Dani had gotten a message from Jeanne earlier, at the time the vampire was confused, what could Jeanne be texting her about? Had she even given them her number? She had given her number to the French vampire when they saw each in the Pandemonium, reading the message she smiled – it was an invitation to dinner at their new clan house. She wasn’t surprised that they’d made the decision to move after last time she went, they probably had left a slaughter in their wake after killing the mundane vampire hunters. Considering that she had nothing but time, she messaged them back agreeing to go. After quickly getting ready and locating the address, Dani picked up the keys to Gerardo’s bike and left the Institute . if he ever found out that she was going to visit his clan he’d probably strangle her.
It didn’t take her too long to get there and when she did, she was greeted by Alvaro who had run out looking a little deflated but amused at seeing her. She figured that he must have been expecting Gerardo, dangling the keys in front of him she demonstrated that she still had temporary ownership over the Clan Leader’s bike. Walking into the house she was immediately greeted by the vampires she’d met on her last visit: Helena, Jeanne, Charlie, Sienna, Angus, Reinhart (who still looked suspicious of her), Nikolaj, Chenglei, Fion, Blake, Riley, Catalina and Hana. She was then introduced to the rest of them who asked her about what had gone down last time. At least they didn’t think that she was with Gerardo in that way anymore but they were still asking if she was joining the clan.
Half an hour had passed just chatting in general getting introduced to the others, hanging around in the kitchen waiting for the lasagne to finishing cooking when Dani heard the sound of someone walking up to the house. Dani frowned to herself, another clan member? She noticed that Alvaro quickly disappeared from the room shouting ‘Volpe!’ to someone. Wait. Isn’t that what he called Gerard the first time he brought her here, the whole room was looking towards the door now waiting for a reply. It was Gerard … shit.
The whole room was looking at her now, she shrugged nonchalantly at them waiting for the old grump to come in. They all parted giving him way once he stepped into the room, traitors, she thought to herself narrowing her eyes at them before grinning brightly at the clan leader as his clan answered his questions. She rolled her eyes as he gave out the chores and started to help them, grabbing some cutlery and plates in one go. Waitressing in New Orleans for a short time was actually coming in handy.
“You don’t look too happy to see me and to think I was going to give your bike keys back, I think I’m going to have to reconsider,” Dani said shaking her head at him with a disappointed pout, before walking a little and turning around, “Oh, and to answer your last question. I found Jeanne in the Pandemonium and gave her my number, you ass, I heard what you said to Sera. Shame on you.”
Between the six of them it didn’t take long to get the table ready outside for dinner. Everyone took their seats and everyone insisted and Gerard and herself sat beside each other – what they were trying to achieve or prove was beyond her. Finally with the Clan Leader’s permission they all started eating. The lasagne to Sienna’s credit was amazing, absolutely delicious but that still didn’t break the silence or the tension.
“Are you sure you don’t want to join the clan Dani? You’d fit in seamlessly,” Jeanne asked her, break the silence as everyone started eating.
“Yeah, we could use someone who could tell him off once in a while,” Charlie snickered under his breath, earning a few more laughs.
“Remind you on anyone?” Helena coughed witha smirk.
Dani chewed the piece of food in her mouth before answering. “Like I said before, I don’t think I’m ready to be in a clan again and I have major issues with authority figures so … I’ll have to decline the offer,” she said with a small smile, before chuckling to myself, “Besides Gerry wouldn’t want me here and I wouldn’t want him as a Clan Leader. We know too much about each other, right?”
“Like what?” Reinhart asked, staring at the two of them.
“Like pasts and stuff,” Dani said vaguely before looking up nervously at Gerard, taking another bite out of her meal.
“Helena, shut the fuck up if I hear another word out of you you’ll regret it. Reinhart stop sticking your bloody nose in where it’s not fucking wanted. We’ll talk about Seraphina later Danielle not that I really consider it to be any on your business.” He addressed them curtly pissed off by both their insistent chatter and because they had interrupted his dinner. “As for the rest of you Danielle is here as a guest and a guest only after this point if there is any talk of her joining the clan it better becoming from her lips and hers only. Capiche?”
The clan nodded knowing that it was best just to agree with Gerard and they continue on with their dinner talking silently among themselves while they began talking louder and more freely as time went on there still remained an underlying tension. Especially from those who had been scolded in particular Helena who was sulking in the corner her plate pushed away glaring while Fionn tried to console her. Gerard’s mood, already darkened by the surprise presence of Dani, was now pitch black as he finished over his plate before stalking over to the living room not looking to see if anyone followed him.
Walking into the living room he strode over to the TV which he punched on as well as the XBOX underneath getting Call of Duty ready to play before collapsing on couch with the controller in his hand. Few (excluding the clan) knew it but video games, especially the more violent ones, were a guilty pleasure of his as he express his frustrations without actually going on a murderous outrage which would no doubt result in another move for the clan. If this was 50, maybe 40 years ago he wouldn’t have cared he would have stormed out of the house and drained at least 5 mortals but alas they had progressed since then and although he did regularly go active for someone to eat a mass murder would only attract unnecessary attention.
He sighed impatient as he waited for the game to load and once it had he eagerly began punching the buttons expertly and skilfully completing the missions on each level. About ten minutes in he heard some people walk into the living room, Charlie and Blake asking if they could join in on the game. Nodding his consent the three vampires began massacring the digitalised people while members of their clan murmured around them.
Gerard sighed, after his probably life threatening (as in holyshittheclaveandothermembersoftheinstitutearegoingtobepissedthatipointedoutherstupidinsecruties) conversation with Seraphina Lightwood he decided to visit he clan house, which after the incident that occurred last time had moved. If the clan asked he was visiting them (which they probably call bullshit on) if someone from the Institute asked he was going to check up on them (Danielle would just tell him he’s bullshitting). Internally shrugging no one needed to know any otherwise-though even if was being honest, it was more of tactical retreat more than anything, he was certain after a couple of days the whole thing would blow over. It was about midnight when he left the church building, if he had left any earlier they’d definitely know he was bullshitting, but it also made for a good walk through the City. Since Danielle still had his bike, he didn’t really have any other choice, and he didn’t really want a new bike he was quite partial to the one he already had thank you very much.
As he approached the house he saw parked outside the house a bike….looking suspiciously like his own, increasing his pace he casually sniffed the bike to determine the smell. Which was 100% Danielle Raine, no mistaking he knew it as well as any other. He cursed, this meant she was inside and causing havoc, again. He was tempted to turn around and walk to the nearest bar, drink and find someone who didn’t need the blood they boasted, but like before a familiar face emerged from the front door crying “Volpe!”
“Really Alváro, do you stand guard at the door awaiting my arrival?”
“Not at all Volpe, I just knew that with the arrival of our guest you wouldn’t be far behind and I was right.”
He smiled at his clan leader, before answering the questions he knew Gerard would want the answers to. “It’s been about an hour, she fits in perfectly and while she hadn’t met everyone last time no one thinks you’re boning her. However, some are under the impression, encouraged by Helena naturally, that she was taken her ‘rightful’ place as your little sister. An idea, they’ve yet to present to her but no doubt you’ll both deny it so I don’t know if they will say anything. Ah, yes she is also creating what you would describe as a disaster of epic proportions and the rest of us consider entertainment. Miss Dani is currently presiding in the kitchen and Sienna has lasagne in the oven for you.”
Nodding Gerard decided it was probably best to go in and see what Miss Raine was up to. As he walked thought the house, Alváro behind him, he noticed that he wasn’t greeted by members of his clan wandering through the house. In fact, if he concentrated he would have to guess they were all in the kitchen, and he was right. When he walked in the kitchen the other 34 members of his clan and Dani were cramped in the kitchen, as he neared her the clan parted like the Red Sea eager to watch the two vampires interact.
“And just what, Danielle, do you think you are doing here?”
“I invited her” Jeanne called out from the throng
“I sent her our address” Helena, Catalina and Charlie joined in.
“How do you even have her number?” He asked as he turned to he glare at his clan members. Just about to berate them further when Sienna came pushing her way through the crowd claiming that her lasagne was ready. She opened the ridiculously big (and expensive) oven to pull out for five trays of lasagne and set them on the side to cool down.
“Someone set the tables, or just get cutlery.” She asked, the clan immediately began offering other people to do the jobs and leaving out of the kitchen in an attempt to avoid the menial labour. “I don’t care who does it, but if no one does you’re not getting any food.” Sienna continued placing bread in the oven to warm it up and pulling salad from the fridge.
Seeing a chance for revenge, no matter how small, Gerard seized the opportunity “Well I do.” Some members of the clan groaned while others laughed knowing they’re going to get stuck with the chores. “Catalina-plates, tissues and cutlery. Charlie-push the tables together, get some sheets to cover them with and make sure there are enough chairs to fit everyone. Jeanne- glasses.”
The Frenchwoman smirked until Gerard added that she would be filling the dishwasher after dinner as well. “Finally, Helena, you wash everything else such as the lasagne pans and Fionn you dry.”
“What did I do?” The Irishman protested.
“You could have stopped Helena.”
“Have you met Helena? I couldn’t have stopped her if I tried.”
Gerard raised an eyebrow at the vampire who sighed conceding “Fine.. geez.”
“By the way” Gerard added “We’re eating outside.”
“Why outside? We donnae usually eat outside.” Angus asked
“I’m well aware of that Angus but we have a guest, and it is a longer distance from the kitchen to carry plates and such.”
Fifteen minutes later everyone went outside to sit at the tables while Sienna and Alváro brought out the food. They began sitting down Gerard near the middle insisting that Danielle sit next to him while the others arranged themselves accordingly, once they had all sat down and had a plateful of lasagne, salad and a piece of bread he said “Bon Appetito.”
“What do you think me coming to the Institute is? It’s me not running anymore, I’ve been here for a year it’s been a century since I’ve stayed anywhere for a year,” she said through gritted teeth, as she stepped through the blood and took a blood bag. She grimaced at the feel of blood on her bare feet before considering the other option, looking at the blood bag in her hand. “I’m not that person anymore,” she said seriously, before biting into the bag.
Gerard scoffed “The Institute isn’t a place to stop running, it’s a place to hide and once the Clave are down they’ll kick us out like squatters.” His nostrils flared at the scent of the blood, O- but he refused quelling his hunger which should have been satisfied considering all the blood he had already drank. “No, I suppose you are not. What a sad life."
She looked up at him for a long
moment, before looking away frowning to herself thinking back to her clan
leader. “My clan leader had been keeping tabs on me, he knows every place I
been to,” she not even thinking about, she just needed to tell someone, “I’m
tired of running and he knows that.” Letting out a long sigh, she got up and made her way to the kitchen, the smell of blood making her hungrier.
Gerard looked at the other vampire in surprise, he’d won’t have thought she’d reveal that information to him. Following her into the kitchen he said “So stop running. Or stop him.” It seemed simple to him but he wondered if it would be the same for Daniella.
She hated the way he way in which he waited for her to speak was like he was waiting an answer from any of the other vampires in his clan. Which he wasn’t.“It was hardly coincidence I don’t think, he approached me in the Pandemonium, made sure I knew he was here,” she shrugged sitting back down again, lazily lifting up her eyes to the clan leader. “Sure you do, the best thing you could come up with was killing me and you won’t do that. Funny, that’s what he thought too.”
Gerard’s eyes narrowed “I never mentioned killing you, you brought it up. If you’re so eager for death, speak the word and I will oblige you.” He doubted she would agree, but he didn’t really care. He wasn’t her guardian, they were barely friends. He wondered what he was thinking when he brought Dani here, what good he thought it would do.
“Oh yeah, believe me the smell of burning flesh is one that you never forget,” she said almost growling at the other vampire. Dani watched as the skin on his hand over. She looked up at him for a long time, dragging out the silence between them and trying to avoid the question. “I don’t know, he was here. Why? Do you want some advice on how to torture me?”
“I’m sure.” Gerard scoffed ignoring his hand now it had healed cleanly he glanced at the wall and the broken glass near it. The glass could easily be dealt with but the wall was going to be more annoying. He turned back feeling Dani’s stare and matched it with an eyebrow raised waiting for her to speak again. “Strange that he should just happen to run into you. Advice? I hardly need advice in those matters.”
“Yeah well, next time you don’t want someone to know that you like almost burning yourself. You should do it in a room free of a heightened sense vampire even if there sleeping,” Dani bit back bitterly. She stood completely still as he punched the law and bowed her head avoiding his gaze when he turned back to her, “It doesn’t matter anymore. It happened … I shouldn’t have brought it up in the first place.” Looking up at him she sighed shaking her head, before sinking back into the chair. “Unless you’re going to kill me Gerard, I have nothing left to lose.”
“Don’t be stupid. I don’t like burning myself. I’m not fucking suicidal. Oh really, thanks for the advice. I should probably listen to you, you’re an expect on burning.” He spat out pulling debris from his hand before the skin healed off “Killing you would be too boring and easy. I’m not going to kill you. So your clan leader is in New York?”