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What is true? Tristan/Ghost

cross posted were_ghost and bq_tristan ]

Takes place after At the Cabin and A Strange Alliance

Ghost needed to talk to one of his own kind. All this talk about blood and thralls and dying was overloading his brain. He didn’t know who to believe no less what to believe. He needed a slightly disinterested party to sort out fact from fiction and he hoped the Tristan could help with that. That’s why he had headed straight to The Den after leaving Rene’s mom and her thrall, Alfonso. No vamp would be caught dead in there.

He pulled up, left his bike parked outside and strolled in like he owned the place. Due to the late hour there were just a few were stragglers munching on their last bite of pastry or sucking down the final sips of their drinks and where was Tristan? In his kitchen of course.

Tristan was winding down the kitchen when he heard someone else come inside. Stepping out into the dining area, he recognized the arrival. “Ghost, welcome!” He strolled over, clapping the wolf on the shoulder in greeting. “What can I get for you - Rene has the night off, if you were looking for him.”

“No, I know exactly where I left him.” He smirks. “What I’m hoping for is a couple of those sweets I love so much and a bit of conversation if you can spare it.” He hoped Tristan could answer a few questions about Paris and Monica and what was so special about bear blood.

"I can manage both, I think." Tristan said, leading Ghost over to a table. "I've got blackberry and raspberry pastry on hand tonight, if you like. So, what's on your mind?"

“You know me. Let me have a couple of each and perhaps a drink.”

“Can do - what to drink?” Tristan asked.

“What ever you got open. Grab the bottle and a couple of glasses.”

Tristan picked a decent single malt and returned with a pair of glasses. “So, this isn’t a romance question, is it? I’m probably the wrong sort of guy for that conversation.” He smirked, pouring them each a shot.

“Hardly, Rene and I have no issues there. My question is about your friend, Paris.” Now that Ghost was here and talking to Tristan he didn’t know how much to reveal. Rene might be offended by his mate talking about his vampire issues.

“Ah, yes, Rene’s lookalike.” Tristan said. “I don’t know a whole lot about him, but I’ll tell you what I can.”

“I met him tonight. Rather talkative fellow though personally I think my Rene is better looking but that’s neither here nor there. Yes, I know what he is and I’m keeping that piece of information to myself for the time being. No reason to give Rene any more excuses to dislike the guy. What can you tell me about him? He passed on some information and I need to know is if I can trust him.”

“He is a talker, that’s for sure.” Tristan said, chuckling. “He seems like a decent enough sort, at least to me. He’s very old, of course, and I’ve heard that the old ones don’t always think like you or I might. From what I’ve seen, I’d trust him to protect his own or to keep a promise. Anything in particular you’re concerned about?” He was getting the feeling that Paris had told Ghost something very specific that had rattled him, but also that Ghost probably didn’t want to say exactly what. Tristan had been a bartender from time to time and had developed a reasonably good ear.

‘Protect his own? But which one, family or vamp’. His head was spinning. He’d just gone ten rounds with his mate’s mother and somehow survived it but would he survive the conversation with Rene when he tried to explain it all. He needed to talk this out with someone and at least another were would understand his view. He collected his thoughts and began. “Okay, Rene hates vampires and for good reason. He was thralled to one that almost killed him. The damage to him is controlled by vampire blood that his “benefactor” is providing without Rene’s knowledge. He can’t stand to be near one just imagine what he will do when he finds that his life is depend on one.” He took a breath. “Paris mentioned another cure for Rene’s injuries but I don’t know if it’s true.”

“Injuries? You mean it’s ongoing?” Tristan asked, surprised and abruptly worried about the man. “I always thought vamp blood did whatever healing it would do and that was it.” The idea that someone was covertly feeding Rene vampire blood was another matter, and one that didn’t please Tristan one bit.

“That seems to be the consensus. Off the blood he would sicken and I don’t know how he’s receiving it. Paris did suggest that there might be “other” options.” He stopped and looked the bear over. “He said that certain were blood could cure him for good. You ever heard anything like that?”

Tristan frowned, already planning to have a conversation with Paris about this. “Were blood is very powerful, it’s true. Vampires are strengthened by it, sometimes driven crazy by it. I’ve been told stories about the healing powers of the bears - my kind. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many of us left.” Tristan decided against mentioning that it was primarily the wolves who had been responsible for the bears’ decline. Whether or not Ghost knew about it, it wouldn’t change anything to bring it up. “Paris has been around for a long time - he may actually know more about it than I do. I’m assuming he was talking about the blood of bears?”

“Yes, it is. If I’m hearing you correctly your blood would seem to be a two-edged sword though Rene is not vampire. His life is being maintained by vamp blood but not cured if what I’m being told is true.” Ghost sorted through both conversation looked for the strings of truth among the lies to make him accept the inevitable. “I am not asking you for anything but information, my friend.”

Ghost rose from the stool and began a slow pace. He tended to do that when he got agitated. The feeling made him feel trapped. He didn’t even realize he was still talking aloud. “My mate will never accept this.”

“I’m willing to help if I can.” Tristan said. “Did Paris have a particular idea in mind?”

Ghost stopped in mid-pace. “That is not the reason I came here though I thank you for the offer.” Ghost returned to his stool and poured himself a drink. “Paris suggested three things. Keep giving him vampire blood which keeps the weakness at bay or let one of his childer attempt to heal him with her abilities and of course he suggested that bear blood might also do the trick.” Ghost shook his head. “How can Rene be so full of life and yet so damaged inside? “

Ghost sprung up again. A growl of frustration issuing from deep in his throat. This time he didn’t hold back. “I am his mate yet I feel so helpless. With all my strength I can not fix this but somehow I must protect him. I can do nothing less.” His mind twirled around crazily.

“The injuries must have been severe, for him to need such ongoing treatment.” Tristan said. “I’ve avoided vampire blood, myself, so I don’t have any direct experience there. My thought, though, would be to say that you definitely want to get him off that, if there is another option. It’s another kind of addiction, and I don’t know what the long-term effects of it might be. Of the three, I would guess that Paris probably knows the gifts of his own childer better than he would know the effects of the blood of my kind.” He raised his hands. “For what it’s worth, if Paris is going to the trouble to have this conversation, I would say that it means that he has enough interest in Rene’s well-being to speak truly.”

“Addiction. Another word that Rene is not crazy about. Paris did suggest turning Rene which would definitely solve the problem but you can imagine how well that would go over. Personally, I think his “benefactor” has the same ideas for other reasons and the blood is a subtle way to keep him quietly enthralled” Ghost took a large gulp of his drink savoring the burn. It was a slight distraction from the irritation this conversation was producing but he needed this. He needed to talk it out, use Tristan as a sounding board so he knew how best to approach his mate. “About Paris, he does have a sound reason for wanting to help. Rene is his descendant thus the look-alike but of course Rene doesn’t know that either.”

Ghost leaned his elbows against the counter with his glass resting on his lower lip. “Tristan, there are tough times ahead. If Rene and I both disappear without a word, don’t worry. I’ll get in touch either directly or through Paris. I’m beginning to see that he might be our best option. Worst comes to worst I will take him away but only in the most extreme of emergency.” Ghost let out a heavy sigh. “This has been a hell of a night, my friend.”

Tristan put a hand on Ghost’s arm, squeezing it lightly. “It sounds like it. I understand your need to protect your mate. Whatever help I can offer, I will. I know that Rene works for me, but he’s my friend, too.”

Ghost clasped the bear’s shoulder. “I know he is and that’s another reason for coming to you. I appreciate the support and I’m sure Rene will too. You have my number if you hear something, right?”

“Yes, I do.” Tristan said. “Unless I hear from you otherwise, I’ll play it quietly.”

“Thank you. I’ve only known one other bear in my lifetime but I can safely say you are a a credit to your kind. Speaking of credit could you pack up a couple more of the raspberry ones. I’m going to take them home to my man. He’s earned a treat.” Ghost pulled his wallet out and handed over his credit card.

“No problem.” Tristan said, surprised that Ghost had met another of his kind. He took the card and stepped away, returning a couple of minutes later with a to-go container. He placed it on the table, handing over Ghost’s card and the slip. “You’ll have to tell me about this other bear sometime. I’ve not known many, myself.”

Ghost signed the slip and chuckled. A vision of white fur and playfulness came to mind but then the thought of Rene alone in the cabin swept it away. “Definitely a tale for another time.” Sliding the slip back toward the other were. “I have a mate waiting for me and I mean to get back to him.” He winked. “Good night, my friend.”

“I don’t blame you in the least.” Tristan said. “Have a good one, and call if you need anything.”



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