Love Conquers All
Elvan seemed to have calmed down, and I convinced her, for our sake, to stop acting all terrified, and crazy. She had to act like grandma until we figured things out. There was no other way. Dr. Hastings, after his intense talk with my parents outside, discussing God knows what, perhaps grandma’s need to undergo a psychiatric treatment, sighed in relief when he came back to the room and found Elvan no longer challenging her identity, and spouting madness.
“All seems better here,” Dr. Hastings said, his rather pudgy fingers pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, again. “I’ll leave you to your visit,” he added, and left the room in a rush.
“How are you, mother?” dad smiled, taking Elvan’s hands in his, kissing her on both cheeks. Her first reaction was to pull back, but I saw her force a weak contrived smile on her lips, and endure the torture.
“I’m fine, my sweet boy, how are you?” she asked, trying to lean back on the pillows to put some distance in between them. It was very obvious she was uncomfortable with the attention.
My sweet boy? Holy crap, where had that come from? I covered my face, trying not to laugh.
Dad’s face was confused as ever, but he kept the smile, and did not say anything.
“I’m very happy you are well, mother. We were so worried,” he said, his voice trembling with emotions. “If only we can find this asshole who did this to you all, I’ll kill him with my own hands. But, you don’t have to worry anymore, we’ll take you home, and all will be fine. I have installed a great security system in the house,” he said, squeezing Elvan’s hand gently.
Mom also had sat down in bed, hugging Elvan.
“Thank you, thank you, you are very kind, my lovelies,” muttered Elvan, patting mom on the shoulder. “But, I’m fine, no need to fret now. Why don’t you all go home, and do your usual things, and I’ll be fine here with my granddaughter?”
“We came to see you, mother. We are not going anywhere, are you sure you are fine?” dad asked.
“Damn,” she groaned. “I mean, I need to rest, well...I’m sure this body needs some sleep, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, but I need to be alone now. Alone with my granddaughter, I mean, and Seth of course.”
“Mother?” dad posed the unsaid question.
“Just go, boy. I’ll be fine after a good and long sleep, and some quiet time.”
“Okay, of course, as you wish,” mom said, gently kissing her on the forehead. “We’ll be back later when you feel better.”
“Sure, let’s wait for a few days, shall we? There is absolutely no need to hurry back. I’m sure I’ll be doing splendid here with hospital care, my hearts,” she said, widening her lips to a smile that did not reach her eyes.
“We’ll talk later when you’ve had your rest,” dad said, raising one eyebrow, prompting them to leave in silence.
Elvan sighed when they left. “Oh, my God, I thought they’d never leave, no offense Sierra. But, I have no clue what I’m doing pretending to be your grandma, and it’s stressing me out.”
“Indeed, my hearts, my lovelies, my boy?” I said, laughing.
“Whatever, at least I pulled it,” she said shrugging, and then holding her back in pain. “Holy shit, my back is killing me,” she said, trying to get out of bed. “Some walking would do me good.” She carefully put on her slippers, and started taking small hesitant steps.
“Do you need help?” asked Seth, taking a step towards her, worried.
“I can walk by myself, I’ve been doing it for years,” she replied, shooing him with her hand. She took another step, her hands up in the air, trying to balance her old body. She looked at the door when there was a knock. “I swear if it is your parents again, I’ll cry,” she confessed.
“Come in,” I said, chuckling. But, it was not my parents who entered the room, it was the first and last person Elvan wanted to see, right now. It was Dante. He looked around in delirium until his eyes settled on the old woman standing in the middle of the room. He fixed his eyes on her, his face did not reflect any shock, surprise, or disgust, on the contrary, his face held so much emotion that Elvan froze on the spot.
“Please, don’t,” she said, her tears forming a lump on her throat. She turned to Seth in an admonishing manner. “How? When?” she said, her words clipped.
“Since the Drakons swore fealty to me, I can mind speak with them, just like in Rawonia. It had to be done, Elvan,” Seth explained.
“Baby, how could you want to keep this away from me, I don’t understand why you would want to be so cruel,” he said, rushing to her side, and lifting her in his arms.
“Oh, no!” I said, closing my eyes. Seeing grandma in Dante’s arms was not my idea of bliss.
“Whoa! Hold it, big boy, are you going to give me a heart attack?” Elvan said. “These old bones can crack any moment, and I’d like to give this body back just as I found it, thank you very much,” she reprimanded Dante, trying to mask the flow of emotions, and the tears in her eyes.
Dante did not know what to do, considered sitting down on the bed with her in his lap, but then he looked at me, and I had to say, “Please don’t, you’ll ruin me forever. That’s my grandma.” He nodded, and put Elvan on the bed, and sat next to her.
“I promise, no touching,” Dante assured me, smiling. “Tell me, what’s going on with you babe, where is that hot body of yours, huh?” he winked. He was hiding his concern behind a joke, trying to act his usual charming self.
“Why, what will you do with it?” Elvan snapped. She could hardly look at him in the face, biting her lip, with a myriad of emotions which rushed at her, it was obvious that all she wanted was to be in his arms, but not like this, never like this. The yearning was there on her face, making her curt with frustration and rage.
“I can think of many things, sweetheart,” he said, with a sexy grin, but didn’t touch her, thankfully. So far, he was keeping his word and leaving my grandma’s body alone.
“I don’t know a thing, I want my body back, Dante. Oh God,” Elvan started crying bitterly, unable to curb her tears any longer. She was just not consolable, wailing loudly. It was extremely difficult for me to see my grandma’s shoulders heaving with so much heartache, and her familiar veined hands rubbing at her gentle eyes so harshly. I turned around, torn apart with this whole thing, and Seth’s arms wrapped around me in understanding. “It’ll be all right, we’ll find a way to correct all this,” Seth murmured in my ears.
Dante was also in pain, his anguished face, his clenched fists said it all. “Babe, don’t cry. I swear I’ll find your body, and a way to get you back. Just don’t cry, please,” he was saying, his hands reaching out to her, suspended in air, shaking.
“You said Abby showed you her body? Do you remember anything else about the room?” Seth asked.
“What? Did you see Abby?” I burst out, surprised. “When did you see her, I should have known she would be behind all this.”
“What is going on?” Elvan held Dante’s hand, trying to grasp his attention.
“They found me when I was looking for you, and they wanted to use me as an informant in return for...”
“Bastards! In return for what?” Elvan barked.
“In return for you, Elvan. Abby did all that crazy magic and showed me a white room, and you were there lying on the floor, immobile. She said you were trapped. I’ll know more today.”
“How?” I asked.
“He is going to feed them information, that’s how. And, through Dante, we can know more about them.”
“What are you going to say to them, I don’t understand,” I said.
“I’ll tell them about the Drakon meeting tomorrow,” Dante said. “We are gathering a small group tomorrow at the west wing basketball court at campus.”
“Are you nuts?” I asked. “What kind of a game are you guys playing?” I said.
“Sierra, we don’t know who they are, where they are hiding, what their strengths and weaknesses are. This is the only way to find out. We’ll feed them false information, and see whether they akethe bait,” replied Seth.
I didn’t like this, not one bit. But, I knew this war would start any moment now, and we needed to be prepared. I nodded.
Elvan was thoughtful, she and Dante were holding hands, I doubted they were even aware of it. I turned y head away.
“Where do you think I’m trapped? In the Land of Dragoon?” Elvan asked. “This does not make any sense to me.”
“I’d assume the witch was lying, but I saw your body, baby. She knows where you are, but wherever that place is, it can’t be the Land of Dragoon. That universe is gone,” Dante said.
Elvan shifted in bed, trying to find a more comfortable position for her aching bones. “I want you to be careful, the witch is dangerous, and I’m sure whoever she is working with in here is just as dangerous. They are not to be trifled with, if they understand you are playing them...“Elvan said, shaking her head.
“Don’t worry love, I’ll be fine. And, I’ll get your body back, I swear. One way or another.”
“Can you guys even shift?” Elvan asked. There was silence hanging in the room. “Oh God, you can’t even shift, can you? You are completely defenseless,” Elvan shouted.
Dante laughed. “Love, I wouldn’t say that,” he murmured. “I have my muscles, and charm,” he winked.
“This is no joking matter,” Elvan reprimanded him.
“I don’t understand why you guys can’t shift. Seth? Why can’t you shift?” I urged.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I am also in the dark, I feel it stirring inside me, I feel it waking up, but somehow it is not good enough,” he said, holding his thumb and forefinger close together to indicate how close he was to shifting.
The door knocked again, and two cops entered the room without waiting for the reply.
“Hello. I’m Officer Yang. Dr. Hastings assured me that you were all feeling better, and I want to get this out of the way, I’m sure you do, too. As you know, we did not have any lead on the person who tried to kill you that day. He got away, unfortunately without leaving behind any trace. I’d like to ask you a few questions about the day of your attempted murder.”
“Uhm,” Elvan said, looking at us. Obviously she didn’t even know what he was talking about.
“What a nice family reunion, are they all your grandchildren?” Officer Yang asked kindly.
Dante pulled back his hand, noticing it clutching grandma’s hand for the first time. “Certainly not,” he said.
“I see. Have you seen who shot you?” Officer Yang asked the three of us. “Can you identify him?” he asked taking out his little notebook, and chewed-up pen from his breast pocket, his hand up in the air, ready to write.
The door opened right then, and a second officer entered the room.
“Fileas,” Seth exclaimed in surprise. He laughed, “I can’t believe it’s you.”
“Boss?” Fileas said. “Sierra?” he said, seeing me as well. “I can’t believe...oh my God, were you the victims of this case? Heck, I didn’t know. What are the odds?”
“So, you are a cop?” Seth asked.
“Yes,” Fileas admitted. “Guilty as charged.” Fileas turned to Office Yang and said,” I got this, Chiu. You can leave,” he ordered. He shrugged, and left without objections.
“What’s going on?” Fileas asked. “I’ve been in a strange haze since you know ... since I remember. What’s going on in this world? What the hell is going on? I’m so confused.”
Seth filled in Fileas who listened without interrupting, his face turned ashen when Seth was explaining who he really had been all along, the link between Drakons and the humans, the witch, the neutralizers, and the challenges which lay ahead.
“Are you telling me life will come to an end on earth unless we stop the witch and her schemes?” Fileas asked finally.
“Yep, pretty much so,” Seth confirmed.
“Damn, and I believe we have no other alternative universe we can pack and leave?” he said, laughing. “That would have been nice.”
’I’m afraid, this is it,” Seth informed him.
“One question, how do we recognize the neutralizers?”
“That is difficult to answer. Baran was one. He was the one who killed us that night,” Seth said.
“Wow, holy moly, wow,” Fileas exclaimed, his mouth agape. “Baran? The rebel unit leader, Baran? Shit, this is worse than I thought.”
I had mixed thoughts on Baran, so I kept my silence. Baran in here, in the Land of Dragoon, and in Rawonia, seemed to be three different people. Who was Baran, the considerate loving man in Rawonia, the opportunistic greedy asshole in the Land of Dragoon, or the murderer boyfriend on earth? Was he all or none of these, or was he a combination of all the three?
“There is worse,” Seth supplied. “You know, the rebel commander you all looked up to?”
Fileas nodded, all ears.
“Hayley happens to be the witch.”
“What?” he reacted. “I guess I’d better try to gather the humans who remember.”
“You do that,” Seth nodded.
“Are you going to come upstairs, to my room,” I asked Seth when he brought me home for the night. We’d stayed at the hospital for hours, keeping Elvan company, but grandma’s body had eventually tired, and Elvan had started yawning, which we had taken as our cue to take our leave.
He looked at me innocently.
“I know you were there with me last night,” I smiled. “I rather like the idea of sleeping with you every night,” I said.
“Me, too. But, we have to think of your heart.”
“Screw the heart, I can’t live in fear. Will you come up?” I implored, almost begging.
“Not today,” he said, holding me in his arms. I inhaled his scent, running my hands up and down his back beneath his shirt, feeling the hard muscles under his skin. I was breathing heavily.
“Don’t kitten,” he said, fire blazing in his eyes. “We can’t.” He pushed me away. “I need to talk to Dante, anyways. We need to hatch a plan for tomorrow. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said, with an iron will.
Damn, so much for my seduction. If I found who had my heart, I would kill her in a second. One could take only so much torture, and temptation. I wanted him, and I was in pain.
I watched his back as he walked away, and then entered the house. I realized how exhausted I was as I took the steps one by one, leaning heavily on the balustrade.
I heard mom yell from her room, “Babe, are you all right? How is grandma?”
“Good, good,” I replied as I entered my room, took a quick shower, and threw myself on the bed with my robe on, without opening the covers, or even bothering to put on my pajamas. In the middle of the night, I woke up with somebody’s hand clamped over my mouth. My heart started thrumming in my chest, I struggled to get away, but he held me in a vise grip, his one arm and weight pinning me in bed.
“Ssh, Sierra. Don’t scream, or talk, just listen,” he said. I was so scared, tried to talk, but my words came out as mumbled. I couldn’t open my mouth, move, or see who he was.
“I’ll slowly lift my hand, but you have to promise not to scream, do you understand me?” he asked. His voice was familiar, as was his hold. I nodded in fear.
I turned my head around when he loosened his hold, and gasped in shock. I was looking at Baran. What was he doing in here, had he come here to kill me, to finish the job?
“Sierra, you are in danger. She is planning to kill you. Tomorrow, in fact. And, this time, there will be no coming back,” he said.