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Totally worth it. I thought I’d have to carry my dad’s jaw separately onboard! For safety’s sake, they each got a medicine cup with a drop of Vitamin Cedarcrest (aka my blood) before being offered a real drink by the crew. I’ll thank Bobby and Amy for sticking with us onboard; they keep my secrets.

Anyway, my mom already looked sleepy after our pickup, so it wasn’t the cocktail that did her in as she ended up napped out while dad and I talked during the flight. Cole and Travis hung around for a while before slipping off to the front of the plane to check accommodations.

So, of course, my dad drops a bombshell on me. “I want you to drink from me.”

Oh no you didn’t, you silly old man. “What?” I answered, feigning inattention and relevancy to his words. “No… I’m covered. I’m here as your daughter, not to feast off of you.” I added a chuckle to make it sound less sinister, but I’m not sure he noticed. I nervously grabbed my mobile and pretended to thumb through something… anything.

When he said nothing afterward, I looked up again to see him staring at me. Actually, I felt it long before I looked, but I’d hoped I was wrong.

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll ask because you’re waiting for me to: why?”

“Guilt. Maybe.”

“We’ve talked about this.” And we had… at length, but never face-to-face. “I made you shoot me –”

“I put you in that position.”

“You didn’t know I was a Vampire.”

“Yet you showed restraint. I can only imagine how hard that was for you.”

“Damn straight,” I said. “Imagine all you like. I promise you’ll never know.”

He gestured toward my guys. “You drink from them, don’t you?”

I smiled. “And pay well for the privilege.” He was still serious and I wasn’t getting through to him. Was there more to it than the obvious? “Why would you want to be bitten by a Vampire, let alone your only daughter? That’s creepy on a couple of levels. Does mom know?”

That’s when I saw it: humility from my own father. “It’s the only way I know to still provide for you.” He was completely serious… wasn’t he?

I felt a tear form and, not wanting my dad see me bleeding from my eyes, took a moment to recover. What could I say? “I don’t need you anymore” would have been horrible. I kept thinking through the angles. Maybe it WAS guilt over not trusting his daughter once, but he’d made sure mom wasn’t hearing this. Was he just curious?

There was right after Ian turned me, the whole Louisa conversation. Daddy loved books about the supernatural, too. Have you ever heard the story why funerals in New Orleans have these grand parades that wind through the streets before burial? They say it’s to confuse the dead so they can’t find their way back home afterward… and likely destroy their surviving family.

I doubled-down before I left Cedarcrest — standard operating procedure: two full pints.

He was offering, and hey, I could eat.

Hmm…

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
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