A canon-adjacent Harborview Immortals flash fiction (and unintentional sort of prequel to Scars from the Past) about Jacob paying one last visit to the family member he’ll never know.
Copyright 2023 by Emma Peterson/CLI
Cover image by Gijs Coolen on Unsplash
Jacob sensed Dominic moving swiftly around the many pecan trees that decorated the backside of the property, the sound of his arrival blending in with the noise from the leaves that rustled and swayed in the mild breeze. Instead of looking at his lover, he kept his eyes trained on the house in front of him, carefully committing every door and window and brick to memory. After tonight, he would never see it again.
“Are you trying to sneak up on me?” he asked when Dominic appeared by his side.
“That would be impossible.” The vampire leaned against a tree opposite of Jacob, his pale skin looking even more so under the moonlight that filtered down through the branches over his head. “I was debating whether or not to join you because I thought you might want to be alone.”
Jacob smiled. There was that sweetness that few others knew about. “It’s fine,” he said. “I always appreciate it when you stalk with me.”
They watched the house in silence, listening to the faraway sounds of conversation and laughter within. After a few minutes, the back door opened. Jacob tensed as a young woman stepped outside and lit a cigarette, even though he knew from experience that there was no chance of being spotted given their distance from the porch.
She was in her twenties now, twenty-three if Jacob’s calculations were correct. Like Jacob, she had a haphazard brown mess on top of her head, except that hers ran over her shoulders and down the length of her back. She was beautiful in a natural way, her face bearing no ounce of makeup whatsoever. As far as Jacob could tell from his observations over the decades, such flawlessness was a common trait among the women in his mother’s family.
“I have everything I could possibly ever want. Forever.” Jacob finally looked at Dominic. “So why am I so jealous of a girl I don’t even know?” he asked, verbally acknowledging for the first time something he had felt for years.
Dominic was not shocked by the question. He knew Jacob better than anyone. “Because the woman who gave birth to you murdered your father and sold you into slavery to protect her lies,” he replied. “That girl is the descendant of the brother you never knew. The son with the socially acceptable complexion who was given everything that should have gone to you first, including that whore’s love.”
Although his voice was calm as always, Jacob could feel Dominic’s anger just beneath the surface. And he was right. Jacob had always wondered just how much his mother must have doted on her other children while keeping the existence of her firstborn a secret. For all he had gained after breaking the shackles of his enslavement, for all the happiness and joy he had experienced throughout his time with Dominic, there was still so much hurt over the fact that his own mother had sold him off like an unwanted possession. The pain wasn’t quite as strong as it was during his human years, but it was still there, lodged in his heart like a thorn that could never be removed and reminding him that the one person who should have loved him most couldn’t have cared less whether he lived or died.
In spite of that horrible truth, Jacob understood that this girl was not to blame. Neither she nor the ones who came before her were responsible for the sins of the woman who started it all.
“I wonder what she’s like,” he said as he resumed his watch. “I’d like to think that she’s a nice person. She looks like a nice person.”
“You could have introduced yourself,” Dominic pointed out.
“What would I have said? ‘Hi, my name’s Jacob and I’m your great-great-great-great half-black vampire uncle?’”
Smirking, Dominic said, “I was thinking something a little more subtle than that.”
Jacob shook his head. “No, it’s better this way. The last thing I need is to get close to a human, even if she is family.” He glanced at Dominic, who was nodding slowly and perhaps, Jacob suspected, contemplating the human he rarely ever talked about.
The girl extinguished her cigarette and tossed it into a trashcan before disappearing inside the house. Jacob had a ridiculous urge to wave goodbye, even though she was already gone.
“Dominic. Tell me.”
“I thought you didn’t want to know.”
When Dominic had used his vast resources to acquire the girl’s address, same as he had the locations of many of Jacob’s other relatives in the past, Jacob hadn’t wanted to know her name. He didn’t want it etched into his memory for the rest of time, a permanent reminder of the family he never had. But now he discovered that he wanted to have that emotional souvenir after all, especially since he knew that this was the last time he would ever seek out this or any other family member.
“I changed my mind,” he said. “Tell me her name.”
“Alexandra.” Jacob thought about it for a moment. “I like that name,” he concluded.
“So do I,” Dominic agreed, holding out his hand. “Are you ready?”
Jacob closed his hand around Dominic’s. “Yeah. Let’s go home. What little while longer we can call it that.”
They took the long way back, avoiding all signs of human life as they strolled hand in hand. Tonight they would finish packing up their things and tomorrow night they would take a red-eye back to their primary home up north in Pennsylvania. Only this time for good. Instead of bouncing back and forth between states, they were going to focus all of their business efforts in one place. Among other things, they would finally be able to open that club they’d been talking about for years. Plus it would be nice to be close to Demetrio and Becky on a more permanent basis. As annoying as they were, Jacob also considered them family. Family that transcended blood, but family all the same.
He squeezed Dominic’s hand as they walked, thinking back to what he had said earlier about having everything he could ever want. And he really did. Jacob couldn’t think of anything that would make his life any more perfect than it was already.
Except for one thing. But there was no way that it was ever going to happen.
Besides, how crazy would that be, two vampires raising a kid?