Oh my god I need to stop posting these before I run out of backup chapters O^O
No one’s POV
Kord made his way up the stairs of the temporary apartment.
It was one of Ridgevalley’s fanciest lofts and certainly not one of its cheapest. It was just another failed attempt from Velor, to please his big brother.
Kord had gotten caught in it all again. Velor and Assaria cornered him in Legacy Island II, and Kord was ashamed to admit he didn’t put up much a fight. The vampire was getting old and tired of all this unnecessary conflict, yet at the same time he was interminably bored with the simple life. He’d been following Aliska around for a while, which had been nice, but now he was once again at his brother’s service. Maybe one day he could say no to the brat?
Kord reached the top of the stairs groggy and out of breath, but not because he was out of shape.
He wasn’t like all those powerful golden-eyes strutting around. Controlling Xavier to make him walk from his house all the way here, and even making that nosy man fall to sleep had been unbelievably demanding on Kord. He wasn’t one to use his power this much.
“Anything happen?” Kord asked wearily.
The hitman shook his head. “It’s been quiet.”
Kord took in a deep breath. “Alright, let’s get this done with before the two royalties get impatient.”
With his remaining energy, Kord controlled Xavier to cast a simple locating spell.
A crystal appeared between them and inside was the image of a rackety old grey house, surrounded by long dead trees, and with a glimpse of a bright interior.
Kord turned towards the sniper. “The old worn-out house in Stonebridge. Do you know which one I’m talking about?”
“Got an address?” The man asked as he pushed himself up from the couch.
“Velor will tell you once you call to tell him we have the witch.” Kord said, receiving an eyebrow raise from the hitman. “I’m exhausted right now, I’ll lead the witch into the room, check up on the white-eyed and then I’m crashing.”
The man shrugged, casting a glance at Xavier.
I regained control the moment the door closed behind me, angrily slamming it with my fist and reaching to open the door.
It was locked from the outside and that fact clenched my chest painfully. My hand reached over and jiggled the doorknob confirming I was locked in.
The walls were fluctuating dangerously as a wave of anxiety gripped me, and somehow in the middle of it all I realized I was claustrophobic.
Memories of other times I’d felt this intense fear and helplessness washed over me in an overwhelming wave.
Always times where I would get locked somewhere, or unable to get out, and I would be struck with a panic attack so strong I’d get pulled to my knees.
It was never necessarily in closed spaces as claustrophobia usually indicated…it was always when I couldn’t get out from somewhere.
Like right now, in this bathroom, going in bathrooms doesn’t stress me out, but being locked in one did.
The memories kept spilling in along with bits of a conversation I could tell I’d had recently.
She imprisoned you in a book
My vision which had begun to blur suddenly cleared with the revelation that simple phrase seemed to give me. This abnormally strong impression gripped me as I examined my anxiety the way my therapist had never quite been able to get to me to.
The impression that this fear of being locked could actually originate from being unwillingly pulled from my mother’s womb and trapped in a book before I was even born.
Could my problem really root that deep?
Either way my heartbeat was slowing down, and my sweaty hands were drying.
My memories, on the other hand, weren’t done coming back. They verged from the conversation I’d had with James two weeks ago, to him murdering that detective on the beach, to being questioned by the detectives at university, to the talent troupe, to Olistan dying, to Oliver dying, Erin being depressed, Edmund leaving, everything. It all came crashing down on me, one at a time as I slid down to the floor.
As the holes in my memories filled up, my eyes grew warm with tears.
All the memories I’d pushed back with a drink, the ones that gave me nightmares, were swirling in my head each demanding the attention they deserved. It was overwhelming, the amount of sadness and pain I’d felt. The helplessness, the desperation, the need to fix others, when maybe I should’ve also not neglected to take a look at myself.
I tried to push them back, to focus on my current predicament. Locked in a bathroom after being controlled for god’s sake. And a horrible experience that had been.
Maybe I could use a spell? Burst the door open?
But I’d barely had the thought that I knew that wouldn’t work. I could feel it better now, my magic was subdued. Something was preventing me from using my magic, restraining it somehow, and only in this particular room.
And my sixth sense told me the weird odor I could smell coming from the air vent, was probably the source of it. There were magical beads that protected you from mind control…why not some type of incense to stop me from using my powers?
I sighed, defeated. There was nothing I could do, but sit and face the facts.
I’d gotten myself kidnapped.
I was locked in a bathroom.
And they’d gotten me to do a spell to show them where James was hiding.
Then the deaths, the murders, behind my eyelids, almost sensing I had nothing better to do, came back. I could almost imagine them talking…Face us Xavier, and realize that Death has always followed your footsteps…
No one’s POV
Edmund woke up after a panicky school kid had nearly run him over with his bike. Groaning as his body protested against the hard concrete ground it had slept on for the last few hours, Edmund pushed himself up on his feet.
His eyes drooping tiredly, Edmund reached for his phone to check the time.
Upon a further search of his pockets, the truth became apparent to him.
His phone, wallet and change had disappeared. He’d been mugged during the night.
Just as he was mourning his loss, last night’s events became clear in his mind. Something had been seriously wrong with Xavier. Now he could pass off Xavier casting a sleeping spell on him as a sign of him still being pissed, but Edmund had a feeling that wasn’t it.
Edmund needed to get home to a phone – and fast.
And when he did, Edmund was ambushed almost immediately by a concerned Charlotte.
“Edmund! Where have you been? Alistair said you got into a fight with your dad, I thought you’d left town!” Charlotte said.
“No, no I just needed to take a walk. I passed out on a bench…” Edmund swallowed, he didn’t have time to try and invent an excuse. He needed to get to a phone.
Charlotte didn’t push. She could tell it was one of those things Edmund didn’t want to tell her. But even though he looked like there was something else he would prefer doing at that moment, she still had to get something off her chest.
“Edmund we need to talk. I have something important to tell you.” She said.
Edmund inhaled a little more sharply than he would’ve liked. He had a feeling he knew what Charlotte wanted to talk about. Their engagement…his attitude…and probably his relationship with Xavier. And boy, he didn’t want to talk about any of those things.
“Can we do this later? I have a lot of things to catch up on.” Edmund said, trying to weasel out of the situation. With a small sigh, Charlotte nodded, letting him run off to find a phone.
It’s only after Edmund had plucked the receiver from the wall that a realization came to him that really should’ve come to him sooner. As confused and in need of an answer as he was, calling Xavier wasn’t going to work if he didn’t have his phone number.
Edmund bit his lip uncertainly, his fingers hovering over the keypad. Who could he call to know what happened? He’d long since deleted everyone’s phone numbers and two years was more than enough time to forget what even the first number was.
His need to know winning over his hesitation, he dialed his secretary’s number, checking the time to make sure she was indeed at the office at this point. And well geez, he was knocked out longer than he thought.
“Mr.Pallen? Are you calling in sick again?”
Her use of the word again irritated him, considering that had only ever happened twice in his career, and one of those times he really had been suffering from the flu. He kept his tone polite though.
“No, something’s come up and I need you to do a quick search for me.”
“Of course, what do you need?”
“Can you find me the phone number to a Xavier Jales?” Edmund asked, biting his thumb nervously.
“An employee sir? Right on it.” His secretary answered.
“An- No, he’s not an employee he’s-”
“Ah I found him! Xavier Jales right?” She asked, making Edmund gape a little in surprise.
“He’s a new employee in one of our smaller newer divisions. Would you like his home phone or his mobile phone?” The woman asked, still oblivious to Edmund’s surprise. He certainly hadn’t expected Xavier to be working for one of his family’s companies. Then again, half the companies in Ridgevalley were owned by his father.
Edmund quickly jotted down the phone number before dialing it.
The ringing was interminable. Each ring gave Edmund a horrible sense of dread, always with the question What had Xavier gotten himself into?
And then he hit the answering machine and immediately called Xavier’s mobile phone only to receive no answer on that end either. Growing a little desperate he tried calling the home phone again. This time, just before the last ring he got an answer.
It was the voice of a grumpy, impatient and irritated woman. One Edmund actually recognized.
“EDMUND? You’re the one who’s been calling!? How did you get this number!? Why are you even calling right now!? Talk or I hang up.”
“Is Xavier there?” Edmund asked, not wanting to deal with Erin’s ranting.
“Excuse me, you’ll need to pass through me first Mr.All-important.” She scoffed.
Knowing there really wasn’t any other way, Edmund told Erin what had happened, and that all he wanted was to know if Xavier was okay.
“He’s sleeping doofus, you’ve got an over active imagination. Wait here I’ll wake him up.” Erin said, handing over the phone to Maxwell.
“Hello!” Little Max said.
“Um, hi.” Edmund hesitantly replied. He’d never taken the time to think about it really, but…that was Oliver’s little boy on the other end.
“He left!” Max exclaimed sadly.
“No…” Maxwell responded sadly, before Erin took the phone back.
“Okay, he’s not in bed…and you say he didn’t answer his phone?” Erin asked. Ed’s heart skipped a beat.
“Yeah, there was no answer. What happened? What did Xavier get involved in?”
“Hey! You don’t get to judge him!” Erin snapped.
“I’m not, I’m just trying to-”
“Ever since he met his dad, things have been getting intense for Xav.”
“He met his dad? You mean his biological dad?”
“Obviously, I’m not going to say he met Charlie. Jeesus Edmund. Look, thanks for letting me know, I’ll find him on my own.” Erin said.
“No!” Edmund exclaimed, willing her not to hang up. “Let me help!”
“Really? Are you really serious right now?”
“Yes! Do you have any idea of what’s going on?”
Erin sighed. “No, I don’t. But Xavier told me about someone who might be able to shed some light on this.”
There was silence on the phone as Edmund waited for her to elaborate.
“Are you serious about this Edmund?” Erin asked.
“I can do this without you.” She said. “Xavier told me about him punching you, and Xenia told me about you lying to Xavier in the hospital.”
Edmund eyes drifted to his shoes. “I…” But he couldn’t find any good way to justify himself, and he doubted there was even one when it came to Erin.
She sighed heavily again. “What I’m saying is…I’ve read up on you okay? I know how big of an influence your family has, I know how high of a standing you have in your father’s company, and your need to live up to your father is painfully obvious. I know that tabloid picture of you hugging Xavier sent around a good amount of gossip that your dad probably didn’t like. Xavier is a good soul, so I can understand that you want to help him. That, hell, you might still feel for him.” Erin said. “But…don’t force yourself back into Xavier’s life unless you aren’t 100% committed. I don’t want you to drag him along only to drop him like you did two years ago. I won’t allow it. Now, you’ve helped out, but I can take it from here. You can go back to living your perfect life, with your perfect fiancé, and I’ll take care of Xavier and nothing bad will reflect on you. I can call you when I find him if you want! So, I’m begging you, unless you really are sorry, unless you really want to make it up to Xavier no matter the consequences on you, don’t get more involved.”
“That’s all I have to say. Have a nice life. I hope I don’t see you again.” Erin said with a click.
Edmund held his head as the conflicting feelings rose up inside of him. Yesterday’s thoughts were seeping back into his mind…but at the same time he still felt a strong responsibility to what he’d built over the last two years.
Was he willing to give all that up for Xavier?
No. That wasn’t the question.
Was he willing to try something else? To step out of his comfort zone? Out of everything he’d ever known?
Erin cocked an eyebrow as Kyxa turned to view the visitor.
“Really? Is that really your decision?”
“That determined expression on his face seems to suggest so.”