I groggily woke up, squinting my eyes against the bright light and the slow throbbing inside my head.
I felt strangely disoriented, lost and confused. As if I couldn’t get a hold of my bearings. As if I’d lost my internal compass. It was a fleeting feeling of panic that made me feel like I had no control over anything, but as my body registered the bed I was lying on and my eyes started to adjust to the light the feeling fled away.
I let out a groan, feeling too heavy to sit up, but I forced myself to anyways.
As I sat up I nearly fell back down in surprise as I saw my little sister’s smiling face hovering over my mine.
“You’re awake! Mister sleeping beauty, bet you’ve never slept for a whole day before eh?” She exclaimed, giving me a wink.
I hadn’t really seen Nix since I’d found her in that bathroom, bleeding onto the ground, and seeing her smiling and teasing me made me unexplainably happy. So much that a small smile spread across my face.
I felt weirdly really good right now. It felt like one of those ‘nothing can go wrong’ days.
My smile widened on its own as Kyxa appeared in the picture.
“Did you have sweet dreams?” She asked showing me her white teeth.
“I’m very happy with you James! Kyxa is awesome! I like her a whole lot more than Mariposa that’s for sure. You have my seal of approval.” Nix stated proudly.
“Wait here, I’m gonna tell the doctor you woke up!” Nix said before rushing out of the room. A muffled ‘watch out!’ could be heard before the door closed behind her.
It finally dawned on me that I was at the hospital. What had happened? The last events seemed like a bit of a blur. I went home and we confronted Velor, but I don’t remember if we won or not.
Then again if I’m not hallucinating and that really is the Weapon randomly looking out the window, I’d say we came out victorious.
A proud feeling burst inside my chest. I remember now. I actually beat Velor and Assaria. I’ve become stronger than them. I can stop them now. I wonder if it was their first time actually losing a mind battle? That thought just makes me even more proud.
To merely add to my happiness, I spotted the book on the shelf beside my bed. I didn’t only get the Weapon, I got my kid back. My kid. Feels weird to think that, and I doubt it’ll feel true until I actually see this kid.
Almost starting to doubt its existence, I decided to reach out with my mind to confirm it really was the right book. Instead of the familiar feeling of extending my sense, the throbbing in my head only increased.
I couldn’t use my power anymore. My smile faded away. Had I lost this too? No, I probably just over used it. It happened once while I was training. It was like something was blocking me, but after a few hours it passed away. This should too. It has to.
“Your little sister is really lively.” Kyxa said. “I really like your family so far James.”
She had a sweet relaxed smile on her lips, but there was a small tinge of sadness in it.
With a small sigh Kyxa plopped onto the bed with me.
“You really had me worried there for a second! When I came to, you were on the ground bleeding out and unconscious! Turns out the only one still awake was Velor, me and the Weapon. Your mom was too, but she was pretty out of it. I actually thought you were dead for a second, and I tried to kill Velor but he ran away like a coward.” Kyxa said.
I raised my eyebrows teasingly. Thinking she’d fought Velor because she thought I’d died made me pretty damn happy.
A small blush appeared on her face. “Hey! You were lying in a puddle of your own blood, it’s pretty hard to think otherwise! And I would rather you didn’t die.”
I’d rather you didn’t die either Kyxa.
Kyxa shifted positions so I was holding her from behind. I pressed my head against hers, appreciating the soft smell of her shampoo, as the throbbing in my head finally faded away.
“This is nice right James? I’m happy like this, are you?” She asked. I nodded, placing a kiss on her head. After a few seconds she spoke up again. “I’ve only ever breathed, lived, so I could stop Velor. But now…now I want to survive not just for that, but for moments like these. I want to be alive so that you can hold me in your arms. I’m really happy when I’m with you James.” She said, snuggling against my chest. “And I was thinking…do we need to be the ones to fight? It’s weird I’ve never thought this way before, but if we could be together I wouldn’t mind, actually I’d want, to leave all of this trouble behind us. We could live in Stonebridge, we wouldn’t have to worry about killing people, we’d just have to worry about ourselves.”
The more she talked, the more her smile grew and the more mine faded away.
“What do you think James? Can we leave all of this drama behind?” She took my hand in hers. “Thumbs up, or thumbs down?”
My hand didn’t move. I admit the idea was tempting, but…now? Of all times? When I’ve finally surpassed those two? I find it hard to imagine myself living peacefully knowing those two are still out there doing as they please.
I can’t give up now. I’m too close to the end for that.
Before I could do anything, the door opened and a rush of people suddenly came flowing in.
In a matter of seconds Kyxa had gotten off the bed and I was surrounded by five people.
“James, it’s great to see you woke up! The doctor was saying you might go into a coma!” Mom exclaimed, rushing to my bedside.
“Dude! You should’ve come and gotten me at least! You know now that I’ve got the eye thing, I bet I could’ve helped and you wouldn’t have gotten shot!” Alec declared.
“I brought the doctor, and well everyone else tagged along.” Nix said with a huge smile.
“Also who’s the chick?” Alec asked, giving a suspicious glare at Kyxa.
“Alec!” Mom scolded as Nix burst out laughing.
“That’s Alec for you!”
“I’m Kyxa little twerp.” Kyxa said, leaning forwards intimidatingly. But it was obvious she was joking around.
It took a few seconds for Alec to react. He looked at me. “I like her.” He declared, gesturing at Kyxa with his thumb.
I couldn’t keep myself from smiling as Nix’s laughs just intensified.
The doctor cleared his throat a bit nervously.
“It’s good to see you’re doing well Mr.Whitelight. My name is Dr. Hans and I can tell you right now, you’re on your way to a full recovery.”
Mom smiled at the news and lightly squeezed my shoulder.
“You’re lucky, the gun only grazed your leg. As you can see we bandaged you up, and your wound should fully heal in the next few weeks. You’ll still be able to walk on your leg, but I highly recommend you take it easy. Try not to over exert yourself until you’re completely healed. If you can, try using a cane to make sure not to put too much stress on your leg.”
“I’ve also examined your right ear.” He said, and I froze, suddenly listening just a little more. I glanced at Kyxa, and the look she was giving me was enough to let me know how the doctor found out. “The damage is extensive, but not permanent. It would’ve been better if you’d come to us the moment you received the damage to your ear. We’ve helped it along, but the good news is, it was already on its way to recovery. You should be starting to hear in the months that follow.” The doctor said nonchalantly. He was saying…I’m not going to be deaf in my right ear for the rest of my life?
Kyxa gave me a huge happy smile, and I returned it back to her. This really was a good day.
“There is no reason for you to stay any longer. You are free to leave the hospital.” The doctor finished.
The doctor left and I swung my legs over the bed, testing out the wound on my left leg. It hurt a bit when I put weight on it. I foresee a lot of limping in my future.
“Get changed and then we’ll go see your dad, okay?” Mom asked. I nodded and she dragged my siblings outside with her.
I changed into my clothes, hesitating a bit when it came to putting on my brother’s amulet. It hadn’t worked at all, what was the point of wearing it? I put it on anyway.
Then I looked at the children’s book again. It was still hard to wrap my mind around the fact there was a living being trapped inside. I didn’t think leaving it there was a good idea, so I grabbed the book and stuffed in my jacket, looking back at Kyxa to let her know I was ready to go see my father.
“I’m going to stay here.” She said with a small smile. “Someone has to stay and watch over the Weapon.”
She walked over and kissed me. “Think about what we talked about okay?”
My mood dampened a bit and I left without replying. Why does she have to look so into the idea? The more I think about it the more I’m against it. I have to take care of Assaria and Velor once and for all.
I limped over to the door and opened it, almost closing it two seconds later.
Alec was standing there with a wheelchair and a smirk plastered on his face.
“I’m going to give you two guesses brother.” He said with a grin.
I shook my head once vigorously. No thank you, I’m not being pushed around in a wheelchair! I’m not that handicapped for god’s sake.
“Oh yes brother. I want to push the wheelchair, and I need someone to sit in it.”
I swear if that wheelchair wasn’t in the way, I would’ve already slammed the door shut.
I reluctantly decided to let him have his fun.
“The mighty James in a wheelchair, who’d have thought!” Alec laughed. If he keeps talking I’m going to end up punching him.
Even though he’d been shot in the gut with both a gun and magic, dad seemed pretty lively when we got to his room. Sure everytime he moved around he’d groan in pain and then mom would call him an idiot, but he was dead set on making a few things clear.
First thing he did when he saw me was ask me what the hell had just happened back there. He pounded me with questions about Assaria, Mariposa and Anna. I managed to get him to stop after telling him they were after the Weapon. Looked like dad and mom knew enough about the Weapon’s importance to assume anyone would be going after it.
He didn’t neglect to repeat about five hundred times that we needed to burn Blams’ body. And investigate on whatever that stone pedestal was.
It’s when dad turned to me to ask me why I was here instead of university that I excused myself, saying that Kyxa was waiting in the other room.
I had one hell of a surprise when I came back.
William and Aliska were there and Kyxa was standing guard in front of the Weapon.
“I don’t need a sword to take you down. Take another step and my fist meets your jaw.” Kyxa threatened through gritted teeth.
“Kyxa you’re over-reacting.” Aliska said.
“Yes, we don’t mean any harm. We just came to see the Weapon. And hopefully take it with us. Shut up Will!”
Ugh, William. Mom is in the room right next door, I wonder how she’d feel to have a reunion with her brother…
“I think you should be a little more worried about Rehal, rather than the Weapon.” Kyxa warned again.
“Something happened to Rehal?” Aliska asked.
“Doesn’t matter.” William waved away the matter as he glared at Kyxa. Her eyes darted towards me, and everyone finally noticed my presence.
“James!” Aliska smiled at me, but I didn’t return it. Dad is in bed badly hurt and she comes to see the Weapon with William first?
On instinct I went to control William as he glared at me, but the small throbbing that erupted in my head reminded me I couldn’t right now. Not that I was going to let them know that.
“Hi James.” William said giving me a friendly smile.
I gestured at the door with my thumb. Clearly saying ‘get the hell out’. William’s expression turned cold.
‘Have you seen dad yet? I’m sure he’d love to see you.’ I signed at Aliska, ignoring the cold stare William was giving me.
Aliska looked back at the Weapon, and then at William a strange calculating look on her face. It was so out of place, I found myself wanting to know what she was thinking just then.
She gave me a smile and grabbed our uncle’s arm.
“That’s a great idea. I’ll go say hi.” She said with a small smile. It almost looked like she’d finally realised something.
She dragged William out of the room.
William muttered a few words (which I heard clearly from my left ear) in my direction as he passed by.
“No ridiculous invasion of privacy? Have you gained some self-control?” He asked, but it was obvious he didn’t think that was it.
As the door closed behind them, I had a weird feeling I wouldn’t be seeing them anytime soon.
You know, I actually thought the doctor was a nice man until this happened:
Doctor: Me likes what I sees *eyebrow waggle*
James: *thinking* I’m gonna beat the crap out of this asshole.
Zyla: Don’t do anything James. Simon’ll take care of him once he gets better.
Possible question: Why did Kyxa not have her sword?
It’s a hospital y’all, weapons not allowed XD