Authors: Missy LaRae
She looked over at Michael, and saw his nod. She shivered in fear, and knew at long last they would finally be able to fulfill their duties to the Sa’Chaelle. She was eager to leave this cold world and be home among the stars again.
“Yes, she washed herself in the light of the moon for the first time,” Michael confirmed. He sat in a plush wing-back chair positioned by the verandah doors to take in as much of the moonlight as possible. “We’ve only to wait for Tyler to change to be able to begin the
ceremony.” Michael leaned his head back against the smooth chintz and sighed. It had been a tense moment for him on the sun deck. Watching Lily transform before his eyes had been shattering. He’d never seen a Syren transform before. It left him shaking. He was thankful that she didn’t know the extent of her power, or she would have surely ended his life when she’d touched him. He did not know the full extent of her power, but based on the Law of the Order knew that she and her twin, above all other Syren, needed to be ended. Their power needed to be absorbed before they reached full maturity or mated.
If they ever found their Heart and mated with another Syren, their powers would intensify to an extent that the Sa’Chaelle would never be able to harness them. Their power would be too great. Of any Syren ever delivered into the stars Lily and Tyler possessed power that was greater than any of their species that Michael had ever witnessed. No, the twins needed to be exterminated as did every other member of their cursed species.
Michael did not enjoy his duties, but he knew his place in The Order of Sa’Chaelle. His species ruled the stars with an iron fist, and crushed any who opposed their law. The human world meant nothing to them. Humans had no special powers. They were too concerned with fighting amongst each other to be of any value to the Sa’Chaelle. They were useful as slaves when the Sa’Chaelle needed more, but that was it. The only species that stood a chance of defeating them was the Syren. Amatia Prime, the home world of the Syren, was the primary target of the Sa’Chaelle. They didn’t want to destroy the entire world; they wanted to enslave them. The power the Syren possessed would make the Sa’Chaelle unmatched by any other species in the entire Star System.
Michael stood and bared his chest. The tattoos that covered his chest like armor glowed. He fell to his knees and put his hands together as if in prayer. His tattoos flowed over him, twisting, and moving. They were a living part of his body. They circled his chest, flowed over his abdomen and shoulders, and trailed down past the top of his pants to wind their way around his legs. They were tattoos written on his skin by the blood of the Syren he’d killed. It was his only defense against the Syren. He was a General in the Order of Sa’Chaelle, and knew that it was only his ability to keep his thoughts in stern order that saved him from death at the hands of Lily and Tyler. He had taken Syren life many times in many different places. Every life he took he absorbed their power through his skin, etching the memory of his victim’s loss on his flesh. He was not the one elected to perform the binding ceremony on Lily and Tyler, but he knew the process well. He had been bound to the powers of other Syren during the cycle of his life, and that power flowed in him like a savage river. Fire leapt through his skin and manifested before his eyes. He put his hands together as if in prayer, and pushed the fire back into his skin.
knew that nothing would be the same again. He’d been terrified when she tore into his room hours before, and shocked when he’d seen her body twisting on the floor like she was in pain. He knew, deep down, that they were different; inhuman. He was scared. He’d known
somethin’ was different about them for a long time, but hadn’t wanted to talk to Lily about it. He’d grown more sure with every day that they were being drawn to somethin’, but he just didn’t know what. He’d always looked out for Lily, but the truth was that she was stronger than he was, especially in spirit. He may have taken more of the physical abuse from their mother than she had, but she was the one that Mama had broken down day after day with her cruel words. He didn’t know how Lily still stood, breathing and whole, after some of the things their mother said to her.
He watched Lily’s chest rise and fall with each breath that she took, and examined her new form. She looked taller, more
developed, and less like a child than she had the night before. He’d wondered if she was ever gonna change and look more like a girl her age, or if she was gonna look like a little kid her whole life. Most girls at fifteen looked a lot older than she did. Her new hair fanned out around her, and sparkled. He thought that he saw it moving in the morning light and glanced away. He wasn’t ready to face that kind of weirdness. He didn’t know what happened upstairs, but he was going to find out as soon as Lily woke up.
His body ached, and he knew that he should get out of the chair and wake his sister up. She wouldn’t like him sitting there watching her while she slept. She was already self conscious enough about herself without him adding to it. He just couldn’t wake her up yet. After she’d looked at him in the mirror and smiled she’d fallen back into his arms in a dead faint. He’d pulled her to the bed, and laid her on it and tucked her in. Soon her breathing evened out and he could tell she was deep asleep. She fidgeted, and mumbled a little while she slept, but for the most part rested peacefully. He’d dozed off a little bit in the chair set off in the corner of the room, but his mind was racing too much for him to fully relax into sleep.
He stood up and walked into the bathroom, and resting his hands on the sink, and looked at himself in the mirror. He opened his mouth, tilted his head back, and stared at his teeth. They didn’t seem to be growing. He didn’t think that Lily’d been infected with anything, but he couldn’t be sure. All he knew about fangs was that legend said vampires had them. He knew his sister wasn’t a vampire, but he was scared to find out exactly what they were. He turned the water on, and got his hands wet and brought water up to his hair, and ran his hands through the unruly tufts that seemed to have a life of their own. He thought about the way his sister’s hair had been moving on the bed, and he shivered. It gave him the creeps, but he loved his sister more than anything in the world, and wasn’t gonna tell her that he thought her hair was weird.
He’d known that something was happening to Lily because he’d felt it laying in bed. He’d woken up feeling like his heart was about to jump out of his chest. He’d been dreaming about someone, something, but he just didn’t know what. His arms had felt bigger, stronger, and thicker. He’d always been strong, but now he felt like he could break anything that he wanted. He just knew that if he squeezed hard enough he’d break the porcelain sink he was hanging onto. He took his hands away and sighed. They needed to figure out what was going on, but right then Tyler didn’t think he had the energy for it.
He walked out of the bathroom and glanced at Lily sleeping peacefully on the bed. He really didn’t want to wake her. He hesitated at the door, but needed to get out of the room for a little while. He felt like he was suffocating just thinking about what was going on with her.
Tyler opened the bedroom door and stepped out into the hallway. The yellow of the morning light illuminated the hall and the walls. He closed the door behind him as soft as he could, and turned towards the staircase. He wanted to go down and see about getting some breakfast, but felt sort of disloyal to Lily for not waking her up to go with him. His stomach answered for him and nixed his idea of waking Lily up, and he started off towards the stairs. As quietly as he could he inched his way down them. As he neared the second floor landing he heard Evelyne and Michael talking in low tones in their bedroom.
“...we’ve only three weeks before the sixth cycle of the full moon. The boy must transform before the cycle. Once his
transformation is complete we must commence with the ceremony on the full moon. When the moon is at its full power their powers will be strong, and pure. We need that purity. If either of them realize their full powers we’ll never be able to get them to the ceremony. They’ll discern our thoughts as we think them. Never forget to clear your mind of all thoughts before you interact with them Evelyne. We’ve only this one chance. If we do not succeed the last fifteen cycles of our lives will have been for nothing. We would be complete failures to The Order. We must move them tonight. Asrah is destined to make it back to Amatia Prime and tells their father where they are. We know the King of Swords will come here, and his fate will meet him when he does, and I want no chance of him finding the twins here.”
He stopped breathing. He inched his way back up the stairs, hoping that each step he took would not alert Evelyne or Michael that he’d been eavesdropping on their conversation. They continued to speak, but Tyler had heard enough. His eyes were narrowing, and his body was swelling. He felt the heat rushing to his
fingertips, and he clenched his hands into fists. He needed to wake Lily up, and they needed to get out of there as fast as they could.
He reached the landing and walked softly back to his room. He opened the door, and prayed that it would not make a sound. He sent up a silent prayer of thanks as the door slid soundlessly open. He hurried to the bed, and knelt on the floor next to his sister’s sleeping form. For one moment he wished he could spare her the details of what he’d heard, but she had more than a right to know. She’d been right last night to distrust Michael. He’d known his sister’s power of intuition was strong, but even he didn’t think she’d thought they meant to murder them. His head was reeling with the knowledge that his father was still alive. They’d always been told that their father was dead, and Tyler hoped with all of his heart that their father would want them back. It seemed as if someone knew that they were alive and in Charleston, and was going to tell their father, but he couldn’t wait on a rescue when he and Lily were in so much danger. He didn’t know what they were yet, but they were obviously something. Something that someone wanted to get their hands on desperately.
heard his voice whisperin’ in my ear that I was bein’ as lazy as I’d ever been in my life, and if I didn’t wake up he was gonna dump some cold water on me. That got my eyes popped open, and for just a second I stared at him in
amazement. He looked different. He looked as if he’d filled out overnight. His shirt rippled across his chest, and almost looked like he was about to rip on out of it. I giggled, and covered my mouth with my hand.
“Tyler, not sure if you looked in the mirror or not, but you look like you’re wearin’ a shirt that’s five sizes too small for you.” He looked down, and then looked at his arms. He flexed, and his mouth popped open as actual muscles rose up to say hello. His blue eyes flashed with genuine surprise before he leveled a stern gaze at me.
“Hello Mr. Biceps. Look at you,” I smirked. I was kind of amused, but then remembered my own transformation the night before, and raised my hand to my hair. “What am I gonna do about this hair, Ty?”
“I don’t think you should do anything about it right now, Lily. You need to get up and get dressed. We gotta go right now. I need to tell you somethin’.”
That got my attention, and I sat up. I realized that I had fallen asleep in Tyler’s bed wearin’ the same clothes that I’d gotten dirty and wet up on the deck. So much for bein’ a polite house guest. Tyler’s face creased in worry, and he chewed on his bottom lip, somethin’ he never did unless somethin’ was really eatin’ at him.
“What’s got you so ate up?” I asked him. I was hopin’ he wasn’t gonna say anything about my vampire teeth from the night before, or the fact that my hair seemed to be crawlin’ its way across the bed all on its own. It was kind of like havin’ a puppy, only not really.
“I left the room a few minutes ago to see if I could get somethin’ to eat, and on the way down the stairs heard Evelyne and Michael talkin’ in their room. They said somethin’ about me comin’ into my powers, and a ceremony on the full moon. They said they had to wait ‘till I transformed or somethin’ and then they could do it. Sounded like they meant to kill us. Then Michael said somethin’ about some lady named Asrah goin’ someplace called Amatia Prime to tell
father about us.” Well that sure beat out my weirdo hair.
I could feel the sun streamin’ through the windows, and looked around. I’d been so hopeful on the train that this place would work out. After meeting Michael those feelings changed. I was scared. Really scared. I felt like time stilled, and I looked my twin right in the eyes. We’d always been very close, able to feel one another when we’d been in pain, able to tell each other stuff just by lookin’ in the other’s eyes. I knew that he was tellin’ me the truth, but I didn’t know what to do with it. What were we gonna do? We were just kids, fifteen years old, and no one listened to kids. That’s what Mama always told us. She said no one would believe us if we ever said a bad word about her, and I know she was right. You could just tell when Mama would say somethin’ that was right, and when she’d say somethin’ that was wrong.
“Well, looks like we gotta get ourselves out a here then.” I didn’t know what else to say other than that. Tyler and I had made it to Charleston all right all on our own, and I knew we’d be okay if we could just get out of Aunt Evelyne’s house.
“Let’s get our stuff together, and ask Evelyne if she’ll take us out to do some sight seein’ or some shoppin’. We’ll have to run from her while we’re doin’ that.” I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew it was our only option. After last night I didn’t think that they’d let us out of the house alone, and I wasn’t sure what I’d do if they tried stoppin’ us.
“Well, then, that’s what we have to do,” Tyler was resigned. His eyes looked sharply at me, and searched mine for a long minute before he stood up. “I’m gonna open the door and knock on your door and pretend I’m wakin’ you up for the day. Once I do that they’ll know we’re coming downstairs.” It was a good plan.