Element (Book 3)

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Ch 23 - Celestia

*FLASHBACK*

I groaned as I woke up. My lungs hurt and for a while I couldn’t stop coughing. Once my chest simmered, I looked around the room and that’s when I spotted her. I went over to her and shook her awake.

“Kaya! Kaya wake up,” I said, shaking her.

She groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. “Rena?”

“Kaya, do you know where we are?” I asked her.

She coughed, probably going through the same thing I did. “No.”

I looked around the room, and it looked like we were in a little girl’s room. The room was actually cute. I looked down at myself before looking at her and I realized that our dresses had ash on them.

“The fire,” I whispered.

“Rena, your arm,” she said.

I looked down and my arm was wrapped with a bandage. I reached out to touch it before hissing. She smacked my hand away from the bandage, giving me her signature scolding look. When we heard footsteps approach, we quickly resumed our previous positions before the door opened.

“They’re still asleep? It’s been four days,” one voice said.

“What do you figure we do? If we tell the big boss, he’s going to lose it. As it is, he’s out for blood. The fire was Silver’s fault. How do you think he’s going to feel knowing that the girls aren’t waking up?” another voice asked.

“Maybe we should get a doctor to check them out?” the first voice suggested.

“He said we aren’t allowed to let anyone close to them. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to live,” the second voice said.

“What about bringing Grayson here? Surely it will work out better with them seeing another kid, than us being the ones they first see,” the first voice argued.

“Ok, that’s not a bad idea. He’s still out at the park, but we can bring him this way when he comes back,” the second voice agreed. We waited for some seconds after the door closed before we moved again.

“Who’s Grayson?” Kaya asked me.

“I have no idea. I just know that we need to get out of here before they bring him here,” I told her.

“Where will we go? Are our moms even looking for us?” she asked.

“Kaya, I don’t know ok? We need to leave,” I replied.

She scowled, looking down at her arm. “Our bracelets are gone.”

“What bracelets?” I asked.

“The one I gave you in the morning. My mom said if we get into trouble, we should click on the buttons on our bracelets,” she explained.

The bracelet I watched my mother make us.

“Which means whoever took us knows about our moms,” I realized.

“We can’t leave Rena. We don’t even know where we are,” she argued.

I knew it was futile arguing with her.

“Ok, but we’re leaving if this Grayson person is dangerous,” I told her.

She nodded. “We’ll kick his ass together.”

We laid on the twin beds and waited for them to come back with this Grayson person. We waited for a while, and I was even starting to fall asleep when the door finally opened. We could hear them speaking mutedly between themselves.

“Are these them?” a little voice asked.

“Yeah. Do you think you’ll be able to wake them up?” one of the older voices asked.

“Why are they asleep?” the little voice asked.

“We think they’re afraid to wake up. We think they might be scared of us,” another older voice replied.

“Ok. Get out,” the little voice said. There was some silence before there was shuffling and then the door closed.

“You can get up now,” the little voice said.

Kaya and I both opened one eye to look at each other, before silently agreeing to get up. We sat up and that’s when my eyes landed on the little boy with blonde hair and grey eyes. He looked like he was about five years older than Kaya and I.

“You’re Grayson?” Kaya asked.

He nodded. “Who are you guys?”

“I’m Serena, and this is my cousin Kaya,” I introduced.

“It’s nice to meet you guys,” he smiled.

“Where are we?” Kaya asked.

“You’re in my father’s house. I can take you to him if you’d like?” he offered.

“Who’s your father?” I asked, but he instead ignored me as he walked out of the room.

We had no choice but to follow after him. The house is old looking on the inside and there were people everywhere. They all seemed to be focused on one thing or the other, and they were all dressed in black.

We were about to enter a room when we were stopped. “Grayson!”

“What?” Grayson said, turning to face a boy with brown hair and green eyes. He looked to be the same age as Grayson.

“Where are you going?” the boy asked.

“I’m going to see my dad and show him my new friends,” Grayson informed.

“Who are they?” the boy asked, facing Kaya and I.

“This is Kaya and that’s Serena,” Grayson introduced.

“Hi. I’m Mason,” the boy introduced.

“Nice to meet you,” Kaya and I said before Grayson opened the double doors before us.

“I asked to bot be disrupted,” a voice boomed across the room.

“Father, I thought you might want to meet my new friends,” Grayson said without fear.

That’s when the older man looked up. You could see where Grayson got his looks from since he looks like a younger version of this man. The man stood up and beamed, coming around to face us.

“Serena, Kaya, I’m so happy you’re awake,” he said.

“You know who they are?” Mason asked.

The older man nodded. “I do. They’re very special girls.”

“Who are you?” I asked.

“My name is Judas.”

***

I frowned at the memory. It felt real enough, and if it was indeed real, then it could only mean that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. I’d had my first ever memory from before the age of six.

And it connected some crucial pieces for me.

He was walking around the room, typing things onto his tablet as he checked on his data. I was seeing him through new eyes, especially because a part of me felt like I knew him better than the person I’d come to know in the past week.

“Mason,” I said, hoping he could hear me through the glass box they had me in.

“It’s Lane Mason,” he said, not turning to look at me.

“No, it isn’t. Your name is Mason da Gama, son of Damian and Veronica da Gama,” I said weakly.

He froze before turning to face me, wide eyed. “How do you remember that? It’s impossible for you to remember.”

“So, I’m right? You’re the same Mason I met when I was six,” I said.

He put his tablet down before coming over to the box. He put in the code before the door opened and he rushed over to help me stand. They’d injected me with something and I had no idea how long I’d been in this place for.

“You were never supposed to remember,” he commented, helping me over to the chair.

“Super Soldier Formula,” I mumbled.

“The one made by Drayfus?” he asked.

I nodded. “It was injected into me. He told me that he put nanotech in it that fixes my memory.”

“Amazing,” he whispered before handing me a glass of water.

“Why are you helping me if you brought me here in the first place?” I asked after drinking the water.

“It wasn’t my choice to bring you here. She happens to have something against me, as well as something that I need, and now that Grayson’s gone off the grid, I couldn’t recruit him to help me. My only choice was to bring you in,” he explained.

“She did it, didn’t she?” I asked.

“What exactly do you remember?”

*FLASHBACK*

I put my finger on the scanner before the doors opened. I walked in with my mission report in hand and headed straight to the big boss’ office. He was already waiting for me, and a big smile overtook his face when I handed the file over.

“It was a success. Gerhard Nolan is dead.”

“I knew I could count on you. You deserve a holiday, so you can take some time off and come back for your next mission when you’re ready,” he offered.

“Thank you Sir,” I said before leaving the room.

I didn’t expect to be pulled into a dark room. “I know where you went.”

“The only way you could know where I went is if you followed me,” I pointed out.

“What you’re doing is dangerous Rena,” he pointed out.

“I know it is. I’m curious about him though,” I defended.

“This is all Malachi’s fault, but I need to tell you something. They’ve sent Kaya to kill him,” he informed.

I scowled. “Why?”

“Because he’s a threat to us. The longer he’s alive, the higher the chance of him disrupting the organization’s plans,” he responded.

“Ok, but why tell me?” I asked him.

“I’ve seen the way you look at him. There’s something there, despite how young you are. If anyone can protect him, it’s you.”

***

“They sent her on missions to kill him, and when she realized that I was protecting him, she started going after him using digital masks so that she looked like me. That explains the videos…” I trailed off, connecting the dots.

“She made Hugo deliver the drive. I don’t know what her end game was with that move, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t buy it either,” he said.

“So I was right in thinking that I’ve spent years protecting him instead of trying to kill him?” I asked.

He nodded. “You’ve loved Xander for a very long time, longer than he knows.”

“You know his name,” I commented.

“It wasn’t hard to find out,” he replied.

“Did he really get your parents arrested?” I asked.

He shrugged. “He was just doing his job. He was blinded by what Cypher fed him.”

“So you don’t hate him?” I questioned.

He caressed my cheek. “The only thing I could hate him for is for having your heart.”

He stood up to leave. “Wait Mason!”

“Yeah?” he said, turning back to face me.

“Are you my enemy or my ally?” I asked.

“I won’t let them kill you,” was his cryptic answer before he left not only the box but the lab altogether.

I sat alone in the huge lab, the humming sound of the engines comforting me. I looked down at my wrist and found that the bracelet Jayme made me was gone. I had no idea if my husband had received my distress alert or not, and I was too tired to worry about that as my eyes shut close.

*FLASHBACK*

“I’ll see you tonight?” he pouted.

“Same time, same place,” I laughed before kissing him.

“Let me go and be the Dragon in training,” he said dramatically, rolling his eyes.

“You’ll be fine you big baby,” I teased.

“I don’t think I will though. I’m supposed to marry someone I don’t love,” he argued.

“Storm is great. You’ll be fine,” I countered, even if it bothered me to say it.

He caressed my cheek. “Even in times like this you refuse to be selfish.”

“Selfish how? What would you have me do Thanos?” I whispered. He didn’t want me to call him Xander for whatever reason.

“Run away with me,” he pleaded for the millionth time.

“You know we can’t leave the lives we live. Besides, we’re a bunch of kids. There’s nowhere in the world where we’d be able to run to and not get questioned,” I pointed out.

“Alright fine, but promise me one thing,” he requested.

“If I can deliver it,” I said.

He smiled. “Promise me that whatever this life has in store for us, you’ll be my infinity.”

“I can’t ma-”

“Promise me.”

“I promise.”

He beamed and I couldn’t stop the giggle if I wanted to as he kissed all over my face. He pulled me in for a deep kiss before eventually pulling away. After a kiss to the forehead, he was gone, leaving me smiling to myself as I put away the weapons we were cleaning.

“So, when were you going to tell me about you and my betrothed?”

I froze before turning to slowly face her. “What?”

“Oh, don’t even try it. I saw you kissing just now. Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked.

“Where would I even begin? Your father expects him to be the next Dragon and for you to get married,” I pointed out.

She nudged me. “Do you like him?”

“Nope,” I replied.

“What? Why not? I mean, I’m not all that attracted to him, but even I’ll admit that he’s a catch,” she argued.

I giggled. “I know. It’s the reason why I love him.”

I laughed harder when she squealed. “Are you serious? Have you told him? Does he feel the same?”

“Would you calm down? I don’t know how he feels about me. We haven’t really spoken about it,” I lied, blushing.

“How long has this been going on for exactly?” she asked.

“Four months,” I murmured.

I didn’t expect the smack on my shoulder. “What the hell Elle? Why haven’t you told me all this time? I could’ve stopped them from-”

“Stopped them from what?” I asked when she wasn’t saying anything.

“Elle, I didn’t know ok?” she said, suddenly sounding panicked.

“You didn’t know what Storm?” I asked.

Before she could reply, the doors flew open. “Hello Elle.”

“Blayze.”

***

When I woke up again, there were a couple of people in the lab, moving around. I was on the ground, and judging from the throbbing in my head, I could only guess that I’d fallen off the chair. I spotted her over at one of the machines, talking to someone.

I clutched my head as I sat up. “So, what? You’re going to keep me imprisoned here for the rest of my life?”

She simply ignored me, so I turned to the only other person I knew in the room. “You know, I’ve always thought of you as a snake, but even this is a new low for you.”

“Blayze, get Khalil here and tell him we have her,” she told him. He shot me a look before leaving the lab.

“Everybody get out,” she shouted. They looked at her wide eyed before scrambling out of the room.

“You must be quite the ice queen,” I commented.

“Make no mistake; you and I are not friends,” she said coldly.

“No, because you’re just my deranged cousin,” I pointed out.

“We are nothing to each other,” she said darkly.

“You’re going to combust from all of this hate,” I taunted.

Her right eye glowed red before it went away as quickly as it came. “Really? You go a bionic eye?”

“Your little boyfriend didn’t even notice it,” she said, smirking.

I let her jab slide. “Why would he? He knows better than to look a demon in the eyes.”

If I had any energy, I’d laugh at the look on her face.

“You just think you’re so high and fucking mighty, don’t you? The ever so great Element,” she sneered.

“Your words love,” I taunted once more.

I could just see the vein on her forehead threatening to pop.

“You won’t be so chuffed once Khalil gets here,” she spat.

“And does daddy dearest know what you’re up to?” I asked her.

“What does my father have to do with anything?” she asked.

I scoffed. “You mean aside from the fact that he can’t stand The Order?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” she questioned, crossing her arms.

“Oh, dearest cousin, I may be drugged up but I’m not a moron. I can feel your aura all the way from here Kaya, or should I say Celestia,” I mocked.

She smirked, slowly clapping her hands. “I had no idea you were still this smart.”

“I’ve always been the smartest of us two and even are souls know it,” I smiled.

She cocked her head to the side. “You seem to be confident that you’re making it out of here alive.”

“You’re the only one not caught up,” I said confidently.

“This is priceless. Do you even know who Khalil is dearest cousin?” she questioned.

“No, but I’m sure you’re just dying to let me know,” I replied.

“Actually, I’m not. I want to enjoy seeing the look on your face when he gets here,” she said, sounding mighty chuffed.

“So, what? We’re going to bond until then?” I asked.

“I don’t know if you want to call it bonding, but you can watch me do something I’ve enjoyed doing over the past couple of days,” she said, walking over to a pin pad on the other side of the room.

I was about to question her when the doors opened to reveal a sight that both chilled me to the bone and brought tears to my eyes. Hooked onto endless wires was my best friend and it looked like she’d been torture for a long while. A tear fell when Kaya clicked on a button and my best friend’s eyes shot open as she screamed from the electrocution.

“Sunny,” I whispered.

“You see, she refuses to share some vital information with us, so we’ve seen fit to get it out of her, except she’s proving to be harder to crack than we’d anticipated,” Kaya commented, her finger still on the button.

“Stop! You’re killing her!” I screamed.

“Oh, calm down. The voltage isn’t that high. Besides, I need her alive,” Kaya replied, letting go of the button.

Just as I watched Sunny slump, the doors opened and my cousin couldn’t have been more right about the look on my face. “If it isn’t the lovely Ellysia.”

“You sick fuck!”

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