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Chapter 11: Carina

I Don’t Get Sick of All the German Lingo


“You’ll find out in a minute. We’re here.” John said as we parked in front of a mechanic’s shop. His warning flashed in my head, echoing through my brain. ‘Carina you could die.’ I swallowed. John was dead serious. That’s not a statement a person could make lightly, and from what I know of John, he takes this Orden stuff seriously. He wouldn’t make it up to talk me out of going. He just isn’t like that.

That makes the danger very real then.

I could hear John getting out of the car, but I still waited another second to calm my racing heart. Another deep breath and my hand reached out for the door handle to leave John’s truck. Slowly I swung the door open and crawled down from the cab.

“What are you doing?” John asked me as he came around the car.

“Getting out?” I replied making my statement a question. “Was I not supposed to?”

“I was coming to get the door for you.”

Did he look…disappointed? Put out? If I wasn’t so nervous and stressed right now, I think I’d find his reaction funny. As is, I can barely breathe, much less laugh. I settled for a mumbled, “Sorry,” and left it at that.

“Hey,” He said softly. “Whatever happens, we’re in this together alright?” He put his large, warm, hand on my cheek and tilted my face to stare into his. “I won’t leave you.”

I felt myself falling, falling into his deep midnight blue eyes, his sexy southern drawl, the strength that radiated from him, the confidence he always seems to exude. It’s so easy to lean on him. Trust him.

But wake up Carina, I mentally shook myself. You’ve known this boy for two weeks, and out of those two weeks you’ve only seen him three days; today being the third. Who are you anymore? When did you become some stupid ninny-headed girl who becomes mindlessly infatuated until you see nothing else? So infatuated that the sun rises and sets on them? That’s never been you.

But that’s not how it is, part of me argued. You’ve been through a lot together, it’s only natural you lean on him more than you would another person at the moment. And ever since that first meeting and kiss, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that a bigger force is at work. I feel powerless to stop the oncoming tide- whatever that is. Whether it has to do with John or Josh or the Orden, something is coming. I’ll need to be prepared, and if I’m to survive the storm, I’ll need someone I can depend on to help me; someone like John. Dangerous implications.

I looked upward into John’s easy, cocky grin and felt myself losing some of my apprehension. I gave him my own saucy version of his signature grin. He just laughed and snaked his arm around my waist. “Let’s go, Yankee.”

He led me through the front waiting area for customers and past the garage where three different cars sat, lonely and dejected. He flipped a light-switch on in an office room.

“Wanna see something cool?” He asked me excitedly.

“Uh…do I?” I asked.

His face took on the excited look of a small child on Christmas Day. I couldn’t help but wonder what in God’s name I had gotten myself into.

“Watch and learn.”

He pushed aside coats and revealed a keypad in the back and entered a code. The wall swung forward and he knocked a few times, a look of concentration on his face. He must have hit the right spot because he flashed me a look that clearly said, “Are you watching?” and knocked three times.

I gasped. Part of the wall swung open to reveal a stainless steel hallway. He stepped into the hall and held out his hand for me to take. After a moment’s hesitation-this is way too surreal- I stepped forward and placed my significantly smaller hand in his. We walked in silence to the end. The steps seemed to get more meaningful the closer we came to the giant metal door at the end. Our steps slowed by mutual consent to the point where we paused right before taking the final step- the one that would have John typing in the final password. He gave my hand a final squeeze before letting go and typing in the secret code.

And with that, the door to the Der Alte Orden der Freischmiede was opened to a non-member for the very first time.

With a monumental moment like this, I should have been in awe, but all I could think of was, “Let the game begin.”



As soon as the door swung open talking died down while some men called out greetings to John. Then they saw me, positioned slightly behind John. Out of harm’s way in his mind I’m sure. I had expected an uproar of angry old men, but what greeted us was dead silence. I could have heard them blink if they weren’t in so much shock that I’m sure they’ve momentarily forgotten how to.

John grabbed my hand and towed me further into the room. We stood on the dais encircling the members of one of the oldest secret societies in Christendom. I gripped John’s hand tighter when a man I didn’t recognize slowly stood up.

“What is the meaning of this, John?” the man asked.

“I request Strafaufschub. Active immediately.”

“Request granted.” Damien walked out of the room directly in front of John and me and slowly walked down the stairs to the head position at the podium.

“You can’t be serious.” The first man said.

“The girl is my niece and John has never led us astray before. I see no reason we can’t hear him out before passing a final verdict.”

Whispers broke out but Uncle Damien silenced them with a single look. “I, the sixth Cavalier of these United States, and head of the Savannah sector, have spoken. Unless any of you wish to take this matter to the Sun, in which case we would have to grant Strafaufschub anyway, I suggest you obey the decree of your presiding officer.”

The first man who spoke looked directly into my eyes. “Damien’s right. We obey our elders.” Before he turned to sit back down he said, “Besides, I’d love to hear Hanover’s reasoning behind this one.”

The room seemed to accept whatever it was John had asked for, and settled back into their seats. They were still tense, but at least they weren’t staring anymore.

“Who was that ray of sunshine?” I whispered to John.

“Clayton. He was best friends with my dad back in the day. He’s not my biggest fan.”

“And what was it you asked him for? Stra-something?” All this German is starting to give me a migraine. Why can’t they all just speak English?

My hand still in his, we walked down the stairs and took what I assumed was John’s usual seat next to Colin. There was only one chair beside him, so John gestured for me to sit and proceeded to stand behind me like my own personal guard dog.

“It translates as a ‘reprieve’, but all I really asked for was a chance to speak and explain myself.”

“Then why call it a reprieve?”

He bent low and whispered in my ear. I tried not to get distracted by the memory of our kiss from earlier. “It started out that people who are sentenced to death could ask for a respite, or reprieve, from dying on the spot. Only members knew to ask for it. Generally, it’s only asked for if the accused wants another chance to explain their actions and convince the Orden to reconsider the verdict.”

“Has it ever worked- the reprieve thing? Have they ever changed their minds about something?”

He straightened and looked down at me. “No.” He said simply.

I swallowed.

“Let’s begin, shall we?” Damien addressed the group. “John Hanover, you stand before the Orden guilty of bringing an outsider into our most secret of places and of telling an outsider of our ways. How do you plead?”

“Guilty.” He stated it calmly and clearly.

“What?” I shrieked. “John,” I said more quietly. “Look, I don’t know much about trials, but I’m pretty sure you don’t admit you’re guilty!”

“Quiet.” A different voice said.

I jumped and turned to see the vaguely familiar face of Lt. Amberdeen from the Savannah police department. He sat on the left of Damien in a place on honor. He wasn’t in his uniform anymore, but that didn’t make him any less intimidating. He was rotund with thick black hair that was cut short. His distrust of me after learning I was asking after Josh suddenly made sense. He was the one who was making sure the cops didn’t look too far into his death so that they wouldn’t discover the Orden.

He stared at me and scowled. “You’re lucky to have been left alive so far. Don’t push your luck.”

“I asked for a reprieve Bill. Don’t scare her with empty threats.” John spoke calmly and soothingly, like he was trying to soothe a wild animal.

“Maybe it wasn’t empty.”

I could feel John tense and begin to move forward. I quickly grabbed his arm and mouthed, “No.”

He looked back down at me. I could see the hard edge that invested his midnight blue eyes. “Please?” I begged. I let my eyes plead with him to reconsider and not over-react.

The edge began to leave his eyes, and I could feel my heart beat slow down as well. I hadn’t realized how much the adrenaline was affecting me. I was high-strung, just waiting for some big explosion.

“Relax Hanover.” The man next to Amberdeen said. I looked toward the voice and with a start I recognized a second cop from the station, Sergeant Michael Miller. “Bill is just doing what he has to. And Bill,” he turned to Amberdeen, “Don’t taunt the boy.”

I could feel John bristle at the word boy, and I struggled to stifle my snort of laughter.

“Focus gentlemen.” Damien said. “You may begin when you’re ready John.”

“The girl I have with me, Carina Richter, was the one who discovered Josh’s dead body. Then tonight, she was attacked. Considering the circumstances, I believed she had a right to know.”

“Attacked?” Michael asked. “By whom?”

“That we don’t know, but we suspect by the same man or group that killed Josh; either as retaliation against the Orden, or an attempt to scare her because she was asking around about Josh’s murder.”

“Let the record show that she was indeed asking about Josh McHenry’s death.” Michael told Colin, who was furiously typing away on a laptop.

“But does that justify his telling her?” Bill Amberdeen asked the four men who sat up front.

“No.” Clayton spoke up. “But it does explain why John would break one of our most sacred laws when previously he had been on the disciplinary council. Ben would have done the same thing if it was Laurie in that situation.”

“Before you make a decision,” Damien said softly, “You may also want to consider that if you convict John of treason, you would have to convict me as well for convincing John to tell her.”

“What?” Several voices around the room cried out. Glancing around the room I could see anger, shock surprise, and disbelief ranging across all the members faces.

“I suggested to John that he tell Carina about us. It seemed the best way to keep her safe from another attack.”

“You could have just posted John to watch out for her. She doesn’t have to know the reasoning to have positioned him by her side to guard her. They seem close enough for that to have been an easy solution to this.” Amberdeen said. This guy was really starting to get on my nerves.

“On the contrary, the secrets were starting to put a strain on their relationship. She would never have allowed him to stay and be her shadow.” He winked at me. “She is my niece after all.”

“You know it.” I called to him, nodding in his direction. Instantly, I regretted it. Every head turned my way again. When will I ever learn to keep my fat mouth shut?

“So our decision?” Michael asked the men in front. “Personally, I vote to clear John and Damien of all wrong-doing and spare the girl- granted she vows to keep her mouth shut.”

“You can’t be serious, Michael?” Bill Amberdeen exclaimed. “They’ve broken the most important rule of all. That’s the first thing a new member swears to- keeping the Orden a secret from even their closest relatives.”

“Sometimes rules change.” He paused to look around the room. “Josh McHenry was killed, and by the sounds of it the murderer might be one of our own. This is nothing like we’ve ever dealt with before. I think a change of rules may be in order, or at least a temporary rule change.”

“Alright.” Damien said before Amberdeen could continue the argument. “Has the defense anything else to say?”

“No.” John said. He placed his hand on my right shoulder and squeezed gently.

“Then it is time for the Grand Marshall’s to make their decisions.” He turned to Michael. “Your vote?”

“Charges dropped. Full pardon, even for the girl.”

He nodded. “Bill?”

“The law laid by our forefather’s clearly state the punishment for this crime is death. There has never been an exception before, and I’m not about to start a trend. If we break the laws now, there may be no stopping it.” He turned to face Damien directly. “You’ve been my friend for years, but I can’t allow this. It could cause the Orden to crumble around us. I when we meet again you understand.”

“I understand.”

How could Damien just take that? Amberdeen needs to take a chill pill and relax. This Orden stuff isn’t as intense as he seems to think it is.

Finally Damien turned to Clayton on his right. “It seems we are torn. You’re decision will be the deciding factor on the matter.”

I could feel John’s hand tighten on my shoulder. I looked up at him wondering why, when I remembered that he said Clayton didn’t like him much. I put my hand on top of the one on my shoulder and squeezed back. Whatever happened we were in this together.

Clayton looked at John and I for what felt like forever. When he opened his mouth to speak I almost passed out from fear of what was to come.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to clear the charges on both Damien and John. I also vote to pardon the girl. She didn’t realize what she was getting into before they told her.” He looked at me. “But I do like Michael’s idea of having her swear to not reveal anything on threat of death. Will you agree?”

“Of course.” I managed to choke out. I was torn between a mixture of giddy relief and insult that they think I’d break my vow unless death was my punishment.

“The matter is settled then. All charges are dropped on John and me while Carina just needs to promise not to tell about our existence.”

“May as well get it out of the way now.” Michael said as he stood and took a big black book from the podium. He walked over and placed it before me. Looking down, I saw that he had placed the Bible in front of me. “Raise your right hand while placing your left on the Bible.” He instructed me.

“Isn’t just having me swear on the Bible a little, I don’t know, racist, against other religions?”

“We were founded on Catholicism. I mean later we accepted Protestant members, but for almost eight hundred years we only allowed Catholics to join.” John said quietly to me.

I arched my brows at him, and then put my hand on the book. “I swear to never reveal any information about the Orden or pertaining to the Orden.” I looked up at John and Damien. “Am I in the clear?”

“You’re in the clear.”

Submitted: September 20, 2011

© Copyright 2023 Sophie Elliot. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:


Sophie Elliot

Sigh, I know it's not the best chapter in the world, but I'm begging you guys to hang in there! I have either work or xc every night, then on average three hour of homework, alot of times four or five. And while I'd love to say screw homework and write (hehe) my mom doesn't really like that ;)
Thanks for all your continued support, and once xc is over (end of Oct) posting should get easier and more often.
You guys are the BEST FANS EVER!

Tue, September 20th, 2011 3:16am


I almost had A heartattack! O.o

Loved it very very much!! KMU

Tue, September 20th, 2011 3:47am


Im Sorry!!! hahahah Thank you so very much

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:45pm

katey 1111

Yay they let her in woohoo!!!! John is so caring! glad they didn't kill them! KMU please?? ~Katey

Tue, September 20th, 2011 1:41pm


Hahaha yeah, I figured if I killed them now, the rest of the story would be sad.....and pointless hahaha

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:47pm


I kind of thought that Clayton was gonna say "Kill them both!" But, another part told me that there's probably more chapters, so she couldn't die. I'm glad she and John didn't die. :) KMU please?

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:19pm


haha Im glad they didn't die either

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:48pm


Woohoo! She's in der Orden now:)) And I liked this chapter:)))
Kmu please!:D

Tue, September 20th, 2011 7:35pm


I'm glad you liked it! I will.

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:51pm


:) Wowsa... cant wait for more! Please more?

Tue, September 20th, 2011 11:22pm


Aw thank ya! I promise there will be more to come!

Tue, September 20th, 2011 5:54pm

Mia J. Sienna

this was soooo good! i hope you don't so long to update the next chapter, i can't wait! kmu

Wed, September 21st, 2011 10:15pm


Thanks! I'm hoping I can update soon you guys, but next weekend is homecoming sooo....hahahha. I'll do my best.

Wed, September 21st, 2011 4:29pm


___Its still great please keep writing and please keep me updated

Sun, September 25th, 2011 3:07pm


Well thanks hun. And I will I promise!

Sun, September 25th, 2011 1:51pm


I thought it was wonderful this is a great story keep me updated please(:

Sun, September 25th, 2011 10:50pm


Ok good. I'm glad you all like it! I was really worried about it and kinda second guessing it, but I knew I was really behind in posting so I kinda said screw it and posted it anyway :)
Thanks again and I will!

Sun, September 25th, 2011 6:51pm

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