“Jaxson Claiborne, you better call me back! I’ve left you message after message. It’s not like you to ignore me!” Wendy screamed into the phone right before she smashed her finger down on the end call button.
Chase reached for her and immediately halted her pacing. He had a random burst of energy and found himself feeling close to normal. He wasn’t sure what happened, but he knew it had something to do with Saraid. Knowing she’s alive made them that much more determined to get in touch with Jax so they could go find her.
“Wendy, Jax is bound to Saraid just as I am. Chances are he was hunkered down somewhere too weak to do anything,” Chase tried his best to comfort her.
“It is likely that his battery died too,” Damon added.
She began pacing again, wearing a spot in the floor, “Jax is always prepared for everything. He would not be caught without a charger or some way to get in touch with us. I’m telling you; something is wrong!”
A high-pitched wail drew their attention away from the conversation. It was coming from the direction of the main entrance. That wail sent a chill down their spines, causing them to run toward the sound with their weapons ready for battle. What they saw was nothing like what their minds had imagined.
Just inside the door stood Jax, struggling with a woman he held captive by her hair. Wendy took in the sight of him, noticing that he looked ragged and exhausted, but in overall good condition.
“Where the hell have you been? Do you have any idea how worried I have been? You and Saraid both went missing on me and left us all here worried to death!”
Jax looked to the closest Guardian, “Can you take this one for me? Lock her in the cellar. If her arm heals, break it again or else she can get away,” he walked to Wendy with his arms extended, “I don’t know what happened. I was tracking a witch and then I woke up in the woods. Came across that one when she tried to ambush me. She claims to be the one who put the spell on Liam.”
Wendy walked into his arms and squeezed him tightly in return, “I’m just glad you’re okay. I was so scared that I had lost you too.”
“You didn’t lose me, and you didn’t lose Saraid either. At least not yet, but apparently James has tracked her to Purgatory. We need to find a way to get there before it’s too late.”
“Graten’s in on it too. He was the one with her when she disappeared,” Wendy added.
“Actually, he’s not.”
The familiar voice left them all speechless. It was her. She had made it back from Purgatory alive, even with James on her trail. Wendy skipped over to her and hugged her tightly and out of habit she stopped at Chase’s side, clinging to his arm. Noticing how Wendy desperately cleaved to him, Saraid settled on offering Chase a smile and a nod. Damon could not contain himself any longer. He rushed to her, grabbed her in his arms and began to weep hysterically.
“I thought I had lost you so soon after I found you. I swore death to Graten, thinking that he kidnapped you. I was desperate and miserable.”
Saraid wrapped her arms around him in a soothing kind of way, “It’s okay. I’m okay. Actually, I am a little better than okay. Has anyone seen Liam lately?”
“Not lately. Why,” Wendy asked.
Saraid smiled, “I want to see if his memory’s back now that James is dead.”
They all spoke at once, “What?”
She smiled again, “It’s a long story, but I killed him. I will explain everything soon, but I need to see Liam first.”
Jax broke free from the group and approached Saraid, “We can look for Liam, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up just yet Lil’ Witch. He may not have his memory back, but I brought you a present to ensure he does.”
Just then an ear-splitting shriek of pain echoed through the floor making Jaxon’s smile broaden.
“What the hell was that?” Saraid asked, covering her ears.
“That Lil’ Witch was your present.”
Jax took her hand and led her further into the mansion until they came to the cellar stairs, “After you.”
She placed her palm on the damp stone wall as she carefully descended the steps one careful step at a time. Her vampire vision was great, but she still struggled with adjusting to the dark. When she finally stepped down to the solid concrete floor, she allowed herself to release the breath she had been holding only to jump at the sound of a woman’s agonizing scream of pain.
“What has been done to her?”
“Don’t feel bad for her. She is the witch that cast the spell on Liam for James,” Jax explained.
She finally understood. She rounded the corner and came face to face with one of her Guardians, armed with a Louisville Slugger. An odd choice of a weapon for a Guardian, but she was sure there was a reason behind it. She looked to Jax.
“She is a shifter as well as a witch. She shifts into a bird. I had to break her arm so she couldn’t shift and escape.”
“Smart thinking,” Saraid praised his cleverness.
Jax addressed the Guardian in charge, “Are you sure you broke it?”
The Guardian shook his head, “I haven’t touched her. She’s just been screaming from the current break I guess.”
Saraid looked over at the mess of a woman, noting how behind the tears and face screwed up from the pain, she was a very attractive woman. It always bothered her to see a woman caught up in a mess created by a man,
“What is your name?” Saraid asked the young woman.
“I don’t answer to you whore!”
“I am the Queen of this coven and you are being charged with a treasonous act against your King. You will answer me willingly or I will pull it from you,” her voice growing more menacing with each syllable.
“You are not my Queen and I will never answer to the likes of you,” the girl yelled right before the spit in Saraid’s direction.
Saraid held up a hand, stopping the Guardian from striking the woman. She felt her anger boiling to the surface and let it wash over her. She lashed out with her arm, her magic reaching beyond her like an extension of herself. It slammed into the woman, sending her back into the stone wall of her cell.
“I asked you a question.”
“Harmony. My name is Harmony,” the woman whimpered.
Saraid reigned her magic in just enough to give the girl a false sense of security, “Why did you target my husband and not me?”
“He was easier to get to. We tried to get to you by coaxing you out with notes claiming someone needed your help, but we could never get you alone. So, we decided to take the closest thing to you in hopes of drawing you out and it worked. I thought it worked,” she stuttered against her will.
“Oh, you’re plan drew me out alright. Only it backfired. James found me in Purgatory and guess what? Your partner is dead. I killed him. That is what happens to people who attack my family, Harmony. I kill them.”
Her power flowed from her violently, penetrating and intruding Harmony’s body. She watched as Harmony’s body involuntarily bucked and spasmed from the searing hot pain Saraid’s magic was inflicting.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I can fix it. Let me fix it!”
Saraid withdrew her magic and reigned it in again, leaving it just under the surface in case it needed to be called upon again.
“How can you fix it,” Saraid asked.
“James had me link the spell to his life and my own. Just killing me wont undo it. I have to first sever the tie to my life and then I have to perform the reversal spell because only the witch who cast the spell can reverse it. It was James’ safeguard in case you killed him. No one was supposed to know who I was, therefore, the spell could never be undone. I made the mistake and underestimated your vampire and that is why I am here.”
Saraid sent a questioning look toward Jax. He shrugged his shoulder and grinned, “She tried to kill me.”
The thought of this woman trying to take not just one, but two of her people away from her sent her heart racing and her nerves on end. It was such a cowardly way to do battle and she had no respect for cowards. Her anger roared to life, sending her magic into a frenzy. She slammed it back into Harmony’s unwilling body and watched as she writhed and screamed from the pain.
“Why should I show you mercy? You attacked my family. You tried to remove two of the most important people from my life permanently and you expect me to be merciful. Know this Harmony. You will reverse the spell on my husband and then I will kill you. You have the option to help us restore Liam’s memory and die a merciful death, or you can resist, and you will die a slow and painful death, but either way, you will die for your treasonous acts.”
She turned on her heels, her magic swirling around her like an invisible forcefield, making the others step back as she passed by them. They were left staring after her as the cellar door slammed closed behind her.