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

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๐’ž๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“…๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡ ๐Ÿจ

๐’Ÿays later, things were still tense between Leonus and I. He avoided coming to the study knowing his presence wasnโ€™t accepted. The new door had been made; crafted of three layers of metal alloys that gave the door much more stability; hard oak in between, with reinforced hinges. The locks too, as promised, were changed which Leonus soon discovered. As I sat behind the desk organizing resident files, I listened as he tried. I heard him yell as he tried several attempts on the lock but to no avail. Frustrated, he kicked the door then left cursing in his Scottish tongue. I smiled enjoying the victory in yet another round.

After organizing the files, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading the Lycynian book. Although the pages or tablets were engraved in ancient Egpyitan hieroglyphs, I remembered a little phrase of words that Shung-Lee taught me; words that would enable me to read languages beyond my knowledge. Placing my hands on the booksโ€™ cover, I spoke clearly with intent,

โ€œWords and symbols of ancient time...let me read with eyes of mine!โ€ and staring at the binding, the hieroglyphs began morphing into letters and sentences capable for my eyes to read before coming to a full text of English words. I carefully flipped through the book but I finally began understanding their species more in depth. It taught me many things from their beginning and origins to all little things in between. But what was most interesting was that when a Lycynian reaches the age of 60 in mortal years, they begin undergoing a different transition altogether; their version of menopause so to speak. They grow more hostile, their virility dies down and theyโ€™re unable to fully transition with or without the full moon. Raising my gaze from the pages staring off at an empty space on the desk I realized thatโ€™s why the older men on the Isle who were Lycynians, never ventured toward the compound. Now I know. The read was exciting and intriguing and I wondered who I could share it with. Erik? Maybe. Perhaps Anthony for heโ€™s a Lycynian? Quite possibly but Iโ€™d have to make copies of the text if I were to do that. Gaining a headache after reading their pages, I removed my glasses laying them on the booksโ€™ pages. Closing my eyes, I leaned back in the chair holding my head back, taking in deep breaths. I complained aloud, โ€œOh, Marxus. I could really use your help.โ€

โ€œHello, Little One.โ€ a voice answered in a familiar Spanish accent, โ€œI can see youโ€™re more than capable of handling yourself.โ€ and thinking maybe I imagined his response, I glanced toward his painting, โ€œLittle One...over here.โ€

I glanced toward the voicesโ€™ location seeing Marxus sitting on his settee; legs crossed looking more elegant than ever.

โ€œMarxus?โ€ I blinked, โ€œIs that really you?โ€

โ€œWell...thereโ€™s only one of me.โ€ he joked, โ€œAt least, I hope.โ€

I stood walking toward him, giving a quick hug.

โ€œItโ€™s good to see you. How are you here? I mean...youโ€™re dead. No offense.โ€ I pulled away.

โ€œNone taken.โ€ he replied, โ€œIt took me a while to learn how to come back in solid form. Even on the other side, weโ€™re all taught certain things. Come.โ€ we walked over sitting in the chairs. He began explaining how he had learned to utilize his powers in a different sense. Once that tale was told, he quickly changed the subject, โ€œIโ€™m proud of you, but Leonus on the other hand, Iโ€™m very disillusioned with. Since Iโ€™ve known him Iโ€™ve never seen this much hatred for someone other than the Wraiths. Itโ€™s very disappointing indeed.โ€

โ€œYou and I both.โ€ I said as I stood, โ€œYou knowโ€ฆthe Lycynian book explained certain behavioral patterns when they reach a certain age, but it has to be more than that when it comes to Leonus. I still canโ€™t believe he called himself your friend.โ€ I gestured my hands toward him, โ€œBut thereโ€™s something the book doesnโ€™t say.โ€

โ€œAnd that is?โ€

โ€œWhat happens to them when they reach sixty or older, because the book doesnโ€™t say. Besides, Leonus isnโ€™t close to sixty. I mean, do they pass away? Do they leave? What!? I know the Lycynians are somewhat Immortal but...โ€

โ€œThatโ€ฆI donโ€™t know. I never thought to ask that particular question. I know when Lycynians began coming onto the island, some got older and lived out their lives much longer than a human but they did pass. How? I wasnโ€™t there. Iโ€™m afraid I didnโ€™t keep track. Now, the only one that might know would be Leonus. From the book, his ancestors were the original Lycynian bloodline and did live quite a long time.โ€

โ€œRight. Like Iโ€™m going to ask him anything, much less him giving me any answers. Not after what I made him do.โ€ I bit my lower lip, โ€œAnd why does everything always involve bloodlines?โ€

โ€œBloodlines have everything to do with everything. Letโ€™s just say, itโ€™s hereditary.โ€ he replied as he too stood, โ€œIโ€™ll deal with him later, but for now thereโ€™s something Iโ€™d like to show you.โ€

โ€œHere we go again.โ€ I joked.

โ€œVery funny, Little One.โ€ he answered with a smile then calmly walked toward the bookshelf, leading to the Room of Secrets, disappearing through it.

โ€œI may be a halfbreed and have learned some new magical tricks, but I hope you donโ€™t expect me to do that.โ€ I mumbled as I walked over, pulling on the green book, activating the door.

Walking up the metal stairs leading to the Room of Secrets, there stood Marxus outside the door. Before saying anything, he vanished through it. Sighing, I removed the skeleton key from around my neck placing it in the lock, then opened the door. The flickering lights illuminated the roomโ€™s contents. I forgot how massive this room was. Looking around, Marxus stood near a covered floor length object toward the rear of the room along the wall.

โ€œWhatโ€™s this?โ€ I asked, growing closer.

โ€œThis, Little One...โ€ he replied, pulling off the cloth sending dust flying everywhere, โ€œis the MIRROR OF TIME. This was one of my very first secrets to protect. The person that gave it to me unfortunately no longer lives but his treasure will always remain safely hidden here.โ€ he ran his right hand over the glass that had a smokey appearance, instead of the clear mirrored reflection, โ€œI see you havenโ€™t taken time to discover the items here. Perhaps you should. Some can truly be helpful if needed.โ€

โ€œMirror of Time.โ€ I commented bluntly, โ€œThatโ€™s, umโ€ฆโ€ I scratched the temple of my head, โ€œvery original. So, what does it do? Oh, waitโ€ฆlet me guess. Itโ€™s a portal, right?โ€

โ€œHow Iโ€™ve missed your enthusiasm, Little Oneโ€ฆโ€ Marxus chuckled, โ€œbut no. It shows images of the past, present or future if needed but it only works for the one who stands in front of it.โ€ he said.

โ€œOkay, but why are you showing me now?โ€ I questioned as I too ran my hands over its surface.

โ€œBecause itโ€™s something youโ€™ll be needing and I wanted you to know about it. Perhaps it can help you learn more about the past of the races and species that live here. Donโ€™t worry, nothing bad will happen.โ€ he remarked bluntly.

โ€œFunny...thatโ€™s what you said about the Town with No Name.โ€ I answered sarcastically, โ€œAnd look how that turned out.โ€

Marxus looked down at me, ignoring my remark in pure Spanish elegance.

โ€œIf youโ€™d like, give it a try before the iron within this room begins taking its hold on you.โ€ he gestured to the mirror but I hesitated.

Stepping closer to the mirror, I glanced at the ground noticing a circle magically etching itself around its base with runic symbols around it. Toward the bottom on the left hand corner, I noticed a piece missing. I glanced at the mirror, staring at my reflection, waiting for minutes, but nothing happened. After telling Marxus I saw nothing, I stepped out of the circle which disappeared. He advised me to not give up and to try again later when I was in a more peaceful state of mind and have gathered my thoughts. I told him Iโ€™d try again so we walked out, exiting the room, descending down the stairs.

Within the roomsโ€™ darkness, an image appeared of a petite dark haired woman; her back turned and engulfed in a red demonic Aura standing with blood dripping from her clawed hands. The woman turned; blood was smeared around her mouth revealing long upper and lower fangs with black eyes filled with hate and rage and furrowed brow. Veins ran along her fingertips, down her neck and framed her blackened eyes. The woman hissed before slashing her claws toward the mirrorsโ€™ surface as the image gradually faded, regaining its smoky appearance.

โ€œIt was a joy seeing you again, Little Oneโ€ฆas always.โ€ Marxus hugged me once more, โ€œBut my time here is limited. Iโ€™ll always be here and everywhere.โ€

โ€œI got it.โ€ I replied, โ€œSee you around.โ€

โ€œIndeed you will.โ€ he began diminishing, โ€œLook to my painting for answers.โ€ then he completely disappeared.

โ€œLook to your painting for answers. Right.โ€ I muttered. โ€œYupโ€ฆDorian Gray!โ€

Returning to the desk, I sighed deeply. Putting the Lycynian book aside, I once again organized the resident files, when I came across Erikโ€™s. My curiosity got the best of me and since I AM the Keeper, I had the right to take a peek. There wasnโ€™t much about him really, except that he and his father Hiromi had moved from Penrith. Marxusโ€™ notes were tucked away in an envelope attached to the photo of Erik, who looked so handsome. When doesnโ€™t he? I smiled as I laid the photo aside to read Erikโ€™s profile. I couldnโ€™t help but chuckle when my eyes laid on his height.

โ€œYou are a bit short for a Demon.โ€ I mumbled affectionately but knew if I was going to take a chance opening my heart, I still worried. Maybe our relationship would wind up like Jonathan and Sarahโ€™s someday; distant and fading away or even like his past relationship with Lilien. I tucked all the papers and notes back into his file, then dialed Erikโ€™s number. Answering the call, his face appeared on my screen. I asked if he could come to the study because we needed to talk.

โ€œSure.โ€ he answered eagerly, โ€œJust give me a few, okay?โ€

โ€œTake your time. Thereโ€™s no rush. Iโ€™m in the study so just knock.โ€

He smiled before ending the call. Placing the files back in their place in the file drawer of the desk, I heard a knock. Breaking my gaze from the drawer, I called out as my eyes fixed on the door,

โ€œDoorโ€™s open!โ€ I watched as it slowly pushed open; Erikโ€™s head peeking inside with a smile.

โ€œWanted to see me?โ€ he joked as he fully entered, closing the door behind him.

I smiled as I leaned my arms on the ledge of the desk, admiring his immaculate black steampunk attire, hugging his beautiful physique.

โ€œYesโ€ฆyes, I did but before we do, would you mind putting that on the outside of the door?โ€ I handed him a wooden painted neon yellow sign, with bold black lettering that read:







โ€œInformative.โ€ Erik commented as he turned, opening the door quickly, hanging it on the doorโ€™s smooth surface, โ€œBut somehow that wonโ€™t stop these wonkers from knocking anyway.โ€

โ€œMm, but still.โ€ I agreed then walked over sitting on the couch, โ€œNow, pleaseโ€ฆsit next to me. We have to talk.โ€ I patted the seat next to me.

He worried; hoping this conversation would have a good turn out in the end. He approached, sitting rather close but not too close, as he respected my personal space. He stared into my eyes trying to imagine the topic of the conversation.

โ€œFirst offโ€ฆI know what youโ€™re thinking.โ€ I whispered.

โ€œIโ€™m thinking a lot of things, love. You might want to be a little more specific.โ€ he answered, โ€œDid I do something wrong?โ€ he shifted in his seat, โ€œIf someoneโ€™s deadโ€ฆI didnโ€™t do it.โ€

โ€œNo-no-noโ€ฆgod no!โ€ I chuckled then assured as I too shifted, staring into his worried gray eyes, โ€œAnd Iโ€™m sorry if thatโ€™s why you think I called you here.โ€ I reached over gently touching his face.

โ€œGood to know.โ€ he gently held onto my hand as he lowered it, โ€œSo, whatโ€™s this about?โ€

I smiled once more.

โ€œDespite things that have happened to us during my absence, I donโ€™t want any of that to get in between what we could become. Now, before I continue Iโ€™m just going to start by saying that this, us, wonโ€™t be the main focus of my life but I do want you to be a part of it.โ€ I continued, โ€œI care about you Erik, a lot and I would like to see where this goes.โ€

โ€œI couldnโ€™t agree more.โ€ Erikโ€™s voice muttered softly, โ€œAnd Iโ€™d like to start by saying that I apologize for not telling you that I spent time with Lilien. I just thought, that if you find out, youโ€™d worry.โ€

โ€œOh, Iโ€™m worried...Iโ€™d be stupid not to be, but sheโ€™s your past. Right?โ€

โ€œYes. Weโ€™re friends and agreed that we just donโ€™t fit together the way we should have.โ€ Erik shrugged but his words held honesty, โ€œI care about you too Keeps and Iโ€™d like to see where this goes too.โ€ he looked deep into my dark eyes.

โ€œGood to know weโ€™re on the same page because if we are going to do this, Iโ€™m giving you my trust and opening my heart to you, which isnโ€™t something I do easily alright? I have my walls put up for a reason. Nowโ€ฆโ€

โ€œKeeps, look at me...โ€ Erik whispered as he leaned in close, โ€œyou know Iโ€™d never hurt you.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ll keep your word on that.โ€

Erik nodded then asked,

โ€œWhere does this leave us now?โ€

โ€œSince weโ€™re taking things slow, I have nothing against stealing kisses here and there.โ€ I smiled remembering the kiss we shared on the ferry before I left for Ireland.

โ€œGood because Iโ€™ve been wanting to kiss you since you came home.โ€

โ€œGo for it.โ€ I leaned forward and go for it he did.

Sharing a kiss that quickly picked up the heat, the moment became a bit more passionate than expected but suddenly he pulled away, glancing at the woman sitting straddled on his lap, she was engulfed in a heavy steam.The warmth she emitted was unsettling for the young man.

โ€œWhatโ€™s the matter?โ€ I asked combing my hair behind my ears.

โ€œUm...youโ€™reโ€ฆโ€ he gestured at me, โ€œsteaming and itโ€™s getting a little too warm.โ€

I slid off his lap breathing heavily.

โ€œSorry.โ€ I muttered, hoping this wouldnโ€™t be an issue between us.

โ€œHeyโ€ฆโ€ he reached for my hand but paused, remembering how his hands were faintly blistered from the first time he touched me, โ€œitโ€™s alright. It just goes to show that I guess I light your fire?โ€ he teased.

โ€œFunnyโ€ฆvery funny.โ€ I chuckled, โ€œIโ€™m sorry.โ€ I closed my eyes, controlling my Aura.

Once I had, I inched closer to Erik who leaned back with his left arm out ready for an embrace. Resting my head against his chest we talked for almost two hours before urgent knocks pounded against the door.

โ€œGod. These people are f*cking idiots!โ€ I swore as I stood, โ€œCanโ€™t they read!?โ€

โ€œI told you that sign wouldnโ€™t work.โ€ Erik joked, watching as my Aura erupted.

Leonusโ€™ wife Heather and their sons had left for a day of shopping at the village, leaving the alpha male home alone. He sat outside in his favorite oak chair, smoking his pipe watching human and Wraith, Lycynian and human, with Demon and Wraith couples walking by; all of which were making him sick. Scrunching his mouth he thought, โ€œFILTHY ABOMINATIONS! ALL OF THEM! F*CKING...โ€ and no sooner did he think those words, Marxusโ€™ voice spoke over his thoughts in a firm tone,

โ€œIโ€™d watch what you think, Leonus. You never know who could be listening.โ€

Startled, Leonus lowered his pipe looking around, thinking he may have been imagining things but glancing toward the end of his walkway, stood Marxus; his hands were clasped behind his back and feet slightly apart. He looked like a sentinel at his post, dressed in a black 3 piece suit. It almost frightened Leonus as he stood blinking in disbelief and every time he looked at Marxus, he grew closer until he stood directly before Leonus. Catching him off guard, Leonus stumbled backwards slightly. Gaining his balance, Leonus dropped his pipe.

โ€œMarxus? Is itโ€ฆreally you? But how?โ€ he stuttered in disbelief.

โ€œThatโ€™s the second time Iโ€™ve heard that today, but how Iโ€™m here is no concern of yours. But Iโ€™m not here for a social visit, Leonus Lancaster.โ€ Marxus answered bluntly.

โ€œThen why are you here? Itโ€™s been almost two years and no oneโ€™s seen you around. Until now, huh?โ€ Leonus mocked sitting back in his chair, puffing from his pipe he had picked up from the ground, โ€œOh, wait...I know why youโ€™re here and not at rest. Youโ€™re here because that little demon b*tch called you, huh? Of course she did. I just want to strangle her skinny puny neck! Or maybe youโ€™re unhappy with the way sheโ€™s running things, and want to return, huh?โ€

โ€œLeonus Lancaster!โ€ Marxus exclaimed and taking solid form, he kicked Leonusโ€™ chair out from under him causing his bulk to land in the snow, โ€œIโ€™ve been around...Iโ€™ve noticed how youโ€™ve disrespected this place thatโ€™s been your home and Iโ€™m disgusted by your treatment toward those who arenโ€™t of your species!โ€ he backed away shaking his head, โ€œI knew this would never work, I just knew it. I took a chance, letting your species here, knowing your complete hatred for the Wraiths and Demons. But...โ€

โ€œThen why!?โ€ Leonus protested as he stood from the ground dusting snow from his arms and legs, โ€œIf you knew we wouldnโ€™t get along, then why did you allow it!?โ€

โ€œBecause I was hopeful!โ€ Marxus shouted as he faced Leonus, โ€œBoth needed help and agreed to the terms but I was only fooling myself. My empathy was taken advantage of!โ€

โ€œYou were foolish, indeed. In ALL your choices.โ€ Leonus yelled, โ€œI hate the fact you allowed Bloodsuckers and Devil spawns onto the Isle but then you made them guards on the wall and assigned them to watch US during our transition! F*cking perverts, I say and I wouldnโ€™t be surprised if they get their rocks off watching it! But no matter how many times Iโ€™ve argued that thatโ€™s an invasion of privacy, you never listened, Marxus...old friend! Youโ€™ve always favored them...always but whatโ€™s so special about them that everyone here...you and especially that stupid girl, loves so much!? Loyal and dependable my ass!โ€ and before finishing his sentence, Marxus held his hands up in tight fists lifting him three feet off the ground. Holding his hands to his throat Leonus gasped, โ€œMarxus...put meโ€ฆdown. Now!โ€ then Marxus released his grip; Leonus falling to the ground once more, crushing the snow beneath him. Coughing, Leonus gazed up at Marxus continuing his rant in a firm raspy tone, โ€œHow dare you do that to me in my home!?โ€ as he rubbed his throat.

โ€œDonโ€™t worry, Leonus.โ€ Marxus argued bluntly, โ€œI wouldnโ€™t disgrace you in front of your family. Youโ€™re doing a good job of that on your own.โ€

โ€œGet out!โ€ Leonus shouted, โ€œI want you out of my home! Donโ€™t ever show your face here again!โ€

โ€œOr youโ€™ll what, Leonus? Kill me? Iโ€™m already dead.โ€ Marxus frowned holding his hands out, โ€œBut very well. Iโ€™ll leave but you will be seeing me again but not on a friendly visit. And this isnโ€™t really your home for it was given to you and just remember...it can be taken away very easily so Iโ€™d watch yourself. Especially around the new Keeper. Sheโ€™s not as weak as you think. After allโ€ฆshe did knock you on your a**, throwing you out of the study, breaking the door in the process. And such a shame too...that was a nice door. Imported from Spain.โ€

โ€œSince weโ€™re expressing our feelings hereโ€ฆโ€ Leonus took a step toward the man, โ€œ I thought you should know that Iโ€™ve hated you for the longest time but hid my feelings. Especially since you brought that foolish girl into my domain! And for once, if she thinks she can make a fool of me again, Iโ€™ll show her what power truly looks like!โ€

โ€œYour domain? YOUR domain? Have you forgotten who built this place from the ground up!? Apparently so, but itโ€™s the stone that chose her...you know it and also know that you will never run this place!โ€ Marxus raged pushing Leonus backwards with one strong blast of energy, hitting Leonus directly in the chest causing him to gasp for breath, โ€œYouโ€™re damn lucky I couldnโ€™t make that blast any stronger, for if it wereโ€ฆyouโ€™d be blown to pieces. Consider it a warning, Leonus! Youโ€™re destroying everything I created here with your hate and youโ€™re going to wind up alone, Leonus!...even dead.โ€ he stepped away, โ€œYouโ€™re not the man nor friend I thought you were so be warned. I will return when needed.โ€ then he disappeared, leaving Leonus standing there staring at nothing but air.

Heather and their sons came up the road when she heard Leonusโ€™ rough voice screaming out. Growing closer, she observed him swinging his fists in mid air.

โ€œLeonus?โ€ she inquired, opening the gate, โ€œWho are you yelling at?โ€ she looked around seeing neighbors looking out their doors or windows, feeling embarrassed, โ€œLeonus, pleaseโ€ฆyouโ€™re making a scene and not in front of the kids! Please...โ€ she clung to their sons.

Leonus, realizing he was making an a** of himself stood straight, taking deep breaths before greeting his family. Marxus stood at the gate knowing something terrible was coming.

A war; a war that will completely set things off balance for everyone.

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