Chapter 1 - Healing
When the Guardians and their parents returned home....there was little conversation....or anyone in the vicinity of the Mansion. Everyone except for his brother, his mother, and his Cousins had disappeared an hour ago into the forests behind Ezekiel’s father to chase off the lions.
After the vicious beating he had undertaken Ezekiel forced himself to keep pace with his family as they tried to transport him and an unconscious Brandon back to the mansion. Brandon who had fallen into a deep slumber following the resolution of the attack, was pale and unmoving. His gashed face glaring as blood ran lazily down his face and neck.
The going was slow and painful for Ezekiel who felt a searing agony in his back every time he shifted his feet. Without comment Walter marched beside him, he had a long, powerful arm wrapped under Ezekiels shoulders in a half hug as he helped Ezekiel shuffle across the shifting fields.
With a chipper cry that Ezekiel could only envy his young cousin bounced on her heels, turned and said. “Oh the mansion! Oh Wonderful!” Then Erin stepped over towards her Mate and Brandon.
“Drin can you hold still for one second please?” She said.
Without a word as if he already knew what she wanted, Drin stopped walking and straightened up, giving Erin a clear shot at Brandon’s face, resting in the crook of Drin’s shoulder.
With gentle eyes and a soft voice Erin overlooked the damage that had been done. “Oh man the sooner we get Brandon inside the better. That is going to need a lot of stitches...” Erin’s eyes clouded with anger, but also with unbearable pain as she gazed at the wound. Finally, she pulled back and casting her hazel eyes over to Ezekiel’s mother Erin said to the Healer. “I don’t mind putting them in for you Glen.”
“Sure baby girl. But a wound so grievous....his face will never be the same...”
Glen responded, stepping up beside her nice, and smoothing a small, soft hand down Brandon’s undamaged cheek. No one else spoke.
But a small thorn of irritation kissed Ezekiel’s frayed nerves as he watched his mother and his cousin pet and caress Brandon’s unconscious face. Mostly the emotion arose from the fact that he wasn’t the one touching him, but more then anything else Ezekiel didn’t want Brandon to awake, to be in agony....to see the tattered shreds of his face, before his body had the time to wipe away the physical damage if not the psychological and heal.
“Come one Let him sleep and don’t worry about the stitches Erin...” Ezekiel intoned stepping towards his mother, and gently pushing her hand down. Nothing of what he was saying as he did so he softly growled at his Cousin next. “There’s no need. Brandon will get better on his own.”
“Don’t stitch him up? He’ll get better on his own? Ezekiel I can see his tendons in his lower jaw!” Erin exclaimed looking at Glen her hazel eyes wide, then she glanced at his brothers....who were all watching Ezekiel.
Surprising the odd urge he had to growl at all of them as they looked at him like he had grown antlers Ezekiel took a breath. “Erin I’m telling you...he will get better. He won’t even need the stiches.” Ezekiel tried to stop there, hoping to get everyone to start walking again, but they didn’t.
Sending first Nate then Ezekiel a pissy look Lander snapped. “Ezekiel...What are you talking about...if we don’t plug the hole in his face, he’s going to bleed to death!” he began.
Knowing that this was a time for full blown explanation and non-bratty responses Ezekiel school the urge he had to simply remain in an exhausted silence and started out his reply with a slow exhale.
“Just.....let me explain.” Then Ezekiel did. Softly he told his entire family about what he had started to remember and everything that Brandon had revealed to him what felt like a week ago, but had in actuality only been a handful of hours prior to Jacob arriving. The attack beneath the falls. He quickly outlined everything that he had had a chance to speak with Brandon about, form the ghoul’s poison, to Brandon’s ability to heal not only himself, but to heal others. Ezekiel also outlined the fact that Brandon had healed him.
“Brandon can heal?” Glen asked on hesitant but stern note, that made Ezekiel feel a slight pang of guilt. “I don’t understand....how long have you know these things?”
With a small cold laugh he looked at her, then at Brandon, slumbering plastered against Drin’s back. “I just found out earlier today.” He admitted.
Lander rolled his eyes. “Wonderful.” He hissed with a sneer of open disbelief for Ezekiel’s words.
Nate bit his lip and looked at Glen before he chuckled and said. “You would think being the runaway son of a Mortal Clan Head would be enough of a secret! But not for Brandon! I honestly didn’t think this could all get anymore juicy. Then ta-da! The man’s got superpowers....I mean does no one else here feel like they’re in some kind of twisted little drama?”
With a small sigh Walter rumbled out, his still eyes glancing at his wolfish brother. “”Nate....you have a strange sense of humor.” He commented as if this was the only thing that he cared to speak on.
Nate went still, cocked is head and shot Walter a small grin. “Do you even know the definition of humor Walter?” he teased with a raise of his eyebrow.
To this Walter once more assumed his stoic silence beside Ezekiel. A beat passed before Drin frowned and broke into the conversation with a new question.
“....Ezekiel I believe what you’re saying, but we all know mortals can’t heal....Can they?” Drin finished with a small up to his words that made him sound far too young.
Ezekiel took a breath and shrugged. “All I know....is that I saw Brandon heal right in front of me. Twice.”
“Twice?” Lander quipped with a smaller sneer of disbelief.
Ezekiel nodded. The explained “I saw him recover from a deadly wound once at the....the Clan celebration I saw him get hurt” Ezekiel remembered the sound of tearing flesh and swallowed down a shiver. “It was....really bad, but then Brandon was perfectly fine and I thought I just imagined it all...“Ezekiel exhaled a heavy breath. “But then the second time...He demonstrated his ability by, breaking one of his fingers in front of me...”
“He what?” Walter intoned with little infection, while Ezekiel thought he glimpsed a small frown of surprise curling across both Erin’s and Drin’s faces next to him.
“He snapped his digit out of place...and in seconds the damage had been repaired.” Ezekiel slightly demonstrated with his own hand even though the movement of his arms sent slivers of fire across his back.
Ezekiel then let out a small shake and a hiss as he recalled the slight panic he had felt when he had saw the painful sight. “I was upset, but It was amazing considering that mortal men shouldn’t be able to heal so fast.”
Ezekiel grew quite after that....and so did his family. Ezekiel cringed as they trudged the few finally feet to the front of the mansion, because he could feel a million inquiries hanging off of every ones lips. Questions he was sure he didn’t know the answers to.
Brandon could heal, but why? How?
Where did he really come from? Who was Brandon?
It was.....frustrating to feel so connected to someone and barely have scratched the surface of who they were.
Thankfully Ezekiel’s family didn’t bombard him with questions, perhaps they sense that he had no answer...or they were still coming to grips with the mysterious nature of a man they thought they had known.
Either way, the first one to speak next was Nate.
While they had talked they had somehow managed to finally start walking and reach the front door. The sun danced behind a large, fluffy white cloud as the Guardians stood on the porch. The large three story home welcome them home as the sharp call of birds and insects slacked off beneath the cool wooden structure of the overhanging.
Nate who had a critical eye trained on Brandon shook his head. “Ezekiel I don’t know what to think about this mortal healing stuff, but you did say he heals fast? Well, then why is he still bleeding all over the place and knocked to kingdom come?”
“I....I don’t know.” And that rankled Ezekiel to know end. But he didn’t show it, he just tried to answer his brother’s question. “Brandon appeared to heal quickly before, but it was a small wound. Some how I get the feeling that this will take more time.” Ezekiel stopped as a thought occurred to him. “He was sick.” He softly murmured as he glanced over at Brandon.
“Sick?” Erin and Glen both asked.
Ezekiel nodded. “Yeah. He passed out a few days ago, so I took him to the infirmary. He was terribly sick...when he work up he said his powers are doing that to him.”
“Why?” Glen asked alone this time, her green gaze taking on that critical problem solving eyes that Ezekiel associated with her Healer personality.
Ezekiel opened his mouth then stopped and cursed, looked away. He didn’t have an answer. He didn’t know enough.
Who are you kidding? Brandon’s a Clan Heir and you didn’t know that either. You don’t know the first think about this guy....
Sensing that there was no response forth coming, Glen looked away, then with a sharp exhale Glen tossed a few sandy curls across her shoulder smiled, turned and grabbed the door knob.
“Come on.” She told them, over her shoulder. “I think we’ve spoken enough of this matter. Both you and Brandon need medical care. If not stiches, then at least you’re wounds need to be cleaned. A few hours of rest should see you both back on your feet.”
Without another word his mother pushed the door open....and standing in the foyer with his father was Jacob. Somewhere beyond his own humanity and deep in the craters of his soul something inhuman rose over his mind and Ezekiel could only watch like a passive observer as the dark rage rolled over him like the waves of an ocean.