No one’s POV
The more James got closer to Stonebridge the more he began to worry.
The girl was strong enough to be on her own. He’d had no doubt of that.
So when he stepped onto his property, his feet crunching the dirt underneath, he knew someone else had interfered.
The place was devoid of all life, dirt covering every inch of his property. Dust sprinkled the ground, most likely the last remnants of the old trees.
The tree he’d put her on was gone, and so was she. He couldn’t sense her anywhere in Stonebridge.
But he did sense one person.
Someone he hadn’t seen in several years. His last surviving sibling. Standing on his porch, radiating frustration tinged with excitement.
Alec Whitelight turned to greet his brother. “This is what happens when you shut me out.”
“You could put him in…the couch?” Nikita helpfully suggested.
“Yeah sure, the couch.” Nikolas scoffed. After his grandpa had left, his dad had sat down to start working on the spell. It had given him the time to go change to explain everything in great detail to his sister.
Xavier had to make several modifications to the spell he’d helped cast decades ago. For one, he couldn’t treat the entity like an entire being. Secondly, it wasn’t attached to Nikolas himself, but the tattoo on his neck. Thirdly, the original spell was meant to go along with an object that was predesigned to hold someone. This time, they’d be trying to attach it to an object that on its own wasn’t meant to be anything else. It would be the same as killing it. For example, if they attached it to a chair, nothing would happen. A chair isn’t made to move on its own. It doesn’t have that capacity. The entity would simply be stuck to the chair, unable to do anything as it rots. In that event, Xavier wondered if it would be simpler and kinder to compose a spell that simply detached it from Niko’s tattoo and let it dissolve, untethered in the air.
Nikolas watched as his father scribbled things down, wiggled his fingers to test his magic, and sometimes called his friend Annaliese to provide some advice. Nikolas rubbed his hands on his pants, getting more and more restless – as was Oscar.
Staying still and waiting for his father to finish was proving to be a really difficult task. Wasn’t there something he could do? Apart from finding an object to put Oscar in? Cause Oscar didn’t seem that enthusiastic about being stuck in a table.
Nikolas got up and started to pace.
“Nikolas will you sit down?” Nikita chuckled. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you help dad cast the spell.”
Her brother rolled his eyes. “That’s not something to worry about.”
“It’ll be over pretty soon. Dad just needs to finish his spell. We’ll put whatever is in you in some random object, it doesn’t even matter. And then everything will go back to normal.”
“You know I hadn’t really considered this angle yet, but all those mysteries about missing kids showing up with mysterious markings – of Elvis’ brother with a tattoo. That flame kid in prison…I’m pretty sure we didn’t suffer the same thing, considering it was apparently a 50-50 chance of survival and we all survived, BUT I bet they’re connected somehow. Magical ink and whatnot…”
“It’s clearly not, you said yours was supposed to fade.” Nikita said.
“Yeah, but that’s just another difference. Doesn’t mean they’re not connected.”
“Does it matter?” His sister asked. “You got involved in something you shouldn’t have, but we’re going to fix it, and then we can go back to not touching into weird dangerous things.”
“Go back to being normal? Is that what you’re getting at?” Nikolas asked incredulously.
“Yes.” Niki nodded crossing her arms. “Away from the crazy people and their bombings.”
“That’s all wonderful and stuff, but at this rate being ‘normal’ is actually ‘abnormal’. There’s so much shit happening to supernaturals and naturals alike…and we have the power to help no matter how little.” Nikolas added, his eyes drifting to his father. “So why don’t we?”
“We have absolutely no obligation to solve other people’s problems.” Xavier added to the conversation.
“But we have the power to.” Nikolas repeated, carefully.
“This family has given enough already. We deserve to live peacefully. Most people don’t want others butting in either. Just be patient, once I finish this spell, it’ll all be better. Ideally we fix this tonight, and tomorrow you can go to school for your final exams. I’ll talk to your teacher about the ones you missed.”
The doorbell rang as Nikolas sighed.
“I’ll go occupy myself with the door then.”
“Haha! Don’t make that face big bro. Big fancy James.” Alec smirked, sunlight gleaming off his fangs. “Let’s talk inside, I’m cooking under the summer sun.”
The blue-haired vampire went into the house before waiting for James’ response. His brother followed him, his expression stern.
“You thought I ransacked the place didn’t you?” Alec asked. “You have such low esteem of me. I put everything back during my search.” He grinned proudly.
James shook his head slightly. It was Alec who’d always had such low esteem of himself.
‘What is this about?’ He signed.
“The apple James, the APPLE.” Alec enunciated, putting as much weight as he could in the common word. “You keep refusing to give it to me and I decided to take things into my own hands.”
James clicked then. ‘This wasn’t your fault.’ He signed. ‘You didn’t take her did you.’
Alec frowned for a bit. “Oh, you mean the Weapon.” He snorted. “She’s way strong now. I can’t even touch her mind without feeling like I touched an open stove.”
James scoffed. He didn’t know why he actually thought his brother could have some kind of mastermind plot. His brother was before anything a scavenger and a coward. Sure, he tried once, to build his own little army of vampires, but Alec wasn’t a leader. No one was going to follow him. He was the one who followed. He still chased the idea of being a leader though. And he probably thinks the apple is going to get him that.
That meant someone else entirely had come in his absence, and Alec had simply grabbed the opportunity to break into his house to take the apple he had been asking for, for ages.
‘Who took her?’ James asked.
Alec shrugged. “Does it really matter? It’s not like anyone can control her.”
James lunged forwards and grabbed his brother’s jacket, making Alec jump. James took the pink poisoned apple from his inner pockets and tossed his brother back.
“Fuck James!” Alec complained going for the apple, but James gave him a warning look. So far he’d been polite to his only living brother by not forcing him to do anything. “Fine geez.”
“All I saw was a group of men walk up on your property with tranquilizer guns and instantly go for the girl. They shot her up with at least 15 darts and all she did was cling to a tree as all your plant life just collapsed into dirt. Eventually the drugs got to her and she passed out. They carried her out and I came in. It lasted like maybe 30 seconds max.”
‘Where did they go?’
Alec shrugged. “How should I know? It’s not like I followed them.”
James slapped his brother up the head.
“Hey! Look I just came for the apple, give it up and I’ll leave.” Alec insisted. This poisoned apple business was getting on his brother’s nerves.
James’ hand squeezed the apple till it looked like a pink crushed Kleenex. He dropped it on the floor, his hand dripping with juice.
“Bastard.” Alec muttered.
James shrugged and wiped his hand on his brother’s arm.
‘You have your apple now.’ He signed.
With a grimace, Alec bent down to pick up what was left of the pink fruit.
James didn’t know anymore why he’d kept the thing for so long. Alec was the only one reminding him that he ever had it. Well now his brother had finally gotten his decade long wish.
As Alec stood back up and made to leave, James kept him in place for a few seconds longer with a glare.
One that was letting Alec now that his powerful brother’s patience towards him and his antics was growing increasingly thin. That another event like this, and James may not be so nice towards him.
Being connected through blood could only help him so much.
Nikolas got tossed around seconds after he’d turned the handle, as two noisy men pushed past him into his house. Nato’s barks only served to make the situation more disorienting.
The woman he’d normally only meet in a graveyard, grabbed his shoulder to steady him. For a brief moment he glimpsed only her grin and he realized what a bad idea it had been to open the door.
“Assaria!” Xavier exclaimed as he reached the entrance, his voice drowning out Nato’s barks. The room fell silent apart from Nato’s constant low growling.
“You’re alive!?” Xavier’s fingers began to ache with magic.
Assaria’s stare locked onto the middle aged witch.
He knew her.
“You’re supposed to be dead.” Xavier hissed as he built up a spell. Assaria shoved Nikolas to the side, slamming him into the wall.
Dead. She was hardly dead.
She clenched her fists, completely devoid of any fear even with the impending force of the spell that was about to be cast on her. If anything she felt she was looking at a youngling. The most powerful witch in the world? Felt like nothing more than an amateur to her.
Someone rushed past her and in an instant the magic in the air dispersed.
Annie had merely lightly touched the father’s forearms, and his magic had been completely nulled. He stared at her in shock.
“We’re not hostiles.” She said calmly. “We just want to exchange some information.”
“How do you know me?” Assaria’s voice dropped threateningly. She was here to extract information.
Xavier pulled away from the blonde and threw a sharp concentrated amount of magic at Assaria, who stood still, head held high.
One of the men threw himself in front of her, bringing his arm up to summon a defensive shield. The small rapid spell deflected off.
“Let’s not resort to violence.” Annie said, just as levelly as before, her eyes casting a warning glance at Assaria.
Edmund rushed into the area taking in the scene just as Nikolas lunged at the man protecting Assaria. He kicked him in his side, forcing the air out of the tall man’s lungs.
Xavier went to take advantage of the opening, but Annie reached out to block his magic again.
The contact didn’t last long, but it was enough for the second man, smaller, to weasel in and plant a syringe in Xavier’s neck. The drug took effect almost immediately knocking him out.
The bigger of the two men had easily recovered from Nikolas attack and had placed his shield around him instead, cornering him. Nikolas beat against the shield, but it was obvious physical attacks weren’t very effective.
Edmund rushed to a phone or some way to call help, but Assaria noticed him. “Get him too.” She ordered.
Annie stepped in front of her as Edmund was knocked out as well. “Assaria stop this. It’s already gone far enough.”
“If he knew me, then everyone else in this house can be a source of information. We’re taking them all.”
Nikolas tried to concentrate. He remembered how Oscar had used the tattoo to break his father’s magic wall. It had to be useful here as well. As much as he tried to force it, nothing happened for him.
Oscar knew how to use it.
Nikolas didn’t have to think twice, he activated his astral mode and left his body open to Oscar’s control. The restless boy jumped onto the occasion, immediately using the purple magic to melt away the shield keeping him hostage.
The victory was short lived however. A needle was quickly plunged into his own neck and Nikolas watched himself pass out.
The room finally settled, with Nikolas, Xavier and Edmund all unconscious on the ground.
“This was unnecessary.” Annie said.
“He was going to kill me. Didn’t you see it in his eyes?”
I’m starting to think he had a good reason too, Annie thought to herself.
“What about the dog?” One of the men asked, holding down an angry Nato. He struggled uselessly under the man’s hold, whimpering as he pressed his jaw harder against the ground.
“Dogs can’t talk, leave it. Now let’s hurry up before someone asks questions.” Assaria said as she lifted up the unconscious teen. Annie shook her head in disgust. “We won’t keep them for long Annie, and we’ll bring them back intact once I’ve heard what I needed to.” Assaria added. “It’s not like anyone will miss them, really.”
Kevil rushed to the house as quickly as he could. He’d been curious about what kind of help Xavier could’ve possibly needed to call his father on such short notice. He hadn’t expected to see Xavier’s husband get tossed into a car.
He didn’t bother to knock, and let himself in, knocking on the walls instead.
“Is there anyone here?” He called out.
He found the family’s dog, whimpering and scratching at the bathroom door.
“Hello? Did something happen? I’m here to help.” Kevil said, eyeing the door.
Sure enough, the door hesitantly opened, revealing a young woman still wearing a terrified expression.
“I-they took my dads and my brother. They just barged in-”
“Can I have the keys to your dad’s car?” Kevil asked.
“Oh, uh, sure. There’s a table by the front door…”
Kevil grabbed the keys and rapidly headed outside, still remembering in what direction the car had zoomed to.
A short bark let him know someone had followed him outside.
“Stay.” Kevil said to the dog. He reached for the handle and the dog barked again.
Kevil paused. The dog had likely seen the intruders, maybe even smelled them. “You want to tag along?” He asked.
The dog barked again, wagging his tail. The vampire opened the back door, letting the dog hop in.
As Kevil booted up the car and began to chase after them, he took out his phone. Because as much as he believed in his own ability to find them, the lack of any kind of struggle in the house meant these people weren’t to be underestimated. Asking for help wasn’t a bad idea.
Even if it meant asking the much too powerful vampire to abandon the white-haired lizard eyed girl yet again.
Credits: Annie is Livvielove’s character! That she’s so kindly let me implement in my story 😀