying the drawing back on the pile like everything else in my life this too would have to wait.              

I motioned to Foster to take the lead as I came around the desk. All I wanted tonight was to be alone with my morbid thoughts but seeing as that is proving not to be possible I would settle for fading quietly into the background.                 

As we stepped out of my small apartment into the night I could not shake the feeling that something was waiting for me on the horizon. I could feel it deep down in my bones whatever awaited me would either save me or it would destroy me.           

Since I am not worthy of being saved.                             

I could only hope that when it came to destroy me it would be slow and merciless in its quest.

 I smiled at the image of a slow agonizing death.    

     It is what I deserved.

No. On second thought death would be too lenient. I owed more than my death to Bessie for what I allowed to happen on my watch. I failed when it counted the most. Bessie died.   My son died because of my inadequacy and selfish desires.

No. No amount of pain would be enough to atone for my sins.    

The only thing that might come slightly close to being fair is the knowledge that I will live forever without ever feeling a single ounce of love again.

I sighed.

I have to stop thinking about all this at least for now especially if I wanted to keep my thoughts semi private.   

As it was Foster had been listening to myself loathing since he appeared in the doorway of my room.

Foster was just to kind to comment on it out loud.

I would have to thank him for that later.

I recognized the sound of the creek rushing over the stones beneath the old wood bridge. I knew we were just minutes now away from the house.

I used those last remaining moments to clear my head of any lingering about my past.

I especially could not think about Bessie.

 Foster and I spilt at the bottom of the stairs; he went directly into the meeting room while I went to grab my robe.

There were only two robes left hanging when I got there. Katherine’s blood red one and my black one which meant I would be the last council member to take their seat.

I tucked my head down as I slid quietly into the room hoping that my entrance would go unnoticed until after I had taken my place among the other council members.

“You’re late” She accused. “Why?”

Violet scoured me from head to toe searching for a reasonable explanation for my unusual tardiness. When she had finished her assessment of my actions she shifted her eyes to the real source of her anger towards me.

Foster.

I could not find fault with her anxiety not when I knew what it was like to love someone more than your own life.

I swallowed hard. Well I knew once.

Foster shot me an apologetic look. Ah Crap!

I could lie but what was the point? Violet would know every thought that went through my head by now. I lowered my eyes to the floor. I knew what was coming as this was not the first time we’ve been here before.

Violet slowly turned back to me. “Look at me” she whispered.

I raised my eyes until I met Violet’s bright amber eyes. Wallowing in self pity? We will talk about this! She warned.

 

I nodded slightly so that nobody else would notice our private exchange. I already had more people in my head then I wanted so the idea of eavesdroppers poking around also did not exactly appeal to me.

I usually make an exception for Violet because she is my friend and the closest thing I have to a family these days.

Sorry!

I was sorry that she found out mainly because I knew it made her sad when I beat up on myself this way. I however was not sorry for the actual crime.

Not now Violet hissed. Katherine is coming!

On that cue Katherine Roswell stepped through the stone archway into the room with a presence about her that commanded my attention.

All at once the loud humming of voices cut off into a strangled silence. Every pair of eyes followed her with curiosity as she made her way directly to the center of the room.

Hmm that is different!

Katherine always stops in front of each council member kissing them on the cheek before turning to face the guardians.  In a show of respect for their faithful service she would make brief eye contact with each guardian before moving to the circle of stones in the center of the room.

Why the change in routine? I glanced down at Eugene Roswell he too wore a worried look as he watched his wife but something in his eyes told me it went well beyond a change in routine.

 I was not the only one that noticed Eugene was out of sorts Violet also noticed which was apparent when I picked up on her trying to peek into his mind.

I watched through Violet’s mind as she began shifting past the blocks Katherine must have put in place before this meeting. Katherine only puts blocks on people’s minds when they knew something she did not want others to know.

I sucked in a breath at what I saw next.

Eugene’s only thought was no thought at all it was an image of his daughter Linda Roswell.

Why would Katherine put a block on an image of her daughter? What did Linda have to do with any of this? Linda has not been a part of this council for over two decades now.

Violet gasped. She gripped my arm pulling me back into her head.

Nothing could have prepared me for the next image to flash in Eugene’s mind. My stomach rolled as I seen my old friend Henry lying in broken pieces beside his wife Linda. The next image to flash by caused every muscle in my body to coil in anger.

Donovan Croft I spat. Even his name left a bitter taste in my mouth. There had to be some mistake some misinterpretation of the facts that had to be it right?

I turned back to Katherine just as she raised her hands preparing to speak. “The future of this council is in danger.” She paused meeting each pair of eyes in the circle.           

“A threat has been made known an attempt will be made by the Croft coven to Kidnap Abigail Roswell.”

 A few gasps echoed around the room as the realizations came to light of who Abigail Roswell is and what she means to them.

It was long ago predicted that Abigail will someday lead the council under Katherine’s guidance.

It was also common knowledge among the council that Abigail was born with very unique powers.

It has been stated that if those powers were to fall into the wrong hands it would turn the entire world into chaos.

The guardians were the first ones to regain their composure moving with precision the knelt at Katherine’s feet.          

“Not on our watch” they declared in unison.

Katherine raised her hands into the air above her head immediately returning the room to silence.

“It is of great importance that we recognize our need for preparations. It is our sole responsibility to maintain our existence with dignity while in the face of crisis.”

Katherine paused letting her words soak in before beginning again.

“I would like Foster, Sophia, and Morgan to come forward.”

I glanced over at Violet. What’s going on?

I wish I knew

The three of them fell into a line directly in front of where the guardians were knelt.

“Foster Vaugh, Sophia Doyle, and Morgan Roth, Do you each pledge your loyalty to the Roswell family? Do you promise to protect them at all cost?” Katherine waited for their response.

I shot a puzzled look at Violet. Did you arrange this?

No. Violet twisted her lips. I thought you did.

What is going on tonight? It was the job of the master guardians to choose who should or should not become full time guardians.

After the master guardians made their selections they would then present the names to the council for finalizations.

It seems all routines were being broken tonight. Why?

“Do you each promise to protect and carry out all the laws past and present set by this council?” Katherine motioned to where we sat.

“We Do” each one answered proudly.

Katherine paused in front of each one placing the guardian’s medallion around their necks. “Welcome Guardians!”

Brady is he ready for this? Violet shouted in my head.

Foster will be fine. It’s the others I am worried about.

My eyes shifted to Sophia first, she had speed, endurance, and temperament on her side but her reflexes were still slow.

I moved my focus onto Morgan as he is the one that truly worries me the most. Morgan had speed, strength, and agility but a lot of good that does him when he could not hold an attack position.

 It also did not help that as of yesterday he still had not mastered the basics of defense.

Katherine knew all of this from last night Council meeting so why has she appointed him to guardian?

Katherine turned to face the council. “We must act immediately; we have to protect not just the future of this council but the future of the world.” Katherine paused again for affect.

Clarissa Roswell Katherine’s youngest daughter sat forward in her chair. “I agree we must act swiftly too much is at stake.”

“How do you suggest we protect this child?” Noah Roswell asked in response to his wife’s remark. It sounded almost rehearsed

“We bring the child here.” Eugene interrupted.

Now that was the first real thought so far tonight.

“No” Katherine replied. “Impossible. Abigail is unaware of this part of her life. We have to maintain all aspects of her safety including her level of knowledge.”

Eugene lowered his head. “What do you suggest then Katherine?”

Katherine smiled turning her piercing emerald green eyes on me.

Great! Why did I get the feeling I was about to be thrown to the wolves?

“I suggest we send Brady as her guardian to protect her until the Croft coven no longer poses a threat to Abigail or to this council” She watched for my reaction.

 I remained impassive despite the fact I felt repulsed at the idea of being responsible for protecting a human girl.

It was not so much the Abigail was human although that does make it a little more difficult. It was the responsible for her protection part that had me writhing in agony.

I must admit this way of life gave me advantages I never had when I failed Bessie. I have proved myself capable more than once in hand to hand combat since becoming a guardian.

I still however could not see any of my follow council members supporting this idea giving my past history. 

“I agree” Violet stated quickly.

What? This caught me off guard. Violet should have been the first one to disagree with this monstrously bad idea.

Violet looked up at me with a strange new light burning in her amber eyes.

Brady, please keep your big mouth shut! I will explain it all later I promise.

I narrowed my eyes. “This better be good” I whispered. Real good

I waited impatiently as the other members of the council casted their vote on what my future would hold. It appeared everyone was unanimously in favor of me protecting this girl never mind the fact that the last human I was to protect died.

“Wait!” Gabriel Roswell called out as he stood up to face the council. “I disagree. I believe Abigail will be better protected by a group then she would by a lone guardian-no offense Brady.”

     Finally someone here was using a little common sense.

“None taken” I turned to Katherine. “Gabriel has a point Abigail would be better protected by a group than she would be if I acted alone. There are just too many variables to consider.”

It was the truth Donovan was no novice if anything he was a season veteran and would be sure to come at us from all angles.

Katherine nodded her head in agreement.

“It seems a valid point has been raised.”

Violet jumped up from her chair to face the council but once she met my eyes she hesitated.

“Violet is there something you wish to say?” Katherine’s asked.

Violet nodded. “Brady does not have to protect Abigail alone. He could take other guardians with him.”

I gawked at Violet. What the hell is the matter with you?

I told you I would explain it all later and I will but for now just keep your mouth shut!

“Thank you Violet” Katherine smiled obviously happy Violet had provided a quick resolution to the problem. Violet nodded her head as she returned to her seat beside me. Traitor

 Violet laughed. Oh bite me!

“Gabriel if Brady would not be acting alone would you than support this decision?” Katherine raised her eyes as if she was daring Gabriel to disagree.

I found that very odd it was not custom for Katherine to challenge a member of council so openly.

Gabriel eyes narrowed. “Yes. I would then have to agree.”   He lowered his head with a look of disgust plainly visible on his face. It mirrored the look Eugene was still wearing.

“Brady please chose the two guardians you wish to accompany you to Alabama.” Katherine ordered politely.

     It was a simple decision to make.

“I chose Violet Kline and Foster Vaugh.”

Foster broke out in a huge grin. “Thank you” he mouthed.

Thanks Violet whispered.

I nodded my head in response to both of them.

“It has been decided then Brady along with Violet and Foster will go to Brookville Alabama tonight to act as guardians to Abigail Roswell.” Katherine kissed each member on their cheek before returning to her position in the center of the circle.

Katherine raised her hands in the air as she does when she is preparing to speak. “It is with best wishes for our dutiful guardians that we close this meeting tonight heavy in the heart but strong in the knowledge that we will not falter.”

Katherine stopped in front of each council member before exiting back through the stone archway from which she had arrived.                       

I watched her retreat in silence.

What exactly had taken place here was a mystery.  I had never seen Katherine act so odd or some many of our core rules broken in one night.

I sat back going over what I did know about the overall situation.

Abigail Roswell is without a doubt in real danger giving what happen ten years ago with Laurel Roswell and Donovan Croft there was no question Abigail needed protection.

Donovan Croft once served as a trusted member of this council helping to shape it in the early days. Donovan had of course been present when Katherine made her prediction about Abigail.

Katherine at the time however concealed which daughter of Linda’s would carry the powers. I guess even then Katherine looked out for the future of this council.

Donovan having fallen out of favor with Katherine was removed from the council and eventually asked to leave the coven.

I was still not very clear on why Donovan fell out of favor with Katherine nobody has been very forth coming with those details.

Angered by Katherine’s rejection Donovan swore that he would have his revenge. At the time nobody including Katherine took his threats serious enough to be worried.

For one decade Donovan manage to stay off the grid but just before Laurel Roswell’s sixteenth birthday he resurfaced. If there had been some warning maybe things would have turned out differently in the end but as it was Donovan had a decade to prefect his plan we had hours to try and stop it.

Donovan secretly pursued Laurel in hopes of gaining control over the powers Katherine had predicted Linda’s daughter would have.

One thing however Donovan had not counted on he finally convinced Laurel to abandon her family to become his mate was that he had chose the less powerful daughter.

Katherine tried without success to convince Laurel to come back to the family even promised her a seat on the council but Laurel refused swearing her loyalty to Donovan.

It left Katherine with no choice but to rule that Laurel was a threat and the council was forced to order Laurel to be put to death immediately.

Donovan having knowledge of the inter-workings of the council must have predicted this action because before we could act the two disappeared without a trace.

Over the years we got close a few times to getting them but always at the last minute they would manage to disappear again.

I shook my head. I would get this time!

I just need to figure out how to make that possible while keeping Abigail safe. I would also have to take precautions to ensure Abigail did not find out the truth prematurely.

 I looked around the nearly empty room as I rose from my seat.    I walked swiftly up to where Violet and Foster had gathered by the main door.

“I can explain!” Violet held her hands up in defense to my expected fury. On any other day her assumption would have been correct but I did not have time to waste.

“Oh you will” I assured. “Right now however I need you both to get packed.”

Violet blinked. “Ah Okay.”

“Foster I want you to see Noah about the travel details be diligent there is no room for mistakes tonight.”

Foster flashed his usual grin. “I won’t let you down Bro!”

If there was one thing I knew about Foster without a doubt his need for perfection which is why I chose this assignment for him in the first place.

I looked at Violet. “You need to choose who will take our places as master guardians while we are gone.”

Violet giggled. “Already on that, I was thinking about Parker and Eve what do you think?

Parker Marshall and Eve Huger were the next two eldest guardians in line having been here almost as long as Violet. I could easily see them filling the roles with honor while we were gone.

“Perfect” I agreed. “We will meet up at my car in one hour.”

To normal people-human people one hour would not be enough time to accomplish wanted need done. Thankfully we were not human.

I paused half way through the door as a thought occurred to me. The last time I went on a two day trip with Violet she showed up with three suitcases, a duffel bag, and two carry on cases crammed full of things she never used.

I did not even want to imagine what she might try to bring along with her thing time.

“Violet” I looked over my shoulder. “Pack light.”

“Fine” She huffed. I will just go shopping when we get there.

I rolled my eyes. Suit Yourself.

Now that those small details were being taken care of I could finally be alone with my thoughts.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath as I gave myself over to my more natural instincts. I let go freeing myself for just a moment to enjoy the feel of the wind whipping past me.

This was the only time I allowed my guards to slip when I knew it was just me and the night air. I could not hurt anyone and no one else could hurt me.

I did not need to look to see where it was that I was going my body already knew so I threw my head back and let my feet carry me the rest of the way.

I would worry about all the rest in an hour for now I just wanted to be free.


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Synopsis
Brady Andrews whole reason for existing is turned upside down when he is forced to keep Abigail Roswell, a human girl, and the future leader of the Roswell Council safe from harm. There is just one problem Abigail is not allowed to know what future role she will play or what she will soon become to fulfill that role. As Brady struggles to keep Abigail in the dark, he struggles even harder to deny his feeling for the girl. When Donovan Croft and his coven of power hungry vampires close in around Abigail, Brady is forced to the realization that his worst fear is coming true. Will Brady find the strength to over come his fear in time to save Abigail and the future of the underworld from falling into the wrong hands?
A Word from the Writer
I am trying a different point of view for this story to see which one works better please do provide feedback on this!!
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