Timeline: March 25th, 2008
After Anne-Marie and Jesse had left Ramiel waited for a couple minutes then looked at Rey. “So what is she doing with Annie? Why is she being told what to do by her? This seems to be more than just a job. Do you know anything Rey?” Ramiel asked as he finished his drink.
Now that the bar was empty save for the two of them, Rey didn’t bother hiding the concern she was feeling. “Oh god, I hope I’m wrong, but I’m afraid she’s going to try and turn Jesse into a ghoul.” She picked up her glass but her hands were shaking so bad she had to set it down again. “Jesse’s got all the things they like in ghouls. She’s on her own, far from family and friends. She’s vulnerable, hurting inside. Nobody would miss her until it was too late.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Just like Frank.”
Rey shook her head. “Jesse told me she came to Eldon Well to interview with Daniel, but decided she didn’t want the job. She’s been talking to Ann-Marie for about a week, and she said Ann-Marie asked her to help sell her paintings, but then changed her mind and said she’d volunteered and Ann-Marie accepted. Oh Ramiel, I can’t let her do to Jesse what Cherise did to Frank.”
Ramiel’s jaw dropped.”So you know Annie’s secret do you. Not only that but you know Cherise as well. Interesting. So what is a ghoul?”
“A slave,” Rey said, “addicted to the vampire’s blood. What that vampire tried to do Lyla. How do you know Cherise?”
Ramiel thought about it. “Are you certain that all ghouls are slaves? Mindless follow blindly? Or do they maintain their personality and freedoms?” He was curious for many reasons.
“Cherise.” He said as he recalled that night. “I spent the night in her company. She gave me a night to remember and I gave her what she wanted. It is a fond memory. Why?”
Rey stood so quickly she knocked her chair backwards onto the floor. “Have you ever seen a heroin addict, Ramiel?” Rey’s voice was rough, and it was building towards a fine rage. “That’s how Frank was acting. In a matter of three nights, he changed from the man I loved, the man who loved and cherished me, into an addict, obsessed with her, carrying out her every whim.” Her hands were clenched into fists, her knuckles white.
“I followed him that third night, afraid of what was happening to him. I wanted to try and help him. I saw him drinking from her arm. Sucking the blood like he was dying of thirst and it was the only thing that could save him. He caught me when I was trying to sneak away. He went into a berserk rage, afraid I was going to try and take Cherise from him. And then he decided to offer me up to her. Told her I was a hedge witch and what I could do. If it hadn’t been for Hamilton and-” Rey paused for a split second. “I would have ended up just like him!”
Ramiel stood and went to her, taking her in his arms, trying his best to calm her.
“So that is what happened in New York.” He said calmly. “Rey. I am sorry he chose her over you. I am sorry he chose that kind of life and that he tried to give you to her. But I can not condem Cherise for his choice.
“I had a mutual understanding with Cherise, the only blood that was drank that night was mine. I didn’t know it at the time but I was able to put it together later. We were just having fun and both got what we wanted.
“I can not say what makes a ghoul mindless, or if they are. Maybe he was trying to protect you by offering you to her. Vampires are very careful about their secrets being learned. Your life was in danger the moment you found out. Frank did the only thing he could think of to keep you safe and that was to make you valuable to Cherise.
“Now you might hate me for what I am saying, and for that I am sorry. If you want to hit me to vent then go right ahead. But when it comes to Jesse, if it is her choice there s nothing we can do. So long as she knows what Anne Marie is, and what it means to drink her blood. Then it is out of our hands. Of course if you choose to tell her what Annie is, then you are putting her life at risk.” He held her briefly then stepped back, giving her ample room to swing if she chose to.
“She already knows what Ann-Marie is,” Rey said, gritting her teeth. “And he didn’t care about me. He tried to kill me, furious that I had discovered him. He was raving about how he’d never let me take Cherise away from him. It was only when he saw my lucky penny that he changed his mind. Broke my leg with an iron pipe so I couldn’t get away. How was that trying to save my life?” By this time, Rey was shaking. “I woke up chained down on some kind of table with bite marks on my arms and legs. How’s THAT trying to save my life?
“And if Ann-Marie hurts a single hair on my head because I know she’s a vampire, then Grey and the rest of the Pack will hunt her down and tear her fucking head off!”
“Maybe it was to him, I don’t know.” He let her yell as much as she wanted and gave her space. “Annie won’t touch you. If she does, there won’t be anything left for the pack to deal with.
“But you can not assume that she will behave just like Cherise did. I understand how it hurt you and that you are upset still. I can also see why you are concerned for Jesse. But how do you know it was not Frank’s choice to be with Cherise?
“We have to be careful when dealing with vampires, just as we do with any supernatural. They have their own structure for things just as the pack does. I can see that you like Jesse, but if she knows what she is getting into then there is not really anything we can do about it Rey, it is her choice.”
“Yeah, but if the only person telling her what’s going to happen is Ann-Marie, how can she possibly be hearing the truth!”
“Well if you tell her your side of things before Annie has a chance then we have to accept her choice. Besides Anne is not too terrible from what I have seen. Cherise was a piece of work though.” He said
“Yeah, well, I doubt Ann-Marie truly has Jesse’s best interests at heart.” Rey’s temper was starting to ebb. “And you’re bing kind about Cherise. So, what. You had sex with her and that was it?”
His smile broadened. “Actually she showed me a really great night, watched me fuck someone else and when things got to the climax she fed on me. I didn’t know so much at the time, but after I met Cay for the first time, I realized what happened. Not all vampires are as stuck up as the ones we know.”
“No,” Rey said, shaking her head in agreement, “they’re not.”