On the Evil Scale: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book Two

All Rights Reserved ยฉ

๐“’๐“ฑ๐“ช๐“น๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ป 43

Azir paced the rooftop, placing a temporary dome over our location, giving Axeon a break from utilizing his cloaking ability. Sensing enough magic was in place, he joined me near the ledge, overlooking the city. Other than the sounds erupting below or explosions and screams, our silence was deafening.

โ€œWhat a lovely night for a midnight ride.โ€ a voice muttered behind us.

Cautious, we turned seeing Molock leaning against the buildingโ€™s generator; arms folded.

Azir removed his sword, stepping in front of me in a protective manner.

โ€œYou!โ€ he feared.

โ€œMe.โ€ Molock answered smugly as he stepped forward, โ€œAnd despite what you think of me, diapersโ€ฆI too have duties to perform.โ€ Molock revealed, โ€œThis Necromancerโ€ฆโ€ he glanced out toward the city, โ€œhas conjured far too many of Luciferโ€™s legions and heโ€™s growing concerned as to why. He and I keep putting blocks in place, preventing this human from summoning them but heโ€™s resourceful, finding new ways to do so. Iโ€™ve given up trying to stop him, so Iโ€™m just biding my time until he slips up. With power hungry fools, thereโ€™s always that moment.โ€

โ€œWhy are you here!?โ€ Azir questioned the DemonJinnโ€™s motives, not trusting the trickster.

โ€œDidnโ€™t I just...werenโ€™t you listening!?โ€ Molock placed his right hand to his ear.

I couldnโ€™t help but chuckle for the sarcasm was admirable.

Molock winked in my direction then glanced to his left admiring Axeonโ€™s beauty.

โ€œMy-myโ€ฆcanโ€™t say Iโ€™ve ever seen a dragon during my 6300 years. Youโ€™re beautiful.โ€ he sensed the dragonโ€™s ancient magic that was millennia older than himself.

โ€œAnd you are ancient.โ€ Axeon replied, โ€œI can not say I have ever met your kind before.โ€

โ€œKind?โ€ Molock tilted his head.

โ€œYou are a Sumerian, are you not?โ€ Axeon raised his head high above Molock.

โ€œI am. And you...are from the stars.โ€ Molock dramatically waved his hands toward the sky.

Axeon groaned, releasing a low growl that vibrated deep in his throat.

Molock respected the dragonโ€™s boundaries as he backed away then turned his attention to the young woman as she stepped around the Nubian Jinn pleading softly,

โ€œMolock, pleaseโ€ฆnot now. Weโ€™re taking a big chance being here enough as it is, so we canโ€™t and wonโ€™t worry about what your intentions might be!โ€

โ€œOuchโ€ฆโ€ he held his hands to his chest as if my words phased him, โ€œno need to be snappy demoness, but alrightโ€ฆI understand, Iโ€™ll go but do me a favor?โ€ he looked into my eyes.

โ€œAt what cost?โ€ I folded my arms.

โ€œHa-haโ€ฆโ€ Molock smiled, โ€œsmart girl, but thereโ€™s no cost for offering my warnings of caution.โ€

โ€œYou said what you needed. She heard what she needed. Now, you are not needed or wanted.โ€ Azir affirmed standing in front of me once more.

โ€œOh, diapers...I told you once that you canโ€™t keep me away from her so if I were you, quit the ego trips. Itโ€™s not suitable for a Jinn such as yourself.โ€ Molock mocked Azirโ€™s pride, โ€œI will leave, but not because of you.โ€ he backed away then bowed in my direction, โ€œYzavelaโ€ฆโ€ he grinned then vanished.

Azir cursed in his African tongue and by the sound of the syllables and tone, I guessed they werenโ€™t pleasant words. He glanced down at me then approached Axeon speaking to the dragon about what he knew of Molock, while I stood near behind one of the air conditioners keeping myself hidden. I watched the skies unable to count the numbers of Harpies, worrying for Abraxas. Where was he? He was gone too long. Fear filled every core in me. I folded my arms feeling a breeze dance through the air when suddenly, a hand rested on my shoulder. Thinking it was Azir I turned only to have my gaze glance upward; there stood Molock...again!

โ€œI thought you left?โ€ I pondered as the Sumerian removed his hand.

โ€œI did. Iโ€™m just a copy.โ€ he smiled.

โ€œA copy?โ€ I grew confused.

โ€œThere are some Demons and Jinn alike that can duplicate themselves in more than one self. Comes in handy at times like this, especially when sometimes I have to be in more than one place at a time, which I donโ€™t have much of.โ€

โ€œThen why are you here?โ€ I glanced back at Azir who didnโ€™t sense Molockโ€™s copy.

Before Molock could answer, I heard Abraxasโ€™ voice reach out telepathically. Not in words but roars. I covered my ears for they held such urgency but there was something much louder than I have never experienced before.

โ€œThe Young Oneโ€ฆโ€ Axeon raised his head toward the half-breed.

Azir turned, seeing her kneeling on her knees covering her ears. Rushing over he fell alongside her.

โ€œWhat is it? Whatโ€™s wrong?โ€ he grew concerned.

โ€œItโ€™s Abraxas but thereโ€™s something else out there...something older and itโ€™sโ€ฆโ€ I exaggerated in a muffled tone as I kept my eyes closed trying to sort it all out, but there was too much, โ€œI canโ€™tโ€ฆโ€ I shook my head in protest, โ€œitโ€™s too much, itโ€™s too much!โ€

Azir reached out his hands placing them over my hands and as they glowed, he muttered a chant that created a block from any or all telepathic connections. He succeeded because the young woman opened her eyes as if hearing nothing but her own thoughts. Removing his hands, he helped her to her feet and before she could question, screeches of a Harpie approached our location. Azir and I backed away as it landed before us; its red eyes scanned the figures before it. It stood tall hanging its wings down at its sides and shifted its large feet. It nudged its nose in our direction as if catching our scent then laid its focus upon the half-breed.

โ€œAbraxas?โ€ I softly called out as Azir and I gripped our swordโ€™s hilt.

โ€œMother?โ€ the creature answered verbally.

Azir and I sighed in relief, as we removed our hands from the threatening gesture. I approached the creature that lowered its head and although unsettling, I knew my Abraxas was in there somewhere. Stroking his head between his pointed ears, I pulled my hand away because his appearance was revolting.

โ€œAbraxas, please return to your form.โ€ I pestered; my petite form backed away.

โ€œIโ€™m sorryโ€ฆโ€ the creature slouched its shoulders as it wrapped its wings around its body; his tall height began shrinking smaller and smaller as the features slowly morphed into those of dragon features and wings. There was a brief moment of a red flash of light as he finished his transformation. In place of an eight-foot tall Harpie, was the small Zyphyn hovering in place before landing into the arms of his Mother. Whispering softly he spoke, snuggling against my chin, โ€œIโ€™m sorry I frightened you, Mother.โ€

โ€œItโ€™s alright. It just caught us off guard, thatโ€™s all. So the chest was delivered?โ€ I looked into his Amber eyes.

โ€œYes, but thatโ€™s not all I did.โ€ Abraxas answered verbally.

โ€œMeaning what? What else did you do?โ€ Azir question.

โ€œI will reveal all once weโ€™ve returned to the Isle. Thereโ€™s something evil here...very dark and ancient with magic that I have never known before and is stronger than Axeon.โ€ Abraxas veered his head around my shoulder toward Axeon who stood tall.

โ€œThe Zyphyn is correct. We must leave.โ€ Axeon advised, โ€œCome quickly.โ€ he laid down, allowing us to crawl back to our places between his spikes. Once he felt we were in place, he flapped his wings feeling strength regained from the rest given. Flying higher above the rooftops below, the Harpies yet again sensed an energy out of the ordinary passing through. Abraxas, who shifted into a snake that wrapped around my shoulders beneath my jacket, peeked his head out releasing a deafening screech that deterred the Harpies from following; a sound that threw the Harpies out of balance long enough for us to continue through their swarm and with passing minutes, we were clear of them soaring in the opposite direction. I sighed in relief as I removed a set of binoculars from my pocket, examining the streets below for my eyes lacked the clarity of the Jinn and dragons I caught glimpses of the Trolls, Zarooks and half-breeds of creature and man alike roaming through over turning vehicles and catching scattering cityfolk.

Azirโ€™s golden eyes veered down below as well. The sound of war; clashing weapons and vicious shouts echoed through his mind, as he replayed the horrific memory of his first encounters against them.

I zoomed the binoculars vision taking an account of the creatures, refreshing them for memory. The Zarooks were massive lizard-like creatures that walked on hind feet, with long tails and muscular shorter arms; thick necks blending into small shoulders. Their scaled green skin was darkened due to the evening light but I remember when I first saw one; it was a moment I wish I could forget as it unleashed its acidic saliva upon its victims that within seconds, melted down to their bones in a heap of flesh and bloodied clothes. Their tails whipped with rage when ready for their attack, creating an unsettling rattle like a rattlesnake. They had no need for weaponry as their hands were weapons in themselves with long sharp talons sharper than any blade known in creation. And if scratched, theyโ€™d leave behind a poison that would infect your mind causing hallucinations and would attack your nervous-system. What their weaknesses were, I didnโ€™t know for I never got close enough to one to find out.

The Trolls stomped, growling and moaning as they swung their clubs, crushing vehicles or used them to overturn them out of the way for their passing. Their tough hides were dull and thick, making it difficult to pierce by any hand. They too, like the Harpies, had no sexual organs so the Trolls didnโ€™t require clothing of any sort to hide that specific area. Their powerful jaws could tear apart a person in half or devour them in pieces, chomping on their bones without a care of their shards or clothing. They had hard bulbous heads that contoured their wide faces and small eyes and round noses. The stench theyโ€™d leave behind was sour like rotten garbage so if or when you were to come across one or a group of them, youโ€™d know what youโ€™re up against. Their hands carried either large spiked club maces, balls and chains or presented hooks in place of actual hands.

And among the Trolls and Zarooks that looked to belong in a Marvel comic or horror film, were men driving their tanks with bright searchlights posted on their hoods; their lights shone in between allies, under or behind vehicles, even into abandoned homes through their shattered windows. Night-Walkers, that looked human except for their giveaway of masked and helmeted uniforms, also searched the streets. They had found victims that hadnโ€™t made it inside for curfew; even children became food for the blood thirsty supernaturals. My god, those poor people.

Their numbers were too vast to count but Azir estimated that all toll there must have been at least 3000 or more and hoped Drakuul hadnโ€™t regained his power back to conjure others far more dangerous and ruthless. Nothing more was said, for what could be said?

Making our way back to Ravenstone, Axeon circled once or twice avoiding the chance of being followed. Passing above the park near my old home, I glanced down seeing no traces of Drakuulโ€™s militia. I bit my lower lip, knowing what I was about do to, was stupid but I had to do it.

โ€œFly down thereโ€ฆโ€ I instructed, โ€œland in the park there!โ€

โ€œWe donโ€™t have time for this!โ€ Azir protested.

โ€œAxeon, pleaseโ€ฆโ€ I begged, โ€œitโ€™s important to me. Pleaseโ€ฆโ€

Axeon released a low moan while Azir huffed in agitation.

Turning his massive body in a swift and smooth downward maneuver, he hovered above the ground before making a rough landing in the park. His wings cast a strong gust of wind that scattered papers and debris, creating a disturbance in the area. I quickly slid down the soft scales with Abraxas tucked away in my jacket.

โ€œYzavelaโ€ฆโ€ Azir complained telepathically as he too, slid off the dragonโ€™s back; the half-breed didnโ€™t answer.

I cautiously made my way through the rubble scattered streets, hiding behind trucks, vans and misplaced dumpsters until I approached the building where my old house still stood in full structure, but burned and trashed. A rush of sadness hit me as I frowned, having pleasant memories flash through my mind of when we first moved here. I continued forward passing and crouching behind overturned debris before getting off the streets. Azir wasnโ€™t too far behind. I carefully pushed the door open before it broke from their scorched hinges, falling to the ground but inches before it made contact with the rubble covered wood floor, creating a loud echoing crash, I used my Telekinesis holding the door that hovered in place. I sighed and before I could move my hands aside, over my shoulder was a shadow growing closer along the wall behind me. I didnโ€™t care about the door because I quickly reached for the sword that hung across my back and releasing my hold on the door, it remained hovering in place before it slowly glided across the room and stood itself against the wall. I held onto my sword as I swiftly turned ready to defend myself then sighed in relief as Azirโ€™s elegant figure stood on the front steps. His left hand was extended outward, appearing as he was utilizing sign-language for the letter U. I lowered the sword watching as the Jinn lowered his hand, clasping them into the sleeves of his tunic.

โ€œYou scared me, but thank you.โ€ I nodded, sheathing my sword.

โ€œYouโ€™re welcome but we shouldnโ€™t be here.โ€ Azir argued, โ€œWe need to get back to the island now before weโ€™re detected!โ€

โ€œAzirโ€ฆโ€ I huffed, โ€œ I know the risks but I have to see this place. Just once.โ€ I backed away, carefully placing my footing to avoid shattered glass but that was an impossible task for it laid everywhere I stepped. I frowned, kicking it aside to make a clear path through the first level where our furniture, all burnt and singed, were misplaced across the room. Our family photos that hung on the walls laid shattered on the ground still in their frames.

Azir remained by the door but reached down, studying a photo of the young woman and her mother; it looked to be a pleasant moment for the smiles on their faces were genuine and full of happiness. He removed the photo from its broken frame then gathered others that he thought the young woman would want.

I scampered into the kitchen up a second set of steps that led upstairs; my feet creaked heavily. I shuffled around our rooms finding rare items my mom and I didnโ€™t have a chance to gather. I searched for a backpack and found a leather one my mom had given to me for my birthday. It was a little singed but still in good condition. I shoved the items of jewelry, scattered clothing and a few of Zanzโ€™s favorite toys inside the pack, not caring how they bunched. Swinging the backpack against my back I stood in the hall glancing into the bedrooms, feeling tears sting my eyes. I wiped them away then carefully ventured downstairs.

Azir stood in the kitchen tapping his hands against his thighs in an impatient manner. He thought the young woman wasted time, and maybe she did, but the items she gathered werenโ€™t just rare and meaningless. They held deep sentimental value for her and her mother. He groaned as he stomped across the living room approaching one of the windows; the glass panels lying along the ground inside the home showed a blast erupted from outside, not in. His Jinn eyes scanned the streets both left and right when suddenly, they glanced over his shoulder for a figure quietly approached. Swiftly removing his Scimitar from its elaborate sheath, he twirled around; his tunic tails flowed outwards like a womanโ€™s skirt. His blade touched the throat of the young half-breed who held her hands up in defense while creating a barrier between herself and the Jinn; a barrier that shattered at the touch of his blade.

โ€œWhoa, itโ€™s me...itโ€™s me!โ€ I protested.

โ€œBy the Elders, never sneak up on a Jinn!โ€ Azir fretted sheathing his blade, โ€œAre you done?โ€

โ€œYes. After youโ€ฆโ€ I gestured toward the door, โ€œand how did you shatter my shield?โ€

โ€œJinn metal can absorb magic of all variations and levels.โ€ Azir answered bluntly, โ€œThe streets are clear for now, so letโ€™s be swift while we have the chance.โ€ he and I quickly emerged from the dwelling.

โ€œOi...look...thereโ€™s people there!โ€ voices shouted from buildings next door, โ€œWe have shelter here, hey...over here!โ€ but we ignored their voices as we ran across the street hiding behind dumpsters when there it was, TROUBLE with a capital T.

A few feet from where Axeon laid, air ships above and tanks scouted the park, streets, alleys, inside or beneath vehicles. Azir and I remained behind the dumpster in the middle of the street near a cluster of burnt cars. Leaning against the dumpster avoiding pressing against the metal I snapped telepathically,

โ€œThe streets are clear, you said.โ€ and waiting for an answer, Azir replied with an unpleasant string of words in his African tongue, โ€œYeah, you too!โ€

Peeking around the corner, he and I watched as the unit of men, Night-Walkers, Shayds and Trolls lingered and a little too long for comfort. Azir glared at me and I felt the anger of his gaze as well as blame. I glanced at the ground knowing my part, nodding in responsibility.

โ€œYou donโ€™t have to say it.โ€ my words argued in Azirโ€™s mind, โ€œI knowโ€ฆโ€

โ€œAllow me, Motherโ€ฆโ€ Abraxas added from inside my jacket; his small body slithered around before his head emerged along the neckline of my jacket.

โ€œNo. Youโ€™ve done enough tonight.โ€ I instructed.

The unit grew closer when the Night-Walkers released low hisses as they approached two misplaced dumpsters; their heads tilted as if sensing something behind the obstructions. Even the Shayds sensed powerful magic nearby; the hairs on the back of their necks stood on end.

โ€œHalt! I think we have something...over there, over there!โ€ a mansโ€™ voice shouted loudly as he walked a few paces behind the Night-Walkers that were inches from the dumpsters.

I held my breath for I could see shadows of figures growing closer on my right and fear froze me in place.

โ€œDonโ€™t...move!โ€ Azirโ€™s voice instructed firmly telepathically, receiving in agreement. He closed his eyes muttering another cloaking chant and just as he finished the last string of words, figures jumped out from behind the dumpsters and stood in front of us.

I held my gloved hands over my mouth keeping myself from releasing a fearful shriek but the Night-Walkers before me knew something was there; they knelt down inches away from me catching the scent of the air around them. Releasing low hisses, they removed their goggles and helmets and this was the first time I had ever seen one up close. My big brown eyes bulged as I stared into their red eyes that had what looked like black veins encircling them that disappeared up and around their bald heads. Their fangs werenโ€™t classic in the ways of a single set along the top row, oh no. These Wraiths had sharp fangs that ran straight across their gums that bulged along the gumline. Their pale skin was almost gray as if they were the walking dead and in a sense, they were. Their gloved hands covered evidence if it were true they had claws.

Suddenly as a Night-Walker was about to lick the air that masked something of its interest, it turned its bald head around focusing on the buildings behind them. They shuffled along the ground catching strange new scents then focused their eyes toward the building across the way; their heightened hearing heard voices arguing. They hissed aggressively then stormed through the front doors of the three level structure; the human soldiers followed after carrying their guns.

Azir and I sighed slowly listening as screams shouted from inside.

โ€œWe need to leave now.โ€ Azir instructed, โ€œBut we need to find another way around.โ€ he referred to the block of the tanks and Trolls just a few feet behind the dumpsters.

โ€œYou lead, Iโ€™ll follow.โ€ I urged.

Azir nodded then reached out his left hand that clenched my right in a tight grasp and remaining cloaked, we quietly snuck around vehicles nearby but our feet didnโ€™t go unheard as Trolls were attracted to the disturbance. As they stomped toward the location, cats chasing rats for food scampered out from beneath rubble and debris. The Jinn and I crouched behind one of the massive trees that were ripped from its roots and glancing across the field that we veered off course from, was Axeon standing nervously as his tail twitched and wings fluffed.

โ€œWeโ€™re going to do this quickly but there might be a flash of my Jinnโ€™s light.โ€ Azir turned to me.

โ€œMeaning what?โ€ I questioned; my eyes watching as men patrolled the area and grew closer.

โ€œI canโ€™t cloak my Jinnโ€™s light when I teleport onto Axeonโ€™s back. Thatโ€™s one thing I canโ€™t cloak.โ€

โ€œBut weโ€™ll still be able to get out of the city though, right?โ€ I worried, โ€œAlright, never mind. Do itโ€ฆโ€ I bounced in place in fear for the men were growing closer.

Azir held onto me tightly then as warned, his Jinnโ€™s light attracted the unitโ€™s attention; their voices shouted orders to inspect the area but as they were huddled in the specific range, Azir and I had appeared on Axeonโ€™s back and without much difficulty, the dragon pushed himself high into the air. The occurrence however, created another strong whirlwind and the men that operated the searchlights atop of the trucks and Jeeps, shone the light along the ground and air but saw nothing. Shayds held out their hands feeling the residue of magic that lingered in the air, sensing its ancient ties then pulled away from something that sent sharp stings through their hands as if the magic defended itself.

โ€œAnything?โ€ a voice questioned on one of the soldierโ€™s radios.

โ€œNo, Sir...nothing. Probably Demons!โ€ a soldier answered disappointingly, โ€œHow โ€™bout over there?โ€

โ€œEh, nothing but squatters in the abandoned buildings. Theyโ€™ve been dealt with. Letโ€™s get going.โ€ the voice ordered.

Drakuul glanced at his pocket watch reading the ironic time of 3:33am and since the number holds such significance in magical practices, he attempted to conjure further numbers to add to his legions. He had a feeling heโ€™d reach his goal soon and wanted to be better prepared for whatโ€™s to come. As he stood at the altar, he sensed his efforts failed and attempting to recite the spells in various slurs of the words, there was a block from performing his actions.

โ€œWhat is this?โ€ he mumbled and no sooner did he ask, was he answered. The candles in the room died before erupting into high flames causing Drakuul to stumble away from the altar and as he watched shadows along the wall behind the altar form, he slowly knelt on his knees, โ€œWho are you? Tell me, Demonโ€ฆโ€

Molock stood in his chambers in Hell, staring into a mirror he used to watch what took place above and the current image before him, was the Necromancer kneeling on his knees pleading for answers. The Sumerian could use the mirror to communicate verbally or project an image of himself if needed so thatโ€™s exactly what he did, but he wasnโ€™t human. His 6โ€™4 frame grew tall to twelve feet high with elegant horns, dark red charred skin with veins of red fire showing through, indicating his demonic skin color. His black hair receded between his two large black Ram horns that twisted backwards instead of the typical forward form, and hung down against his back in an ancient warriors braid. That was the ONLY time other than war, the Sumerian would braid his hair. His Jinn tattoos glowed faintly in a golden color complimenting his demonic persona. His shadow along the wall of his chamber reached through the mirror; a shadow that stood tall with his powerful physique. He didnโ€™t answer the Necromancer at first, listening to the mansโ€™ pleas and orders. Growing tired of the games, he answered in a powerful deep guttural voice,

โ€œYou f*cking humans and your piddly magic! You think you, Drakuul Lexus, can call upon my Masterโ€™s legions without a price?โ€

โ€œWho are you, Demon!โ€ Drakuul slowly stood to his feet, โ€œTell me!โ€

โ€œI answer to no one, much less pathetic souls such as yourself but I do want you to know that your end Drakuul, your end is near and I, Death who has gone by many names, will be there to collect your soul and deliver it to my Master who awaits you here.โ€ the Demon answered.

โ€œI demand to know who you are, Demon! You are in my conjure circle so I have power over you!โ€ Drakuul grew arrogant; something the Demon fed off.

โ€œAm I now? But whoโ€™s to say youโ€™re not in my conjuring circle and that youโ€™re not really in Hell, Necromancer? Hmm?โ€ the Demon played his riddles.

โ€œThatโ€™s not possible! Iโ€™m not dead!โ€ Drakuul argued.

โ€œArenโ€™t you?โ€ the Demon laughed as it stretched out its arms.


โ€œLook for yourself, Necromancer but donโ€™t say I didnโ€™t warn you!โ€ the Demon taunted, pointing toward the door behind the Necromancer that swung open after the Demon vanished.

Drakuul stared at the door, somewhat afraid of what awaited him outside. He retrieved Lexaโ€™s ritual dagger from the altar then cautiously approached the door and when peeking his head out into the hall, he was sucked into another room, more of a chamber to his eyes. But this chamber didnโ€™t dwell in the Parliament building for there were monstrous creatures emerging from the darkness around him; creatures of great deformity and ones he recognized as the souls he tortured and used to create his legion. Their hands reached out for the Immortal Necromancer, grabbing hold of his clothes but pulled away as Drakuul slashed with the ritual dagger. His fight didnโ€™t last long as he was pulled to the ground, torn apart and with each strike, bite and tear, he remained alive to feel everything.

He screamed and when pushing them back, he awoke in his chambers; sweat soaking his tunic, pillow and sheets. He jumped from the bed turning around wondering how and when he had retreated to his chambers. He glanced down at his hands that shook but still held onto the ritual dagger; its blade covered in a thick black goo. He dropped the weapon then ran into the bathroom feeling stings across his chest, back and arms. Removing his tunic slipping it over his head, scratches were visible along his slender but muscular frame, breaking the chains of symbols tattooed on his smooth skin. He ran his hands along his chest feeling the sting from the wounds then glanced into the mirror where his reflection only greeted him. Breathing heavy, he took an ornamental statue on the sink shattering the mirror; its shards falling into the sink.

He knew that wasnโ€™t a dream but a powerful premonition fate had set for him and it wasnโ€™t one he could get out if. No matter the sacrifices, deals or binding spells, he was f*cked! He combed his black hair from his face then backed away, taking a seat near the fireplace.

Azir and I had returned to the Isle in complete silence and once stepping foot off Axeonโ€™s back, Azir roughly grabbed me by the shoulders lifting me from the ground with such ease.

โ€œWhat...were you thinking! Your actions almost got us killed! Do you realize that!?โ€ he gave me a rough shake.

โ€œAzir, let go of me!โ€ I warned.

โ€œNot until you understand the recklessness of your actions!โ€

โ€œI know!โ€ I shouted as my Aura erupted brightly burning his hands. He dropped my petite form but I balanced my feet apart to keep me from falling to the ground, โ€œWhat do you want me to say? That I was stupid? Yes, I was and yes, I was reckless but I had to! That was my home, Azir...the home my mom and I shared, so if there was a chance I could save any of those memories, I took it! Iโ€™m sorry, I am, but Iโ€™m sure if you were in that position, youโ€™d do the same so donโ€™t you dare, Jinn or not, stand there and blame me!โ€ I frowned then pushed past him, singing the sleeve of his tunic.

โ€œWhere are you going!?โ€ Azir called out after me.

โ€œSomewhere I feel safe!โ€ I shouted, adjusting the backpack that hung against my back.

โ€œBy the Elders, that girl!โ€ Azir swore, examining his hands.

โ€œShe is young, Jinn...she will learn and has learned much more than you realize.โ€ Axeon added verbally, โ€œYour hands? Are they?โ€

โ€œTheyโ€™ll be fine. Nothing Natashโ€™s herbs canโ€™t fix.โ€ Azir groaned then raised his gaze upon Axeon, โ€œItโ€™s been a long night...get some rest and weโ€™ll speak tomorrow.โ€

After exiting Axeonโ€™s cavern through the bookshelf in the study, I quickly stormed out of the manor with everything replaying over in my mind. I huffed and when walking along the path toward my dwelling, I paused in my tracks.

โ€œMother, whatโ€™s the matter?โ€ Abraxas walked alongside me in Zanzโ€™s form.

โ€œYes. And no.โ€ I knelt down, โ€œI want you to go back to the room and make sure Zanzabarr is alright. No questions or arguments.โ€ I kissed his morphed snout, โ€œGoโ€ฆโ€ I stood.

โ€œBut where are you going?โ€

โ€œLike I told Azir, somewhere I feel safe. Now goโ€ฆโ€ I urged.

Abraxas released a bark then ran toward the dwelling and arriving just a few inches from the door, he teleported disappearing from sight. I smiled then turned, approaching the Lycynian dwelling that wasnโ€™t surprisingly unlocked. Climbing the stairs to the third level I searched the hall for the room number I searched for in the records on my phone. It was at the end near the stairs. Placing the phone in my pocket and taking a deep breath, I knocked quietly seeing a light shine beneath the door. Seconds passed and I thought better of it so when turning my back, the door swung open slowly; the figure caught in the corner of my eye.

โ€œHi. I know itโ€™s late but...I needed a safe place to think.โ€ I greeted.

โ€œCome in.โ€ Anthony stepped aside with a warm grin.

It was a little after 10:00am when my phone rang loudly from my pocket. Groaning, I shifted through my pockets for the gadget and grabbing hold it, I answered in a muffled voice,

โ€œYeah? What?โ€

โ€œYzavela, oh my god...where are you!?โ€ my mom answered frantically, โ€œIโ€™ve been calling you all morning!โ€

I put the call on screen then checked my messages.

โ€œI can see thatโ€ฆโ€ I scrolled through all the missed calls then turned over on my back, โ€œbut Iโ€™m fine. Iโ€™m justโ€ฆโ€ I turned my head and glancing around the room, it wasnโ€™t mine, โ€œI...Iโ€™ll see you in a bit.โ€ I quickly ended the call then stood to my feet.

Suddenly Anthony emerged from the bathroom, brushing his teeth with a towel hanging over his shoulder. His crisp clean and wrinkle-free white shirt hadnโ€™t been tucked into his fitted black jeans. I remembered the nightโ€™s events; he and I talked about everything that took place on the little venture into the Great City, then learned more about each other. For instance, a hidden talent of his was that he was an artist, showing me his sketchbook of various sketches from scenery back in Italy, here on the Isle and amazing portraits of the residents. It was nice talking to someone who listened without judgement but that didnโ€™t mean the hot-blooded Italian didnโ€™t have thoughts of his own.

โ€œGood morning.โ€ I combed my hair behind my ears and tugged on my jacket.

โ€œSleep well?โ€ he answered telepathically because he couldnโ€™t verbally speak at the moment.

โ€œYes, thank you and uh...sorry for taking up the bed.โ€ I reached out, smoothing the blanket.

He excused himself then stepped into the bathroom, rinsing his mouth. Once placing his toothbrush back in place and towel in the hamper near the door, he emerged from the bathroom once more.

โ€œIt was no problem.โ€ he grinned, โ€œThe couch was comfortable enough.โ€ he arched his back, โ€œAnd I enjoyed last night.โ€

โ€œYeah, me too.โ€ I smiled then felt extremely awkward, โ€œUm...I should go before my mom sends out the search party of guards.โ€

โ€œOf course.โ€ he stepped toward me, โ€œIโ€™ll escort you downstairs. You came here last night when all the other dogs were sleeping but now that itโ€™s daylight, I wouldnโ€™t want you walking through smelling so pretty.โ€ he teased, referring to my floral perfume.

โ€œSniffing me? Really?โ€ I grabbed the backpack that sat near the bed.

โ€œSorry. Comes with the territory.โ€ he shrugged with a smile as he tapped his nose and once his boots were laced and shirt tucked in, he escorted me downstairs where Lycynians sat around drinking and watching English football; the lounge of which was messy.

I didnโ€™t pay attention to the stares as we passed through but I couldnโ€™t block out their thoughts and insinuations that Anthony and I had slept together. Pausing in place inches from the door I turned snapping bluntly,

โ€œEven if that were true, it would be none of your business!โ€ I flicked my middle fingers then turned, rushing through the front doors of the dwelling.

โ€œWhat was that?โ€ Anthony quickly followed, gesturing at the building behind us.

โ€œMongrels thinking what mongrels always think about. Humping.โ€ I frowned then chuckled, hearing Anthonyโ€™s soft laugh, โ€œOh god, that came out wrong, Iโ€™m sorry.โ€ I laughed too.

โ€œItโ€™s alright...and it is what mongrels think about.โ€ Anthony winked, โ€œBut Iโ€˜m not a mongrel.โ€ he leaned in close, โ€œIโ€™m a Pedigree.โ€

โ€œYes...yes, you are.โ€ I nudged him back.

Suddenly, my momโ€™s voice shouted from across the field.

โ€œSaved by Ma-ma.โ€ Anthony teased.

โ€œBad timing, more likely.โ€ I whispered.

โ€œYza...Yza, oh my god!โ€ she ran, becoming out of breath once she reached us, โ€œOh, my godโ€ฆโ€ she pulled me in for a tight hug of which I returned then gently pulled away.

Anthony glanced at his feet then added softly,

โ€œYouโ€™re in good hands now, so Iโ€™ll see you later.โ€ he nodded.

โ€œOkay, and Anthony...thank you again for last night.โ€ I appreciated.

โ€œItโ€™s our secret.โ€ he held his index to his lip then strolled away.

โ€œThank you for last night? You and Anthony? Thatโ€™s where you were?โ€ my mom questioned.

โ€œNot the whole night, no.โ€ I muttered.

โ€œSo you went to the Great City?โ€ my mom pressed for answers.

โ€œYes, you know that, but please...let me shower then Iโ€™ll tell you everything.โ€

โ€œOh, you better!โ€ my mom walked alongside me, โ€œSo you and Anthony, huh?โ€

โ€œMommy!โ€ I barked.

โ€œAlright, alright.โ€ my mom surrendered the conversation then once reaching our dwelling, she waited in her room while I ran upstairs greeting my anxious familiars. Entering the bathroom, Zanz had used up all the space of his piddle pads, using the tub for his last relief.

โ€œOh, Zanz baby, Iโ€™m sorry.โ€ I knelt beside him as he whined in guilt, โ€œItโ€™s okay, Mamaโ€™s not mad but youโ€™re certainly eating good.โ€ I referred to his larger than normal load. Cleaning up after the hound and making sure the tub was cleaned out, I showered then dressed, taking Zanz and Abraxas outside where they let off built up steam from being locked up for most of the morning. Leaving the front door of the lounge open, I arrived at my momโ€™s room and sure enough I relayed what took place and revealed what I salvaged from our home. She grew angry because of the risk taken but was pleased with the items displayed laying on her bed; pieces of her rare jewelry, books and herbs, candles and even one-of-a-kind blouses and cloaks. She admired the little knick-knacks I saved, including all our photo albums, scattered jewelry pieces of my own, Zanzsโ€™ toys and a few of my favorite leather attire, โ€œI couldnโ€™t believe what was left.โ€ I pondered solemnly, โ€œEverything was destroyed. Mommyโ€ฆyou never would have believed that was our home if you saw it with your own eyes.โ€

My mom leaned over, hugging me comfortably.

โ€œItโ€™s alright, sweetheartโ€ฆโ€ my mom comforted, โ€œitโ€™s alright. Youโ€™re home, truly home, where you belong. And even though theyโ€™re material things, they matter, but just donโ€™t go doing that again.โ€ she pulled away combing hair off my face.

โ€œI wonโ€™t, believe me. Not after seeing a Night-Walker up close.โ€ I shivered from the memory.

โ€œWell, get it out of your mind and tell me what happened between you and Anthony.โ€ my mom urged, flashing a faint smile.

โ€œNothing happened, I swear.โ€ I objected to her assumptions, โ€œI needed a safe place to think and sleep and he was the first place I thought of. A place that doesnโ€™t hold any drama.โ€

โ€œAnd you didnโ€™t think of coming here?โ€ my mom wondered, โ€œDrama-free zone hereโ€ฆโ€

โ€œYou know what I mean but it was nice. Really nice. All we did was talk about what happened in the Great City then he told me more about himself. Very interesting past he has, but he was sincere and judgement-free. He slept on the couch in his room while I took the bed and thatโ€™s it! I swear!โ€ I confirmed the events that took place, โ€œBut you know rumors are going to spread.โ€

โ€œOh, sweetheart...you know it.โ€ my mom joked, โ€œNow, getting off the topic of ANTHONYโ€ฆโ€ she slurred his name with swooning tone, โ€œletโ€™s add these photos to our albums, yes?โ€

โ€œYesโ€ฆโ€ I smiled then heard Zanz bark and Abraxas roar as they ran or flew through the lounge into her room after enjoying the fresh air outside.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the worldโ€™s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and weโ€™ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.