Part 2 Chapter 3: Jasmine
Part 2 Chapter 3: Jasmine
Sapphire, the walking corpse - was trying to steal my boyfriend, prince - husband - whatever. The fact is, she was this little slut who woke up and straddled my lover, in front of me, leaning in for a kiss! Alex had smiled at the pretty version of me, which is what I decide to think of her as. Sapphire, the prettier Jasmine. Because she smiled sweetly, while I scowled, she flounced around the garden, while I stomped.
The man in my life who was my constant - even if he was my asshole constant companion - was no longer such and I never thought that would ever be possible. Alex and I were meant to be forever. Now, Alex was someone else after touching Sapphire’s skin. And I didn’t trust her. It was probably a curse or a spell. Alex was gone. I mean, it was as if he was there... behind the swirling eyes... but he wasn’t.
Sabir - the intruder in my boyfriend’s body, had just winked at me after someone of the name of Celeste... was also, now... apparently... another lover of his.
And I was done talking.
My fire is already bursting from my feet, disintegrating my runners as I fly up into the air - I admit, Gen barely sweeps out of the way while Alex is cloaked in my fire, which touches his magic resistant clothes. Sapphire, shields herself with water.
Water was her element.
And now I hate her even more.
I fly through the dense air - it was more heavy and intoxicating on this planet. It wasn’t that the gravity was greater, it was that the air literally felt like a drag on your soul. It make you think deeper, darker... it made me more moody. I don’t know how else to explain it. But now? I fly to the other side of the Golden Palace and I land on the rooftop of an old temple ruin, which had been converted into some kind of day spa. I stand on the roof, pacing up and down as my fire burns bright inside me.
I had always harboured the fire of a mass murderer; my mother. She killed hundreds of thousands of people with the ferocity of our Madeira Citrine fire. One switch to Shadow Fire and boom, killer thoughts, no emotion and only blood lust would remain.
It’s why I avoided Shadow Fire as much as possible. But, I had another issue now with my regular fire.
The bastard evil scientist kidnapped my mother - he had been the one to experiment on her when she was a child. He took away the barriers to her magic and basically made her a ticking time bomb. Now, I inherited the same pool of tormented, broken and ravenous fire. Miranda had been labelled a Superpower in Central Universe, a neutral ground for all living beings from any planet to live together.
And the thing is, I had spent most of my life using a tiny portion of my mother’s fire after she abandoned me on a strange planet with Alex and John. My mother didn’t just close off our portal to try and save me a life of torment, she daily used the majority of our fire to save me the burden of it’s fury.
But - last week - Jared transferred all her fire into my body.
Miranda had no Madeira Citrine connection anymore.
I was the last descendant full of the fire that made her a mass murderer; a potential destroyer of worlds. That’s what a Superpower was - any being with the power to destroy entire planets.
Welcome to my life.
I was always angry. Usually I was angry at Alex - for being such a prick and always wanting to take my fire to fill his Royal male Gem Void.
Now - I feel like laughing. That was the least of my issues right now.
He had two other lovers, one he welcomed into his freaking arms, the other he winked about - in front of me - to provoke me.
“You bastard!” I scream at the top of my lungs and release a wave of my fire above my head, while tears leak out of my eyes, “Fuck you, Kiyr!”
I hated this planet. I hated Jared for doing this to me. Oh, I forgot to mention he killed my adoptive parents. And he created Haze - a smoke dweller who was a handsome but the psychopathic almost-boyfriend of Emalee. He killed her parents.
We all worked out Jared was trying to do the same thing to Emalee as he had done to my blood line. He was killing off her female relatives, trying to flood her with exponential power over wind - which was her element.
I felt Emalee’s pain and it made sense that I should just get drunk - like her. But now... I had to fight in a freaking battle to the death against Jaxon Ametrine, with Alex the stranger, by my side as captain of our old fighting team - The Embers.
I cut off my fire, after burning the air above for a good minute while reflecting. I let out a shaky breath and my heart is still filled with rage and my fire wasn’t calm at all.
It felt like I let off 0.001% of the damn stuff.
“Argh!” I scream out again and drop to my knees, punching the rooftop tiles, I scrape the skin on my knuckles open and I close my eyes with the welcome pain. Great. Now I was I becoming an emo because my life fucking sucked, “Fuck you, Kiyr! Fuck you, ‘Sabir’! Fuck you, Sapphire!” I punch the roof a couple of more times before I feel a few gazes upon me.
When I turn my head I see two twin heads poking over the edge of the roof, wide eyed. Mitchel and Blake, two super human speedsters with equal strength, watch me with their hands clasping the edges of the sand stone.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” I ask, still in a rage as their heads drop and they fall to the grass.
I hear a scream and I look as Sophie, the curly haired blonde healer of our team and my best friend, gets flung into the air.
“Jasmine!” she screams out as she almost tumbles onto the roof, until Mitchel runs up and catches her in his arms, while grinning. Blake runs up to me, holding out a hand.
“Don’t kill me,” Blake politely requests, “Just grab my hand, stand up... and tell us what’s wrong.”
“Thanks,” I growl as I grab Blake’s hand and he hauls me up.
“Oh my god,” Sophie exclaims as she gets to her feet and pushes Mitchel away from her, “Don’t ever do that again!”
“Sure,” Mitchell shrugs, looking too smug to be believable.
“You can drop the date we have planned for tonight then,” Sophie growls, before turning to me as I brush off the dust from my jeans, “Jazz? What’s up with you? We saw you letting off fire and... screaming...”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I pretend to be oblivious as I turn from my team mates and look over the horizon, towards a slow setting sun in a sky way too blue, “Stupid planet. Stupid sky. Stupid Gems,” I growl this to myself, hiding my bloody knuckles behind my back so Sophie doesn’t heal them.
I want the pain.
“Someone give me a hand!” I hear a distant yell and my eyes light up.
I run past Sophie and the twins to the edge of the building to see John grinning up at me from the grass, smiling.
“You need a hand, Jazz?” he asks, politely. I smile down at him.
“Hell yes!” I turn around and Blake is already approaching, “Chuck him up here, I need to be drained, right now -” before I even finish my sentence, Blake has run down, thrown John into the air, while John woohoos and does a dramatic and very handsome summersault before jumping to his feet, fixing his suit and turning to me with wriggly eyebrows.
“Come here, Jazz,” he opens his arms and I run into them, letting my good friend drain my magic as quickly as possible. I think John’s a tad confused about my passionate embrace and he laughs nervously, “Where’s... Alex?” he asks.
“No where,” I growl.
“He was just down there, walking here -” as Sophie speaks, I cringe into John’s large chest. But... then she stops talking... because she’s cut off by a new feminine sweet voice I think I’ll never get used to hearing.
“No, no, no,” I whisper into John’s chest, holding him tighter when he stiffens, “No, no, no.”
“Jazz?” John asks, more quietly, “What’s the matter?”
“Life,” I hold him a bit tighter - he probably can’t breathe but he’s strong so... he can deal.
“Thank god Asha isn’t seeing you do this or she’d slap you, Jazzy,” John jokes, but not really, because Asha... oh god... Asha Sapphire... was his magic bonded girlfriend.
Which meant that...
“I’m grabbing the others,” Blake says quietly.
“I’ll help!” Mitchel high fives his twin and as I let go of John, feeling a little calmer, I spin to Sophie, who holds her hands high.
“Don’t yell at me, I couldn’t stop them,” Sophie shrugs.
“No, no one ever can,” I smile with gritted teeth while John just laughs at my demanour.
“You look like a wreck, Jazz,” John teases me, “Did Alex -”
“Don’t say his name,” I snarl, cutting him off. I grab John’s arm to my side, standing behind his shoulder as Blake and Mitchel carry Emalee and Gen up first. Emalee has two drinks in both hands... yes... that’s possible with her. Gen is still looking uncomfortable. But now... as Blake deposits Sapphire next onto her graceful feet... Alex is the last to arrive... still looking different in every way possible.
Especially with that stupid evil smirk.
Which he loses as he witnesses my location.
“Get. Off me. Jazz,” John tries to shrug me off but I hold onto him tighter.
“No,” I snap.
“Well then, what the hell is going on?” John hisses down at me, before looking around at our audience, “...hey...” he lightens his tone as he notices Sapphire, “You look... really familiar... do I know you?”
“Hraken,” Sapphire breathes, clasping trembling hands to her chest as her eyes widen.
“Nope!” I scream out protectively as I jerk him back and jump in front of him, as she takes a step closer towards us, “You will not now proclaim that he is another of your Star Cursed lovers... no fucking way, princess... you stay right where you are and you keep your corpse curses to yourself.”
“Jasmine, what’s gotten into you?” Sophie asks me in disbelief, while Emalee giggles and Gen stands back to oversee what happens.
“Curious,” Alex speaks with a strange look in his eye, as if gazing at John for the first time, “...I wonder if we’re even cousins.”
“We’ll always be brothers,” John answers, “Can someone explain what the hell is going on?”
“You’re a King,” Sapphire speaks up, this time boldly gazing at me, “You need to move so I can bring all of Hraken back.”
“Who?” John asks, gazing at Alex for confirmation... Alex smirks again... and I’m pretty close to punching that smirk right off his face.
“You,” Alex answers.
“Huh?” the twins both ask simultaneously while John laughs nervously.
“O-okay... is this to do with some sort of weird Kiyr drug? All of you are acting... weird... Jazz, no offence... you’ve gone nuts and Alex... who even are you? You look different,” John narrows his eyes, “Is everything okay?”
“Keep him like that,” Alex murmurs to Sapphire, “It’s amusing.”
“No!” Sapphire gasps and looks at her ‘lover’ with anger, ”No!" as she takes a step forward, I also take a step forward, far more fast and aggressive than she can manage.
I was used to scaring people.
“I’ll make you a corpse before you touch another of my friends and curse them with whatever voodoo shit you’ve got going on,” I snarl this low, in a threatening drawl, “I will kill you without a second thought. I will smile while I carry you back to your dungeon and put you back on that slab to rot away - for good this time. In fact, you’ll probably be one big pile of nothing by the time I incinerate your flesh and bones to the point that ashes don’t even remain, my fire does that and your water won’t be able to stop me -”
Sapphire is placid all throughout my speech.
But something I say at the end seems to trigger a sudden tsunami of emotion - because she literally slaps me while I’m still speaking.
“Get the hell out of my way,” she shoves me in the chest next and I grab her arms, trying to shove her back.
“No!” I scream as she also fights back - but not before John grabs my own arms and jerks me back... and he’s not the only one to help.
Alex stalks forward and grabs Sapphire, pulling her out of reach.
Unfortunately, however, as John has grabbed me - Sapphire has managed to slip a slight touch on one of his hands by ‘accident’.
And the moment I’m pulled back, I fall on my ass as John releases me too quickly.
“Argh! What the hell?” I lean back on my hands as I turn to John. His eyes have glazed over... his whole body straight... and absorbing... whatever curse Sapphire has given him, “...no...” I whisper as John eventually comes back to himself, his eyes blinking rapidly as he returns as someone else... just like Alex had.
Everyone watches in silence as John blinks, shaking his head in disbelief as he looks right past me to Sapphire.
“You died,” he speaks, deeper... in a new weird arrogant drawl... blinking multiple times - while Sapphire starts crying like a baby.
“Welcome back, brother,” Alex smiles widely, while the twins have at this point returned with chips, sitting cross legged to enjoy the show... while Emalee whispers something to Gen and Sophie comes to give me a hand. She heals my knuckles while I’m not looking.
“Get up and keep your damn cool, Jasmine,” Sophie grabs my hand and hauls me up, as the intense exchange happens, “Whatever you think is happening, voodoo stuff? It isn’t happening. It’s real. It’s all real, Jasmine... you know I can see it. Trust me.”
With Sophie’s words, I don’t want to believe her... but she could read people’s auras... so it was hard not to trust her.
“Sabir,” as John says the name, I cringe while Alex nods... Sapphire runs into John’s arms and he holds her tight, kissing the top of her head.
After all this, Alex and John swivel to me... while Sapphire is still in John’s arms.
“So you’re her lover too?” I ask, “Shall I tell Asha?”
“Jasmine,” Sophie hisses at me and slaps the back of my hand, “Listen to them before you say anything else.”
“Well, everyone, Sapphire is dead and she’s just recently come back to life... and she’s given Alex and John their old souls back... so... you choose who to believe,” I say this to the twins, Sophie, Gen and Emalee.
They just ignore me.
They all do.
“Sophie, you can see... much like Sapphire’s best friend, Celeste,” John speaks, “But you are not a Gem.”
“No,” Sophie shakes her head.
“Someone explain who Celeste is... and why does it matter when she’s dead anyway?” I ask, confused.
“Your fire incinerated her,” Alex explains, “In your past life, when you opened the first portal to CU. Jared killed you... and your fire killed Celeste.”
“Jared?” I whisper... he couldn’t be that Jared... he couldn’t be that old... the name had to be a coincidence... I try to shake it off, while I look at Sapphire, who pulls out of John’s arms and watches me with apprehension.
“I am not cursed in the way you think I am,” Sapphire speaks, with sudden passion and a genuine look in her eye.
It’s too genuine.
When I glance at Sophie, who will know if Sapphire has good intentions, and Sophie nods... I suddenly believe it all.
Like, shit... I was wrong.
I had been wrong from the beginning.
This was real.
This was happening.
“...go on,” I murmur, while I am uncomfortably watched by everyone. I direct a quick glare to the twins, who watch on like it’s a movie. The immature bastards.
“You stand there accusing me of being some evil kind of cursed witch that needs to die,” Sapphire speaks with true hurt in her tone, “I am thousands of years old. Being Star Cursed is in all of us. I was bonded to two men, two twins... Sabir and Hraken,” Sapphire does not break her gaze from mine and this time I believe her directly, because she does not blink, Sophie has approved her and she truly sounds like she is being completely and utterly honest, “Hraken was a King, Sabir was the resident Punisher... which means you and I need to stick together... but I don’t think that’s your intention, is it? Celeste... she was beautiful. She was my lover too. My best friend.”
“So if my friends are now other people,” I speak, calmly now, even though I can not look Alex in the eye... nor John, “Where do I fit in all this? Because it seems every step I take in this life, I lose someone. Every turn, every decision... people die... people leave... people change,” I now glance between Alex and John reluctantly... and I admit... the names no longer fit them, “So... Sabir... Hraken... if you are them, or the same person, with the same memories, or whatever... who am I? Am I still your friend? Because you both look like strangers. Your eyes... they have all these memories of someone else. Perhaps I am a stranger now too and -”
“Don’t be so sullen,” Sabir speaks, narrowing his eyes at me, “You’re Jasmine. Anger issues. Attitude. Power. Defiance. You’re everything I know. Your place is the same.”
“Why are you being so careful with your words, Sabir?” I ask, knowing Alex too well... and if Sabir and Alex are really the same... they were easy to read when you knew them well, “Are you holding back your true thoughts on me? I’d rather know the truth.”
“You would rather not,” Sapphire speaks, slyly, looking down before glancing up at me, “Trust me.”
“Shut up, cheeky wh-... cheeky,” Sabir smiles at Sapphire, holding back on calling her something else in front of us by repeating cheeky twice... before slyly glancing at me and then everyone else, “Well, this certainly changes everything.”
“It certainly does,” Hraken smiles, “I have to grow my hair.”
“Right. But I was thinking bigger, brother. I was thinking about Kiyr, Sebastian will be a problem. My ‘parents’... who are liars... are also another issue,” Sabir seems calculating, “They have no right to the throne.”
“Gen,” Hraken turns to her, while she gulps.
“Uh...yeah?” Gen asks.
“Go find Sebastian and tell him... actually,” Hraken turns to Sabir, “Forget that. Let’s start with foundations. We have to start from the bottom.”
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Fate,” Sapphire answers dryly, seemingly happy with me now... watching me intensely... like she’s trying to read my soul and bond with me or some shit. She seems to think deeply, conflicted, before approaching me suddenly. She stops before me to whisper, “...do you know how to negotiate?”
“Why?” I whisper back, confused.
Her mouth opens and closes, still unsure of what to tell me. She licks her lips, glancing over her shoulder before looking back at me.
“Things are about to... change... a lot,” Sapphire whispers “It always does when... when they’re involved.”
“Girls, don’t whisper, we can hear,” Sabir has listened to everything, “Be quiet,” my eyebrows rise up while Sapphire spins to face Hraken and Sabir, seemingly standing with me.
On my side.
Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all.
“We have a lot to cover,” Hraken seems relaxed, “But first, I think... clearing the air... with our women... should suffice as a good step one.”
“If you’re planning, some sort of take over, I need to know!” Gen suddenly speaks up, catching on before any of us. She rolls up her sleeves to show an Ametrine and Obsidian bracelet on each.
“I wrote that rule book, young Ametrine,” Hraken cuts Gen off fast and cruel... clearly he didn’t like Ametrines... “You’re not even wearing them on the right arms - and you’re not a neutral leader. You were a temporary stand in. A peace maker. I’m a King... and my brother... is a somewhat dark version of myself,” Hraken smiles, amused at his own inside joke. Sapphire snorts, Sabir smirks.
“So how did they treat women back in the day?” I ask Sapphire, casually. I do not whisper this.
“I don’t know what tradition is like now, but I would guess you’d have killed them a long time ago,” Sapphire answers neutrally.
And Hraken raises his hand, a finger up to silence her.
“Foundations,” Hraken chooses his words carefully, turning to Sabir, “The women... primarily Jasmine... needs some affirmation.”
“What?” I ask, raising my chin.
“Over dinner?” Sabir asks innocently.
“... in our chamber?” Hraken adds... slyly.
“It still stands so why not?” Sabir replies.
“Why don’t I like the sound of where this is leading?” I ask Sapphire.
“Because they’re planning to take over,” Sapphire turns to me.
“Alex and John wouldn’t cause trouble,” I add, quickly, “Would... they?”
“Takeovers in the Royal blood line of Gems is rarely without blood. How many people would you estimate are going to die?” Sapphire asks me, “...because they will spill blood... and they will break you, Jasmine... you’re the ‘foundation’ they so slyly speak of, the first obstacle. It’s not a date, if that’s what you were thinking.”
“I’ll admit, I thought it was some weird sort of date thing they were trying to organise,” I blurt out, shrugging, while Sapphire doesn’t have the heart to smile.
She’s looking at me like I’m naive... and really stupid.
“Now, now,” Sabir suddenly closes the distance, putting an arm around Sapphire’s shoulders, his hand comes up and the back of his fingers brush over her cheek... like she’s some sort of pet... rather than a princess or a former queen, “Don’t give Jazz the wrong idea, sweety.”
“I’m not a liar,” Sapphire speaks, while Sabir scoffs and Hraken stands back, ignoring Sapphire to simply stare at me.
I meet his eyes.
I decide to add in some humour.
Everyone else was watching this like it was a drama. Emalee whispering to Gen, Gen whispering to Emalee. The twins, now eating popcorn... I didn’t even notice them leave and come back with more snacks.
Sophie just stands by my side.
I start to feel a little awkward, hence the need for humour.
“Is there any, um, other former lovers, I should be worried about?” I ask, Hraken, Sabir and Sapphire.
“Traegr,” Hraken drawls... and I mean he really knows how to do that drawl... like a man... like a warrior. John had always spoken his age, now he speaks... like he is a King.
“Okay, uh, so should we just find him and get it out of the way, you know, introductions, etc?” I ask, casually, trying to lighten the mood.
“Definitely not,” Sapphire answers, shaking her head. Sabir is silent while Hraken shakes his head.
“Wait,” Gen adds, “Traegr... as in the Tragic?”
“Oh, that hobo!” Emalee exclaims, suddenly shoving her empty glasses at Gen, she waltzes over and seductively pulls her star glasses down to the tip of her nose, “I have some... handy knowledge... to impart... Traegr the Tragic is a historical figure... and just as this dream of mine is playing out, I may as well add, he is also a hobo, on the streets... homeless, drunk and always busking for money. Well, he used to, he usually just sulks around the streets. Some half scarred monster, scarring children. In Quartz City - he uh, he’s infamously tragic, and, and,” she burps before continuing, “He looks like that king, in history, the king dude... king? hence the nickname,” Emalee sways to the side, “I really have to wake up, soon, sorry, dream friends... I’m going back to reality now,” she pinches her arm... then does it again, “Wake. Up.”
“Emalee, stop it,” I sigh, “Gen, help before she tumbles off the roof!”
“I’m on it,” Gen comes forward to grab her arm, while the twins laugh and Sophie rolls her eyes.
“So, apparently, Traegr is alive, so let’s go grab him,” I say, “I mean, why not? We’re all one big happy family, aren’t we?”
“He’s an Ametrine,” Sapphire cuts in, “And you’ve explained that there is an imbalance... Obsidian... and Ametrine... the families are warring, no doubt?” Sapphire asks.
“Yep, correct,” Gen answers.
“Well if you want more blood, you bring Traegr here... but I wouldn’t, because I’d be the one to kill him,” Sapphire says this unexpectedly.
“...it is true, he shouldn’t be returned...” Hraken comes closer, to look down at Sapphire, “But why do you say that, princess?”
“I was poisoned,” Sapphire whispers, “...and I think it’s obvious who poisoned me.”
“She has a point,” Sabir growls.
“So, no Traegr?” I confirm.
“I said definitely not,” Sapphire snaps.
Well, okay then.
As I put on a friendly smile, Sabir watches me with knowing suspicion as does Hraken, while Sapphire is foolish enough to believe the smile.
If I was really a famous leader in our history, I can proudly admit I knew a few things about leadership in general. From my high school days, from fighting competitions... from my fights in CU with Miranda’s enemies. And even the Gems, who hated me, mostly because of my mum.
But, getting back on track... the reason no one ruled the Gems presently, was because of Jaxon Ametrine, a Shadow Prince... who was trying to claim the throne from the Obsidians.
There was nothing like upsetting the balance... with equal powers, battling for the top position.
Basically, I had put some pieces together already.
These strange old souls of Sabir and Hraken wanted to conquer Kiyr?
Well, I didn’t exactly trust them just yet.
Which meant I had to find someone who they didn’t like.
An enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I was going to find Traegr. I knew he’d give me some answers.
Because with Sabir and Hraken’s thoughts, voiced not along ago...? They clearly had other plans... and telling me the truth wasn’t one of them.
For some reason, I trusted Sapphire now.
Sabir and Hraken though...?
Well, let’s just say a woman knows when men are trouble...
...and they were big trouble.
Not only that, but I suddenly realise in this moment, how everything was about to change, dramatically.
And it was going to be utterly crazy, I understood that much...
...unfortunately for them, crazy was my forte.