Warning: Longer chapter than usual. Probably to make up for the last two shorter chaters?
Nikita’s right, we really get a sweet view from this window. You can just barely see the road on the cliff. I don’t go to that cliff a lot, but I often dream about it. Standing on the edge and looking down below at the river flowing by – it’s also my ‘mind place’ when Catarina used to spring her dragon-dreaming on me.
I don’t know what’s so important with that cliff to my mind. First time I went was with Maxwell, Alistair and Emily. But I don’t remember anything super exciting or interesting happening.
I let the bow glide over the strings, bringing forth familiar notes. Sometimes I jog, sometimes I call people, but really my preferred way to gather my thoughts and organize them is by playing the violin.
I love playing this instrument, maybe even as much as Niki loves dancing, but not to make a career out of it. I just like playing for me.
This particular session is meant to help me figure out what I need to concentrate on. Sounds weird I guess, but my head is filled to the brink with stuff I want to think about.
I mean there’s;
- The bank and the ninja girl
- My basement
- My summer camp treasure
- Elvis’ little brother
- Dad and papa
- My “power”
Just as I was listing those off in my mind, a hundred more little other ones piled in like Lucas being so against having a sibling and the fact that I was probably going to have to babysit Jesse the Brat again before school started.
With an elaborate sigh I put my violin back in its box. That really didn’t help at all. Guess there are way too many things for my violin to organize this time around.
Still I decided the one thing I could do was call everyone to tell them about Elvis’ missing brother.
As I was leaving the dance room though, I caught Niki spying on dad, pa and Erin talking.
She shushed me and motioned for me to join her.
“What’s going on?” I whispered.
“Dad is leaving us.”
“Xavier you can’t believe everything the media says.” Erin snapped a little harshly.
“They aren’t lies. I’m the one causing this.” Dad said with a strong straight face. He’s leaving us??
“Xav I’m fine.” Pa said, really not looking fine, but that probably wasn’t because of his heart. Or well maybe it was in a figurative sort of way.
“No you’re not Edmund. Traz confirmed it too. I’m going to go live with my parents for a while. I’ll send money for the kids and I’ll come visit I swear, but…” Dad’s determined façade wavered a bit.
The whole thing was horrible to watch. Both Erin and Pa looked a little desperate and dad was just standing there, declaring he was leaving us because of something he couldn’t control.
If Niki and I stood up right now and told him not to go, would it change anything?
“Don’t do this.” Pa practically pleaded, grabbing onto him when dad seemed about to walk out of the conversation. I clenched my jaw, half not wanting to hear anything.
“There’s no other way.”
“There’s always another way.” Erin insisted. “Maybe there’s a spell that could-”
“More magic? You want me to make it worse??”
“Ok fine, then I’m sure there’s a potion I could whip up!” Erin snapped in reply.
“Erin you’ve read that book from cover to cover, you would know if there was a potion that could help us here.”
Erin bit her lip. “There’s gotta be something, anything that can block your powers or protect Edmund from them.”
And then, I practically saw the lightbulb light up over dad’s head.
“Actually…” Dad began. “That young girl…remember when Kyxa…?”
A little confused (me a lot confused) Erin and pa nodded.
“They called her the Weapon or Gretel I don’t remember, but she stole her wings. She made her natural.” Dad said. “Maybe she could do the same to me.”
“I’m not okay with you losing your powers Xav. They’re a part of you.” Pa said.
“And I’m not okay with you dying. It’s a lesser of two evils.” Dad said, holding onto pa’s hand.
“I guess it’s better than you leaving us all behind.” Erin admitted. “It’s going to be weird without your magic. How are you going to find her?”
“Might as well use it while I still can.” Dad said as he began casting that searching spell I can never get the hang of.
“See? It’s going to be fine. You were worrying for nothing. Dad’s staying.” Nikita said, ruffling my hair.
I rolled my eyes and smirked. Yeah like I was the only one worrying.
Still giving up his magic? Being ready to leave us? Dad really loves pa doesn’t he?
I slumped on the coffee table as the ringing in my ear kept going and going and going and going and SERIOUSLY ELVIS, is it that hard to answer the phone!?
With an exasperated sigh I hung up and gave the phone the finger hoping Elvis would get the message.
Well whatever, mister can stay locked up in what is probably his room not wanting to give his friends the time of day IF HE WANTS. Doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way.
I dialed Lucas’ number, and lucky for him he picked up on the fourth ring.
“What.” He said in a groggy voice.
“Dude were you sleeping?”
“Yes.” Luke replied with a yawn.
“It’s 2pm. Why are you sleeping?”
“I take naps sometimes okay? Now why are you calling?”
“It’s about Elvis.”
“Your lack of enthusiasm is a real downer.”
“I was having a good dream okay.”
“Ooh what was it about?”
“I don’t really want to share with you. Now you were saying? About Elvis?”
“Yeah well, saw the news the other day and they were showing missing kids and Dexter showed up.”
“Oh. Oh. OH.” Lucas said, finally sounding like he was waking up.
“Elvis’ family must be having a hard time.”
“Probably, but I don’t know for sure because Elvis won’t answer his phone!”
“Must be why Elvis is so distant. We should let them deal with this on their own.”
“Yeah so I’m going to go see Elvis.” I said.
“Did you not just hear what I said? It’s a family matter, you don’t go butting your head in there.”
“So you want to come with?”
A heavy sigh. “No. And well I can’t. Mom wants to go baby stuff shopping and she wants me to tag along. Probably to tell me about how great this change is going to be.”
“You don’t sound excited. How about you sneak out and come sneak in to Elvis’ house with me?”
“Niko no. And you shouldn’t either.”
“But Lucas, dear cousin-”
Did he just-?
“You did not just hung up on me. Luke. Lucas? Hmph.” I hung up.
Whatever, I’m sure the twins would love to come along. I dialed Erin’s house and Veronica picked up on the first call.
“Yup? Hello? Residence of people here.” Veronica said.
“Hey it’s Niko, do you and Joel want to come to Elvis’ house with me? I discovered what’s going on.”
“Can’t right now, doing stuff with the family.” I waited a little bit to see if she’d ask what I’d found out, but she didn’t.
“Really? The whole group? Maybe just Joel then.”
“He’s part of the family too doofus. Just ask Lucas, he always goes with you.”
“Your boyfriend turned me down. Baby stuff or something.”
“Then I don’t know what to tell you Niko. Apart from go alone. Or I dunno, ask Salandra.”
There was some muffled speaking in the background and then Joel came in and took the phone from his twin.
“Hey Niko, Maxwell told me to tell you he’s coming to visit soon and to keep being patient or something of the like.” Joel announced.
“Oh. Okay thanks.”
There was some more commotion as Veronica fought to get the phone back. I decided to hang up when they started calling each other names.
At this point, there really is only Sal left. She’ll probably be up for it. She’s always up for it. But I thought LUCAS was always up for it too, but apparently not.
A chill traveled down my spine and I spun around. Am I being watched? The overwhelming sensation that someone was observing me had completely overtaken my senses to the point where I swear my heart stopped.
I waited and looked, but nothing moved. Nikita had convinced dad to go shopping with her and pa had a meeting with his editor. I had the whole house to myself for two hours. I was alone. The feeling of being watched subsided, and after a few moments I decided it was probably just a weird case of the shivers.
Anyway, I dialed Salandra’s number, and as expected she was more enthusiastic and on board than the others.
Geesus, maybe I should’ve called her first instead.
No one’s POV
“This is where Elvis lives?” Salandra asked, as she and Nikolas reached their destination.
“Yeah, you can guess why we don’t come here often.” Niko replied, his eyes scanning the area.
Niko glanced back at her. “The neighbors wouldn’t take too kindly to it. Actually they didn’t first time I came here.”
“How are we going to get in? Do you think Elvis will just let us in if we ring?” Salandra asked, gazing up at the apartments.
“If he’s not answering his phone, he’s not going to let us in. No, we’re going to have use a slightly riskier and more fun method.” Nikolas said, heading for the outside vent. “Elvis’ family lives in this part of the building. See the stairs in there? It leads up into their loft. That’s our way in.”
“Breaking and entering? I’m not sure about this Niko…”
“What were you expecting when I said let’s sneak in? And it’s not like the garage has anything worthy of stealing. We’ll just poke our heads up the stairs so Elvis can see and get his ass down here.” Nikolas said, and Salandra ended up agreeing. He looked down at her feet. “This is supposed to be a covert mission Sal, why are you wearing high heels? That’s going to make a racket inside.”
Salandra looked away, embarrassed now to be wearing them. “Oh I…”
“I don’t even know why you wear those things. It destroys your back.” Nikolas said.
The main reason for wearing them dissipated then and Salandra took them off. She placed them on the side, thinking it might be better then, if she forgot them there.
She found herself glaring at Nikolas’ back as he messed around with the window frame. He was just so damn hard to please! Wasn’t there anything-?
“Okay I think I got it….” He said as half the window gave way with a small click. Niko swung it open and jumped into the building, before turning around and gesturing for Salandra to follow.
He reached out to help her – she is a girl after all – well no that was false, more like it’s Salandra and she looks really fragile all the time. But the blue-haired girl ignored his help and hopped inside on her own. Nikolas was a little confused to see she seemed a little pissed?
Guess she was pretty attached to those shoes.
Nikolas carefully closed the window behind them, and then quickly made his way over to the stairs.
“Are you sure he’s even home?” Salandra asked.
“Of course. Where else is he going to be? Nobody hangs out with him.” Nikolas replied in a low voice.
Elvis had become one with his couch.
His phone was scattered in pieces on the ground.
And he just wanted. To. Sleep.
Or well any state of mind where he stopped feeling so darn horrible and guilty and filled with so much self-hatred.
His parents were out doing stuff. He was supposed to be cleaning the bathroom, but like, he was just too much of a failure to do even that.
“AND REALLY, in what world is cleaning the bathroom even okay right now I mean-” Elvis exclaimed out loud. His outburst was quickly followed by several exasperated groans.
And then he heard a little voice in the back of his mind.
“See I told you.”
A voice that really sounded like Nikolas of all people.
“He’s all alone.”
And a girl?
“What the hell are you two doing here!?” Elvis shouted.
“Ah we’ve been made.” Nikolas said, coming out from his hiding spot.
“It’s not like you were doing such a good job of being discreet!” Elvis snapped. “The neighbors probably heard you ‘whispering’.”
“If you keep screaming they will.” Nikolas said.
“Shut up, you kept calling over here and I nearly got grounded for it! Seriously, if I don’t answer the first five times do you REALLY think I’ll answer at all!?”
“So you could hear the phone! What the hell man?? Why weren’t you picking up!?” Nikolas shot back just as loudly this time, fists forming.
Salandra knew all too well if she didn’t do something, there was a high chance this whole meeting would derail badly.
“We didn’t come here to fight.” Salandra said, rushing to Elvis’ side. “We came to check up on you. We heard about your bother.”
To that Elvis’ anger dissolved and his shoulders slumped. Nikolas let his fighting guard down, surprised to see his friend looking so down.
With a defeated sigh, Elvis slumped back down onto the sofa.
“I’m sorry.” Elvis said. “It’s just…my brother went missing and it’s my fault and…”
“So you just cooped yourself in here?” Nikolas asked.
“I feel horrible okay? He’s my little brother, and because of me he could be dead right now.” Elvis confessed, biting down on his tongue.
Salandra laid a hand on his knee. “What happened?”
“The whole family went down to Dealer’s avenue because mom wanted to go to a store down there. Me and my brother were just playing around! I was just teasing him and he said he wanted me to dare him to do something because I never dared him to do anything. We spotted some dumpsters behind the shop, so while mom wasn’t looking I dared him to dumpster dive. And then mom needed help inside, so I went in, and when we came back out Dex still hadn’t come back, and we went to check, but he wasn’t in the dumpster or anywhere near it, he was just gone!” Elvis explained in a strained voice.
“Hmph, yeah you should feel bad. Dealer’s avenue? About the worst place you could lose a kid.” Nikolas said with a distinct lack of sympathy.
“I know that, but hell man it was full daylight out! The only people around were the old people checking out the old stores. Nothing ever happens down there when the sun is out! And it was only five seconds! Just five seconds.” Elvis said. “I just hope the police finds him soon.”
Nikolas scoffed. “Yeah the police. Like they’ve ever found someone in Dealer’s avenue.”
Salandra frowned at Nikolas, trying to make it obvious that he wasn’t helping, but if he got the message he didn’t show any sign of it.
“Yeah I know, but what else can I do? I don’t want to make things worse, and technically I’m grounded.”
“There’s a lot-” Nikolas began, his voice rising up in a rather insulting way. Salandra cut him off.
“We’ll find your brother Elvis.” Salandra said with a sweet smile.
Elvis straightened. “Hell no. This isn’t a kids game.” He snapped, casting Niko a glare. “This is my brother.”
“I know that.” Niko shot back.
“Elvis, you know Nikolas.” Salandra said. “If he puts his mind to it he can find practically anything. He puts his all into it. He’s bound to find something that could help the police. It can’t hurt to let him try.”
“With Niko it probably could.” Elvis muttered under his breath.
“And you could help us out by telling us what store you went to.” Salandra pushed a little further.
Elvis looked back at Nikolas. Realizing he was supposed to say something Niko just gestured at Sal. “Everything she said.”
“Okay fine, but please don’t do anything that could cause trouble. And keep me informed! I want to know everything you find out.” Elvis said as he started scribbling the address on a piece of paper.
“As long as you answer your phone from now on.” Niko added with a grimace.
“Victory! That was pretty sweet how you convinced him! Nice job.” I exclaimed, grinning at Sal. She certainly didn’t look happy. “What’s with the sour face?” I asked, eyeing the piece of paper she held in her hand. The one with the address on it.
“You were going to punch him weren’t you!?” She asked angrily, oh yes I said angrily. Salandra angry, not something you see every day.
“If he kept being that whiny? Of course I was going to punch some sense in him.”
“He’s your friend!” Salandra exclaimed.
“Not like I can give him sweet words and touches to calm him down!” The words came flying out of my mouth, and they must’ve hit Salandra’s face on their way out because she went from angry to shocked in a matter of seconds.
It’s not like I’m pissed she did that, she got Elvis to calm down, but did she expect me to use the same method or – I DON’T KNOW WHY I SAID THAT OKAY.
“Well-I” Salandra seemed to be struck with a case of speechlessness. Geesus I can’t believe I yelled at her – I’ve never yelled at her before. “Just – there are other ways to – l”
She was pretty much rambling off at this point.
“Look whatever, can I have the address?” I said, extending my hand.
The look she wore on her face after that made it clear to me that I should’ve just memorized it when Elvis wrote it down.
She was giving me the glare that got her the ‘Ice Queen’ title in elementary school. For a second she glanced at the paper in her hand and seemed to consider giving it to me, but then the fragile and weak Salandra I knew suddenly disappeared behind a strong wall of stubborn.
“No.” She stated.
“I’m the one who won it after all.” She said with a slight tilt of her nose upwards.
“Come on Sal, don’t play with me. Just pass it over.” I insisted. She shook her head. To hell with this, I went to snatch the paper from her hands, but she backed away.
“Sal…” I said in a warning tone. A worried expression crossed her face.
But I lunged forwards, only to have run away from me. Oh she’s quick without her high heels, but I’m faster!
I chased her down the building’s driveway, nearly catching her a couple of times, but she kept barely slipping out of my grasp.
And then she turned around for a second, shaking the paper in the air at me. “I thought you were faster than that Niko.”
“Oh I’ll show you fast.” I said with a grin. I lunged forwards and wrapped my arms around her waist.
I lifted her up and twirled her around.
“Ah! Let me down!” She exclaimed, half-laughing.
“Give me the address first!” I replied with a smirk of my own, getting a little dizzy from spinning.
Before she could give in, my phone started to ring. The phone meant only for emergencies. I set Sal down and answered it.
“Niki? What’s wrong?” I asked with a worried frowned.
“It’s pa. The editor called, something happened! Pa’s at the hospital right now. Dad and I are half an hour away.” Nikita explained before she had to hang up. Heart problems again!?
“Sal I have to-”
But Salandra was on her phone, listing out the address we were currently at.
She smiled at me. “I called a taxi.”
A nurse was kind enough to welcome us after the receptionist got tired of hearing me ask where my pa was over and over again.
“He was just brought in, so you can’t see him yet, but if you wait in the lobby I’ll come get you when he’s ready. It shouldn’t take long.” The nurse told me and I nodded slowly.
At least it doesn’t sound like he’s dying??
Salandra squeezed my arm and gave me a smile. I’d told her about the heart problems pa was having on the ride over.
He’ll be fine, it was probably just a scare.
And then the nurse turned to Salandra and recognized her.
“Salandra! You’ve come to see her?”
Her face widened in surprise. “Oh! I, uh-”
“What am I saying, of course you have. Great timing, she woke up not too long ago and she was asking for you.”
“She was?” Salandra asked a little excitedly.
“Yes, come on.” The nurse insisted, and Salandra followed the nurse away without another word.
Sal has someone in the hospital? My curiosity grew as the two rounded the corner.
I tailed them and watched as Sal entered a room with the nurse. There were a few seconds before the nurse left the room, leaving the door wide open. I tiptoed over and looked inside.
“You look really good today mom.” Salandra said in a small weak voice.
Oh. Maybe I shouldn’t poke my head in here, it’s not really my business in the end…
I took a step back, but then they both suddenly looked straight at me. I froze as fear, confusion and shock flashed onto Sal’s face. She leapt from her spot on the bed, grabbed onto the door and slammed it shut, right in my face.
I was attacked by a blast of air, and then nothing. Just silence.
Yeah, I shouldn’t have.
SO LIKE, I REALLY LIKED WRITING THIS CHAPTER >_>