Authors: Missy LaRae
“Take it son,” the King of Peace was struggling with his own emotions. He watched Jackson’s face contort with pain, and drew in a breath, wishing for all the world that he could take the pain and sorrow away from his child.
“Where is she?” He ground out the words as though they were shards of cut glass spewing from his mouth. His fangs elongated, his eyes dilated, and his body filled with his need for vengeance. His body flexed, hotter and bigger than before.
“She’s in the Queen’s sitting room, expecting you,” Patrick knew there would be no talking his son out of what he was planning to do, and only Amatia could change his path.
Jackson flew up, sparing a short glance for his Heart, before striding for the door. He could not touch her, could not look at her, could not let her see the black rage that consumed him.
“What’s going on Patrick?” Alexia frantic demanded brought Patrick’s attention back to her. She’d only seen Jackson gripped by the rage of the Syren once before, and she knew that whatever was happening now was in equal measure of pain to that of their twins
Patrick looked at his daughter-in-law, and wished to Amatia that he could spare her this pain. “We have a guest, in the Queen’s salon,” he began. He motioned her to proceed him through the door. “It is your sister, Princess Asrah,” he finished.
Alexia stopped. Her heart buckled, and she stopped for a sliver of time before tearing through the door after her Mate. He was going to kill her sister.
only serenaded by a Mariachi band. I didn’t know what was worse, the way I couldn’t feel my hands, or the bad music. I couldn’t move, and I was pushed up against Tyler in the back of a smelly van. This was not how I imagined gettin’ out of my Aunt Evelyne’s house, but it was gonna have to do. I wondered if that woman really was even related to me. Somehow I thought she couldn’t be, but that just made my head hurt thinkin’ about it. I could smell my brother’s fear, and knew that he must a woke up too. I couldn’t really think straight, but I did have snatches of conversation rollin’ through my head. I wished with all my heart that who ever was drivin’ this van would turn off the bad music that was playin’.
When Tyler’d opened the door to my bedroom Michael had jumped out at him, and then caught me in Tyler’s room and knocked both of us out. We were left in the basement of the house for what seemed like forever. I wasn’t sure if we were ever gonna get let out. They’d given us food to eat and water, but it’d been near to four days since they’d knocked us out, and now we were trussed up like pigs headin’ to slaughter in the back of this van. I was sure they were gonna kill us, but as it turns out they just wanted to move us from one place to the other. I was sure they were gonna kill us whenever they got us to our final destination though. Last time they came in to give us somethin’ to eat I’d felt so tired afterwards I had to lay down and I don’t remember what happened after that. Now I was bein’ murdered with the soundtrack to a bad mexican movie playin’ in the background.
It was still daylight outside, so we couldn’t have been knocked out for long this time. I laid my head against my brother’s shoulder and sent my feelings into him as best I could. I didn’t know if he got anything from me, but he pushed back on me, and that kind a felt like him sayin’ that he was okay.
I’ve never been kidnapped before, and thought I should a felt a little more scared, but ever since I got my crazy vampire teeth and weirdo hair, not much seemed to make me feel scared. I actually had butterflies in my stomach, and groaned as the driver hit a pretty large pot hole. You’d think if you was gonna kidnap someone you’d at least have the decency not to drive straight over a hole the size of Kentucky.
I felt sort a peaceful. Don’t know why and can’t really explain it, but I didn’t think that anything bad was really gonna happen to us. Well, other than my belief that we were surely headin’ towards death. Maybe that was me refusin’ to believe the truth, but I just felt like as bad as it was right now, it could only get better. I’d sat in the basement bangin’ my head against the wall enough times to know that ridin’ in this van, bad music and all, was much better than where we’d started out the day. I’d been pretty scared when I woke up in the basement, chained up like a criminal. I’d been chained down a time or two in my life, and this time I actually had someone feedin’ me and givin’ me water instead a just lettin’ me sit in my own pile a nastiness.
I looked around, thankful that who ever tied us up didn’t blind fold us, and didn’t see anyone else in the van but the man in the driver’s seat. Guess who ever thought this was a good idea figured two kids who woke up tied up in the back of a van would be scared. Well, they hadn’t grown up with our Mama. I can’t even count how many times Mama tied us up and just up and left us there for a day or two, sometimes even more. You learned to stop bein’ scared a somethin’ so small as not bein’ able to use your hands, and focus on what you could control. I concentrated hard on just breathin’ in and out, and relaxin’ my bones. I felt somethin’ tuggin’ on my hands, and I realized with a shock that it was my new hair. I really couldn’t believe what I was feelin’ as my hair wrapped itself around my wrists, and worked the rope free. If I’d a known my hair could jail break me I’d a tried to have it undo the lock on my ankle in the basement.
I’m pretty sure no one else in the whole world could say that their hair untied them from a kidnapper. I left my hands like they were, and I thought real hard about untying Tyler’s hands too. I couldn’t help but smile as I felt my hair slidin’ around to the front of me and workin’ on his hands too. He stiffened, and I had to nudge him with my leg to get him to relax. Soon enough his hands were free and he reached down and untied his feet. I was pretty sure that gettin’ my hair to untie my feet wasn’t gonna happen, so I scrunched up as small as I could and reached down real slow to undo the knots myself. I didn’t know what Tyler was thinkin’, but I was ‘bout ready to kiss my hair and tell it that I loved it. Just thinkin’ that made the ends a my hair come up and caress my cheek, as if it was a livin’ thing, and I’d just made it feel good by tellin’ it that I loved it. I closed my eyes. There was just no way I could possibly get any weirder.
The van started to slow, and I was quick to lay back down in the position that I was in when I first woke up from my unwelcome nap. I wasn’t sure what to do next, as this was my first and only kidnapping. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna know when we were supposed to do whatever it was that kidnapping victims were supposed to do when they woke up, or if we were just supposed to wait for the van to stop before we tried to fight our way out of the mess we were in. I hoped that my hair had some tricks up its sleeve because I was out of ideas.
I felt the van take a sharp turn to the left, and it seemed like we were pullin’ in a driveway. I was hopeful that this was our final destination, as my right arm was beginning to fall asleep, and I had bumped my head for the thirty-seventh time on the floor of the van. I didn’t think my hair appreciated that much.
Tyler rolled towards me, and sprang to his feet. I jumped up too, uncertain about what he was wantin’ me to do, but determined that I wasn’t gonna let my brother fight this Mariachi lovin’ driver all on his own.
The driver turned towards us, and I got a good look at his face. I thought I recognized him, but the fear on his face blossomed as Tyler got ahold a his neck in a concrete grip.
“Stop the van, right now,” Tyler told him. I was proud of my brother, he sounded very scary, and I knew he was tryin’ to channel Mama’s tone of voice when she used to tell us to lie still while she whipped us.
The man stepped hard on the brakes, and the van stopped, slidin’ a little to the right as it did. Tyler pulled the man into the back a the van with one hand, and I took that as a hint to get in the driver’s seat and back up.
I’d never driven a car before, but I’d studied the way Mama drove so much I was sure I’d be able to get us out a there in no time. I didn’t count on gettin’ in the driver’s seat, and seein’ an army full of men outside the van with really big guns pointed at me.
“Uh, Tyler. You gotta stop. You gotta let him go right now,” I said. There was no way I was gonna be able to drive through that many men without one of them shootin’ me dead. I took my hands off the steering wheel, put the van in park, and grabbed my brother by the back a his collar.
“Tyler! Stop! There’s about a hundred an fifty guys out here with guns, and I’m pretty sure they mean to shoot us dead if we don’t get out a this van,” I told him.
Tyler finally looked up, and I saw his eyes were partially covered in the same blackness that was in my eyes the night I’d gone up on the balcony. Whatever this transformation was, it was happenin’ fast, and Tyler was about to get it full on.
After gettin’ out a the van and bein’ told not to talk or make a move, we both had our hands tied behind our backs again. My hair stayed straight, and still, almost like it knew if it moved any it’d get chopped off or somethin’. Tyler’s shoulders hung, and he looked more defeated than I’d ever seen him. His clothes weren’t fittin’ him either. The button on his jeans had popped right off, and his shirt was rippin’ at the neck and sleeves. It was like watchin’ someone grow right before your eyes. Think I read about that in a book once, but I couldn’t remember what it was.
The armed soldiers marched us up the driveway with the driver of the van pullin’ up the rear. I’m not sure what Tyler did to him, but the man was holdin’ his throat, and actin’ like he was havin’ a real hard time breathin’. I smiled to myself as I thought about the way Tyler’d growled at the driver. He sounded just as mean as our Mama did, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t take that as a compliment at all. There really wasn’t that many armed soldiers after all. I guess I was just shocked to see a gun pointed in my face after bein’ so excited about Tyler takin’ the driver out. There was one walkin’ a little ways ahead a us, and I had one on either side a me, and Tyler had one on either side a him too. There was one soldier in the back walkin’ with the driver, but he was payin’ more attention to the driver not bein’ able to breathe than he was to me or Tyler.
I had no idea where we were headin’ but I was pretty sure that wherever it was I wasn’t gonna like it at all. I looked ahead of us as far as I could, but I couldn’t see anything but woods. It looked a lot like the woods outside of Orlando that Mama took us to a couple times to go on walks during the day, but we was far from Orlando, and I knew this wasn’t gonna end in a picnic. Not like the day out with Mama did either, but it was nice to think that it could’ve.
I could hear Tyler strugglin’ to breathe behind me, and I turned around to take a look at him. His shirt was real tight on his chest and I knew it had to have been chokin’ him some. I cleared my throat, “Excuse me, sir,” I directed the comment to the armed soldier to my right. He didn’t look at me or indicate that he heard me at all, but I kept on talkin’. It was hard to account for some people’s rudeness sometimes, but I did understand full well that this was no ordinary situation. “Could you maybe tear my brother’s collar, please? I can tell he’s havin’ a hard time breathin’, and I’m pretty sure that who ever you’re takin’ us to won’t appreciate one bit my brother dyin’ out here because y’all are too rude to just tear the collar of his shirt a little bit.” I said what I was wantin’ to say, and stopped tryin’ to get their attention. It wasn’t long, though, before I heard a tearin’ sound, and listened to Tyler’s breathin’ even out.
It couldn’t a been more than fifteen minutes a walkin’, but I felt like we was walkin’ forever. I think I still had some a whatever drug they used to knock me out with in my system, because I started to feel really light headed.
I stumbled, and would a went to my knees if the soldier on the left of me hand’t grabbed my arm to keep me standin’ up. I looked over at him, but he had sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his face at all. “I’m sorry to be such a bother, sir, but would you happen to have any water? I’m really thirsty, and I’m feelin’ real dizzy right now,” I hoped that they would stop for a minute or two to let me catch my breath, but I didn’t think that was gonna happen. Matter a fact they started walkin’ a little faster after I said that. I hoped someone would give me just a little sip a water, but I’d gone without water for more days than they could even understand before. Mama wouldn’t let me have any for nine days one time. I like to have died that time, but Mama always stopped torturin’ me right about the time I asked God to take me away.
I looked up straight ahead of us, and saw a large mansion risin’ up through the trees. It figured that we’d be goin’ some place even fancier than Evelyne’s house. I couldn’t bring myself to call her Aunt Evelyne. I had figured out by now that she and Michael weren’t who they claimed they were at all. The only problem was I didn’t know who they were, or what they wanted. If they weren’t my father’s family, why had there been letters from her in boxes of my Daddy’s stuff.
It hit me. Like a ton a bricks the dots started connectin’ and I realized that none a them could be my family. If what Tyler had heard Michael sayin’ was true that meant that out there somewhere was my real Daddy. My heart suddenly felt fuller, and I felt like cryin’ right then. If Evelyne, and Michael weren’t related to us, and Daniel Richards wasn’t my real father then that meant that there was a good possibility that Mama wasn’t really our Mama either.
Now that thought was one that I had mixed feelings about. I knew that there was a lot a evil in Mama, but I could still remember all the love she gave us when we was little. It was that little bit a love that Mama showed us that had kept us at her house for so long. We always wished she’d turn back into the Mama she was when we first started even knowin’ what a memory was.
I stumbled again, and this time no one caught me, no one stopped me from goin’ right down to my knees. I was tired a this. I was tired a someone else always bein’ in control of me. I was sick to death a someone tellin’ me what to do, and hurtin’ me. Heck, of not protectin’ me so I didn’t hurt myself. I started cryin’ and one of the soldiers reached down like he was gonna help me up, and I snarled at him. I hadn’t felt it happen, but I started changin’ right when I went down on my knees.