Waking Other Lives

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The Room Beyond

“I’m dying, oh my God, my hands are blistered and torn beyond repair. I almost miss lying in that gloomy hospital bed in your grandma’s body,” Elvan murmured.

I let it go, her stories were my only source of entertainment in here. She had told me the story of how Seth had licked Baran to cure him, and I had burst out laughing just with the image of it. Her imagination was wild, wicked. But, she made me feel relaxed, at peace, as if all was fine with my world.

“It’s your turn, I’m done,” Elvan said. “Nothing left to clear in the wall, we need more of your light.”

I changed places with Elvan, crawling back in the wall to give more light on the rest of the wall. Together we were making faster pace, I felt we would see the room beyond very soon.

It was hours later when we finally managed to open a hole that would take us to the other room. Elvan pushed me back, “Let me be the first to go, in case there is danger.”

“I can protect myself,” I objected.

“I know, but...it’s very difficult to explain this,” she said, swallowing. “I feel like I have to do this, and not just because you are a good friend.”

No, she didn’t make sense. Still, I let her go first. There was no sound coming from the other side when she first made it. And, I followed in her suit, very curious as to what awaited us at the very end. If it was another closed room, this was it. We’d not make it. We’d not survive another attempt at carving a wall. This was turning into a labyrinth from which there was no escape.

“Elvan” I addressed her as I was on my knees.

“You have to see this,” she said. “There is a woman in here, lying in a glass coffin which has seen a patina of years.”

What was she talking about? Was there a mummy in there? I rushed forward, my knees scraping on the plaster that had fallen from the wall. I didn’t even feel the pain, the curiosity driving my momentum. I saw Elvan first, she was bending over a coffin, her figure hiding the identity of who lay in there. The room looked to be identical to the other two rooms, with a bed and a sink, and a heavy closed door. A sigh of desperation escaped my lips, there was nothing else in here, but the coffin. A coffin would not help us escape, nor the dead person lying in it. We were basically screwed.

I stood on trembling knees, walked to the coffin. What I saw inside the coffin took my breath away.

“Holy moly, this is unbelievable,” I said. “This is, just wonderful,” I said, turning around in joy.

“Have you lost it?” Elvan asked, her eyebrows furrowing.

“Don’t you understand? We might have found the only thing who can get us out of here.”

“The coffin?” she asked.

“No, the heart of Rawonia. The woman lying in the coffin is the heart of Rawonia, or in other words, the golden dragon.” I didn’t even know how I knew that, but somehow I did, call it an aura, a familiarity forged in other universes, or an instinct. Needless to say, her body was pulling me towards her like a magnet. I believed the pieces of her heart wanted to unite.

“You don’t say!” Elvan said, grinning from lip to lip. “How do we wake her up?”

“I don’t know, maybe open the lid?” I suggested. This was the one mission I was supposed to complete in here, on earth, and I’d almost done it. I was about to sing in joy when the implications of what was about to happen made me frozen in my place. No....no, if I woke her up, she would demand her heart. She’d made it clear that she was kept in a magical prison by Abby, and she wanted me to unite her hearts which I’d so generously borrowed in the other two universes. Only then, could she stop Abby. She’d also made it clear that I would not survive the process because my heart had stopped beating already. Oh my God, this was so unfair. I was going to die in here, after everything, without setting eyes on Seth ever again. I collapsed on the floor, looking empty in space.

“What’s wrong?” Elvan asked, kneeling next to me.

“I’m going to die Elvan. Once I wake her up. I am alive because I have a piece of her heart.”

“Then let’s not wake her up,” she said, as if enlightened. “We don’t need her. We can carve another wall.”

“You don’t get it, Elvan. I now know where we are. We are prisoners in a magical world created by the witch and there is no way out of here unless she helps us.”

***************************************************************************************

There was no news of a heart transplant, and I could see mom and dad despairing. They tried to keep me inside every day, but I avoided their house arrest at all costs. I had a heart problem that could be managed, but I had no intention of tting life pass me by.

I grieved for grandma, still finding it hard to believe that I would never see her again. I wish I could have done more for her. What Baran and his friends took away from me that way would never be replaced. I guess, in a way, he was being punished as well. I was still shocked at the news that he was mated to me. A lonely sad life was awaiting him, but I couldn’t bring myself to feel for him, not when the memory of the funeral was too fresh in my mind, not when I still could feel the dirt I threw over her coffin right between my fingers. Just when I thought I could forgive him for everything, grandma’s death had increased the chasm between us.

I was driving to see Seth at the Drakon headquarters. Things had been calm since Seth’s visible shift in downtown. Surprisingly, there had been little to no news about a flying dragon in the news, the story too crazy to be true. We had later heard that it was Fileas who had immediately rushed to the scene, using his authority to hush those who cried the end of the world. That had been a bonus. We had enough in our plates, not to deal with scared humans as well.

As I parked in front of the building, Seth came outside to greet me, but his expression was worried.

“Any news from Elvan?” I asked, getting out.

“Nothing as of yet.”

“Why the face?” I asked.

“Sorry, my mind is off, Dante worries me.”

He’d told me of the staged death scene long after it happened, thankfully or else I’d have worried nonstop. Dante was a capable, and driven Drakon. He was the best shot we had in finding their hiding places.

“He’s going on a suicide mission, I need to find where he is, but he won’t tell me.”

“What about Baran? Won’t he know?” I asked.

“He would, but can we trust him?” asked Seth. “I have him watched every minute of the day, that’s how much I trust that asshole.”

“I don’t see how we have a choice, Seth. We have to give him a chance to redeem himself.”

He nodded, though his stern expression never left his face. I took his hand in mine, and we walked inside.

Baran did not even change his facial expression when Seth asked him where Abby could be hiding.

“How in the hell would I know?” he said, chewing his gum loudly. He was throwing me fleeting glances.

“I’ll kill you, bastard. I saved your worthless life because she asked me to, and I can easily take it away.”

He shrugged. “I’d like to see you try.”

Seth jumped in his seat, and I barely held onto him as his hands almost grasped Baran. “Seth, calm down.” He looked at me, his eyes still furious, but sanity seemed to be settling in his eyes as he sat down again.

“Baran, we need your help. Please,” I said.

He looked at me, and sighed.” There are a hundred places she can be. The neutralizers have many safe houses, some of which are outside this country, in Romania, Bulgaria, even in Japan. You have a lot of searching to do if you want to know where she is.”

“Give us the addresses, asshole.”

“I like it better when my mate asks me,” he said, driving Seth crazy. He was clenching his fists, breathing deeply. I put my hand on his, and he seemed to relax slowly.

“Baran, do you have the addresses?” I asked.

Baran looked at our hands clasped together, his eyes glued on our skin to skin touch. He forcefully moved his eyes. “My brain is not a computer, I’ll give you the ones I remember, or that I’ve been to,” he said, curtly, writing things down.

Seth took the piece of paper and left the room to send a search team to each of these places. His mind was so preoccupied that he forgot he was leaving me alone with Baran. I had a feeling he’d not be happy once he realized that.

“I’m sorry Sierra. For your grandmother, I ...” Baran said.

“You had her killed Baran, you’ve been accomplice to that. It’s too late for apologies,” I said, looking him in the eye.

“I thought you’d all come back, I’m sorry. I didn’t have a choice. I was losing you,” he said.

“You still did,” I said, getting up, and leaving him in the room alone.

“I know,” Baran murmured from behind, his tone carrying a ton of regret. But, I didn’t care.

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