Warning: Mild descriptive gore
I didn’t realize I couldn’t do magic until three days later, when Annaliese and James had already long gone.
At first I panicked, after having relied so much on it in the last few months, to suddenly be rid of my magic made me feel like I’d lost a part of myself. I did research, but all anyone talked about was the gradual loss of magic. It didn’t apply to me, my case had been too sudden.
I did have the feeling that the fairy had done something to me. It felt a little like a drain when he’d touched my ankle, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it since my head was still reeling from the hit at the time. So, I decided to ask my internet friend, Lily_Bell if she knew of anything that could cause something like this since I knew she’d done some research about supernaturals. But she only mentioned the creature called the ‘Weapon’ they talk on tv from time to time. And she wasn’t the fairy.
Eventually, about four days later I stopped caring about my magic. And a week after that, I discovered I could do it again, like I’d recharged. I didn’t really focus on it much, mostly because of my finals that were coming up and…the nightmares.
The nightmares were somewhat different, and didn’t happen every night, but there were some repeating ones.
Sometimes I dreamed of being strangled and most of the time Edmund was the one doing the strangling. I never really felt pain, but I was always more aware than I wanted to be of the fact that I was powerless, that I couldn’t breathe, that I couldn’t scream, that I was silently dying and no one knew. And Edmund would never look me in the face, like he was ashamed.
Other times I dreamed of being shoved into a closet with it being locked behind me. I would always hear what sounded like the words ‘Stay here’ and what sounded like Traz’s voice, and I’d always get the feeling I was being locked in for my own good, for my protection but…the closet was so small that my elbows easily touched both walls. And then my claustrophobia would kick in and I would wake up. Sometimes I didn’t wake up instantly, sometimes I stayed in the closet banging and struggling with the door before crumbling to my knees overcome with fear. And it’s only when I’d pass out in my dream that I’d wake up.
And then the worst dreams, the ones where I was strapped to an operating table with tubes all over my body and my stomach torn open. There would always be something, a monitor or a mirror, over my head to let me see the hole in my abdomen. I would be alone, no matter how much I called out in the darkness, past the dim lamps, and I couldn’t move because I was too securely tied. And always, always I would see the image of my insides and the glittering of a key, and always I would feel the conflicting need to get it out yet keep it in.
Naturally I tended to wake up in sweat and with a lack of breath…with also a scene repeating in my mind over and over again. My cheek against the sand of the beach, my eyes fixated on the ocean, my ears trying to hear what was happening and then one sound. A single sound.
The sound of the detective’s body crumbling to the ground in a silent death.
That would always lead me to thinking of James and Catarina again. I still had the urge to help my sister, I would love to receive news on their progress on helping her, but at the same time I really didn’t want to go near that type of situation again. It seemed surreal. I’d made too light of the situation, I hadn’t realized the gravity of it all. I’d gone in there unprepared, expecting to cast a long tiresome spell and be done with it.
Instead I met a girl I could like as my sister, I got knocked out, my magic got sapped, I learned that the man only a few months again revealed himself as my father was going to die soon, and then I hear him murder someone.
And then I’m told to forget it all. Told that I’m useless now. Told that I should go back to my normal life now.
As three weeks wore by, as I watched Traz as he tried to act as if nothing happened, I decided I wanted to do something. I wanted to help someone. And there was someone I’d wanted to help before I went back home: Traz. I was determined to get him to see the moral of what he was doing. But I didn’t want to do this alone, past experience showed me I couldn’t.
So I decided I would try to recruit help from my friends next time we were all gathered, and…that just happened to be on Oliver’s death anniversary.
No one’s POV
Assaria and Velor were walking through the streets of Legacy Island II with the Weapon once they’d made more than sure that James truly had left town. They did their best to stay in the shadows of the trees when they could; the spring sun prickled their skin uncomfortably. In their ideal world, they would’ve kept traveling under the moonlight, but they were going after another vampire and they didn’t want to give him the time to run off. Most vampires were asleep during this time anyway.
Running away from James became easy once Velor decided all they needed to do was follow James in the end, just a few steps behind him. Far enough so he never noticed them.
“Are you sure he’ll know?” Assaria asked again. She never really completed trusted Velor’s plans.
“Yes, yes of course. It’s my brother, he’s bound to be following someone on the ‘good’ side who knows these things.” Velor sighed looking around.
It was their first time being so out in the public with the Weapon, but now that the Weapon was well known, along with its power, it was time for the next step. And that was introducing themselves. People knew now that the people who had the Weapon had more power than they should.
“Wait!” Assaria suddenly snapped, raising her arm up in case her command hadn’t been clear enough. She nearly hit Velor in the face.
“What? What is it now?” Velor asked a little impatiently.
“That boy over there, walking towards the graveyard…” Assaria said, frowning as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing.
Velor looked over. “That’s just some random guy, there’s nothing special about…” Velor cut his own sentence off. “A random guy whom I can’t sense.” His eyebrows raised in surprise, and Velor was rarely surprised.
“You said James only had two children right?”
“You know that as much as I do.”
“Well then why does he have a shadow? Why is Damien—the Reaper following him? It’s not possible. Only a specific Whitelight bloodline can have the shadow.”
“Huh…a third kid? One born before the others? That would make sense then…I know for a fact that James got a bead from Carla, but I never knew what he did with it. It’s definitely his type to feed it to his kid.”
“Why didn’t we ever hear of him then? James hid him well.” It’s only at that moment that the event clicked in her mind. Assaria found herself foolish for not having remembered this before. She’d killed this boy’s mother and put him in a book, and she had been the one to free him when James controlled her. She knew all along that James had another son yet she’d forgotten the fact easily…unless James tampered with her memories.
“Yeah he must have…I don’t see how else…”
“Adoption.” The Weapon’s quiet voice cut in.
“Adoption? Nah, James wouldn’t put one of his own for adoption.”
“Adoption.” The Weapon repeated.
“It’s a possibility. And if he was adopted, that means he has vulnerable adoptive parents. He’s got a few really close friends in that graveyard waiting for him as well. Particularly that girl with the child, they’re both very close.”
“Am I to understand that you want us to go after James through that boy instead?”
“I don’t see how that’s not an opportunity you’re looking at yourself right now. James doesn’t know that we know.” Usually killing would be the first idea, but Assaria knew all too well that whomever Damien was following was impossible to kill.
“I agree that it’s a very interesting course of option, but it’s all about how you’re going to go about it. We can’t really take him hostage, and if we did James wouldn’t take more than a few seconds to overpower us both.”
“Your age is ruining your thinking.”
“Look who’s talking.”
“We keep with the original plan, but this tidbit of information is highly useful. You said it yourself when we escaped. James is inches away from self-destruct, all we need to do is give him a little push.”
“You actually believe me now?”
“Knowing that he put his first born up for adoption is more than enough for me. James knows he’s extremely powerful, yet he didn’t deem himself strong enough to protect the witch.”
“Witch? Oh yeah, now that you mention it…you can tell that he’s a witch and a pretty strong one at that.”
Assaria scoffed. “Strong?”
“Yes, yes ex-witch, I meant in this day and age.”
“Enough time wasted, let’s go see this brother of yours.”
“Yes, Kord is bound to know where Kevil is.”
The Weapon’s eyes lit up at the name, and a smile pulled at the edge of her lips. She would see Kevil again soon!
One year. Already one year.
Who knew so much could happen in a year?
I didn’t think I could be as happy as I am now when Maxwell smiles at me, back then. But somehow I got back on my feet, as wobbly as they felt, and now I’m doing okay.
More than anything I wish he was still alive, if only to see his son, but…I’m okay. Not great, but okay.
Maxwell exclaimed in excitement, pulling at my shirt and pointing at Xavier who was coming over behind us.
I’m sure everyone’s having different feelings about this…but right now, I think it’s Teo who’s suffering the most.
Xenia and Xavier weren’t as close to Oliver.
It took me a little while to understand what Teo must be going through because of all his problems with Xenia. I’d been surprised, I thought they were good together, I’d really believed the two would tough it out. Sure, both Oliver and Edmund said he had a tendency to not be able to settle down, but they’d also both said they’d never seen him like this with anyone else.
It’s only when I noticed that he started wrecking his relationship after Oliver died that I started to hypothesize. It made me realize that Teo had lost both his childhood friends, his best friends, inside a week. Edmund hadn’t just cut himself off from Xavier, he’d done so from everyone.
Teo lost Oliver to a disease, then he lost Edmund because of Xavier, and then he lost Xenia because of himself. Who knew right now if he considered himself okay or not?
If anything, he probably feels out of place among us, his anchors to the group gone.
Once everyone had arrived and we’d said our hellos to Oliver, we sat down for a picnic.
For the next few hours, we simply ate and chatted. We recounted the weird things Oliver had done, even laughed at them, and complained about his incessant picture taking.
Then we shared stories of our own lives. I told them all about my rising success at selling remedies and potions, and even about the orders I’d gotten from overseas.
Xenia told us about her accomplishments with her grades and the scholarship she’d gotten, Teo told us about the internship he’d managed to get for the summer in a cooking restaurant owed by a distant cousin of his mother.
And then Xavier’s turn came.
He didn’t mention anything about his father, Annaliese and his sister. He’d already told me the whole story and he didn’t feel like telling Xenia and Teo.
Instead, he talked about Traz, about what he’d been doing and about what they could do to stop or help him. Traz’s group was pushing things too far at the university. The police were catching on to that, but so far there hadn’t been much they’d been able to do.
Xenia instantly agreed that what was happening wasn’t acceptable and something needed to be done. She wasn’t, however, completely okay with the idea of ‘helping’ Traz. I too found it odd and unnecessary at first that Xavier was so keen on ‘helping’ Traz and at first I thought it was because Xavier had taken a liking to him.
But I was quickly realizing it wasn’t that at all, Xavier had really considered Traz to be a friend when he’d been in the band and even though he knows what Traz does he believes he could stop if Xavier could just convince him. He was certain that this wasn’t Traz. That he was better than this.
Both Teo and Xenia agreed to help in the end and I said I would do what I could from Legacy Island II.
Xavier seemed happy with this and even happier when Xenia started to think up ideas and of people who’d be willing to help out.
Actually, Xenia was so into it that when she and Teo left she kept spilling out ideas to Teo excitedly. And I’m pretty sure those two haven’t talked in a good while. Maybe there’s hope for friendship?
I turned to Xavier and said the thing I’d be dreading I’d say. Yet I knew I had to at least mention it.
“So… he didn’t come after all.”
Xavier sighed. “I never expected him to.”
I considered it then, telling him about my meeting with Edmund, but in the end I once again decided not to.
I didn’t think he’d want to know where Edmund lived now and who he was with, especially since Xavier still refused to read the magazines that talked about Edmund’s family business.
“That’s good I guess. Well Maxwell and I ought to head home. He’s very overdue for a nap.” I said with a chuckle.
I went to pick Maxwell up, but he was busy…waving?
“What’s up buddy?” I asked as I knelt down beside him.
“Bye.” Max said, waving again.
My eyes followed his stare.
“Oh.” I got back up. “Yeah, bye.” I said, my chest tightening as I waved as well.
Once Maxwell had finished his goodbyes he walked over to me, raising his arms so I could pick him up.
“We could come visit more often, what do you think?” I asked, kissing Max’s forehead.
Next chapter is an ‘intermission’…as in: I’m sure some of you would like to know what’ll happen once James catches up to Ry and Rina in Twinbrook….