6 - You win or you die

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."

A deal?

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."

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status