No one’s POV
“He lied. It sounded like the truth, but there is no way he didn’t lie on that last question.” Bill said, clenching his jaw.
“I’m still not sure about your hypothesis of those two being related, but I do agree with you that he lied on several of those questions. He used a spell, I could smell the magic in the room when we came back.” Clarissa said.
“So we can safely assume he’s hiding something, if he’s going through the trouble of using magic to lie to us.” Bill said angrily.
“The masked man he talked about had to be James. He probably did meet him but lied because he was scared he would get in trouble.” Clarissa thought out loud.
“That can’t be the only reason!” Bill exclaimed. “They’re working together. James is Xavier’s father I’m sure!” Bill slapped the board for emphasis.
“Again with this, there’s no proof.” Clarissa was usually the one to come up with the weird ideas so she was finding it very weird to have their roles reversed. She was starting to think her partner was putting too much into this case.
“They went to the same high school, he lives in his James’ birth town,” Bill stopped when he saw the unhappy look Clarissa was giving him. “Well there’s still definitely something going on with that boy.”
“His group of friends were weird enough. His sheet says he’s a natural when he’s actually a witch. His best friend’s parents get murdered after years of abuse towards their daughter. One of the boys in their group dies. He gets called out for being a witch and the guy gets admitted to the hospital the next day. James approaches him and he claims it’s because he would waste time recruiting a no name student like him.” Bill enumerated.
“I agree, if he hasn’t done anything yet, with a past like that he’s bound to soon.”
“Whatever the reason why James approached him it doesn’t change the fact that James did. That means he has an interest in Xavier, be it because they’re related or not. If we keep an eye on him we’re bound to hear about James again.” Bill said.
“But he’s gone. I went back to the dorm and his friends told me he’d left on a trip for the weekend, but they didn’t know where.” Clarissa said.
“We’re going to Legacy Island II.” Bill suddenly declared.
“Why are we going back? We can just wait he-”
“Because I want to talk to that girl, Erin, again.” Bill said.
Clarissa smiled. “Ah I see.”
I smiled as I stepped onto our property. It was nice coming home. I hadn’t come back in months and I knew that had pissed Kyxa off, but if I’d taken the time to come back for a break I could’ve missed something.
The smile on my face grew strained. I was hoping I was wrong, but from the moment I’d stepped into Stonebridge I’d been unable to find Catarina. I could easily sense Benjamin and per usual I couldn’t sense Kyxa, but I knew she was in the house. But Catarina…I was still scanning the town, but there’d been no sign of her so far.
I was afraid of the moment it would happen. The moment the Time Keeper in her head would strike and take her away. He may not call himself that anymore, but William, the one I knew, persists to live on. All because I decided to be a guard and not an executioner.
The Reaper decided to give you the rare opportunity of a choice between two timelines. In one, you are the Guard of the Four and in the other you are the Executioner of the Four.
I still remember that weird event, and the words keep ringing in my ears. And for the first time since I’ve heard it, the notion that in the end I never really did have a choice crept into my mind.
I shook my head, reminding myself that there were a lot more pressing matters.
I heard the yelling before I’d even opened the door.
“That’s unfair mom! I’m 14 so stop treating me like a baby just because you don’t like the place!” Benjamin shouted angrily.
“I told you to stop going there every week, but you still did! You disobeyed me Benjamin!” Kyxa snapped just as loudly.
“Because your stupid reasons are STUPID!”
“The first time you came back you had a bullet wound. A bullet wound!” Kyxa insisted.
“It was a graze! Once again you totally over reacted!” Benjamin snapped.
“That hospital is no good! It’s corrupted!”
“No mom it isn’t! You only stepped foot there once! You don’t know anything!”
Looks like this still hasn’t changed in a few months.
Stepping inside the house, I slammed the door behind me because there really wasn’t any other appropriate way to catch their attention.
Benjamin spun around his angry face not changing a bit.
“Hi dad.” He nearly spat.
Kyxa gave me a look that wasn’t particularly happy either before turning back to Benjamin.
“This conversation isn’t over Benjamin.” She warned.
He rolled his eyes. “It never is.” He grumbled before he stepped out of the room.
I walked over to Kyxa, really worried now that I’d confirmed Catarina was nowhere to be found, but she crossed her arms and avoided my eyes.
I sighed internally, we didn’t have time for this. If the Time Keeper had taken control of Catarina and run off I needed to know so I could start searching!
I tried to lean into her field of vision, touching her shoulder to try and coax her to look at me so we could communicate.
Even though she still refused to look at me, she answered the question I hadn’t had the chance to ask.
“Alec called her. He told her he had a cure for her to get rid of Rina. She got tired of waiting for you to come back with your ‘possible’ solution so she left while I wasn’t looking to your parent’s house in Legacy Island II.” Kyxa said.
I inhaled sharply. Alec. What are you doing putting your nose in my business?
“Don’t you dare get mad at me!” She snapped, finally turning around to look at me. “I’ve been handling these two since you’ve been gone and they refuse to listen! I just found out Benjamin’s been going to the hospital even though I told him not to and Catarina locks herself in her room because she’s afraid she can’t stop Rina from controlling her! And on top of that they would never admit it, but they kind of miss their dad! I kind of miss you!”
I did feel a little guilty, but I couldn’t help the circumstances! And anyway Catarina was nearly safe. Xavier and Annaliese were heading over as we spoke.
I couldn’t quite help the small smile the appeared on my face.
“Stop that!” Kyxa snapped. “I didn’t say that so you’d feel flattered!”
I obviously missed her too, and seeing her now just made me want this whole thing to be over even more.
She lightly punched my shoulder before almost reluctantly grabbing my shirt and pulling me for a hug.
She wrapped her arms around me tightly. “You shouldn’t be doing this on your own.”
I nuzzled her neck and she sighed.
“Just get this over with quickly so we can go back to having our ‘normal’ life okay?”
I nodded, giving her a kiss before pulling away and heading for the door. I momentarily touched Benjamin’s mind as a greeting, but he refused to return the gesture.
“You better bring him here.” Kyxa called just before I left. I turned around, giving her a confused look. “You know who. After this is done, you’re bringing Xavier here. There’s no going around it.”
I looked to the side, but nodded. If he was open to it I would.
I left the house, pulling out my phone and texting Annaliese to tell her to meet me in Legacy Island II instead of Stonebridge.
Benjamin sneaked back into the room.
“Mom? Who’s Xavier?”
“You’ll see when he gets here.”
Benjamin grumbled in frustration and quickly went into his room before his mother could restart their earlier conversation.
I felt the soft spring air go through my hair and I closed my eyes, appreciating the feeling as much as I could.
All my life, I never imagined I’d be able to do what I’m doing now. Of course I dreamed about it. Huddled in my room while I waited for the pain to pass, I’d daydream about packing a bag and just leaving. Not looking back, living day to day.
Every sunny day felt like a blessing, like a weight lifting off my shoulders. I spent my days walking, watching people interact, talking to all kinds of people, going into buildings I never knew existed…I even found a few ingredients I could use when I got back home.
Home. Maxwell. It’s when I started thinking of those things again that I felt it might be time to head back. When I imagine holding Maxwell, talking to Tina, when I get excited at the idea of making some new potions, when I realize the anniversary of his death is coming soon.
But there was still part of me that felt like something was missing. That I had still had an unrest inside me that I needed to deal with before I could head home.
And it’s during a sunny day in Ridgevalley that I finally got rid of that unrest.
Relaxing after having a hearty lunch at a bistro I spotted a couple walking by. A man and woman, the girl leaning her head on the man’s shoulder and talking to him in a low but happy voice. I was so lost in thought it took me a few moments to recognize the neatly combed dark red hair.
I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.
The woman pecked the man on the cheek and slipped inside the bistro, the man waiting outside.
The man leaned on the side of the building and when I confirmed it was him, the unrest stirred inside me.
I could even notice a small content smile on his lips and that made me angry. Beyond angry. I didn’t have any control anymore, I stomped in his direction.
I couldn’t decide on what to say to the bastard.
I’d never particularly liked him. We’d become something we could call friends when he and Xavier started going out and it only strengthened when I went out with Oliver, considering the two we’re best friends.
I almost snorted.
They were supposed to be best friends. Childhood friends. But we didn’t even have time to bury Oliver before Edmund split. Disappeared and dropped all contact.
And here he was enjoying his life.
I could’ve started with a million other things.
“I bet you weren’t even planning to come on the anniversary of his death.”
Surprise flashed clear across his face. His coward face.
I never saw what Xavier saw in him. The guy had bullied Xavier nearly from the moment they met. In the end it was only thanks to Oliver those two got together. If Oliver hadn’t wanted to be friends, Edmund would’ve continued harassing Xavier because his daddy wanted him to. I told Xavier it was only going to end badly, and it did. At the worst possible time Edmund just up and left without any warning. Following his father like a lost puppy. Picking the easy way out.
I’d always wanted to yell at Edmund, to stand up to him for Xavier, just like Xavier wanted to do the same for me. But standing here, there were too many things to say, too many things that I didn’t think Edmund had the right to hear anyway.
And there was that possibility that I was trying to dump all my buried frustrations on everything that had happened on him.
“All you ever did was hurt him.” I finally spat out, thinking of Xavier.
A hundred other words wanted to spill out, but I could sight of his girlfriend and decided to walk away instead. I clenched my hands angrily, before I let go. Simply, telling myself it was better off this way. If this is what Edmund wanted then I had no business stuffing my nose in his business. Not anymore.
My feet climbed onto the road home.
The woman came back out, a cup of coffee in her hands as she watched the end of whatever had happened.
She turned to a visibly shaken Edmund.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
Edmund swallowed with a little difficulty. “Yeah. It’s nothing.”