Ch 1: Raine
Daigua smirked as we passed one another, some white-haired wytch following him by half a step. I glanced at the stranger, trying to place why he seemed familiar and a lance of pain weaseled its way into my temple. I sucked a breath in through my teeth and willed my majik not to tremble. I continued my way into one of the few research rooms I had access to in search of materials. Spells concerning ghosts were few and far between, especially when you were just as likely to raise a mors ambulan than a lone spirit. The fading had already begun for my best friend and I had to find a way to stop it. I couldn’t just watch her fade from existence like she had never been here…couldn’t be left alone like that again. I found a forgotten tome, considering the amount of dust on it, in the corner of the room. As little as there was on ghosts, there was even less on angels and yet this book held a spell that used angelic majik for ghostly purposes. I read as I walked back to my desk. “A physical aspect gathered from a being of fate. With its healing properties and origin, it was a catalyst to separate a soul from the flow of fate and time.” My heart pounded as I became absorbed in the text.
“Bonk.” Khiry placed his hand on my head, forcing me to stop before I ran into the door frame of my office. “Whatcha got there, boss?”
“Research.” I ducked under his arm and made it safely to my desk.
“Personal I take it?”
“Never on company time.” I chuckled, not meeting his gaze. I sifted through the various spells in the tome and pulled the only thing I could see being of use. An angel's feather plucked at dawn with the thought of a loved one.
“Raine, it’s time to go home. The others have left, we just need to lock the door.” Kana knocked on the door as she spoke.
“Let’s get drinks!” Khiry reappeared at her side. He was a young fae in his first century. Always dressing too flashy for my taste and on occasion his actions were questionable.
“No thanks.” I had no desire to get drunk in front of coworkers and couldn’t fathom why they kept trying to get me to do so. Kana frowned, her quicksilver eyes glittering in the snow that fell around her. As a yuki onna her emotions tended to show as snow flurries. I gathered my things and walked out with them. “Have fun, be safe, yada yada.” I waved at them without looking, darting down the sidewalk towards my shortcut home.
Chills from the night air crawled up my spine. A feral snarl echoed off dark brick walls. I peered down the alleyway that even the sun retreated from, eyes chasing shadows. I stepped into the alley, excitement flooding my veins. The growling grew louder as a large ball of darkness ran for me. Majik seeped from my fingertips, ready to create a barrier. Before I could bring it into existence, someone pushed me out of the way. With my grace, my feet tangled, and I fell, scraping my knees on the broken asphalt. I ignored the pain with my own snarl of anger and turned in time to watch my savior get tackled. I got up to have a large raven wolf’s snout in my face. Humanity flashed in those golden orbs.
He was about to attack when I released a trigger word, a blue translucent barrier encasing him. His paw came down hard on the watery energy. Small droplets of water flew and he growled at the faint light that came from it.
“Breathe, wild one, breathe.” I cooed. It howled sharply into the night sky. I cringed as its echo came back.
“You’ll never win if you’re always fighting yourself.” He glared at my words.
“You should go home.” The voice was calm and steady, too close to my ear. Years of training kicked in and I spun on my heel, mid roundhouse kick when I stopped myself. His rich chocolate eyes did the pleading. There was no concern in his gaze, though he was about to be kicked in the face. His warm cinnamon mocha hair swayed around his ears.
“And you?” I could obviously handle myself.
“He and I are friends. I will return home with him. You should get home safely.” He wouldn’t look me in the eye as he spoke. A form of disappointment crept into my senses that I couldn’t place, nor understand.
“He needs to embrace his new form or he’ll never be able to control his majik.” Something in his eyes compelled me to listen. Even if I had no desire to let them loose into the night.
“We will do what we can.” His distant voice was still honey to my ears as he looked back at the trapped soul. His perplexed gaze found my oceanic eyes, causing me to sigh. He had no idea how safe we were with my barrier up. Protection was one of the strongest majiks in my arsenal.
“I can bring it down now, though it could be dangerous. Or you can wait an hour for it to dissipate.” I stared at the wolf, curious about his whole story. How could a wolf this old still be so chaotic and out of tune? Why hadn’t the man and majik bonded after so long, it was almost unheard of. If anything, it spoke to the man’s willpower or stubbornness, whichever way you looked at it.
“It would be best for you to get as far as you can before dropping it. I hope to never see you again under such circumstances.” He bowed his head and turned his back to me. I hated when people did that. I felt my nose wrinkle in distaste.
“Blessed be.” I was a mile away when I dropped the barrier. One more painful howl pierced the night air. I began to run. I can’t say why. I flung open the door to my family manor and slammed it shut, leaning against the solid wood. I exhaled a breath that strangled me on the way out. Aayla flew into the room, worry plastered all over her face.
“What happened?” Her dull brown eyes stared into my sea-storm. I inhaled through my nose, knowing I was about to get in trouble.
“I was attacked by an endring-wolf.” I put my hands up to protect myself from the anger seething out of her. I told her what had occurred and tapped the back of my head on the door. “Prick.” I felt like he had been looking down on my powers, that I was useless and in his way. Both of which I knew were untrue.
“Raine, just because you’re a wytch and can create barriers doesn’t mean you can be so haphazard!” She took on that mother tone, her long black curls somehow bouncing with her speech. “What am I going to do if something happens to you? Do you ever stop to think about that?” Tears trickled from her eyes. Oh no, I had caressed one of her fears.
“I’m sorry, Aayla, I’m sorry,” the self-loathing crept into my voice. We were all either of us had left. I wanted to hug her, to reassure her, she would be ok, but she was a ghost. She hated being unable to do simple things. I was going to make her tangible if it was the last thing I did. If she knew I was willing to go that far, she would find a way to harm me. “I’m ok.” I blew the words to her in a kiss and in turn, she stuck her tongue out.
“No really though, don’t.” She glided through me as punishment. She knew I hated the feeling of ice in my veins and an emptiness that I couldn’t escape from. An empty chasm that felt infinite in disparity, in my chest. On bad days, it made me think of my sister.
“Hey! Not fair!” I skirted around her and headed into the kitchen, her laughs following me. I grabbed an apple and returned, munching away.
“I wish I could eat.” Aayla materialized next to me. Years ago when we were still becoming friends, she told me about all the exotic, tasteful, and colorful foods she had eaten. She walked me through recipes for lau chingri, polau, and biryani so that I could taste the delicacies she missed most from her South Asian home. She was a foodie, unable to eat or touch or smell. I hated knowing her pain.
“At least you stay pretty.”
“Shut up! You’re pretty.” Her anger made teasing worth it. We are like family now. After being roommates for over a century, it wasn’t hard. Between work and research days passed in the blink of an eye. I was running out of time. Ghosts, depending on their death, only had an allotted amount of time to come to terms with their shadow life. She had become more and more transparent over the last few years, proof that I was about to lose her if I didn’t find the answer. I couldn’t go through that again. If I were to be broken one more time, there’s no telling what catastrophe might happen.
Weeks had passed as I made my way down the hall and into the library. Finding answers was so slow, each piece of the puzzle sewn together with frayed thread, my brain threatening to leak out of the uneven stitching. “Aayla, come look at this.”
“Is it interesting?” She called from the living room, having stayed to watch some animated show about an alcoholic spy when I called for her.
“Yes?” I looked up from the book I had in my hands as she came into the room.
“You say that and yet I stay bored.” She blinked at the hard leather-bound monstrosity I had opened on the table in the center of the room. “What even is this?” She waved at the smaller crimson book I had left open to the side with a language she couldn’t read.
“This is a spell I’m looking at. This is an encyclopedia. Did you know that endrings are born as any animal, but if you’re bitten into the pack you are what bit you?”
“That is not helpful for me.” She curled her lip at the endring-spider on the page.
“Maybe in time-” I was interrupted by a knock on the door. We stared from each other towards the door and went to the window to see who our guest was. He had reddish-brown hair at the base of his neck that grew lighter and lighter until it was blond around his face, a thin white sweater, and a pair of dark blue jeans.
“Lasagna ...his hair looks like lasagna,” Aayla muttered in my ear. I grinned and shook my head at her. Neither of us knew him. I opened the large oak door halfway.
“Hello?” I tilted my head to the side. He seemed to flinch when our eyes met.
“I came to apologize. I wasn’t supposed to come, but I had to right the wrong.” His breathing was ragged as he bowed his head.
“Apologize?” Maybe he had the wrong house. The only people who had wronged me would never admit they had done so in the first place.
“I’m sorry for attacking you. With how strong your barrier was, you could have killed me, but you saw me through the beast,” he placed his hand on the center of his chest. “You found me! Thank you so much. And I’m sorry.” He looked unsure of what to do with himself at this point. I’m guessing he didn’t think he’d get this far. Aayla walked through the wall to get a better look at him. He flinched and took a step back.
“She won’t hurt you.” I found it funny an endring-wolf was scared of a ghost.
“Can’t hurt you,” she rephrased. I frowned at her because semantics didn’t matter right now.
His focus returned to me as he started to get nervous. “I should go before they notice I’m gone.”
“They?” Aayla floated next to me. We didn’t need to pry just yet.
“If you ever have questions or need help trying to adjust, please stop by. I may be able to help. My name is Raine.”
“I’m Aayla, her roommate.”
“Alexander. I’ll be sure to do that.” He walked away with a small wave. We waved back until he was out of sight and went inside. I locked the door.
“That was odd.” I folded my arms across my chest as Aayla gave me that go-on look. “He’s contradicting his friend by being here. I also don’t know how he found me. Something feels off.” My home was not supposed to be easy to find. It also bothered me that I was still annoyed by such a trivial interaction weeks after the fact.
“Tis strange indeed.” She put her hand in mine causing a shiver and my eye to twitch. She laughed. I bit my lower lip in contemplation, nothing I could think of added up.
“Tea!” I wandered to the back of the house and turned left into a room full of herbs, spices, flowers, and other various potion ingredients. This was the apothecary room. Earth wytches have spent more time in here than any other element due to their nature. My being water never stopped me though. The earthy scents, light and dark, warm and cool, caressed my senses and always put me in the perfect mental space to make things. I had gone to keeping various tea blends I had made in here so I didn’t have to go all the way back down the hall to get to the kitchen. Most of my memories of my brother, Terran, are in this room.
“I love that you just randomly yell that at me as you walk away.” Aayla glared at some of the blends I had, her gaze kept going back to a lemon ginseng, there was some longing there. I set a kettle to boil and checked on some oil blends I had set to steep a few days ago. I took the finished ones and arranged my oil shelf in alphabetical order and added the new ones to my previous stock. It took me a few moments to register the whistling of the kettle and when I took it from the burner, Aayla was staring at me.
“What?” I added honey to the mug I had left for this purpose and poured the boiling water over the herbs.
“You’re going to burn the house down one day.”
“It’s spelled against that.” I grinned as a flicker of Sua passed through my mind. Every time my sister got pissed off her hair caught fire. I twirled my finger, stirring my tea without touching it.
“What am I going to do with you?” She put her hands on her hips.
“Love me.” I grinned as she shook her head. “Time to finish studying.” I headed to the next room, to my library. I turned right, through the mahogany door and smiled happily at the full shelves from floor to ceiling. I glanced at her from the corner of my eyes. Her shoulders dropped and she wasn't looking at me when she spoke.
“Don't waste your life away trying to fix me, Raine. It isn't worth all that effort.” I haven't told her time was ticking.
Ch 2: Aayla
I escorted her down the hall, passing generations of hanging photos. The walls were off-white with wooden mahogany panels at the bottom, giving visible age to the house. The house has been in her family for centuries. She wandered to her solace, a window seat with a giant fluffy blue cushion, two books in hand, and began reading. There was an oak table, large enough for eight, in the center of the room that was also covered in books and forgotten mugs. There were smaller shelves, also full, all around the room, making aisles. I left her to her own devices and went back to the living room at the front of the house. She always left a TV on for me so I checked what was on. She had a smart TV that had voice command, so I could flip through channels. With nothing captivating enough for my attention, I decided to go back in time and watch memories.
I was the only daughter of a prominent family. As a pawn I was threatened daily in an attempt to sway my parents' political decisions, not a day went by where I was without a guard. I snuck out that day though. I only had one friend due to all the danger, not that I blamed any acquaintance I encountered. His family had been near mine for generations. His father worked for mine as his before him, and up the ladder it went. I went to see Kahmran, the streets were full of common people, and no one looked twice at me. I wanted a dish from his favorite restaurant so he helped me escape. We wanted to eat together without the stuffy air of an aristocratic party.
“So, how long have you had the craving?” His smirk was ever-present.
“About five days, I think.”
“It took you that long? You just got a hold of me yesterday.”
“You know how chaotic it gets and how hectic my folks make the staff. It takes a bit to call on you.” I took my plate from the waiter and refused to look at Kahmran. Spicy juice ran down my chin as I bit into the chicken. He laughed as he started in on his own meal. When we were done we stepped back into the bazaar. People were everywhere, in every crevice of the streets, the city was alive. A crowd formed between us and I saw him struggle to get to me as I stood there and laughed. I wiped a tear from my eye and when I looked back I couldn't see him. His scream tore through the laughter and when our eyes met they were full of anguish. The hair on my arms stood and I started pushing my way to him.
“Stop!” The sound ripped into my abdomen. I froze listening to him for a change. He was crying as I began to sink to the ground. I glanced at where his voice pierced me and crimson stained my white sari. It blossomed out like the pain as it reached my brain. All the neural receptors exploding in a firework death. My hands, stained with blood that was too cold, reached for him and the ocean fell from those pecan pools.
I never felt a blade touch me.
I woke up decades later, my conscious mind finding my newly acquired transient body. Nothing I knew was there and everyone was gone. At first, I was numb, I couldn’t fathom how or even why I was back. Every so often there was a pull, a tug at my being with whispers of “follow me”, so I did. I had made it to the states. It was late and I was staring at lights that decorated the night when I heard screaming. I turned into an alley to see a young teen attack a man. Her white tank top and denim shorts were covered in blood and scratches. Her bronze hair was pulled into a ponytail but loose around her face, helping with the crazed look. The man was two heads taller than her, black hair slicked back. His calm demeanor caused her to narrow her sea-green eyes in hatred as she threw herself at him. She either had guts or was crazy. I've yet to figure out which though I've known her for so long. The man deflected her attack and it sent her into a wall, cracking it.
“Why?” Her scream propelled her into another attack.
“It was the rules. If you follow them you won't have to worry.”
“They were getting married! He wouldn't have told.” She was getting weaker by the second.
“It's the rules, Raine. You know that. We can't make exceptions for everyone so we make none, not even our own.” His voice fell in tone like he actually pitied the girl. The poor child. She attacked him again and he grabbed the back of her shirt and slung her into another wall. I heard the sickening break of a bone from yards away. I cringed as she screamed out in pain. A fire lit in her eyes as she stood. A bubble of energy encased the man. What were they? “Drop it, Raine. If you push me too far, you will regret it.”
“No! I have nothing left because of you.” Her eyes were overflowing with tears and seemed to glow slightly. She muttered words to herself and the bubble began to fill with water.
“Raine.” Not an ounce of worry was in his voice, only discipline. Her head fell in defeat as unconsciousness claimed her. He sighed and mumbled in the same language she had and her barrier shattered like ice and the water evaporated. He closed the distance between them and my chest tightened. He kicked her in the side like a coward and I flew from my hiding place.
“Leave her alone!” I went through him, my emotions lingering and taking him by surprise. He looked up at my voice, which was new. Humans have never heard me before, though with the display of majik I suppose they weren't humans. He glared as a chill trickled up his spine.
“Who are you?” All humanity had disappeared from his voice.
“No one of importance.” I was on edge, unsure of what I could do. He merely twitched and a barrier made up of blue whorls encased me. I stared in awe at him as I could actually feel the hum of energy when I touched it and it kept me in place.
“Do you know this girl?”
“Then this does not concern you. Leave now and you won't be harmed.”
“This is not how you treat a child!” My voice threatened promises I couldn't keep. He actually laughed.
“Oh no, she’s no child. She just looks the part of a teenager.” Wytches age differently than humans. They go through childhood the same but once they hit puberty they age one physical year in a decade. Raine has explained to me that on average they live for seven centuries. “Now leave before you regret staying.” His attitude was pissing me off.
“Leave her alone.” I tried to look menacing but we both knew I was harmless. I realized she was in the barrier with me. I slipped into her, taking the minimal amount of control.
“Who are you?” Her voice was like a whisper.
“Aayla, I'm here to help.”
“You're not a wytch, you may not be able to use my power.”
“Tell me what to do.” Her mouth twitched to smile so I turned it into a grin. We stood and her body winced.
“What are you doing? She is in no condition to stand!” He was far too irritated for being the one to put her in such a state.
“You are at fault. Why show concern now?” It was odd hearing her voice in place of mine.
“We take care of our own.” The chaos in his eyes told me he meant that in more ways than one.
“You call that taking care of? Are you mental?” Something exploded from within and I was expelled from her body. I looked back to her, her eyes were a glowing lilac ringed with blues and her hair was flowing around her as though she were underwater. Her hand came up in front of her and she closed her fist and his barrier shattered violently. A shard lodged into his chest and he crumpled to the ground. It dissipated and she blacked out, collapsing. His chest was rising and falling so he was still alive, pity. I went in search of someone to bring to her. I had to save this young soul. Sharing life with her had given me an anchor, something that's never happened with a human. It was such an intimate feeling for both of us. Authorities were called and they were taken to a hospital. I watched over her for a month. Once she was released, she slowly walked to her freedom, a bruised rib keeping her from too much excitement.
“Thank you.” Her voice was quiet and soft. There was no one around so I had no clue as to who she was speaking. She took a bus and then walked a good ways once she got off and opened the iron gate to a small mansion. “You are always welcome here.” She turned her gaze to me after unlocking the front door.
“Yes, you, Aayla.” Her words came out in laughter. I was still unused to being noticed.
“Wait, you can actually see me?”
“I'm a wytch. We can see everything. Thank you so much for saving me.”
“What was happening? Why was he attacking you?” My curiosity ran away with me, not taking her feelings into consideration. Her walls went up instantly, I could see it in the tensing of her shoulders and the smile already gone. “Raine?” I was on my way to ruining the first friendship I had had in a century.
“In our culture, we aren't allowed to tell humans about our existence.” She let us in and closed the front door. “My sister was getting married to one, so she told him. Daigua works for the council and they found out somehow, so he was ordered to kill them.” She plopped herself down on a couch.
“That's just cruel! No one would believe nowadays anyway, so why not wait till they tell?”
“They are the old ones. Ones that were around during the Crusades and Salem wytch hunts. They never want to go through that again.”
“They are just stupid old men aren't they?”
“For the most part,” she was grinning ear to ear. “But they govern us well and keep us younger ones in check. If not we would all be dead.” She relaxed into her couch, moving ever so slowly, acting as though the words she spoke didn't mean much.
“Excuse me, what?”
“Yeah, some of us cause natural disasters when we come into our power. We aren't born with the innate knowledge of how to use our powers, so yeah.” She just smiled at me like she had already known she would have to explain. She didn’t mind sharing knowledge with me. How interesting wytches are. They all have an element that their powers work through so one of her family traditions is to be named after it. Raine is a water wytch and as a baby, she loved the rain so her parents thought it a good namesake. The sister she had just lost was named Sua, which meant fire.
“Aayla!” Her voice pulled me from the past. “Aayla!” Panic was setting in so I flew through the house to find her. Once I was visible she put a barrier around me and hugged it. The closest form of contact we had.
“I've been yelling for you for a few minutes, I was about to come find you. I was so worried that something had happened,” she teared up. “Especially since I haven't seen you since yesterday.”
Oops. “I’m sorry to have worried you. But what exactly are you afraid could have happened?” I had been feeling weaker these last months, noticed the color in me fading. I was just waiting for her to tell me.
“Oh! Look what I found.” She refused to give me the bad news. She let it drape over her shoulders like she could bear the burden alone. Her barrier disappeared as she pranced over to one of her notebooks. I followed and stared at the foreign language in her little crimson book that was still open next to her. “I put some things together as best I could. It's a potion that will make you tangible.” The triumph in her voice slowly sunk into me.
“Well, read it.” I silently stamped my foot causing her to giggle. I didn’t understand why she always wrote her spells and such in these squiggles.
“The ingredients are two ounces of endring saliva, one spirit bead from a gumiho, a flame from a fire daemon, three drops of vampire’s blood, and one angel’s feather. The biggest problem will be an item of yours. We will either have to go back to your country or find whatever item of yours made it over here.” Raine was fidgeting with the book she had used to figure this out.
“You actually found it…” It seeped into my brain like ice water. “You actually found it!” I was screaming at her, the joy was so tight in my chest. There was hope. Raine thought she was able to hide the clock from me, but I knew my time was running out. “Do we know it will work?”
Storm clouds filled her eyes, aging her in pain as she looked at me. My chest sunk, the joy gone in seconds.
“Not really, you’re the only ghost I have. These ingredients are a bit difficult to attain especially with how they must be acquired.” The gloom hung over us both.
“But we will still try.” I sent her to bed with a weak smile and followed her into a dreamless night.
Ch 3: Mikhail
I have never seen a water barrier strong enough to keep an endring confined. Wytch barriers made of less corporeal elements were usually designed to keep majik attacks at bay, not physical things. The way her water pulsed to her mere breathing had me worried for Alexander’s safety. She looked far too excited for the situation. I had to get her away before she decided to hurt him. A dark look crossed her face, water-drop freckles rippling as she scrunched her nose. This woman could become either a powerful ally or an enemy if she chose. There was a residue to her majik that felt familiar and I could not place why. I would have to keep an eye on her.
When the barrier shattered, I closed my wings around my torso, deflecting the semisolid pieces. Alexander gave a hollow howl and stared at me, exhaustion filling his molten eyes. The golden dust in his brown eyes always took over when he was a wolf. He growled and clenched his jaw. His bones popped one after another, his human form reemerging. I looked away at the pain that swallowed him. He put a shaky hand on my shoulder. “Thanks.”
“We should go home.” I moved his arm over my shoulders to help him walk. Full moon nights left his human body weak. I helped him to his room before alerting the others to his safe return. The rest of our flatmates trickled in from searching for him.
“Is he ok?” Kahmran’s blonde and rainbow pastel hair bounced as he tossed his head towards Alexander’s door.
“Exhausted but fine. Let him rest.” As the unspoken leader of the group, the others obeyed without question. I mulled over whether or not to search for her for a few days. I had no way of tracking her and my only option would be to go back to where we met her. We did not need the distraction. I should have stayed focused on our current mission but something kept nagging at the back of my mind. Something about her face, her majik, that called out to me. The sun was setting in the alley once more and I watched from above, not wanting to be noticed.
“Raine, please join us tonight.” A black-haired woman called from the library steps.
“Not tonight, I’ve got something to do.” Her voice was closer to me, already across the street.
“You say that every night.” A blonde male stood next to the woman. Both of them caelestes by the looks of their auras.
“I’m a busy girl, what can I say?” The wytch laughed at the pair as she went down the alley, seemingly unfazed by what had transpired here. Her walk became a little brisker when a cold wind picked up. I followed from the skies, high enough to not be seen, low enough to see her movements. A few blocks away was the downtown area with the historical homes. A small three-story manor welcomed her in, the wrought iron gate seemed to swing open on its own accord. Something in the air buzzed when I got too close, layers and layers of various majiks laid on top of one another.
The next Saturday I saw Alexander approach the home. What was he doing here? I could not easily eavesdrop without being noticed so I just watched from my perch. He went home and the flatmate kept her away from the library, a rare feat from what I could tell. After a week more of surveillance, it was easy to tell that her flatmate was a ghost. It was intriguing to see how close they were without physical contact. Their age spans definitely helped with the situation.
One night Raine fell asleep in the library nook she spent most of her time in. Her friend did not wake her like she normally did the next morning. Something about her stance lit up, she must have found something in the books she had been reading. She yelled twice before she started screaming, the book fell to the table, her eyes wide. I could hear the panic from my perch in the large oak tree in the corner of the property. I flew to the window, searching for the danger that lurked in shadows unseen. The ghost was by her side in seconds and she hugged her.
I waited a while longer before my curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to know what she was looking for. I kept to the shadows until I made it to the door. I put my hand on the knob and blue lightning sparked and crackled up my arm. I jolted back, thankful my muscles did not lock me in place. I heard her running so I flew to my hiding place within the leaves. The wytch opened the door and the ghost was at her side.
“Who's there?” Her voice wavered as she glanced around. She looked back at her flatmate and placed her
hand where mine had been.
“Who was it?”
“An angel with gray-scale wings.” Her eyebrows were scrunched together when she looked around again. How was she able to do that? That was not a water spell, she should not have had the ability to read it. They went back inside and I left before she could seek me out. I rubbed my arm trying to get the tingling to go away.
I could hear the yelling before I even opened the door. “Why did you go over there? You know you weren't supposed to see her, why is it so hard for you to follow rules?” Kahmran was facing Alexander with his hands on his hips. I sighed as I shut the door.
“I can do as I please. You aren't in charge of me.” Alexander’s growl scared Maho, causing him to whimper and hide behind his shoulder-length sandy brown hair. Yangin shook his head and stayed next to the eighteen-year-old child. He was the youngest out of us, Alexander a mere nine decades older while the rest of us had them both by centuries.
“Alexander. Do listen to the rules, they are put in place for a reason. Kahmran, do not harass him about his decisions.” I had to break the tension as the leader of the house.
“You don't listen to your own rules, so why should I?” The wolf eyes were visible, the gold shining with the anger. All eyes fell upon me with curiosity and Maho sniffled.
“They know about you. It is my obligation to keep an eye on them until I deem we are safe from exposure.”
“That's not fair! She said she could help me. And what exposure? She's a wytch, she's not gonna out herself!” His anger was helium escaping from a balloon.
“What if they are hunters? What if they want to kill one of us? We don't know them!” Kahmran was in a panic, he could not bear to lose a friend again. His hair shook with his words, a pastel rainbow of fury.
“She has had the chance to kill me twice and hasn't done it. Both times she offered to help me. Besides, I’ve never heard of caelestes hunting each other like that. The ghost can’t even do harm which makes that even harder to believe. They were very nice. The ghost looks to be where you’re from.” Alexander crossed his arms over his chest. He was right, she did have some of the same cultural features as he did. His narrow eyes and high cheekbones gave him feline looks that bled into his personality.
“What if it's all a lie?” He was not ready to give up, he needed to win the argument. Or at the very least needed to get Alexander to see caution. I never understood where his paranoia came from.
“She is studying, looking for something. She is not a hunter.” I was getting annoyed, the pain in my arm had yet to subside. “Perhaps we should retire to our rooms.” Suggesting things always worked better than demanding them. Maho pouted at me as Yangin shrugged his shoulders and tossed his head to the side to get strands of his coal-black hair off of his eyebrows. The other two glared and everyone went upstairs. I changed into dark blue sleep pants and laid down. They needed to put their energy into more productive things. I needed to figure out what it was about her that I should be remembering. I decided I would have to speak with them the next day. I fell into a fitful slumber and when I awoke I could not remember what it was that had kept me awake.
Kahmran was cooking when I came downstairs and half glanced at me as I sat at the island. Though he could not eat human food anymore he still loved to cook for us.
“I don't think we should trust her.” He continued frying rice and eggs, keeping his back to me.
“There are better things you could do rather than worry over her.”
“So could you. Don’t you want your position back?”
“You want revenge, Kahmran. You have filled yourself with so much hate and distrust you may never be clean.”
“I've trusted you thus far. I don't have to stay.” His narrow glare made me realize how unlike myself I was being.
“I did not sleep well.”
“You’re irritable, so what? We don't mind, you're too nice most of the time anyways.” He placed a plate of fried rice with breaded chicken in front of me. The others trickled down and Maho grabbed a banana milk. Mornings are when we are most at peace with one another, mostly because we are not all that awake but it always reminded us why we stayed together.
“I was scouting around town and found that Chisanu was in fact living here at some point. There are no indications of him leaving so things are narrowing in.” Yangin took a bite of his breakfast. We all stared at him, a mixture of excitement and apprehension swelled in our chests. Our journey was almost over. We met each other, all of us on a twisted trail to find this man. All of our lives have been broken by his actions in one way or another. He held some sort of grudge against one of the most powerful wytch clans the world has ever known, the Ousseps. He has orchestrated their deaths for centuries, only the youngest now survived. Chisanu has never been punished by the Majistrae Council. Rumors were starting to spread about his relationship with the leaders of the wytches. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we were all caught up in his malevolence.
After I helped clean up I made my way to her home. If she could truly help Alexander, who was I to deny him that which he needed? I found myself knocking on her door. I heard the footsteps, was I sure I wanted to do this? The handle jiggled, I was out of time. Once her eyes took me in, the shock took over, pupils dilating and breath going sporadic. “Why are you here?” Her gaze lingered on my hands.
“Raine!” The shadows in the corner spoke. Her name tugged at something in my memory once more, but I still could not place it.
“Sorry. Um, please come in.” She moved the door back with her to make room for me to enter.
“My name is Mikhail. I wanted to thank you for helping Alexander the other day.”
“Raine, no problem.” She nodded at me as she folded her arms across her mint tank-top.
“I'm Aayla, nice to finally meet you.” The ghost had a mischievous look in her eye. Raine narrowed her eyes as she moved down the hall.
“So, to what pleasure are we owed this visit?” She led us into the kitchen and took a screaming kettle from the stove. “Considering our last meeting didn't end pleasant enough for this to just be gratitude.”
“You are a powerful wytch.”
“How do you know that?” Aayla floated to her side as she poured two cups of tea. Both of them were keeping an eye on me.
“Surveillance.” I did not want to see the confused judgment in their eyes, so I did not look up.
“That was you? You're the angel?” Her nostrils flared as she relived touching the back door. “Yeah don't do that. That spell could have killed you.” There was no emotion in her voice, she was merely stating a fact.
There was also no mercy. I realized all these spells on her house were generations of family members trying to protect what is theirs. I tried declining the cup she was handing to me, but she would not take no for an answer. I sniffed the tea and the warm sugar scent hit my nose.
“Honey vanilla chamomile.” Aayla was watching me as we took a seat in the living room. They took the couch and I took one of the matching chairs on the opposing side of the cherry wood coffee table.
“I was wondering if you would be willing to help Alexander.”
“Of course, I’ve offered more than once. But now it comes at but a small price.”
“Name it and it shall be contemplated.” I tasted the tea, slow as to not burn my tongue. The flavors danced in my mouth and relaxed some of the tension from between my shoulders.
“One of your feathers plucked at dawn with the thought of a loved one.” Surely she must have been joking, to be so randomly specific but her face was serious.
“That is all?”
“Yes please.” Her eyes guarded an excitement that boiled.
“Well, if you decide you need something more, please let me know.” There had to be something of more value to give.
“Of course,” she took a sip of her tea and leaned back into the dark crimson couch, “How are we to go about this?”
“You are welcome to come to our home. Or I could bring him here, whichever is more convenient.”
“Let me check.” She set her cup on the table and darted up the stairs.
“Don't hurt her. She's a tad too trusting and if anything happens, I will find a way to harm you.” Aayla folded her arms and glared at me with protective hatred.
“I have no need or want to harm your friend.”
“She's practically my sister.” Her eyes followed the sounds of Raine coming back down.
“It seems we shall have to try for another time. My job called me.” Raine sighed as she grabbed her cup. Aayla looked at her confused with a hint of anger.
“That is fine. Just contact me when you are available.” I handed her the piece of paper I kept with my number on it. I had yet to memorize the number of the cell phone my friends forced me to have. She stared at it hard, confusion flitting across her face, and just nodded at me.
“Will do.” Her smile was not as warm as I wished it would have been. Aayla had a snicker she was trying to hide. I bowed my head and proceeded to leave. I went home and was greeted with questioning as to where I had been.
“Raine, the wytch, and her flatmate, Aayla will be coming over at some point in the near future. Since they will be guests, I expect all of you to behave.” I made eye contact with Kahmran who stiffened his shoulders. His eyes had glazed over a bit as I spoke. “This will also give all of you the chance to feel them out in your comfort zone. I am trying to settle all arguments and complaints as effectively as possible.”
“You’re bringing girls to the house?” Maho tilted his head to the side. He was not accustomed to being around females of other races. I nodded to him as Yangin patted his shoulder.
“Is there any kind of preparation we should do before they come by?” Yangin was by far the calmest and most understanding out of them. Alexander had gotten antsy and was bouncing from one foot to the other.
“A clean house would not hurt. Kahmran, I only request that you eat beforehand.” I stared him down. Kahmran’s blood-lust, if he became too hungry, was dangerous and I did not want anyone to feel unsafe. I feared for his safety more so than I did Raine’s.
Ch 4: Raine
“At dawn with the thought of a loved one? What does that even mean?” Aayla and I watched him walk down the street until he was out of sight. Why was he walking if he could fly? I narrowed my eyes and shut the door with a thud and almost ran into her as I turned around.
“It is what the spell calls for. It asks for very specific and interesting requirements for the ingredients.”
“How do you know they are done right then?”
“They will glow, iridescent.” I went back to the living room for my drink.
“So what was that about? The council didn't really call you, did they?" She cocked an eyebrow at me.
“Of course not.” I laughed at her, “They don't know how to use phones. You know how they are with human things. They hide from our world so well I’m surprised they even know what year it is.” I took another sip and swirled it around in my cup. I walked back into the kitchen and set my cup down, looking at the things I had brought in from the back room.
“Then why are you stalling?”
“I want to do homework on his kind first. I don’t actually have much experience with angels. Though from what I understand they are really just winged beings with heightened spiritual majik. I also just need to look into things, see what information I can get on endrings so I know how to help Alexander.”
“You and your studying, don't you want to do anything else? How do you not have experience with them considering your work?” She was flopped over the counter waving her hands at me.
“The branch I work at, there’s only three of us. Kana is a yuki-onna, and she’s as cold as the ice that made her. Though I think her being around Khiry, who is a fae, has warmed her personality. I still don’t know how they are friends, they are so different from each other.”
“Only three of you work in that huge library?” She has begged me numerous times to go to work with me but it’s the one thing I constantly deny her. I don’t trust the council with her if they were to find out she is the reason I had that odd power surge. I’m surprised Daigua’s report didn’t have them breathing down my neck in the first place. It was better to keep her away from them and safe.
“No, there are humans that work on the actual library stuff. They have no idea about the reality of the place though. We caelestes employed by the council have our own areas.” I was sitting on the island across from her.
“Have any of you almost gotten caught by them?”
“Of course not,” I chuckled. “We have glamors in place so they can’t see us coming or going.”
“That’s cool, I guess. So what are we going to do about Mikhail?” She eyed me as my mind wandered.
“He got an upper hand on me. I need payback, want to join me?” My smile was thin and crooked, eyes showing the mischief I was planning.
“You do know how to have fun!” She jumped from the counter and went through the ceiling.
“You can't bring anything through the floor with you!” My voice carried to the top of the stairs. She poked her head through and grinned at me, her face saying duh. I rolled my eyes and shook my head at the same time. I put my things away that I no longer needed while she took her time doing her thing. I had just placed a mortar and pestle on the counter in the apothecary room when she appeared by my side and giggled, startling me. “Ready?”
“Always. Your outfit is ready, my good spy. That and I’m sure you could always use a spell to make it better if you need. Sometimes I’m surprised you don’t have one for invisibility.” She rubbed her hands together like a villain. What was she planning?
“Water has nothing to do with it. So I can’t make it. Our spells have to contain our element for it to work.” I followed her upstairs. On my bed, she had put one of my black V-neck shirts and a pair of denim shorts with black tights. How she managed the same shade of black all the way through, I have no idea. I grabbed my combat boots, pulled my hair up into a bun, and slid down the banister to the first floor. With her love of fashion, I had to get a charm to put on my clothes so she could pick things out for me. It was easier than having her hovering over me while she tried to tell me what not to wear as I picked something out. I was her living doll and it was one of her favorite things I have done.
“You’re a dork, you know that, right?” I grabbed a bag and stuffed my little crimson notebook in it along with a vial for the feather. I would need it after we snuck up on them or got caught. Preferably the former.
“Of course, how else do you think we get along so well?” She had a point. She followed me to the car. “So how do we know where they live?”
“Tracking spell. I'm trying a new one I found, this one is a potion. That's why I made sure he drank the tea.”
“Wait, why did you--no how did you know to make that?” She stared at me wide-eyed.
“I found it earlier and was going to test it anyways, his surprise visit just gave me the perfect opportunity. I made it in the kitchen because I had to cool it quickly so it was in the freezer. I dunked some ice in it and then put that in his tea.” Most things I made in the apothecary room, so it was rare for me to do majik in the kitchen unless I needed a utensil that was only in there.
“How does that work? How long does it last?”
“Well, I'm not entirely sure. He drank it and I put some of it on this old ring and it should show us the way. The book doesn’t really say. So I guess we will just have to find out.” I pulled out of the driveway and put my hand up to the left then the right, it glowed a soft blue so right we went.
“That is neat. I should get one for you.” She laughed herself silly as she made fun of me. I frowned and followed our glowing directions. We managed to get turned around at one point because I didn’t have the time to check what direction before traffic forced me through a green light. I swung a u-turn at the next light and it made us go left. We continued following its directions and were led to a beautiful modern manor on the opposite side of town. The walls were smooth alabaster that gleamed dully in the sunlight. The door and window frames were made of mahogany, giving a little warmth to the exterior. “Are you serious?” She glanced at my clothing, outside I far too visible against the bright light colors.
“I guess so. Come on, let’s figure out how to do this, he made it sound like they have a lot more roommates.” I lead the way to the right side of the house after parking a block away. Their backyard took my breath away. It was a full acre of lush dark green grass. There was a small grove of willow trees on the far side of the pool that glittered against the light as the small breeze caressed it up into waves. Jasmine bushes lined the back of the house and the scent lingered delicately to everything it touched. I inhaled and turned away from the yard and returned my attention to our mission. We ducked under the bay windows of the kitchen and I went into a trance. I searched the perimeter for spells of any kind and found no majikal resistance. My eyebrows bunched together.
“What’s wrong?” Her voice was like the wind in my ear.
“There's nothing to protect them.” I saw my concern mirrored in her face. We didn’t know anyone in the majikal community who didn’t have some kind of protection charms on their homes. I mean even humans have security systems. “Come on, let’s go in.” We wandered to the middle of the back wall and after seeing no one in what we assumed was a ballroom, due to the vast emptiness that laid before us, we scaled the side of the house. I created little bubbles of water and used them like the holds on a rock climbing wall. We found a window in the hall of the second floor and I climbed through.
“Gods, you're so slow.” She was halfway through the wall making it look as though she were cut in half.
“You're funny.” The sarcasm dripped from my voice like drool from a bulldog. She stuck her tongue out at me and floated all the way in. We looked both ways and found the stairs on our left. I pointed up and she went through the floor. She came back down and nodded at me, indicating no one was about to come down. We looked at the hallway before us, a total of eight doors in our way, all oak against lavender walls. The only light was from the windows allowing the sun in. I walked down the hall, dragging my hand along the wall the whole way. The floor didn’t seem to notice me at all, excellent. The walls told me nothing of intrigue, they were so new they had no stories to tell, no majikal imprints, nothing. I frowned and nodded to the closest door. Aayla was gone for only a few seconds.
“I advise you not to go in the third room. That library will make you forget why you’re here.” For her to take that tone, it must be nice.
“Let’s check upstairs.” I led the way to the next floor. It was a hallway with rooms facing the windows and walls. I touched the wall next to us and held my hand out to stop her from checking these rooms. Energies had collected up here. It was my turn to search. I reached into the rooms one by one with my powers, feeling for others.
“So? Anything fun yet?” She watched as I stood in front of each door. It was like an aftertaste of their majiks. The first was a forest floor, a full moon, and a howling that I could feel in my bones. It had to have been Alexander’s room. The next room was empty, a void in my spectrum. Next down the line was like being near a crackling fire that had a hint of burning amber to it. I hadn’t felt this kind of majik since one of my elder brothers was killed and my parents had to speak with the head of a fire daemon clan to figure out what happened. Why would one of them be so far from home? Another empty room and the next had me wrinkling my nose. I could smell the blood from the doorway, blood and lotus blossoms. I retreated from the intoxicating vampire majik.
“Alexander’s room was the first. Fire owns the third. A vampire this one.” I reached into the seventh room and got slammed into the wall opposing the door. Some kind of fox was in that room but it wasn’t something I had come into contact with yet. The spirit energy was so overwhelmingly strong it took me a second to clear my head.
“Raine!” Aayla flew to me in a panic. The door yanked open and a teen stood before us with wide eyes and a ball of energy in his hand.
“Yeojas!” He yelled into the quiet house. I went to stand but my legs wouldn't cooperate.
“Maho?” Voices filled the hall and Aayla kept trying to pull me up only to have her hands go through my
elbows. We both started to panic as we heard the stairs groan under fast movement so I sent a wave to push the kid back into his room.
“Get up!” Snakes could envy Aayla at times. I sent my majik to my limbs and jumped up and followed her down the hall. We came to the dead-end and could hear people coming after us. We dashed into a room and locked the door before turning around to realize there were no windows. Someone was sitting across the room from us. I was caught.
Ch 5: Kahmran
I was hiding in the spare room of the third floor for peace and quiet when I heard Maho yell. I looked at the door like it was going to tell me why he was in distress. Then they came in like a flurry, both panicked and disheveled. They looked around the room and I saw the terror in the blue-eyed girl when she noticed me. She started talking to the other girl, but I couldn't hear the words. For all I cared there weren't any. The last time I saw that face was three hundred years ago in a bazaar. There was a faint bloodstain on the left side of her white sari, no longer dripping into the streets. I didn't hear them scream when the others came barging in, the room was moving slowly as Yangin grabbed the redheaded one and Maho was about to reach for the other and I jumped up.
“Do not touch her!” The room froze, the sound coming back as they all stared at me wide-eyed.
“Kahmran?” Her voice was the same, exactly the same, down to the drop of fear that had been in it that day.
“Wait, that’s him?” The other girl's eyes narrowed as she struggled against Yangin, who let her go with hesitation, and stood awkwardly next to Aayla.
“I watched you die.” My vision was hazy with black cracks and her scream filled my ears. I sunk to my knees in the middle of the room. I felt helpless all over again and was clawing at my head. This had to be some new form of torture, to see her now, when we were closing in on him. “He killed you…”
“Why are you......how are you here?” She still sounded judgmental, it was like the tone was stuck in her personality, so deep it could never be uprooted. I never wanted her to see me as the monster I had become. I walked over to her and just crumpled to the floor sobbing. How could I have thought I could look her in the eye?
“Take me over.” The girl’s voice was low and there was hesitation but then Aayla disappeared into her. The girl leaned down and held me.
“I've missed you so much, Kahmran. I'm so happy you stayed.” Though it wasn't her voice I knew her words, her tone. She used our mother-tongue, a language I hadn't heard in ages. I clung to her like a lost child.
“I'm sorry I didn't save you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.” I tripped over one apology after another and couldn't stop. I buried my face in their shoulder and sobbed, soaking the shirt with my tears and snot.
“You could have just come over with me instead of breaking in.” Mikhail leaned against the door frame. They looked over at him and frowned.
“Kahmran, you have to tell me everything. How are you still here? Why must you prove me wrong?” She smiled as she hugged me again. She kissed my forehead and they separated, the friend smiling softly, and Aayla's eyes were alight with the same mischief they always were when we met up after days apart.
“Yes, well. I don't like being outdone. Or someone having an advantage over me. Do you realize how easy it was for us to get in here? Ya'lls defenses are seriously lacking. This kid is the only reason we got caught. What if he weren't home?” Her friend spoke to Mikhail. Aayla just kept smiling at me as I attempted to stop the waterworks.
“Maho almost never leaves so that is a moot point. I know they are not what you have at your home but our defenses are low on purpose.”
“You want someone to break in?” She stared at him like he had lost his mind.
“Aayla, let’s go to my room. I wish to speak with you. To make sure you’re real.”
“Of course. But only because you can't hit me.” Her smirk was as warm as ever.
“Like I’m the culprit. You’re the one that deals all the physical abuse.” I rolled my eyes at her as I led her to my room. “So who is that?”
“Raine. I live with her. She is like a sister to me. She is also a wytch, so that’s why she can see me. Oh! She’s also trying to find a way to make me tangible.” She beamed at me, the same way she used to when she had gotten a new present and was showing it off.
“I’m glad she has taken care of you so well. That you are here.” I wanted to hold her again. As much as I hated wytches I would have to play nice with this one. Just this once, I could look past their evil nature.
“What have you done all this time? How are you still here?”
“You got it easy didn’t you? Becoming a ghost…..” I couldn’t look her in the eyes.
“I watched you die, Aayla. I-I can’t even begin to describe what that was like for me.”
“I honestly don’t think I want to know. Not that it was that great on my end,” she laughed softly, “What are you then? Are you a wytch and never told me?”
“Don’t ever lump me in with that god-forsaken family.” My eyes narrowed into slits. The shock in her eyes was so evident I almost apologized. Her thoughts must have run to Raine. “Chisanu and his family are wytches. He is an ice wytch and he himself is the one that….”
“Stabbed me. I saw him before,” she took a breath to steady herself, “before the darkness consumed me. He was smirking.” She bobbed her head, barely staying above the wave. Her parents had arranged a marriage with him, he didn’t like it any more than she did but his way of getting out of it was wretched. I moved as if to hold her but realized before she noticed my mistake. “So, what are you?”
I flashed my fangs at her and she just blinked. “You took all the fun out of that.” She started laughing as I glared at her.
“Yeah well, I live with a wytch who is a bookworm. The amount of crazy spells she has tried at home is ridiculous, even you would frown at her antics. She came home the other night in a tizzy because your friend attacked her.” It was so good to hear her voice again. I could feel years of pent-up tension melt from my bones.
“Fair. Anyways, I was having a hard time after that. I would just start running through the city, getting lost frequently and it would take days to find my way home. I was going crazy, I guess.” I scratched the back of my head and noticed she was crying. I looked at her fully and she sniffled. Frowning, I continued, “I found a part of town I didn’t know even existed. Which is weird considering we prided ourselves on having been everywhere in that hell hole.”
“A lady found me, knowing from the look on my face that I was lost. She took me back to her place, so she could grab a few things before going to the main part of the city. She gave me a drink. I waited by the door, something about the place felt wrong. There were no windows in her house and everything was of dark red colors. But as always I didn’t listen to my instincts. I heard her coming back and set the glass on a nearby table. She called me a good boy and bit my arm.” I was tracing the marks on my wrist without realizing it. She furrowed her brows as she watched me.
“Why? Why would you let her touch you like that?”
“She drugged the tea.” I stared at her like it was obvious. “I was sluggish, the cup fell ‘cause I hadn’t put it on the table fully. The next few days were a red haze. Once my head cleared enough for me to think straight, she was dead on the floor and I wasn’t dying of thirst. I don’t think I’m the one that killed her though. I can’t even tell you what happened that day. It took a bit to come to terms with my new existence. Even after all this time, I’m still not comfortable with it. But when I realized I could get Chisanu back for it all, I didn’t mind as much.”
“Oh, Kahmran. I’m so sorry, this is all my fault.” She covered her face with her hands as she cried. “What about your parents? Were they still alive? How much time passed?”
“Uhm….two weeks maybe? They were concerned, but I had been missing so much that they couldn’t really say anything to me. I never told them. I ran away instead, I fought with myself too much in order to not drink from them. I couldn’t keep that up and I wanted to keep them safe.”
“Was it painful?”
“Leaving? No, not at all. Changing? I’m not sure. I mean, I know that every cell in my body died slowly, like a fire burning your soul but I can’t remember it. This thirst is the most painful thing.” I stared at her, talking about it had started making me hungry. That was something I never wanted her to see as long as we existed. “How come you never came back? Why didn’t you come find me?”
“Years had passed. Nothing was the same, my house was gone, our lives erased. I assumed you passed on like everyone else, like you were supposed to. Why do you always have to prove me wrong?” Some of her color was returning.
“Why are you here?”
“I don’t even know. Raine’s offered a bunch of reasons but I don’t see any of them being right.”
“What do you mean?”
“No raging desire for revenge. I mean, yes, I’m vindictive but it wasn’t enough to come back from the grave for. No lingering regrets. I didn’t really have that strong of a tether to the living. I’m not saying you weren’t enough. Part of me feels responsible for your pain that day. That and if I stayed for you, you would have felt so burdened and that would have been unfair to you.”
“I wished for you to come back. Every day I wasn’t in a stupor, all I could think of was you.”
“So maybe it’s your fault.” She laughed as I snapped my head up to look at her. “Raine would love to know, she enjoys figuring things like this out.”
“Maybe it’s because you were murdered by a wytch. So, what did you do once you came back?” I would never forgive their kind.
“Well…I traveled, I guess. I would wander around a lot. No one could see me so it got so lonely very quickly. And occasionally I would feel a tug, like my soul needed to go somewhere. So I would follow that and got to go all over Europe and eventually made it here. That was weird honestly. I was looking over the ocean one day and decided to cross it. I was worried about getting lost because of the size of it. But after a while I just kind of popped up near shore. Raine doesn’t have an explanation for that and I haven’t been able to do it since.” She watched my expressions as she spoke. That is actually what I did. I flew here. Interesting.
“So how did you meet her?”
“Oh! Once I got here, I heard someone fighting in an alley and got curious. She almost died that night, I think. And I saved her. We have been best friends ever since.”
“You saved her? How did you manage that?” I cocked a brow at her. She went into detail about the mysterious power the girl had and the fact they had no idea what it was.
“Sometimes she makes me take her over to try it again but nothing ever comes of it. We both kinda hate the feeling. Borrowed warmth is not something I want. What about you though, how did you meet up with all of them?”
I sighed and leaned back in the chair I was sitting in. “I traveled a lot at first, trying to track Chisanu down. Once I was mentally sober to learn about him. I slowly gained information on him and it was bloody irritating. About a century ago I met Mikhail and Yangin. We crossed paths while looking for things on him and we traded what information we had. In the end, we decided to look together for him. Maho was basically assigned to Mikhail so he stayed with us after that mess of politics I don’t get. Alex on the other hand, we met in the same way he and Raine met. I was hunting one night and he attacked me. When I knocked him out he turned into a human and I panicked and just brought him home.”
“Just like you to bring home the stray dog.” She grinned ear to ear as I laughed.
“Don’t tell him you said that.”