Chapter 4. Movie Night

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Chapter 4. Movie Night

Post  Rowanna on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:17 am

Chapter 4. Movie Night

“Last one to the lawn gets projector duty,” Min called out as he raced past Vlad, who was walking brusquely toward the lawn where chairs and blankets were being set up for what had quickly become the family’s ‘movie night’ tradition.

Their brother Matty, who appeared no more than very early teens despite, in fact, being older than Min, rolled his eyes. “I always have projector duty,” he pointed out, not even attempting to outrun the others.

“But his head hurts!” a tiny female with the trademark crystal-blue eyes of her kinsmen lisped, stamping her foot in frustration. “I need to go help!”

“No, Brianna,” her mother said, giving all the impression that she may well have repeated this a number of times already. “Uncle Radu is working. You know better than to interrupt him.”

A young blond moved gracefully among them, setting up chairs here, laying out blankets there, and ensuring that there were various refreshments in easy reach of each place. “Will there be anything else mistress?” he asked of Soraya in a soft and melodic tenor, meeting her gaze fleetingly.

“Are you sure you won’t join us tonight, Kristov?” Soraya invited as she always did. As always, the youth demurred. “If you change your mind…” she sighed. In the generations the boy’s family had worked for her own, never once had any of them crossed that line, though she often wished they would.

“Thank you, mistress,” the boy smiled softly, again as he always had. “I will remember.”

Soraya offered a soft, sad smile as she struggled to keep a hand on her daughter, convinced that each of their children had been born more stubborn than the last and somewhat leery of what that meant for their future. The little one continued wriggling until she was free of her mother’s grasp, moving with blinding speed across the lawn, only to be carried back, kicking and squirming again by her brother, Michael.

“Lose something?” he quipped as he grew nearer, planting a kiss upon his mother’s cheek before plopping into  a chair, still holding tightly to the struggling child.

“Your uncle is still with the last interviewee,” the redhead replied, as if that somehow explained everything. “I guess his shields are pretty shot by now and his head is killing him. She thinks she needs to try to help.”

“I’ll find Uncle Nait,” the taller of her two sons, Tommen, offered, waving off the sandwich bag filled with popcorn she offered.

The young blond male assisting with set-up shook his head without looking up at the speaker. “Katarina has already seen to it, sire,” he answered, making it clear his connection to his twin was no less impressive than it had ever been.

“Does that mean that the doctor has been hired?” Min asked. At the youth’s affirmative nod, he reluctantly fished his wallet out of his pocket and counted out a hundred dollars into Michael’s outstretched hand. “Don’t drop your sister,” he grumbled, nodding to the squirming bundle now held beneath Michael’s other arm.

“Min, you didn’t?” Soraya scolded. “You bet against him? I thought you wanted him to hire someone for your Uncle Mircea.”

“I did,” Min answered defensively. “That doesn’t mean I thought he actually would.”

“He had to hire someone before his head exploded,” Michael pointed out with a smirk.

“Preferably someone Uncle Mircea wouldn’t eat.” Matty snorted.

Min laughed. “He didn’t actually eat the last one. Not all of him, anyway.  I’m still not sure where he hid the head.”

“Boys!” Soraya snapped, nodding toward the youngest in their midst as if to remind them the child was still present and listening, though, thankfully, she’d stopped struggling against her brother’s grip. Soraya relaxed a little, too, knowing Brianna wouldn’t have stopped struggling if Radu were still distressed.

Michael had the good grace to look chastened. “Sorry, Mom.” He ignored the snickering behind him as Min and Matty found their places and began screening the nights selection.

Brianna reached out to grab a bag of popcorn and malted milk balls, leaning into her brother’s embrace as the animated feature about a sea princess desperate to trade in her fins for legs and win the heart of the dashing prince began to play out on the screen.

Matty snickered as Min rolled his eyes and protested. “Really? Another Disney? Can’t we at least have live actors occasionally? And maybe a little less singing?”

“Shhh,” Brianna scolded around a mouthful of chocolate.

Michael winked at them and repeated, “Yeah… shhh… We’re watching a movie here, right Brianna?” The tiny one in his lap just nodded, her eyes fixed upon the screen.

“I am to tell you, mistress, that the doctor will return tomorrow for the families’ physicals,” the young blond announced as he finished setting out the last of the snacks for the family to enjoy.

“Wait!” “What?” Min and Matty spat at the same time.

“Shhh!” Brianna scolded again.

Seeing the look in the young man’s eyes, clearly begging her not to make him repeat and explain, Soraya nodded. “Thank you, Kristov,” she said softly, so as not to disturb the film any more than necessary. “Did he say what time he’d be here?”

“No, mistress, but Katarina said to be ready at sundown anyway,” the younger of the twins answered, deferring to his sister as always.

Vlad looked at his wife, frowning. “What exactly does he hope to accomplish by giving physicals to vampires and immortals.”

“Virtually immortals,” Min corrected his brother. “She’s not completely invulnerable. Maybe he wants to make sure he can treat her, or… the help. Kristov, Katarina, Evangelina, Dante, Colin…”

“No sire,” Kristov spoke up, unwilling to leave them with a false impression. “Katarina says he indicated a desire to establish baselines for the family. Not us.”

“You are family, Kris,” Soraya reminded him gently. “So yes, you. Both of you. All of you.” She fixed them each with her stern but loving gaze, her tone inviting no further arguments. “All of us.”

The blond blushed brightly, but dared not argue. Instead, he nodded, then stepped away from the group, his work there done. Stretching his above his head he abruptly transformed into a majestic bird of prey and flew back toward the main house and the reminder of his duties there.

Vlad smiled, placing an arm around the fiery redhead, seemingly taking no notice of the youth’s exit as he concurred. “You heard her, guys.  The Princess has spoken.”

Brianna turned to glare at them each in turn, hissing a loud and somewhat chocolate filled, “Shhhhhh,” into the night air.  The others looked guiltily from one to another for a moment, each struggling to retain their laughter at the child’s insistence, and movie night resumed in comfortable, companionable silence.
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Rowanna
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