I was confused, determined, and angry. What did Marc think he was doing? He was being so....cruel, his thoughtless fury ovewhelming him. It was like he became a totally different person. And what the heck was Moses doing here?

I felt terribly torn. Charley was a nice girl, and I felt sister-like affection for her from all the time we spent together, no matter how short. And I felt Marc was being unfair to her. Even though a vampire--a vampire!--was the one she was in love with-a vampire! I could still not put aside my shock and disbelief--if she loved him there was no changing it. I sided with Charley and decided I would protect her....or rather, "represent her".

Avoiding Marc's gaze as I stood up, I couldn't help feeling partially guilty that I was "betraying" him for his sister. I did love him; almost too much. But I disagreed with him. And I wasn't going to just follow him along blindly just because I did love him.

"Charley has presented her arguments honestly and in full," I said slowly. "She admits that she does love a vampire, though...Marc has not presented any information that she has betrayed us. She is an Atlantian, and proved that she has only the best intentions, you will well know as her brother..."

"Best intentions don't matter!" Marc piped up. I still refused to look at him. "He's a VAMPIRE! The ones we are FIGHTING AGAINST."

I turned abruptly to him, crossing my arms. "Marc, can you refuse to see what you did witness in her room? It was love. And nothing more; no evil, no malice. And how can you stop it? How can you discriminate against it? Clear your anger aside for a moment!"  He looked away. "Are you listening? You are her brother-,"

"Which means you shouldn't be getting in the way. I'm her brother!" Marc said sharply.

I felt bitten, wounded.  I took a deep breath, trying to regain myself. "Obviously Charley is here for a reason. We are all here for a reason. And maybe there's a reason for this Rory? Maybe he will help us defeat the others?"

Silence. I didn't know what more to say; Charley had explained herself. I only felt that I did her worse. That I had failed.  "She loves him, yet she knows herself. She wouldn't do anything to hurt us. If anything, I fear that she would hurt herself. I think she would be treated unfairly if just tossed away." I turned to Moses. "I believe that is all I have to say."

With a nod, he gestered for me to sit down next to Charley once more. I did so, and she took my hand. I looked to Marc, feeling broken, my emotions mixed, for some reason. He met my gaze and I lowered my eyes, looking to my feet.

"Wait a second!" I stood. Everyone looked to me. I afforded a half smile. "I...call Alexander to the stand!"


The End

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