Wisteria (Wisteria Series) (10 page)

BOOK: Wisteria (Wisteria Series)
13.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

It sailed through the sky and disappeared in the gray clouds overhead.

Bach seized the golf club from Enric’s grasp and flung it over the edge.

“Bach, are you insane?” Enric boomed.

“You set your Terran on Wisteria!” Bach yelled.

“Huh?” He looked perplexed for a moment, and then he smiled. “I did not send Piper anywhere, but your Terran did break mine, apparently. Now I have to find another one and you know how hard that can be.”

“How did she get a hold of your danor?” Bach showed him the knife he found under Wisteria’s bed. This particular danor was one of a pair of ceremonial daggers Bach had given to Enric and Felip as gifts at the start of the Great Walk.

“Piper stole it.”

“She is your Thayn, so she could never do anything without your permission.”

“I suppose she got carried away when I told her I was going to release her. If I remember correctly, you insisted. Honestly, I never thought Piper would kill someone.” Enric seemed impressed with his Terran.

“What did you say to her, exactly?”

“Bach, why do you care? I do not see the problem. They are just Terrans. They are animals and animals fight. Do not blame me for the way they choose to act. You think your pet is somehow blameless in this?”

“You gave Wisteria back her knife and you gave your Terran your knife. What were you hoping would happen?”

“Nothing happened. Something is happening to you, though. What is wrong with you? You have never talked to me like this about Piper, even after Felip complained a million times. Why now?”

“Because now I am tired of you torturing your Terran.” Bach always detested the way Enric treated her, but now Enric seemed keen to treat Wisteria badly, too.

“I will keep my Terran away from Wisteria and I will take better care of my danor,” Enric chortled. “I hope you do the same with yours.”

Bach grimaced.

“If she does this again then I will send her away,” Enric proposed. “Or at least until I can get another one from Glasgow or Windermere, and I will release her then.”

“Fine,” Bach reluctantly agreed and turned away.

“A question, Bach,” Enric called out. “I assume we are keeping your Terran here for the foreseeable future.”

Bach heard the smirk in Enric’s voice. “Yes.”

“Well, then, this is now your problem.” His friend handed him what appeared to be obsidian coral.

“Where did you find this?” Bach examined the warm scarlet rock closely. It was much larger than the slices they used to journey.

“Your Terran brought this with her. She made it from a coral she found on her island.”

“That is impossible. The Terrans do not have obsidian coral. Are you sure it is real?”

To prove his point, Enric took out his faycard. The faycard was a powerful focal point of energy for a Famila. While it was great for playing simple tricks on children and Terrans, it was mostly used by the Ino caste to renew free Terrans, turning them into Thayns.

He tapped it on the red stone. The faycard card started to glow as the stone tried to draw on its power.

“How did she get this?” Bach stared in disbelief.

“She has no clue what it is, but she made it from rocks on her island. We need to get the rest of it before the Terran figure out what it is.”




Returning to look for Wisteria, Bach found her searching the kitchen for something. She was rummaging through the drawers and cabinets. Then, she tucked a long wooden spoon and one of his metal tools in her backpack.

“You are stealing from me,” he accused as he walked into the kitchen.

“It’ll only be a matter of time before some biters make it through here.” She hobbled away from him.

“You have lived through an overrun. You know if the infected were to get in, they would have gotten in here by now. We are safe here.”
Whoa, she smelled incredible now that the poisons she’d smeared on herself had worn off.
Her scent reminded him of…
What did she remind him of?

“Of course,” she mumbled unconvincingly and then nodded, her braids framing her face.

This was disappointing, as he felt that she used to trust him implicitly at one time. Unless this was part of the game she was playing with him all along. If this was a game, she was going to lose in a big way.

Bach didn’t know when he decided to renew her, but seeing Enric trying to make a play for her decided it for him. He had indeed seen Enric go into her room and Bach felt obligated to ensure his guest was safe. Enric had tried to use his faycard and attempted to lull Wisteria into asking for something.

Furious to see Enric starting the renewal and powerless to stop it, Bach had left the hallway outside of Wisteria’s door. Part of him wanted to know if Wisteria would allow Enric to renew her. Fortunately, Enric’s attempt failed, and she didn’t surrender to him, but Bach wouldn’t risk Enric or another Famila trying the same thing.

“I heard you and your friend arguing up there.” She was inching away from him. “What were you arguing about?”

. He closed the space between them. “He was not treating his Terran properly. We had to discuss it.”

“His Terran? I thought her name was Piper?” Backing toward the living area, she pretended to smile.

From his experience with Terrans, they hated being called Terran.

“What happened to her? Do you know why she’s so crazy?” she asked.

“It is complicated.” The renewal was never something he discussed with Terrans. Their minds weren’t designed to assimilate such knowledge.

“I can only imagine what she’s been through.” Biting at her lip, she closed her eyes. “If things were different I’d say she should leave him.” Her eyes shot open and her expression looked sad.

“You are right. She should be with more people and taking her back with you might be the best solution for her,” he admitted.

“Really?” She smiled a little.

“If you think your people can help her.”

She seemed to release a slow breath.

“You look relieved.” Bach sensed that she seemed happier.

“Enric was telling me that you weren’t going to let me leave.”

“Would staying here be that bad?”

“Hmm.” She looked as if she were trying to choose her words. “No. Yeah, it would be great. I’d like to first get back to my family—or my mum will be out of her mind. You guys can come. They’d be eager to know how you managed to travel eighty miles in this. The soldiers would be eager to learn how you knew about the swarm.” She rambled.

“I do not integrate well with you Terrans.”

“Why do you call everyone Terran? Can you not call me that?” Trying to back further away, she discovered she was trapped between him and a counter.

Looking to his right hand, he glanced at his faycard. A blue light, what they called the pulse, weaved through his fingers as he lifted up the card. He had sworn he would never renew a Terran, but Wisteria was too important to let her just go free. Uncovering what she was hiding was imperative. Being from the Ino caste, he could renew her and keep her mental and emotional balance, if he wanted to. There was no risk she would end up like Enric’s Terran. No, Bach hated creating Thayns, not because he didn’t want Terrans serving him, but because he believed Terrans needed to be destroyed. They were a plague on everything they touched. “I use the name to describe human people,” he clarified as he stepped even closer to her.

“Oh.” Her reply was short and she now looked very fearful.

“What do you want more than anything in the world?” He’d ask her one wish, show her an image of it and in exchange for the glimpse of the life she wanted, she’d agree for him to renew her. This was going to hurt her more than anything she’d ever feel, but she’d soon forget the pain.

“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’re sweating and it’s not that hot here.”

“I do not sweat.” Unless some of the poisonous lotion she wore when she arrived was still on her?

“No, you’re really sweating.” She ran her finger down the side of his face.

“Do not touch me.” Removing her hand from his skin, he was stunned to see his sweat on her fingers. Trying to make sense of it, his vision blurred for a second, but he shook his head and it cleared up. “What if I could give one thing to you, what would you want?”

“You can let me go.” Her eyes dropped to his hand now gripped around her wrist. “Once the swarm below leaves, you can take me back to Smythe.”

“What if I show you your island now?” Raising his faycard, before her dark eyes, he asked, “What would you want?”

Entranced, she stared at the card.

“Wisteria, what do you see?”

“Home?” she whispered. “I see my parents, together with David.”

In a few seconds, she would be fully entranced and would give her free will over to him.
Bach, stop!
he heard her say, not the Wisteria in front of him, but her voice echoing from his past. Bach moved the card out of Wisteria’s line of sight.

Her eyes followed it until he put it in his pocket. Blinking, she shook her head. As she looked at his empty hands, she saw his fingers glowing blue. “What—what are you?” She was clearly repulsed and clambered over the counter to get away from him.

Watching her run from the room, he wondered at his own actions.

“Bach, you lost your nerve?” Felip was standing behind him.




Wisteria raced through the penthouse, desperate for a way out, hoping that somehow she’d fare better on the streets with the swarm of flesh eaters. Reaching the dark corridor that led to the stairwell, she saw the door was chained and padlocked. Shaking the door in attempt to force it open, nothing happened. As she ran to the other end, she passed Bach. He didn’t seem interested in chasing her; instead he handed her the sword.

Grabbing it, she sprinted away from him, up the steps leading to the roof. When she got there, she was shocked to see a black helicopter attempting to land.

Several people dressed in black jumped out of the aircraft and started firing at her.

As quickly as she could, she pulled the glass door to the rooftop shut and locked it. Fleeing back down the penthouse, the glass door exploded from behind her.

There was a crash coming from the living area.

“Felip!” Bach yelled. “Enric.”

Arriving in the living area, she saw Bach staring at a massive hole in the wall.

“What happened?” she called to him from the hallway.

“I do not know, Wisteria.” He seemed remarkably calm. “I need to find the Family.”

“Freak,” one of the intruders, a man with a drooping eyelid, called out to Bach. “We’ve been looking for you.”

“Get back, Wisteria.” Bach pushed her down as the intruders opened fire.

They both ducked behind some furniture.

“Who are those people?” she asked him as a bullet flew past her ear.

“How should I know?” Bach motioned at the door behind him that led back to the corridor. “There is a fire escape, so we will go that way.”

“They’re all sealed up. There’s no way down. If we leave now, they’ll shoot us,” she whispered to him.

“If we stay here, we are dead.” He grabbed her hand and pulled her along with him as he ran from behind the furniture, through the door, and down the hallway. They got to the fire escape and he halted. Wincing with pain, he pulled what looked like a dart from his left shoulder. He pushed at the door leading to the fire escape and the chains broke apart.

“How did you do that?” She gaped at the broken chain.

“Run!” He pulled the door open for her.

They ran down the stairs, but she noticed Bach was slowing down. Then, she heard more intruders coming up the stairs in front of them.

“We cannot go back down that way.” Out of breath, he grabbed her shoulder.

“They’re everywhere, Bach. We should have taken more weapons.” All they had was her sword. This wasn’t how she thought she would die. The intruders were getting nearer.

“Wait.” Staggering to the window, he heaved it open.

“So, what are you going to do?” she gasped. “You can’t—fly.”

Two intruders dressed in black appeared at the bottom of the stairs. They aimed their rifle guns at them. “Okay, children, stay where you are.”

“We will jump,” he suggested.

“You’re crazy. We won’t—” Before she could answer, he tossed her out of the window. She felt herself falling out of the twenty-ninth floor window, through the sky into the swarm of biters below. Closing her eyes, she prayed and then cursed herself for being so stupid.
Why didn’t I leave Melissa in that shop?
Her eyes popped open and she jerked to a halt. When she looked around, she was in Bach’s arms. He put her down, and then collapsed.

The snarls of the infected were all around. Looking into the sea of the flesh eaters, she was unsure now about being relieved by miraculously surviving the floor drop. It would seem that wasn’t a good thing, while being surrounded by the biters.

BOOK: Wisteria (Wisteria Series)
13.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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