DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
WARNING: This story contains scenes of bloody violence. Reader discretion is advised.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Raines..." Tucker yawned as he picked out a Red Bull at the gas station not fifteen minutes from the DuVista's house. He was supposed to check up on them every night at around eight, then midnight, and then six am before they woke up. It was on Grayson's list of instructions before she left. Answering his phone in a bored fashion, he waited for who ever was on the other line to tell him who it was. He didn't recognize the number.
"Where are you?" A distinctive Texas growl from the other end of the phone; it was his boss, Grayson.
"I'm at the gas station down the street from the DV's " He'd shortened it in case any one was listening into the phone call. "Why? What's wrong?"
"I just finished my last meeting with Judas. Go to their house, and stay there. Call me when you get there." She ended the phone call abruptly, but Tucker knew better than to argue with her, he knew how bad her temper was and he didn't' want to test it when it came to her family.
Arriving in front of Calleigh and Natalia's he was shocked to see the front door standing wide open. "Oh my God... No." No one was in the house, their clothes were still there with the dogs were barking hysterically in the backyard, and all the cars were there, including Jordan's. Dialing Grayson frantically, she answered on the second ring. "They're gone." He rushed out.
"What the fuck do you mean their gone? What does the house look like? Tucker I need you to be my eyes I'm not there." She commanded.
Rattling off the details like it was second nature, he waited for her to respond, to give him some kind of instruction. To do something, other than stand here like a fool. "Boss, what do I do?" All he heard was a dial tone.
When the plane touched down in the chilly New York air, his eyes opened as he sat up. Standing he straightened his appearance, then tossed Natalia a large coat before disappearing down the stairs once they had stopped moving and had entered a hanger. "Come Natalia..."
"Not until I'm sure that Calleigh is alright." Natalia stood up.
Several armed men in expensive suits strode past Natalia, and none to gently, they lifted Calleigh into their arms, tasering her again into darkness. Stefan's voice rang up the steps as the men brought her down. The same men brought Jordan down, though leaving him conscious while he struggled in vain before Stefan punched him hard in the gut. "Natalia, we are waiting.."
Following the men down the stairway, Natalia tried to get close to her wife, but wasn't allowed to get anywhere near her or Jordan.
Both Calleigh and Jordan were loaded into a black Hummer; Stefan however opened the door to a black Rolls Royce Phantom and gestured for Natalia to take her place inside the expensive vehicle. "Your Grandfather..." His voice dipped in disdain. " is waiting for you and he isn't known for his patience."
Stopping at the door, Natalia looked towards the Hummer. "Will they be alright?"
Shrugging carelessly, Stefan smiled cruelly at her. "It really doesn't matter, now get in the damn car before I lose my temper, and kill them both." He growled in her face.
Giving the Hummer one last look, Natalia got into the luxurious car, sitting as far away from Stefan as she could. Rubbing her stomach, she concentrated instead of keeping Caden calm.
The drive was relatively quiet, Stefan having gone silent once they left the city. In New York, the air had a sudden winters bite to it, light snow covered the ground and made their drive much longer than necessary. They slowed only once; when passing through enormous stone gates that guarded a black driveway that led up into the woods outside of New York City. Stefan leaned over and smiled. "Ready for your family reunion?" The Phantom and Hummer circled the drive, coming to a stop outside of an enormous sprawling estate. "Welcome home Natalia... this is where you will be living, for now, the Cerano Family Compound." He exited the vehicle, giving instructions to his men about where Calleigh and Jordan were to be taken before opening Natalia's door.
Slowly getting out and looking around at the winter scene, Natalia shivered at the coldness in the man's voice, not in the air. Looking towards the Hummer, she saw the men carrying Calleigh and Jordan inside. "May I make sure that they are alright?"
"You and Calleigh will be staying in Grayson's room. Jordan and Denato will be speaking privately and you will join him later. So stop asking stupid questions and WALK." He growled, yanking her arm hard, dragging her into the enormous home.
Being dragged along, Natalia struggled to keep up with Stefan long strides. Looking down at her feet just to make sure that she didn't trip, she totally missed the opulence of the house with its rich woods and fabrics.
Finally reaching the correct room, Stefan shoved Natalia into an enormous room with large bay windows, a locked patio door, and high stone vaulted ceilings. The room was incredibly Spartan by way of decoration. A large stone bed covered in dark green sheets and comforter took up some of the room, along with several chairs, most of the walls were covered in books and trophies from various sporting events. Stefan smiled. "You can stay where Grayson stayed..." Moments later, he literally threw Calleigh into the room, her body sliding across the floor, coming to a stop against the bed. He laughed again, slamming the doors shut, hard with a snap and locking them in place. "Have fun, little women..." He chanted maliciously through the door.
Immediately Natalia was on the floor, next to Calleigh, carefully removing the gag. She was breathing, though her skin was cold and clammy to the touch. Reaching for her hands, she saw that zip ties bound both her hands and feet so she needed to find something to cut them with.
Struggling to get to her feet, Natalia stripped the comforter from the bed, covering her wife in an effort to get her warm. After making sure Calleigh's skin had reached a more reasonable temperature, Natalia began snooping through the drawers in the vanity, the dresser, and through the enormous closet that held thousands upon thousands of dollars of designer clothes. She came upon several loaded guns, knives, swords, throwing stars, vicious weapons of torture and leather bound bloodstained diary. Natalia set the diary on top of the vanity, crawled back across the floor slowly to Calleigh, and began sawing through her bonds with a serrated knife. "Calleigh... Baby please wake up..." After slicing through the bonds, she cradled her wife in her arms sadly, tears streaming down her face, terrified for what might happen to them.
The armed men gripped Jordan roughly by the arms, dragging his dazed form down the long stone hallway. His shoes scuffing across the rough floor as he fought wave after wave of dizziness. Finally they sat him down hard in an expensive leather couch in front of a roaring fire. With a start, he realized he was in his own Grandfathers study. Only Grayson had been allowed in this room besides Stefan, this was where he knew Denato discussed business.
He went to stand, but the cold cruel voice across the room stopped him in his tracks.
"If I told you once Jordan, I've told you hundreds of times. Stop fighting it. You can go free, but Grayson stays. But no you couldn't listen could you? Had to be the hero? Now look where it's gotten you.." The eldest Cerano finally came into view.
Denato Cerano was the elder version of Jordan. The same charm that Jordan possessed was also evident in his Grandfather; if the man could stop being cruel enough for one moment to try being nice.
Burning black eyes similar to Grayson's stared hard at Jordan, who for the most part, knew when to be quiet. His Grandfather wasn't above killing him to draw Grayson back out into the open, and the both of them knew it.
"Now I've got long lost granddaughters coming out of the wood work pulling the same shit you do." Denato in his anger, slammed his fist down on the large oak desk that he was sitting at.
"Stefan, Take him to his room. Let him think about what he's done. Dinner is in an hour Jordan. I expect you and.. Natalia..." He sneered at the mention of her name, though a gleeful smile. "Not to mention... the blonde to be ready for dinner."
Jordan's handsome features went pale as Stefan grabbed him by the upper arm again, dragging him back down the hallway. Dinner was a family tradition, a Cerano family tradition; you ate before your execution.
Warmth was the first thing that Calleigh was aware of, and then it was Natalia's voice pleading for her to wake up. With her eyes still closed, she carefully moved her arms and then her legs, making sure that the circulation was returning. Groaning, she attempted to sit up.
"No, stay where you are babe... You were tasered. Just give it a moment." Natalia pleaded back brokenly.
Closing her eyes, Calleigh fought to control her nausea, but was determined to stand. "Just let me stand, Talia. I need to move around." She croaked out.
Releasing the blonde completely, Natalia moved away from her and picked up the bloodstained diary as she sat carefully on the plush mattress surrounded by ancient stone. Opening it made her stomach roll; the blood was everywhere on the diary, both inside and outside. She shut it and stared at Calleigh, terrified.
Slowly turning over to her stomach, Calleigh made her way to her hands and knees, stopping from time to time to swallow the bile that kept threatening to come up before she was able to sit back on her heels. Looking over to Natalia, she saw that she was clutching a stained book, looking sick. Pushing herself to her feet, she looked around the room, seeing a bathroom, she went inside to get a damp cloth.
After taking a brief moment to wipe her own face off with the cool cloth, she went over to sit next to the brunette on the sofa, handing it to her. "Are you ok? How's Caden doing?"
Hands tightened around the expensive journal as she clung to it desperately, raising it to her chest, Natalia fought to control her tears if only for their son and Calleigh. "No..."She whispered eyes closing rocking back and forth. Grayson had to come, she would come, and she would save them.
Pulling off her boots and scooting back on the bed, Calleigh drew the woman into her embrace. "Lay with me Talia. We need to rest for Caden's sake."
Shaking like a leaf in a storm, Natalia nodded numbly, burying her face in Calleigh's neck, but her voice was strong. "I am so sorry." She whispered once again, everything was her fault. They should have never agreed to let Grayson continue to help them; so many things had gone wrong.
Drawing the sheets around them, Calleigh rubbed her hands along Natalia's body, trying to ease her fears the best that she could. "It's not your fault darlin. None of this is your fault."
"Grayson will come... She will come." Natalia murmured to herself, unable to keep quiet, she couldn't stop shaking. Grayson would know they were gone; she had to be keeping watch over them from a distance. How else would she have felt safe enough to venture into Miami just to see them? One hand unlatched from the journal, pressing it into Calleigh's hands.
Looking down at the stained book, Calleigh set it aside for a moment, intent on calming Natalia. "Talia... Baby. Look at me please."
Dull lifeless eyes looked up at Calleigh.
Without thinking, Calleigh leaned down and brushed her lips against Natalia's. Scooting down a bit, she pulled the woman against her, molding their bodies together, trying to bring the brunette to the moment. Slanting her head, she slowly deepened the kiss, her body remembering so much.
Natalia openly submitted to Calleigh, her hands tangling in silken strands. Everywhere Calleigh was touching her burnt through the cold numbness she felt creeping over her.
Moaning, Calleigh let her hands slide underneath the brunette's shirt, the silkiness of the Latina's skin beckoned her to explore further. Lifting her head, she silently asked for permission with her eyes.
"Calleigh, are you sure about this?" Natalia's timid voice broke through her growing arousal. They were in her Grandfather's house, a man known for his cruelty and insanity.
Jade eyes met chocolate, scanning the tearful face in front of her, Calleigh said nothing, just lowered her head, and kissed her again. They had this moment to share and neither knew if they would have another. "Show me Talia Show me what it's like to be loved by you." Calleigh whispered.
Sitting up, Natalia reached down and slowly started unbuttoning Calleigh's shirt, her eyes never leaving Calleigh's as she slowly opened the shirt, running her fingers up the toned abdomen, watching as jade eyes turned darker. Reaching out with one hand, she deftly unhooked the front clasp of Calleigh's bra.
Fisting her hands in the sheets, Calleigh trembled at the sensual touch that stirred something so deep inside that felt so right; that her body knew who was touching her and was responding instinctively
"Help me take off your shirt, baby." Natalia whispered, holding out her hand to her wife. Instead, Calleigh slid off the other side of the bed, coming around to stand in front of the brunette. Reaching up, she stripped off her shirt and bra in one motion, before reaching down to unfasten her jeans until Natalia reached out to stop her. Scooting off the bed, Natalia stood in front of her wife, gazing down into the face of the woman who had laid claim to her heart. Not looking away from those expressive eyes, she slid her hands down Calleigh's stomach to the top of her waist band, tugging down the zipper so she could slid her hands over her hips and remove the remaining clothes.
Placing her hands on Natalia's hips, Calleigh stepped out the clothes, offering herself to this woman. Take the final step forward, Natalia threaded her hands in golden hair, drawing Calleigh to her, whispering against her lips. "I love you Calleigh and I don't know what the future holds for the either of us, but I need for you to know that I would change nothing about our life together as long as we end up just like this, together."
Leaning forward the last few millimeters that separated them; Natalia kissed Calleigh's eyelids, the tip of her nose, then finally her lips. Running her tongue over the berry colored bottom one, she then bit it gently. She then drew it between her lips, sucking gently as her hands moved up from her hips to cup Calleigh's full breasts, rubbing her thumbs over the nipples, causing the blonde to shiver.
Calleigh placed one of her hands on Natalia's should to keep her balance as the brunette's mouth moved down to past her jaw line, pausing to nip at a her chin before licking and nibbling down her neck. Throwing back her head, and closing her eyes, Calleigh groaned at the gentle assault of her body, astonished at the sensitivity of her nerves. This was nothing like anything that she remembered ever experiencing, no one had ever taken the time or the effort to ensure that she felt the love that they felt for her.
Slowly turning them around, Natalia backed them up until Calleigh could feel the bed against the back of her legs and began to sit down. Holding onto her wife, Natalia knelt on the floor and reached behind Calleigh, to grasp her ass, pulling her towards her so that she was between Calleigh's legs.
Leaning forward to capture one of the breasts between her lips as her hand massaged to other, Natalia moaned at the silkiness and then the hardness of Calleigh. This was the perfect example of the love of her life; soft and caring naturally, but then hard and determined when she had to be.
Calleigh was looking down, watching Natalia make love to her breasts and her breath was taken away. Reaching up one hand, she threaded her fingers through the auburn hair and groaned as Natalia looked up to capture her gaze, never stopping her ministrations.
Switching breasts, Natalia began to hum against Calleigh's nipple, causing the blonde to feel the vibrations down to her center. After a few moments, she brought up her other hand to replace her mouth as she began to move it down lower; licking, kissing open mouth kisses against Calleigh's stomach, and then she came to her belly button. Dipping and twirling her tongue, Natalia delve in, time and again before dropping lower.
Calleigh couldn't sit up any longer so she leaned back against her elbows, loathe to lose sight of what Natalia was doing, but then her eyes snapped shut as the brunette let her tongue stroke against the tiny bundle of nerves that was pulsating in time with her heart. Collapsing against the bed, the blonde arched up, tossing her head to and fro.
Wrapping her hands around Calleigh's thighs, Natalia let her tongue slide from Calleigh's clit to her opening and back at an agonizingly slow speed, intent on driving Calleigh insane with need. And if the amount of wetness was a proof, she was doing a great job. Removing one of her hands from the blonde's thigh, Natalia slowly eased in three fingers, filling up her wife. Hearing the low, slow moan from Calleigh's mouth was like hearing heaven's angel's chorus and it made her heart sing.
Being filled by Natalia's fingers was nothing compared to the love that was filling Calleigh's soul; slowly and surely her body remembered the touch of her, the feeling of the emotion that Natalia was putting into each thrust, of each draw against her clit or every lav of her tongue. This is love incarnate.
Bring up her head, Natalia watched as Calleigh's body undulated under her hands as she began to speed up the intensity and force of her thrusts while using her thumb to circle and press against her clit. The moans and sighs coming from Calleigh's lips along with the tightening of the muscles around her fingers signaled that the blondes pending orgasm was drawing close. Bending her head back down to suckle the tiny bundle, drawing it against her teeth and flicking it with her tongue, sent Calleigh right over the edge; screaming out Natalia's name.
Her breath was coming out in gasps while her hands clawed at the sheets and her body slammed itself against the bed, Calleigh thrashed about as another tremor rolled through, this one more intense than the first. "My God Ta lia " Tears began to escape from the corner of her eyes as the pleasure became so intense and she began to black out.
Feeling the spasms slow, and Calleigh's muscles gradually relax, Natalia fluttered her fingers as she slowly pulled out in her wife to make her way up her wife's body; licking and tasting her way. When she finally reached her head, she found Calleigh's eyes fluttering as she was trying to focus.
"Hey baby you ok?"
Reaching up, Calleigh pulled Natalia's head down for a kiss, moaning as she tasted herself. Sliding her hands underneath Natalia's shirt, she groaned as Natalia's tongue warred with hers for dominance; twisting around each other. Finally pulling away, only to breathe, Calleigh growled out. "I have never felt anything like that before. My God! Is it always like that?"
Smiling down at her wife, Natalia leaned on her elbow, gazing at the sweaty woman. "For me it is." Reaching out with a gentle hand, she brushed damp hair away from her face. "I love you Calleigh DuVista, I always have and always will."
Biting her lip, Calleigh wanted to say the words, needed to say the words, but they wouldn't come out. She opened her mouth to say something, but Natalia pressed a finger against her lips.
"Don't say anything; not until you feel it. This is enough for now. This will get me through what's to come." Natalia whispered. "You had better get cleaned up, because I don't know how much time they will give us and I don't want us caught like this as I don't know what they will do."
Sitting up and turning to face the brunette, Calleigh asked. "Don't you want me to make love to you? Don't you want me to ?"
"Baby, you did. You made love to me in the best way." Natalia assured her.
Reaching out to caress Natalia's face, Calleigh sighed. "Are you sure?"
Nodding her head, Natalia got off the bed, holding out her hand to her wife to draw her up. "Go take a shower. I'll find you some clothes and bring them in."
Kissing the brunette once more, Calleigh headed into the bathroom and turned on the shower, while Natalia picked up the discarded clothes and began to go through Grayson's clothes to find something that would fit her wife. Settling on a pair of black jeans and a matching turtleneck, she found an unopened package of underwear and took out a pair.
Going into the bathroom, she placed the clothes on the counter before she sat down on the vanity stool to wait, enjoying just watching the blonde bathe. Her eyes traveled along the body, filing ever touch, caress away in her memory; replaying every moan and sigh through the sound track in her mind.
Turning in the shower, Calleigh saw Natalia sitting on the stool, watching her while tears were slowly trekking down her face. Quickly finishing up, the blonde grabbed a towel, wrapped it around herself and went to kneel in front of the brunette, taking her hands in her grasp.
"Please don't cry Talia Have faith that your cousin will come and have faith that we can get through this together. We have to, because I was just shown what love is and I'm not ready to let that feeling go. Not now, in fact, not ever."
Leaning forward, Natalia captured Calleigh's lips in a kiss, taking her time to slide her tongue over the bottom lip, requesting permission to delve inside Calleigh's mouth. Both women moaned, and Natalia's legs parted and the blonde situated herself between them, dropping the towel. Bringing up her hands, Natalia cupped Calleigh's breasts, squeezing them, feeling the dusky nipples harden against her palms.
Groaning, Calleigh pulled away, closing her eyes to trying to get her breathing under control, because as much as she wanted more, she knew that they didn't have the time. Swallowing hard, she took Natalia's hands away from her body, holding them between hers. "You hold onto that thought, Mrs. DuVista because we are so going to finish this later, but right now, I need to get dressed."
Leaning forward, the blonde kissed away Natalia's tears before grabbing the towel and getting to her feet. Finishing drying herself off, Calleigh dressed in the clothes that Natalia had found for her, finding that everything fit pretty well. Then going over to the vanity, she looked through the drawers for a comb or brush and not only found those items, but a few other interesting things.
Natalia watched as Calleigh combed out her hair and began to carefully braid it around long, slender knife that had just enough bend in it to be completely hidden by Calleigh's golden hair, while the 'handle' so to speak, would be easy enough for her to reach at the base of her neck.
Finishing up, Calleigh turned to face Natalia. "Do I look ok?"
Rising from the stool where she had been watching, Natalia went over to wrap her arms around her wife's waist. "You look perfect. I can't tell that it's there and I know what to look for." Gazing into cool, green eyes, Natalia asked. "Let me bathe and change clothes, but would you mind then us laying bed and you just holding me? I think that they will be coming for us soon, and I want to feel your arms around me for as long as I can."
Placing a gentle kiss against Natalia's lips, Calleigh nodded her head and stepped away before offering to help her undress.
"No babe, I'm fine. You could though, go see what's in the closet that would fit someone in my condition. Somehow, I don't think that Grayson's clothes will fit me." Natalia raised an eyebrow at Calleigh's smirk before the blonde could turn away, hiding her smile.
Shaking her head as she walked into the bedroom, Calleigh started going through the closet, not really expecting to find anything, but was taken back when on the far end, she found numerous maternity clothes that still had the price tags on. Looking at a few of the tags, she whistled underneath her breath at the prices. Evidently money wasn't a problem.
Sorting through the clothes, the blonde finally settled on a long sleeve, black cowl neck, knee length dress. Removing the tag, she looked through the drawers and found new items there so she helped herself before taking her bounty back into the bathroom.
Walking in, she was stunned to a stop by the vision in front of her. With water cascading over her body, Natalia in Calleigh's mind was reminiscent of Botticelli's Venus rising from the sea with her hair flowing over her shoulders, and down her back, glistening in the evening sun that was shining through a window.
Remembering that she needed to breath so that she could continue to stare at the vision in front of her, Calleigh walked over to a small closet to hang up the dress and left the rest of the items on the vanity.
Turning back to the shower, the blonde couldn't help herself from standing there open mouthed and staring. 'Holy Mother! I am so lost. She is gorgeous.'
Shaking her head, Calleigh left the room before she was caught staring, but missed Natalia smirking. Walking about the bedroom, the blonde found candles scattered throughout the room, so upon seeing a lighter, she lit them all before turning on the stereo that was sitting on one of the shelves of the bookcase. Playing with the channels, she finally found some soft instrumental music. Straightening up the bed, she walked around the room, looking through the books, CD's and DVD's Grayson had a varied tastes, ranging from horror, hard rock, history, anatomy and Crossword puzzles? Seeing countless books on puzzles, Calleigh began to think about this Grayson in a different light.
Hearing a noise from the other side of the room, she turned to see Natalia standing in the bathroom doorway and she totally forgot how to breathe. Standing the openmouthed and with a look of total awe, she didn't even realized that Natalia had crossed the room until she reached up to caress her face.
"Are you alright Calleigh?"
Startled, the blonde shook herself and reached for the brunette. "I uh have never been better." Bowing slightly, Calleigh grinned and held out her hand. "May I have this dance, Mrs. DuVista?"
Curtsying, Natalia reached out to take the blonde hand, pulling her close, draping her arms over Calleigh's shoulders even as the blonde placed her hands on her hips. "This dance and every other one that you ever ask me for."
The two women moved gracefully in time with the easy music, because just for this one moment, it was only the two of them in the entire world. Staring up at Natalia, Calleigh gazed into warm chocolate eyes and saw their future; them raising Caden and then Calleigh would get pregnant. Their house would be filled with laughter, family, and love, and they would grow older together and die in each other's arms.
Reaching up, Calleigh threaded her fingers in auburn hair. "Natalia, I "
A knock came at the door and then it was shoved open. Their time alone was over.
A team of five men surrounded Grayson's lone form, standing in the middle of a dark street. One of the men was carrying a compound bow, another a long distance rifle, while two others carried assault rifles and the last man carried nothing. All of them were standing at the back end of a black Ford Ecoline van that had been stripped bare, except for an array of technical equipment.
Foster, the man in the glasses and bulletproof vest looked at Grayson nervously. "You know... I taught you how to do this so I wouldn't have to do it when you asked me for a favor." He fidgeted nervously, staring at the ground between himself and the most frightening of the Cerano's.
Grayson was dressed in black; jeans, boots, pea coat with a high collar that had been pulled up against the New York chill. Her body beneath the jacket was encased in a custom-made, bulletproof vest that protected her from anything, but a knife. Over it was a black, v-neck thermal shirt and her hands were encased in black leather gloves; the kind she always wore on the job. Her entire face however was no longer encased in just half a metal mask, no, now it was full, scarred black metal mask, only her black, glittering eyes shone through. The black leather straps that kept it fastened to either side of her face were hid not only by her dark hair, but by the black cowl hood that she kept over her head. Grayson looked every inch of the 'Nightmare' she had been trained to be.
After she had left Judas to die, she had called Tucker and Tanner to find out why Jordan hadn't been answering his phone. Maybe he had a girlfriend, after all Jordan wasn't above the Cerano trait of womanizing. Tucker had called her back moments later, frantically saying that Jordan was gone, her dogs were in the DuVista's back yard howling their heads off and no one had heard from Natalia, Calleigh or Jordan in hours. It didn't matter that it had only been a few hours, Grayson knew immediately where they had gone.
Instead of feeling fear for their lives, she let her emotions finally take over for the first time in twenty-five years. Those fools, how dare they take her family? How dare they kill her parents and think they could get away with it? Her entire being was filled with an enormous amounts of rage, hate, anger, revenge, and a deep-seated drive to make everyone in front of her suffer and beg for their lives.
"Get in the van." One of the men said, Grayson called him Robin, on account of how deadly he was with that cross bow. Robin, had been Grayson's Australian teacher, the one who had taught her so much about survival of the fittest.
Foster nodded, shutting the doors, but not before speaking directly to Grayson. "When you finally get a hold of a radio, turn it to the highest channel. Speak to me and I'll tell you what we have."
The rest of the men, whose names she really didn't care to remember, were former tutors, mentors of her past who owed her favors. Several times over the years, people had needed her help for many things. This was one of the few times in her life that Grayson needed them. With the only living family she had left all inside one building, filled with people who wanted her either tied to a chair and tortured, or dead; she wasn't going to take any chances.
These men followed her over to the fence with several pounds of raw, dripping meat. The meat was treated with enough sedatives to knock out several horses, since Grayson didn't have any ill will towards the dogs.
The six people climbed up on top of the wall while Foster looped a video to keep everyone inside the estate, calm and unaware. Pulling out a small, gold dog whistle, Grayson brought it under her mask, blowing hard. In the distance, she heard the answering yelps of all the dogs that were kept on the grounds.
Thirty minutes later, an entire team of men had been dispatched and now laid dead behind an enormous hedge, while the dogs snored peacefully nearby.
Dusting off her hands, Grayson nodded to each of the men, Shaking hands with each on as they clasped her shoulder and wished her good luck. She didn't say a word back to any of them, her mind already planning her entrance. Turning around, she waited patiently as one by one from different distances, the outward guards were picked off by silenced bullets and deadly arrows. Finally strolling up through the stone gardens, Grayson leaned down picking up a radio and did as Foster instructed her.
Straightening the expensive tie, Stefan smoothed his hair back, smiling at his reflection in one of the mirrors hanging in the stone hallway. Satisfied with his appearance, he walked up to Grayson's bedroom and knocked loudly before opening the door and motioning his men inside. "Careful with the brunette, Denato wants her in perfect condition." He murmured as he smiled at both women.
Upon hearing the knock on the door, Calleigh positioned herself between the door and Natalia, but the brunette placed her hand on Calleigh's arm. "Don't do anything please. Let's see what is going on." Turning so that she could see the door and Natalia, Calleigh agreed.
"Evening ladies, Natalia... Your grandfather has requested both you and Calleigh for dinner. Jordan is already waiting in the study for you." He sneered at Natalia, and then his eyes ran down Calleigh's form. "I see you both have been snooping around Grayson's room. I'd be careful doing that if I were you..." He warned with a wave of his finger. "Grayson wouldn't appreciate that."
Calleigh couldn't resist. "Well, we know that you'd look awfully funny in Grayson's clothes." Turning to Natalia, she suggested. "You might want to take a wrap or something. It will probably get chilly later on."
Stefan's eyes narrowed dangerously, raising his arm back, he slapped Calleigh hard across the face. Before either one of them could respond, they were seized by their upper arms, Calleigh's hands were bound with zip ties in front of her. "Rudeness will not be tolerated in this house. You will watch your tongue..." He grabbed her chin in his hand roughly. "Or I'll cut it out."
In a cold voice, Natalia's voice dripped with distain and sounded almost like her grandfather. "Stefan! You will treat my wife with the respect that a Cerano deserves. She is my chosen one and I will not have her treated roughly."
Laughing in her face, Stefan held his sides for a moment. "Wife? You are kidding, right? I'm sorry to inform you that this kind of... Disgraceful union isn't recognized as a marriage. It's a farce... Just like Grayson's trysts with Quinn, Sonia... All the other women who have tried to take my place in her heart." He smiled, motioning to the men, one of whom grabbed a shawl when Stefan wasn't looking and handed it to Natalia, smiling behind his dark sunglasses.
The armed men led the women down the hallway towards the study while Stefan chuckled to himself, hands in his pockets strolling down the hallway. Everywhere they looked, armed guards with pistols and other types of firearms were walking around, standing guard. The last rays of the dying sun light filtered through the enormous glass windows that lined the stone hallway. Pushing open enormous oak doors, Stefan led them into a library like room. Once they looked up, several floors were open above them as endless bookshelves towered down above them, along with cedar beams crisscrossing and windows every now and then. Jordan was seated in a chair, with his hands bound together, staring angrily at the tabletop.
"Jordan! Are you okay?" Natalia quietly asked.
"He's fine." Came the cruel voice Natalia had heard all those months ago over the phone, Denato Cerano was seated at the head of the table. His malicious smile didn't reach his eyes as he motioned for Stefan to seat Calleigh and Natalia separately on one side of the table, one on either side of Jordan.
Carefully sitting in the chair closest to the senior Cerano, the first thing that Natalia noticed about her grandfather was the emptiness in his eyes. No emotion gazed back at her, utter blackness that reminded her of Grayson when she was fighting Eric. "Nonno, è un onore incontrarmi con voi finalmente. Ho sentito molte cose su di lei da mio padre." 'Grandfather, it is an honor to finally meet you. I have heard many things about you from my father.'
Denato did not turn to face Natalia, nor did he grant her any kind of response. His hands were folded in his lap as he stared down the table at Jordan. The young man refused to raise his eyes to look at his Grandfather. Finally, as if now deeming it necessary to speak, Denato didn't look at Natalia still. "You are just like your mother Natalia. Sticking your nose where it does not belong." He turned to look at her cruelly. Stefan smiled and sat down in a chair in the far corner of the room, relaxing with a glass of bourbon.
"My apologies if I did something wrong, but I was brought up that family is everything, so when I found out that Jordan was family, I treated him as such." Natalia defended her actions.
"Jordan is of no consequence... He will learn the lesson of what happens when you interfere in your own families affairs..." Denato pulled the gun from inside his jacket and laid it on the tabletop next to his wine glass. "You, on the other hand Natalia... Grayson is no longer your concern."
Natalia argued. "I haven't seen or talked to Grayson in a very long time. She doesn't come around anymore. She went away and we have no idea where she is... Other than on MTV."
Raising his eyes to meet Stefan's, Denato took a moment, signaling him. In an instant, he had Jordan's head tilted back and a knife at his throat, slicing the skin slowly. "You obviously need to learn the same lesson she does. When you speak to me, you will do so with respect. Do I make myself clear?" Denato turned to look at her, taking a slow drink from his wine glass before wiping his lips with an expensive silk handkerchief.
Jordan gasped, his feet pressing him further back into the chair, his eyes widened as he tried to push himself further away from the blade to no avail. His teeth bared silently as he hissed in fear.
"Grandfather, I meant no disrespect. I was telling you the truth. We saw Grayson on MTV yesterday. Please do not hurt Jordan for my mistake." The brunette pleaded.
Stefan smiled, digging the knife into Jordan's skin a certain way before pushing him forward, laughing softly. "Now you and Grayson match..." he laughed again as Denato smiled blankly. After wiping his lips, he turned to examine Calleigh for the first time. "This is the woman who was with her " He spoke to Stefan. "Yes sir. Apparently they think they are married." He laughed again, placing the knife back inside the Armani jacket he was wearing.
"Married..." Denato sneered condescendingly at Natalia, then at Calleigh. "I had managed to beat that filth out of Grayson... Until she met the both of you two. I have seen pictures of her cavorting with this woman as well as the two of you... Filth." Wiping his hands on his expensive handkerchief, he shook his head. "I suppose Stefan can do the same to you Calleigh. You really are far too beautiful of a woman to be wasting yourself on such a bothersome affair... Not that Natalia isn't a beautiful woman as well. All Cerano's are beautiful. Natalia, your mother was... Very bonita." Denato purposefully used Spanish to speak of Natalia's mother. "But then she married that sorry excuse of a man you call a father."
Glancing at Calleigh, Natalia hoped that she would be smart enough to keep quiet. "Yes, my mother was molto bella, and again you are right, my father leaves much to be desired."
Examining Natalia closely, Denato pushed his plate back, not even offering any food to the other people in the room. "I hear that it is a boy... Shame. I was hoping for a girl. As much as I loathe the idea of you having contact with Grayson... I am hoping that with Stefan's help..." He slowly swirled the wine in his glass around, enjoying the smell of it before taking another drink. "... And mine as well as Grayson training, I can have the same relationship I share with Isis."
Swallowing visibly, Natalia didn't know what to say. The man was crazy, completely insane.
The radio on one of the guard's hips crackled to life. "Uh Sir... We have a problem." Came the tinny voice. The guard hesitated for a moment and then pulled the radio from his hip, walking towards Stefan, speaking rapidly into the radio. The voice repeated that he needed to speak to Mancini. "What?" Roared Stefan into the radio. The voice didn't talk back for several moments.
"Um... Sir...We heard something so we sent out all the dogs... They didn't come back." Stefan growled. "This is not my concern. Gather a team of men and have them figure out what went wrong." He hissed into the radio. The voice came back just as angrily. "We did, thirty minutes ago, we sent out twenty men... They didn't come back either."
Calleigh slid a glance over to Jordan, making sure that he wasn't bleeding too badly before staring down at the older man at the end of the table. She had seen what she thought were cruel people in her line of work, but this guy took the prize. Torturing his family this way, treating them like property or animals. She was surprised that Jordan had turned out as well as he had.
Jordan slowly raised his eyes to his Grandfathers, both of his bound hands covering his bloody neck. "She's coming..."He smiled icily at the eldest Cerano. Denato looked at Stefan. "Bring in all the men from outside. Have them all in the hallways on all floors." He rushed out as Stefan nodded, leaving the room immediately followed by all, but two of the guards, who stationed themselves by the door, locking it behind their friends.
Natalia looked at the one of the remaining guards. "May I go over and take a look at my cousin's neck please?"
One of the guards hesitated and then looked at his partner. The man shrugged. "It won't make a difference. He is supposed to be executed later tonight anyway."
Both women paled at that statement, but kept their composure. Slowly Natalia got to her feet, grabbing the handkerchief that her grandfather had left behind before going over to take Jordan's hands away from his neck to hold the fabric against the cut.
Looking up at Natalia, Jordan's voice broke. "I am so sorry..." He began, but his eyes teared up ashamed, that he couldn't protect them as he had promised.
Calleigh pulled against the zip ties in vain; with her hands bound in front of her, she couldn't reach the knife in her braid and felt helpless.
One of the radios on the guard's hip crackled to life. "MEN DOWN! MEN DOWN! MANCINI, I JUST LOST THREE MEN ON THE EAST CORNER OF THE HOUSE!" The voice yelled. The two guards looked at one another nervously, but still keeping their cool regard and guns pointed at Calleigh and Natalia as well as Jordan.
Calleigh glanced at the two men, seeing the fear break out upon their faces like the beads of sweat on their foreheads. It seems that they knew of Grayson.
Suddenly a chilling female voice crackled over the radio. "Oh little pigs, little pigs... Let me come in..." The voice was careless and taunting. Moments later, the sound of a man's dying last breath followed her voice.
Grayson caught one man running down the hallway by the neck; bringing a small blade to his throat, she slit him from ear to ear, making his blood pour down into her hands. Grayson fixed her com so that any detection from her voice came through the radio in Stefan's hands. She knew every guard that was still alive had one in their hands. She hope they fucking heard her. Let them hear her coming, they were dead anyway.
Jordan's eyes shifted to the armed guards. "Run Out the window Maybe you'll get away... Maybe you won't." His voice was no longer frightened, he sounded calm and in control. One of the guards belted the gun tighter against his chest and rushed to one of the library windows, pushing it open. He was halfway out of it when the metal shaft of an arrow pierced his chest and slid out of his back, killing him instantly.
Instantly, both Calleigh and Jordan were out of their chairs and shielding Natalia, heedless of the remaining guard's orders.
Men were shouting all over the house, gunfire echoing loudly throughout the enormous estate. The guard rushed over to Calleigh instantly, slicing the bonds on her and Jordan's hands. He ripped off the sunglasses. "I did not sign up for this... I have a family..." He was talking to himself. A soft whistle lit the air, and the man dropped to his knees falling over dead at their feet.
Natalia pulled both of them away from the window, She knew that Grayson was out there, but wasn't sure who was helping her as the two guards were killed by two different means.
Both of the oak doors opened as Denato and Stefan were the only remaining men besides the five-man team outside of the door. "Jordan." Denato stalked across the room, grabbing his grandson by the collar and shoving the gun against his temple. "What the hell is going on?" he roared.
Jordan smiled back at his Grandfather. "I would of thought that was obvious... The Nightmare is coming."
"Well, Grandfather you wanted to see what Grayson was up to, now you'll have the chance." Natalia added.
Hearing Natalia's words almost made Denato snap, but instead, he pressed the gun harder against Jordan's temple. "You are expendable, but then, you always have been... Stefan." Denato's cruel, accented English rang out in the high room, the stone ceilings causing the voices to reverb horribly.
Stefan himself smiled and grabbed Calleigh by the ponytail, surprised when he grabbed steel. "It seems that they have been spending a large amount of time with the Nightmare." Unlike Denato's voice, Stefan's was American, a New Yorker, but obviously educated at a high level or else his accent would not have been speech coached into a voice Obama would have been proud of.
Calleigh winced at the force that Stefan pulled her hair and reached back to try to ease the tension, but retracted her hand when the man growled his displeasure, while Natalia barely refrained from going over to her wife.
"Stay put Natalia... " Stefan laughed, pulling the knife out of Calleigh's hair with delicate care, before stroking it down the side of her face. Stopping, he laid it on the tabletop beside them, listening to Denato's instructions.
"Bring her closer to Stefan. I want a good look at your new mistress..." Denato smiled viciously at Natalia. "Choose Natalia... Calleigh or the baby..."
Looking at her grandfather in horror, Natalia's eyes went wide. "No... You cannot ask me to choose between the two of them. I won't."
Standing with her fists balled up, Calleigh answered for her. "I'll go with him, Just don't hurt Natalia or our child."
Turning so he could look his grandfather in his face, Jordan's voice was low, so low that Stefan could barely hear what was being said. "You've finally pushed Grayson too far. You have taken her new family away from her and she won't lose this one without a fight, Grandfather. I hope that you are prepared to reap what you have sowed."
Anything Denato was going to say was cut off by the lights flickering before the entire Cerano compound went completely dark, save the enormous ten foot by ten foot white marble fire place, illuminating the group; everything else was bathed in an inky blackness.
Finally Foster had cut the power to the house, plunging everything into darkness as Grayson stared down the hallway that lead to her Grandfather's study. There were ten armed men between her and the large oak doors.
Stefan stopped dead in his tracks, releasing Calleigh instantly. A cruel smile slid over his handsome features as he grabbed the long knife off the table, chuckling. "I'll push her all I want Jordan, after all, she is mine..." Stefan checked the edge of the blade, running his thumb down the length, checking the sharpness of it. "I think it's time I give my future wife a scar of my own."
As soon as Calleigh felt him release her hair, she edged over to Natalia, reaching out to take her hand while looking over to Jordan, wondering how he could remain so calm. All she wanted to do was grab Natalia in her arms and get the hell out of there.
Jordan on the other hand was trying to maintain a calm facade while mentally he was frantically praying that Grayson would be able to rescue Natalia and Calleigh without losing what was left of her soul. He realized that the final act had begun and when the curtain came down on this, it would all be over... One way or the other, and Jordan didn't know who would be left standing.
Denato was about to give out his last instructions to Stefan before he went to seek out Grayson. However, he was halted by the sound of someone singing softly. 'Something wicked this way comes... if you see me, you better run... something wicked this way comes...' It was Grayson singing softly. His eyes narrowed as the sounds as a very one-sided fistfight began.
Pulling out her bamboo tomahawk and long steel sword again, Grayson began to slowly walk down the hallway. The men were blind in the dark, fanning out, leaving themselves wide open for what she was about to do.
Stefan stopped to turn and look at Denato carefully; it seemed that Denato was starting to have second thoughts about his recent actions.
Natalia didn't care what her grandfather thought as she wrapped her arms around her wife, burying her face against Calleigh's neck, breathing in her scent. "I love you Calleigh." She whispered.
The blonde, wrapped her arms around the shaking woman, while her eyes scanned the room for something to use as a weapon. Stefan had to go and grab her by the hair to find the knife. It was just their luck.
Bringing the gun down hard against Jordan's temple, stunning him to the ground, Denato finally spoke. "She's coming... I don't care what you have to do, contain her... Do you understand me?" She is NOT to escape. She is only one woman, Stefan... She is your future wife... So do not kill her."
Stefan smiled nodding, but his head turned sharply at the sound of Grayson's loud voice crowing "Come on... Fight back at least?" She sounded confidant and pissed off, really pissed off. 'Good, nothing was more beautiful than an angry Grayson.'
Jordan saw stars as he fell to his knees, his hand going to his head, but he accepted the pain gladly, because if he was receiving it, that meant that neither Natalia or Calleigh were being hurt. He would take whatever Stefan and his grandfather dished out as long as the DuVista's were safe.
Swinging out with a long kick, Gray sent one man flying into two of his friends before he could turn around and open fire, she had already cut down the two men he had come from between. They both dropped to her feet, dead where they fell. Laughing hysterically, the tomahawk slid out of her hand, burying itself in the chest of the man closest to the door. Three men down, seven more to go.
Grabbing the man that she had kicked, Grayson threw him behind her, knocking him into a stone pillar, stunning him for the moment. Parrying around steel rods several of the remaining men were carrying, Grayson beheaded two of them seconds later. Five men down, five to go. Facing the last three men she cut the legs out from one of them who charged her, before he hit the ground, she had buried the sword in another's chest pinning him to the wall. Opening her arms at the only man still conscious, besides the stunned individual behind her, Grayson beckoned to him.
"Anyone afraid of their nightmares yet?" She crowed viciously, laughing as she threw her head back, the hood still keeping most of her metal face hidden.
The man backed away from her, dropping his gun, but holding a knife behind his back, one that she saw in the mirror behind him. Grayson laughed again, holding her hands up, taunting him.
"Come on Fight back at least " She laughed again as he charged her and she cut him down in seconds with his own knife.
Straightening her appearance, Grayson turned to the remaining man, who was crawling away from her in a hurry.
"Stop." She yanked both the sword and the tomahawk out of the men's bodies, and pointed the bloody sword at his chest. "Or I will kill you right now."
The last guard stopped, not even daring breathe as out of the corner of his eye, he saw the bodies of his friends lying around him, face down in pools of their own blood. Swallowing hard, his eyes stared down at the long black lethal looking steel sword, which was dripping with blood on the floor a few feet from him. He watched the 'Nightmare' bring the sword in a quick downward arc and spray the remaining blood across his face before sliding the blade along his shoulder, the blade side running dangerously close to his neck the closer she walked to him.
Pulling out a small, tightly wrapped box, she laid in his lap. "Give that to my Grandfather... " She sneered before adding a parting comment. "... And Stefan." Wiping off the rest of the blood on his expensive suit jacket; she stored the sword at the back her vest, under her coat and stood the man up by pulling on his jacket.
The most frightening thing about the entire ordeal was the glittering black eyes behind the melted, scared steel mask. He had seen Death Race with his buddies, he wondered if a civilian had seen the 'Nightmare' up close and personal yet lived to tell the tale. Shivering and nodding quickly, he closed his eyes, willing it all to go away, when he opened them moments later, she was gone and he was leaning against the stone pillar he had scrambled behind. Crawling on all fours as quickly as possible to the enormous study doors, he all but kicked them in attempting to rush past Stefan.
Stefan let out a huff as the bloody guard crashed into his body, looking down at the man on the ground, who was scrambling to stand up, then looked down at his own suit, now spotted with blood. He tilted his head with a very unamused look, before taking the box from the man, opening it. "Take it to Denato." He shoved the trembling man behind him to look out into the hallway. Walking in the opposite direction of the blood pooling around the corner, he slid into Denato's office. He walked backwards, waiting for Grayson, half seated on the enormous wood desk, putting himself between Grayson and her family with a smug smirk at the corner of his lips.
The man scrambled past Stefan, completely ignoring the two women and Jordan. He had heard rumors that the 'Nightmare' was a woman; but had chosen not to believe them until seeing the truth for his own eyes. He wondered what kind of a woman it took to be that frightening, shoving the tightly wrapped box into Denato's hand, the man backed off quickly, standing between Stefan and the doorway, waiting to be dismissed.
Denato Cerano tore open the box with the pistol in one hand and he stared long and hard into the contents of it before saying anything. "It seems... Stefan... That your plan has come back to bite you in the ass." Dropping the box at his feet, he sighed in a disgusted manner. "She knows about Judas..." He turned his gaze up towards his protégé, shaking his head in disappointment at Stefan's failure in his own student. The contents of the box were easily plan to see, it was Judas' hand, complete with the ring with Denato Cerano's initials in it.
Jordan gasped at the sight before he turned his eyes to his grandfather. "You knew about Paul Judas?"
Natalia gasped at the name of the man who had delivered Calleigh to Eric.
"I wonder... If she knows everything I told him to plead was true." His eyes were locked on the door, waiting, laughing quietly. "Judas needed to be put to rest; his obsession for my wife had gone too far. He was of little use." His eyes turned to look at the old man, and then back at the door, lifting himself off the desk; his eyes scanned his new toys and the brotherly nuisance. "Does it matter now?" Stefan swiftly kicked Jordan in the gut, and then pressed his boot to the young man's neck. "Silence boy." Walking past the women he stood, eyebrows arched in anger, hands in his pockets.
The lights flickered brightly for a moment, illuminating the hallway, but that was all the group of people needed to see the carnage Grayson had left in her wake. Nine men were cut down, their faces upturned or downcast eyes locked open in an eternal scream of their last breath, the white marble on the floor making it seem all the more realistic, yet like some awful horror movie. The hallway went black almost as quickly as it had illuminated, leaving everyone back in the inky darkness lightened only by the roaring fireplace. Denato clenched his jaw, staring at the back of Stefan's head. "Not really, no..." His voice was sinister and foreboding.
Calleigh's eyes closed at the carnage, turning Natalia away from the sight, but not before she felt the brunette gag. "Breathe through your mouth Darlin'. Try to think of something else."
Natalia concentrated on keeping her stomach under contract while also trying to keep Caden calm, he was moving around a lot. Seemed that he knew that something was up.
He looked at the radio. "Mia." He stated almost seductively, his eyes fixed where the bodies lay like in a very wide smile. A taunt, a tease, so calm and collected, despite his boss boring a hole into his head with his eyes.
"Stefan." Came back Grayson's deep gravelly voice; the fury behind her voice was obviously very controlled.
"Mia... Love... Come. I've waited much too long..." So seductive, so calm, longing for her dripped from his voice. "I love the present you left..." He smiled wider, very slowly wandering his way around the room, ignoring everyone in it. His sole focus was his black-eyed beauty.
Natalia carefully pulled away from her wife, but didn't let go of her hand as she led her over to Jordan. Kneeling beside him, she checked his neck before Calleigh reached down to help him stand.
"Natty, you need to be careful. I don't know what grandfather will do if you continue to stay this close to me." Jordan whispered.
When the lights flickered on seconds later, Grayson was standing in her entire black outfit, the cowl hiding her metal encased face, holding the last guard by the back of his neck with a knife under his throat. "Are you so sure you want that Stefan?" Her glittering black eyes shifted to her grandfather, her voice had no respect, and it was hardly controlled blood lust. "You have my brother... My favorite cousin... My best friend... And my nephew... You hired and trained some lackey to butcher my parents like cattle and carve me up like a fucking turkey for Thanksgiving... Znd then you... GRANDFATHER..." Her voice dropped to a deadly growl even more so. "I can't wait to make you scream for forgiveness while I carve my parent's names in your chest."
His expression lacked any ounce of fear, cheering from his dull impatience. With a slow drawn smile, he turned his head only slightly to see Denato in the corner of his eye before looking at Grayson, kneeling next to his blonde toy. Shaking his head, he let out a quiet half chuckle before his eyes bored into his future wife, his mind working a mile a minute.
Jordan backed the girls as far away from the door as he could get; he knew that this was going to get bloody. He was thankful that this was such a huge room as maybe he could keep the DuVista's safe.
Natalia stumbled slightly and if it wasn't for Calleigh and her cousin, she would have fallen.
"Are you alright Darlin'?" Calleigh asked worriedly.
Taking slow breaths, Natalia nodded her head. "Yeah, just tired."
Denato grabbed Jordan by the scruff of his neck, yanking him hard, away from the two women, forcing him down to his knees, pushing the gun against his temple. He lifted his eyes to Grayson's. "Put down the knife Isis..." Grayson's hand shook with the blade on the man's neck, but she refused to speak. Making it dig hard into his neck, forcing the man to his knees, identical to her grandfathers stance.
Reaching out, Stefan pulled the blonde to him with one solid yank, Calleigh's back nearly bounced off his chest, as he pushed his knee to the back of hers dropping her to them. Looking down her, he slowly brought up his head, looking at Grayson and licking his lips. "Down Mia..." He whispered again, dripping with lust. "I was going to use her... but I was nice." Tilting his head in the slightest. "Don't you think?" Looking at Grayson's knife, he looked at the floor in simple silent command.
As Calleigh was yanked from her grasp, Natalia took a step forward, wanting to get her wife away from Stefan. She knew that he would kill her just to get a reaction out of Grayson. "Stefan... Please let Calleigh go. I'm begging you."
Staring hard at the scene in front of her, Grayson clenched her jaw. Dropping the knife to the floor, she instead put both of her leather-gloved hands on either side of the guard's head. Staring straight at Stefan, she spoke to him and him alone. "I am going to bathe in your blood." Twisting the guard's head hard to the side, she snapped his neck, before dropping him at her feet, letting her hands hang by her sides.
Denato smiled, pushing the gun further into Jordan's temple causing him to wince and stare at Grayson. "Grayson..." He winced again when his grandfather brought the butt of the pistol hard against his shoulder.
Jordan stared at his sister. "Just take care of the DuVista's, Grayson. They're the future of our family... Natalia and Calleigh." The young man seemed to be resigned to his fate, as he knew that one day that it would come to this.
Stefan ignored Natalia completely, fixed on Grayson. "Good girl..." He smiled at the dead body and shook his head. He stepped around Calleigh, presenting himself to her. "Yes... Come take care of your family... But first... Allow me to bring them up to speed on just... Who my future wife will is exactly..." He took slow, prideful, shameless steps toward Grayson, his sight never leaving her eyes.
Grayson's fists clenched tight, but she straightened her body to her full height, staring him down, but never moving or speaking. Her head tilted to the side, watching him closely.
Digging his foot under the body, he scooted it around Grayson, kicking it out the room before locking the door. Standing behind her, he put his hands behind his back, looking at them over her shoulder. The tie for her mask just visible. Whispering in her ear, "Move... And all three will die before you can let a breath out." His fingertips released the tight bow from the locks of jet-black hair, allowing her full-face mask to drop to the floor. Licking his lips again, looking upon her face, then looking at the small crowd of her family, walking around her one slow step at a time, circling his pray with a calmness no creature on earth possessed. "She killed her first man at fifteen... It was beautiful... Blood all over her face and hands... Grayson, I was so proud of you. He was three times your size... You only had your fists and he had a steel pipe... It took you an hour to finally put him down, but all the same I was proud."
Natalia's eyes never left Calleigh's face, afraid that if she looked away, something would happen to her. She started to take a step over to her, but felt more than heard Stefan move in time with her. She was so thankful that her family had not grown up with his influence.
Grayson finally snapped; he had locked her in a room with an enormous man; she had almost been beaten to death. Launching herself, hands outstretched towards Stefan's throat, she threw herself at him. She didn't speak; her voice only gave a guttural roar of pure rage and hate.
Grabbing her hands, he ducked under her arms, using her momentum to shove her face and chest first into a wall, pulling her hands behind her back. Holding her arms in a lock that if she moved they would snap. "Now, now... This is only the beginning Mia." He cooed in her ear loud enough for all to hear. His forearm held her face flat against the wall braced against the back of her neck and shoulders. "Shh... Mia... Calm yourself, the night has only begun..." His voice hushed for Grayson to hear alone.
Calleigh instantly got to her feet, putting herself between Natalia and the two opponents. This was something out of a slasher film and she always thought that they were over the top, but this was putting them all to shame.
Placing her hand on Natalia's side, the blonde was surprised on how much the baby was moving and looked up at her face. "Hon Are you alright?"
Natalia was facing away from her cousin as she couldn't bear to see the wildness in her eyes. The brunette knew that there would be nothing to stop the young woman tonight; this was the end of her personal journey towards revenge. All Natalia could hope for was that Grayson would be able to keep some part of her goodness intact, because if not, all was lost.
Looking into Calleigh's worried eyes, Natalia's mind flashed back to all of the happy times that they had been through, remembering none of the bad. She knew that if it ended badly tonight, the only regret that she would have was that their child would not know how much he was loved. Leaning down to capture Calleigh's lips, the brunette tried to put as much love, as much feeling as she could into that one act, to show the blonde everything that she felt.
Calleigh groaned at the onslaught of tenderness that slowly edged into hunger. She could feel Natalia trembling and knew that it all wasn't from need She was genuinely afraid for their lives. Wrapping her arms around Natalia's back, Calleigh drew her as close as she could to her body, wishing that they were back in Grayson's bedroom.
Twisting her head out of Stefan's grasp, the Italian woman dragged her face hard along the stone, scoring long marks down her face so she could look at her cousin's and her beloved brother. Seeing Natalia and Calleigh tenderly embrace as if for the last time made her rage bubble hot beneath the surface again, gritting her teeth, forcing her cheek muscles to clench in her strong jaw.
Grayson finally spoke to Denato. "You can have me... I'll do anything you want, anyway you want, no questions asked, but let them go..." She pleaded softly, gritting her teeth again when Stefan forced her face hard against the stone.
Denato narrowed his eyes at her request, then slammed the butt of the gun again into Jordan's temple, dropping him to floor, out cold.
He slowly walked over to Natalia, sliding his hands through her beautiful auburn hair, yanking her hard away from Calleigh, taking her around the table, replacing his gun with a knife holding to her neck smiling. "Sorry Mia... I want to keep Natalia and Calleigh... I plan to sire an entire line using your bloodlines. Stefan... Tie Calleigh up for me." The elder Cerano instructed.
Calleigh growled and reached for Natalia. "Keep your filthy hands off her. You have no right to touch her."
"Don't move Mia... Stay here like a good wife." Stefan shoved Grayson against the wall hard. "Right here." He twisted her arm, popping her shoulder out of place, then backed away, slowly releasing her. He stormed over, slapping Calleigh across the face with enough force to turn her around. The Italian laughed, shoving the blonde into a corner behind Denato's desk, bounding her tightly in handcuffs behind her back, before biding her legs with rope. Walking over to Natalia, he took her hair from Denato, leaning in. kissing her roughly. "Relax Natalia... It only hurts for a moment..." Smirking, he gave her back to her grandfather, walking back toward Grayson deadpanned. "Don't move... It can be worse... I'm being awfully nice considering." He licked his lips and sneered, even with the bloodline, Natalia still wasn't Grayson.
Turning away from Stefan, Natalia was barely able to keep from spitting in his face.
Gritting her teeth, sliding along the wall, Grayson slinked backwards away from the man she hated more than anything in the world. Her shoulder burned as she slid her hand up under the coat, pushing her fingertips around the joint, it was dislocated. Narrowing her eyes at Stefan, she stood to her full height, shoving the shoulder back hard with a crack. "Stefan...Nice isn't in your vocabulary... But I can teach you some new tricks... Like how to beg for your life, like you've forced me to do for YEARS." Peeling herself out of the coat and dropping on the floor, Grayson slid her hand behind her, touching the hilt of the sword that slid out from under her lower back. Then unzipping the bulletproof vest, she dropped it as well. "Come get the original instead of settling for second best, you bastard..."
"Oh Mia... I will have both of you." He knew her tricks, he chuckled. "Temper, temper Mia... Or I'll take you right here and make your beloved family watch you scream for me... Like when you were sixteen Remember how close we came to starting our own family?" He arched a brow, his lips widened to a broad handsome smile, walking over to her, to look her dead in the eye, silently telling her to stay. The look kept her standing dead still. "God, you've gotten more beautiful over the years... I can hardly contain myself... But you will learn your place Mia..." He simply nodded, finally stepping back out of her personal space, giving her an expression that allowed her to start their dance.
"Shut up..." Grayson growled, circling him, refusing to attack first, he could come to her. "You want it so bad come and get it Stefan... A real man would. You couldn't take me when I was sixteen and you can't take me now."
"Mmm, I didn't take you because your Grandfather asked me to wait, only to realize later he should have let me have you." Stefan paced around her. "Does your 'family' know of all the men you've murdered for fun." A small smirk appeared on his lips. "212.... No, I forgot about Judas... 213 men... Simply because we snapped our fingers" He chuckled, bringing his face to hers, nose to nose. "I watched you two Grayson, he was a fool not to take you when you 'submitted'" Laughs. "He was a fool. Nice... Removing his upper lip. You know all the things he told you as he died were... Actually true, but I kept his wife in my chambers for much, much longer than he knew. It was fun... Torturing a grown man for years, then to turn around and torture you all the same." Reaching out, he fisted Grayson's hair, ripping her head back, to head butt her hard, then shoving her back.
Stunned by his own admission, the steel in her hand clattered to the floor as Grayson held her head between leather-gloved hands, roaring in pain, she couldn't break her former Mentor's grip in her hair, trying in vain to twist away from him. "It's about to be 215... You piece of shit... I swear to God above I will kill you and my Grandfather. " Grayson yanked her head hard away from Stefan, ignoring the chunk of hair that was torn from her head. "And when I do... I'll cut your head off and stick on it on a pike to use for target practice..." She screamed in his face before head butting him back, destroying his beautiful face when she broke the bridge of his nose.
Denato yanked Natalia's head back hard smiling. "You can start screaming for her any moment now... Calleigh you too." He slowly dragged the knife downward towards Natalia's swollen midsection.
Calleigh instantly started shouting, but it wasn't at Grayson; instead it was at Natalia's grandfather. "No, whatever you are thinking of doing to her, don't. Do it to me instead."
Natalia bit her bottom lip so hard that she broke the skin, she didn't want to cry out should she distract Grayson.
Stefan laughed and scrunched his nose. His feet slid one over the other before kicking the knife Grayson held to the guards throat up into his hand, shoving it in his back pocket. Then he threw three slow punches, all blocked before throwing an open palm against her sternum, nearly making it crack, hearing a loud pop. "Submit now or I will leave a scar of my own."
Spitting hard in his face, Grayson laughed through the severe stitch in her chest. "Fuck you Stefan... I submit to no one.." She wrenched herself hard, trying to get away. "You are nothing."
His hand remained between her breasts, throwing her against the wall not two feet behind them. While ignoring the spit, he grabbed her throat, squeezing tightly, his other hand grabbed her between the legs roughly. His long arms allowing him to just stand away out of her reach. "Oh, but I am something. And I will finish what I started when you were just sixteen." Bringing his face to hers, pressing their bodies together, kissing her hard, not stupid enough to hold the kiss long. "Mmm... I do miss that taste." His other hand gripped her collar, moving from between her legs, twisting his body away from her, to throw her over his shoulder and onto a small table.
Denato smiled as Grayson groaned loudly at being slammed on the table, she scrambled backwards away her booted feet trying to find any kind of leverage to get away from her tormentor. Her hands dug into his arms, his face, anything she could grab; punching and kicking. Finally catching him between the legs she dragged herself across the table, falling off it, breathing hard, and then crawling away behind the table, her eyes frantically looked for anything to help her.
"Grayson... Fight back... Kick his ass." Natalia finally shouted before gasping in pain as a cramp hit her. 'No... not now!'
Looking over to Jordan, Calleigh shouted at him to wake up. He was the only one that wasn't tied and who stood a chance to help free them.
Grabbing the table by the corner, Stefan flung it across the room before he walked after her calmly, gritting his teeth, grabbing her by the scruff of the neck, and a fist full of hair. Pulling her arm behind her back, causing a rapid shooting pain to surge through her body. He foot swept her, dropping her to her knees. He held her so tightly her head and it looked as though her neck should have snapped. "Yes... Egg her on..."
He laughed, gripping the back of her neck, pinching every nerve and muscle, nearly crushing her neck. Letting her arm go, he reached in his back pocket taking the knife. Leaning Grayson's head to the side, he sneered in her ear, though his tone was passionate. "Hold my arm Mia... Feel how much control I possess, how badly I want you."
Stefan slid his arm under Grayson's, bringing it back up locking it against his chest. Moving off to the side just slightly, he looked in her eye and moaned, dragging the blade slowly down her face, as blood dripped down into her eyes. The cut stopped at her lip and started just above her eye, it ran from temple to lip, down the entire unblemished side of her face. Groaning, he finally moved the knife away, throwing it across the room. Pressing their foreheads together. "Control... Possession. The world will know you belong to me now."
Shivering in pain and rage, Grayson tried again to free herself. "I will never..." She growled as the blood poured into her mouth. "Ever... Belong to you Stefan." Her hands fought for any kind of leverage, twisting her body back and forth, if only she could reach the bamboo tomahawk clipped just inside of her belt, it was compacted and still attached to her attire.
Stefan gripped the back of her neck harder, the other into her shoulder causing her back to arch and her to buckle. He leaned blood-dripped lips against her ear. "If you can't protect them Grayson What good are you?" He chuckled. "What good are you..." He shouted, kissing her ear, throwing her forward, digging his knee into the small of her back, his hands still on her neck and shoulder, lowering his head down. "Fight Grayson... If you so refuse to submit... Fight me so I can make... You submit."
His fingers dug into her hair, moving from her shoulder, pulling her head back, before slamming it against the bloody tile floor. Looking up at her family, all of them, even Denato knew nothing of this. "This one time... Oh and this one was good, I got to watch." He groaned, pulling her head back again. "You'll love me sharing this one..." He moaned into her ear before slamming her head back into the ground. "I'm sure you all remember Silence of the Lambs." Laughing, he looked at them then back at his future wife bloody face down under his weight. "Well, there was recently a real version of the famous cannibal... Grayson here couldn't resist experiencing for herself exactly what it was like..." He flipped her over, straddling her hips, pinning one of her hands under his knees with all his weight, his hands searching her body, coping feels over her breasts.
"She skinned pieces of him, force feeding him his own flesh." He looked up at the family. "It was outstanding." Looking back at Grayson as the blood started to pour into the other eye. "Mia, Mia, Mia... Those were the days."
'What good are you' That phrase echoed through Calleigh's mind. 'What good are you.' Suddenly flashes of Natalia unconscious on the beach with Eric standing over her and Sonia injured next to a truck rolled through Calleigh's mind. Then images started spinning through... their weddings, the first time they made love, the day that they found out about Caden. All the memories came flooding back with all of the emotions attached to each and every one of them. The blonde was almost overwhelmed with it all at once and her eyes rolled back into her head, but she fought to remain conscious.
Natalia was barely able to refrain from vomiting. How could Grayson do something like that? No one could be that cruel, could they? The brunette winced as another cramp hit... They were coming too quickly, but she couldn't let on what was happening. It would be too much of a distraction, and Natalia wasn't sure what her grandfather would do.
Cautiously Jordan moved his arms, then his legs, surprised that he was still untied. Opening his eyes, he found that he was somewhat behind his grandfather who was still holding a knife on Natalia.
Quietly he got to his feet and carefully made his way over to the older man. Swiftly, he grabbed the snub-nosed pistol from the back of his grandfathers waistband, and pressed it against the older man's head. "You won't be taking any more families away from me, ever again." Then he pulled the trigger, dropping the gun as the older man hit the floor.
Inching her fingers along her back as Stefan spoke of her worst sins, Grayson fought for any kind of grip across the stone floor. Finally she was able to slip her fingers around the handle of the tomahawk at her mid back. It was horrible and painful to do with her shoulder, but she didn't care, Stefan was finally playing to his pride.
Suddenly she heard a gunshot frightening her. "NO!" She screamed in fear, ripping the tomahawk out from under her, she swung it wide in an arch, burying it blade deep into the side of Stefan's jaw with a wet crunch. His blood sprayed across her face, mingling with her own pouring from the enormous gash in her face; the pearly white teeth of her molars glinted through the sinew and flesh, barely clinging together.
Stefan's jaw locked, convulsing over her body as his body sank down on top of her. Muttering quietly "Good girl...." His body only held up by her strength on the axe in his face, slumping forward taking his last breath. "Mia..."
Calleigh stared at Jordan as he stood over his grandfather's body. She knew that he had finally been able to take the shot and that this would change him for the rest of his life.
Natalia heard the shot and started screaming Calleigh's name. "CALLEIGH! MY GOD CALLEIGH!"
Jordan came around so that she could see him. "It's ok Natty, Calleigh is fine. Let's go get her untied."
Shaking her head, Natalia 's hands went to her stomach. "I can't... Caden's on his way."
Shoving Stefan hard off her body, Grayson crawled to her knees, straddling his waist, she yanked the tomahawk out of his face, leaning down, spiting her own blood all over him as she whispered her last words to her greatest enemy. "I was never a good girl... And I was never your MIA!" She screamed the last part.
Bringing back her arm, she buried the tomahawk into Stefan's neck, efficiently cleaving his head from his body in one smooth stroke. A loud clicking sound signaled the steel slicing through all the sinew and muscle. Vertebra separated, spray of blood splashed across the side of Grayson's face that wasn't covered in her own blood. She continued to scream at him. "I hate you! I WAS NEVER YOURS!" She screamed brokenly. "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!"
Jordan's eyes went wide as he stared at Natalia's face, then he let them drop to her stomach and farther down to see a puddle of fluid at her feet. "GRAYSON! We need you! NOW!"
Grayson didn't' move from her perch atop Stefan's corpse, she ran her bloody hands all over the mangled body checking for a pulse. He was gone. Bring up her hands, she smeared the blood over her own face and pressed her hair back out of her eyes. Her eyes unfocused as she stared at the wall in front of her, not seeing or hearing anything, except all of the things Stefan and her Grandfather had tortured her with.
Calleigh shouted at the young man. "JORDAN! Get the key out of his pocket for the cuffs. Hurry Jordan!"
Jordan quickly went through his grandfathers pockets, searching for the key frantically before he found it, then he grabbed the knife that was on the floor beside him before he scrambled over to Calleigh. Cutting through the rope and then unlocking the cuffs, he was pushed aside as Calleigh raced over to her wife. "Talia... It's ok. I'm right here. Everything is going to be alright."
Turning to Jordan, the blonde instructed him. "We need to get her out of here. I will not have our child born in the same room as death. Do you understand me?"
Nodding, Jordan picked Natalia up carefully in his arms, taking her into the kitchen, to lay her on the white tile island, before he began boiling water to sterilize tools. After making sure Natalia was comfortable, he began dipping the certain tools into the boiling water effectively killing all the germs. Standing beside Natalia, he held her hand while the water boiled. "Shhh... Natty, breathe carefully... Remember just like in class."
Calleigh slowly made her way into Grayson's line of sight. "Grayson... Can you hear me?" The blonde almost gagged at the young woman's face. They needed to stop the bleeding and fast.
One of Grayson's leather gloved hands twitched on her own thigh while the other hand continued to rub the blood into her face, staring at the wall, shaking slightly.
Walking so that she was standing directly in front of Grayson, Calleigh tried to look her eyes. "Grayson... We need you... Natalia needs you... Your family needs you now. Caden is coming and he wants to meet is aunt."
The tomahawk that Grayson had kept leaning against her thigh clattered to the floor as she moved for a moment bringing her blank eyes up to Calleigh's face. "Natty... ?"
"Yes... Natty needs you. I need you; my best friend to help me bring our son into this world and I want you to come with me. Can you do that?" Calleigh held out her hand, careful to still stay far enough away from the tomahawk should Grayson pick it up.
Not taking the blonde's hand, Grayson shied away from physical contact, but she stood up, realizing where she was. It all hit her like a freight train, she had killed Stefan and her Grandfather was dead, as well. Black eyes slid up to Calleigh's green as she blinked slowly, seeing the bloody footprints trailing out of the room towards the kitchen Grayson began to walk and then she began to run. "Jordan?.. NATALIA?!?!" She ran faster down the hallway, bursting into the kitchen, frightened.
Following the now terrified woman, Calleigh skidded to a halt just inside the kitchen door, seeing her wife up on the island, panting. Quickly she was at her side. "Hey Darlin'. I take it that our son is ready to arrive."
Leaving Natalia's side once he really got a good long look at his sisters face, Jordan balked. The gash ran down from her right temple to the corner of her lips, and it was so deep that the tendons keeping her jaw attached were showing as well as several of her teeth stained with blood. She turned to look at him as he approached her. "Grayson... You have to clean up... You're the only one who knows anything about anatomy to deliver this child.. You can do this okay?" She stared at him for several long moments before allowing him to escort off to the side of the kitchen. Opening up a crude kit he pulled out a long curved needle, Iodine, and long strips of elastic thread. They didn't have time to be neat, Grayson needed to clean up quickly to do her job, to deliver her nephew. Jordan returned to Natalia's side, holding her other hand.
"Jordan, get me some towels... You're gonna have to hold Talia while Grayson and I help her." Looking towards the still bloody Grayson, she whispered to him. "She needs to get as much blood as she can off of her. I'm afraid of what that will do to Caden."
Nodding, Jordan turned to watch Grayson slowly run the needle with thread, making quick work of her face, stitching it back together, no matter how cruel the hack job. Then she peeled off her ripped shirt, and began pouring hot water from the facet all over her face, body, shoulders, anywhere she had blood, she attempted to clean it off. Finishing up and wiping away the raw skin that she had peeled from her own body, Grayson turned around and took a deep breath. "Okay..." She blew the breath out from between her teeth and brought over the pots of boiling water with sterilized tools.
Natalia looked up into her cousin's face while concentrating on her breathing. "Nice... Of... You... To... Join... Us."
Looking down at Natalia, Grayson didn't smile, though she did reach out a trembling hand to hold her hand, as Jordan began prepping everything she would need. "Everything is going to be alright, okay?" She spoke softly, though she was terrified of making a mistake.
Calleigh wiped the sweat off of her wife's brow. Trust Natalia to try and keep the situation light. "Yeah, Slick is running a bit behind, but she's catching up fast." Turning to Grayson, Calleigh looked at her worriedly. "I trust you to help me bring my son into this world. There is no one else that I would rather do it. You and your brother is all that we need."
Nodding in return through a tight smile, as a long red drop of blood to leak out of the side of her face, splashing onto her bare bruised shoulder, Grayson looked at Jordan, reciting exactly what she would need. Checking Natalia's heart rate, blood pressure, dilation, anything and everything, the baby was moments away. "Natalia, I need you to listen to me okay? Listen to my voice, do you hear me?" She spoke directly to Natalia, looking her dead in the eye as Jordan took up his place behind her to support his cousin while Calleigh stood at her side.
Calleigh reached out to Grayson, stopping her for a moment. "Gray... I need to ask you something and I need you to be honest. Do you honestly think that you should be standing where you are or should you be talking me through this? Your face is still bleeding and that's dangerous for both Talia and the baby. Can you talk me through this? I know that I can do this with your help."
Fiery black eyes locked with Calleigh's. "If things go horribly wrong, there won't be enough time for me to work to save both her and the boy. I need you to trust me Calleigh, please?" Grayson didn't blink. Jordan spoke before the blonde could answer. "Calleigh, we don't have time.. " He pleaded his sister's case. Grayson had delivered a baby once before, and it had been the most terrifying thing she had ever experienced. After the ordeal, her obsession with knowledge on human anatomy had tripled. The man who had helped her with Calleigh's car; his daughter had been pregnant, and on the drive home she had given birth, there was no way Grayson could fly her home at the time. So in the back of a Chevron parking lot, Grayson helped bring a beautiful little girl into the world.
Calleigh turned to stare at Natalia, locking her eyes with hers. "Grayson... This is My wife and Our child. I cannot take the chance that your blood will endanger them. If you can stop the bleeding right now, we'll go ahead, but do you want to put Natalia or Caden in danger?"
At Calleigh's words, Natalia gasped. She had said 'My Wife.' Taking a breath, she quickly asked. "Cal... Do you remember?"
Smiling, the blonde answered her. "Yes Darlin', I remember and I love you."
Understanding, Grayson nodded her head to Jordan, who in turn picked the last steel pot off of the stove. He poured the boiling water over a clean knife and heated it over the gas stove until it turned red before handing it to his sister, turning his head away. He moved so that Natalia and Calleigh wouldn't have to see or hear anything from his sister while she placed a dishtowel between her teeth, then brought the edge of the knife up to her cheek, slowly bringing it downwards, searing it effectively shut with the heat of the steel. Hissing low in her throat and breathing deeply through her nose, she finally finished before covering her face with a piece of gauze and taping up the side of her face in seconds before turning around, she gripped Jordan hard while he checked it to make sure it was no longer bleeding. It wasn't, so he led her back to their cousins, hearing the tail end of the conversation made Jordan smile despite what he had seen.
Calleigh stepped aside while holding onto Natalia's hand. "Are you ready my love?"
Nodding her head, Natalia focused on Grayson's face. "Grayson... Our family is in your hands."
Settling herself down and letting her memory open up, Grayson was never more infinitely thankful for her photographic memory, now more than ever. Grayson helped Natalia sit up and her breathing was beginning to change as she could see the contractions beginning as well, the baby was crowning. "Alright Natalia, I need you to push okay... PUSH.. .BREATHE.." Her voice was firm, but gentle. Jordan let the pregnant woman lead herself back against him.
Natalia shook, holding her breath when Grayson's voice penetrated through the pain of another contraction. Her eyes shot open, looking at the black-eyed bloody faced woman helplessly, nodding as she took a jagged breath, crying bloody murder. Willing her body to push her son from her body, she latched onto Calleigh's hand. Calleigh quickly got the hint, holding her wife's hand tightly, leaning in next to Natalia. "Keep breathing darlin, you are doing so good." The blonde's eyes glanced at Grayson, seeing her intently focused on her wife.
"Good Natty, good... Okay Calleigh, you have to keep talking to her... We're almost there..." Grayson once again checked all her vitals running down the list of her weight, dilation, heart rate one by one. Everything so far was fine, even though the child was obviously early. Something was off. Natalia shouldn't be so large even though she was full term. She still had... another month before giving birth. "Natalia... PUSH... BREATHE." She began again glad that Jordan could read off of her body language as he held Natalia's other hand firmly in his own, squeezing it back, helping her stay in a comfortable position.
Staring into her wife's eyes, Calleigh willed her strength. This was becoming too painful for Natalia, there had to be something that they could do for the pain. Maybe she could get her mind off of it for a moment. "Talia... Do you remember when we were in the Keys, before our first wedding and we went dancing? Good lord woman, you looked so damn hot that I almost took you on the bar."
Smiling weakly, Natalia remembered back to that night. Breathing out, she stuttered out. "Would have let you."
Calleigh let out a bark of a laugh.
Smiling as the child came into her hands, it took several moments for it to register in her mind what was wrong. The child wasn't a boy like she had been expecting. "Um...Natalia... Breathe Sugar... you did it.." As the little girl began to cry and scream in her arms, she held the baby up for her mother's to see. "Congratulations it's a... A girl." She cut the cord and wiped the child clean with warm water, wrapping it up tight in one of the large black towels, handing the baby to Calleigh before realizing that the contractions weren't through. "Oh my god..." She began. "You're pregnant with twins... Natalia... Calleigh, hand Jordan your daughter... Calleigh hold her up please."
Calleigh's eyes went wide. "A girl!" She exclaimed before Grayson continued. Then her jaw dropped when she heard the young woman say the word, 'Twins'.
"Calleigh! I need you to hold up your wife... Natalia beautiful... Look at me okay..." Grayson waited for her cousin to look her in the eye. "You can do this again... Do you understand me sweetheart?" Her voice was tense and worried. If something happened to Natalia, she didn't know what she would do with herself. Jordan took the small bundle into his arms, cooing to his goddaughter, trying to calm her down, as soon as the child heard his voice, she instantly became peaceful like she had been waiting to see him for eight months.
The pain rolled through her and Natalia tried to concentrate on Grayson's face, but she was so tired. She let her head fall back against Calleigh's chest. "I can't Gray... It's... Too hard."
Calleigh leaned down to whisper into her wife's ear. "Come on darlin'. I know that we can get through this together. Listen to me... When then next contraction hits, I want you to push as hard as you can and if you need to scream, then you scream and I'll scream along with you... "
"Okay, here comes another contraction.. Natalia... PUSH... Do you hear me.. PUSH!" Grayson's voice was even more firm than before as she heard another set of lungs add to the screaming, which oddly enough comforted her.
Weakly nodding her head, Natalia took a deep breath, gathering up her strength and as the next pain rolled through, she let out a blood-curling scream and Calleigh was screaming right along with her. "That's it darlin', I can see his head..."
"One more push Natalia.. I need you to give me one more Sugar.. PUSH." Grayson commanded.
Taking one more deep breath, Natalia pushed with every last ounce of strength that remained along with Calleigh shouting encouragement. "Come on baby... Just a little bit more. Caden is almost here."
It was over finally as the little boy came into the world, she wiped him clean as he screamed, but not as loudly as the little girl had. Smiling, she wrapped him in a deep green towel, handing him to Calleigh as she tried her best to staunch the bleeding. It would do for now as the radio beside her crackled to life. "Grayson.." Came the Australian accent. "We are coming in... Over?"
Calleigh looked over her son's head at Grayson in puzzlement. "Who is that?"
"One of my former mentors..." Was all that she answered as Jordan handed both of the children to his cousins before attempting to pull his sister aside. Ignoring him completely, she picked up the radio answering Robin. "I am in the kitchen. It's over. I need you to take my family to the hospital. Please pull the cars around for me." She waited for him to respond with his traditional "You betcha mate."
Natalia looked down at the tiny bundle in the black towel; dark hair peeked out and sleepy eyes opened so she could see that they matched her own. Smiling, Natalia looked up to Calleigh who was holding their son, who had blonde hair. "Twins... No wonder if felt like a track meet for the past week or so."
Calleigh just grinned, looking at her family. Shaking her head, she leaned over to place a gently kiss against Natalia's lips. "You are amazing."
"You're coming with us... Right Gray?" Jordan asked, terrified she would leave him again. There was something in her voice that wasn't right to him. He hadn't seen his sister for the better part of a year.
"No." Was all she answered as her team of friends flooded into the house to help her family. She left the room completely, speaking quickly and quietly. One of the men looked at Jordan for him to lift Natalia into his arms so they could leave.
Calleigh turned to the young woman. "Grayson... Can I talk with you for a moment?"
Foster, the poor man squeaked as he stepped over several bodies, coming back down the hallway with Grayson's coat and her mask, hurriedly delivering them to his former student. Grayson spared Calleigh a sideways glance for the briefest of moments before strapping the mask back on her face while Foster helped her carefully put the jacket on as she pulled up the collar. "Yes ma'am..."
"Would you mind taking that off for a moment please?"
"I'm sorry... Maybe another time." Grayson offered pulling another pair of leather gloves onto bruised and battered hands, which were shaking slightly before clenching them into fists, unballing them moments later. Foster looked at Calleigh strangely, no one except for Jordan spoke to Grayson that way, he wondered who this woman was that she felt so brave.
Natalia spoke up. "Please Gray... Take it off for one moment and come over here. Then you can leave."
It seemed that Grayson would decline to remove the steel faceplate covering her features, but she finally walked back into the kitchen for a moment, standing by Natalia and next to Calleigh. She raised one hand, unstrapping it slowly before laying it on the countertop, away from her cousins and her family. Turning burning black eyes on them both, she waited patiently for them to speak to her so that she could leave.
Natalia stared up at her cousin in silence for a few moments before she said anything. "Thank you for our family, and it is OUR family Grayson. Yours, Jordan's, mine and Calleigh's." Nodding to Calleigh, Natalia smiled. "I would like to introduce you to Caden Matteo DuVista and his sister, who at this moment is un-named. Kids... This is your Tia Grayson."
Calleigh stepped over and placed Caden against Grayson's chest, waiting for her to take him in her arms. "At least say hello before you leave Grayson. We've told them all about you."
At first, Grayson wouldn't touch the child at all, but Jordan put his hand on her shoulder. "It's okay... " He spoke softly while she gently took the child into her arms, staring down into large green eyes and chubby cheeks with small fingers, clasping onto one of her leather gloved fingers.
Little green eyes opened and stared up into hers before Caden cooed up at his aunt, then gave a little smile.
"No Grayson." Calleigh laughed. "That wasn't gas. It was a smile."
Grayson's eyes flickered up to Calleigh's, then to Natalia's before slipping back to the little boys. Her expressive brown eyes filled with tears as she realized at how beautiful he was. "Hi Caden..."
Placing her arm around Natalia's shoulders, Calleigh grinned as she looked down at her wife and daughter. Glancing back over to Grayson, she stated. "We understand that you have to leave for a while, but we expect you to show up as soon as you can to help out. Do you really want to leave Jordan alone with two DuVista children? We're gonna need all the help that we can get."
Smiling before leaning down and placing a delicate kiss over a blonde brow, she gingerly handed the child back to his mother. "I'm sure Jordan is much more capable of being human than I am, after all I have been through." Turning around to face Jordan, she placed both of her leather-gloved hands on his shoulders. "I know what you had to do.. I am sorry that I couldn't do it for you " Smiling sadly, she sighed and dropped her hands before replacing the metal mask back on her face, strapping it securely in place. "You need to take them to the hospital and then take them home. I'm sure that their families are worried sick, not to mention their boss." Was all Grayson said before leaving them in the capable hands of Foster and the two other men, the Australian followed her step for step out of the house.
Jordan gave strict instructions to the men as they carefully loaded the DuVista's into the waiting cars and went to stop his sister from getting into the black van. "Grayson... Wait a moment." He stood with his arms folded, waiting for her to turn to face him.
The Australian was checking her for broken bones in her neck and chest while Grayson finally turned around to face her only sibling.
Taking a step closer to his sister, Jordan stared her in the eyes. "I didn't kill grandfather because you were busy killing Stefan. I killed grandfather because he killed our parents and he help turn you into something no person should ever be. It's over now Grayson, we can start a new life and find out what we've been missing while we've been looking over our shoulders. Don't walk away from this chance. Don't walk away from our new family. Come back to us when you've done what you have to do."
"I'm still a monster.." She turned away from him while the Australian spoke quietly of her injuries; a cracked sternum, four broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and bruised internal organs, not to mention her face was in serious need of medical attention.
"Did that child think that you are a monster? Do those two women think of you as a monster? Does Sonia?" Came Jordan's quiet response.
"It's not them I'm worried about. "Grayson gently raised one hand, touching the mask, then yanked her hand away as if the metal seared her skin. "I know what I am... What I have always been Jordan. Let me go.." She began to climb up into the van, trying to get away from him.
Calleigh ran over to the van. "I want my children to know you. And I know that Sonia wants you back. She has cried too many tears for you to just walk away without talking to her. I and Talia have faith in you and will be waiting with open arms." Taking the few steps that separated them, the blonde placed a hand on Grayson's shoulder and kissed her steel covered cheek.
Clenching a fist, she knew that Calleigh was right, they deserved much more than what she had been putting them through lately. Leading Calleigh and Jordan back to the cars, she helped Calleigh into the seat beside Natalia before leaning into the window to talk to the driver. "Straight to the hospital, do not let them out of your sight. Then fly them home. Do you understand?" The man nodded.
Before Grayson stepped away, Natalia spoke. "Come home soon Grayson. You owe me a dinner." Then Natalia told the driver to go, leaving Grayson with a puzzled look upon her face.
Dinner? Grayson thought, what the hell did she mean dinner? The oldest Cerano stared down the road at the retreating cars, thoughts and questions running rampant through her mind. Choices, decisions, theories, so many things left unanswered in a life she had yet to begin.
As the blacked out vehicles cruised down the long rock driveway, Grayson finally let her burning blood filled eyes to gaze at the destruction she alone was capable of. Dozens of bodies littered the lawn around her, pools of blood quickly melting into the ground along with the fresh snow that had begun to fall. Flexing her hands in the cool comfort of black leather driving gloves she was so fond of, she knew exactly how long it would take to clean up her mess.
The three family members turned around and watched as the dark figure slowly disappeared from view before they turned back to each other and stared, each wondering if or when would they see her again.
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