Josh crossed his arms slowly and leaned against the brick wall layered with moss, allowing Eira to absorb the information he had just passed. His back pressed completely against the cool, solid, age-old bricks but didn't mind the mud or the green patches on his freshly ironed, beige shirt. In fact, they only made him feel more attached to the source of his power—nature.
Eira responded with a sigh and then followed cold silence, one that sent a chill down his spine. No words escaped her plump lips but her blue eyes shot a thousand questions at him. He wanted to answer them but fear kept him at bay. It was an unspoken and ofttimes a spoken rule by the vampire council to keep the secret to them.
Josh rubbed the nape of his neck lightly while managing to maintain his calm facade, perceiving well that such a reaction was not completely normal for someone had been kept in the dark for too long. But he wasn't too experienced in the matters of giving satisfying, non-surprising revelations.
"Look, I understand. All this is too much to process," He cleared the lump that formed near his throat and questioned her, "Do you trust me?"
"Yes," She replied in a hypnotic tone. It was only a whisper as though she hadn't meant to say it. Then Josh heard a gasp. "How? Why did I... Why did I say 'yes'?" Eira stuttered in shock.
Josh allowed himself a victorious smile. He had interpreted the signs correctly. He was right and so was Damien. Now not even the nature goddess could prove him wrong.
"Do not worry, I didn't manipulate your mind to say yes. But you know you can trust me, right?"
Eira continued to blink in surprise, "Yes, but why?" Her voice seemed to grow restless and confused.
"Because you and I share a natural connection. You belong to my faction. Whether you accept the truth or not, it still remains the truth. You are a witch. You were born one," He declared.
"Shut up, please!" She suddenly snapped at him with a harsh tone—harsher than he deserved. Josh watched her intently as she folded her knees and buried her head in them. She appeared to be in critical agony.
It was the after effect of a hangover; a severe headache and a churning stomach. It wasn't a difficult fact to figure out considering she reeked of alcohol. Josh felt pity for her as his brain recollected her life details that Damien had filled him in with.
Since there was a way to make her feel better, he followed it.
He faced his open palm to her suffering figure and muttered the incantation for a pain reduction spell, "Lanireae cerebrivae crucivamenta."
As he felt the energy flow through his fingers and curl in the air, warming it until it surpassed the layer of her skin and soothed the origin of pain in her skull, a satisfied expression crept to his face.
"Lanireae cerebrivae crucivamenta." He continued the incantation and saw her struggling figure come to a composed stand-still. The effects of the spell were instant.
He saw her head lift up as her perplexed eyes examined his, "What happened?" She let out a little sob and nonchalantly glanced around.
"What matters is— now you're feeling better."
She nodded her head silently in acceptance like a child. "Thank you," She whispered.
"Can we talk about the matter at hands now?" Josh was under the delusion that his patience had long faded away. He still clung onto the little of it that remained because he was certain she deserved it.
"If you knew for certain I was a witch, why did you let your friend come up with his own theories?" She asked with curious eyes that threatened to search his soul for the answer if the need arose.
He was caught off guard, indefinitely. Although Josh was impressed at her cognitive abilities and the way she picked up the details, now he had a question placed ahead of him. One that he didn't want to give an answer to.
Eira watched him carefully for a while as he attempted to not meet her examining gaze. "You don't trust them." She concluded, finally. And she was right.
With the pain numbed as an effect of the spell casted by Josh, Eira could now put her brain to work properly. A lot of questions had raced through her mind but seemed like she had done a great job choosing the one she had just asked.
"You call them your friends and you don't trust them. That's complicated." The irony was dramatic and she couldn't help but display a tiny grin. She felt a little pity try to rise inside her but pushed it aside for a while.
Her eyes watched his body tense under her accusing gaze. The ball was in her court now and she was just starting to enjoy a game she didn't want to play in the first place.
His adam's apple worked as he replied with a firmer tone, "I am complicated. The way the supernatural world works is complicated," His arms moved to convey a shrug. He hadn't been as transparent the whole while that they had talked.
He went ahead to explain, "The walls of this room are spelled. The words spoken will be trapped inside."
Eira's eyebrow raised high in contemplation and surprise. She nodded her head, prompting him to continue.
But when he resumed talking, his voice had lost all of it's firmness, it now sounded raw and soft, "If they know for certain that you are a witch, they'll turn you into their puppet. They will force you to work unwillingly, threatening to hurt your closed ones while risking your own life." He shook his head lightly and continued, "I want you to help us willingly. To have a choice."
Eira heard him sound like a completely different person. Why did he care anyway? If he was indeed on their side, why care whether she does it willingly or by force when at the end they achieve what they desire?
"You're lame to even think I would consider making a decision. I have known you for barely fifteen minutes and strangely I believe your words but you're expecting me to willingly comply and perform magic to save you and your friends asses?" She threw confidence around with her tone, "I want to go home!" She ceased the discussion and settled herself on the metal bed again, taking in the discomfort it provided but she was glad her feet got the rest they begged for.
"You haven't even heard the deal I have to offer."
She tried to not look interested, "What deal?"
"You help us defeat our enemies with your magical assistance and I help you find your biological parents." With the confidence in which he had disclosed the deal, Eira understood he had been counting on it.
She didn't even bother to ask how he knew such a crucial secret of her life— the fact that Dakota Blake was her adoptive mother. She had herself discovered it only a few months ago.
After deciding to put the house on sale shortly after her mother's death, Eira spent a few days moving out the furniture to Bella's apartment. That was when she had stumbled upon the documents in a cupboard that formerly belonged to her mother. The documents that clarified she was adopted.
For days after that incident, she had put in several efforts to find more about her parents but somehow always ended up tasting dirt.
The golden opportunity dangled in front of her eyes and she was genuinely curious to find out more about her birth-givers.
If what she had heard was right—she was born a witch then did that mean her parents possessed magical abilities too?
"You do want to find them, right?" Josh continued a while later when she didn't respond.
Josh's face formed a satisfied expression. There was no smile but she sensed victory in his eyes.
"What do I have to do?"
"I will be training you in the matters of witchcraft—all the spells that will be necessary when we face off against our enemies which will likely happen after a fortnight. When we win, we'll let you go back to living your normal life. Until then, you have to stay here."
Eira's eyes bulged out in surprise. What did he mean by 'stay here'? She couldn't tolerate being in the dungeon for another five minutes, let alone fourteen days! But currently there was a greater concern floating through her brain.
"What if you don't win?"
The reply was prompt and shook all her five senses, all at once, "Then we die and you die too."
Eira felt as though someone had pulled the floor from beneath her feet and she was falling—faster with each second into the depths of insanity. Her senses went numb for a while. A part of her still wished this was a joke or a dream and she would wake up soon but the other acted like a rebel, enjoying the thoughts of being in danger and facing death. But she was certain the latter was a result of her best friend's influence. The saner part regretted the decision of getting wasted and ending up at the cemetery. When Dakota was alive, she had only brought trouble into her life. Even when dead, she was doing a good job.The sound of a sigh greeted her ears as she saw Josh fold his arms yet again, "That is why I have this offer for you. You can choose to accept it or not. Remember, there's danger of death."Unfortunately, I can't reveal to you more about the supernatural activity in our town unless I know for certain you're on our side. If you don't accept the deal, I make you forget all
Damien noticed how Eira's blue eyes silently stared at him. She had put up a brave mask over her face but he could hear the frantic beating of her beat in his ears. That sound made him smirk. He strolled towards her lazily and his steps halted right in front of her. He could sense Josh's dark eyes on him."Did I scare you, little blood bag?" Damien asked with an amused tone, widening his smirk into a grin."I'm not scared of you," He heard her calm reply and his grin turn into a full-blown smile. His eyes moved to the bite marks on her neck and felt her breath hitch at the same moment.She remembers that. "You are, but if you aren't, you should be." He teased her and bared his fangs. She was trying too hard to appear brave and unaffected but silly girl didn't realise he could hear and smell the blood pumping through her veins. He craved to taste it. She somehow still managed to smell like strawberries after spending a whole night in the stinking dungeon.Unfortunately, he had no time
[JOHN]In the ten years that John Williams had worked as a special detective agent, the experience hadn't been close to relaxing for him. The cases were exciting, challenging to his brain. He found himself deeply pressurized for most duration of the cases he handled. And enjoyed the pressure. The race against time. It made him feel alive. But then, a year ago he decided to move to Orilon after his beloved friend Dakota's death and everything changed.Dakota Blake, his childhood friend had been a citizen of the town of Orilon for over five years. She lived with her daughters. While her elder one, Melissa married off with a rich person and got a child, the younger one stayed behind to complete her education even after Dakota passed away. Whenever he visited the town in the past years, Eira, Dakota's younger daughter always complained of her mother's unjust attitude. Sadly, it wasn't his right to tell the girl the truth. Eira was a beautiful little girl, with pretty blue eyes and a smile
As Eira watched the horrific scene unfold, she screamed—or at least, attempted to. Her fingers clutched the bedsheet covering her body and she opened her mouth to scream, as loud as she could but nothing happened.Blood trickled down her mother's long neck and she could nothing but watch. After what seemed like hours, Dr Keeley let go of her and her limp body fell off the stool to the floor.With a sob, Eira closed her eyes shut.When she opened them again, a ceiling appeared in her vision. Her body was resting on something soft. She darted her eyes and realised it was a bed. But not the one at the hospital."Bad dream?" A masculine voice inquired.Eira abruptly lifted the upper half of her body to locate the source of the voice and found the blonde-haired guy leaning against a table on her right, his gaze firmly set on her body.The realisation sunk in gradually—it was just a dream. Yet, it had felt so real."No." The word had escaped her lips before she could think the question throu
Eira learnt that she had rested enough. There wasn't any exhaustion left in her. Instead of sitting quietly, she pledged to learn a few more things. She had a decision to make, and if things didn't go comfortably, she might need an escape plan.Truthfully, she hadn't expected to receive much information from Nate after remembering what Josh had said but surprisingly, he was generous."So, you are a vampire too?" Was her first question.Nate who had settled on a tanned couch placed close to the wall, instantly raised his eyes from his cellphone."Yes," He answered with a low voice.She pressed her lips firmly together before putting another question forward, "And what are vampires like in real life?"Nate seemed to understand that it was going to be a long questionnaire and got up from the couch to sit on the bed beside her."What vampire-based movies have you watched?" He asked, the ghost of a smile playing about on his lips."Only one. Twilight," And only because Arabella had forced h
Nate frowned before replying in a flat tone, "Well, Josh will figure out a way to wipe your memory of ever meeting any of us and everything you've learnt while being here." It was Eira's turn to frown. She wanted to forget what happened at the cemetery and her time in the dungeon but the rest, well..."What if I'm a witch but refuse to help?" She could hear her heart thumping in her ears while waiting with bated breath for his answer."Then let's hope Damien doesn't find out about anyone you love or care for."Nate's words resonated through her mind over and over again, rendering her restless. Eira couldn't get rid of the dreadful memory of the night at the graveyard and now there was a new fear; of what could happen if she tried to flee.For the first time in her life, she couldn't enjoy a hot shower. Even though the hot water trickled down her skin, tiny goosebumps formed out of a chill. Out of fear. Fear of the vampire. Damien.She didn't wish to hurt Arabella— directly or indirect
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" A harsh voice struck her ears just as all the whispers died down in an instant. She blinked her eyes open that had closed a while ago and saw Damien's angry face looking down at her.With confusion lingering in her mind, she looked into his piercing hazel eyes. In the darkness, they dilated.Slowly, she titled her head to the side, tearing her gaze from his face and looked at the door with a gaping mouth. It stood eerily silent.The night was ghost-quiet once again and her ears heard nothing but the uneven sounds of their breath.The whispers were gone."What were you doing?" Damien asked again, only this time he sounded a little concerned. He watched as Eira's eyes shifted back to him and she saw confusion scrawled all across his face.Raising a finger and pointing it towards the door, she replied in a tight voice, "I heard whispers."Those dark eyes examined her carefully before his hold on her loosened. Eira gulped and quickly shifted furt
For Josh, it was a relief to be back.While away, his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of Eira. He had returned to see her in one piece and was glad. He trusted Nate enough to leave her under his supervision, but the tiny moments when he felt reasonably doubtful left his heart thrumming loudly. Nate may have changed over the course of years but his past still clung onto him like a scar, clear and a living image of the monster he once used to be.He was silently grateful to Trish for dragging Damien away. Josh couldn't trust that vampire's instincts for a single second. Not when it concerned Eira.Soon they were walking towards the dungeons located under the richly furnished Carters Mansion; built with stones and bricks and metal hundreds of years ago. Eira fell into uneven steps behind him, her shoulders drooping. Without even looking, he could sense the nervousness in her. To his dismay, Nate and Damien followed closely.They stood in front of a brick wall, dusty and unsuspecting. N