Dreams that Mask the Shadows

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Chapter Twelve: Demon Talk is Different Than Baby Talk

Waylan

“I know, I know! I’m sorry. No, that’s…I don’t think that’s a great idea. Mom’s being…weird. Just, I’m really busy with life right now. I’m sorry. Rhiannon, can we talk later?” Kylie’s voice said. From the sound of it, Rhiannon wasn’t buying the story that we had come up with.

After grabbing the things Kylie wanted to bring back, we went to the new safe house. Now, we stood at the entrance in the foyer as Gadge did a perimeter check and checked the rest of the house. Melody had yet to show her face but I was anxious to find out who it was that I knew, but didn’t remember. And to know if I could really trust her. Kylie mumbled something into the phone before pacing a thin line between the staircase and the front door.

“All clear,” Gadge said. He would’ve startled me if I hadn’t been listening for his approach.

I nodded, “Good. So, where’s this Melody girl?”

Gadge didn’t reply as he nudged my arm and glanced at Kylie who was now facing away from us, running a hand through her hair. “She okay?”

“I’m sure she is fine.”

“She’s lying to her best friend. How’d you feel about that if you were in her shoes, Waylan?”

I raised my eyebrow. “Gadge, I haven’t lied to hurt you. The few times I had to lie to you were either when it was an order, or for your own good.”

Gadge rolled his eyes and threw up a hand. “Really? Like that time that you lied about having a mission assigned to you from your dad and you told me it was just some family bonding? Camping, right?” He shook his head, sticking his hands in his pockets. “I should’ve known never to buy the family thing, especially if it’s with your dad.”

“But you did.” I grinned. “Come on, you weren’t prepared to go on that mission anyway.”

“And you were?” Gadge grumbled.

I shrugged. “My father is the leader of the unit, of course he’s going to use his own son as a guinea pig for his missions. Extra training for me.”

Gadge must have sensed the bitterness in my tone—you didn’t have to have a sixth sense or magical powers to tell. It wasn’t as though I was hiding it. “Hey, man, it’s cool. I was just teasing you. You could’ve said you were sorry though.”

“I did!”

“You could’ve begged for my forgiveness.” Gadge pretended to be offended.

I opened my mouth to throw a retort back at his face when a voice said from the doorway to our left, “Gadge, you can’t hold a grudge if your life depended on it.”

Gadge turned to look at the girl who had her arms folded in front of her as she leaned against the door frame. “Oh, believe me. If I need to, I can keep a grudge, Mel.”

“You’re Melody?” I said. Kylie was off the phone now and she looked at it with frustration before taking a few steps over to stand beside me.

“Yes.” Melody nodded before sticking out her hand. “May I?”

Casting a wary glance at Gadge, who simply grinned at me, I stepped forward and bowed my head, letting Melody’s palm touch my forehead lightly.

There was no light or strong whoosh of memories. It was just a little push on my mind. I looked up and looked at Melody who moved her hand away to tilt her head at me. Of course I knew Melody. The thought that I ever was uncertain or didn’t trust her felt silly now. It wasn’t so much as a revelation, but a little thought in my head that erased all doubt and moved the block in my head that made me forget who Melody The-Bomb Springs was.

Shaking my head, I still couldn’t believe that she had hid this power for so long. And now, I was grateful that she had. “How did you do it?”

“What?” Melody asked.

“Hide your powers?”

“I didn’t so much as hide it, as I simply did not use them to their true extent. Besides, if they ever suspected, it was easy to make them un-suspect.” She smiled then and I grinned back with a shake of my head. Her eyes landed on Kylie. “So this is the little rebel spy?”

“I’m Kylie,” Kylie corrected, with a small smile, extending her hand.

“A pleasure,” Melody said, giving Kylie’s hand a firm shake. “You will have to excuse my hesitancy to allow you to stay at my home. Elizabeth told me near to nothing about your arrival and Waylan certainly hasn’t said a word about you.”

“We just met,” I defended.

“Just met?” Melody said, blinking at me. Too late, I realized that those were probably not the best choice of words.

“Gadge and I can both vouch for Kylie,” I added quickly.

Kylie spoke up at this point, either for better or for worse, I wasn’t sure. She said, “I can also vouch for myself, I have yet to do anything stupid. Unless you count defending two kids that I didn’t know were demons. But that’s not really my fault…if you look at it, I was being courageously naïve…” Melody just looked at her. Kylie grinned, almost sheepishly. “And now, I’m not sure if that was the best example.” She sighed. “Anyway, I’m just thankful for you letting me stay here for—.” She glanced at me and I shrugged. “—for however long it takes to find my mom.”

“You mom?” Melody questioned, shooting me a look. Before I could open my mouth to defend myself—What? Why am I always given the accusatory look?—Gadge came in, waving his hands excitedly.

“Yeah! Her mom’s Evelyn Roth. As in the Evelyn Roth.” Gadge was bouncing with energy now, his whole body bounced as he nodded excitedly.

Melody’s eyebrows went up. “Really.”

Kylie shrugged.

Melody look at me and I nodded.

“Her mom’s who?” Another voice said, coming from the hallway leading from the kitchen.

“Elizabeth?” I said. “What are you doing here?” Panic stabbed its way into my thoughts. It wouldn’t raise suspicion if I wasn’t home for dinner since I am usually on missions or just…out. But if Elizabeth wasn’t there, Mom would definitely raise questions and she might even go to Sethar.

“Don’t worry, Way,” Elizabeth said, rolling her eyes. “I told Mom I was going to the library to study before you would pick me up there and I’d sleep over at Heather’s. Heather thinks I’m babysitting the Rockford kids and staying the night there. Besides, Ripley and Jamie are over at a friend’s house for a sleepover because Mom is busy cleaning the house and staying up late worrying about her trip to visit Aunt Maria, who is home now and feeling much better if you wanted to know, with the boys tomorrow. You had better call in tomorrow to check up with her though. She was already worried when you missed dinner. And knowing her, she’ll have your hide if you don’t let her know you’re alive at some point.”

Aunt Maria, I thought with a relieved inward sigh. I had forgotten. “Good thinking. Because you always study at the library.”

“Okay, okay.” Elizabeth waved a finger at me as she placed her other hand on her hip. “I have been for the past few months, if you were ever home to realize I wasn’t there. It was either study at the library, go to Heather’s, or go to rehearsal.”

The news hit me a little harder than it should have. Elizabeth was right. I had been avoiding going home whenever I had the chance, which was a lot of the time. However, I didn’t have time to think about it because Elizabeth was shaking Kylie’s hand and complimenting her earrings. Kylie grinned and thanked her. My eyes took in the sight with some skepticism. I’d never brought a girl home to meet my family, except for Skylynn. And I wasn’t even sure if that counted because she already knew my dad. It was more for my mom to meet her.

Elizabeth gave me a sideways look—letting me know we had to talk later—as Melody suggested that we show Kylie to her room and deal with questions in the morning—which really meant, I was going to be drilled tonight and possibly chewed out for bringing an outsider and a half-demon into Melody’s home. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy that.


The call came a couple of hours later after we had a quick dinner of oven-baked lasagna and toasted garlic bread. I had been hoping information would be coming in sooner rather than later, but I was grateful either way. Kylie was in her room, getting settled in. Gadge was talking with Melody on the couch in living room. Elizabeth was in her room, most likely looking up more details about her visions—she could be obsessive when the opportunity arose. And I was slumped on the couch with my legs propped up on the coffee table, twirling a pen between my fingers. When my phone rang, I quickly walked to the study room at the end of the hallway and slipped inside.

“Hello? Waylan speaking.”

“Waylan, it’s Hermie.”

“Hey, how are things?” I asked.

Hermie was silent for a moment. “Things aren’t looking too good for you.”

“Why? Did they find out?”

“No, they didn’t find anything. But the break-in, it was very similar in motive to yours. They broke in, didn’t steal anything. They seemed to be interested only in the files on the computers. Whoever broke-in ruined the computer they hacked. We have people working now to try and save whatever evidence they can of what the person had been looking for.”

“What are your suspicions?”

“I think they were looking for Evelyn Roth, Kylie’s mom.” Hermie cleared his throat. “I hate to say this, but this…Waylan, I sure hope you know what the hell you’re getting into with this girl. She has ‘warning’ written all over her.” He released a slow breath of air before adding carefully, “This isn’t just a ploy to get back at your father, is it?”

I gave a snort of disgust. “Hermie, please. I have nothing to ‘get back’ at my father about. And even if I did, I wouldn’t use this. This wouldn’t hurt him.”

Okay, this conversation was starting to make me sound like a crazy person. I shook my head and opened my mouth before I heard shouts on Hermie’s end.

“Hermie?” I asked after the shouts had died away.

No answer.

“Hermie?” I repeated. “Are you—?”

“They just got the reports back on the security cameras.”

I swallowed and asked, “Who was it?

“A demon,” Hermie murmured. “A very familiar one.”


Kylie

Everyone had been so nice and friendly and welcoming. I had the sense that although Melody had yet to trust me, she was still a reasonable person. I could understand if she would never trust me. There were people out there who would never trust me since my father was a demon. Those certain people would most likely be Dreamcatchers though, since the world was not in the know about demons.

There were still a lot of questions I was dying to ask about Dreamcatching. I mean, what did they really do? I wanted to get the image of what they did when they finished school and went to work at the Dreamcatcher facilities. Were they basically ninjas? What were all the many powers their people possessed? At this point, I’d have to remind myself that I, too, was a Dreamcatcher—if only half. And then questions about my mom and dad would peck away at my brain and then I’d be worn out, just from thinking.

If someone could be tired from simple thinking, it’d be me. My gaze landed on the clock at the mantle and I released a groan. It wasn’t even nine yet. I usually went to bed around eleven or midnight. Even if I didn’t have homework or anything to do, it had always been hard for me to fall asleep. My mind and body wouldn’t allow it. I had two hours before I could even think about getting ready for bed. It was moments like these—banned from my house and holed up in a stranger’s house with only a small bag of things—that I wished for my shelf of books at said house.

Yup. I was one of those people. Who read. Real books. Not the ones on tablets or online—although I had started to borrow some e-books from the library which I could then read on the internet. It was helpful for those who didn’t have money to constantly buy new books.

Books. Journal. Dad’s journal. My thoughts were whizzing and dinging inside my head. I jumped out of bed and dragged over the backpack I had taken from the house and plopped it down beside me. My dad’s journal was old. While brown leather made up the outside, smooth, textured and silky paper made up the inside. I had looked at it many times before today. However, every single time before, I had never been able to read any of it. It didn’t even look like English. Now that I thought about it, it was probably wasn’t.

Now, once I had unbound the leather ties, I flipped to the first page of the journal, hoping I could finally read something—anything, I just wanted answers. And then a knock came to the door.

“Who is it?” I asked.

“Waylan.”

“Come in,” I called.

The door opened a smidgen before Waylan’s head poked through. “I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

I blinked at him and glanced around. “I was about to have a tea party with all of my many friends, but they had to go home since one of my demon buddies arrived drunk and scared them all away. So you’re good.” By this point, Waylan had come in to lean against the door frame, with a slight smile on his lips. I leaned forward, conspirationally and narrowed my eyes a little, as I whispered, “It was all actually a cover-up for our secret spy organization of demon friends where we unleash all this information about this other super secret ninja organization known as the Dreamcatchers.”

Waylan released a fake gasp and pretended to reel backwards, hitting the now slightly ajar door. “And I trusted you!”

Smirking, I gave a lopsided shrug as my hands played with a loose string on the blanket I was sitting on. “Well, you never asked me.”

“Asked?” He looked at me. His light blue eyes boring into mine and I nodded slowly.

“Asked me if you could trust me.”

He was silent for what stretched on to eternity and back before saying, “Kylie.”

My breath hitched for some reason and I had to swallow quickly.

He said, seriously, “Can I trust you?”

“Yes.” I swallowed before saying the words I really was dying to say. “Do you trust me?”

The moment seemed too intense. Too deep. Too connected. It was just too much. It felt as though he completely read right through my humor and sarcasm and flippant comments and understood me to the core before analyzing it, thinking it over some, and coming back to let me know the results of what he thought of me.

Or I could be completely mental and reading too much into things. Yeah. That might be it.

“Yes.” Waylan smiled as he walked over to the chair in the corner, diagonal to the bed which was smack dab in the center of the room, against the wall. Everything was purple. I felt as though I was put into the purple room. As if it had been swallowed by Barney and then dumped back out. I loved purple, don’t get me wrong. But so much of one color in one place? Hmm. I would have to get back to you on whether or not I would go crazy.

“How are things? Has Melody chewed you out yet?” I asked before adding, “Sorry if she has.”

“No, she has yet to talk to me.”

“Well…” I nodded, looking back down to my hands where the journal was. “I found something…interesting.”

“Really?”

“Yes.” I sighed. “Apparently I can read demon now—because I’m assuming that’s what this is. I haven’t had the chance to actually read any of it yet, but I was able to read words here and there…It’s like it translated into English in my head. So I don’t know if I’d be able to speak it. Maybe if I studied it and heard it—.”

“You should never speak that language.”

“Demon?”

His gaze narrowed on me. “Demon-speak is evil.”

I frowned and raised my eyebrows, twisting my mouth to the side of my face. “You also believe that demons are evil, right?” My shoulder hitched up in a half-shrug as I finished. I held my breath, waiting for his answer. He was a Dreamcatcher, and as far as I knew, that meant they were trained to believe demons were evil. Waylan would be no different. Heck, I didn’t even know if demons had any redeeming qualities.

“You are only part-demon.”

But I was still half of whatever.

I cleared my throat. “My dad may not be all bad.”

Waylan rubbed the back of his neck. “That’s actually what I came to talk to you about.” He glanced at me before saying, “The break-in of the Headquarters is suspected to be your father. It happened in the above floor, at the exact same time as we had been breaking in, which seems way too convenient. I know that the Dreamcatchers in security are looking more closely at the video now, and so far, it appears to be your dad.” Waylan paused and hadn’t realized I had been holding my breath the moment he mentioned my dad until he stopped talking for that second. “He was looking at files about Evelyn Roth. I also think that he might have been the one to have erased a lot of the information on your mother’s online file.”

So, my dad didn’t know where Mom was either.Was he looking for her too?

My heart skipped a beat. It didn’t matter to me that everyone kept telling me that my dad was bad and a demon and not to be trusted because of that fact—yada, yada, yada; there was still hope inside of me that he would be on my side. Some fantasy in my heart that we could go find mom together, fight through all the obstacles that got in our way, and beat the crap out of whoever did this to my family.

No matter how much I wished it, deep down I knew it was just that. A dream in my head.

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