I threw my hands up with an exclamation of joy. “Finally!”
I was free of my restraints! Otherwise known as Wheelchair and Crutch. My doctors had installed some fancy new devices to help supports my knees until they fully healed.
Sure that still meant no carrying heavy things or running or jumping or dancing, but I can walk on my own without any trouble! Just in time too – I was scared I’d still be stuck awkwardly navigating around with my crutch when my birthday rolled around.
“Sounds like everything went well.” Alistair said. I nearly jumped. I keep forgetting he sort of lives here now. Pa says he won’t be here for more than a month. Pa grumbled something about rehabilitating his little brother too? I didn’t catch what he said.
I nodded. “Yup.” I gestured at my ‘new’ knees. “All fancy and working.”
“I finished the yard.” Alistair grinned as pa followed in behind me. Then again pa might just be using him to do all the hard labor around the house in his place. “Oh there was a call for you Nikita. Something about an assistant job? I’m not sure, but I let it go to voicemail.”
I stared wide-eyed at him. “Like a dancing teacher assistant job? Positive or negative? Do they want to see me?” I immediately belted out. He shrugged.
“I didn’t listen to the whole thing.”
I speedwalked over to the phone and listened to the message.
“-like to see you next week on the-“ I screamed.
“Did you get it?” Pa asked. I turned around, nodding enthusiastically.
“I got it! I got it!” I repeated.
I’d been afraid and almost certain I wouldn’t get it. I mean I did have a big disadvantage: my injury. But one of the companies I applied to were impressed with my dancing records and with the speed of my recovery.
I would never be able to dance professionally, but eventually I’d be able to dance again for short periods of time – and I’d be able to teach other dancers what I learned.
I don’t know if that’s something I want to do for the rest of my life, but…right now it’s exciting.
Nikolas was still out on his jog. He was supposed to be super grounded till school started, but pa agreed to let him take his jog today. He had a jog curfew though.
That meant it was just me and pa at home for now (uncle doesn’t count) and apparently pa wanted to spend this time together working on my magic.
“You haven’t really practiced it recently.” He said. “And I know you usually practice with your dad, but I think I know enough to help you out.” A simple smile. Dad still wasn’t back. Sure it hadn’t even been a week yet, but it still felt bad.
I wish he’d come back already – we all wish he would. I even overheard aunt Erin and pa talking over the phone. She was really pissed that dad had left.
“When will dad be home?” I asked. Pa’s shoulder drooped a little. “I know we’re supposed to believe he went on business trip, but Niko and I overheard you talking. We know this is about your heart.”
He smiled and put his hand on my arm.
“You don’t need to worry. He’ll be back soon.”
Pa’s reply was so certain and sure – without any hesitation – that there really wasn’t any point to continuing the conversation.
Stonebridge was eerily dark and gloomy today. The air radiating of things ending. Oddly fitting for today – the day I’ll lose my powers.
Now that I’m here, it’s a little unnerving to think about. A sliver of magic twirled around my finger and an unexpected smile made itself known.
I used to be terrified of my powers. I didn’t have any control over them and they always seemed to appear at the most inopportune times.
I even went as far as to declare it wasn’t a part of me. I denied my witch side.
But eventually I started to learn how to use them. I learned to become acquainted with the humming in my veins.
Even to depend on it a little.
And yes, they were definitely moments where it wasn’t easy. Especially when I was supercharged with magic.
But I managed to get past that.
I have complete control over my magic now. It’s more than an extension of myself, it’s more than just casting magic…it is me.
I’m in complete harmony with it and suddenly, standing here, I’m struck with the fear of losing it. Losing this aspect of me that I’ve struggled with my entire life – that I’ve spent my entire life with – and managed to control and comprehend.
To lose it…
But I have to, so that I can keep the other part of me safe.
My resolve renewed, I walked past the last block left before I arrived to my father’s house.
This is where I’d seen the girl head to. What she wants with my dad, I have no idea, but this’ll make things easier.
“This is ridiculous.” Kevil the vampire said, dropping the shovel he had in his hands. The young girl reluctantly did the same with her clippers.
And there was my father. I hadn’t seen him in a while – in a long while, but he seemed to be doing well. Better than last time.
He looked over the heads of the two and caught my eyes – smiling. I didn’t hide anything from him – not that I could – so why was he smiling? Even though he knew exactly why I was here?
It looked condescending – geesus at my age.
Huh…I can’t seem to shake the feeling that we’re not just us four here…but I don’t know how much I can trust my sixth sense right now. It’s been giving me signs leading to Assaria still being alive.
But that’s crazy right? I mean James himself killed her.
“What’s going on?” I asked, glancing at the gardening tools they’d dropped.
Kevil turned to answer me. “Your father is making us work on his yard. It’s been a day of uprooting dead trees and filling up holes. He’s just stalling.” The vampire said, looking really annoyed. I didn’t know him that well, but I had a feeling it wasn’t a common occurrence.
Only my father can pull the worst out of people I suppose…
And by the look on his face and his lack of denial – he was really enjoying this.
I gave him a look and he shrugged, as if to say it’s just some side fun.
The girl – who had a huge hole in her stomach last time I saw her – turned to me and spoke.
“I asked James to kill me. He asked us to weed his garden.” She said with a small frown.
I gave a small snort.
“It might be better this way. You shouldn’t be so quick to die – especially not by my father’s hands.”
“You don’t understand.” She said, shaking her head as if I never would. I suppose that I shouldn’t have used the work quick. It’s easy to forget she’s lived for thousands of years.
“I have a favor of my own to ask.” I said, my courage lacking a bit. “I need to get rid of my powers, and I’ve seen you take Kyxa’s wings. Can you do the same to me?” I asked.
Her eyes went distant for a moment. “I…” Don’t get me wrong, I still want to go through with this, but my sixth sense is suddenly telling me something might be wrong.
I glared at him, which only made him more amused.
“I’m doing this.” I said, more than annoyed by this reaction. “You should know why I need to do this.”
His face instantly grew serious and shook his head. ‘No. You’re not giving up your powers.’ He signed.
“I have no other choice! I can’t live knowing I’m killing him!” I said, more loudly than I’d intended.
“It’s a bad idea.” Kevil said. “She has no control over her power right now.”
“It won’t work.” She said shaking her head and looking frightened at the idea.
No. It took me two days to make the trip here. It’s the only option I have!
“That’s why James is here.” I said, gesturing at my father. He wasn’t finding this funny anymore.
Nobody was saying anything, but their position seemed pretty clear.
“You would’ve done the same for Kyxa if you could’ve.” I said, hitting a level I would’ve preferred not to.
My father looked down at me from his spot on the stairs – suddenly looking three times as intimidating. His nostrils flared and then he looked away, and that’s when I knew I’d convinced him.
This is my decision.
“It won’t work.” The girl said again.
“It’s okay. My father will make sure you don’t lose control.” She didn’t seem reassured. “Will you do it?”
With a small sigh she nodded.
She stepped forwards and held my hand with a surprisingly strong grip, her long nails digging into my skin. James had come down the stairs, and Kevil stood still, staring at us intently.
I swallowed and nodded – I’m ready.
It was instant. I felt her grab onto my magic and forcefully pull it out, through my veins, through my nerves, my arm, my fingers. It felt like I was lacking air.
And then her eyes glazed over and her other hand shot up and established a second point of contact. The draining feeling suddenly tripled and my whole body jerked in surprise.
No, wait, this isn’t –
I didn’t need to see James’ face to know this small girl, who’d so easily been controlled before, had completely overcome his control.
My father, my invincible father, had actually lost control.
Kevil and James lunged forwards and grabbed onto the girl’s arms, pulling her away from me.
I blinked at the spots covering my eyes and my legs shakily let go below me.
The girl was crazy strong – guess it would’ve been pretty entertaining to watch two grown men, vampires at that, have a seriously hard time keeping a young teenage girl still…but at that point I’d already collapsed on the ground unconscious.
Can you tell? I missed my child.