Now this chapter could’ve gone all sorts of ways in order to test me (too many sims in one spot yet again), but I finally managed to simplify things for myself without affecting the story itself…Anywho…enjoy?
My throat feels parched.
Horribly, horribly dry.
I rubbed my throat absent-mindedly. For some reason I couldn’t quite stop thinking about that bottle of alcohol at home. The one I hadn’t touched since that day I went to the docks.
The events hadn’t yet given me the opportunity to head back home.
Could anyone have guessed how quickly things seemed to go so horribly wrong? A lot more happened than I bargained for in two weeks. It was as if a runaway train had sped off in front of me and I’d decided to hitch a ride.
After Velor and Assaria had disappeared along with Benjamin, Kyxa had led us all to a house of one of her contacts. Apparently he owed her a favor.
We retreated there temporarily with our wounded, and by we I mean: Kyxa, James, the Weapon, and those four other vampires (two of them being my grandparents). Edmund and Erin had gone back home. I’m pretty sure Erin would’ve insisted to stay by my side if Maxwell wasn’t waiting for her.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the Weapon was still alive. She’d been nearly cut in half by Kyxa’s sword, she’d gotten a huge hole in her stomach, but by the time we’d carried her up to one of the beds, she was already halfway to recovery. Even more unexpectedly, she’d stopped healing after that, so she still wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Kevil, the white-eyed vampire, stayed by her side most of the time.
I’m not quite sure what I make of those two.
As for James…he’s definitely not healing on his own.
He was shot with a poisoned bullet. Kyxa hypothesized that the sniper must’ve gotten to the house before James had grown tired of waiting and ordered Benjamin to teleport them here.
Both Kyxa and Alec (he’s the blue-haired vampire…whom it turns out is my uncle) had enough medical knowledge to retrieve the bullet and bandage James up. But for the poison? No one knew what to do and it was slowly destroying James from the inside. He’d long ago passed out, and now he was in a perpetual feverish state.
Kyxa was the one who had it the hardest. The father of her children was nearing death and she didn’t know how to save him. When she’d stabbed the Weapon, the girl had drained her of her supernatural side, so she was now a wingless fairy. Or well, for all intents and purposes, she was a natural now.
And on top of that, her son had been kidnapped and now she had to figure out a way to save her daughter Catarina.
“Xavier, if you will.” Kyxa said.
After everyone had settled in, she said there was something she hoped I could help with. And then she’d showed me the person she kept locked in the garage. Her daughter. She had managed to find her by asking the nurses at the hospital. And now that I had more magic, she hoped I could do the spell Annaliese and I had practiced, on my own.
“You’ll kill me.” Rina said, her eyes glued to her feet.
It was true. I was more aware of what the spell entailed exactly now, and that was basically taking out Rina’s consciousness and letting it dissolve into thin air. And now that I was here, in front of her, and reminded of this fact, I wasn’t as eager to cast the spell.
Yet, I didn’t think twice about pushing Velor and Assaria out that window.
“Let me see him die first.” Rina said.
“That’s not going to happen.” Kyxa coldly stated. “Now I’m tired of chasing you around and you refuse to leave my daughter alone.”
“Kill me then!” Rina yelled, her golden-eyes grabbing on to mine. “If you can. Can you do that? Can you live knowing you killed someone!? Because that’s what I am. I’m someone! I had a someone too, but you all took him away from me! For your own selfish reasons.”
Kyxa turned to me, her gaze clearly insisting that I ignore everything she’d just said. But how could I? She was right. I couldn’t bring myself to make the conscious decision of killing someone. Pushing those two off the building…that was self defense. I had panicked, but I have a choice here. And I can’t make the one Kyxa wants me to.
“Don’t ask me to kill someone.” I said. She clenched her jaw, but she seemed to understand what I was asking.
“There’s probably another way.” She said, but I could tell she didn’t believe anything she’d just said. She left the garage and I followed, glancing behind me.
Rina was giving me a smile. A horribly grateful smile.
My throat feels parched.
Kyxa had gathered everyone in the small living room to discuss. Well everyone who could move.
“I believe Jane is only alive right now because she drained you Kyxa.” Kevil said. I couldn’t stop looking at that sword on his back. Where do you even go to get a sword?
“You mean, she used her energy to heal herself?” Simon confirmed.
“Yes.” Kevil replied. I moved my right side a bit. It was still pretty sore from when I’d gotten shot.
“But that was clearly not enough to heal her completely.” Zyla remarked.
“She’s not our priority right now. Whether she lives or dies doesn’t really matter.” Kyxa said a little harshly.
“Whether someone lives or dies does matter.” Zyla said, and I liked my grandma a little more then.
“Yeah! The Weapon could definitely be useful. Letting it die isn’t a good move.” Alec chipped in, earning himself a disapproving glare from his mother.
“She’s stable. Let’s focus on James, Catarina and Benjamin.” Kyxa said a little impatiently.
“The Weapon could drain that other being out of Catarina.” Kord suggested. “Would solve two problems at once.”
“But that would kill her.” I said. I didn’t refuse to do the spell only to find another method that would do the same thing. Alec, Simon and Kevil gave me odd looks, as if me not wanting Rina to die was an oddity.
“It could harm Catarina. I’m not taking that chance.” Kyxa declared, crossing her arms.
“The Weapon can drain…maybe she can give energy too?” Zyla hypothesized.
“Not in her current state, and either way Jane can’t do that. She can only take.” Kevil said, giving Zyla a small smile.
“Concerning James and possibly Jane too…I know someone who has a healing power.” I suddenly cut in. I can’t believe I didn’t think about this earlier.
“That’s impossible.” Alec immediately snapped. He wasn’t the only one in the room who seemed completely disbelieving of that possibility. I can’t blame them, I had the same reaction as well. It was so deeply engraved in our education. No one could heal. Seeing the reaction of those who hadn’t met Annaliese made me realize how impossible it seemed.
“No it’s true. Annaliese can heal small things.” I said. I hadn’t really seen Annaliese heal that much, at this point I was just repeating what she’d told me.
“This isn’t a small thing.” Simon said, his voice almost sounding like a warning. I could see where James got his serious face from.
“But it’s worth a try.” Kyxa cut in and Zyla nodded. My grandmother reached over and grabbed Simon’s hand.
“And for Benjamin, I could locate him with a spell.” I suggested as well. It felt good to feel useful.
“That’s the easy part. The hard part is going against two strong mind controls.” Kyxa said, biting her lip.
“Xavier, you did a spell back then didn’t you? To protect us against that?” Zyla suggested, making eye contact with me. I mirrored the smile she was giving me and I nodded.
“Yeah, I could do that again. Annaliese might even be willing to help us out for this too. She knows more spells than I do.” I may have become more powerful, but my spell directory is still pretty lacking.
I didn’t quite realize it at first, but I had brought up the subject of a rescue team for Benjamin. Kyxa looked around at the faces in the room as if she was waiting for someone to step forwards and say they wanted to help save Benjamin as well. But no one did, everyone tended to look away from her gaze or give what almost seemed like an apologetic smile.
Kyxa turned to me. “How about you go call Annaliese and ask her if she can come help? We’ll continue this discussion after.”
I hung up, relieved that Annaliese had accepted to come and help.
By the looks of it we’ll need all the help we can get. I just pretty much unofficially accepted to help Kyxa save Benjamin by suggesting all those things. And saving my brother, yeah my half-brother, means facing Assaria and Velor again.
I grasped my hands as they trembled a little against my will.
I liked feeling useful, but I liked knowing I wasn’t in danger of dying as well. Those two are strong. It was horrible when Assaria broke my mental shield…From what I understand James is the only one who can stand up against them. There are three vampires with mind control powers in this house, and all three of them couldn’t stand up to either Velor or Assaria. James is the greatest chance we have against those two and…he’s dying.
He’s dying. Can Annaliese even save him? Simon was right, it’s not a small thing.
If I hadn’t given in to my curiosity and gone to the docks…would none of this have happened? I wouldn’t have needed surgery, I would still have my protection against mind control, I wouldn’t have been kidnapped, and I wouldn’t have been able to give them James’ location.
But even as my magic was swirling uncertainly in my veins, I knew the answer. No. I have the feeling he would’ve gotten shot either way. Even possibly killed at the docks. If anything my being there probably saved his life at that point.
“He’ll be fine. James I mean. Not that there’s anyone else really worth talking about at the moment. I had a vision of him walking about, so he’s bound to be healthy again.” A woman had appeared before me, nearly making me jump in surprise. I recognized her voice instantly. “We haven’t officially meant. I’m Aliska, your aunt.” She introduced. Hey, she’s not a vampire. That’s a first! And…how is that possible? Simon and Zyla are both clearly vampires. Unless she’s only daughter to one of them?
“How many siblings does my dad have?” I asked. Not the most polite thing to say, but I was growing increasingly nervous as the fact that I’d accepted to face those two vampires again was digging deeper into my mind.
“How many have you met?” Aliska asked with a grin.
“Just you and Alec so far.” I replied, raising my eyebrows slightly. How many more are there to meet?
“You’ve still got a ways to go. There’s still Nixanne, Lance and Raphaele.” Aliska replied. A family of six children? My mouth opened a little in surprise and she laughed. I forced my mouth closed in embarrassment.
“It’s all a little overwhelming.”
“For us as well. Kyxa out of the blue announced that James had an older son that he’d given up for adoption! It sent a little ripple. I know mom and dad in particular are pretty pissed, because they remember having known about you earlier now. Which means that James erased their memories.” Aliska said. Yeah, I remember James told me about that.
“Yes well, that’s James for you.” Aliska said with a shrug. After a few minutes of hesitation she looked me straight in the eyes. Grey eyes…now that’s uncommon. Isn’t that sign that she’s a clairvoyant? “I have a small favor to ask of you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked warily.
“It’s very simple. I was just hoping you could make a poisoned apple appear.” She said with an innocent smile.
“A poisoned apple?” Why would anyone want that? And why is it considered a favor? I don’t know much about poisoned apples…I think I read about it once…
“Yes. Very simple. No harm done.” She insisted with the same smile.
It wasn’t just her creepily innocent smile that was putting me off, my sixth sense was also giving me vague feelings that she had a secret agenda and that her want for a poison apple might not all be good. How could I even be sure of her identity? She just popped up here unexpected! But then again, I didn’t get the feeling she was lying about being my aunt. And since she’s my dad’s sister…I decided to do it.
I swirled my hand over the other, letting magic slip out and pour out the idea of a poisoned apple.
An apple did appear in my hands, but the lack of a pink brightness to it, revealed it was your run in the mill apple.
It even had a little bit of a putrid smell to it…it is my first time conjuring something organic out of thin air. Got to let me have some slack somewhere. I would’ve never been able to do this if Serenity hadn’t given me my reward.
“Dear, I asked for a poisoned apple.” Aliska said with an amused smie.
“Yeah, yeah, just wait.” I said, tossing the apple on the ground and trying again. But I failed. Still the same putrid apple. “I can’t do it. Why?”
“Well that confirms my suspicions. Even you with your now overwhelming power can’t make a small poisoned apple appear.” Aliska said shaking her head. For someone who just discovered I’m her nephew, she sure seems to know a lot…well she is a clairvoyant after all. I wonder how much of the future she knows? Did she know I would fail? Did she know I would be outside at this precise moment?
“I tried!” I defended against her disappointed look.
“Oh it’s not your fault. Laws of nature more likely. There can only be one poisoned apple in the world, and that one is in your father’s bag. Why can there be only one? I have no idea. This phenomenon was never recorded or talked about, but it’s always been like this. Why? If only your father would give me his apple I could study it…figure it out…” Aliska said, mostly talking to herself in the end.
The front door opened and Alec came out.
“Still on that apple of yours?” Alec said with a shake of his head. “You know you could’ve just asked him. He probably would’ve looked at you funny, but he would’ve given it! Now he thinks I tried to coerce his daughter into doing something horrible. You know in the end it’s because of you both that I’m single. And Nixanne, flaunting her husband and kids around.”
“Don’t blame your lack of a love life on us, and I didn’t see him give it to me, so that’s not an option.” Aliska said, looking deep in thought.
“You rely way too much on these premonitions of yours.” Alec remarked, crossing his arms.
“It’s all I’ve got.” She said, looking at the mailbox.
“What are you even doing here?” Alec asked with a sigh.
“I came to meet Xavier.” She gestured behind at me. I gave a small wave, but Alec ignored me. Kind of feeling like an outsider.
“It’s okay to admit you’re worried for your little brother you know.” He said with a teasing smile.
“I’m not worried about you.” She scoffed.
“You know who I’m talking about.” He said after rolling his eyes. She looked at me, then back to Alec, till her eyes found the ground.
“I thought I’d made my peace with it when I got my vision. But it was vague enough to omit that he actually didn’t get shot by that sniper. And now he’s on the verge of death and I did get a vision of him walking around, but that doesn’t seem like enough!” Aliska admitted, her voice cracking slightly.
“Come on.” Alec said, reaching out to her.
“What if he actually dies this time Alec? And I didn’t see it coming when it mattered?” She asked as he led her inside.
Yes, what if?
And why do I have this horrible feeling that by the end of the day someone will be dead?
“I’ve done my best. I sealed up the wound, it wasn’t that big, but as for the poison? I have no idea how to deal with that. I don’t think I can either.” Annaliese said. Even though she’d dismissed the wound as not big, I could tell she was hiding that her hands were shaking a little. Trying to heal James had taken a lot out of her. “Maybe if you knew the poison you could find the antidote?”
“Good one, who’s good in toxicology?” Alec exclaimed with over the top enthusiasm.
“I don’t think that’s what it’s called.” Aliska said, trying not to grin. The two looked too happy with the news. Everyone else in the room still seemed pretty much aware that that poison was still killing him.
“The sniper would know wouldn’t he? He should know what poison he used.” Simon said, making it quite clear that if the sniper didn’t know, he wasn’t a professional.
“Yes. If he’s willing to give it up.” Kevil said, an odd grin forming on his face.
“Finding the man should be easy with Xavier.” Kord said, gesturing at me with his head.
“You sure are useful!” Alec said, giving me a grin and a nod. I awkwardly smiled back.
“We can’t waste too much time in going to help Benjamin either.” Kyxa affirmed. She looked around at everyone in the room. “Is there a way we could do both at the same time?”
“Yes. I’ll take care of going to find the sniper. I owe it to my brother.” Aliska said, glancing up at the ceiling.
“I’ll go with you.” Kevil announced. I wrestled with my hands again. It was only going to be us three against Velor and Assaria, wasn’t it? “Sorry Kyxa, but I’ve more than my fill of Velor.”
“That’s fine. I can understand.” Kyxa said.
“I’ll be going with Aliska as well. I would be of no use to you against Velor and Assaria.” Kord declared, and Kyxa nodded.
“I’m actually going to go as well.” Alec said, ruining my hopes of him joining us. “I’m about as useful as Kord and I’ll be downright honest and admit I’m a little scared of those two.” So am I, but I’m still going. Could I not go? Could I stay behind? No! Damn it Xav, you can do this.
“I’ll help you and Xavier.” Annaliese said, confirming something I already knew.
“That settles it then. Simon and Zyla I’ll have to ask you both to stay and watch over James, the Weapon and Catarina.” Kyxa said in finality.
“Okay.” Zyla said, and Simon nodded. I bit the inside of my cheek to try and calm myself.
“Just us three?” I asked, unable to help myself. I hated how my voice had sounded a little too high pitched.
Kyxa bent down and grabbed her sword from its resting place.
“With your mind control spell for both of you, with your power and Annaliese’s knowledge, and my sword, I think we should be able to hold our own. At least long enough to get Benjamin out of there.” Kyxa said with a smirk.
God I hope so.
No one’s POV
“Oh James,” Kyxa watched James sleep, struggling with his fever. “Everything’s messed up again. I’m about to go do something and I’m not sure if I’m being as reckless as you. I’m not sure if it’s the best decision, but I have no other choice. They have Benjamin.”
Kyxa laid on the bed with a heavy sigh, already knowing how James would react if he was awake.
“I don’t blame you, you did well to come even though I told you not to. You’ve got a chance at surviving now. You’ve got…” Her voice broke. “Don’t die on me. James you’re all I have, we’ve been through too much for you to die on me. We survived Aliska’s premonition, we’ll survive this as well. I don’t have my wings anymore. I’ve lost something that’s always been a part of me. I feel heavy now, like I could drop to my knees any second. Don’t make me lose you as well. We might finally be able to get our daughter back. You have to get up and apologize to her. Yes, apologize.”
“That Alexander boy seemed nice!” Kyxa exclaimed with a laugh. Then her smile faded. “I don’t want to leave your side right now, but I’m going to anyways. I may have lost my wings, but my tattoos haven’t failed me yet. I’ll be protected against Velor and Assaria’s control. I’m sorry, I’m bringing your son along with me. But Xavier is strong. I know you can’t see that yet, but even before he got that power burst he’d become a man who could stand strong. He’ll do fine. I’ll have Annaliese as well. I’ll come back with Benjamin and when I do…when I do you better still be on this bed alive. Do you understand? And when you get better, if I haven’t done so already, we’re going to get rid of those two. Xavier can find anyone with his magic now. There’s nowhere they’ll be able to hide Do you understand? You don’t get to die and in return I won’t either.” Kyxa ordered. She held his hand, caressing his knuckles with her thumb.
As feverish as he was, Kyxa was sure she’d felt him squeeze her hand. She brought it up to her face and gently kissed it.
“I love you too.”