The Span of a Decade (Part 8)
Several things happened when Orleans returned to Grandmere's cabin in the swamps. First she found a box of diaries hidden in the back of her grandmother's closet. The majority were written by her mother, but there were two that belonged to grandmere. In them she found answers to questions that hadn't even crossed her mind yet. It'd only been a few weeks since she'd discovered that myth was in fact reality, having met her first vampire and blasted him with a ball of light. She hadn't been able to replicate the bizarre event since that night, and was beginning to wonder if she'd imagined everything. If maybe, just maybe, she shared in the mental illness that claimed her mother's life when she was just a child.
Could this all be a figment of her imagination?
After reading a few of her mother's diaries she was convinced that she was experiencing the same delusions as Evangeline. She was filled with anxiety and dread as she read each page, her eyes studying each line ravenously. Searching for clues, for the answers hidden in the cryptic words. Much of what Evangeline wrote about sounded off the wall, nonsensical, but much of it also eerily mirrored Orleans's own experiences thus far. Evangeline wrote about her childhood, claimed she grew up in a place called Paoviel. A kingdom... Her mother also claimed that she was a fairy, and wrote often about her disdain for the Royal Court- the majority centering around the king, Evangeline's father, and the way hatred twisted his heart against humankind. One diary in particular seemed to be filled with nothing but drawings, and descriptions of different abilities. A guidebook. It was as though she penned this one just for Orleans. As though she knew she wouldn't be there to teach Orleans herself. All thoughts of depression and mental illness evaporated when Orleans read Grandmere's journals. Grandmere was the most level headed, sane person Orleans knew. She was a rock that Orly could always count on to help her through anything. Everything in Grandmere's journals confirmed the strange rantings in her mother's diaries. Evangeline was a fairy. A literal real life fairy. Wings and all. So was Grandmere. It took her longer than she would like to admit to realize that SHE was also a fairy. Well.. half fairy.
She learned that she had family out there somewhere. A grandfather and cousins. Her grandfather was King Kirriion of Paoviel, and he'd banished Evangeline when she became pregnant by a human man. Apparently King Kirrion viewed his daughter's feelings for the human as an act of treason, and her mother had never gotten over it. Banished to the human realm, Evangeline's marriage was short lived, but all was not lost. Heartbroken and alone in a strange world with a small child, she'd sought out the one person who could help her, and the very reason King Kirriion harbored such open hatred for humans. Grandmere. Queen Isla of Paoviel. Like Orleans's mother, Grandmere chose to leave Paoviel, and the fae realm entirely to live among the humans. Together, they raised Orleans in the swamps of Amoureaux in Louisiana.
Both women expressed their fears and anxieties surrounding Orleans's half human status, and neither knew how it would affect her fae abilities. There were a few things that were explained, some of them she'd already experienced, others sounded to outlandish to be real. Those abilities were to be discovered over the next few years. She ended up calling the number nearly six months after the vampire had saved it in Orleans's phone. She was hesitant at first, but Deanna had been right. They helped support her while she learned more about her heritage, and she grew to think of them as family.
Three years after moving across the country to settle in Seattle, Washington, Orleans opened a bar on the ground floor of an historic building, Seven stories tall, and she made use of every square inch. She named it Sanctuary, and made it a haven for supernaturals. Whether they needed a drink, emergency medical care that couldn't be sought in normal hospitals, or just a safe place to lay their head at night, it could be found within the walls of Sanctuary- on the condition that Orleans's rules were followed. There were only two, the only two that still remain today.
No fighting, and no exposing the supernatural to humans.
Simple enough, right? You'd think so. In the beginning there had been so many fights that for three months there hadn't been a single splinter of furniture that wasn't broken. They once had to shut down for an entire week to clean the wreckage after a pair of werewolves took it upon themselves to get revenge on a vampire sitting at the bar because he'd killed one of their mates months before. Understandable, but they'd destroyed the entire liquor inventory, ripped the tap lines from beneath the bar itself, and broken every single table, barstool, and two of the pool tables. And none of them had stuck around to help clean up their mess. It was that incident that led to the floor below the bar being converted into cells designed to hold the supernatural.
A few more years, and a few more near death experiences later, Orleans eventually moved out of the estate she'd been living in since she moved to Seattle, and into the top floor she had converted into an apartment at Sanctuary. The group naturally drifted apart, trauma and loss pulling them away from each other, and some of the others had begun to behave strangely. It unnerved Orleans being in that huge mansion all alone, and she craved company. Things went well at Sanctuary for awhile. Orleans loved her life there, loved forming bonds with the staff. They weren't just employees to her, they were family, and she would do anything for them. And when a blast from the past threatens her safety and theirs, she has to make the choice to leave them behind for their safety.