Chapter 4: Control
Annabeth had finally been allowed outside, but now she has a strict set of rules to follow, the first being that she was forbidden from entering the woods unless accompanied by her parents, the other was that during winter she was to dress warmly.
A light snow fell for the sky as Annabeth left the house right after eating breakfast her parents had been very persistent for her to eat something. Outside Annabeth smiled as the tiny white specks fell to the frozen ground.
A laugh sounded close by as Annabeth spun to see Jack walking towards her branch in hand. She had been meaning for a while to ask about it but remembered that she would always become side tracked. Not today.
Just as she was about to ask her question Jack spoke, "I thought you were headed to you friends home?"
Question forgotten Annabeth looked in the direction of the village before dashing off, "Race ya!" Jack laughed as he raced after the brown hair child. It wasn't long before they both stopped in front of a house the four friends that had visited Annabeth were currently playing out in the street.
Instead of calling her presence she scooped up some snow before packing it into a tight ball, with a strong throw the ball went flying before impacting Lilly on the back, startled the girl spun around to see Annabeth readying another snowball.
Lilly gasped before quickly readying her own snowball. "Snowball fight!" The black haired boy yelled copying Lilly and Annabeth before throwing the ball at one of the twins who retaliated two on one.
Jack watched as the snow was tossed back and forth time seemed to stop until a lady came out of the house a stray snowball narrowly missing her before impacting the door. "Dinner's ready." She called. Everyone stopped throwing snow before dashing inside.
Having been fed the children were back in the streets throwing snow, but soon the activity died off when the snow was all dug up. "What can we do now?" Lilly asked.
"What about sledging?" Jack spoke forgetting that only Annabeth and Sue could hear him.
"That's a great idea Jack." Annabeth stated earning another confused look for three of her friends. "We can go sledging." She repeated for him. A cheer of agreement was made before everyone ran off to their homes to grab a sledge.
Once equipped with the wooden object they searched for a steep hill, they found one just off the main road that lead out of town, sled tracks were already decorating the hills signs that other children had been here.
Hours went by as the five twelve year olds went sliding down the hill only to topple off their transportation as they reached the bottom, they would then begin the tiring journey back up the hill.
Jack watched it all from the top of the hill he would occasionally push Annabeth and Sue to make them go father he even pushed Lilly who panicked when she rocketed down the hill. For a whole minute Jack was laughing his ribs aching as he tried not to fall over. His laughter seemed to be contagious as Annabeth joined in sending the pair into hysteria, Sue stood nearby sharp giggles rattling her small frame.
The group activity came to a close when the parents called for each child to come home, soon only Annabeth and Lilly were left, both became bored with sledging and opted to head home. Since Lilly couldn't see him Jack refrained from talking thus causing the walk to be bearably quiet.
Walking though town while dark wasn't pleasant everything was still and quiet, Annabeth could feel the fear pushing its way into her mind. She didn't let it show however as she continued to walk in silence.
Lilly's house came into view just before a group of teens rounded the corner, Annabeth's joy of seeing the house faded completely as she recognised the adolescents.
The trio stopped as the gang of five looked at the children, wanting to get home even quicker Annabeth took the first step into walking past them. Lilly followed her friend as her home got closer, to run to her home from this distance especially when pulled the heavy wooden sledge, though even if they didn't have the sleds they wouldn't make it to the house if the teens perused them.
Just as they came up to a lamppost something hard and wet hit the back of Annabeth's head sending her stumbling forwards the side of her head grazing slightly against the cold rusty metal.
Lilly gasped as she rushed to her friend shaking the limp body as panic filled her, a small cut could be seen on her cheek the frost from the metal sticking to her warm flesh.
Laughter echoed from the boys behind, the snow crunching under their boots as they made their way closer. Jack was furious, he hadn't spent days watching over Annabeth from the other side of a window for nothing.
Snow began to fall as Jack's anger grew, the temperature dropped and Lilly began to shiver as she was crouched unknowingly next to Jack the air around him colder than the lake could ever be.
Jack's actions went unnoticed by the teens as the continued their accent on the two girls. Lilly was shaking like a leaf as she noticed the teen's approach, the freezing air burning her skin in a way she never thought possible.
A single thought flickered through her mind, a glimpse of brown caught her attention, and turning her head she looked up to see the boy Annabeth described earlier. Jack as she remembered her friend calling him. Another connection was made the boy next to her looked too much like Annabeth's missing brother to be more than a coincidence. Suddenly she felt safe, very safe as she knew Jack would never hurt her, her attention however was stolen as something narrowly missed her head.
Looking forward she saw the group armed with rock filled snowballs, so that's why Annabeth was unconscious, Lilly thought as she gripped tighter to her unmoving friend's hand.
Jack was more than furious, unable to control the power raging within him he let it out, the winds picked up speed dramatically as the ice at Jack's feet was ripped up and sent hurtling towards the group. It broke apart into several shards just feet away, the tiny ice shards then acted like daggers as they stabbed each teen in several places. The bodies fell to the floor before snow continued to burry them.
Lilly had watched as Annabeth's brother summoned the icy winds with his rage, he had every reason to be mad after all his sister was lying in the snow barely breathing, to make matters worse she had only just recovered.
No sooner has she saw the ice shards kill the teens had she began to have her own problems, her exposed skin was burning, every move was painful, her chest ached as she desperately tried to inhale the icy air. Soon her vision danced as it blurred between the dark of the night and the blackness of unconsciousness. All feeling was lost as her vision vanished, she never felt the impact of the iced over snow. Her heart hammered in her chest before slowly it slowed but its lack of speed was made up for by a painful heartbeat seconds later.
A soft thud brought Jack back to the present as he looked to the two girls at his feet. The winds stopped as did the snow as he looked at the girls, they were both lying in the snow unmoving, Annabeth's chest rose and fell shakily where as Lilly, and Lilly wasn't breathing.
A new wave of fear overcame Jack as he inspected the twelve year old, she was now the same temperature as him, her skin pale and lifeless a thin layer of ice coated her. Jack realised something, when he had caused the winds that killed the teens he had unknowingly put Annabeth and her friend in even more danger.
Guilt was quick to trade with fear as it began to dig away at his heart and mind. He had not only murdered five teenagers but had also killed a twelve year old, all because he had lost control. With that in mind Jack deemed that he was too dangerous to be around Annabeth while wasn't in control of his abilities, after all he was unable to resort Lilly's life and now he could never get the chance to get her to see him.
Jack would never know that Lilly had seen him or that she had learned the truth of who he was. He would never get to show her how fun he could make winter.
"Anna! Lilly!" A woman yelled pulling Jack from his thoughts; he looked up to see Annabeth's and Lilly's parents wondering the streets.
The father looked to the lamppost having noticed a figure standing near it maybe it knew where his daughter was, he blinked upon seeing that the boy had white hair making him instantly remember him from Annabeth's room, "Jack." he whispered, the same connection Lilly had made worked its way into his mind.
Just as he was about to accept that a stranger who looked like his son was watching over his daughter, he then noticed a large red patch of snow not to far from the frosty teen, five snow covered bodies were lying there. Looking back at Jack's he saw at his son's feet laid Annabeth and Lilly both lightly covered in some. No this wasn't his son, Jack would never just stand there will his sister was obviously hurt.
His heart stopped, as he thought about how this could have happened, the only link seemed to trace back to the white haired teen that was covered in frost. "Anna." he whispered his long strides though the snow halting as fear hit his square in the chest. "Anna!" he yelled gaining everyone's attention as he ran towards his daughter, everyone else following at his heels, their own shouts of their daughters drowned out by the stampeding of feet through the ice covered snow.