"Rae, can you make some popcorn?" Kylie said as she placed the movie into DVD player.
Rae answered, "Sure. Pass me a bag Serenity."
Serenity started to open plastic around the package, "This is going to be a blast. Harry Potter marathon!" She tossed the popcorn bag to Rae and she held it gentle in her hands. In five seconds, the cornels began to pop.
Kylie looked over at Rae, "Remember your first attempt that?"
Rae smiled, "Yes it exploded all over your face."
Giving a laugh, Kylie added, "And it landed in Thea's shirt. She was fishing popcorn out for a week."
Serenity scanned the room, "Speaking of the devil. Where is she?"
The loud blast of "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger echoed the room and Thea slide in the room wearing a long white blouse, shorts, tube socks and sunglasses. She lip synced to the music while holding a candle stick.
The girls cheered and laughed as Thea dance around by the fire place, then jump up on the coffee table. Her finale was flinging herself on the couch, looking like she was having a seizure, and then popping her collar at the end of the song.
Rae fell on the floor laughing while Serenity struggled to stand up to give Thea a standing ovation.
Thea said out of breath, "I thought I be your entertainer tonight." She glanced around and said disappointed, "Abby didn't come down."
"She said she'd be down soon," Kylie answered.
They sat down on the couch and Rae sighed, "Ready to watch Harry Potter?"
"Wait!" Serenity brought out round, black glasses, "I'm ready."
After three movies, Rae stood up, "I'm going to try to coax the bear out of its cave and get her down. She's been cooped up in that room for almost two days already. And she missed three of her favorite parts."
Thea said, "Just don't be pushy. Try to be sensitive. She's in a fragile state."
Rae waved her hand as she climbed the stairs, "Sensitive is my middle name." Rae opened the door and stood by Abby, who was wrapped in a blanket. Thea was right she looked like death warmed over. She was very pale.
Rae set the popcorn bag down on the nightstand, "I bring popcorn as an offering, goddess."
Abby opened her one eye and closed it.
Again Rae tried to get her into a conversation and said, "Abby you need to take a bath. You stink."
Abby weakly said in Rae's mind, One more day.
Rae rubbed the back of her neck, "Okay, one more day, but after tomorrow I expect you…."
It was pitch black and the sound of screams filled the cold air. The moonlight pierced through the familiar room and deep red blood decorated the floor.
By the bed, motion of someone with a knife was stabbing a body again and again. The murderer slowly turned into the light and Gabriel stood there before her, covered in blood. He gave a sinister cold laugh and dropped his knife to the floor.
Grabbing her shoulder he said, "If someone doesn't spill, there will be a lot worse Rae." He pulled the bloody cover off revealing Caleb's cold, dead body on the floor.
Rae was gasping for air as Abby held her tightly screaming, "Snap out of it, Rae!"
She ripped herself away from Abby and flew down the stairs grabbing the keys to the Camaro. Serenity transported herself quickly into the car with Rae before peeling out and leaving the others in the dust.
This couldn't be happening. Caleb can't be dead, he can't be dead, Rae repeated over and over in her head. The entrance gate was coming in view and Rae started to floor it.
"Rae what are you doing?" Serenity yelled.
As they approach the gate Serenity used her power so they wouldn't crash into the gate and die. They skidded a bit as they touch the ground again and Rae jolted the car in park, leaving Serenity in the car. In a disheveled way she flung herself to the door, which was locked.
Without any thought she busted the door down and a panic-stricken Evelyn announced, "You hit Gorman…"and Rae shoved her out of her way. Rae took two steps and lighting her hands as she barged into Caleb's room.
"Caleb!" The light went on the nightstand and Caleb was groggy, trying to figure out why Rae woke him up from sleeping. She ran around the room checking the closet, bathroom, even under the bed.
He sat up, "Rae what's going on?"
She stuttered in confusion, "He was here. I saw him and you were…. Oh, Caleb I was so scared I was too late. But you're okay. I don't get it…."
He hugged her close to him trying to figure out her rambling, "Who was here?"
Rae's voice shook as she started to cry, "Gabriel." He tensed up at first and then he relaxed trying to focus on Rae.
"It's okay. I'm okay. I need you to breath with me. In and out….good." Kylie and Abby walked in evaluating the room that had no Gabriel. Caleb said, "False alarm."
Abby looked at Kylie and then shrugged her shoulders, "We're going to check on the others."
They turned down the stairs and Evelyn was asking annoyed, "What was that all about? She pushed me into the table."
Abby explained, "In all fairness, she thought your son was going to be murdered tonight. Coming here sooner obviously means that Gabriel's plans have been foiled for now."
Thea had an ice pack on Gorman's face, "Is that better?"
Gorman shrugged a bit, "As good as it's going to get when getting the door in the face."
"Want some medicine?" Kylie asked.
Gorman snorted, "No. I'm fine." He got up and tried to cover his grunt with a cough, "Good night everyone. Mrs. Danvers."
Evelyn said still shocked, "He was going to kill my baby."
"Evelyn would it be okay if we kept Caleb at our place? It would be easier to keep an eye on him," Thea asked.
She nodded her head, "Yes. Of course, yes."
Abby glanced at Kylie, "You sure you want too?"
Kylie nodded her head, "I think it would be best."
Turning away Abby added, "Okay, Thea check on Reid. Kylie will check on…," She stuttered over his name, "Pogue and I'll make sure Tyler's okay. We'll meet back at HQ."
Caleb and Rae came down the steps, "Mom, I'm going to take Rae home. You'll be fine right?"
Evelyn said calmly, "Yes, Pogue's father will be here soon." Caleb nodded his head and proceeded in taking Rae to the car.
Everyone was leaving and before Abby left, she said, "You shouldn't lie to your son."
Evelyn responded back tired, "I don't need him worrying about another thing, especially me. Now go and check on Tyler."
Cars were piled in the Garwin's extensive driveway, so Thea was forced to park on the street and walk to their house. Reid didn't tell her that there was going to be a party at his house tonight, thought Thea.
At the front door a person was taking names for the exclusive party. Hmm, definitely Meredith's party.
Thea quickly went around the back of the house and saw Reid's room almost pitch black, but there was a small dim light from inside. She obviously couldn't get in the front, but the back door might work.
Peeking in the window she saw many waiters and cooks dashing around the kitchen and by the door was a long white apron and a hat. She quietly took the apron and wrapped around tightly so her back wouldn't show and threw her hair up in the hat.
As she walked very quickly through the kitchen she grabbed an empty tray, but before she could get through the door one chef ordered, "Add more onions, black pepper and white wine to that soup." Thea nodded and looked at the soup. Grabbing the shaker for the black pepper, the top suddenly fell off. She looked around and found a spoon and tried to scoop the metal piece.
In the background she could hear the chef ordering a waiter to take her soup. She hastily grabbed the white wine, took a swig and then dumped the rest of the white wine in along with and a whole onion.
The man quickly scoop some bowls and she took the tray from the waiter, "I'll take these," and ran out the kitchen door balancing dishes filled with her disastrous soup.
Going around the perimeter of the room, Thea kept the tray high enough to hide her face. She halted quickly seeing Mrs. Garwin with some gentlemen.
"This is one exquisite dinner party, Meredith."
She replied, "Thank you, John. I only give the best when the mayor comes to my home."
Another gentleman asked, "So where is your son, Meredith? Sally's been quiet intrigued to meet him."
Meredith stated, "Harry, which one is your darling daughter?" He pointed to a very skinny girl with black hair, who was sitting very poised at the table.
"She's very beautiful and quite the charmer if I do say so myself," Harry replied proudly. What was she? Cattle to sell, Thea thought annoyed.
"It is indeed a shame Reid couldn't make it and meet your sweet Sally."
"I hope he's alright," John asked.
Meredith chimed, "Oh he is well and I can assure you that. He's actually on a retreat in Haiti helping those less fortunate people."
Harry's widen a bit when saying, "Very honorable of him. He'll definitely have to meet my girl, especially after hearing all he does."
Thea slowly went by them and past Sally, who was discretely texting. Ha, no matter how proper they seem, you still can't beat the teenage out of them.
A waiter with an empty tray was going by and she grabbed it and handed the soups to him instead, "These must go to the kitchen right away, except this one. Give this one to Meredith Garwin." She waved her hands acting like she was on a first term basis with Meredith, "You know how picky she can be."
The waiter was confused, until Thea said more confidently, "Well what are you standing for, go. Do you want to ruin her party?"
He scurried off and Thea quickly dash for the stairs while carrying the tray to conceal her face. Going to the third floor, she quietly reached what she presumed to be Reid's room.
Slowly Thea opened the door and peeked in to see if Reid was asleep, but found him in a bizarre placement. He had the covers over his whole body, making a self-tent and was reading with a flash light. Thea grinned as she crept over and grabbed a handful of his blanket.
As she yanked the blanket she said, "Studying again Mr. Garwin!" He yelled in surprise while Thea tried to muffle her giggles.
Reid, in his white beater and boxers, asked, "What the hell Thea? Trying to scare the shit out of me?"
Thea asked, "Why are you reading in the dark? Afraid Uncle Vernon will catch you, Harry?"
"One I could out run that old fat man any day. Two I'm more like Malfoy," he replied.
Reid smirked at Thea's come back, "What you're daddy beats you with his pimp stick?"
"Want to make some magic?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Thea replied, "Sorry I only do real wizards, you know the ones that carry a wand around."
Reid was going to continue his bantering until he notice Thea and laughed. "When do you cook?"
She removed the apron and stated, "I started today and made this magnificent soup for your mom."
Reid bit back his barrel laugh and asked, "Why didn't you go up the club house like I told you to use."
"Because Reid, unlike you I can barely walk a straight line. And you asking me to climb a ladder to your tree house and then cross over rickety branch to your windowsill isn't the smartest idea. Do you want me to die?"
He shook his head, "Thea you have balance, you're just sometimes unobservant to notice where you're going and then you trip," he pointed to her head, "The only reason why you can't do it is because you truly believe you can't."
Rolling her eyes, "Thanks for the pep-talk, Dr. Phil. But I know I've been cursed with bad balance."
Reid was trying to prove his theory and asked, "Okay, when we dance this year, did you trip?"
"No, but you were holding and guiding me," Thea replied.
Reid continued, "When do you trip in training?"
She sighed, "Usually when we're hiking or running the trails."
Reid closed his math book, "Are you tired?"
She implied, "What kind of stupid question is that? Of course I'm tired, we run six miles a day."
Reid smirked, "Then could it be possible you're too tired to pay attention to the rocky path."
Thea said peeved, "I pay very close attention Reid. I just have bad luck."
It got quiet and Reid mumbled to himself, "No such thing as bad luck." He asked her, "So why have you honored me with your presence tonight?"
Thea replied sarcastically, "I do this every night, but usually you're asleep by then."
Reid placed his hands behind his head and said amused, "Hmm…I thought Edmund was a creeper spying on Bella. But because it's you, I guess you can watch me anytime."
She sat on his bed, "Its Edward, Reid. But seriously, I was checking up on you."
"Why? Did something happen?" He sat up a bit more intent.
Thea tried to sound nonchalant, "Rae had a vision of Caleb getting hurt…."
He cut her off saying, "Good."
Thea continued, "But he's fine. You didn't mean that."
Reid shrugged, "Okay maybe I don't want him to seriously hurt himself."
Thea laughed, "Oh. And his heart grew three sizes that day and all the whos down in whoville…."
Reid stated, "You're really hyper today."
"That's what happens when you eat tons of pixie sticks at a sleep over," Thea said jumping up from the bed. Reid's eye scanned Thea's body and she could feel fascination, interest, anxiousness and a little hint of jealousy off of Reid.
"Is that the attire you have to wear for a sleep over?"
Thea glanced down to see she hadn't changed. She quickly replied, "Only when you're impersonating Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Now get ready, you're going to a sleepover since you got home early from Haiti."
"Is that what my mom is saying now?" He asked indifferently.
Thea switched the topic, "You still didn't answer my million dollar question yet?"
He glanced over at Thea, "And what is that?"
"Why were you reading in the dark?"
Reid gave a sly smile, "Meredith thinks I'm out at Tyler's house."
She scratched her head, "Why didn't you go?"
Reid turned back appalled, "I can't study in front of baby boy. He'll blab to everyone."
Thea put her hands up, "Right. Right. I forgot you have to keep you're secret identity hidden."
"Thea don't start." He said firmly and she asked, "But just give me a good reason why."
He said, "I don't think I can go." He changed the subject and she had to take the bait. Next time she would get a true answer.
She sighed, "Why not?"
Reid replied, "I have to finish reading this book because we have a test on it first day we get back. Did you read this book?" He held up "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy.
It was her turn to stare at him dumbfounded and Thea said, "You are such a nerd! But I'll help you study later tonight."
"And by studying you mean…."
"The pursuit of knowledge. Applying one's mind to learn and understand the story line in your book," Thea responded sarcastically.
Reid put his pants over his boxers, "Alright, alright. I get it. Let's just go." He opened his window and Thea stood there. Reid asked, "Are you coming?"
"Are you crazy? Did anything sink into that brain of yours? I will fall."
Reid shook his head, "No you won't. Take my hand." Thea hesitated, but gradually placed her hand in his and he led her to the window. He climb onto the branch and turned around to face her. He held his hands out, "Grab my hands and use them for support." Thea looked down at the long drop and up at the branch.
"Reid you sure this branch can hold the both of us?"
He said confidently, "Definitely. It held Tyler and me," she grabbed his hands and he finished his statement, "when we were kids."
Thea exclaimed, "What!??"
He pulled her toward him and the branch shook up and down violently. Thea tucked herself in Reid's arms tightly and clenching her legs to the branch.
When the tree branch stopped shaking he whispered into her ear, "Thea, we're okay. Look we stopped shaking."
She mumbled into his shoulders, "Well I haven't you jerk." Thea was beginning to open her eyes and Reid guided her head up.
"Just focus on me and slide your body toward me," he said this as he scooted a little away from her. Thea gulped, but kept her eyes set on Reid and moved very close toward him. He coughed and Thea knew he was uncomfortable, "Good. Now we'll keep doing this until we reach the tree house. Okay?"
Thea shook her head in understanding, "And you say this is the easier way?"
Reid smiled, "Easier than facing my mother. So what else did she say about me?"
Thea slid again, "Umm…nothing much. Oh she wants you to meet a girl named Sally."
Reid rolled his eyes, "Sally Dell. I'd rather be shot than become her puppet."
Thea feeling a little relieved and she didn't know if it was because she made it to the club house or the fact that he didn't like Sally. "So I take it you know her?"
Reid pulled her up to the deck of the tree house, "Yeah, we met once when we were fourteen. She must have cut off her boyfriend's balls or he didn't have any because he did everything she wanted, no questions asked."
Thea leaned on the railing in relief and it cracked making her fall backwards too. She yelped and waited for the hurt to come, but it never did. When she opened her eyes Reid was holding her close to the wall. "You okay?"
Thea nodded her head, "I told you I have bad luck."
Reid glanced down with a small smile, "You weren't kidding."
Back at Kylie's house, Rae paced the kitchen trying to find food to give Caleb. "We have popcorn, brownies, ice cream, peirogies…."
As she faced the counter, Caleb slid his hands around her waist, "I'm fine Rae."
Rae took a deep breath trying to let that sentence sink in. She asked, "You sure you're not hungry?"
He glanced at the clock which had its hands pointing to one twenty-five in the morning. "I'm pretty sure I'm good. Let's go sit down for a bit." Rae looked up at Caleb and obliged his request again without any argument.
Sitting on the couch, the door opened making Rae jump. Abby apologized and went straight up stairs leaving Tyler.
Sitting in the recliner, Tyler asked, "You okay man?"
Caleb gave a man nod, "Yeah."
Rae asked, "You know we have pillows and blankets here, Tyler?"
Tyler rubbed his eyes, "I know." He hesitated, "I brought them just in case I get kicked out of the house tonight."
"What did you do to her to piss her off so much?" Caleb asked.
Tyler said, "It was more like what I didn't do."
The door opened up and Kylie dropped her jacket on the floor. Kylie scanned the room for Abby and found Rae, Caleb and Tyler.
She ignored Tyler as Rae asked, "Pogue okay?"
Her face turned grotesque, "Yes. Unfortunately for me, I can't say the same."
Rae sat up, "I don't get it Kylie. I'm usually good at interrupting my visions and now I can't see what Gabriel's planning."
Kylie glanced at the floor, "Did you ask Ben?"
Rae replied, "Yes. He went to research at the colony house."
Kylie leaned against the wall playing with her nails, "You said this vision was different right?"
"Yes, this was different. I could sense cold, he touched my shoulder. It seemed so real. Usually I'm a third person not involved," Rae answered.
Caleb asked as Kylie gave a worried look, "What do you think it is Kylie?"
She glanced up, "He might have found a new loop hole. I think he's found a way to mess with visions."
"So now I can't trust what I see in the future at all!" Rae was becoming close to a melt down.
Kylie eagerly suggested, "We can try to use old magic. I remember witches on the council used salt circles to keep evil out."
Caleb was fascinated, "Like in the movies?"
Kylie shook her head, "Sort of, only you have to say, "Propinquus obex. Then it seals the magical barrier." She went to a drawer and pulled out four candles. "Placing these in their right spots will contain and keep the energy of the protective circle strong."
Tyler asked boldly, "How do you do that?"
Kylie replied after a yawn, "In the North side of the house we'll place and light the brown candle that represents the earth; which implies the idea of fertility and stability. To the East is Air; using the white candle and it signifies the connection of the soul and breath of life." She pointed to the South, "The element Fire will be referred to the orange candle and fire stands for strength will and energy." Kylie then set the blue candle down, "And this stands for water. Water is a symbol for purification and emotion. Water always goes to the West."
Rae shot up and went to the kitchen to see how much salt they had. She dug around the cabinets to scavenge, "One can, really." She grabbed Kylie's coat and Rae announced to everyone, "I'm going to the mini-mart for some salt." She turned to Caleb, "Can you hand me that umbrella?" She hoped her vision of rain was right.
Caleb walked over in his sweats and white shirt, "I'm coming too."
Rae nodded, "Oh I know. You're never going to leave my sight again. I hope you don't have anthropophobia or claustrophobia because I'm going to be on you like glue is to paper, peanut butter is to jelly…."
Caleb pushed Rae toward the door and said to them, "We'll be back soon."
Rae popped her head back in, "Squirrels are to trees…." The door was shut leaving Kylie and Tyler alone.
Caleb asked as he drove to the store, "Do you think it was wise leaving them together like that?"
Rae shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know, let me check." Her eyes dilated as she scanned the future, "They'll be fine. Kylie just went upstairs leaving Tyler to his own. At least that's what I hope I see."
Caleb turned a little toward to her, "Don't doubt your visions. I think that's what he wants you to do."
Rae glanced at Caleb, "I think he wanted to get a message across. He said something about if no one tells, it would be worse."
She tried to swallow as Caleb asked perplex, "Tell what?"
Rae shook her head, "I have no idea."
When they entered the mini-mart, Rae grabbed a cart and searched for the baking aisle. She started to scoop the cans with one hand into the cart. "You don't think he was messing with my visions for a while..." She dug deeper into the shelf to get more cans of salt, "…and now I just noticed it?"
An middle age woman was watching Rae stacking almost the whole cart with salt.
Caleb gave a small wave and continued to say, "No, you said it was different." He placed her hand in his to give her some comfort, "You would have noticed."
Rae caught sight of the woman wearing scrubs still staring at them, "Hi?"
She moved closer and asked, "Would you mind if I could have one can of salt, dear?"
Caleb fished a can out of her cart, "Here you are ma'am."
The older woman smiled at Caleb, "You are such a polite, nice boy. Thank you." She dug in her purse and gave Rae a bunch of coupons, "I'm not going to use these. You can use them for your baking. Oh and I didn't forget about you, young sir."
She handed Caleb a quarter and he politely said, "Thank you ma'am."
She waved her hands, "Oh call me Betty." She looked back at them and smiled, "It's nice to see a cute couple not arguing and seem genuinely in love."
They looked at each other and gave an uncomfortable laugh, "We're not together. We are just good friends."
Betty said, "My apologies then. Can I ask one more favor from you? There are noodles from the top shelf I can't reach."
Betty pointed down the aisle and he looked at Rae, which was trying to contain a smirk, "Go on…I'll be right here when you're done."
As Caleb went down the aisle Betty followed and pointed to the top shelf, "I want to spiral noodles." He reached up with ease and Betty said, "They really should make it easier for shorter woman to get her groceries."
He gave the box of noodles to her and nodded, "Is that everything?" He glanced up at Rae, who was looking at a magazine.
Betty said, "Yes thank you." He was beginning to walk down the aisle when Betty said, "Take my advice, don't wait too long to tell her." She gave a wink and walked away to the next aisle.
He slowly traced his steps back to Rae and she said, "Have a fun chat with Betty. She seemed interested in you."
Caleb rolled his eyes, "Let's just go and salt Kylie's house."
They went to the check out and Rae said, "She was really nice. These coupons are going to save you a lot."
The cashier said, "Total is 179.30."
Caleb pulled out his wallet and paid with a credit card. He grabbed the bags and headed toward the car while Rae opened the umbrella and went to pop open the trunk. "That was easy."
Caleb smiled as he piled the bags of salt in, "Easy for you. I had to carry all of this."
Rae got in the passenger seat, "Hey, I helped carry one, and I kept you from getting drenched." They were driving back to the house and Rae asked, "You're not freaking out about being called a couple right?"
Caleb snapped out of his thoughts, "No. You?"
Rae shook her head, "Na. Just the idea of us being a couple is... weird." She was uncertain if being a couple with Caleb would be weird? Now that she thought about it, they did do a lot of couple-ey things.
But they never actually titled it. No, we were just being good friends. And if they ever would be a couple, I mean if, it wouldn't be fair Caleb not knowing her ultimate fate.”
Rae opened her mouth to say his name when Caleb's phone rung loudly.
He picked it up, "Hey." Pause. "We're on our way home now." Pause. "Two minutes at most." Pause. "See ya soon. Bye."
Rae asked, "Who was that?"
Caleb shook his head, "Baby boy. He's wondering if we have keys to Kylie's house."
It was as if her senses were slowly coming to life causing everything to be vigorously hypersensitive.
The sounds of crackling leaves rustling in the wind was like surround sound speakers linked to her ears.
Inhaling slowly she breathed in a dominating smell of sweet, damp loam and a hint of lavender drifted to her with every gust of chilling wind.
It was then she would open her green eyes to see the wild lavender flower laid before her face. Sitting up wary from the wet mud, she let her eyes adjust to the darkness of the forest.
It was amazing how real it was, after all her body ached as if she had been sleeping on the cold hard ground for hours and she could feel the goose bumps creeping up her arm.
The first time she entered this eerie realm nothing happened. Kylie just walked around in uncharted land hoping to wake up, if it indeed was a dream?
A twig snapped a couple meters away announcing his presence.
"Do you love this place? You can do anything you please. Well as long as you have an imagination and some magic," he said upbeat.
She pulled her legs closer to her body, "Interesting choice of location. I thought you would pick something a little homier, like the fiery pits of hell."
He chuckled at her boldness, "This is why I save you for last. You have this great valiant daring side, yet you're not aggressive enough to come over right now and kill me."
Not yet, Kylie thought.
She replied, "If I do recall Gabriel, you left me last so I can record every painful past killing of them."
He grinned eagerly and tried to rile her, "That's only part of the reason Kylie." He touched a flower and it slowly died as he said, "It's mostly because I like the challenge your friends presistence to protect the vulnerable, weak you."
Her fist tightened, "You're presumption is dead wrong about wanting to kill you. I just reasoned out that even if I attempted to disembowel you, it wouldn't actually do anything permanently."
Gabriel glanced toward her, "Intelligent too. Yes, if I decided to kill you right now, I would hypothetically kill the dream you, thus cutting our little happy reunion short. And I do enjoy our little chats, but," a rock appeared beneath Gabriel as he sat down, "I need to know the answer you've been persistently denying me."
Kylie lay back onto the ground and said, "Get used to disappointment."
Gabriel's temper flared and he stormed over to her, "Even though it won't kill you, I can still make your death a very painful experience."
Kylie shrugged her shoulders, "And I'll wake up fine and away from you. Just another memory." Kylie smirked as she taunted him, "I'm ready."
Gabriel composed himself trying to find another tactic to make Kylie cave. He ran his hand through his hair to place it back to its perfect spot, "How long are you going to let this go on? You just have to tell me the location of the book and no one will have to suffer anymore."
Kylie rolled over and took a deep breath of the lavender flowers. You think with her amazing memory she'd be able to pin point why this scent brought a calm and happy feeling. Maybe in my younger childhood?
"Just tell me where it is! You know where it is, I saw the recognition in your eyes when I mentioned it those years back," he said frustrated. He paused in his rant, "Your father must have told you before he left for," he gave the motion of air quotes, "debtor's prison."
Kylie turned her head sharply at Gabriel's direction, "Hit a nerve did we," he laughed with amusement in his cold eyes, "I never thought he would tell anyone since he was so moral keeping it a secret to the council, but he told you. An incapable, cold blooded killer."
He was standing up, "Enlighten me Kylie, but how could he ever trust you after you killed your mother, the woman he truly loved?" She was shaking with rage as he continued to say, "What a shame you must have been. It was obviously a mistake to leave you with a secret."
Kylie charged at him and lashed out, "You don't know anything!"
He disappeared and reappeared away from her, "I know a lot more than you think dear child. James deceived you into thinking he had your best interests at heart as a father, but let me shed some light on the truth. He thought you were a waste. Inadequate. And above all," he emphasized, "worthless."
Kylie shook her head, "You're lying."
Gabriel was smiling more, "Oh, I wish I was, but sometimes the truth hurts. After begging and pleading for his life, he quickly offered you, like a piece of meat, to save his own pathetic life. It's amazing how fast someone's true colors come out before their death."
Kylie slowly collected herself and said venomously, "Nothing that you do, will ever make me tell you anything!"
His lips twitched, "We're more alike than I thought. Both selfish, cold hearted, ruthless killing monsters." He questioned her, "So it doesn't bother you that Rae might start going crazy with some more disturbing visions."
Kylie could feel her fingernails digging into her leg, "We've accepted the consequences to our mission."
He tried to pursue his verbal attacks, "But they're suffering, without knowing why. And just think how mad they'll be to find out you were hiding this from them."
Kylie said firmly, "And I'll just have to live with that."
Gabriel grinded his teeth, "So we stand at an impasse for now. You will change your mind eventually, mark my words. Maybe Serenity…."
Her eyes flew opened to observe the lamp was still on in her room. Kylie instantly glanced over to her clock to see it was 3:14. Kylie lay back down in her tangled up blanket feeling only one emotion.
A small knock and a familiar voice interrupted her thinking.
Getting up quickly she opened the door to see Tyler, dressed in a tee shirt and plaid pajama pants and his hair was sticking up in odd angles. He asked, "Can I come in?"
She nodded her head and he took tentative steps inside. Turning toward her, his face pulled into a deep frown when he traced the residue of tears on Kylie’s cheek. He began to say,
"I'm s…." She embraced him taking Tyler by complete surprise.
Kylie whispered, "Do you know how hard it was to be mad at you when I missed you so much."
Tyler said, "I didn't mean to say those things to you before. Even though being together is challenging, it's worth it, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Forget what I said earlier. It was complete bull, I want you and I need you. And I'm a hypocrite. I keep secrets from you every day because it's supposed to protect you. If I really wanted no secrets between us I'd have to tell you the truth about what's going on, or why I'm going to die, " Kylie was becoming unraveled.
Tyler guided her to the bed, "Kylie, that's a detail I can live without. Let's make a deal, we'll share what we can spare to share. Have you slept at all this week?"
Kylie shook her head,"Not really. Did Rae and Caleb put the salt circle up?"
"They just set it up a couple minutes ago." Kylie felt a sudden relief. Now they could put the salt circle up every night allowing her to finally have a peaceful sleep.
"He's been attacking you too." She glanced up in surprise, but silently answered his question with a nod. "For how long?"
Kylie replied tired, "Since last year. I'm scared he's going to attack Serenity. She's the only one he hasn't harassed yet."
"I thought Rae was the only one," Tyler said unsure.
"Thea got attacked during the school year and Abby was recent. We were training a couple weeks ago and he sent a shadow to get her." She remembered the shadow, a shapeless, black figure, dragging and drowning Abby in the nearby lake.
Rae caught a vision and Kylie tracked her down quickly. Thea did a unique CPR by pushing the water out of her lungs, while Rae burned the shadow alive. Light is their nature enemy. "They're hard to destroy, but Rae did it quickly when she caught the creature and burnt it alive.
Tyler ran his hand through his thick hair, "Shit, I thought you guys were okay."
She shrugged, "We cover it up pretty well."
"Why haven't you told anyone he's been harassing you?" He asked confused.
Kylie exhaled feeling her throat tighten, "Because I'm the reason why he's been attacking the others. He wants to know something, but I can't tell a soul."
She said determined, "Because I promised my father I'd keep it a secret. If it fell into the wrong hands, it would mean a lot worse than these small attacks." She continued to say sadly, "I won't let my father die in vain. He saved my life and kept the secret, I owe him at least this favor after what I put him through."
Tyler's face still held confusion so Kylie continued to explain her life, "In my first life, my mother died in childbirth. I knew my father loved me, but in his eyes, he held a small amount of pain every time he looked at me."
Suddenly a light dawned on Tyler, "That's why you're freaking out about Serenity's birth nightmare. Kylie, it's just a dream."
Kylie said into his shoulder, "If Chase should miraculously survive his addiction, but lose Serenity in childbirth, I just know the baby will blame himself. Feel like it was his fault that he took away the one person their father loved."
He reassured her, "I asked Rae when you panicked about what Serenity told you. And she was 100% sure everything would be better than fine."
They cuddled in her bed and Kylie said, "I'm sorry for locking you outside in the rain and possibly destroying your chances to ever having kids."
Tyler cupped his family jewels unconsciously and slightly joked, "I'm sorry too. Next time I'll bite the bullet and say I'm gay."