Dreams that Mask the Shadows

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Chapter Eleven: True Colors Shine Brightest

Kylie

“You want me to what?” I asked, unsure that I heard him correctly.

“We need you to stay near by. It’s no longer safe at your home. You have no family there, right?” Waylan said.

I shook my head. “That doesn’t mean I can just up and leave! I have a life there. My friends…” Okay, more like, friend, but whatever. “My schooling…my mother would kill me if—.”

“Your mother would want you safe, and I doubt that living under the care of a demon is exactly what she had in mind.” Waylan sighed, rubbing his neck. We had parked in a secluded parking lot near a children’s playground. It was absolutely empty. The fact that it was only five o’clock made it that the more eerie.

“Well, she obviously didn’t have that problem when she met my father,” I growled low. I believed everything that I had learned about Dreamcatchers and demons—hell, what else was I supposed to do? Declare myself insane and check myself in to the nearest asylum?—but it was still hard to imagine my father as a demon and that my mother would lie to me for so long. I was eighteen and in my mind, eighteen years was long.

“I know this may be hard for you, but it’s only temporary,” Waylan said. “It’s the safest option now.”

“Once we find my mom,” I added. Waylan gave me a sideways glance. I continued, “Things will go back to normal.”

“Things will never be normal for you, Kylie.” Waylan shook his head. “Your life will always be filled with demons and Dreamcatchers from now on.”

“Please, don’t do this. Stop telling me what my life is made of! The only thing that has changed is that…now I know more about this new world…out there.” I sighed and looked over at him. “Can I at least go back to get some of my things? I can tell her that I’m going over to Rhiannon’s for a few nights. I usually do that anyway.”

“Who is Rhiannon?” Gadge said.

Oh crap.” I gasped, scrambling to find my cell phone in my bag. “She’s my best friend!”

There was a pause before Gadge chuckled. “Okay, I’m…sorry?”

“No, it’s…I told her I would call tonight if I felt up for our sleepover. She’s probably wondering what’s up...” My eyes darted to the clock on the dash and I added, “It’s one in the morning. Maybe I should text her.”

“I don’t think that’s such a great idea, Kylie,” Waylan said. “We have a safe house lined up for you already. A Dreamcatcher will be there on watch.” He turned to Gadge who sat texting away on his phone in the backseat. “We do have one ready, right?

“Yep, Melody said she could do it. She texted me when Elizabeth showed up at her doorstep, explaining.” Gadge smirked. “Your sister is one hell of a persuader. I didn’t know Melody would let us into her home, let alone, a stranger.”

“Thanks.

Gadge smiled at me, his hair falling in his eyes. “If you slide back here, maybe we could be strangers…with benefits, love.” He winked dramatically as he pretended to shoot at me with his fingers. Waylan’s fist came back and socked him in the knee. Gadge yelped and sat up from his slouch. “Hey!”

“Are you okay with driving this back to your place? I’m going to take Kylie home to grab a few things. We can meet at Melody’s in an hour.” Waylan turned back to face forward as Gadge muttered to himself and got out of the car.

“We are going to have to do quick, jump transports.” Waylan was saying to me. I nodded slowly as he continued, wiggling his fingers as he opened and closed his hands. “You might want to close your eyes the entire time because the first few trips may leave you sick. Even if you did not feel this sickness the first time we transported to the headquarters, it does not mean you won’t feel it this time.”

“Will I ever get used to it then?”

“With practice, yes. You will eventually learn these things for yourself.”

I nodded and looked at him. He reached out his hands, leaning over the console to wrap an arm around my shoulders and using the other to grasp my right hand.

“Do you trust me?” He asked quietly, eyes closed.

I closed my own eyes and whispered, “I have no reason not to.”

His laugh tickled my cheek. “That’s no answer.”

A smile tilted my lips up and I couldn’t stop my forehead from coming forward to rest against his. “Yes.” I’m starting to, I thought.

His grip tightened around me. My eyes remained shut even as the sounds of animals, smells of running water, and the feel of leaves falling hit me so fast it almost felt like I was in one place, standing still the whole time. The first time, I had been excited and curious and I doubt I had been prepared to be thrown into this lifestyle of transporting places, fighting demons, and breaking into secret associations.

The next thing I felt was something hitting the bottom of my feet firmly, making me stumble forward. If Waylan hadn’t been holding me so tightly, I probably would have ended up flat on my face. Never a dull moment, I thought with a grin as I took in a deep breath and slowly opened my eyes. The ocean air hit me and a smile painted my lips. The moon was bright above the ocean and the water shimmered like a thousand little crystals dotted the waves.

“This is where you have to do your part,” Waylan said, his voice low. He didn’t let me go and I didn’t want to look at him because if I did then our faces would be too close. “I don’t know exactly where you live, since I did not look it up beforehand. You will have to picture it in your mind. I will help you get there.”

“You will teach me how to do this later?” I whispered.

Waylan nodded slowly. “If that is what you want.” He paused before continuing, “There is no going back once you’ve used your powers, Kylie.”

A laugh escaped my lips. I looked down, out across the water. “I doubt there will ever be any ‘going back’ from here.”

For the moment, he remained quiet. His wordless agreement louder than any words he could’ve spoken. My life was never going back to whatever normal it had pretended to be. So instead, I focused on my home. The house that I had grown up in, the house that I had to leave. Eyes closed, I felt Waylan’s hold tighten and felt the momentary weightless, dizzying panic of being without gravity.

“Kylie,” Waylan whispered. My eyes blinked open. I released a gasp, starting to wave my arms about as something brushed against my face.

“What the hell!” I hissed, about to take a step forward. Waylan’s hand clamped down over my mouth and he caught my arm.

“You’re okay,” he said softly. “It’s just a closet. Possibly yours from the looks of it. Now, shhh. I hear something.”

My ears caught notice of a little vibration of sound from somewhere and my eyes automatically closed as I focused on what I wanted to hear. From the silence beside me, I knew that Waylan was doing the same thing.

Mentally, I walked myself through my house until I pinpointed the source of the noise. It was coming from the kitchen. A cabinet door slammed shut as a drawer was jerked open.

“Where is it?” A deep voice growled.

I heard Waylan suck in a quick breath and felt his chest stop moving briefly as he held it.

“I told you, I don’t know!” Another voice, higher in pitch, snapped back. That is my mother’s voice. I shivered. But it’s not my mother. It was easy to forget.

“Do not believe for a second that I will heed your requests if you lie to me. I am the one you answer to. Remember that.” The voice darkened and I heard the swish of a trench coat brushing against a pant leg as that someone moved about. “Now, tell me. Where is the dagger?” Each word held measured force. It sounded like the question was one that had been asked many times.

“I do not know. I already told you all that I know. The girl left this morning and hasn’t been back. She said before that she was going to be at her friend’s. I did not question it, as usual. The more that she leaves the house, the more I can focus on my real job here.”

“And what is your real job? Did you forget?”

“It is to find the mother and the father. To bring them both in alive. The dagger is none of my concern.”

A huge rattle shook something. My guess was that the man’s fist had come down upon the kitchen counter. It sounded like it hurt. Hurt the kitchen counter, that is. “It should contain every ounce of your concern, demon! The dagger was stolen from Headquarters. Sethar and his men can not handle this mission. The Spies unit knows of nothing.”

“They do not even know that their own Headquarters has been infiltrated by a traitor,” my mother’s voice scoffed. The demon.

The voice grunted. “Those on our side are much more capable that Sethar and his little spies combined. The Guard will be the powerful ones in this game. Soon enough, the world will see. They will fear demons for what they really are. They will be grateful that we are here to protect them from such creatures and they will bow down to us.”

Waylan flinched and I turned to him, opening my eyes. My hearing came back consequently. Apparently, being a rookie meant that I couldn’t focus on more than one thing if I wanted to use whatever power I might possess. “What is it?”

“It’s Augustus,” Waylan whispered. “I should’ve known.”

“And Sethar…who is that? Is that your dad?” I whispered back.

“Yes. The Captain of the Spies. Augustus is the Captain of the Guard. They have never liked each other. Now I can only guess why.” He shook his head and glanced down at me as my eyes adjusted.

“So weird,” I muttered. “Before I could see perfectly in the dark, and hadn’t even noticed a change…and just a few seconds ago, it was a slower adjusting time…”

Waylan released my arm and nodded, “New Dreamcatchers often come across a similar issue with their training. Before they have any practice, it is hard to keep up your powers when there is a demon in the vicinity. Then again, it shouldn’t have much of an effect on you. There may be a spell that hinders your demon side from…activating.”

“Right.”

He grinned briefly before nodding to the still closed door. “Unless you wish to be stuck in a small closet with me whilst in a house with an angry Warrior and a demon-imposter-for-a-mother, I suggest we get some of your things and haul some ass.”

“What a grand idea, Waylan. Why didn’t I think of that?” I grinned in the dim darknesss. “Now don’t let it get to your head, but I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a closet with anyone else,” I joked. “We’ll have to fit time into our very busy schedules for being stuck in tight, closed off spaces together, don’t you think?

“I’ll put it in my planner right now.”

A smile danced across my lips as I fought back a laugh. Rolling my eyes, I carefully opened the door and slipped out of the closet.

“Only grab necessities.” Waylan looked around my room. I had already begun to pull at my mattress. I only needed two things. He added, “You can buy new clothes and anything else you might need. Blankets and bedding are provided, of course—.”

“Found it!” I whispered, tugging the notebook out from its secure hiding place. “Before you start sounding like you’re trying to sell me something, I just need one more thing. Then we can go.”

“What is it?” Waylan said.

“It’s my dad’s journal. Yes, the only thing I have of his. And I don’t care if it’s cheesy or too sentimental or that he’s a demon. Right now, it’s what I need.”

“I understand,” Waylan said softly as I stuffed it into a backpack. I quickly tucked my smaller purse that held my—I guess it’s magical—pepper spray, and wallet into the backpack before going back to the closet. I quietly shoved aside some shoes and moved a few boxes out of the way before I made it to the back wall. A small decorated box sat there. It was silver with light blue and purple etchings in the side. The colors reminded me of the night sky with the stars shining bright. In the light it shimmered as you tilted it side to side, which was the exact thing Waylan did when I exited the closet and handed him the object.

“Your mother gave this to you?”

“Yes. Two years ago for my birthday. She didn’t tell me what was inside it. She just said to open it when I needed the most assistance.” I shrugged and carefully took the box back, putting into the bottom of my pack as I zipped it shut. “I figure my life is going to be needing some assistance rather soon…”

“Gadge will blow a gasket when he finds out you have a mysterious box from Evelyn Roth.”

I smirked. “I’d like to see that.”

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