For Elissa and Adam, that entailed sitting under a spreading oak tree in Angel Grove Park, arms wrapped around each other, and kissing for all they were worth.
If we don't stop, I am going to do something that we shouldn't do in the park. Elissa telepathically warned her husband.
Would that be so bad? Adam giggled mentally. She rolled her eyes at him.
Yes. Remember who we're meeting. Evanthe and Billy were supposed to be meeting them there in a short time; in fact, Elissa could already smell her best friend's vampiric scent in the air.
From not that far away, Evanthe cleared her throat just loudly enough for them to hear her. Elissa freed a hand enough to wave at her, but didn't end the kiss. Evanthe chuckled, then reached casually out to Billy and pulled him into a deep embrace. "It must be contagious!" she chuckled, but Billy didn't seem to mind 'catching' it.
"Okay, enough making out," Adam it was who pulled away first, but not that far away from Elissa.
Evanthe grinned. "So, how has everything between with the two of you?"
"As good as can be expected with all that's happened within the past two weeks," Adam replied. All four flinched at some of the memories, and Elissa tightened her almost-death grip on Adam.
"We're leaving Angel Grove later today." She told them. Evanthe nodded calmly. She'd rather expected them to take some sort of vacation. She felt like she could use one herself, but the only place she'd ever been to and not been in danger really wasn't one she felt she could take Billy to. "We're going up to the cabin, and we'll be back the day before my vacation ends."
Evanthe grinned. "Just how long have we owned that place, anyway?" after a while, many of the years just started to blur together for her.
Her friend thought for a moment, then told her, "Twenty-five years."
"Yeah." Evanthe remembered now. "it hasn't been very long." Billy felt a chill down his spine at the thought of just how old she really was.
Adam glanced at the two of them curiously, something that had been twitching about in his mind coming to the fore. "Question. Just how did you two meet?" That was something he'd always wondered, and he'd just never thought to ask...until now.
Evanthe sighed, her eyes and mind drifting back over a century. "That is a very long story."
"A very long one," Elissa said quietly. She didn't much like to think about it, but for some reason, a raw urge to reveal those secrets was beginning to rise up in here.
The Purple Ranger glanced at her friends. "Want to know it?"
"Who starts it?" Elissa asked as both Adam and Billy nodded. At Evanthe's gesture towards her, she took a long breath, remembering vividly. Very vividly... "Well, it was about . ..what, about a month before Jareth and Marcus died?" Evanthe could clearly hear the pain in her friend's voice, and nodded. Elissa continued. "Jareth and I..."
"I love you, Elissa!" Jareth declared, gazing into her eyes and letting his hands roam all over her.
"Two months, and we are married!" Elissa moaned in joy at that, and at what Jareth was doing to her.
Jareth kissed her gently. "I can't wait!" He frowned briefly as Elissa stiffened momentarily.
"Did you hear that?" she was certain she had heard a wolf's growl, not that far away from her. She tried to sit up and look around, but Jareth was still kissing and doing other things to her.
"No, I'm a little busy!" he told her. Elissa sighed, pushing him away a little.
"This is serious. I heard a wolf!"
Jareth groaned, sitting up himself. "A wolf? Here?" he knew Elissa wouldn't just arbitrarily end one of their amusing little sessions together; if she said she heard a wolf, despite the odds, she very well could have.
"I think we better get back to the house." Elissa reached for her clothes, dressing as quickly as she could. Jareth was starting to put his own clothes on as she started out of the barn, then stopped in her track, a startled yelp escaping her lips.
"Elissa?" her fianc‚ glanced back at her, not liking the fear he heard one bit.
Elissa headed towards the house as fast as she could, her eyes wide in shock and fear, shouting out one word. "Wolf!" She had to dodge towards the woods as the wolf slipped in between her and Jareth, cutting her off from the house as well.
"Elissa, get help!" Jareth shouted uselessly, terrified at the sight of the creature. Elissa stopped, about to dodge again, when the creature leaped her at her, clawing and biting at her arm fiercely. For a moment, Jareth was paralyzed by the sound of her screams, then suddenly he was galvanized by them. A stout wooden club lay on the ground, and he quickly seized it, bashing the wolf on the head and shoulders as hard as he could until it finally released her.
Elissa collapsed to the ground, blood draining out of her arm and her face chalk-white. Jareth stared only for a second, then he quickly wrapped up the wound as best he could, then carried her back to the house. "Jareth...." her voice was soft and breathy, a mere whisper of what it should be.
"I'm here, Elissa."
"It hurts. .."
He held her hand as he carried her indoors. "Your mother will be able to help you." I hope. Elissa cried onto his shoulder.
"Elissa? Is that..." Mrs. Jones entered the room, her eyes widening in shock as she saw the bloody bandage on her arm. "Elissa!"
Jareth put her down gently on a couch. "A wolf attacked her."
"You don't think it could be that werewolf that people are talking about?" Mrs. Jones looked worried as she started examining her daughter. Jareth shrugged his confusion, and his future mother in law headed for the medical supplies she kept. "Bring her into the study. I can take better care of her in there"
The young man obeyed, putting Elissa down carefully in a chair and letting her mother deal with things. "You're going to be just fine. It's not that bad."
"I hope so..." Elissa whispered, feeling a strange fire burning all throughout her body. She didn't know what it was, but it scared her..and beckoned to her at the same time.
Jareth squeezed her hand. "You will be."
"I love you..." Elissa murmured quietly. Jareth returned the expression, until Mrs. Jones intervened.
"Shhh. Time to rest." As she applied a proper bandage to Elissa's wound, the woman smiled briefly at Jareth as he held her daughter's hand. "She needs to rest. Especially after what you two did in the barn."
Jareth turned a brilliant shade of red, and Elissa looked up at her mother. "You knew?"
"Apparently she does." Jareth whispered as Mrs. Jones nodded. She knew, and had went out of her way to be certain her husband didn't. There were some things he didn't need to know about their daughter.
"You're not mad. ..are you?" Elissa wondered. "That we didn't wait?"
"Not really." Mrs. Jones told her. "I know you two love each other and you're going to be married."
Elissa sighed, leaning against the chair. "Two months. I don't want to wait for him. Not that long..."
"It's not so very long." Her mother told her, touching her hand briefly. She wondered if Elissa had any idea of the danger she was in. If that was that werewolf. ..could she be..no, it can't be. It just can't be, it won't be, I won't let it be.
Elissa sighed, murmuring an agreement that it wasn't. Her eyes drifted shut as she slipped closer to sleep. A soft whisper murmured through her thoughts...Elissa...Elissa...come to me....come....She bolted upright, her eyes wide in shock and fear.
"Elissa?" her mother looked at her; she'd barely been asleep for a few minutes! Jareth looked worried to as she whispered out something horrifying.
"I heard someone. ..in my head!" Jareth shivered deeply, as her mother took her hand. Slowly, Elissa looked at them. "I recognized his voice."
Jareth lifted an eyebrow. "Who is it?"
"A man who was here yesterday. He wanted to buy a horse. I think his name was Michael." She shivered. "He gave me the creeps."
Her fianc‚ held her hand, doing his best to comfort her. "Why would you hear him in your head?" Magic ran rampant in the world, but it had never really been seen in their part of it. It just wasn't. ..done.
"I don't know." She squeezed his hand. "Hold me."
"It's going to be all right," he murmured as they watched the blowing snow. Elissa barely seemed to be paying attention. The last couple of days her senses had all been heightened, and she was starting to notice something coming through the snow. Something. . .or someone. "That storm's getting really bad."
Elissa peered through the window. "Someone is out there." She could make out the figure more clearly now, not quite what gender it was though.
"Who would be out in this storm?" Jareth wondered. He'd been trapped here himself the last couple of days, but whoever this was, was walking almost as if the snow wasn't even there.
"They're heading up the path." Elissa reported. "It's a woman!" There was an odd sensation as she looked at this woman, as if meeting someone she knew. ..
Jareth's eyes widened. "I don't believe it! It looks like. .she's not even wearing a coat or anything! Just a dress!"
Elissa left his side, heading to the door and opened it just as the stranger reached the porch. "Hello."
"Hello." The stranger calmly brushed the snow off her shoulders, and Elissa noticed she didn't even look cold, much less freezing the way she should have been. Something very unusual as going on around here, obviously.
Elissa smiled a little. "Do you want to come in?"
"Yes, it is getting rather hard to walk out here in this snow." The woman was a little taller than Elissa, with short-cut hair and strange, expressive eyes.
"Where is your coat?" Elissa asked. She didn't see the sudden fear in the stranger's eyes, then the calm response came.
"I lost it."
Elissa shrugged. "All right. Why don't you come into the parlor?" as she led the way, the young woman glanced casually around, her eyes noting ways out and the occasional servant and inhabitant walking around with a more than casual curiosity. "Miss.. what is your name?"
"My name?" she almost seemed surprised to be asked that. "Evanthe. Evanthe Foster."
Mrs. Jones smiled as the girls entered the room. "Welcome to our humble home, Miss Foster. I take it you are here about the room we're renting out?"
"I need a place to wait out the winter in." Evanthe said quietly. Mrs. Jones nodded.
"Well, then, let me show you the room. You came at a good time, we were getting ready to eat in a little bit. Please say you'll eat dinner with us."
"No thank you," Evanthe shook her head. "I dined not that long ago." Amazing what good use an attempted robber can be put to.
Mrs. Jones smiled. "Well then, Elissa, will you show her the room?"
"I'd be more than happy to, Mother." Elissa stood up. "If you'll follow me?"
Evanthe followed her silently up the stairs, and Elissa gestured towards a door. "This is the room. It's kinda small."
"I don't need much room." the other replied quietly. No more room than I need to sleep in.
Elissa smiled. She liked this strange, silent person already. "I hope you like it. By the way, my name's Elissa. If you need anything, I'm right across the hall."
"I don't think I'll need anything."
"Well, if you do. And just a warning, things are going to be a bit hectic around here the next two months." Elissa warned.
Evanthe frowned a little. "Hectic?"
"I'm getting married. Mother is starting to panic just a little bit." Elissa smiled for a moment, then shook her head. It was going to be a great deal of fun once they were married, but getting there was the problem!
"I'll stay out of the way." Evanthe despised large crowds and lots of people around, though paradoxically she needed them for anonymity. The more people that were around, the more chances that someone found out what she was.
Elissa smiled. "I'm just thankful for a small family; both mine and Jareth's."
"Was that the young man I saw downstairs with you?"
"Yes, that was Jareth."
Evanthe nodded quietly. He looked tasty. I need decent prospects to feed off of here. No blood lust. Not ever again.
"Well, I'll let you get settled. I'll be across the hall, I need to get some rest." For the first time, Evanthe saw that Elissa's arm was bandaged up. When she asked what happened, Elissa told her about the wolf attack. Evanthe's eyes narrowed for a moment, then she silently entered the room and shut the door firmly behind her.
Not a bad place. I think this'll make a nice winter home. Slowly she curled up on the bed and stared out the window. I wonder if that was a werewolf. There is a faint odor of them in the air. But I should be able to handle it if it is one. Unless it's..but I can still back him down. A faint smile bent her lips, revealing a pair of dagger-like fangs.
Elissa was doing some of her chores when she felt as if someone were behind her. When she turned, she saw a tall, handsome man there, almost smiling at her. "Don't sneak up on me like that, sir!" she squeaked. He smiled.
She tossed some of her hair back, then turned to look at him. "How can I help you? If you're looking for Marcus, he's in the barn."
"I was looking for you, actually." He purred the words out, coming closer to her.
His smile broadened, and she didn't like it one bit. "You will learn."
"I wish I had time to learn why." Elissa backed up a little. "But I must be off to town, to meet my fianc‚." She hoped that would back him away, but instead, his hand shot out and wrapped around her arm.
"You have already met him."
Elissa shrieked, pulling away from him as hard as she could. "Let go of my arm!"
"I think not." He started pulling her away as hard as he could. Elissa dug her heels into the ground, wishing someone was there to help her.
"You're hurting me!" she howled, clawing at him with one hand. Why wouldn't this idiot let her go? What did he want with her?
He glared at her. "Come along quietly and it won't hurt." He had to be joking! Elissa renewed her struggles, doing her best to get away when a calm, cold voice cut through the air.
"That is quite enough."
Both of them turned to see Evanthe standing there, arms folded and eyes blazing with a brilliant light. The man glared. "You." It was obvious they knew each other, and that the dislike was extremely mutual.
"Leave her alone, Micheal." Evanthe said, stepping closer. She looked easily capable of tearing his head off, and more than ready to do it too.
"Just why should I?" Micheal asked, holding Elissa closer to him.
Her reply was frosty and full of determination. "Because if you don't I'll kill you."
Micheal sighed, then threw Elissa to the ground. He glared at the woman standing there. "I'll be back for her. She is one of my kind." As he left, Evanthe glared after his back.
"Jerk." She looked back at Elissa. "Are you all right?"
As the other girl nodded, Evanthe helped her up. "What did he mean by I was one of his kind?"
Evanthe glanced at her, a faint frown on her face. If she is one, she hasn't changed yet. I couldn't know until then. "I'm not certain, but you had better keep an eye out for him."
"I will, but I have to go to town. Are you sure you won't join me?"
The girl glanced around. "If he's in the area, I'd better." Besides, I need lunch.
"Thanks." Elissa smiled. "It's not that far of a walk."
Neither had to get much to carry with them, and as they walked along the path, Evanthe kept a sharp eye out for Micheal, trying to ignore the humming of her companion. Then something occurred to her. "Elissa."
"You heard me threaten to kill Micheal, but you're not afraid?"
Elissa shook her head. "No, not really. You saved my life when you did that."
"He wouldn't have killed you." Evanthe said quietly, thinking about what she knew of him. What would have happened was worse than death. She knew something similar very intimately.
Elissa glanced at her. "How do you know Micheal?"
"We met a while back." About five years ago."
"I take it you don't like him much?" Elissa raised the question gently, and Evanthe nodded.
"Not at all."
The farmgirl nodded. "I won't ask what happened. But I thank you for what you did for me today."
"No problem." Elissa shrugged. "I won't see anyone dragged off to anything they don't want." Not like I was. To be made into a monster.
Elissa smiled a little. "You are one interesting person, you know that, Evanthe?"
"Me? Interesting?" she actually seemed surprised! "No."
"Yes, you are." Elissa agreed. "You very rarely leave the house, you hardly eat."
Evanthe could almost feel her fangs itching at that. "I have my reasons."
"I'm sure." Elissa was; and she felt certain that whatever those reasons were, they were good ones. For her, at least.
They walked silently for a while longer, and once again Evanthe broke the silence. "Do you know...I envy you, Elissa."
The stranger girl smiled weakly. "You have so much. A family. A home." A pulse. " You're going to be married, you'll probably have many children."
Elissa smiled. "And a brother who stares at our roomer every time he sees her. Eyes wide and drooling."
"At least you have a brother." Evanthe's voice held a tremble of memory, something Elissa wondered about. She had the courtesy not to ask, however. It was plain there were secrets in Evanthe's past she wanted to remain there.
Instead, she said only, "He likes you."
"I've noticed." They were almost to town by now, and Evanthe seemed almost more nervous. She really didn't like crowds; they terrified her in many ways.
Elissa smiled. "It's kind of hard not to. There's Jareth!"
"You have fun. I have things to attend to." Evanthe started away quietly.
"See you tonight?" Elissa called after her. Evanthe glanced back at her.
"Remember the party my parents are throwing tomorrow night. They invited you."
Evanthe shook her head. "I don't think so. I'm not much for parties."
"I wish you'd reconsider. See you later." Elissa said as she walked over to Jareth, wrapping him up in her arms. "Hi!"
Jareth smiled down at her. "Hello, Elissa. Looks like you got her to actually leave the house. I didn't think it could be done!"
Elissa look at the ground. "Jareth. Michael..stopped by the house today. .and he. ..he. .." she was starting to shake now that she didn't have to be brave in front of a stranger. Slowly, she told him what had happened, and he kept his arms around her.
"We won't let him near you anymore!"
She smiled. "Thank you. Don't we have a wedding party to plan? And a wedding!"
"Indeed we do!"
Quite a few guests arrived that night, and as the party swept into full swing, Elissa and Jareth both felt the driving need to be ...just with each other. "I'll meet you outside in ten minutes." she murmured quietly to him.
"See you there." Jareth replied. He watched as she walked out, and smiled. Oh, he loved her!
Elissa sat down under the tree she and Jareth had spent quite a bit of time under, and sighed with joy, letting thoughts of Jareth roman through her mind. "We meet again." A cool voice spoke, and she looked up to see Micheal looking back at her.
"Leave me alone!" she almost whimpered, backing away from him as quickly as she could. He seized her arm tightly.
"I don't think so, now that your interfering vampire friend isn't here to stop me."
Elissa's eyes widened as a great deal of things came clear with that announcement. The way Evanthe never ate in public, the strange sense of her age, the unnatural strength, and the way Micheal had backed down from her. . . "Vampire?"
"Oh, didn't she tell you?" he laughed. "Evanthe is a vampire!" Micheal grinned as he dragged her, kicking and screaming, away. "Sorry, you're coming with me!"
"Have you seen Elissa?" he asked. He had went to the barn and been waiting for her for almost half an hour before coming in to see if anyone had seen her. When Evanthe shook her head, he sighed. "She said she was going to sit under our tree. But she's not there, and she's not in the house."
"I'll go check out under the tree," Evanthe frowned. "Maybe there's a note or something."
Evanthe nodded as she headed outside, then groaned mentally when she bumped into Marcus. "Hello, Evanthe." He smiled. "Leaving?"
"Looking for Elissa."
The young man frowned. "She's not inside?"
"No, and Jareth's getting worried."
Marcus nodded. "I'll go calm him. She's probably in the attic of the house, or in the tree house by their special tree."
"I'll check in the tree house first." She said, heading outside as Marcus went to talk with Jareth. She glanced around quickly, the night as clear as daylight to her. A strong scent was in the air, one she recognized: and hated. Evidence presented itself for that when she saw a glittering watch on the ground.
This is his. The markings are his. "Micheal." she growled it deeply.
"What about him?" Jareth spoke from behind her. He took a step back as she whirled around, a hint of her fangs showing.
"He has Elissa."
Jareth backed away, his eyes round and terrified. "Evanthe..w..what..are you?"
"What I am is in one big hurry to find Elissa before Micheal hurts her. Now get out of my way!" her voice was thick and harsh with fury, and she made no efforts to hide the fact that she had fangs. Jareth took a long breath.
"I'm going with you."
"Fine." She was in no mood to argue. "But stay out of the way, or you could get hurt."
Together, they vanished into the forest.
A howl split the night air suddenly, and Jareth groaned. "Not again."
"That's Micheal." Evanthe's voice was cold. She would recognize his howl anywhere: especially a howl of pain.
Jareth's eyes widened. "So it is true. He's a werewolf?"
Evanthe nodded quietly. "Yes, it is. And he wants to turn Elissa into one too."
"WHAT!?" Jareth barely had time to get the word out before two wolves leaped out of the brush, landing in front of them, one male, one female. Evanthe's eyes went wide as she recognized Elissa's aura around the female one. At a growl from the dominant male, Elissa's slim wolf form leaped at Jareth, too fast to be seen, and tore his throat clean out. His last word was a cry of pain. "No!!!"
"Elissa!" Evanthe reached out for her friend, her eyes blazing at the swift murder. It was one thing to kill for good. ..Micheal was forcing her to kill for pleasure!
As Jareth's body lay cooling, the sun rose silently over the horizon. With it's first rays, both Elissa and Micheal resumed their normal human forms, and Elissa was crying. "No! What have I done?" the young girl sobbed. "What have I done?"
"Leave here." Evanthe hissed the words as she stared at Micheal. "You've done enough to her!" In that moment, as she gazed at the werewolf king, Evanthe Foster swore that she would protect Elissa from this monster, now and forever.
Micheal glared back at her, fury in every line of his body. It was an open contest generally if a werewolf or a vampire was stronger, but he had fought her once before, and thought himself lucky to come out in one piece. When Evanthe got angry, even her normal vampiric strength could go beyond proportions. He made her angry just by breathing. "I shall return. For her!" He pointed to where Elissa was crying over Jareth's body, mourning what she had done.
"Never. Never so long as I live." Evanthe swore. Micheal only laughed, then melted into the woods, not to be seen again by either of them for years.
Elissa looked up slowly. "I have to leave here.. ." she wiped her tears away gently.
"You'll need someone to help you." Evanthe said quietly. She had been alone for centuries. She was tired of it. Someone needed her, and she was not going to abandon her. She had once needed someone, and had had no one. That would not be this girl's fate, if she had anything to say about it.
Elissa shook her head. There were bruises all over her from Michael's 'attentions'. "Who? I don't even know what happened to me."
"You're a werewolf." Evanthe told her. "And I'll help you."
Her new friend and companion smiled. "Thank you."
"Hey, not a problem." Evanthe smiled back. "We creatures of the night have to stick together."
"More than friends. Sisters, pretty much." Evanthe smiled briefly at the girl who had with one stroke banished her loneliness and heartache.
"Man, I'm glad you two remained friends...as good of friends as you are." Billy declared. He couldn't imagine some of their adventures having ended as they did without that link.
Elissa shrugged. "It took a long time to get us to this point."
"We had our disagreements," Evanthe remembered. "And when I proved to Elissa that I am a vampire, she wasn't all that thrilled either."
The werewolf smiled. "If I remember, you tried to feed off me, and I was out for two weeks, after seeing you get very sick!"
"You don't taste good!" Evanthe teased, and Elissa stuck her tongue out at her. "Well, it proved to you I was telling the truth about being a vampire!"
Elissa nodded. "Yeah, and that you are allergic to me!"
"To all werewolves!"
Elissa grinned, then shot Adam a deadly look. "Stop that!"
"What!?" her husband protested, and she looked down to see his hands in front of him.
She frowned. "If your hands are there. .." she reached up to find a little chipmunk in her hair, and laughed as she picked it out carefully. It chittered at her for a moment, then hopped off, running back into the trees.
Evanthe giggled. "You've always been good with animals, you know!" Elissa laughed, and Adam howled in a teasing fashion, which earned him a playful hit from Elissa as she settled back down. Evanthe sighed. "You know...you were the first real friend I made in quite a while."
"You were my only one for a century." Elissa reminded her. Evanthe grinned wildly.
"It's like I told you. We creatures of the night stick together. ..and especially us Rangers of the Night!"