Deep Red, Chapter Sixteen
January 30, 1852: The early histories of the kindred and changelings in this reality are fascinating. I am hesitant to put my discoveries into writing, but there is expectation on some kind of return for all the hours I spend in this library pouring over books. I cannot lie, either. Victoria will know, and I have seen what she does to those whom she feels have betrayed her … January 10, 1953: This collection is incomplete. There are notes of the early kindred and changelings trying to procreate, but there are no satisfactory conclusions from such experiments. If some previous “mistake,” as Jacob Shinab termed it, has occurred, there is no record of it. I have begun to also translate the early history with the Mirrors and the kindred and changelings. Similar wars marked the initial crossing of the kindred, followed by changelings … January 29, 1854: After translating the passages of hundreds of years of turmoil between Otherworlders and Mirrors in the early B.C. era, I uncovered a long term of peace, up until the official Crossing in 1698. A good deal of breeding, societal integration and magical innovation occurred for Otherworlders during those millennia, but little conflict between the species. The Crossing seems to have done little good for either our cause or the cause of those who came before and fought so long for peace. One hope is that the volemics might be able to achieve the same kind of mutual tolerance that the Residents and Otherworlders have done before. The question is, can we wait another four or more thousand years?….
excerpts from The Diary of Caroline Cayce, 1851-1854, ed. by Bobbi Cayce
Marlo looked down at the plate Jack brought her. It smelled amazing, but looked revolting, and reminded her too much of her transgression with the human. Maybe if I close my eyes, Marlo thought. The voice inside her whined with hunger. She put her hand into the meat blindly and pulled it to her mouth. She almost groaned. For the past week, she had been fasting. Before she knew it, her hand hit only ceramic. She opened her eyes. A few blood smears were all that remained of her meal.
“Either you’re pregnant, or you really are the hybrid,” Jack said.
“It’s been over two years since I last had sex,” Marlo said, leaving out the part that, even before that, her relations had only been with humans. He knew.
“Then I have good news for Victoria,” he said.
Marlo knew this wouldn’t be news, but she allowed him his earnestness. He was kind of sweet in what seemed like a very naive way. How was that possible? He was so much older than her. Your spirit spans his lifetime twice over, and you are twice the strength of a single man, even a volemic. You could crush him with a single blow. Marlo only smiled at Jack as he left her alone. She didn’t believe the voice. Jack had been brainwashed into what he was now. She remembered the dream, the feelings, the doubt. He was wounded and had continued the pattern of re-opening those wounds for some time.
Marlo took a moment to marvel at the new clarity she felt, and the relief. Her mind’s throb began to ebb, and she felt like her old self again.
When Jack returned, Marlo fell asleep with her head in his lap. He stroked her hair the way Garrett used to when she was a little girl. As she slipped into sleep, she wondered why no woman had ever shown her this kind of tenderness.