“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”― Langston Hughes
Windenburg Connell and Emmy's home with their three kids Jaymie, Fiona and Damon and family dog Banshee
Pointing busily, sounding all businesslike, Emmy instructed
“Little more to the left. Hmm. I don’t like it angled at all, just looks crooked as if the kids messed with it. Sorry boys, put it back straight again. No no no, too much, back towards me a little. A little more …”
Looking at the indicated area, Connell cocked his head, then shrugged and did as told, with Michael on the other side of the couch, which they had moved seven times now. Likewise with all the bookcases and tables.
“Whoa!” Esmeé exclaimed, while carefully climbing off the ladder she had been on to hang some pictures, as Emmy jumped to her to assist her sister down. Ezzy and her brand-new husband Michael were still sporting deep tans from their honeymoon in Tartosa they had just returned home from after eloping.
“Careful! Let’s sit you down somewhere before you fall off any ladders. Don’t want bloodstains on the freshly stained floors. Stripping, then applying what felt like 90 coats of stain was a lot of work! Not again, please!” she giggled, teasing.
Grimacing, Ezzy stuck out her tongue at her sister, while Michael went to rehydrate. With beer.
“If you did it right, Miss Interior Designer, then you applied a few coats of sealant to the damn floors, so stains won’t happen easily! And I am fine! I don’t need to sit, not a grandma! Just a little dizzy spell because of the elevation up on that ladder and my blood sugar dropping. Nice, by the way, Em. My boyfriend and I take time out of …”
“Husband!” Michael interrupted to correct Ezzy.
She hated being interrupted when talking, but realized he was right, they were newlyweds, so with a roll of her eyes she corrected herself.
“My HUSBAND and I take time out of our busy lives to be your cheap labor, and as a thanks you just nag and whine? I probably got dizzy from being overworked by you two!”
“Orrrrrrr … maybe you’re pregnant.” Emmy teased unimpressed, smiling devilishly, while wiggling her eyebrows at her sister.
“Pregnant? Me? Have we met, Em?! And which pregnant woman goes over to her sister’s house to drag heavy crap from left to right and back again only to scale ladders and hang pictures and all that? Trust you me, Michael and I both have taken ample measures to assure there won’t be any babies for us. Doubled and tripled the efforts.”
“I applaud those efforts, yes, no pregnancies please, especially not by Ezzy – no offense! Last thing I need is yet another Werewolf nipping at my behind and nerves. No no no.” Connell played along, trying not to grin during his clear attempt to push Michael’s buttons, as these two did. Michael didn’t react, but Ezzy addressed him.
“No offense taken, Connell, nobody wants a baby less than me, trust me. I am most definitely not pregnant, I just forgot to eat breakfast and haven’t had anything to eat since lunch yesterday, because of a work meeting that ran late and being up on that ladder stretching like this and that made me a little lightheaded. No biggie. But since you brought it up, I was gonna feel you out about maybe allowing one more Werewolf in town. Nothing definite yet, so PLEASE nobody freak out or start rumors here, I haven’t really discussed it with Michael, but I am considering becoming one and wanted to see how difficult you’d make my life if I were to decide for it.” Ezzy said.
At the same time Emmy’s head snapped around to her sister, Connell dropped the basket he had picked up to move out of the way, while Michael swallowed wrong and was coughing up beer, turning bright red.
“HEY! My new floors! Quit hacking up nasty beer all over them or go outside! EWW, Michael!” Emmy complained at Michael, who finally managed to stop coughing and was now glaring at Emmy as if she had lost her mind when she tossed an old rag on the floor and started moving it back and forth with her foot.
“Did you not just hear your sister, Emmy?” he pressed out, still fighting some coughing.
“Of course, I heard her, I am literally standing right next to her. Is it really THAT surprising? I figured it would come up sooner rather than later. Ezzy doesn’t sit on problems, she acts. Faster than me, I overthink everything to death. As the wife of someone with occult background myself, I’ll be the first to admit it is only natural to think about it. I think about it a lot too, have thought about it since Conny and I met when I was 15, I am 35 now, just well, I overthink it, getting myself stuck in what ifs – that’s why I haven’t asked Connell to do it yet, I do want to, just am scared and all, but I also don’t want to wait till I get all wrinkly and grey and things start shifting on me. See my conundrum? I know I look MUCH younger than I am, when I went to put in a bid for a remodel at Foxbury the other day, everyone thought I was a student there, even though I am like twice their age, almost. But still … if I want this, I gotta get to it within the next few years. Heck, as of next week I am officially mother to a teen girl. I mean, scream! Can’t believe my baby Jaymie is going to be 13. Impossible.”
“You what?” Connell’s eyes grew wide enough to threaten falling from their sockets.
She smiled at her husband.
“You don’t think I’d make a pretty Vampire girl for you?” she cooed, flashing him her most angelic smile, making her look like the exact opposite of what one commonly would imagine a Vampire to look like.
With a flabbergasted expression and confused smile, Connell said softly
“I think you would make an excellent Vampire queen, my beautiful angel. I just wasn’t aware that was even in the realm of reality. Color me … surprised. VERY pleasantly surprised. What a wonderful outlook and much relief to many of my worries.”
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa wait a minute! Before I add puke to my beer stains on Emmy’s new floors, let’s hold your horses here, lovebirds. And what the fuck, Ez? You don’t want this! What I have, what Nathan has, it’s not a fun new hobby. It takes over your life, have you not been listening to me? It destroyed mine, not once, but twice. I had to start over my entire existence from scratch twice now all because of this shit! You can forget about running Cameron Enterprises if you were to get infected with the curse! It takes a long time to control your urges and instincts and to be able to function through the pain after a transformation the night before.” Michael tried to reason in a way he knew would get him Ezzy’s ear.
“First of all, Michael, in case the past years living with me have not made this abundantly clear, I am NOT in the market of letting anyone tell me what I can or can’t do, I do not need approval for my life choices, not from ANYone, including you. Second, I have worked with walking pneumonia and 102-degree fever. I work out like a crazy person. I can handle a little bite and a curse and soreness. I have given birth before! And if you were a woman and had the type of cramps I have to deal with monthly, that whole Werewolf transition thing wouldn’t even worry you either. My life would go on exactly as it has before, except I would be like you and Nathan, and you wouldn’t be so tense whenever the next full moon comes around for fear of losing control and hurting me not even on purpose but because of your immense strength. You know how you get come full moon, licentious, insatiable sexually and honestly, it is a bit disconcerting at times cos you are hulking when not transformed, once you are, I can see how one false move could break someone. Aside from having to be super-careful with me, you’re in full control of it all, Nathan has learned to control himself, it only took him a few months, if a teen with the attention span of a gnat and the information retention capacity of a strainer can do it that fast, I can do this in a week or two!” Ezzy informed her husband.
Connell realized that Michael was too shocked and therefore rendered speechless, so he tried his luck.
“Ezzy, that is a very serious decision. I don’t think it would be quite what you seem to imagine it to be like. I was born a Vampire, but even we have to go through a form of transition when we hit puberty and while I know for us it is a piece of cake compared to what mortals have to go through, it still isn’t easy at all, and it does give us a little insight into what a transformation for a mortal would be like. I will go as far as to say that being a Vampire might be easier in many respects than being a Werewolf. Knowing that, I think you should listen to Michael. Werewolves have a lot of freedoms Vampires do not have, they can eat and tan and such, but also a lot more things to deal with that are much harder to hide, which is why they tend to keep to themselves in closed and well-guarded communities, while many of my kind blend in so well with mortals that they live among them, hiding in plain sight, most mortal will never know unless the Vampire reveals themselves, just like we have been doing for centuries. You won’t find many Werewolves able to manage that without being found out quickly, which is why I am so adamant about not having them live near my precious family.”
“Thank you, Connell, for explaining life in general and my personal choices to me. When will you be over tomorrow morning to lay out my clothing for me and to take me to work, since I evidently have reverted back to a toddler-stage or am too frail to make my own decisions now?!” Ezzy’s eyes nearly shot sparks at Connell, a quick side-glance showed Michael’s pity glances and shrugs.
“Esmée, I am merely concerned and …” Connell calmly tried to mediate, but Ezzy wasn’t having any of it and cut him off.
“Connell! How about you just answer my question? What do I have to do to get your approval to be the third Werewolf in this town? Please do bear in mind that I was born here in Windenburg, you were not, so I should have a lot more right to be here in ANY form I choose, but out of respect and courtesy I am asking you anyway. Looking at this logically, you have nothing to fear or lose, obviously you already know I have no vendettas against you and your kind and even if I find you disagreeable at times, I genuinely like you a lot, I love my sister and she loves you, so I pose no threat, not now and not if I were like Michael.” Ezzy rambled on sounding as if she was holding a business meeting rather than speaking to family.
This shook Michael from his shocked state and he tried his luck to talk sense into his wife.
“Ez – hold up a minute with the planning and pleading – I am not gonna do that to you anyway, so this whole argument is pointless. You do NOT want this, and I do not want you to have this. No way. Connell is right. This is NOT gonna happen, case closed.”
Now the sparks from Ezzy’s eyes shot at her husband.
“Are you serious? I am doing this for YOU. For US. A token of my love, devotion and dedication to you and you try to schoolmaster me like a dumb child?!” she nearly spat the angry words out at him.
“Ez, chill! I am beyond thrilled, flattered, honored, and all that good stuff that you even considered this, but I can’t do something like this to you. I love you too much to watch you fuck around and find out about what this is really like. Once you walked a mile in my shoes, you would hate me forever. And before you even go there, Nathan can’t transfer the curse. Not for many years, so don’t even try that poor boy!”
“It has to be. I thank you for even considering it, but can’t do this to you, you don’t understand what this is like, I cannot let you run into something like this with eyes wide open, so all this drama is redundant. Bad idea, not happening.”
“Fine. Be that way. I’ll have to take a trip to Moonwood Mill then and pay your old bestie a much overdue visit. I am sure that Luke-asshole or someone else there would be more than happy to help considering Luke himself said that they are desperate to increase the Werewolf population. He owes me big time for what he has done to you and Nathan anyway! So he can do this for me or listen to my 500 reasons why I hate his guts until he curls up in a corner, crying while sucking his thumbs. Both of them at the same time!” Esmée spoke as if she was talking about the weather forecast.
Michael paled into nearly bright white, then turned red.
“You will NOT go there! You will NOT go anywhere near Luke! How many ways do I have to explain to you how dangerous Werewolves really are before you finally grasp it? Why do you think Connell here shits his breeches at the thought there could be more of us around here? We both know he’s really strong and can do a LOT of things you and I don’t even know about, so if he’s worried, you should be too. Do not think they are all like me, I am just so fucking strong in body and mind, some would call it too stubborn to fail, that I am much more in control than most Werewolves, which is why I was their Leader – and we all know how that ended for me. One false move, stars aligning just wrong and they’d shred you into confetti and wouldn’t even remember doing it. You do not understand what I am telling you! For all but the most seasoned and experienced Wolves, it’s instinct, uncontrollable until they reach a level where they learn to suppress it enough to win the upper hand over what the virus is making your brain do.
Learning that takes a LOT of effort and dedication and let’s face it, most Wolves ended up being Wolves because they don’t make good life choices and ended up on the wrong side of a fight with the wrong guy, like me. Not to mention that it takes even longer before you can transform at will! You wanna end up randomly transforming during a business meeting? Could happen. So, stay away from Moonwood Mill! Did you forget what happened to me last time I went there?! What happened to Nathan when all he wanted was to see his half-siblings he never met? And what almost happened to Connell when trying to help us?! They almost killed him and I had to let them reinfect me with this goddamn curse to buy his freedom! I will never not see Luke’s smug grin when he bit me. No way will Luke have you like that! I … forbid it!” Michael roared, now very angry and dangerous looking.
Naturally, that didn’t impress Ezzy, she didn’t even flinch at his outburst, instead propped her hand into her hips and glared back at him.
“You ‘forbid’ it? Oh, buddy, you didn’t just say that to me! Oh no, you didn’t! You and I are not taking a cozy trip back into the olden days where the man gets to make all the decisions!!! If you think this ring and my ‘I dos’ bought you that right, you have a rude awakening ahead of you and you may end you divorced so quick it will make your head spin!” Ezzy’s tone had changed too, and both reminded more of two puffed up roosters about to fight.
Emmy stepped in quickly, bravely in between her sister and Michael, also completely unafraid.
“Guys … come on now. Let’s not fight. I’ll make us all some coffee, I have freshly baked cookies, that’ll get your blood sugar up again, Ez, so no more dizzy spells, we’ll chill for a minute and then …”
“Emmy, shut the fuck up!” Ezzy snarled at her sister.
“Yeah Em, don’t get in the middle of something that doesn’t concern you and which you don’t understand.” Michael snarled, never breaking his eye lock with his wife.
Connell was about to step in, when his angelic wife blew up like he had never seen before.
“How DARE you?! BOTH of you! I have about HAD it with this now! We all get angry and emotional sometimes, but some here present understand how to adult – about time you two learn that! I am not one to meddle, but this is MY home, she is MY sister and I understand a heck of a lot more than both of you think! You Michael haven’t the first clue about MY life, and what I know, so never ever belittle me like that again just because I may not be a Werewolf. You are not a woman, not a wife and not a mother, you have never lived with a Vampire, raising two kids like him and one like me, which is not always easy, yet you are not shy about telling ME what to do – or better put, you try to! And you Ezzy, how would you like me to come into your home and tell you to shut the fork up?! For fluff’s sake, that is a pile of glorious, steaming hooey and rude as pluck!” Emmy’s cheeks had turned pinker than they usually were.
The tension gave way to confused looks and discombobulated silence.
Finally, Michael cleared his throat and croaked the words
“Did you just say to shut the FORK up, or was there something in this beer making me hear weird shit now?” Michael wondered, trying not to laugh.
“A pile of hooey? Rude as … pluck????” Ezzy added, completely bewildered.
“No, she said a pile of glorious, steaming hooey.” Connell corrected with an absolutely straight face.
Another moment of shocked silence turned into roaring laughter by Michael, Connell and Ezzy, while Emmy shrugged.
“What? When have any of you EVER heard me curse? I never do, you just don’t pay attention enough to realize it. For one, because I still have young children and I often take Sophie’s three little ones when she needs a break. I can’t get into the habit of cursing. Once you start, it is very hard to not accidentally do it.” Emmy explained.
“Goddamn, never a dull moment with this family, for real. I don’t think I have ever seen you angry, Emmy, not in all those years I have known you and the bloodsucker now. I am literally related to a wildcat and her sister, Angry Meadow Barbie!” Michael snorted out.
“Emmy, what my HUSBAND means to say is: sorry. For lashing out at you and for Michael’s mess and for all this. You’re right, that WAS very rude and uncalled for.” Ezzy said softly.
“Yeah, I second what the wifey just said. Sorry Em. You are the sweetest girl I know, and for you to be mad like this, I know we overstepped big time.” Michael added.
“I was just about to get the rolled-up newspaper here.” Connell grinned.
“Oh – the Fang again, trying to be funny beating the dead horse attempt at a joke. You hear this shit, Em? If you ever decide to become like that fool, you will lose your sense of humor. Never met a hilarious Vampire. Don’t exist.” Michael said.
Instead of Emmy, Connell spoke.
“Oh, some of us do have quite the sense of humor and knack for mischief. There are some that come to mind that would have you rolling on the floor. One of them being the gentleman who took care of your son before you and Ezzy could, Blaine, but I suppose he wasn’t in much of a joking mood when confronted with a boy who barely escaped a very bleak situation. Esmée, I still owe you an answer to your question, I am being rude by not addressing it: if you do decide to do this, if after long, thorough and careful consideration you still want to do it, then I will not stand in your way. But please, no more Wolves after that. Three is my absolute max.”
“Wait – I don’t mean to interrupt the kumbaya moment here, but I am not really okay with this. I don’t want my wife to become like me, doesn’t anyone hear me or am I speaking on mute? Do I not get a vote here at all now? I feel like I SHOULD have one, considering I am the momentum of this discussion to begin with!” Michael grumbled.
“Did I get a vote in you being a Werewolf the first or the second time? No, I did not. I just rolled with it. So – roll with it.” Ezzy shot back.
“Roll with what? I already was a Wolf when we met! And never by choice! Not the first OR second time! You act like I did this for shits and giggles, Ez. All I have ever been doing with this … condition … was coping.” Michael sounded frustrated.
“So? What’s your point? I didn’t KNOW what you were for a LONG time, you hid that from me. And let’s not forget YOU came after me, YOU searched for me after what was supposed to be a one-night stand at a club. YOU did know what you were, and by the time I finally was enlightened about it, I was already invested!”
“Invested? Gee, so romantic, someone catch me I am getting weak in the knees here with that outpour of love and devotion by my dear wife.” Michael grumbled.
“Sarcasm means you know I am right and have no comeback. So here is how this is gonna go down, HUSBAND. I will do more research, YOU will answer ALL my questions about ANYTHING I want to know about Werewolves, no more blowing me off like you have been doing, and if I still decide I want this, YOU are going to support my decision and me during that whole transition! And you will be the one to turn me!” Ezzy decided.
“We’ll see about that. All I know is that you really have a lot to learn about Werewolves, starting with the basics, for one that my kind doesn’t ‘turn’ people, that’s his kind over there, those Fangs, who turn people. Werewolves infect you with a curse through a bite. That alone should tell you everything you need to know about that idea, above all, how shitty it really is. You don’t call something a curse if it is the height of ecstasy and pleasure. Nobody with an ounce of sanity left goes and asks to be cursed. This is bullshit! Total idiotic bullshit! Ridiculous coming from someone as smart as you, Ez.”
“Consider this information and your opinion on all this duly noted. My mind is made up, all this requires is more research now. Well, I guess for now I will just have to be careful not to jokingly tell you to ‘bite me’ until I made up my mind and really mean it, with all consequences then.” Ezzy told him triumphantly. She knew she won the battle, if not the war.
“This is not funny, Ez. Not a joking matter. How am I going to get that into that beautiful, stubborn head of yours?!” Michael sounded defeated.
“While I generally agree with everything Michael has said, I do see Ezzy’s point.” Connell said.
“Oh, is that so? Why thank you Fang, for sharing this, even though nobody asked you. As usual. So now you are an expert in all things Werewolf too of a sudden?!”
“No, but I know what it is like to live as an occult among the mortals. I have accompanied recent turns when they started out learning how to be Vampires, watched them struggle to adjust to their new lives. And I know those who were turned ages ago and never regretted it and some who do. I know naturally born Vampires who hate being what they are and those who love it and feel superior to all other species. I also know what it is like to live in a mixed household. You should indeed feel flattered that Ezzy wants to share this experience with you, the good and the bad. I know Emmy considering letting me turn her just made my day. Nix that, my week. My month! I know she hasn’t made a final decision just yet, and I purposely never pushed the topic with her, I wanted it to be 100% her choice and idea. It never came up until now, I had already given up hope. Turns out slow and steady truly does win the race.” Connell smiled, clearly thrilled by the news.
“Argh – not you with that lukewarm Hippie bullshit now too, Connell! Go hug a tree and then worry about your own wife and your own life, bruh, and keep your nose out of mine!”
“Michael, careful how you talk to my husband. This is still our house, so you better behave like a proper guest.” Emmy wagged her finger at him.
“Never claimed to be proper, I am not a guest, I am family, and free labor!”
“Good point. So get back to work, all of you. Nobody is making any life decisions here, especially not when I still have a living room to finish. So … finish! I’ll get the next boxes.” Emmy pressed.
Shaking his head, smirking, Michael did as told.
“The silent waters, always the silent waters.” he chuckled to himself.
Connell & Emmy's beautifully modernized home can be found here:
2 thoughts on “Chapter 439) Headstrong”
Okay, so Ezzy is likely gonna try to join Michael & Nathan and become a wolf too. Not a terrible idea. She would be vulnerable to attack from other packs that might have a grudge against Michael. Being a werewolf will make her stronger and a little better able to defend herself. But I doubt that’s why she’s considering it. More to be like her husband and Nathan. Good for her. And Emmy wants to get changed sometime in the near future. I know Connell is thrilled. And go Emmy for calling them out! Loved it. 💗
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As usual, you hit the nail on the head. Emmy would make the most confusing vampire ever, she still looks like a teenaged angel. Esmée is a ‘wildcat’ already, per Michael, definitely has the fire, courage and strength to pull off the werewolf thing.
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