Warning : Gif with bright colors near the middle of the chapter. Seizure warning.
No one’s POV
James still hadn’t gotten over it.
He’d severally underestimated the Weapon. No, even if he’d over-estimated her it wouldn’t have made a difference.
Whatever was causing her to lose control was bigger than even he could handle.
At least Xavier seemed to be fine. He was recovering now, sleeping off the enormous amount of energy he’d lost. They’d put him in Benjamin’s old bed.
James suspected Xavier might have actually lost a bit of his magic, but it might regenerate as he recovers. And either way, he would still be the most powerful witch alive right now.
James examined the Weapon as she listened to the tv, hugging her legs against her chest. It wasn’t just her attitude or her appearance that had changed – he could tell she was even speaking differently.
She’d grown. She wasn’t the same creature he’d interrogated at the police station. She’d gained back some humanity and some speech as well. She’d actually said sorry. A few seconds after they’d pulled her away from Xavier, she’d stopped struggling and collapsed on the ground, apologizing. Good thing too, because the two vampires wouldn’t have been able to hold her for long. Her strength was ridiculous.
Even though he knew she was just as human as the rest of them, James had always defaulted to viewing her as an object, as a weapon. It was easy then, she was a small frightened creature always in the corner of the room minding her own business. Even though it was clear she had the strength to break metal bars, she hadn’t once tried to escape while he held her captive in his basement.
Now she actually seemed to have a personality. James had never understood why his brother Lance had so inexplicably gotten attached to her, but maybe he’d seen who she was before anyone else had.
Kevil pushed himself away from the window and headed for the kitchen, motioning for James to follow him. The vampire finally had something to say.
“Don’t kill her.” Kevil said right off the bat. James rolled his eyes. Everything was hardly always kill or don’t kill. James had learned that a long time ago. It was a mentality that always led to more conflict.
He opened up his computer to type.
‘I wasn’t intending to.’
“Is there some way you could lock her power away?” Kevil asked.
‘It’s more complicated than that now.’ The girl would most likely resist him. He wasn’t even sure if he could kill her right now. He didn’t know how much of a resistance she had to him.
Kevil leaned on the counter, clearly distraught by this news.
James didn’t want a frustrated brooding vampire lurking around his house. Kevil needed to be distracted while he dealt with this. He doubted yard work would work again.
And then James remembered a fear his son had once, after waking from a nightmare. He’d texted his father, just so he could confirm that Assaria was dead. For a moment, he’d doubted it intensely and James had replied without any hesitation at the time.
Why would he hesitate? He had gripped her mind himself and shattered it into pieces. He’d made them gauge their own eyes out. He’d stood there for hours, just sitting on the bridge as if he was waiting for the bodies to move, but they never had. Xavier and him even watched the local authorities bodybag them.
Her being alive was impossible.
Yet…James had seen it in his son’s mind – the doubt was still there. He’d come to trust in his son’s sixth sense.
Her being still alive disgusted James to his very core. It seemed horribly unfair, and for a moment, as the memories of that day came washing back, he wished she was still alive just so he could kill her again.
Let’s imagine Xavier’s sense was spot on and Assaria had somehow managed to survive that. What was she doing? It’d been over a decade a half. Even she wouldn’t wait that long to wreak havoc. Maybe she was hiding? Because she knew she couldn’t go against James?
Somehow James knew he would have sensed her if that had been the case. He’d catch her foul thoughts anywhere. As impossible as it seemed, there was still no denying that something was up.
‘Kevil I need you to do something for me.’
Kevil was unsurprisingly against the idea.
“I’m not going off on some wild goose chase to see if the witch is still alive! She needs me here right now.”
James told him he’d watch over the Weapon, but Kevil wasn’t satisfied. He’d seen it happen as well – he knew James wouldn’t be able to control her in a time of crisis. He might as well just kill her. James sighed. Kevil would be even less capable of controlling that kind of situation.
“Why don’t you go?”
‘I need to be here when Xavier wakes up. It’s been 15 years. If Assaria is alive she isn’t much of a threat.’
Kevil looked defeated. He knew he’d probably have to go on that wild goose chase. It was a courtesy of James’, to allow him to make the decision for himself.
“What are you doing here James? No one’s seen you around since you killed those two vampires. The strongest vampire there is – feared by anyone who knew him – reduced to being a hermit? It’s a pathetic ending. There’s still so much you could’ve done. Did losing the fairy really break you that badly?” Kevil dared to ask.
James fingers hesitated over the keyboard, his face twitching slightly with discomfort. He didn’t really feel like giving Kevil what he was asking for, but he supposed he owed it to the older vampire, in a way.
‘I did spend a few years grieving. Staying alone in this house was the best thing I could’ve done back then. Who knows what I would’ve done if someone had rubbed me the wrong way?
Eventually, I reconnected with an old friend. I told him the big story, and he gave me an idea to pass the time.’
“What was it?” Kevil asked as James got up from his seat. James motioned for him to follow.
Kevil was led all the way outside, to the ladder that went down to James’ basement. That famous underground jail that had once held a time keeper, an immortal, a vampire and Gretel all at once.
There was a sweet smell emanating from it, and Kevil could hear a radio playing.
The place was already filled with a small crowd – all supernaturals. They weren’t particularly strong, but just enough so that Kevil could sense their magic.
James had transformed his basement into a bar/café place for supernaturals.
“Are you protecting them?” Kevil asked.
Though he hadn’t approached civilization that much in the last decade, he’d still heard about the increasing hate for supernaturals going around – as well as rumors of attacks against them.
James took out his phone.
‘Supernaturals are being targeted by a professional group of people. There’s rumors of them being remnants of a group that called themselves the anti-supernaturals. They’re the ones who started killing white-eyes decades ago. I offer protection to travelers and nomads.’
Kevil was impressed. He hadn’t expected that from James.
‘There hasn’t been news of a search for the last white-eyed, but just in case you should get yourself eye contacts.’ James continued.
Kevil nodded and then sighed in defeat. “I’ll do it. But not for long. I’ll look around and check for trouble. What are you going to do about Gretel? She’s strong physically and mentally. She loses control randomly.”
‘I’ll try and help her control it.’ He typed.
Kevil hated to admit it, but between the two, James was better equipped to help her.
He just couldn’t seem to help it. He had this need to protect her, even if she didn’t need protection.
She still seemed fragile to him.
Ridgevalley, Police station
Nikolas had never felt as frustrated, ashamed and embarrassed as he did now. Getting caught breaking into the police station! When he was supposed to be at home in his room – grounded. Here he’d dared to hope the detective he’d met in Dealer’s Avenue would let him off with a warning (especially after he’d answered “You should’ve just asked” when Niko had explained the reason for his break in), but noooo he thought he should call his pa instead.
He forced Edmund to come all the way down to the police station to deal with the consequences of Nikolas’ actions. Nikolas was too busy fuming over having got caught and fearing the lecture he was obviously going to have, to realize he was getting off easy.
They were going to leave it at a fine to pay, Nikolas didn’t need to stay in a cell for a few nights. The event was written on his record from now on though.
“You can go see Miss Amiot, the secretary is going to have the rest of the information for the fine.” Sebastien explained.
“Thank you very much, this won’t happen again.” Edmund assured his jaw tight. The detective simply smiled in response as his phone began to ring.
“Let’s go Nikolas.” Edmund said, turning to his son. Niko shot to his feet.
Edmund raised his hand slightly. “Let’s go home.” He repeated in a cold stern voice.
“You found one?…Who?…What?” Sebastien said on the phone.
Nikolas followed his father, his ear inevitably listening in to what the detective was saying. He couldn’t help it.
“The Klose one huh?… Poor kid.”
Klose. Elvis Klose. Dexter Klose.
Nikolas spun around faster than you could say bad idea. He gripped onto the edge of the half-wall.
“Dexter? Dexter Klose? What happened!? Did you find him?”
“Nikolas!” Edmund said in a you’re doomed voice, but his son ignored him.
Sebastien considered the kid and everything he’d seen him do so far just to get this answer. So he gave him the freebie. “They’re bringing him to the hospital now.”
The news sent Nikolas into shock. The hospital? He’d failed? He needed to go. He needed to go see for himself.
Nikolas glanced at his father, who shook his head slowly. Niko made a face, giving in to his need for confirmation, and raced past his father –out the door.
He hopped onto his bike, cringing as he heard his father call his name. But at this point…could it get any worse for him?
As he rode for the hospital, he pulled out his emergency phone and dialed Elvis’ number. His friend didn’t answer. A call does come in as he rounds the last few blocks.
“Nikolas? Are you okay? Veronica said you got arrested!” Salandra.
“They found Elvis’ brother! He’s at the hospital right now! It’s where I’m heading, gotta go.”
“Wish him luck for me.” She managed to squeeze in before Nikolas hung up.
Niko doesn’t bother locking up his bike, carelessly letting it fall on the ground as he rushes inside. He finds his friend alone in the waiting area.
Elvis’ parents are off screaming at the doctor, leaving their son to struggle to stay calm.
But it’s hard, so hard, knowing and not knowing at the same time. He barely notices Nikolas arrive and sit on the couch beside him, too concentrated he is on not breaking down into a sobbing mess.
“Elvis?” Nikolas asked, putting a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Are you okay? What happened?”
Elvis’ shoulders shake as he holds back his sobs. The scene he’d seen before the doctors had pushed him and his family out the door kept flashing through his mind.
“Is he okay?” Nikolas asks, in a lower more calm voice.
Elvis keeps his face hidden in his hands.
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t know.”
A foggy mind coupled with the weight of magic in his veins.
There was no more depressing way for Xavier to wake up at that moment. What a fool he’d been.
It hadn’t worked. And he knew he’d be stupid to try again. He rested his head in his hand, trying not to break down, to keep it together.
But when his father walked in, his shoulders began to shake and tears filled his eyes.
What was he going to do now?
James wasn’t feeling really comfortable in the current situation. He hadn’t had to deal with a crying kid in years – let alone a grown man. He hardly had the desire to go through the whole comfort process.
“It was my last option.” Xavier muttered out.
James felt bad for his son, easily sensing the pain he was in.
“If I go back he’ll die, but if I don’t – I don’t want to be apart from my family.”
‘I have an idea.’ James signed. But Xavier still had his head in his hands.
James gripped his son by the arms and hoisted him up, shaking him a little. He glared at Xavier, trying to convey the message: don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
Thankfully Xavier understood his father’s glare.
‘I have an idea.’ James repeated, now that his son was watching.
“Well what is it?”
‘If too much magic negatively affected naturals, then this must’ve been a large scale problem back in the day. I’d be surprised if they hadn’t found a solution. My parents basement is a treasure horde of the weirdest things you’ll ever find. That’s where the incense that restricted your magical powers came from. You might be able to find something for Edmund there.’ James explained.
It was a good idea, better than anything else he had currently, and Xavier nodded along. Of course it made sense. His grandparents, Simon and Zyla, lived atop a basement filled with magical artifacts and things of old. They preferred to lock it rather than explore it, but they may make an exception for Xavier.
‘Be careful. It’s there.’ James warned.
A device that had caused a lot more trouble than it was worth.
A weird contraption that held the soul and mind of a time keeper. One who was mad with grief.
James had hid it back where it belonged, in his parents basement, where no one was allowed to go. He could’ve kept it by his side…but he hated the sight of it and there were so many people traveling back and forth now, that he didn’t want to risk someone finding it while he was asleep.
Maybe they should’ve destroyed it…but for all they knew the device was just a cage, and destroying it would release the unwanted held inside.
Xavier understood the danger almost as much as James did, and he promised not to go anywhere near it. Just touching it would be enough to cause a lot of unneeded trouble.
Kevil had left to see if he could sniff out any news of Assaria.
Xavier had left to go find a solution in his grandparents’ basement.
There was only the Weapon – Gretel left now.
“You won’t be able to help me.” She said solemnly, picking away at some shards sticking out of the stairs.
James had been gradually noticing her get more and more restless since she’d woken up this morning. He’d expected her to lash out at him eventually. And she did. She gripped the stair she was sitting on, clenched her jaw, and with a guttural noise, spun around to grab onto James and sap all life out of him.
Really good thing he was prepared. The poor thing received a bat to the face, knocking her out cold. Her fingers had barely grazed his jeans. It was a crude method, but he didn’t have a lot of other options in the heat of the moment.
James sighed down at the girl’s body. It was definitely going to be hard, but he doubted it would be impossible.
He was just going to have to wear long sleeves and pants all the time.
End of Volume 1 Arc 3.
So well see…you guys probably haven’t noticed, but I gave myself a challenge for this generation :– Every chapter title needs to be an IDIOM.
So I’ve had some fun discovering new idioms and making a list of over 100 idioms to choose from, but I honestly just really miss coming up with chapter titles of my own ;-;
So this is me justifying and giving myself a reason to give up and go back to what I used to do before. (It was meant to upgrade my English, but I already know most of these! So starting Arc 4 I’m going back to what I used to do! Three arcs isn’t bad.)
Of course if you all simultaneously go ‘nooooooo we liked idiom titles!’ I’ll reconsider lol
Per usual, we’ve got a one shot later this week, and then Arc 4 starts soon after. I’m really excited for it! School year starts up again, and everyone gets a makeover (AND Niki ages up into an adult, finally!). There’s some neat things planned for this one, like every arc really XD.
Pretty much coincides with real life, summer is ending pretty soon too! if it hasn’t already