Lennox 2: Tell Me Why

by Lopaka Tanu

Scene: outside Frank's apartment Cash has been waiting all night. "I will not kill him. Just because I have been waiting out here for eleven friggin hours in this god forsaken weather does not mean I want to kill him. I want my child, then I will wring his damn neck. Where the hell is he?" Cash glanced at his wrist watch for the tenth time in half as many minutes. "Cash, how long we gonna sit here? It's obvious he aint comin back."

Cash noted the rest of his personal clan mates was none too happy about sitting in the rain doing nothing. He looked around at the thirteen people all of Stevie Rays brood and their childer. He was the only one of this group that was old enough to embrace a childe but had yet to do it. He had planned on doing Frank, but that pain in the ass Nosferatu screwed up that plan. So here he sits twelve hours after Archon's funeral.

"Forget this, I'm outta here."

"You'll stay!" Cash growled at the youngest of them. She had been trying to get Cash's attention since before her embrace and had only succeeded in getting on his nerves.

"But Cash, he aint coming back."

Cash turned on her. "What do you know?"

"His shit's gone. It looks like he left in an awful hurry. I mean the place is a total mess." She called down from her perch on his fire escape.

"Then why didn't you tell me this from the beginning?"

"You didn't ask." She stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"I shouldn't have to ask." He flew up the stairs to the apartment and pushed the blond out of his way as he dove through the window. At first the apartment was totally silent then he heard the sound of running water. He tracked it to the bath room. What was inside made his body freeze in fear. Under the fall of the shower was the remains of a shredded Kindred. Not just any kindred, but Cameron. What ever had attacked him drained the blood from several wounds and ripped his body apart for the marrow in his bones.

Cash backed out of the bathroom in a daze. A sound off to his left alerted him to some thing else in the room. He turned with deadly precision and leveled his gun on the thing. Tears ran down his face slowly as he noticed the silhouette of Frank against the window. "What happened? I thought I lost you."

Frank looked at Cash and wiped his face on the shirt he was holding. "You couldn't have lost me. You never had me." He growled out as he put on a new shirt.

"You are mine, you hear me. I won't let you go."

Frank smirked at him. "Watch me." He started for the front door and was blocked by Cash.

"You aint getting by me Frank."

Frank's hand streaked out and caught the Kindred by the throat lifting him off the ground. Cash looked down in to midnight black eyes and trembled. The claws at his throat tightened until he felt like they were going to penetrate skin. "See this, you did this to me. I told you no, but would you listen, no!" He tossed Cash against the far wall and paced towards the door.

Cash slid down the wall in pain. "What happened to you?"

"I'm a fucking breeder now Cash. Didn't your little Nosferatu tell you? We can't be embraced, this is what happens to my kind if you try." He turned and faced Cash who gasped at the sight of his chosen. Frank's skin was pale white, his eyes solid black, fingers clawed and his canines were all elongated like a cats.

"Is it permanent?" Cash felt like the world had crashed down on his chest.

"The outward appearance other than the eyes are temporary, merely a response to having kindred blood in my system. But to answer your questions, yes it's permanent. I will never again be human!" Frank opened the door and ran through it with out even closing it.

"Frank... I'm sorry." Cash called meekly as he still sat there stunned at the revelations. "I love you..."

***

Scene: Two weeks later San Francisco. Cash's apartment, Cash has just arrived home.

Cash sighed as he took off his jacket and threw it across the room to land on the pile of clothes that had been built since Frank left. This one like most of the others was covered in blood that would never come out. He was getting tired of having to take care of the Brujah threat to this city. Who knew there were so many of those bastards left?

He checked his messages as he headed to his bathroom to empty his bladder, (Hey they have to do some thing with all those excess blood and other liquids they drink. It doesn't just evaporate through their skin.) The first message was the same one he kept on getting every god damn day.

"Hey, Cash, where are you? I am tired of calling you not answering me. You know I won't wait around forever. Later..." Sasha was still trying to get back in his bed especially now that the competition was out of town.

"Cash this is Julian. Where are you? I am tired of having to deal with these bloody Brujah on my own. They are saying that it is up to the conclave to decide who is the new primogen. I need your vote immediately. Get in touch with me when you receive this message. Oh another thing, where is that replacement body guard you promised? Since I made you my second enforcer to replace Archon you have yet to find me a replacement. Call me now!" Julian, still being the ever present narcissist of the Kindred world. There was a turf war going on and he was whining about a body guard he could find on his own.

Cash finished removing his clothes and started to fill his small tub. It was barely big enough for him but it was still a tub. He longed for the days in the forests where he was taught about his people and ran free. There were large fresh water springs that filled the lakes at the base of the mountains and he would bathe in them to fight off the sore muscles. Now he was too tired to give a damn about the freshness of his water. He turned off the tap and climbed in the tub to relax as the next message played.

"Yo, I found what ya lookin fo. It's gonna cost ya extra, the guy won't part with it for any less. Says it's a family heirloom. What evar. Any ways what's so special about some dumb cross dagger Jewelry? I mean it looks old and worthless. Dude it's yo muney so gives me a call. Yu know tha numba." Well his contacts in the market have located some Ravnos jewelry. Hopefully this time it was genuine. If so, Frank would be his if the right pieces were there. He just had to find him.

Then the next message played. "Hello there. Bet you weren't expecting me to call. I guess right now you are sitting in a tub fool of water soaking away the troubles. At least that is what I would be doing." Cash sat up in the tub and listened to the sultry voice on the machine. "Gotta tell ya, I still don't forgive you for what you did to me. But I get lonely and I miss you. I have to stay strong or else I will come crawling back to you and never be free again. I need to feel free. I can't be buried under you forever."

Cash felt his throat constrict as the anguish in Frank's voice filtered through the apartment. "I guess what I wanted to say is I can't forgive you just yet. I have to find myself before I can even consider it. Ah, god I have been lost for so long and can't take this much longer. It just hurts too damn much." He heard the sniffling over the speaker and felt the tears running down his face to the water below. "I would ask you to wait for me, but that would be saying there is a future for us. And I am not sure just yet if there is. Listen I gotta get going but you take care of yourself. Always remember that I Lo..." The end of the message.

Cash slammed his fist on to the tub cracking the plastic soap dish. "Next Message." the machine croaked out as it began to play the next message.

"Damnable machine. What I was saying is that I love you. You know you really got a new one with longer message space. Any ways take care of yourself, cause if I do come back I don't want to be seen with a bag of bones. I hate super models, the whole anorexic look is just gross. So later." BEEP!

Cash grinned evilly. "Count on it my Bitch."

"I aint yours so don't call me that or else I will hunt you down and stake you."

"End of messages."

Cash laid back in the tub with his upper body above the water line laughing at the comment. He sighed with contentment as he soaked up the heat from the water. He knew that Frank would come back some day, but he was an impatient Kindred and as such would not wait that long. He had to find what was his and claim it. That's all there was to it Frank was going to be his, was his.

***

Scene: New York, Gentle *Menz* club, the village. Time Index: four weeks after he left SF.

Frank put down the phone and hung his head on the wall. Life was hard here in big apple and he was glad that he was moving on tonight. He had been in one place for far to long. If he stayed any longer the locals might start to suspect him and question his presence. After tonight and New York would be just another bad dream. He looked at the old photographs on the wall of Miami Beach. It had been almost twenty years but he would make it back there again in a few days.

He finished off his drink and put back on his sun glasses. Getting up to leave he reattached his veil over his lower face. He took in his appearance in the mirror and groaned. Tonight was his night as the Gypsy Prince. He wore his signet banner around the top of his head that was clasped in the back among his curls. He ran a hand through the unruly mass and sighed, ever since the straightener ran out two weeks ago he couldn't find a store that sold it. He examined the leather vest and harem pants that had more slits in the sides than material. In fact the pants were just strips of fabric tied to the belt and speedo at the top and the bell bottom type fabric at the ankles. He did a one eighty checking the back of his hair and smiled for the mirror. "Paul Mercurtio eat your heart out." He sighed shouldn't have watched Exit To Eden last night with the 'gals'.

One last check of the necklace, rings, bracelets, arm bands, anklets, and, gold chains hanging from the belt, then he was out the door. He retrieved his serving tray at the bar and resumed his rounds. Waiting for the orders to be filled he tugged at the material that wove over his stomach and tried to tighten the bindings at his side. The vest was more of a corset than any thing else. The sides were just loosely woven twine and the back and front were made of a vinyl type leather. He believed it was some sort of snake skin. Then there was the patches over the nipples and the oval that showed the belly button. What ever it was see through. This was probably the most degrading thing he ever wore.

As he picked up the drinks to deliver a hand ran down his back and cupped his butt. He straitened then turned to glare at the person behind him. "Move it or lose it, buddy."

He snarled at the man who was using his but for an arm rest. The man smiled at him. "Hey sugar, hows 'bout yous an me go fine us a place an make it like bunnies?"

Frank looked at him over the top of his glasses, causing the man to shrink at the sight of his solid black eyes. "Why don't you crawl back under the rock you came from creep."

Mr. Hands placed his in the air in a surrender position and backed away. "S'ok, don want none that. No probs, a'hm leavin."

He snorted at the stupid accent and went back to take care of the drinks. As he walked a new dance hit came over the speaker and he start to swing to the music ever so slightly. The bells on his anklets and bracelets started to jingle as he moved. Soon he was the center of attention. Spinning as he laid the last drink down he picked up his money and danced back to the bar.

Across the room a man dressed in black leather and shades watched with disdain. He had been coming in for the past week and was sure this was the same man he had be hired to take out. "Little slut. You will get what is coming to you."

Frank laughed as Tony the bar tender couldn't keep his mouth shut as Frank stood shaking to the music at the bar. "What has you in such a mood Frazzle?"

"I'm going south for a while. Back to see my aunt and see if she will still talk to me. I haven't seen or heard from her in ages." Frank laughed as Tony arched an eye brow. "Tonight is my last night. I am going home."

The older man felt shocked. He had not been expecting Frank to quit. This was not good. The club had been getting better customers and business since he came and tossed out the riffraff. Frank had a way to scare away the seedier members of *the* *community*. He didn't just mean the gay guys either, there were more things in New York than people and the scum of that he was sure. Frank was some thing different, he had come from out west looking for a new place, some thing small just to clear his mind. He ended up waiting in a gentle mans club that hosted certain individuals and their guests. It was not uncommon for a member of one of the families to come in with their lovers. Well since Frank showed they had not been back and he felt safe for the first time since coming to this city twenty years ago. He was going to miss Frank, what would the boss think?

"Well I am sorry to here you go. Have you told Mr. Lapeau?"

Frank shook his head no. "I will after I get off tonight. I get paid in cash so I won't have to worry about getting paid one last time." A customer signaled Frank from across the room. "Looks like duty calls. I will see you later."

"Yeah later." He had to talk with the boss. He was not going to like his new prized beauty walking out on him. Tony knew the boss had his eye on Frank since the moment he had shown up three weeks ago. Boss didn't know what it was, the charm, looks or may be it was the sunglasses at night. All he knew was that Frank was destined to be pampered if he would ever say yes, but Frank didn't want any thing other than a job.

Tony waved off a customer and went on to call the boss, no he would not be happy at all.

Frank served the man in the leather and felt more than a little uneasy round him. This guy was definitely trouble. His years as a cop had developed his senses to a point. His eyes caught on the ring the man was wearing causing him to swallow his stomach. "Gangrel!" He hissed the name before he realized what he said.

The man eyed him with surprise. "Excuse me?"

"Your ring, it means Gangrel. Who do you belong to?" Frank swallowed, might as well get it out in the open.

"No body owns me." he stated in a curt voice.

Frank laughed. "Yeah keep telling yourself that. Who ever gave you that ring owns you. It means that you are their property, if some one messes with you they mess with them. Don't you know Kindred law?"

He wasn't sure if Frank was kidding or not, 'what's this business about Kindred?' "I took it off a dead man." There that ought to shut him up.

Frank smiled even bigger. "Then you will soon be joining him unless you return it. Is there any thing else I can get for you?"

"Yeah a scotch no ice."

"Comin, right up." Frank walked away with a shiver, the man crewed him out.

Ren watched as Frank left his side to place the order for his drink and smirked. That was definitely not the guy he was after. 'Probably another one of these damn queers. The whole place is full of them.'

Oh well he could still get in a little maiming and murder in while he was here before moving on to Miami to check the next possible location. He watched as the Gypsy danced across the floor careful not to spill any of the drinks. Perfect target for his need to hurt. "I'm a sadist, what can I say." He had to watch this creature, it's grace belied it's deadly ability. Like a large cat he was some thing to be admired and hunted.

Frank felt the eyes of the man on his back as he danced across the room. That guy was definitely trouble. He lowered his sunglasses to look the man in the eyes, it usually was enough to cause any person to back off. The guy only seemed to get more excited. "Freak." He muttered as he went back to work.

Forty minutes later.

"Ten minutes and I am out of this town forever. I'm going to miss you Tony, but not enough to stay."

Tony laughed. "It's a shame Frazzle, place won't be the same without you."

"Duh! I practically remade it in my own image. In fact that makes me god around here. Bow down to me sinner."

Tony makes a grand sweeping gesture then bows his head. "My lord."

"And don't you forget it." Frank picked up the flat of drinks and smiled at Tony. "My last delivery then I am threw."

He watched as the younger man made the delivery and hoped his boss arrived soon. He had sounded pissed over the phone. He smiled as Frank came back with the money and handed it to him. "It's been a real pleasure working with you Frank."

"Thanks, see ya." Frank walked in to the back room and changed in to his leather pants and white T-shirt. As he started towards the back door he grabbed his jacket saddlebags and helmet. It would take to long to remove the jewelry and put it away so he leaves it on. He wanted to get out before freak boy spots him so he rushes past Tony with out a good bye.

Just as Frank is about to reach the back door a woman surrounded by six others comes through it. He stops dead in his tracks and does a complete 180 degree turn. "Where do you think you are going so fast Mr. Kohanek?"

Frank stops and sets down his stuff slowly. He quickly takes off his sunglasses and sets them on top. "Though you if I have to. I'm not going back."

"Who says any thing about going back? We are here to take you to your new master."

Frank turned to face her extending claws and fangs. "Well just see about that Kindred whore."

The woman laughed a high grating whine that made the guards cringe. "And how do you plan on stopping us? You are but one human against seven of the strongest Brujah in the city."

"Ah, I thought I spelled corruption. Well lets get one thing strait, I aint human any more. My former master saw to that."

For the first time the woman noticed his changed appearance. "So it would seem. No matter my boss still wants you, what on earth for I don't know."

"I'm clan Ravnos."

"A gypsy Kindred. What's so special about that?"

"I never said I was Kindred. Just clan Ravnos."

She smirked. "That explains the gaudy jewelry. So how are we going to do this the easy way or the hard way."

"I'm hungry, so I guess the hard way."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

Frank moved closer like a tiger in a cage about to attack. "I'm hungry, I eat Kindred to stay alive. What don't you get?"

She sent the first three goons at him. "It's a fucking leech, get him."

Frank jumped over them doing a back flip landing in a ready crouch. "Actually," He put on his glasses and jacket. "I'm a breeder." He dodged as the goons made another run at him. "Big difference." With that he slammed in to her and flew out the door in to the alley at their momentary lack of response due to surprise.

They ran out the club looking around for him. She came out and noticed the idiots looking in all directions. "Don't just stand there, spread out and find him."

The goons looked at one another then disappeared in Kindred speed in all directions. She glared at their retreating forms and hissed in disgust. Pulling out a phone she pressed a key for a preset number. "Kelery here, he got away. He's a fucking Breeder, how come you didn't tell me? I would have brought a whole fucking army. Yeah, yeah, I know. No I won't come back until I found him. When I do, you and me are going to have a serious talk about this keeping things to yourself bullshit." She slammed the phone shut.

Frank dropped from the wall above her head pinning her to the ground. "No, I don't think you will." He bent his head down and breathes in her scent. "Mmm, do you have any idea how long it's been since I fed on a Kindred? Four weeks. He was a powerful Brujah in SF and I didn't need to feed for almost a month. I could go a couple more days before I needed to feed but since you're here." With a sigh he sank his teeth in her neck and started to drain the life from her.

Her screams alerted the others to her distress but by the time they arrived she had been ripped apart, heart missing, and blood drained. At the end of the alley was the sound of a fleeing motorcycle. The guards looked at each other and shrugged. Who was to say they heard any thing, by the time they got their she was dead and the killer gone. Time to pick a new primogen.

Frank sighed as he sat back for the long hall. This was going to be fun, he really like Miami beach.

The Freak bounty hunter glared at the bus. He really should have bought a plane ticket. Now he was stuck riding the Twinkie from hell with no air conditioning. Oh well, that little bitch he had taken the heart from was good. He just wondered what the hell tore her apart and where could he get a gun big enough to hunt it?

***

Scene: Rest Stop, three hours outside Macon, Georgia. Frank is making a call to some one special.

"Please pick up." He stands next to the phone booth wrapped from head to toe in leather. Even in the leather he can still feel the heat of the sun and hisses as it hits him through the trees. Leaves were starting to change color and fall off their trees. Fall he hated it. Only one thing came from fall, Halloween. Still a month away and yet he could almost see all the kids on the streets in their costumes.

When the phone stopped wringing and a voice answered Frank nearly dropped the receiver. "Hello? Hello, who is there?"

"Elisa, it's me." Frank stated in a whispery soft voice.

"Freya, is that you?" The voice asked in disbelief.

"No, Leasie, it's her son, Frank."

A squeal of joy erupted from the phone causing Frank to actually drop it this time. "Frankie, Frankie, are you still there? Frankie?"

Frank grabbed the phone and placed it to his ear and smiled. "Leasie are you there?"

"Yeah honey. I am here. It's so good to here from you again. My god what has it been twenty years?" Her voice got quiet after that.

He cleared his throat to squelch the emotions. "Yeah at least that, ever since mom left."

"So he finally got the nerve to stop lying to you and tell you she left?" Her voice dripped venom.

"No, I figured it out on my own when I was little. He should never have treated mom that way. He tried me too, but I'm too strong and too smart to put up with it so I left as well. But that was a long time ago. There have been several *changes* since then."

"I can imagine. So why have you waited this long to call your poor old aunt Lisa?"

Frank groaned. "Oh no you don't, the guilt trips may have worked when I was ten but not now."

"Oh all right, way to crush a widows heart."

"You were married?"

"No but I thought about it once."

He sighed deeply. "It's so good to hear from you again. You were always my favorite aunt."

"Frank I was your only aunt, Jerich doesn't count. Though from the last I heard he might be Jeri now."

"Leasie."

"Fine Frankie. So what do you need honey? Now don't try being proud, I know you called for a reason."

He couldn't tell her. Letting the pain wash over him he simply bit back the tears and wallowed in the self pity. "I screwed up Leasie. Or should I say got screwed up."

Elisa was quiet a moment. "Ya got knocked up didn't ya sweetie?"

Frank was quiet for a minute. "Yes." He didn't think to ask how she would know some thing like this. Subconsciously he knew she would be the one to know about this so it didn't occur to ask her.

"When can I expect you here?" She didn't sound disappointed just resigned.

"Another day at the most. I am on bike and will be riding most of the time."

"What are you doing about the sun?"

"I am bundled up from stem to stern in black leather and glasses. Even in the heat I still fill a slight chill."

She sighed, he really was pregnant. "That is to be expected in your condition. So who is the other man?"

"Geesh, you don't waste any time do you Leasie?"

"Sorry youngin' but I really need to know if I will have some ass hole beatin down my door to get his mate back." She was in Auntie mode now.

"He might do that, if he knew where I was. I aint going to endanger you or any one I care about by exposing this. I just really need a place to crash for a while."

"You know you have it. Frankie... Frank. Did he hurt you?"

He tried to swallow as the prickling started in his eyes. "He cheated on me, Leasie. Not just once but several times. We broke up and got back together so often I felt like a yo yo. I got tired of having no direction so I left. What am I going to do?"

Elisa's voice went from questioning to authoritative. "You will come home. That's all there is to it. Now I don't want to hear any more about it until you get here. Now you just hang up and get going. I'll have a room and bed made up for you when you arrive."

Frank smiled in to the phone. "Thanks Leasie."

"You're welcome baby cakes. You just come home and your Aunt Lisa will make things all better. I love you Frank."

"Luv you too Aunt Lisa. Bye."

"Good Bye honey." And then she was gone.

Frank hung up the phone and rested his leather masked face against the wall of the booth. Through the slits for eyes he could see that there were several bikers pulling in to the rest area. What the bad part was they all bore in one form or another the Gangrel signet. He put on his sun glasses and headed for his bike quickly but not too fast.

"What have we here?" A gruff voice behind Frank made him stop.

"Nothing that would interest you." Frank continued on his way to his bike and climbed on.

"Who's to say what interests me? For all you know I could find you *very* interesting."

"And you could also end up dead. I don't want any trouble so just forget you ever saw me and we can go on peacefully." He kicked his bike in to gear when he felt a large paw on his shoulder. Quickly he grabbed the hand and twisted it off of his shoulder. "You were warned. Now I am telling you leave it alone." He gave an extra twist until the guy howled in pain then he let go and took off for the open road. In the distance he heard laughter as the guy continued to howl in pain at his broken hand and wrist.

***

Scene: San Francisco, Cash's apartment. Twenty hours later.

Cash loads the last of the items in his duffels. He had a week's long journey to catch his wayward chosen and that's if he is still there. He shuddered as he thought about Frank being in New York, a Brujah controlled city. They were the worst of the worst in his book, not even the Sabbat were as bad as them. At least the Sabbat only want to dominate humanity, they still had a since of order about their ways.

He shook his head to clear those treacherous thoughts. Best just to leave it alone. Now he had other things to attend to. Like finding his Bitch. This was not going to be easy. His people had reported that Frank was well liked by the locals and was not one to put up with any shit. That sounded like his Frank.

He double checked to make sure the symbols were still in their case and safe. Wouldn't do to lose them just as he was about to get Frank back. With a last sigh he headed for the door and out of the apartment building.

Standing next to his bike was a person he did not want to see at this moment. "What the hell do you want Sasha?"

"I'm coming with you."

"No you're not. Now go home and play with your dollies like a good little girl."

She got in his face and put her finger to his chest. "Who the hell do you think you are treating me like I am a child?"

"I am forty years your elder Sasha. You are nothing but a child. A stupid little girl who likes to play games with people and I am not going to fall for any of your tricks this time." He roughly shoved her aside as he started to strap his bags on to his bike.

"This is about that human slut isn't it. You want what you can't have. So typical of trash like you." The next thing she knew she was on her ass a few feet away and Cash was taking off on his bike. She was about to follow him when she noticed a familiar smirking face beyond her new bike. "Oh no, no..."

Boom!

The Gangrel ran off laughing as he disposed of the grenade launcher. That was the second bike in as many months he had gotten to use his toys on. He loved that stupid bitch for it.

Cash smiled as he received conformation from his clan member that the bike was gone yet again. He refocused all his thoughts on getting Frank back, the sooner the better.

***

Scene: Thirty miles outside Miami. Cyprus Swamp Clan Territory, Mare'ire Family Estates. Time index: Two hours later.

Frank steered the motorcycle down the dirt and sand roads that lead to his mother's family home. All the way down the back woods area he noticed each of the small settlements that lined the road in certain areas not controlled by the swamp were almost meticulously cleaned. The houses were either sand stone or adobe brick causing them to blend in to the background of the dark sands and shaded areas hidden under the great trees and Spanish moss. Another thing he noticed was the lack of children. He felt uneasy as he got closer to his old family home.

Finally the sun was low enough where he could remove the black mask but kept on the leather and helmet. He fingered the signet banner as he resettled it in to his frizzy hair. He pulled it back in to a pony tail and sighed. It had gotten longer and considerably curlier since he became pregnant. He was thinking about having it cut soon. He heard a sound of rustling in the palmettos off to his side and looked around, no one here so he put back on the helmet and started the bike. Another mile to go and he would be home.

In the bushes, a lone figure crouches and watches as the bike flies on down the road. He sneers as he alerts the others to the presence of an intruder. They send back the signal that they have him in sight and are watching him.

Frank turns off on to the secret drive hidden by the palms and the native foliage. He knows the way by heart as he feels the change of the ground beneath his tires go from sand to brick as which means he is close to the plantation house. Suddenly the threes go from Cyprus to hanging trees. Weeping willows, golden chain and several other trees that matched guided him along the drive. When they started to thin out he got his first glimpse of the large Manse.

The large plantation style home is older than most of the trees in the area. Eight Egyptian style columns hold the patio roof over the Greek temple style porch and steps. The house sits on two acres and has four wings in an X-shape. A large rose garden encircles the house acting like a natural barrier. It is here he sees the first sign of children. Toys are scattered among the roses like a battle field.

Frank pulls the bike to a stop outside the main gates and climbs off. He quickly sheds the helmet leaving on the duster, sunglasses, and leather gloves. Untying his hair he shakes it out to let it catch in the slight breeze. The scent of flowers and evening air fills him with a since of home.

Slowly he heads for the gates at a gentle stroll. He takes in the scene with a look of peace. Frank hears the sound of children laughing coming from both sides of the drive as he walks. He notices movement among the great hedges of honeysuckle and jasmine and smiles. The song of birds fill the air as he enters the circle of roses and starts for the porch.

Several figures appear from behind the columns and the few trees that litter the yard. Each with one form of weapon or another, mostly machetes. "What brings you to our neck of the woods cousin?"

Frank glares at the short balding man. 'He is definitely not a relation to me.' "Why are you on my property!"

"Yours?" The man laughs at him. "This is our place. We own it. Now why are you here?"

Frank removes his gloves and his sun glasses to stare the little man down. "If it is a fight you are looking for squatter than it is a fight you will get. But I assure you, if even one of you lifts a blade or a hand against me, you will all die."

"We aren't squatters. This is our land!" He marches up to Frank pointing a finger at the larger man. "You will leave now..."

Frank gripped his pudgy hand with one hand and the man's throat with the other lifting him off the ground. "I am in no mood to deal with you ignorant people. You were warned." He opens his mouth to bite the little man when a stern voice stops him.

"Frankie! Put him down this instant."

Frank drops the shaking man and glares as he backs away as fast as his little limbs will carry him. "Tell me Elisa, is it your intention to pollute our family home with this... scum?" He asks with out turning to her.

"Be silent childe. He is third cousin to your grand mother."

"That is not related to me. Trust me I would know."

"There are many things you do not know."

He turned on her with a snarl. "Make them leave or else I will."

She gasped at his feral appearance. "Very well, they will leave the house..."

"The property!"

"The house!"

Frank scowled at her. "I will not tolerate trespassers in my territory. By law they owe me for settling on this land with out my permission."

"Frank! What has gotten in to you?" Elisa was starting to feel scared, he was not behaving like a Breeder. In fact he was acting like one of her kind.

He growled and turned away. "I want them gone. I will not let any one threaten my young."

Then it hit her. "Frank how far along are you?"

"Nine weeks, why?" He was starting to shift anxiously.

"Nesting phase. Are you showing yet?"

He looks at her in confusion.

"Lift your shirt sweetie." She lets out a sound of joy as he shows her the bulge. "It's a litter." She calls out to the others grabbing Frank in to her arms. "IT'S A LITTER!"

Shouts of celebration erupted from across the property as dozens of people came out of hiding. Soon they were surrounded by almost a hundred people yelling out there congratulations.

Frank watched all this in growing anger. They were surrounding him. Panic laced through his system. 'Who are these people. I don't know these people. Got to get away.' His mind had shut down and he was acting on instinct. He struggled to free himself from Elisa who only gripped him tighter. "Let go. I have to get out of here. Let me go."

Elisa knew the fight or flight response was strong in a pregnant breeder so she held on tighter. She couldn't let him go or he might hurt some one or worse yet the young. "Shhh, calm, I said calm. They are not going to hurt you. Frank, settle down. Shhh, sweetie." She tried to soothe him as his struggles got frantic.

He didn't know what was happening just that he had to get out of here. He noticed that a path was clearing between the people that lead to the house. He tossed the person off who was trying to guide him and ran for the house. Wildly he looked around for a place to escape but all exits were blocked by cheering people. Suddenly a stinging at the back of his neck made him turn around. He lunged at the person with the gun and started to rip his clothes to shreds. Three more stings in his back made him lift from his prey. He pinned the shooters with his eyes and was about to jump at them when another force hit him in the side throwing him in to the stone pillars. As darkness descended he heard cursing of some one.

"I told you not in the side. You could have hurt the young. Hurry up and get him in the house."

The face of his aunt came in to view as he struggled to remain conscious. "Shhh, don't try to move Frank. Their only trying to help."

He shook his head no. "Won' let dem hur ta ma baby."

"They don't want to hurt your babies."

"BABIES?" He gasped out as all went black.

***

Scene: Mare'ire Family Estates, Breeder House. One week later.

Frank lay in the old fashion four poster bed with canopy blinking away the haze of troubled sleep. He rolled on his side and noticed that his clothes were gone. Reaching for the draperies he shredded them with clawed fingers. Quickly he drew them back to examine the white hooked fingernails. This was definitely not good. He tried to recall the changes but it remained. "Great I'm a fucking cat." He thought aloud as he retracted them. So now they were permanent, what else. He stuck his tongue around his canines and discovered they to had resumed his feral look.

He growled as he sat up and wrapped a sheet around his lower body. A sound followed by a door closing let him know some one had just left. "Probably gone to tell them ass holes I'm awake. When I find clothes I am outta here." He reached through the curtains again and pulled them aside so he could look at the room. It was a large spherical room with the bed at the center giving it a snow globe quality. There were no windows for the whole room was a crystal ball, so the door was in the floor. He was in the top of the center of the house. He had heard stories of this room from his fifth cousins, four times removed. They said an old woman used to sleep here, that she was the mother of the family. He had told them that he had a mother the oldest laughed and said it was the great mother, the one who bore the children before them. His grand mother was the last of her children.

Frank smiled as he remembered sneaking up here on a dare from the other children. She had been named Mare. Now that he thought about it ire meant wrath of. He thought that she was nice but his mother and aunt said otherwise. Mare had taught him about not being a punching bag for some *man*. Stressing that word like it was a curse word.

Mare had confided in him that the only reason she had grown old was to prevent her husband from getting her pregnant again. They had laughed at that until he fell of the three foot high bed and hurt his leg. She tended him until he felt better. After wards they had sat hugging on the bed until she fell asleep. Said her old age was getting to her. She was sharp as a tack and twice as funny. He missed her.

Frank grabbed a rope from the curtains and tied the sheet around his waist like a toga. As he walked towards the door the sheet dragged behind him in a train. He smiled at the image it produced as he bent down and draped it over one arm like a centurion's cloak. He lifted the door open and walked regally down the steps.

At the first landing he heard the laughs of children and turned to look under the stairs he came down. There stood three kids no older than eleven. He watched as their eyes grew big as they focused on his face. He widened his eyes to stare at them and they went pale. "Boo!" They scattered like mice in a cellar squealing their fears.

Laughing he continues on his way down the steps and in to the main part of the house. His stair case connected to the second floor to a secluded part of the house hidden with in the panels of the wall. The children had been standing in the rafters of great hall in the center of the manor. He had been there when he was a child himself.

As he opened a panel he looked upon the house and marveled at the interior that had changed little in the four and a half centuries since it was founded and built. One of the oldest homes in this country it was also one of the best kept secrets of this country as well. He admired his family for their ingenuity and their skills in building this place. They had settled here on ten square miles of southern Florida land that no other could claim.

His ire returned as he remembered his last moments before they had knocked him out. His home, his land, they were trespassing in *his* territory. He would speak to his aunt about having them removed one way or another. She would comply or join them. He would not tolerate any one against him. Quickly he shook off the feeling of hate and territorial anger. 'What the hell is wrong with me?'

A throat cleared behind him. Frank turned to come face to face with a stern looking individual. "What are you doing here," the man demanded.

"Oh, let's see, that's a hard one. Oh yeah, could it be I live here?"

The guy glared at him. "Listen smart ass I don't have to take shit from no one not even you. So what are you doing down here?"

"Any one ever tell you about breath mints, you know those little round things, come in their own box, labeled Tic Tac?" He shook his head. "Nope, don't believe you do. So I'll tell you what I'll do. I go down those stairs down there, and you go brush your teeth."

Frank made a move to go around the guy but the man blocked his path. "Look is there a problem here or are you here to personally make my life a living hell?"

"Both."

Frank growled his frustration then turned around to head towards the stairs

again. He timed it just right and whirled, swung and took down the man with a fist directly to the face.

The man screamed in pain as his blood rushed out the broken nose.

Frank kneed him in the gut as the guy bent forward then he slammed him in to the wall. "That's what you get for messing with a cop."

Faster than Frank could see the man tackled him against the far wall. His silver tinted eyes reflect his hatred. "I have had enough of you human."

Glaring at the man Frank snorted. "Figures. I leave my place back in SF because you guys screwed me over back there, now you are trying to do it here. What is it make Frank's life a living nightmare year?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about human. I am just obeying orders that no one is to disturb the Great Mother. So why were you in her room?"

Frank rolled his eyes at the Kindred on top of him. "Get off of me now."

"I have been given permission to kill any one who disturbs her."

"No you haven't, or else you would have killed me already. Now get off me or do I have to get nasty?"

The man smirked at Frank. "Go ahead and try. I will enjoy playing with you before I feed."

Frank's eyes went black as his claw extended. He smiled a toothy grin to show off his canines. "Okay, just remembered you asked for it."

Now was the time the man decided was best to alert his boss that some thing was wrong. "ELISA, I THINK WE GOT A PROBLEM!"

"You think?" Frank snapped his body like a whip throwing the guy off him. He stood and was about to jump on the guy when several arms grabbed him from behind. "Let me go!" He roared his anger and felt the instincts rear their ugly heads. Frank felt like killing some thing, any thing.

A hand caressed the side of his face down his cheek. It cupped his chin and forced him to look in to the eyes of taller woman. Built like an Amazon she was big enough to scare Frank even after all he had seen. "Calm down little one. I have been expecting some thing like you for a long time. I just never thought it would be you."

"Great Grams?"

"Yes Francis."

"It's Frank, Mare."

"So it is." Mare waved a hand towards those holding him from behind and they removed their hands. "Come tell Great Grand Ma all about how you became the new Breeder?"

"How, I thought you were dead?"

Mare laughed a gentle sound that made Frank want to curl up on her lap and purr. Frank shook off that damned instincts.

"Frank, my dear there are many things you need to know. But first you need clothes, those you had don't fit any more, and this will never do. Besides these are my good bed sheets." She laughed again as Frank tightened his hold on the sheets. Mare laughed even harder when he, having felt how large his belly was, passed out cold in her arms. 'It is going to be nice having my grand children in the house again.' She thought as she eyed him with silver irises.

***

Scene: Georgia/Florida border.

Cash glared at the high way patrolman. He had been eyeing Cash for the past fifteen minutes with suspicion. He gave the man five more minutes then he became lunch.

Cash had been traveling all week. When his contacts in New York let him know that Frank was gone and that the Brujah were going nuts because of it he had redirected his efforts south. Through sealed records and a little persuasion he found the location of Frank's family estate. Large family, included over two hundred cousins from at least five generations removed. Frank, a woman named Elisa, and Frank's mother were the last of their line. Of what he could get on them, they were some thing akin to gypsy royalty in Europe. Why they chose to come with the Spanish settlers could only be answered by some one with a special blood type, double O Kindred. A family of Kindred, he was positive. That meant he had in-laws to deal with. Great, nothing was ever simple when it came to his human.

Cash checked his watch, fifteen minutes had gone by during his musings. The trooper was still looking at him with curious eyes. 'That does it buddy, you had your chance.'

The Trooper would later wonder how his car ended up wrapped around a tree with him hand cuffed to the back seat with his underwear so tight he wouldn't sit down for a week. Who gave wedgies any more?

Cash pointed his bike south towards Miami and road off in to the quickly setting sun. "Soon my bitch, very soon. When I'm through with you you will be begging me to make you scream my name." For some reason the thought of Frank pregnant with his child made him harder.

***

Scene: Mare'ire estate, Breeder House. Two hours later.

Mare sat next to the future of their clan with her hand resting on the bulge feeling the movement inside. A rare smile graced her lips as she felt the children respond to her touch. So far she felt six different individuals. With her Kindred hearing she could hear their little heart beats fluttery like the wings of a butterfly against her cheek.

It had been so long since any one had bore children in such great number, she was the last after nearly two millennia since the founding of their clan. She had bore only one set this large and was lucky to get twins after that. Her last births had all been singles. Frank was of the line of the only one to survive of her children. Twenty eight other children, and not a one of them was able to have children of their own. Gysla had born three children, they thought she might have been a breeder but she died after her third child was half way out. Frank's mother often blamed her self for the death of her mother. Freya was a breech birth and still to this day no one knows how she was still alive after being stuck half way out for fifteen minutes as they cut her out of the corpse.

The line of Diaginies was dying and no one knew how to save it. Frank had been the last one born, thirty one years ago. Freya had been so happy with him and knew he was special. Mare didn't have the heart to tell her that the child was going to be sterile. He had been born the same mark all the girls of the line of Diaginies had when they were going to be sterile. It was supposed to be a curse from a rival clan. A now extinct clan. No one knew the real reason but Mare.

Mare had been born four and a half centuries ago to her clan in the peak of their line. Five girls had been born with the symbol of the breeder that year. Mare would be the last. Two were stolen by a rival clan and killed when they tried to mate with them. A third died of complications due to the birth and with her the brood of five girls. The children of a breeder can not survive with out the milk of their mother for their first two months. After that they are large enough to eat solid foods. The forth was unable to conceive from her mate and was killed by him in fit of jealous rage when he learned she was pregnant by his brother.

Mare had been unable to produce a single heir for her family only girls that were sterile, until nineteen thirty. That year she gave birth to Gysla, fifteen years later Gysla gave birth to the triplets. Jerich was male by birth but now female by choice, Elisa was the slutty reckless one, and Freya married her high school sweet heart and two years later had Frank.

With Frank she knew their line would end and their cousins would be the ones to inherit the land. That is until she had been proven in her theory. A true breeder was not female but male. Their line had been born of a union between two males, one kindred and the other a breeder or so the rumors went. Over the millennia it was changed from the secondary patriarch of the line to the Matriarch of their line. Frank would bring about a new beginning to their family. Hick children would be celebrated for what they were, a miracle sent by the goddess.

A jumble of kicks followed by groans from Frank let her know that the kids were in distress. Mare smiled and picked him up to lay in her arms like a child. The little ones settled down and she stroked his head as she hummed to him. He started to hum back at her in almost a low purr. Frank would have to be taught about being a true breeder. She didn't know which would be the worst part, explaining how they were born, the pouch, or nursing them. Either way she was going to enjoy watching him squirm. After all what were great grand mothers for if not to help out? She began to laugh again only this time it was anticipation of Frank's reaction.

***

Scene: Mare'ire estate, Breeder House. Mare's Bedroom, Frank is in her bed with her sitting watch next to him.

Frank sat up slowly as his swollen abdomen prevented him from moving too fast. Nine weeks pregnant and he was huge. He rested a hand on the large bulge and bulked as he felt the skin contract. It felt as if the skin separating his hand and he baby beneath was paper thin. That is when he felt the pain in his lower organs. A pink fluid ran out of his penis as he sat up.

Fear gripped him as he looked around the room for support. Instantly Mare was by his side holding his hand. "Hold on child, this just means the first one is ready to be birthed."

"How, what... what's going on?" He panted out between gasp of air as the contractions filled his lower body. "Can't... too early!"

Mare smiled upon her great grand child with love. "No they are on time. You are just not informed properly on the ways of a Breeder. This is your first litter, it is always the most painful."

"What... happ-en-ing... to... me!"

Mare wiped the sweat soaked bangs from his forehead kissed him. "Around Nine weeks is the birthing normal for a breeder's first litter. First the contractions start, followed by the water breaking, and the dilation of the birthing orifice, in your case Mr. Winky." She laughed but soon frowned at him. "Not funny is it."

Frank shook his head no while gritting his teeth and doing lamaaz. "How Long?"

"How Long until they come?" She asked to confirm. "I have no idea. This is a first one for me. I believe that it should take as long as it takes." She looked down at his swelling organ. "You are almost completely dilated so I think just a few more hours and then it will all be over."

"Few Hours?" He yelped.

She merely nodded. "Remember you have six little ones on the way. It will be extremely painful. First you have the baby, then you have the afterbirth. Essentially you will go through the birthing process a dozen times. After that they will have to be cleaned, and then placed in the pouch along a nipple."

"POUCH!"

"Yes, you are a Marsupial, isn't it wonderful dear?" Mae laughed again as he screamed and growled in pain. "Oh come on, it's not that bad."

"Not that, Baby!" He squeezed her hand as the baby crowned and little black curls plastered to a head came out.

"Ah, so it is. Well every thing looks good so far. Come on now, push just a little more. That's it, you're doing great, I almost got the shoulders." She wiped his brow as he screamed again from the pain as he pushed the baby half way out.

>From the door way Elisa and two of her people watched Frank give birth. Sitting on the frame which happens to be the floor they had a perfect sight of the whole scene. "God, how can he even push it out of that. You would think that would be impossible."

Elisa smirked at the woman. "Think of it as an extended version of the birth canal. Dinosaurs had a similar organ used to lay their eggs in their nests. It was nothing but a large muscle mass designed for one purpose, produce offspring."

"So you're saying that Dinosaurs laid eggs with their dicks?"

She turned to the guy. "Basically yes. Only it wasn't a dick, some weird name."

"Would you mind shutting the hell up about Dinosaurs? I am already as big as a house!" Frank screamed as he passed the hips of the little boy soon followed by the legs and Placenta. "I don't give a damn what you people say, just because I am having as many as a cat and resemble one, does not mean I am licking the little bastard clean."

Mare laughed as she cued at her now screaming descendant. "You don't have to. I have baby wipes." She smiled as she started to carefully clean the little baby. He already had a full set of nipple teeth. Marveling at the already shriveling umbilical cord she cut it off close to the base. As it hardened and solidified she handed the baby to Frank. "He has elfin features, definitely not yours. Look at that cute button nose."

"Curly black hair. That is... oh god. He is not going to be happy about that." Frank stared in horror as he wound the curls on his index finger.

"Who is not going to be happy about that?" Elisa asked as she smiled at the six inch long baby.

"The father had a little help."

Mare busted out laughing, which with a frame that large was a scary feat. "Got knocked up by two men, my little man?"

Frank glared at her. "No Grams. I was impregnated by only one man, but it would not have happened if I had not had sex with another nearly a week before..."

Elisa gave him an approving smile. Mare glared at him. "I see which part of the family tree you came from."

Frank smiled at her. "Uh I have a stupid question, why is he so small?"

Mare gave him a quelling smile that made his blood run cold. "Frank sweet heart. Remember I said something about a pouch." She traced a finger along his ribs down the center until she reached the end of the sternum. Just above his stomach she plunged her finger in to the skin folds where his belly was drawn up with his knees. One finger was soon followed by another until her entire fist was in the flap of skin. She pushed all the way down inside as he squirmed. At the bottom of the pouch she opened her hand splaying it just below his belly button.

She pulled her hand out and showed the fluid covered appendage to him with an evil glint in her eyes. "This fluid acts as a cleaning agent and breathing solution for the skin of your children. It allows them to survive in your pouch with out having to come up for air. Every morning you will have to cleanse the area around the opening for sterilization purposes. There is room for a litter of eight until they reach full grown size of twenty one inches long. In the end you will look back on this belly size with longing. After two years they will be big enough to leave the pouch for short periods of time. In three years they will be big enough to stand on their own and will not need you to carry them any more. At that time your cycle will begin again."

Frank started to sputter. "Three years? THREE YEARS? Why so fucking long?"

Mare smiled again. "Breeders tend to live long lives so child takes more time to develop. The babies grew so fast here so that you wouldn't be burdened down with having to have the extra unnecessary strain on your system just incase you had to be mobile. After two months your children can be weaned off your milk and transferred to another pouch. But seems how you are the only human breeder, you are stuck with them. But don't worry, we will be here to help you. Once they are in the pouch you will become more mobile and less strain will be placed on your lower back because their weight will be evenly distributed to your upper body."

So with out further words she took the little baby from Frank, opened the pouch and placed the baby in. Frank squirmed as it felt like some one trying to check his tonsils only in his pouch. At first the baby kicked a lot until it found a place to get comfortable. Mare adjusted it to one of the nipples in the pouch and stroked it's little back.

"What's his name?"

"It's tradition for the father to name the boys. I will name the girls." He noted the look of amusement on Mare's features. "What?"

"Oh nothing, it's just Elisa was impatient to wait until her nephews were born so she brought in a sonogram machine and had an ultrasound done. All boys. From all her excited squealing you would think the dead would come awake. Not so, you just laid there. For two days after your little encounter with Raul. Then just a few moments ago when you awoke for the birth." She placed a hand against the slightly smaller swell of his lower abdomen. "I think you should rest some more, it will be a while yet before the next one, your dilation has already started to shrink."

Frank, lost in the knowledge he recently gained about his condition, fell back to the pillows and passed out. His dreams were filled with a smirking Gangrel and a horny toreador. Gently he called their names as he turned on his sides. Deep down in his instincts he knew the worse was yet to come.

***

Scene: Miami Bar, along the coast. Time Index 11:30pm two hours after the first baby is born.

Cash watch as the group of young Kindred toasted each other yet again. He would normally have ignored them if not for the tattoo each of them sported on their forearms. The Ravnos clan crest stood out against their pale skin. 'Must have had it done when they were human.' He mused because such things would not stay if it happened after.

He knew if he waited long enough they would lead him to Frank, if not by direct action but by association with others of their clan. He sat there watching them and noted how a certain woman was sloppily getting drunk. She reminded him of Frank, only rounder in certain areas and most definitely a woman. She was older than the rest, at least thirty years old. She was old enough to be Frank's mother or possibly his aunt.

"Yep, the first one was born a few hours ago, boy with no name. He said that the father was going to be pissed because the little one had the father's face but the hair of a former lover." Elisa and the rest of the table roared with laughter as several pounded on the wood. "Yeah grand nephew is the cutest thing you ever saw. Mare said it will be another few hours before the next one is born so I should take a brake. I don't think this is what she meant." Another round of drunk laughter erupted from the table.

Hearing about the baby boy perked up Cash's ears. Could Frank have had his son yet? But it was only nine weeks since they had done it. Damned Nosferatu Magic. What was this about more on the way? Twins? He began to fantasize about life with Frank and a set of twins.

"So how many are there going to be again Elisa?" A drunken woman asked.

Elisa sat up in her chair holding her drink high as if in a toast. "Six, count them six baby boys, bless my nephew's heart. The first one already bore the mark of a breeder."

'Breeder! Frank said he was a Ravnos Breeder. SIX! Holy hell.' Cash got a smug look on his face. 'I must be better than I thought. Wait until the clan hears about this. Six! Hot Damn!' He decided that well since he was here and being a father of six boys he might as well have a drink, just to celebrate. Heaven knew there were enough drunks around to get inebriated off of from just inhaling their breath. He noticed a little blond fillies in the corner and made his way over to her. 'After all a man with six sons has got to count for some thing.'

***

Scene: Mare'ire estate, Breeder house. Mare is holding Frank's hand as he pushes out his second child.

"Come on Frank. You are almost there. Just a little more. There you go!" She called out as he pushed the second child out completely.

Frank fell back exhausted. "I don't think I will ever be able to get it up again. Much less take a piss."

"Aww Frank, now where is that indomitable spirit I remember so well?"

He huffed at her. "I was ten the last time you saw it. Besides, what do you expect. Have you ever pushed six inches of baby flesh out your dick?"

"No, I haven't. I pushed ten inches of baby out of my pussy. Now shut up and push!" Mare growled as Frank pushed the placenta out. "There, now I will just clean up Dose here and then we can move on to Tres."

"What?" Frank was growing delirious as he laid back in pain.

"You know Espanola? Number two and three. Geesh Frank, what happened to your memory?"

"Shot it out with that last little six inch bastard!"

Mare grinned. She knew once he was rested and could look at them for the first time he would be falling all over himself to please them. It was a Breeder's instinct. They could not stand by while a child was in distress. She remembered her own mother commenting on her actions concerning the children from the immigrants that migrated here with the clan.

As she placed the baby in the pouch she noticed the sweat and strain coming from Frank. His color was paler than when he arrived and he was breathing awfully heavily. Memories of her last daughter made her want to slam some thing. She was not going to loose him too. But if this kept up, she may not have a choice.

***

Scene: The Loco Le Chubacabra, Miami Bar.

Cash sat smiling in to the hair of the little blond that he was about to feed on. She had no idea what was going on other than she was about to get a love bite. He enjoyed doing getting it from willing victims, less energy spent trying to feed. Which is the reason he has to feed in the first place. She was the fifth person in twenty minutes to get a *kiss* from him and he was finally starting to feel satiated.

Just as he was about to bite her a commotion over at the table of Ravnos got his attention. He looked up from the dazed ditz and noted that Elisa and her entire group were on the move. Fast. He got up to follow completely forgetting about the girl and chased after them. By the time he made it to his bike they were already flying down the road.

Something was wrong and he was going to find out what. From the way they were moving he knew they were preparing for a battle. When he noted several pull modified Phosphorous guns with Mushroom clips he knew this was some thing they were expecting. Quickly he checked his own armaments and back up ammo. His bike was a rolling armory, modified for a frontal and rear assault weapons. Checking to see the front guns were fully loaded he nearly missed the group turning off the main road.

Where ever they were heading, it was out in the swamplands. He could do this, he was Gangrel, they lived for wilderness. Following them out in to the old oaks decked out in Spanish Moss he felt a little irrational fear of the dark places. Something he quickly shook off, even being a Kindred as old as him human factors still played a major part of his mental make-up. Silently he cursed as he once again lost sight of them through the old trees.

Stopping to get his bearings he kicked the dirt. "Damn it! Where did you bastards go?" As stood in silence for a little while until he heard an explosion further in to the trees. The sounds of gun fire and people dying filled his ears. Cash tracked the sounds until he suddenly came upon a clearing that was a scene directly out of Dante's Inferno.

Bodies, torn apart, were scattered among the remains of bikes, guns, knifes, and all forms of weaponry. Large fires were burning out of control consuming all in their paths. Not a thing was alive here. By his count six of the people here were Ravnos, fifteen were Brujah, and two were Gangrel. This was not an ordinary battle for domination, or control of the territories. This was a full blown clan war. He tried to find the tracks of the bikes by the remaining members of the clan had hidden any sign they were here. Soon the entire clearing would be ablaze. As he headed back to his bike, Cash noted that the dead Ravnos clan members were stripped bare of all except their underclothes. He made one last look around and noted that at the edge of the clearing there were fire brakes. In these brakes were the remains of clothes used to start the fires. This destruction was deliberate. They had removed the valuables for the families and used the clothes as kindling.

Nothing else could be discovered here. Where ever they were, they were good at covering their tracks. What concerned him was why was there a clan war in Miami. The last he heard it was a free town. That the local Prince only asked to be given a tithe every now and then. Other than that he let things run themselves. However a clan war was still a no go in his territory. Looks like that Brujah prick is not as laid back as he seemed. With out another thought about the dead here he took off towards the road that lead out of the clearing. He had a feeling this would not be the last battle ground here on the Mare'ire Estate.

***

Scene: Mare'ire Estate, Five miles outside Breeder House.

Elisa fired the phosphorus gun again at the invading Brujah. There were too many of them to be just from Miami. Something was not right here. They had been pushing her people back towards breeder house with out mercy. If they reached it all would be lost. Why they were coming now was the only question that was on her mind. 'Could it be because they know Frank was here? Why would they want Frank, he is of no use to them, is he?'

Another shot at her head caused her to stop thinking and continue firing at them. This was intolerable, a clan war of this magnitude had not been seen since they came to this country. So far they out numbered her people five to one. At this rate not a single person of her clan would be left. The last of her line would be the last. That was unacceptable.

A loud rumbling shook the ground as a large explosion rocked the Earth and took out the incoming Brujah forces. Several of them were burning as they ran for the swamps. Too late they realized their mistake as her forces cut them down with old fashion Tommy guns filled with special rounds that ignited on contact. Another explosion and the night lit up like the face of the sun.

Several smaller explosions filled the night like fire works. Elisa screamed for her people to fall back towards Breeder house. What ever the hell was out here taking out the Brujah was too dangerous to risk her people with. Where ever a small group of the doomed Kindred was located was soon taken out by small controlled bursts of hell fire. As the last of their kind fell under the heat of the flames everything seemed to stop. Large fires suddenly went out, while smaller ones kept burning in to the night.

Elisa watched with her people as the last of the fires were put out by unseen forces. Just as suddenly as it started the blue white flames were gone. The cowering Ravnos too frightened by the flames to control their own basic instincts to think started to come around. She smiled as she noted there were no bodies just ash and blackened Earth.

"What ever gods are here, thank you."

A tall Nosferatu Female rose up from the Earth strait as a pillar. Her features transfigured by the blood of her clan and the rituals performed by her former leader made her look demonic. "What ever you are expecting childe, forget it. I did not do this for you or your clan. I am here to protect the Breeder, and I will destroy any one that gets in the way of that mission."

Elisa stood away from the rest of her clan holding out her hand. "I am Elisa, the second of the line of Diaginies. You are welcome here in the territory of the Clan Ravnos as long as you follow our rules and offer us the do respect."

"I will do no such thing. I was entrusted with the protection of a being and it's offspring by the enforcer of the city of San Francisco of which he belongs. He is the mate of the Primogen of the Clan Gangrel and shall be protected by me. His fate is my own, now out of my way Ravnos childe." Camilla started to walk down the road that lead towards Breeder House but was surrounded by two dozen Ravnos.

"I am afraid you have no choice in this Nosferatu."

"Correction. I have all the choices I so desire." The flames started to rise from the Earth again causing the Ravnos to back away. "Now be gone or join your enemies in the final embrace."

As she continued on her way a small group started after her but Elisa stopped them with a wave of her hand. Mare was not going to like this one bit. She watched the Nosferatu leave with a mixture of fear and hope. If she was true to her word, then Frank would not have to worry about any Brujah ever again. Now if only she could get over the nagging feeling there was something else at work here.

***

Scene: Mare'ire Estate, Breeder House, Master Bedroom.

Frank felt the pain start again, the last boy was starting to come. He hurt and his body ached. He needed Cash. Where was he when he was needed. He wanted the pain to stop, for it all just to go away. He had to push or else the baby would not come out.

Something was wrong, the baby wasn't coming. Panic started to set in as he tried to push again. He felt warm wetness run out of his body. Something was wrong!

'Got to push, the baby won't come out. Push harder. Ow it hurts, must continue to push.' "AHHHHHH!" He screamed as he felt the baby start to come out of the breeder's sack and down his Urethra. "Something's wrong." He started to whimper as the blood started to gush out of his body. One final push and the baby came out in a bloody mess, umbilical cord and all.

"What's wrong with him? Why isn't he moving? Mare, what's wrong?" Frank felt icy chill run up his spine as the pain lanced through his system. Adrenaline filled his body as his vision started to cloud up. Black spots filled his vision as lighting seared his brain. Breathing in shallow pants and heart racing he fell back against the covers. What was wrong with his baby? His eyes started to tear up and he couldn't breathe.

Huh, breathe, huh.

Pound, heart beat, pound.

Huh, pound, huh, huh, huh, Black!

The whine of the machines filled the house joining in with the screams of a new born baby boy for his mother. All others were silent, until the cry of anguish filled the night.

Two miles away a Nosferatu stopped as the call of sorrow reached her. Too late she called out her pain of failure. Three miles from there, Elisa and her clan members heard the wails and echoed them. Somewhere not far, a lone Gangrel heard the cries and sped up his bike, some how he knew this was about his mate. Silently he prayed to the gods that he was not too late.

***

Scene: Mare'ire Estate.

It was a mad dash for the estate as over two hundred Kindred from various clans and families headed to Breeder House. No one knew what had happened, just that something terrible had caused the entire clan of Ravnos to begin to wail in misery.

Silence greeted them as they slowly approached the house with an air of caution. To the front came the leaders of each of the clans. They came to inquire the state of the breeder. It was a heart broken Mare that greeted them at the top of the steps.

"He is gone. I held him in my arms. So tiny. So fragile. He was too precious for this world." Blood tears ran down her face as she held up the blanket wrapped form of the baby.

The crowd parted as a solitary figure marched his way through with an air of purpose. Five foot eight inches of muscle, leather, and attitude stormed up the steps of the Breeder house. Cash opened his arms for the child and Mare stared at him in shock.

"What do you wish the body of my grand child Gangrel?"

"*My* son!"

"What do you mean your son? He is a child of Clan Ravnos."

Cash stared at the woman, sizing her up. He judged her age to be a little younger than him. "I have come for my chosen, brood and all. You will give me my child, or I will take him by force. You will not use him in one of your blood rituals."

A loud roar was heard from the crowd as they started to rush the porch. Mare held them at bay with a raised hand. "How dare you accuse us of using the bodies of our children in blood rituals, you beast. Give me one reason why I should not turn you over to my clan for this insult."

"I don't give a damn what you do to him. Give me back my son." Mare was shoved towards Cash as a large figure grabbed the child from her arms as it hung from the roof top. When she turned on the creature, he hissed at her baring fangs and black eyes. Upside down he backed up the side and on to the roof.

"What the hell..."

"Frank..."

Mare and Cash yelled. She turned to him in shock. "That was Frank?"

"Yes." He hissed at her. "That was Frank in full breeder mode. We have to go after him before he does something he might regret." Cash was about to climb the wall when a large female Nosferatu loomed over him.

"You have cause enough damage this night. All of you will leave him be, I will watch over him as I have sworn." Camilla seemed to fade in with the shadows and disappear in the night.

Cash turned back to Mare and glared. "Looks like we're both in the dog house now." At her snort he stuck out his hand. "Cash."

"Mare."

"Looks like we have a funeral to prepare."

"And several births to celebrate." She held out her hand towards the house. "I am sorry for not greeting you on better terms. Frank has told us so little about you."

"Does he really think that bad of me?"

"Not that I know of, he was asleep most of his time here. The last few weeks before the birth are always the most stressful because of the rapid growth of the children. He bore it well for a man. I can see the resemblance in the boys now."

Cash looked at her in surprise as a smile lit his features. "Really?"

"Yes all had your facial features, I think they will have Frank's eyes, and that Toreador slut's hair."

He stopped dead in his tracks just inside the main doors. "What do you mean?"

"They all have the hair of the one you knew as Zane, golden brown with Frank's curls."

Cash's eyes went solid silver. "I am going to kill him."

"I thought this Zane was dead."

"He is, I meant Frank!"

***

Scene: Mare'ire estate, two miles from Breeder house.

In a hallowed out hill side, Frank sat holding the lifeless form of his youngest child. Softy he hummed to the baby as he sat gently rocking it. Tears ran down his cheeks from solid black eyes. His body had regenerated what it had lost when he had fed from that idiot Kindred who tried to drug him in to sleep.

"Hush little baby, don't say a word, papa's gonna by you mocking bird. If that mocking bird will not sing, papa's gonna by you a diamond ring. If that diamond ring turns to glass, papa's gonna by you a looking glass..."

Camilla watched from the shadows as Frank continued to sing to his dead child. Her own tears fell freely as she continued in her midnight vigil over her charge. "Frank?"

"...If that looking glass gets broke, papa's gonna by you a billy goat. If that..."

"Frank."

"...Billy Goat..."

"...runs away, papa's gonna love you any way." They finished the song as Camilla found it the only way to reach Frank. "He's gone Frank."

Frank just sat there rocking, holding his child.

"He's not coming back Frank, I'm sorry, these things happen. We just have to go on living."

"How?"

His reaction was a surprise, but not unexpected. "We live for those we still have with us. You still have five others that need and love you Frank." She came up beside him and place a clawed hand to his abdomen. "Fill them, they depend on you for their very existence Frank. You are their whole world."

He looked away sadly. "For now."

"For now, yes. But when they are older they will need you for other things. To be there for them when they learn to walk and talk. For when they have their first crush, first date, when they get married and have children of their own. No matter what, you are still their father. That means they will always need you, even when it doesn't seem like it, they will need you. Can you be strong enough to be there Frank? Strong enough to stand through the love and the pain."

He shook his head as tears filled his eyes. "I don't know."

"You don't know, or you don't want to know? Frank, they need you. Don't shut them out before they are even old enough to know."

"It hurts."

"Of coarse it hurts. It's supposed to hurt, that is what being a parent is all about. If you can't make it now, then you definitely won't be here for the harder parts later. Be strong Frank, grieve now, and be strong later. No matter what, just never give up."

He sat forward in to her open arms and laid his head on her shoulder. "It just hurts so much."

"I know, dear one, I know. Let it all out. I will be here to catch you as you fall." She rocked him for a while as they sat in the silence of their tears.

After several hours Frank looked up to her face and smiled. "Thank you."

"It was my honor to be here for you. Why don't we go back, I know a certain pain in the ass Gangrel who is feeling pretty low right about now. I'm sure he could use a good hug."

"And an ass whipping."

"That too."

***

Scene: Breeder House. Time Index: forty minutes later.

Cash paced back and forth of over the main hall. His anger growing with each step. "Where is he? It has been hours and he has still yet to make an appearance."

Mare glared at the Gangrel in his anger he was causing her own to rise. "May be you scared him off again. I mean the whole damned clan can hear your bitching."

"Oh get over it ya prude."

"Trailer trash!"

"Hey! This is the style back in San Francisco."

"Which explains the total lack of taste."

He stood toe to toe with her. "You know, you are really getting on my nerves childe."

"Childe ha! I am older than you dog boy."

"Oh really, just how old would you happen to be?"

She smirked at him. "A lady never tells her age."

"Lady my ass. You're no more a lady than I am human. So how old are you really Amazon Wannabe?"

"For your information shrimp, I am almost five hundred years old."

Cash smiled back at her. "Gee grand ma, what big wrinkles you have. All the better to count your age with."

"Why you little shit..."

"Enough! Both of you." Frank called out as he walked in to the room with the bundle in his arms. The room went sobered immediately. Gently he brought the child to Cash and placed it in his arms. "I believe that you deserve to see him once before we burn the body for the funeral service."

Cash opened the bundle and stared down on the gray face of his son. Blood tears filled his eyes as he looked the child. As he looked up they ran down his face. "I am so sorry Frank. I didn't know. What happened?"

"He was strangled by the umbilical cord before he could leave my body. We tried to revive him but it was too late." His voice was emotionless and his eyes hard. "I have cried all I can for him. I will continue to grieve but there are other children right now that need me more. I know this sounds heartless, but he is the one going in the grave, not me. Cash I need you to do something for me."

"Name it."

"Catch me." Before any one else could react Cash had Frank in his arms and gently easing him to the floor. The taller man was crying out his pain as the tears ran down his cheeks. "He's gone, Cash. My baby's gone."

Cash melded his body around the large bulge of Frank's abdomen as he held the crying man. "I know, my angel, my chosen. I will get us through this. You are mine now and forever and I promised to take care of you no matter what."

"I'm not yours."

"Are to. You are my chosen, that means you belong to me."

"I am not some piece of property Cash. I don't belong to any one." He shoved Cash away while grabbing the baby. "Can't you even give up this stupid notion for one minute?"

"You wear my ring, you are under my protection. You are mine!"

"Fine, if that is how you feel about it, then take your damn ring and leave me the hell alone." Frank yanked on the ring and found it wouldn't come off. "Elisa get me some soap so this bastard can take his ring and leave."

Elisa stood by Mare and the other clan elders just staring at him with wide eyes.

"What in hell are you staring at? Fine if you won't do it..." He bit his finger and blood started to pour out at the base.

"Frank please don't do this. Reconsider before you do that."

"Save it Cash." Soon he twisted the ring until it came off with the flow of red liquid. Holding it out to Cash he gave him a smug look. "Take it and go. By what you have told me I am not yours to command any more."

Cash looked at the blood soaked ring and stared in horror at Frank. "What have you done?"

"I told you to take it and leave."

The Clan elders reined in their shock and stared at one another. A few nods of agreement was followed by them turning their backs on Frank.

Frank watched them with cold eyes. "What the hell is their problem?"

Cash's tears had started again. "I begged you not to do it."

"Do what, get you off my case?"

"Remember what I told you Frank."

"I can refuse your protection at any time I want all I have to do is remove the ring. I have done as such."

"You removed the ring in blood. It is the same as declaring yourself Anarch, Sabbat. I begged you not to remove the ring."

"Frank of Clan Ravnos. You are no longer of our Clan. By the Laws of the Camarilla, you are now considered Sabbat by all who follow them. You are now Caitiff, clanless. When you leave here you will have two hours before the Primogen are called to decide if not a blood hunt is necessary. By my decree, you are here by banished from Miami and all surrounding territory. Be gone from my sight servant of Lilith." Mare turned her back on his pleading look.

Frank stiffened when even Cash turned on him. "Very well, what of my offspring?"

"They to shall share in your banishment for no less than the time until either you are dead, or they are of age to be embraced by a clan of the Camarilla." Mare spoke in a curt voice but did not turn around.

Frank placed a hand over his swollen abdomen as he set his face in stone. No one had defended him. No one would defend him. All were set in their ways, ways that he was now no longer a part of. "I did not know these laws, nor do I care for them. Know this leeches, if ever one you cross my path again I will show you the same mercy you have me today!" In a growl of rage that shook the room he turned and stormed out of Breeder house.

When they heard the sound of a Motorcycle starting and taking off they finally broke their silence in a cornucopia of outraged voices. "Silence!" Mare raised her hands. "He has two hours before we can decide his fate, that is the law as I have decreed."

Cash watched them mill about in groups whispering their anger. He couldn't stand to look at any of them for fear of killing them. He had lost his chosen yet again, only this time was forever. A young girl yanked on his jacket and led him to the porch outside in to the night air. His senses were assaulted by the scent of flowers as he was led to freshly turned earth. Scratched in a stone on top was the name Cash M. Kohanek jr. He sank to his knees on the soft dirt and let the tears well up again.

THE END

This story was published in June 2002 at http://www.angelfire.com/ns/princejulian/why.html.

Kindred: The Embraced and all characters are copyright © 1996 Spelling Television Inc.
Vampire: The Masquerade is © 1990-2007 White Wolf Publishing, a division of CCP North America. All rights reserved.