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Author's note: Not sure if i'm going to submit more chapters, ask if you want them!
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a black car. I might not have noticed it except for it was coming at a speed much too high for a neighborhood. The perfect paint job of the Volvo did nothing but confirm my suspicions — it was Luke. I was sprinting now, using all of my energy to escape. There was no chance of me looking back, but I could imagine the smirk on his face knowing there was no hope for my getaway.
I had to think on my feet, I doubted Luke just wanted to chat. We’d already done plenty of chatting; this was him fulfilling his warning; a warning that had kept me sleeping with one eye open.
The accelerator on his car zoomed to high speed just as I sharply adjusted my running angle to take me down a conveniently placed narrow pathway, too narrow for a car. I normally would’ve felt accomplished, sneaky even at my hasty thinking. Yet, taking the corner I felt no such thing.
My feet collapsed as I tried to take the steep turn far too rapidly than I should’ve; the rest of my body tripping and tumbling down the forest. My fear masked the pain, but my newly acquired blood dripping scratches were quite visible. They covered my shins, my arms and were especially deep on my knees. I knew however that this would most likely be my only opening to lose him. That wasn’t something I was about to give up — I used all my strength to get back up and start sprinting, kicking dirt behind with my hurried speed.
My vision was instantly shocked by the gleaming forest. It was a lot to take in so fast. The seemingly black trees looked like shadows through the foggy scenery. Making my fate seemed gloomier as I fearfully dashed with only a prayer of not hitting into something. The moonlight flickering through the windblown trees was the closest thing I had to a flashlight. Meaning my hearing, touch and smell were all I had to navigate.
My panic grew as I felt the ground grow damp through my shoes. Not wanting to drive myself into a pond, I switched directions. This happened over and over again, until soon I found myself lost. Everything looked the same, trees and dark shadows masking my surroundings.
Now my breath had become so heavy that it was hard to think. I had to pour all of my energy into creating the one thought I needed to have, the thought that I kept repeating in my head. Don’t stop Olivia, you need to keep going. This was the only thing keeping me going right now. My condition was tired, hungry, lost and…scared.
At that moment, a deep sense of reality set it. One that had me slowing down from a deathly sprint to a cautious jog. Luke was only trying to scare me. That was his goal. He didn’t want me seeing his brother and he was willing to threaten me to get his way. However, he was not a mystical creature capable of things worse than I could dream up in my most horrifying nightmares — like he had claimed. I would know. I use to fight these types of creatures, and I had experience with them. Luke hadn’t shown any signs of being one, aside from his tendency to give me intense creepy vibes. Anyways, all this brought me to the conclusion that my paranoia was driving me insane.
With that, my feet steadied to a slow walk and I chuckled to reassure myself that I had in fact been nothing but paranoid. It also made me realize that it might be a good idea to continue my fight training….just in case I really had to fight. Also, it had been generally strange this last year not fighting. I had been fighting all of my life. Even with Declan, my wonderful boyfriend, in the picture, something in my life hadn’t felt whole, like there was this massive void I still needed to fill.
I listened to the strangely obnoxious echo of my laugh. It was much louder than I had interpreted it to be and now hearing it I realized that it wasn’t even remotely cute (like Declan always said).
That’s what I thought at first.
The laugh soon became immobile, while I stood still. It had grown louder and now seemed to be coming closer. Then, it had no sense of direction at all, appearing to be coming from all around me. The laugh was of someone highly satisfied, entertained almost. However, at the same time there was a mischievous twist to the melody.
It definitely was not my laugh.
This laughter threw shivers crunching down my bones. It was far more traumatic then it looks in the horror movies. My heart was erupting into massive beats. I was alone in an isolated forest at night. No one had known that I’d even left my dorm — except Declan, who had sent me a text just 30 minutes ago, I want to see you. Meet me?
I desperately scanned around me for an escape, anything to relieve myself from the piercing sound. The light was so dim that any direction I chose to run would be a gamble; each one holding possibilities of large trees, the unknown laugher or the large water source inhabiting the forest.
So I just picked one. I fell into an aimless sprint relying on luck to find me a way out. A gigantic tree collapsed a foot in front of me in one direction, knocking me down backwards. A new sound penetrated my ear drums as I listened to the loud booms of the green giants collapse in all directions, each forming deadly barriers impossible to get around.
You have to get up Olivia. You have to get out of here.
I jumped to my feet, taking a sharp v-cut and darting in the other direction, only to be further enclosed by more falling trees, just missing me. I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. It was racing making it hard to get out any full breaths. Still, I kept running. I took every possible route until…I was fully encaged.
I stood anxiously, shaking in my place. I wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go. I was trapped like an animal, held in a 50ft by 50ft circle lined by enormous trees. My mouth begged me to scream out, but…did I want whoever was close enough to hear me to find me? I was sure I hadn’t been trained for this.
The zooming of my insides was overwhelming, the sickness in my body too much. It was all happening so fast. I was trying to think but my head was throbbing. I had no idea what to focus on, an escape? My life’s highlights, since this is probably the end? What was happening?
Then, everything in me just shut off, like a computer over heating too much. My knees gave out and I froze on the ground. My body stretched fully out and for a moment it was all blank. I saw the full moon and the few stars above me but my head did not connect to the sight. The laughter and the falling trees had long since quieted and now I only awaited the terror-filled ending to this nightmare.
There was a blur coming fast toward me. It was so frightening that it brought me back to reality. I swear my heart was pounding outside of my chest at this point. I was honestly sick of being so scared.
A figure stood above me. At first I met his eyes. They were an evil black that made me feel like I was falling into an endless pit of nothingness. Suddenly, my mind clicked, connecting to the figure who I knew as Luke Turner. Well, aside from his newly attained dark eyes and dangerous feel. He was gleaming with amusement; it only made him more terrifying.
This was Luke, Declan’s brother. He, who could seem so harmlessly charming, was in reality so horrifying. Why did he care that I liked his brother? It wasn’t as if Declan didn’t like me. He had liked me first, confidently approaching me on my first day! I mean what did Luke seriously expect me to do…it wasn’t even possible to stay away from Declan. How could anyone stay away from someone so mystifying?
“I did warn you to stay away Olivia.” Grinned Luke.
There was something about the Turner family. No matter what emotion they were showing or what effect they were having on people — terror, awe, anger, sadness….they always did it with a certain charm. His voice could certainly keep a crowd. Even now lying on the ground frozen with fear, I was intrigued by Luke’s beauty, immobilized by his words. He was tall, gorgeous and all dark except for his now albino skin.
It was Luke…that was obvious. But he was different. His black eyes which were normally a transforming green were electrified with a red tint. His skin appeared freakishly dead, masked with a charcoal white that excited his other newly attained features, compared to the normal lightly tanned, soft feel it gave off. The one thing that truly expressed the difference between the Luke I’d lightly known and this one wasn’t his jet black hair, or even the extreme chill I grew just from being feet away from such a cold soul, no. It was none of that. It was the realization that this Luke was actually capable of everything he had threatened — and so much more. This Luke was not human.
In normal circumstances this would mean I would have to kill him, right? I’m not exactly sure how the whole thing works now that I’m not technically a protector at the moment, due to a dragged out suspension. Nevertheless, these were not normal circumstances. I decided that my sole goal would be to survive, considering if anyone was going to be doing any killing…. it would be Luke killing me. Ah.
That thought was not taken as casually in my mind as I may have led on. I did not want to die. Though, I didn’t want to face death with fear. I wanted to be strong.
There was a rumbling of the trees in the darkest section of our little arena. This made him smile wider and it set my body on fire. Not actually, I just felt like fear was burning me from the inside. God why did I have to be so scared? I was supposed to be some invincible fighter, trained my entire life — so much for that.
When he smiled he had revealed his teeth. They were a white like I’d never seen before and of course enchantingly lovely. When I looked closer I saw how sharp and jagged they were. It looked like they could cut through my skin like butter, something I hoped he never explored.
My astonishment must have broken the immobility in my face. I knew that I had shown how terrified I was because when he looked at me his amusement lit up his features like fireworks (The kind that were out of control and destroyed things).
“I could kill you so easily Olivia.” Luke said, loving my weakness. He took a few pandering steps towards me, audibly sighing when he said. “I don’t know why you didn’t just listen to my warning.”
That comment had me off the ground. I was sprinting and screaming looking for any escape. This was not my time to die, and I was getting a serious serial killer vibe.
I finally hit the tree burrier surrounding us and there was CLEARLY no getting around it. Sweat begins pouring off my body in various places. Each side was 30 feet tall. If were to die now, in here, no one would be finding me for a long time, long enough for him to be in a different country with a new identity.
“You really are your mother’s daughter.” yelled Luke from somewhere behind me.
I halted, immediately spinning around. “What did you say?”
My mother? She was not only an extremely touchy subject for me, but she had been dead for a number of years now, murdered by a certain unknown creature.
My eyes darted frantically; Luke was nowhere to be found. It was darker in here than it had been just in the forest, I couldn’t even make out a shadow. If Luke had somehow left, I had no way of knowing. All I could think was that he was hiding, waiting to strike when I least expected it.
I scanned the darkness for where he might be lurking, closing in on the darkest corner of the arena, squinting hard and making out something, someone. It wasn’t Luke. It was something else, something far more terrifying; that was coming towards me.
In the shadows two bright green eyes approached. The owner of these eyes sported a confident stride. The first thing I saw was how huge it was, larger than any I’d ever seen of its kind. I then noticed the irregular blackness of its fur that so outdid the night. I finally met its eyes. I suddenly couldn’t dream of averting my stare anywhere else. These eyes held some strange invisible pull stealing my gaze. I was sure that they were terrifying powerful enough to single handedly get an army of people to stand down. I was also sure that they were entrancing enough to charm any women, well if they were on a man. Right now, looking at me they had a different effect. For one thing they slowed my heart race so much that I wasn’t even sure it was still beating. For another they threw shocks up my legs that caused me to shake.
Besides what they were doing to me, I think I saw something else in them. In them I saw some type of sympathy. I think that’s why I didn’t run or scream. If it’s even possible, the beast seemed intrigued and confused, maybe a little on edge. It appeared caught off guard, like it was as surprised to see me as I was to see it. It was still confident of course, always overly confident. I don’t see how an animal like it could ever not be.
I saw a lot of things in the beast. The one thing I didn’t see however is what surprised me the most. It didn’t seem to have any desire to tear me apart. Though I didn’t have any doubt that it could effortlessly rip me limb from limb. Not that any of that was necessary because it could’ve just bit my throat out or worse. I imagined it knew how to do much worse.
It slowly approached, I didn’t move. There was nowhere to go that wouldn’t bring me closer to Luke. The beast was just as scary as him, actually scarier, but whatever its intentions were didn’t seem as terrifying.
It…Or he? Came closer and then growled. It wasn’t an angry growl. It was a commanding growl. He nudged his head pointing towards the tree wall. I think he wanted me to back up? Was that even possible? I still didn’t move.
Then he gave a louder commanding growl. This one made me stumble backward, though I was still just in front of the wall. He waited. Then I swore he shrugged at me. As if to say have it your way. He got down in a crouch and leaped at me. This time I backed up as fast as I could, it being my only option.
I felt my head and back smack the wall hard. If I lived through this, I would definitely have a concussion, possibly brain damage?
He had his paws on either side of my head against the wall. I pushed my body backward, cringing, trying to get as far away as possible, except there really was nowhere to go. Startlingly, the wolf looked down at me, gazing into my eyes. I could feel his warm breath down my neck with the little space now between us. His eyes kept a wondering stare down upon me.
I broke the silence. I broke his stare. I found myself whispering, “Are you going to kill me?” through my heavy breathing. As impossible as it seemed at the time I defiantly saw him throw me a sympathized expression.
Then he looked back at me, differently this time. It was like he was looking through me. In my head I thought I heard the word sleep. Only it was literally inside my head.
Right before I lost my sight I saw that his eyes had turned into an unimaginable purple. They were deep, dark and powerful looking. He however, looked calm, neither happy nor unhappy to be standing above me.
My eyes grew too heavy for me to keep open and they shut. Then it was like I was drifting away from him. I was trying desperately to get back, but I kept moving closer and closer to the darkness. Until, I physically could not hang on any longer. Finally, I gave up and the blackness overtook me.
Blink. Blink. What?
My eyes were open. Well, at least I thought they were, but I couldn’t see anything. Everything was entirely black. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest, halting my breathing as I tried to recall where I was. A million thoughts spurred through my head, many of which scared the hell out of me. Did I go blind!? …Am I dead? No. No. No. No, I’m breathing— kind of. So, where am I?
Kidnapped! I wince. I had been taken by Luke in all of his sinister glory. The rest, including how I got here, was like a blur of scattered thoughts and confusing images. The last thing I remembered was a massively dark wolf with piercing eyes. Then, everything went black; the rest of my memory from that day was a blank slate.
Ouch, my head was ringing. The constant throbbing was really irritating, not to mention painful. I could deal with being punched in the face or stabbed. That pain was quick, temporary. This pain wouldn’t stop. It just kept thumping and heating up my brain, aggravating my thoughts. I was surprised I could even half remember the past events with the headache I was fighting. No more thinking, I decided — it hurt too much. The memories would just flow back into my head when they were ready, I hoped.
Instead, I allowed my fingers to feel the hard ground underneath me. It was some sort of grass like material, straw? It was also deep. I kept digging my fingers into it until my entire hand was hidden, yet I never touched bottom. Where am I?
I tried to connect the dots, but the complexity was too much for me. A flaming sting ignited in my temple, pulling my hands to my head to cool the stifling pain.
This was miserable and I knew it, but fighting all my life had taught me a valuable thing — to go somewhere else. When life utterly sucks, if pain is overflowing your body, just leave; do not be anywhere near that place. Take your mind on a thoughtless journey to another place. I may not be able to leave here, but I can sure leave earth.
So I breathe. Deep breath; in…out. In…out. My head becomes light, my body warm. The pain slips into the dark edges of my mind where it’s almost invisible. The need for sleep overcomes me, and that’s the most pain I can feel. It’s relaxing, the need for a lovely, random, uncontrolled dream being my largest desire.
Suddenly, an outrageous amount of light burst in, immediately blinding me. Turn it off! I shield my eyes due to the shock, letting out a shriek as my overtired feet somehow get up the energy to push myself into the comfort of a dark corner.
Luke’s voice fills the room, “Calm down, it’s time to wake up.” He spoke to me like I was a phase and he was so over it.
Even though my eyes were closed the unpleasant image of Luke’s impatient face was vividly clear in my head. There would be no more games; we were getting down to business. He doesn’t just want to kill me I realized. There had to be ulterior motives for him kidnapping me, considering I was not dead yet — I intended to find them out.
“Common get up, we don’t have all day.” he pushed, hardly amused by my rebellion.
All his words managed to produce in me was the thought — Luke is such a jerk. Wait…a sense of remembrance, mixed with jagged pain flooded my brain as I struggled to recall my last moments before the blackout. I was with that…wolf? Luke had disappeared!
Heaving pain cluttered my brain; I shoved passed it eager for answers. How had he gotten me away from that thing? Why hadn’t it killed me? What the hell happened after I blacked out!
A surging sting abruptly erupted somewhere inside my skull. It threw me off momentarily, causing me to audibly moan.
“What’s going on?” Luke questioned suspiciously about my moan. I ignored him.
I had to keep thinking while the memories were still somewhat fresh. I somehow managed to force my brain to focus right back on the moment of the wolf and I. I will not give up, I push myself. I need to find these answers. Come on. Come on. I soothe. WAIT!
There was no blackout. I had fallen asleep! I had suddenly grown questionably, unbearably tired and just passed out. How the hell did I fall asleep in front of a potential murder? Whatever, I was alive. Why was I still alive!
That last thought brought nothing but pure, indisputable pain. I had to swallow it down hard. I had to destroy the tears before the appeared. You should NEVER, under any circumstances, show your enemy any sign of weakness. Weakness was simply a synonym for death in the battlefield.
Maybe Luke had stolen me back and killed the wolf. Maybe the wolf had left me in the woods and Luke had just taken me. I don’t know. Right now I was going to live in the moment — while I still had the moment to live in. I was somewhere with Luke and he had yet to kill me. There were much worse moments to be in; I had lived through worse moments.
“Okay Olivia, this is the last time I will ask nicely and trust me you want me to be nice. Get up.” He orders in a tone that is far from nice.
Angry jolts shot down my body, clenching my fists. My momentary thought gathering was over. My attention was now fully focused on what Luke had said —that did it.
My eyes flashed. I was no longer scarred. You do not kidnap me, hurt me and then threaten me. My training may be rusty, and I may not be in top condition, but that would not stop me from brutally kicking his ass.
“What is wrong with you, you crazy bastard. The only thing I am going to do is get the hell out of this place. ” The words came out of my mouth slow and with accented emotion, intent on showing him how much I mean them.
I watched his eyes flare up red during my speaking, probably focusing on the “crazy bastard” part of my sentence. Now, he simply stared at me darkly for a much extended pause.
“What’s the matter?” I push my luck. “Don’t like being stood up too?” I smile, sitting up more confidently from my dark corner.
He ignores me. He continues staring, his eyes slowly cooling back to their normal light green.
He clears his throat and speaks calmly, but sternly. “Miss White, I do not,” He says, putting a special emphasis on the do not,” take kindly to being called names. You are alive. Please try to remember how quickly I can change that.”
That threat did send a few quick shivers through my bones, but that was it. I shook them off and began to devise a simple plan that wouldn’t annoy my headache too much
Now or never. I take in a deep sigh, part of my distraction tactic, attempting to look defeated and scared because of his death threat. I can see that it’s actually working pretty well, probably because of my not-so-much-acting scarred act from last night.
I stumble upward making it appear like I was physically unable to do much more. My eyes are focused on the door, as if I was really convinced to do what he asked. One shot Olivia, you only have one shot. I grow a little nervous. There’s no turning back now, I take in a deep breath.
I get close enough to him so that I can reach him, but far enough away that it’s not a suspicious distance. I reach my hand out like I’m going for the doorknob. This is it, I exhale.
When my hand reaches close enough to his face I bawled my fingers into a fist, using all the strength in my arm to connect my knuckles with his precious looking features. The hit was a little off, due to lack of recent practice and I ended up socking him in the nose. Still, it was unexpected and had the same affect.
As soon as my fist left his nose I was running past him. I heard him swear. That’s what you get jerk! I really hoped I broke his nose. My punches had been known to get the job done.
HOLY CRAP! Immediately after barging through the door I realized I was running on air. This was because there was no longer a floor to run on. Wherever he had put me was hidden up in a tree, 100 feet tall, that I was now falling from.
Many things were going through my head at this moment. For one thing, this is ironic. I have been “hanging out with” two very crazy, dangerous creatures all night who are both more than capable of killing me; however I’m going to die from falling out of a tree.
For another, I thought about Declan. I’d only known him a couple months, but he was utterly amazing. Aside from my two best friends I would miss him the most.
“Warren, take care of this!” A highly pissed off Luke yells.
Where my mourning about dying thoughts took up about 4 seconds of the fall, my thoughts on who the hell Warren was began consuming the rest of it. I know it probably sounds a little selfish, to waste my final thoughts on some guy that I don’t even know, over the people who’d actually been there for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there were defiantly more deserving people of my final goodbye.
Luke’s words had just caught me off guard. It was a very confusing concept. I was about to die and Luke wanted Warren to “take care of me”. What is that suppose to mean? Is he going to…bury me? I choke. Luke really is a scum bag. He can’t even wait for me to die before he commands someone to take care of my body.
That was the last thought I was able to have before landing harshly on my destination, Warren. Thank god. His arms weren’t the most comfortable place to land, but they were better than the ground. I had practice with taking hard falls so it wasn’t excruciatingly painful, although it wasn’t much better than that...
I was much less preoccupied with my pain, than I was with Warrens. It should have been a lot more uncomfortable for him then it was for me. We both should have died. He however, looked perfectly comfortable.
That was when I decided that Warren was not human. He was too strong, too fast and too indestructible. I stared at him. Then I realized that I forgot to mention he was also too good looking, in a different way than the normal concept of the word though.
Warren was scruffy. He had soft, naturally highlighted blonde hair, green eyes, and tan skin that almost looked like he had been playing in the dirt too long. His body, oh that body, was what really got me. It was sculpted like I’d never seen before; there were muscles that I didn’t know existed shining before my eyes all over him. Looking more closely, A flurry of painful scars lined his skin, like he’d been fighting a war his entire life. Oddly, there was something insanely attractive about that.
Hotness aside, I tried to get down from him. Don’t let him distract you, I persisted.
He didn’t move. I struggled a little, but he still didn’t budge. It was useless; he was a lot stronger than me. I even tried to look into his eyes and plead for him to let me go, but he just refused my gaze. Ugh!
He squeezed on to me just a little bit tighter and moved his gaze from the ground to beside us. I followed where his eyes looked, turning my head just quick enough to see Luke’s hand at my face. It was too late of course. He connected. Warren winced. Then it hurt. Bastard, it really hurt. I had squeezed my entire body tightly together to numb the pain, but I refused to scream.
Warren probably felt my body grimace seeing as I was in his arms, but Luke would not be able to tell how badly I’d cringed by looking at me. I would not give him the satisfaction of knowing it hurt like hell. Deep breathes I repeated to myself.
“Stupid bitch.” said Luke.
I shot him a big smile. His comment meant nothing to me. I was focusing on how I hadn’t even managed to bruise his face. Damn. I would have to fix that.
HOLY, OUCH! Fight it. Fight it! I struggled to even take in breaths. The pain was piercing. It was screaming so loud that it was all I could focus on. Luke had my jaw clenched in one of his hands. It could tell it was going to do some serious damage. How does anyone have that much physical strength? He was squeezing my bones so tightly that I wasn’t sure how they weren’t shattering. Lucky for me it rendered my ability to speak because if my words got out right now, they would be my last.
He forced me to look directly at him. “I hope this is the last time I have to remind you of this. You will treat me with respect. You will cooperate and you will remember that my left hand alone is capable of snapping your entire body like a twig.” He spat, roughly releasing my jaw.
I opened my mouth and decided there weren’t words to describe how I felt. Instead, while my mouth was already open, I decided simply spitting in his face would get my message across — it did.
“You little twit!” Luke fumed, wiping the spit from his face.
Warren took one fast stride backwards, causing Luke’s fist to impact with air. Luke’s face flashed anger, his eyes returning to a deathly black.
Warren took this silence as a gift and spoke fast. “Sorry, but in the interest of time we really have to go.” Warren stumbled out. He put me down, roughly enough that Luke wouldn’t think he was protecting me, but kindly enough that it didn’t hurt. Was he protecting me?
Luke gave me an intense look like he was going to turn my insides out. Those dark eyes were pretty intimidating. Lucky, I was impossible to scare when I was this pissed off. Though, I think Luke would win the pissed off award right now.
After what felt like 20 minutes later Luke finally moved his attention to Warren. He spoke with a commanding tone. It was an order. “Do not ever interrupt me like that again. Understand?”
Warren half bowed, half nodded in response. Clearly, he was much lower on the totem pole. I had to give him credit though; he seemed to know how to handle himself around Luke, because he had him calming down.
“Good.” His attention was back on me. “Olivia, this is Warren. You’ll be spending some time with him lately, as he won’t be leaving your side, until we figure this whole thing out.”
He glances at Warren to confirm that he wouldn’t leave my side. Then he shoves some clothes hard at my stomach. This cut off my air supply and there was no covering up my gasp for air. Nor did Luke try to hide his satisfied smile.
“As much as I would love to make you as uncomfortable as possible, I can’t let you stay in those clothes. They would defiantly cause suspicion.” He ended his sentence by looking me up and down and almost laughing.
I inconspicuously skimmed my clothing to see that he was right. My jeans were torn in various spots. Where they weren’t torn there was either dry blood or a nasty grass stain. My sweatshirt was in a similar torn and bloody condition. The T-shirt I was wearing under it had gone from a clean white to a dirty brown. To sum it up, my clothes could be the example representing the categories of unredeemable, not even good enough for good will, and rags —take your pick.
Well maybe if you hadn’t chased me into the woods I wouldn’t need to change, I think. Fortunately, I saw this as nothing more then I chance to be a pain in Luke’s ass. So naturally, I refused to change.
I began my very confident, contented refusal with, “There is no way in hell I...”
Before I could finish my sentence Luke was starting his. Humph. He’s evil and rude, keep adding to your list scumbag.
“Have it your way darling. Warren?”
My eyes flew to Warren. He didn’t move. Immobility seemed to be a pattern for him. Come on, make your move. I wait anxiously, expecting a fight.
“I suggest you just change.” He advised.
A moment of silence passes. Was he seriously talking to me? Was he seriously that confident that he could just effortlessly beat me in a fight? I may be rusty, but I wasn’t that rusty. I gave him no mercy.
“If you think just because you tell me too I’m going to...”
AGAIN before I finished he stopped me. Whoever had taught him manners had done a pretty crappy job.
“Get on with it Warren.” Luke was bored with me. However, he was impatient for whatever he wanted Warren to do.
Warren’s eyes flashed to me. It was the most intense stare I’d ever felt. I found myself unable to help looking back. Why would I want to? Those eyes were wow. Then it all changed, no pun intended. I heard one word spoken in my head and it wasn’t spoken by me. It was change. It wasn’t a gesture or a question. It was a blunt, emotionless command; One that I REALLY didn’t want to follow. One that, for whatever reason, I was now following.
I really hated being stripped of my will. I hated it almost as much as I hated stripping in public! Both of which were happening right now. Warren turned around immediately. Luke on the other hand, just stood there and watched, sick bastard. I finished changing in like 10 seconds, a new record for me. Of course, I never had more motivation to finish faster.
Changed, I moved my eyes up to give Luke an F off glare, except I couldn’t see. My head was forcefully reared backwards by the cloth now tightly covering my eyes. My hands immediately sprang upwards to rip off the blindfold. Yet, they didn’t even make it past my hips before they were harshly snatched and held behind my back. Before I knew it they were tightly tied together. I was now really, really pissed off.
As dehumanizing as the thought was, I knew that I was no longer a person. In the eyes of Luke I was simply an item that he had a use for, a motive that I had yet to figure out.
Thinking back on how the day’s events occurred I find no regret in my actions, I decided it was better to die with my dignity then live on in fear of Luke. That was not to say that I wasn’t scared. To say that would be a lie. But I liked to think of bravery not as being fearless, but doing the feared. I had spit in Luke’s face.
Because of my bravery however, Luke was done asking; now he was simply telling. I was being dragged to who knows where whether I liked it or not and trust me, I didn’t.
I disliked having my free will taken away from me so much that I made it perfectly clear to whoever was ordered to carry me along. Within three short minutes my dragger through me over his shoulder and carried me the rest of the way. I took this opportunity to sleep and regain my strength.
Sometime later, I awoke with my headache gone and the gripping feeling of the seatbelt tightened around me. I was once again reminded of the events that placed me here. Declan. The boy that no girl could resist; if they only knew…
I couldn’t lie to myself. Life had been as absolutely plain as the life of a killer could possibly be before Declan. He had come without warning and changed everything. He made me happy. When I didn’t even know that I wasn’t happy.
He had chosen me out of a world of endless possibilities of better women. As insecure and dependent as it makes me feel to admit it, I’ve always felt like he’s better than me, like maybe he made the wrong decision liking me. Still I thank my lucky stars that he made that decision, and not one part of me could ever blame him for the craziness of his family. He was still millenniums better than anything I could’ve wish for.
My movement was pretty much limited to absolutely nothing, considering the rope tied around my hands, feet and body. It being my only option, I remained sitting there for what felt like hours, unable to see or speak. In that time I focused all of my energy on not going crazy. The pressure of the unanswered questions began getting to me, playing tricks on my mind.
Suddenly I could feel that we were slowing down. My heart began racing, sweat escaping my body in various places. I ironically wished that I was back to unknowingly sitting in the torturously long car ride. I wasn’t ready to face my fate, I didn’t want to die.
Then my mouth restraint was off, followed by my blindfold. My head viciously swung in the direction of the driver, who was Warren. He however, didn’t have the slightest interest in viewing me. He just continued with his eyes on the road as if everything was completely normal.
“Where are we going?” I hiss.
No response. I decide to try a different, more aggressive approach.
“Do you really think you’re going to get away with this, kidnapping me? Do you know what Declan is going to do when he finds out? Let me go now and I promise you’ll never have to find out…”
I hear nothing but the tires on the pavement.
“I know you’re not like Luke. You don’t want to hurt me. So, why are you doing this?”
Warren starts talking, his eyes still gazing at the road. “I took off your restraints because I wouldn’t like not being able to see either, but,” he turns his head to face me, “if you keep talking they’re going right back on.” He finishes, returning his eyes to the road.
“You didn’t take off all my restraints.” I grunt, furiously attempting to untie my hands.
The rest of the time we drive in silence. I have no more intentions of speaking, as I’m in no position to defend myself. Instead my imagination did the work of continuously punching him...and Luke, for the matter, in the face.
I began recognizing the scenery. Extraordinary landscape and expensive flowers were normal in California, but the design techniques of certain places were easy to distinguish. We were heading towards Mystic Heights Boarding school, my home sense I can remember. A slight feeling of ease washed over my anxiety.
The gates of Mystic Heights Boarding appeared like a slow motion dream, so powerful and strong, they had kept me safe all of my life. I wondered if that was about to change.
Crossing the gates was much like crossing the border, they stretched as far as the eye could see and the only way to get passed them was to be allowed in. We drove up to a gate without a guard, this one had a place to manually type in a four digit code; one that I happened to know was changed hourly. I silently gasp in horror as the loud clicking sound announces the opening of the gate.
With crushed hopes, a hungry stomach and aching rope burn the ride still continued on. That was something I had learned about life, it went on. No matter what happened or how badly you wanted a break, it wasn’t happening. Stick it out, I told myself now, like I’d always said back then.
I watched as we came, and passed my dorm, imagining things that weren’t possible anymore. The road to my section of the school was ignored with the same speed. That left our destination as Declan’s section of the school or the in-between, aka the main office building.
Mystic Heights was not an ordinary school; it was probably the most well kept secret in California. This school was known to be extraordinarily difficult to be accepted into, which was true, but not in the way that most people think. To get in to Mystic Heights you had to be somebody; which in actual terms means being rich, royal, famous or important.
The larger kept secret was not that the school was discriminating with its policy of accepted students. The true secret was why they did it. Mystic Heights was actually two schools. One that was large and wondrous filled with important people. And another that was hidden down a discrete road disguised for outsiders as the schools dump.
The students at this school are not known as students. To the world they’re not actually known at all, except by false I.D’s and fake passports. These “students” are protectors, secret agents, fighters; All different names with the same meanings. They are highly trained agents taught to protect the students from threats, most specifically Mystics — the supernatural, nonhuman race.
Declan’s street came and went. The remainder of the ride would consist of impressive scenery put in place to wow anyone thinking of enrolling. A stone wall created a barrier on either side of the road. You could tell we were getting close because everything seemed to be lined in well kept flowers. The grass had just been mowed, appearing nicer than those of golf courses. There were fountains and random expensive looking sculptures everywhere, the sort of throw a lot of costly stuff around and call it landscape technique that our school used. It wasn’t something you got sick of seeing. Mystic Heights was one of the most beautiful schools in the world.
A very large black gate came into view, causing a few shivers of déjà vu to shoot up my spine. There were small stone towers on either side of it where security guards were supposed to be posted. I was careful not to get my hopes up while Warren drove up and began speaking to a guy through an intercom in a calm, confident tone. A few seconds later the gate clicked, slightly disappointing me as we drove in.
A set of bushes were cut into shapes that spelled out MAIN OFFICE. I was no longer able to ignore the familiar nervous shivers zipping around my stomach. The painful memory was still fresh in my mind from the last time I had been here, six months ago.
I remembered practically shaking out of my clothes when I was first called down. The rest of the journey here had only made me more frantic.
The guards had taken me most of the way. Then I was left alone in front of a plain metal door exactly like the ten others on either side of it. I remember questioning whether or not I would even be able to turn the handle.
I opened it slowly, seeing a near empty room with a large oval table, filled with eyes all directed on me. I wanted to throw up; the burning sickness was definitely brewing in the pit of my stomach. Wearing jeans had been my best decision that day; without them my trembling knees would have been visible.
The meeting had consisted of various personalities; people who yelled a lot, the silent disappointed type and one or two people who didn’t blame me. My being there was tortuous, and honestly pointless. I kept my head down the entire meeting, only nodding or shaking my head when absolutely necessary.
When the meeting was over, I was given my sentence.
I stood up.
“For your inability to fulfill you duties, resulting in the death of a student, we have ruled a 5 month suspension. You will spend this time at the school for Mystic Heights students.”
I cringe remembering the words. To have my title taken away was the worst disgrace. I resented myself for my mistake every day of those 5 months, until I met Declan. Near the end of the 4th month the boy with the perfect smile pulled me out of my dark life, completely changing me. I finally didn’t hate myself for what I’d done.
If I’d gone back to being a protector I was confident that I could’ve faced everything that came with it, but I never did. I decided to stay with Declan for a while longer.
We swerved into a parking spot and the tires screeched to a rapid stop, bringing my mind back to reality. Out of habit I reached for the door handle, forgetting my hands were tied; the movement causing me to fall over. With no hands to catch my fall my face smacked hard against the door. The lock clicked. Warren pulled me up by one of the ropes.
A softer look falls over his face. “This will be quick. We’re reenrolling you as a protector and that’s it. I don’t want any problems, okay?”
Warren was not as confident as Luke. In his defense, he wasn’t as mean either. I would pick him over Luke any day. Unfortunately, it didn’t mean I was going to show him any mercy. Not by far.
I roll my eyes and turn away, sighing angrily to over exaggerate my boredom. If he didn’t want to talk to me before, why should I give him the pleasure now?
When I didn’t respond he began swiftly untying me, an act that he made seem so much easier than the impossible task I declared it as on the car ride here.
The lock clicked once more, this time giving me a better feeling, as this click unlocked the car. That feeling was short lived; before my hand even reached the door handle Warren had already opened it for me, extending his hand outward, politely gesturing for me to get out.
I surprise him by immediately throwing my words at him. “Why don’t you just force me to do it?” I glare.
He stares at me blankly, as if the words I’m saying are completely irrelevant.
“Seriously, if you don’t want to worry about me causing any problems you better do it. I’ll tell you right now if you give me the smallest chance, I’m going to cause problems.” Did he really think I was planning on making this remotely easy for him?
Warren turns his head to put the full force of his eyes on me.
“I don’t like using people as my personal slaves. I would much rather you just comply. It brings out a bad side of me when I use my ah...” He stumbles for a moment, “gift too much.”
“You have a bad side?” I toy, my tone begging to piss him off.
“I know you don’t like having your free will taken away from you, so I suggest that you stop playing games.” He ignores me, “Especially ones that you can’t win.” He unnecessarily adds.
My eyes practically bulge out of my head in anger. While Warren’s expression stays perfectly neutral. He was right. I hated my free will being taken away.
I got out of the car and slammed the door shut. Just because it was true that I liked having my free will, it didn’t mean that he wasn’t making a big mistake allowing me to have it.
Warren was at my side before I took another step, grabbing a hold of my arm. He did it gently, only enough to tell me not to take another step. Still, I punched him in the ribs immediately to announce my need for personal space. His response was to act unaffected, still keeping a good grip on my arm.
“As much as prefer not to compel you,” He says, using my arm to tug me a little closer. “I am still very capable of doing it anytime I need to. Just know that I won’t hesitate to do so if I have to.” He whispers.
I shove his arm off of me and march towards the main office steps doing nothing to disguise my anger for the sake of Warrens cover. The steps were long enough to fit 10 people comfortably, giving us a large enough distance from each other so that I didn’t attack him. They were also hard marble alike the rest of the building.
The floor at the top of the steps was lined with golden colored pillars, around 20 feet tall. Our school clearly had no money problems. The rich families liked to make yearly donations, most of which were never less than a million dollars.
Glass doors with golden handles lined the front of the building. Warren somehow caught up and opened one for me. It was so annoying. You cannot kidnap someone and then be nice to them. He knew nothing.
We walked in and I was immediately cold, my arms crossing over my chest. When you have too much money, why not overrun the air conditioner?
The opening room was huge with the same pink marble color lining the floor. The walls were a rich golden color, mostly covered in paintings. There were some plants and waiting chairs scattered in the right places, but basically there was lots of space, with nothing in it. This was because aside from its exquisiteness, nobody liked to spend too much time in the main office. No one was normally called down to there to be congratulated. It almost always meant discipline.
About another 30 feet away from us, there was a massive desk. There Lauren, the receptionist, was sitting at her computer typing furiously. She was blonde and pretty, but she was also extremely conservative. Her hair was always up in a bun and I’d never seen her without her glasses. All things aside, she is one of the nicest people in the entire campus. If teacher- student relationships weren’t frowned upon here, I might even call us friends.
That’s when it hit me. This was the perfect time to escape. There were cameras lining every inch of this place. I may not be able to take on Warren alone, but with a whole team of security behind me? My plan began to derive.
I would scream to Lauren telling her he had kidnapped me. I doubted Warren would be quick enough to stop me from saying that. It wasn’t like he could read my mind. It seemed like he had to be looking in my eyes to compel me anyways. To up my odds, I decided to completely avoid his gaze at all times.
If all went well, Lauren would push the emergency button and the place would be lined with security in seconds. If by some chance he took control of her instead of me, I would have to push the button.
Warren stepped ahead of me. I flinched slightly, not knowing if it was because he read my scheming look or because he just wanted to insinuate he would be doing the talking. Either way, I stopped all of my thoughts momentarily due to an extreme case of paranoia.
We reached the desk. My hands started to sweat nervous pools. I began doubting myself; maybe going back to protector training wouldn’t be a bad thing to do for a couple of weeks? Or months? Years? How long did Luke plan to keep this charade going?
For a few seconds I seriously considered just going with the flow for a while and seeing how things would turn out, before realizing something that changed my mind. I was not willing to be away from Declan that long. I would move forward with the plan.
Lauren had yet to look up from her desk. Every second that she sat there, my anxiety grew. Her head was just barely higher than the top of the desk, another flaw in my already risky plan. I only had one shot to get out what I needed to say before Warren compelled my mouth shut. How could I insure that she heard me from WAY down there? It was one more chance I had to take.
“How may I help you?” Lauren asked somehow seeing us, without actually seeing us.
Warren spoke with that Turner family charm. “Miss White is here to renew her title as a protector.” He effortlessly purred.
I don’t know if it was my name or Warren’s charm, but something intrigued her enough to look up. She met Warren’s face first. He responded with a fascinating smile. She half flinched, immediately noticing his unique beauty. She was use to seeing enchantingly gorgeous men come through her every day. However, Warren, whatever he was, was in a whole different league by himself. He smiled knowingly and it annoyed me so much that I allowed myself to become unfocused enough to give him a dirty look.
Eventually, she turned her attention to me, realizing that she might have been starring for an inappropriately long amount of time. She had been – whatever. Focus Olivia, focus.
The second her eyes met mine my mouth grew a mind of its own. I screamed, “Warren kidnapped me! Push the button quickly before he compels me!”
It wasn’t exactly how I’d planned on saying it. It sounded confusing, I sounded scared and all together it really just didn’t come out right. Either way, Lauren was no beginner at this. She may not have known exactly what was going on, but she had definitely heard the distress in my voice. When there was distress she was trained not to think, just to reach for the button.
I saw her reach; she was so close, her fingers might have even felt it. I was that close to freedom. Only, of course, her arms dropped to her sides.
The second I saw that I dove for the button. I wasn’t as successful as her. Warren was no longer caught off guard. I didn’t even make it close enough to the button to dream of escape. In my head I had heard stop!! And I just obeyed. My body dropped and halted on top of the desk, causing papers to fly everywhere. My mouth closed, refusing to open until some stupid voice in my head allowed it to, my eyes the only was able to move. I moved them to Warren.
I watched how his arms flexed as he ripped the cord attached to the button from the wall. His right hand smashed down onto the alarm immediately shattering it into tiny red pieces. The supposedly indestructible safety net now seemed like a simple kid’s toy.
I heard his breathing louder than anything, it was tough and heavy. His eyes however, were freaking me out the most, now dangerously spiraling with lavender swirls. They only became darker as he spoke. “Lauren,” he said inhaling a deep breath of air, “switch Olivia back into being a protector.” Each word came out slower and more commanding then the next.
The more words he spoke the less control I felt immobilizing my body. It was like strangling ropes slowly loosening themselves. Soon I would be able to push passed his compulsion. I watched a particle of sweat fall from his forehead as he forced out one last command.
“Then you will forget the last 10 minutes ever happened.” Upon his last word I felt his compulsion drop, defeated.
Like some sort of domino effect, I also watched Warren’s head turn sharply in my direction. Did he know he no longer had me cemented in my place? Should I run? I was too scared to move. Warren and I were in some sort of starring contest right now. It seemed like hours that I watched his eggplant eyes evolve back to their former hazel glory. As each new, lighter shade appeared I also saw a layer of anger shed away.
Suddenly, Warren jumped! The sound of his thunderous ringtone ended our contest, winning me the victory. He sighed, checking the caller ID. Then with one last glance at me he glided swiftly into another room to take the call.
With one last look at Lauren, I was up. She was still in some ridiculous trance, typing frantically. I didn’t even try to get her attention. I sprinted as quietly as possible across the marbled floor, heading towards the main hallway. It was a mile long with hundreds of doors on either side the entire way down. If I made it there, even Warren would have trouble finding me.
My head yanked backwards as an immediate reaction to hearing Warren’s voice ending his phone call with a combination of the creak of an opening door. Luckily, I was only half a second from turning the hallway corner. No looking back; just keep running.
I turned my head at the same time as I turned the corner at the same time that I smacked right into a rock. Ouch. I looked up and stumbled backwards with shock, but only slightly. I was finally getting used to gorgeous guys popping out of nowhere. Which was good because I wasn’t sure if it was something you ever got use to? Anyways, this was the first time I saw Eli Cole, the boy with annoyingly hard abs. He was roughly six feet of brown haired, blue eyed charm.
“So what’s all the interest in you?” Eli said with a smile while raising his right eyebrow.
Clearly, he had been watching Warren and I. However, right now I did not care. My legs were ready to bolt, all too aware that Warren would soon figure out that I was gone and I didn’t even want to think about his actions that would follow that.
Still, Eli was standing in the way, so my words did the running. I stuttered them out fast, “Warrens coming! I need to get out of here.” I half mumble half yelled, running into Eli’s chest and pathetically attempting to move him.
I was dangerously close to dropping on the ground crying; only unexpectedly he shrugged and moved out of the way, the sudden imbalance causing me to trip. With no time to waste, I pathetically lunged back to my feet trying to somehow start back up into a sprint, probably just making a fool of myself.
“I could get you out of here you know.” He persuaded from behind me, his words playing with my ears and immediately halting my feet. They were said so casually, like they weren’t a miracle.
I starred at Eli, who was leaning up against a wall, hands in his pockets, starring at the ceiling. “How do I know I can trust you?” I questioned.
Surprising me, Eli’s eyes flashed down at me instantaneously. “You don’t.” He exclaimed. “But trust that Warren will catch you within 30 seconds of noticing you’re gone, without me.” He said our faces now inches apart where they had been 20 feet before, his way of emphasizing how quickly Warren could catch me without him.
I stirred away from him thinking he might force me to go with him, but he just leaned up against the wall while putting his hands up in defense. “Your choice.”
I thought for a quick second, heard a door slam dramatically, and then made up my mind. “Ok! Ok! How do we get out of here?” I spurted out, closing the previous space I had made between us.
He smiled; unfazed by the stress of knowing how close Warren was, cracking his knuckles the way people do before they’re about to show off. It had me slightly annoyed, but if he could get me out of here then I could get over it.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Eli began with the voice of a TV show host. “Please fasten your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy ride. My name is Eli Cole and I will be your captain today.” Eli hummed out, his eyes smiling with excitement.
“Is this some type of joke to you?” I said sharply, contemplating whether beating this stupid guy up was worth getting caught and contained by Warren.
My anger level rose even more when I saw that he wasn’t even listening to me, his eyes and mind were somewhere else. My fists clenched; I was reaching my peak.
Suddenly, Eli’s blue eyes became the sea – instantly stopping my fuming in its tracks. They rippled like waves, but they were calming like a waterfall. Their color was an unreal mystic blue which I am unable to find words to describe. Silver stars emerged around us. There must’ve been fifty of them, shimmering brightly like nothing I’d ever seen.
Then I looked at Eli’s hands, millions of the little things were floating above them. I met his eyes which had a unique twinkle of their own. His gaze was on me. He held out his hand and gestured for mine. I gave it to him too entranced to think for myself. Then he squeezed it a bit and winked at me “Don’t let go.” He breathed; bringing his open palm flatly to his lips and blowing out a perfect little kiss that sent glittering light in my direction.
I watched, dazzled, as the shine exploded throughout my body. It was extravagantly wonderful. It sped up the blood in my very veins, shaking my feet making them feel like they were ready to float away. Abruptly, the stars completely froze in midair, making their beauty vividly real. Before I had been starring satisfyingly long enough, the stars burst upwards, some type of gravity pulling me with them.
Then, I was flying through beaming colors. I was a shooting star rocketing through the atmosphere; Soaring over clouds with the sun’s luminous rays on my face. It was some sort of vision. It was all new to me, but it would be a lie to say I was at all scared. Through it all I could still feel Eli’s strong hand holding mine, Eli who was so obviously not human that I wasn’t even going to considering denying it. The thought of killing him – although there, was not a thought I planned to pursue.
One deep breath later and I was falling through the clouds. Air was rushing through my lungs, but it still felt amazing. The stars were blowing up around me, in radiant colors. Each one helped me to fall less harshly until I was gracefully drifting back to earth. My sight became clearer as the star dust shimmered away.
My first sight was Eli hovering beside me, our hands gripped together. I felt a slight precipitation damping our clutch and blushed, wondering whether the nervous inducted clamminess was coming from my own hands. My feet touched ground softly and my site was renewed to its former glory, no longer restricted to Eli.
I watched as a few last stars sparkled before twinkling out.
“And thank you for fly...” Eli’s eyes grew wide, starring at the scenery that had cut his words short. “Shot! Shot, shot, shot.” He formed each word using a different octave, each more loudly and angry then the next. It was ironic for such dirty words to come from lips as inviting as Eli’s.
“What?” I said.
“We have to go, now.” He commanded.
I hadn’t known Eli long, but that tone was one I was all too familiar with. Luke had the tone naturally blended into his voice, and Warren had occasionally pulled it out in our time together. Something I had learned — it wasn’t good.
I nervously looked around. We were in a house I think. It was small, but nice. Where we were standing looked like a living room. There was a couch and a television. I wondered why we weren’t supposed to be here. It seemed perfectly safe, quaint even.
When we went outside, my opinion quickly changed. The neighborhood was abandoned. There literally wasn’t a person in site, probably for miles. Everything about this place was gray and dull. There were smashed windows and random belongings scattered everywhere.
A creepy tingle went off in my gut. There was something horrifyingly familiar about this place, something I hoped I never go to the bottom of. I wanted to leave, now. I no longer needed an explanation as to why we were here.
I went to open my mouth to insist a fast departure, but my brain flashed me a warning. What if I got him mad and I ended up stuck here? I didn’t know this guy. He could very well be the angry, flip out type. The guys I had met lately were unpredictable. I decided to stay quiet.
Lucky for us, one of those scattered belongings left behind, was a car. I watched Eli as he removed his shirt. I might’ve been scared that he was going to rape me or something, except his attention was completely devoted to the car. He wrapped the shirt around his elbow. Then tucked his head away from the car and smashed the window.
The glass effortlessly shattered. I guessed he used some of his anger at us being her to destroy that window. Either way, he was no beginner at breaking into a car. Not a good sign.
He reached in through the window, pulled up the lock, opened the door and hopped in. About 30 seconds later, I heard the roar of the car starting up. Hm. noticeably, he wasn’t a beginner at high jacking cars either, another bad sign.
Then, he was out of the car and opening the door for me. I stared at him, crossing my arms. He just grinned, shooting me a what-doesn’t-everybody- know-how-to- break-into-a- car? look. Still, my fear of being left in this creepy town beat my uneasiness about Eli and I got into the car.
Hours later, most of which I slept through, we stopped. We had been driving down a dirt path, “shortcut”, through the woods for a good ten minutes.
“Are you sure this is a short cut?” I try to say in my most non complaining voice, still not sure if I can trust his sanity.
We hum to a stop directly in front of what looked like nothing more than a big ass tree.
That was bad sign number three for Eli Cole. We drove for who knows how many hours only to arrive at a tree. What was wrong with him? And what was with the guys in my life lately and trees?
He opened my door and gave me an attractive smile. Don’t ask me why, but I got out. Then I saw what must’ve been the biggest tree in the world! It was massive and pretty impressive, but still…it was just a tree.
The width of the trunk was almost three times my height; the length was at least 100 feet tall and that wasn’t even the weirdest part. There was something about its leaves; they were wide and magical, creating some sort of colossal umbrella top to the tree. It was untouchable from way down here, but it was something I could’ve dreamt about for lifetimes. There were empty spaces in between all of the leaves where you could see through to the sky. Right now, they were filled with the mystifying light of the moon.
This didn’t fail to remind me that we’d driven all through the daytime just to get here. Still, it was pretty amazing.
“So you ready to go up?” Eli smirked, eyeing me.
“What?” I said, unbelieving.
“You heard me.” He stated, smirking wildly.
“I think I’ll pass.” I laughed, eyeing the car and imagining getting back in it.
“Common Olivia, this is a once in a lifetime experience!” Eli boomed.
He moved in front of the car so I would look at him. Something about him forced an unstoppable smile to curl at the tips of my lips. I immediately averted my gaze, blushing.
He was right. I was deeply curious about Eli and this tree. I wanted to understand what the huge deal with it was. Not to mention how would we even climb it? I couldn’t even hug it! Not that I was into that kind of stuff. More importantly, how would we get down?
My head crept up eyeing the whole height of the tree. I imagined being at the top, it sent shivers down my spine. My knees started to buckle and it got the best of me.
My fear spoke for me, “I’m afraid of heights, and I’m not really interested in climbing this…thing,”
He laughed. Cool. He thought I was like a 5 year old. I was one of the most dangerous killers on the face of the earth, and I was afraid of heights. Worse, I had just told Eli. I had just showed an obvious acquaintance of my enemy my Achilles heel. Fenton, my trainer, would’ve had my head for this.
“Well, we can climb it if you want…I have done that before. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind though. As for your first thing apprehension, you really think I’d let you fall?”
I sighed. “Okay how are we doing this?” I say, not wanting to seem like more of a chicken than I already felt like.
He laughed again. The stars grew at our feet again and it was like the ground was rising. First we were ground level, then we were 20 feet, 50 feet, oh my gosh. We were bursting up the tree trunk. The stars were like a rocket at our feet.
Eli used his hands to gently pry us apart. I forced myself not to cling back onto him, not wanting to show anymore weakness than I already had. Then he took my hand. I tried not to show how relieved it left me.
“You can open your eyes now.” He whispered.
I took a deep breath. Then gave myself a quick mental pep talk, rip the band aid. My eyes shot open, taking in way too much way too quickly. This action ultimately sending me back into Eli’s arms.
I felt him cradle me, although I couldn’t see anything. There was a rush of air and then something else was supporting my weight. Eli was still there, his hand back grasped in mine. Still, through my jeans the support was tough not like Eli’s firm, but soft arms. It was almost uncomfortable.
“Want to try again?” He questioned.
Why not? I’ve already embarrassed myself to an unredeemable point.
This time I was not going to rip the band aid. This approach would be slow, like feeling the water before going swimming — one painful step at a time. Slow and easy I told myself.
Steadily, one eye peered open. Shut. Try again. I peaked more this time, waited a little and then went all the way. I had one eye open... and it wasn’t so bad.
The warm touch of Eli’s tan skin, that I could now see, brought me a sense of security. Examining his strong features was annoyingly teasing. It was a fight I just couldn’t win — my other eye fell open.
I let out an unworthy, “Wow.”
We were sitting in a hammock up one hundred feet high in a tree. My eyes scanned the enclosed horizon. The tree top of shadow covered leaves formed an umbrella like shape. Those so untouchable leaves that I saw from below were now inches from my head. I was looking through the cracks between them like a microscope. Tonight, the sky was almost purple. I had never felt so close to the stars.
I felt chosen. I was one of the few people who had seen the world from a different view. At the same time I felt rebellious, a feeling that I’d come to love being a killer. I felt like I was hiding beneath these leaves, from the sky. But also, like I was hiding up in this tree from the ground. Most of all I felt safe again, which was something that had become rare these last few days. It was the most calming feeling.
I rolled over onto my stomach. The hammock was white rope, with tons of little holes in between. I pulled at the holes and looked down through them. My first thought — this better not break. At second thought, about 10 feet below me I saw Eli. He was sitting on a small, wobbly branch starring off into space. I didn’t even know he’d left my side?
“Eli?” I whispered.
He didn’t turn or even move for the record. I waited two minutes with no response.
“Eli?” I asked again.
He still didn’t turn, but I saw a flash of light ignite at his left palm.
Then the light magnified at my feet. It began to materialize into a shimmer. Next, it appeared as stars. I watched as the stars shot as colored beams, stretching, creating a pathway between Eli and me. The only way to try and describe it is to say that it resembled the Milky Way. In reality, it was so much more remarkable.
I stepped out onto the unbelievable path. It was a clear color even with its tinted rainbow shine. I could see throw it to the ground below me, but I wasn’t falling. I was however, being elevated down.
The ground grew closer and the hammock was soon above my head. It stopped at elevation with Eli. Then, I was drifting on air towards him. The path stopped at the branch and I sat down.
Eli still hadn’t moved. I wasn’t use to his silence, I couldn’t take it. I had to break it.
“So do you come here a lot?” I said. Not meaning to make it sound like some sort of lame pickup line.
It didn’t matter anyways, there was no response. He was in some sort of a trance. It was almost awkward. I started looking around and examined the branch we were on. It was hardly sturdy. I was shocked that it was even holding us up. Also, it must have been pretty damn old considering the immense size of this tree.
Surprising me, Eli spoke “I’m about to do something and it might scare you. There’s no reason for you to be afraid, but you might be. So I can compel you to not be if you want...”
“Whoa! Wait a minute, what the hell are you talking about?” I questioned, utterly confused.
I didn’t mean to sound so nervous or rude, but I was nervous that he was going to dive right into something. I didn’t trust magic, especially not his, or that of the people he seemed to know — aka Warren and Luke.
“What didn’t you get?”
“Ah most everything you just said. You’ll compel me!?”
“Oh. Yeah, compelling is just a power some supernatural creatures have. I would never use it without asking because it basically takes away free will.”
“So I’ve heard.” I say, my mind unavoidably taking me back to my struggle to squeeze out of Warrens ropes. I cringed at the thought.
Eli’s and Warren’s suddenly words spark a large amount of anger in the independent side of me. No one should have that type of unfair advantage. I’d been fighting the odds my entire life, standing up to people who insisted I was nothing.
“My wills pretty strong.” I challenged, wanting to defeat this compulsion once and for all.
Eli finally looked up at me, after a long time of living in his own world, but what I saw was impossible to put it to words because I didn’t really see him. It was more like looking at a photo-shoped picture of him. His eyes had turned a blazing indigo. I saw his lips turn into a frown as his eyes exploded a little more. Then, I saw nothing — an annoyingly familiar view.
In my stomach there was this electric shock seeping through every corner of my body. It didn’t hurt. It actually felt unexpectedly good. It was just overpowering. Literally overpowering, I had no power.
The whole thing strangely made me think of Declan. It made me feel Declan, how much I missed him and wanted him. I felt a small ache grow in my heart. Declan.
My vision came back and I saw Eli again.
“That’s what compulsion feels like,”
“Don’t ever do that again” I fumed, interrupting him.
He just shrugged, zoning back off into the night. His head was too far gone to really care how angry I was. That alone annoyed me.
A huge gush of wind shook the tree. I heard a branch snap and I screamed!
“We’re going to fall! It’s going to break!” I yelled clutching the tree trunk and slamming my eyes shut.
No response. Why am I not surprised?
My eyes shot open, pissed off. That whole thing about him “never letting me fall” had been total crap.
It took a second to understand what I was seeing because it was outright obnoxious. Still, it was happening. I was watching it with my own two eyes.
Eli’s face was lit up like a Christmas tree, and he was laughing, LAUGHING! While I am terrified, clutching the tree for dear life.
He began shacking back and forth, most of the branches swaying with him. The tree was flowing side to side. The tree’s enormousness was nothing compared to his immortal strength. He was testing it, pushing for it to fall. Testing my life? Pushing for it to end?
My mouth was slammed shut with shock. I couldn’t find words to describe my overflowing emotions.
There were loud snaps all around the tree. Branches were falling left and right! I began screaming. “STOP ELI!” I gripped his shoulders.
He just swayed harder.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOUR GOING TO KILL US?”
I started straddling the trunk with all my strength. If the branch fell I could at least keep my grip on the tree.
“Let go!” Eli commanded, as he forced the tree to sway faster. Leaves dramatically flew to the ground around us.
“YOU’RE INSANE” I shrieked, clutching the tree firmly.
“Let it go Olivia! You have to let it go. Trust that you’ll be okay” He said trying to encourage me.
“STOP IT ELI! STOP IT” I cried.
“LET GO or ill break it!” he forced.
I only clung to the tree tighter, my stomach exploding with fear. Butterflies did flips all up my toes straight to my head at his words. Tears grew in my eyes, begging for something to change.
Eli started with his last persuading statement, “Do it or I swear ill snap it! Three, two, COMMON OLIVIA. I know you have it in you.”
I let go. Not just of the tree, but of any hope that I was going to live. I let go of the fear and I was fearless. My eyes wide open ready to take in this naturally terrifying view even if it was the last thing I’d ever do.
My body swayed with the branch amazed. The leaves were blasting, branches were shooting down, and the whole tree was moving. I was sitting in the middle of a wild, dangerous storm, untouched. Everything around me was falling apart, but I was okay — better than okay.
I’d have to give it to him; it was something else, feeling like life could end any second and not caring. There was some sort of sick adrenaline from it. I was not going to forget how sick this was. Amazing or not, we were still playing some type of suicidal game.
Eli stopped shaking the tree and threw his hands up in the air. His hands created a huge burst of wind that dashed up through his fingers to the tops of the leaves. I let the powerful wind lift me up just off my seat, my hair and arms flying straight upwards. It hurried through my system adding to the high I was already experiencing. Then it gently plopped me back down to the ironic safety of the branch. Damn.
“Wahoo! I knew it.” He shouted.
I found Eli extremely frustrating. I found his ways obnoxious. Not to mention that this, whatever this was, was definitely not something someone any bit mentally stable would do. Despite all that, this experience was a little bit intoxicating. While the tree was falling apart around us, we were just sitting amongst it all, flying in our own worlds, not falling apart.
“That was awesome! It’s never cracked like that before!” Eli shrieked, “I mean I’ve never had anyone else up here, but wow. That was thrilling.” He finished.
Sure, I won’t lie. It was thrilling, but I almost died.
I grew silent. I was never silent. Hopefully, he would just take me down and I could crawl back to safe, amazing Declan. Declan. Declan. Declan.
Eli began again, with a more serious tone. “I like watching disaster strike. It makes me feel stronger. We stopped holding on and just let it go. Then things were actually a lot better than they seemed, weren’t they? Sure, everything was falling apart around us, but at least we weren’t on that branch.” He pointed at a branch that had snapped 5 times on its fall down before hitting the ground.
Now that, was something I’d never been able to do before. The emotions of other people always took me down with them. I was never able to stay strong and stand up to the world. Not like I had today.
I remembered telling people how my parents had died and how the worst part was everybody else. Their constant depressed emotions made it so much harder for me. Their tears made mine stay longer.
I somehow found myself wishing that I’d been able to hold on to my happiness through all of that, like I’d done today. Start a clean slate, and let go of everything, all of my ties and keep the only thing I can never lose —myself. Instead, I had let everybody else’s sadness take me down. I had committed my own suicide, breaking my own branch.
Maybe if I’d been able to stay in my own head than I never would’ve lost my cool. I wouldn’t’ have acted so crazy; I couldn’t help thinking that maybe if I’d had this whole experience before than none of those people would be dead.
My thoughts were so deep that I had become completely unaware of Eli’s presence. When he spoke up, probably out of feeling uncomfortable, it stunned me out of my trance.
“I’m sorry Olivia, Yes, to answer your question; I guess I do come here a lot.”
I don’t respond, still fighting off my emotions.
He starts again, “I swear I had no intention of scaring you. I just get caught up in it all. I thought maybe you would to…” he said.
Obviously he wanted me to agree with him. If he was smart, he would know that it would never happen. Not when he had just put my life in danger.
Eli begins taking his shirt off, catching me totally off guard.
“What are you doing!” I shout, immediately pushing over.
“Relax, it’s hot. You’re completely safe up here with me, I promise.” Eli explained, his eyes pleading for my forgiveness.
I felt no mercy. My emotions were still raging strong. Whether or not they were all towards him, I didn’t know. Regardless, there was no stopping them when they took control of my words this time.
“I’m completely safe? This branch is death waiting to happen! I almost DIED and you were laughing about it.” I said with a hurt, angry look.
Right now, it felt pretty damn good saying that. I knew however that nothing good ever came of letting your emotions speak for you. It is always your brains job to do the talking.
My worries were quickly conformed as his face turned to me hard and serious. It was like he had an all powerful army in his eyes. This is why you don’t let your emotions take control; they don’t know what you’re up against. Your head on the other hand, weighs the battle and see’s if it’s one you’re going to win… before you partake.
Anyways, courtesy of my emotions, with one look at him I immediately stood down. Worse, my head cowered away powerlessly. The silence only made it harder.
I felt a tingle run up my spine when a tickle brushed my foot. It was Eli. He was below me, floating on stars. His face was softer, like even though he had control of an army he wouldn’t dream of using it on me. His mood was still serious though and he meant the words he said next.
“Like I said, you’re completely safe.” He started, nodding towards the stars surrounding my feet. They had inconspicuously been there the whole time. “I would NEVER put your life in even the slightest risk. It is way too valuable my dear.”
“Don’t call me dear.”
“No. I’m not your sweetheart, your darling, honey or anything. I barely know you.”
“What then?” He says, sitting next to me again.
“Maybe I just don’t like you..?”
“That’s not it.” He moves closer. “I can tell that you like me.”
“Ew, get away from me.”
“I’m just joking.” He laughs, nudging me twice.
Eli looks at me in a strange way. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m some sort of painting on display that someone is trying to figure out. I want to tell him that no one ever understand those paintings. Not even the artist. I want to tell him to stop trying.
“What do you think of people?”
“Huh?” I ask.
“I said what do you think of people?”
“I don’t know?”
“How can you not know what you think?”
“I just don’t.”
“I don’t believe that. You seem like a person that has opinions.”
What was that suppose to mean?
“Well what do you think of people?”
“You don’t want to know what I think.”
“Just tell me.” I say, tired of this game.
“You sure? When you hear this, there’s no going back.”
“Go for it.”
“People are all insane. They never know what they want, but they always want something. They’re mean to each other constantly, but they pretend to care sometimes. It’s always the last straw or the last kiss but it never actually is…and I could go on for days. Basically, I don’t think much of people.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“Because someone like you would never think much of anyone but themselves.”
“I’m not self centered Olivia.”
I laugh. “Really?” I say sarcastically.
“Yes, really. I think of myself as above people simply because I am. I’m immune to all the silly little human flaws.”
“Like love. It’s not real. It’s just an excuse people use when they become too dependent upon someone; or in the case of boys, an excuse to get girls to do stuff with them.”
“One that I bet you use all the time.”
“I never have and I never will. Think what you want, but I have yet to lie to you.”
“Yup…” I roll my eyes.
This guy is insane. Literally. I need to get out of here, now.
“I have gained so much trust in this branch. I’ve put my life in its hands countless times. It’s impossible to believe that one day, it will just give up and I won’t see it coming.”
Eli ignores me, off on another one of his rants. “I mean, it won’t be surprising because this thing IS death waiting to happen. Love is a losing game. At the same time though, it will be absolutely shocking; that something that stayed strong for so long will pick only one, possibly random moment to give up.” He takes a deep breath, a deep passion shining in his eyes. “The worst part, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. When it’s ready to fall it will fall. So maybe it’s just a branch, but maybe it’s a little more than that too. Like a warning sign, showing you how life really is. See how far you can push people; see how far they’ll go for you, then watch as they finally can’t take anymore, watch as they crack from your crushing weight, watch as they let years of holding on turn into a single moment of letting go. Love doesn’t last might as well be posted on this tree. All branches break eventually.” He finishes, breathing really loudly now.
I went to respond with a snarky comment, and then I froze. There was something different about Eli right now. He wasn’t giving off the normal immature little kid vibe he always had. There was something powerful and naturally compelling about the way he was starring off into the night; something that sparked my interest. Maybe this wasn’t just another immature rant; could he seriously believe all this? I began actually thinking about what he was saying.
“Well yeah, I guess you do have to let some branches break. Take the fall, and then get back up on your feet again, but not all of them. I mean it sounds an awful lot to me like you’re just not willing to hold on to anything and I do know one thing for certain. Some things are worth holding onto. And if you’re not willing to fight for them then you’ll never end up with anything worth fighting for.” I say, feeling satisfied with my response.
“Or maybe I believe nothing that’s worth holding onto would ever fall out of my life in the first place.”
“Everyone screws up” I started saying, but was stopped in my tracks. My mouth was preoccupied with something strong, mysterious and warm. It was Eli’s hand, covering it.
“Shh” He says, turning my head in the direction of his face. He holds up a finger to emphasize how he wants me to be quiet. Then, he points quickly to the figures moving across the grass below us.
Around us, everything was a shadow. The tree leaves were dark colored, oval shaped mysteries. The moonlight was the only spotlight giving off light. It was also the only spot that everything seemed to avoid. All that the moons light uncovered was the long green grass. Though I knew crickets had to be everywhere because they sang a loud, but soothing song harmonizing with the hushed whistling wind.
The breeze was soft and warm on my face. As it crossed my attributes I took in all of its glory. The only thing taking away from this moment was Eli’s hand shielding my mouth. I wanted to taste the air’s comfort. I wanted his hand off.
My eyes followed his hand, to his face. They unintentionally took in all of his components. Everything about him right now was alert, ready for anything. I decided taking his hand off wasn’t my greatest idea.
Another gust of wind brushed through, drawing my attention back to Eli. His shaggy brown hair drifted across his forehead. It highlighted the defined bone structure of his face. I found my gaze dancing across his features. First, I examined his soft eyes. They were a sapphire blue right now, complementing his lightly tanned skin. Then I saw his lips, his moist, pink, strong lips. I wanted them. Never, had I ever wanted lips more. Having such provoking lips should be illegal. I had to force myself to move on from them. I scanned his Adam’s apple; his body was way too nicely developed for a, what 19 years old? Once again, I had to pry my eyes off of it before it got dangerous. I studied his neck. It was so defined. Crap. I moved to his arms. Basically, they were unfairly muscular. They weren’t big and body builder like. They were just extremely toned. There were very clear lines sketching out where his muscles were.
What happened next, I couldn’t help. The beautiful setting, his thought-provoking views on life and even the way the wind was lightly rustling the leaves. It was all daring me, utterly taunting me to look down. There was nothing I could do, I loved the challenge. I looked. Then there was no denying it, His abs are perfect. They displayed a misty beach tan that drove me crazy. Of course his muscles were flawlessly formed. Even his belly button was adorable.
Suddenly, looking wasn’t enough.
My fingers traced up his body starting at his waist. I outlined all of the muscles on his stomach I never knew existed. My fingers were begging for more. What started as a harmless flame, caught fast, and was now a roaring fire. Then I was on top of him. My legs straddled his abdomen tightly. I couldn’t help how much I wanted him. I couldn’t take one more painful second of this. His hand on my mouth left our mouths too far apart. I ripped it off. My right hand flew up to his cheek bones and cupped his face. Then I tipped my head and pressed my lips against his, fiercely.
Every muscle of me was shaking uncontrollably. This was some sort of ridiculous high. Then, just when I thought heaven was the most spectacular reality ever, it got better. I felt his walls melting down as his tongue began to play this becoming more irresistible by the second, game.
Eli’s hands grasped my waist and he pulled me towards him. Then he took over. And my head, it was just gone. I could not produce a single thought, that wasn’t whoa. My head was up in the clouds, dancing with the stars, running down the Milky Way, swimming with the dolphins, skydiving over Hawaii, gone.
When he was in control, it surprisingly wasn’t as fast and vicious anymore. Instead, it was wild, unhurried and delicious. It forced me to cling to him hungrily. I wanted him so badly, and I couldn’t get enough.
My intensified shaking had me freezing, and his body was desperately hot. I was pushing myself as close as I could possibly get to him. It became painful, I couldn’t get close enough. My body shoved, resisting this drive trying to tear me away. All of my might wasn’t nearly enough to win. Something, someone horrible was in fact forcing me away.
I felt Eli willingly let me go before I became the rope in a game of tug of war. The physical pain left, but my hurting was much worse. My heart was swirling with an empty feeling. Not to mention my stomachs queasiness from the depressing change of being in Eli’s arms to this strangers grasp.
Now in an unfamiliar person’s clutch my arms were still reaching out like a child, pleading for Eli back. I opened my eyes, seeing Luke and immediately pulling them back to my body, ashamed at my neediness.
I quickly realized that it was Warren who was forcefully holding me back. I was strangely use to the feeling of him restraining me.
I stared at Luke, who was fixed in a starring contest with Eli. Luke was obviously curious. His face vividly portrayed his confusion. The weird thing was that Warren showed zero puzzlement. He was fuming. The intensity of his muscles straining tightly on my arms made it clear that he was furious. He wasn’t the vicious one. That was Luke. So why was he so angry?
Eli winks at Warren. “Down doggy.”
“You’re worthless.” A very cold Warren whispers through gritted teeth.
“Let’s play nice boys, we have a guest.” He disgustedly grins at me. “What’s going on Eli?” Luke says, raising an eyebrow at him.
A few uncomfortable seconds later he replies. “Same old, same old Luke. How are you?”
I don’t think that was really the type of what’s going on that Luke was asking.
“Better, now that we’ve acquired Ms. White who you were so kind to watch for us. We’ll be taking her now though. I mean…if that’s okay with you?”
“She’s all yours.” Eli smiles, waving me off.
“What!” I exclaim.
He turns back to look at me and laughs. “See you around princess.”
Eli walks off the branch and disappears.