Warning: Gore PG
I only realized what happened next, mere seconds after it happened.
The moment I’d confirmed it, the moment I’d decided to trust my gut instinct, that someone was about to kill James right now, my body acted on its own.
My trembling hands formed into fists and I muttered a single word “Shield” just as I raised my right arm.
It’s supposed to be a simple spell. A small momentary shield had been my initial goal.
But all the magic waiting in my veins erupted out of my arm with its movement and came blazing out. Without any warning an enormous array of swirling uncontrolled magic took up the entirety of the space beside me.
And after releasing that much magic, I didn’t feel the least bit drained. If anything there was a release of tension in my arm.
The blob of magic served its initial purpose as a bullet sped through it. The ‘shield’ dissolved the bullet in a matter of seconds, and soon after it dissolved as well. The magic was too unstable to stick in one place.
My arm fell to my side as a small spasm traveled up to my shoulder. Before anyone could react, even me, I felt the nauseating feeling in my stomach shift.
This time the target was on my head.
Fear gathered up inside me and I spun around as magic started to travel back to my arm. Without a second thought I swung my arm up in the general direction the bullet had come from.
The magic that spilled out of my arm seemed three times as strong this time. Magic burst out of my palm, and even though it was as unstable as my wanna be shield if not more, it still managed to chaotically swirl in the direction I had aimed.
As the magic poured out of my veins, burning the air around, my head started to grow heavy. The tension released in my muscles had been relocated to my head. The pain increased to the point where I couldn’t not let out a scream, one that couldn’t be heard over the sound of magic breaking concrete.
I missed. I hit the building he was perched on, but not the sniper. But I was still pretty damn close.
He mustn’t have flinched a bit because the horrible feeling, the gut instinct, amplified alarmingly.
One hand holding my head tightly, I tried to stop the magic from flowing out of my arm so I could at least attempt to make a shield. But I couldn’t, dangerous raw magic was bursting out and I couldn’t hold it back, every second worsening my headache.
And then all of a sudden, the magic stopped flowing.
Right at the last second I somehow managed to stumble to the side, but the bullet still made its way right into my arm. My fingers twitched, a few last puffs of magic spilling out, and then I crumbled to the ground.
Everything hurt, the world was spinning again, I screamed as my brain felt like it was being squeezed to the size of a pin, and then I let out a breath, my body going limp, and the lights behind my eyes finally shutting off.
No one’s POV
Two towns down, in the best room a side of the road motel could offer, two vampires were staring at a now black screen with their faces wide open in surprise.
Hell the last few seconds had been a roller coaster ride of unpredictable things, and yet somehow the situation still turned in their favor.
“Did you see what I saw?” Assaria asked, her voice tense with what almost seemed like hope.
“We must’ve misread the witch. Couldn’t have possibly imagined he had that much power. It’s a shame. If he hadn’t been there we would’ve gotten James.” Velor said.
“Not that.” Assaria snapped. “I myself should have seen this coming. Xavier is still Rosahelminthe’s descendant and James’ son. He’s a Whitelight and they have a reputation for doing stupid unpredictable things.”
“Well then what is it that I missed?” Velor asked in annoyance.
“Then again for all you’re bragging you can’t see anything. You probably won’t see this either, but I would’ve expected you to at least notice something was wrong.” Assaria sighed.
“A lot of things went wrong here, now are you going to keep criticising me or tell me what’s going on?”
“I’ll do one even better. I’ll show you.” Assaria said as she went over to the tv and rewound the tape.
This had been the plan they’d worked so long on. Too long to, in the end, get a sniper on that roof. The best sniper there was, equipped with William’s magical bead, effectively hiding him from James’ power. And of course, he’d been equipped with a camera so that his employers could watch the scene unfold live before them.
Assaria stopped the tape and gestured at the screen.
Velor raised his eyebrows. “I was under the impression Xavier getting shot wasn’t a bad thing.”
“You never listen to a thing I say do you?”
“I try not to.”
“He should’ve died. That bullet should’ve gone right through his heart. The sniper had it perfectly in his sights. But it didn’t!”
“Because the kid stumbled backwa-” Velor’s eyes narrowed as he started to get what Assaria was trying to say.
Her hand smacked against the screen.
“Is it that invisible Damien of yours?”
“Yes! He interfered. He’s the one who pulled Xavier back just enough to not get mortally shot. He’s the one who took action to save Xavier’s life. To save his precious Whitelight blood. He interfered.”
“You’re losing me here.”
“Don’t you see?” Assaria said, excitement rushing through her veins. “I was always under the impression it was simply impossible to kill the Whitelight he was following. That the Reaper being his shadow made him protected through some complicated magic. But right here,” Assaria hit her palm on top of the tv. “Right here, is proof that it’s not impossible. That Damien doesn’t just stand around. When their lives are in actual danger, he steps in. All this time…he doesn’t follow them because they exist, he does so because he needs them to exist.”
“So impossible just went to…”
“1%. 1% more chance of us being able to kill Xavier. We had 1% chance to kill James. I had 1% chance to kill Rosahelminthe. I’ve hit the other 99% each time, but eventually I should hit the 1%. This all means it’s possible! If I plan carefully, taking into account that he can and will interfere, I have an actual chance.”
Velor sighed and leaned back, plucking some dust off the sheets. “Yes well, you have fun with that.”
Assaria cast him an amused look. “Oh I’m so sorry, I meant we.”
“Don’t mock me ex-witch, not in this way. It won’t end well.”
“I think we need to review some rules, remarks if you will. I thought they were obvious enough, but it seems I need to spell them out to you.” Assaria said with a humorless grin. Both vampires inched their minds towards the Weapon, ready to take control if the conversation turned sideways.
“There is an us because there is a James. The moment he dies, you and I, don’t exist anymore.”
“You couldn’t be more obvious than that.” Velor said, giving her a blank look.
“Don’t worry your noggin though. James is still a priority, and will be until his dead body lies at our feet.” Assaria said with a sly grin.
“Well then, I think we’ve talked about this enough.” Velor said, leaning back onto the pillows and returning her sly look.
“Hmm, before that. There’s one thing I think we should take care of.”
“In minutes Xavier will be on an operating table as the doctors treat his bullet wound. What if during the surgery, with the right push, they find a foreign body in his stomach lining? Naturally, it would end in its retrieval…”
“And the protection James gave him would disappear…”
“I think it would only benefit us in the end. And your brother can prove his usefulness this way.” Because these two weren’t dumb enough to step in the same town James was in. And James might be on the lookout for them, but he didn’t care much for Kord.
“EDMUND!” Leopold had yelled, slapping the magazine on the table, surprising Edmund to the point where he’d nearly spilled his cup of coffee on himself. “Explain this.”
Edmund’s father had pointed harshly at the picture in the article. It was crudely taken, and a little blurry, but the contents were clear. It was a picture of Edmund hugging Xavier. To that, Edmund had had no response.
“I thought we were over this, Edmund. I thought we’d gotten past this problem.”
Charlotte’s fingers trailed on the magazine. She wasn’t looking at Edmund as she spoke the simple words.
“You never told me you knew Xavier.”
It was an absent-minded comment. It wasn’t particularly accusing, but he knew it was information Charlotte was storing in the back of her mind.
The stability Edmund had managed to gain in the last two years already felt like it was starting to crumble apart again. All because of Xavier. No, because of Erin. If she hadn’t come to him that time…if she hadn’t said those words…
“I’m sorry, but Xavier isn’t ready for visitors just yet. He’s still recovering, but…oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize you at first Mr.Pallen! Well, I suppose you could go in…he hasn’t woken yet however. Please try not to disturb him.” The doctor said.
I closed the door gently behind me and then stepped forwards, hesitantly, watching to see if Xavier was really sleeping…or if he’d suddenly wake up and start throwing things at me.
I hadn’t been able to help myself then. After Erin’s visit I’d gotten paranoid. I mistook her words for meaning Xavier had died…and I had never dared to check if it was true or not. So the doubts gnawed inside for a year, during which I managed to convince myself Xavier had died.
But then he’d appeared there, looking different while still looking the same, and I’d needed to run to him. I’d needed to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.
The bruise I got on my cheek after that proved I hadn’t imagined a thing.
I worked hard. For two years I did my best to put Legacy Island II behind me. To forget about my friends, about Xavier, about the deaths, about everything. My dad had managed to once again show me the truth in his vision and I was once again determined to make him proud.
And it worked. My father was back to praising me, and I was exceling at the job he’d given me. Then, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor and everyone thought he had a low chance of survival. But Charlotte, a neurosurgeon, operated on him and successfully retrieved the tumor.
Next thing I knew, my father had looked into her background and set us up. There was no way I could say no at the time, and Charlotte and I became a couple. It’s been a year now, but I still haven’t managed to force myself to see her in a romantic way.
Only recently I’d managed to convince myself, this was it. This was my life, this was what my father had envisioned for me and…I was okay with that. I could get used to it.
But then he suddenly came barging back in my life.
Without even granting me some warning sign, he was suddenly there, punching me for over-stepping my boundaries. At least that brought me back to my senses. I don’t know what I’d expected…
I reminded myself of what I’d spent the last two years doing. I reminded myself that Xavier being here shouldn’t change a thing, that he shouldn’t still be able to make my chest tighten at the thought of him.
But who was I kidding? I hadn’t been able to act like a mature adult when Charlotte and I had crossed him on the sidewalk. The first thing I’d thought of was “Shit, he saw me with Charlotte…”
But to think he was off to do something so dumb right after! Someone a few buildings off had caught the flagrant display of magic on his phone and hadn’t hesitated to post it on the internet. The news had spread quickly, and in a matter of hours, the news had reached my ears.
And even though my father yelled at me yesterday, and Charlotte saw the magazine this morning, I’m still right here. At his bedside, hoping he wakes up, but at the same time really hoping he doesn’t.
I could’ve tried, but I knew too well at this point that I wouldn’t have been able to continue my routine without making sure with my own eyes that he was going to be okay.
Why was it that being here was making me feel more relaxed than I’d felt in ages? More like myself…
He seems so different. I hadn’t expected him to be. Never in a million years did I ever consider that he could be mad enough to punch me. It’s nothing compared to what I used to do to him in high school though.
I wonder what he’s been doing for the last two years? The people he’s met, the stuff he went through…and him being this powerful! I eventually found out he was a witch, but I knew for sure he wasn’t this strong. What had happened? God I wanted to know. I wanted him to wake up and tell me everything. I wanted to sit here and just listen to him talk.
God I hate this suit.
At some point, maybe an hour or so later, the doctor came in, slightly surprised to see I was still here.
“Would you like to know about his condition Mr.Pallen? There are a few questions I’d like to ask you as well.”
“The bullet grazed the brachial artery and damaged the muscles surrounding. He was very lucky and the surgery went well. It’ll be recommended he doesn’t use his arm too much in the next few days however.” The doctor explained. “Now we noticed signs of sleep deprivation and high levels of stress in his overall system. The latter was bordering on supernatural, so we couldn’t properly identify it, but we believe the amount of magic he released was too much for his body and mind. This could affect his recovery.”
“His immune system could be diminished, and even though we administered antibiotics, he’s still susceptible to an infection. There have also been a few cases where the patients were under a high level of stress before the event, which led to some memo-” The doctor’s words were cut off as Xavier stirred.
Xavier tried to sit up, groaning as the pain from his shoulder brought him back down. He cast a look around the room, his eyes narrowed as they tried to focus.
“Where am I?” He croaked.
The doctor immediately rushed to Xavier’s side. I simply stood there.
Walk away, walk away now.
“You’re in the hospital. How do you feel? Any dizziness?”
“I can’t…” Xavier pushed himself up again, grimacing as he gingerly touched his stomach.
“It’s okay take your time. Can you tell me what happened to you?” The doctor said.
“What happened? I…no.” Xavier frowned.
What am I still doing here? He doesn’t seem to have noticed me yet. It would be better for everyone if I left right now.
“If you don’t want to tell me that’s okay, but it could help-” The doctor said, but Xavier interrupted him.
“No, I mean…I can’t. I don’t know…I don’t know what happened.” Xavier said, looking at his hands like he was seeing them for the first time.
At this comment, the doctor eyed Xavier a little worriedly. “Can you tell me your name?”
“I…” I stared in disbelief as Xavier actually hesitated to answer. “I can’t remember. I can’t remember anything. Why can’t I remember!?”
Xavier’s worried eyes stared up at the doctor, and then they moved to me. Registering my existence, but not remembering it.
It was all the proof I needed, as hard as the truth was to believe.
Xavier had lost his memories.
Concerning the light shows at the beginning of the chapter : I didn’t draw anything, I took a bunch of pictures from google and stuffed them together.
Also, I did a lot of research concerning gunshot wounds in the general arm/shoulder area, but I’m not a certified paramedic or doctor, so I can’t be sure of what I wrote here. If you do know better, tell me! I won’t change the chapter, but I’d still love to know!