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Chapter 8

Davin turned when Arianna and Logan entered the shop; he smiled as he saw the third member of the small group.
“Tor,” he greeted the dragon sitting on Arianna’s shoulder, “It is wonderful to see you again.”
The dragon dipped his head in greeting before he flew to sit on the table.
“So,” Davin said as the others took their seats, “Did you find anything?”
Arianna shook her head, “Tor however believes he may be able to help. The location spell with the blue stone didn’t seem to work for me; Tor thinks he might be able to see the actual results.”
“Excellent,” Davin nodded, “Then the place is yours, Tor. Because at the moment we need all the help we can get.”
Tor lifted off the table and disappeared into the back room, Davin turned to the other two sitting there waiting.
“The Fairy Queen left you this,” Davin held out his hand revealing the small leaf, “It’s for protection.”
“That’s great,” Arianna took the gift and placed it on her palm she gently blew on it and it disappeared, “It’s safe.”
“Davin, Arianna,” Tor’s voice came from the back room, “Please join me.”
Looking confused they headed to see him with Logan following on behind. Tor was now about the same size as Davin as he waited for them to join him.
“Did you find something?” Arianna asked hopefully.
“I did,” Tor nodded, “Neither stones are within this world.”
“But they have to be,” Arianna said, “We traced all three stones here. They’re not back home because the council would have told us.”
“True,” Tor replied, “But the stones are not on Earth. They are in the Wizard’s Keep.”
“Damn,” Arianna winced, “There’s nothing I can do.”
“Why not?” Logan asked confused.
“The Wizard’s Keep is a magical world,” Davin explained, “it is outside both our worlds where the greatest of magic’s are supposedly kept.”
“And you do magic,” Logan reminded Arianna,” What’s the problem?”
“The problem is although I could go there I don’t have the right level of power to be able to remove anything from there,” Arianna told him, “The Keep is guarded by beings that don’t like sorcerers and they have more power than I do. The only way we could get them is by a team of ten – which we don’t have or a black sorcerer.”
“You have the ability to do this,” Tor told her.
“Tor, this isn’t the time for your strange sense of humour,” Arianna told the dragon, “I’m only green.”
Tor turned to Davin, “She doesn’t know. Why?”
“Doesn’t know what?” Arianna demanded confused, “Davin?”
“You are more than a green,” Tor told her, “Why has she not been told, Davin.”
He sighed, “Arianna, I was ordered never to speak of it. And then the spell you used to escape Holston’s trap...”
“You’ve lost me completely,” she snapped, “Explain better.”
Davin sighed again, “When you were presented to the stones, all three glowed.”
“That’s impossible,” Arianna gave a nervous laugh, “Only one stone will glow for each child giving the branch of magic they’ll practice.”
Davin nodded, “That’s what we all said. Councillor Frost ordered that we never speak of it. And you were trained as a green.”
“It’s still insane,” Arianna told him, “I’m useless at potions and I couldn’t heal a paper cut.”
“But you have the ability to do black magic,” Tor told her.
“I’ve never done anything that’s close to black magic,” Arianna cried pushing her hand through her hair.
“Davin said the way you got out the trap was black magic,” Logan spoke up.
“I let myself be talked into the possibility you’d done something else but Arianna,” Davin said, “The magic you can perform is higher than green. It’s why they held you back.”
“I don’t...”
“The council are scared of what you could do if you had the chance to study what you wanted,” Davin explained, “Arianna, we all know you’re different and it scares them.”
Arianna stared at him before she turned and walked away, Davin caught Logan’s arm as he started after her.
“Give her a few minutes before you go after her,” Davin said softly, “She can be a bit childish when upset.”
“You can’t blame her,” Logan replied.

Arianna slammed the door to the small room she was using in this stupid world. Her head was spinning after what they’d told her.
“But I’m not special,” she snapped to the empty room.
“Oh my darling,” a soft voice came from behind her making her spin, “You are more special than you can possibly know.”
Arianna stared at the apparition standing before her, “Mother?”
Melinda Skylar smiled at her daughter, “Hello, Arianna.”
“You can’t be here,” Arianna breathed, “Mother, you can’t be here.”
Melinda shook her head, “You are in another world, you are able to do magic and you think my being here is impossible.”
“You’re dead!”
Melinda shrugged, “I am. But I left part of me within you for this time.”
“For when I found out everyone lied to me,” Arianna noted angrily.
“We were just trying to protect you,” Melinda told her, “I promise.”
Arianna laughed harshly, “You might have been but I don’t think the council had my well-being at heart when they held me back for years.”
“They’re fools,” Melinda said, “Arianna, your abilities are something they should have nurtured not blockaded.”
“But how can I have black magic?” Arianna whispered, “Mother, it just doesn’t make any sense, though just as much as talking to a woman who’s been dead for over ten years.”
“Your father,” Melinda whispered, “Your power has always come from him.”
“That doesn’t help,” Arianna replied, “You never told me who he is. No one has ever told me who he is.”
Melinda stared at her sadly, “I’m sorry, my darling. I never wanted to hide things from you but I can’t reveal that to you now. You will find out one day, I promise but until then you need to focus on mastering the abilities you have.”
“They want me to go to the Wizard’s Keep,” she said, “Should I?”
Melinda reached out and Arianna gasped in astonishment as she felt the warm hand against her cheek, “I cannot advise you, Arianna but you know what you need to do. I love you, my darling. Never forget that.”
“Mother,” Arianna cried reaching out as Melinda disappeared to nothing, “Thank you.”

“Arianna?” Logan knocked gently on the door, “Can I come in?”
The door opened slowly and he saw her sitting on the bed watching him.
“Neat trick,” he told her with a smile before moving to the seat beside her bed, “Are you okay?”
She looked up at him, “I’m confused. They’ve lied to me all my life and now I’ve got to go and find something they lost. How do I know I can trust them?”
“You don’t,” he replied, “but Davin loves you and he’s the one you’re working for. Trust him.”
She sighed, “I just feel so lost, Logan. I’ve always been very solid of who I was, what I was meant to do and now suddenly I’m being told I’m more powerful than I thought. Why hasn’t this come up before now?”
“Because they kept you from realising your true potential,” he reminded her, “Arianna, you are amazing. I’ve thought this from the moment I’ve met you – almost.”
She chuckled at his wry smile.
“This just makes you more amazing,” he continued, he moved to sit beside her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.
Arianna dropped her head onto his shoulder, closing her eyes as she leant against him feeling safe and relaxed in his arms. Opening her eyes she looked up into his warm eyes and didn’t stop herself as she brushed her lips to his. Logan paused for a second before kissing her again wrapping his arms around her as they fell back onto the bed. Arianna gasped as they parted looking up at him.
“I think I’ll still be leaving,” she whispered.
“I don’t care,” Logan replied.
Arianna smiled at him, “Neither do I.”
As they kissed again Davin called for them and they parted with annoyed sigh.
“I have work to do,” Arianna reminded him, “I think we need to continue this later.”
Logan kissed the tip of her nose, “We will.”

“The Wizard’s Keep is dangerous,” Davin reminded Arianna, “There is no way to map it out as it changes constantly. The only thing you can do is be aware of your surroundings.”
“What about me?” Logan asked, “Can I go too?”
“It’s a possibility,” Davin cut Arianna off, “But I don’t know if it’s a good idea.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Logan said, “If I’m able to go then I’m going with her.”
“Logan, this will be extremely dangerous,” Arianna told him, “Compared to Holston and his goons the Keep is a shark to their crab.”
“Lovely analogy,” Davin said with amusement.
Arianna rolled her eyes at him before turning to the other man standing at her side, “Logan, I might not be able to protect you.”
Logan shrugged, “I don’t care. I’m involved and I’m going to be by your side till the end of this.”
A bright smile covered Arianna’s face and she nodded, “Then we need to give you a way to protect yourself.”
Arianna and Davin both smiled at him and Logan began to worry.

“So, this is going to be my sack of goodies?” Logan asked as he watched the other two fix several small bottles into a bag.
“Davin has created a few potions and items that you will be able to use,” Arianna explained, “This is one of the good things about red sorcerers, they can create something that others can use. I doubt I could do that.”
“You will learn to,” Davin told her, “Because I’m going to teach you once we’ve finished this. Arianna, I’m sorry I kept the secret from you.”
“Stop,” she said, “I know you only did what you thought was best for me. The rest of the council are another matter but I’ll wait until I’ve finished this before dealing with them.”
Davin hugged her, “Okay, what do you think? Are you prepared enough?”
Arianna shrugged, “We’re never going to know until we get there. But we’re as prepared as we can be. Make sure you and Laurie are careful, especially around the second rift.”
“We will be,” Davin promised, “I want both of you back.”
Arianna hugged him, “We will be. Just keep the lights on for us.”

Arianna took a deep breath feeling Logan standing beside her as she opened the gateway to the Wizard’s Keep, Davin stood back so he wasn’t pulled in with them. Arianna reached out and took Logan’s hand as the gateway moved towards them.
“Don’t let my hand go,” Arianna told Logan before the darkness swallowed them.
Logan gasped as he slammed into the ground; relieved to feel Arianna’s hand was still in his. Scrambling up he leaned over her, “Are you okay?”
She nodded and accepted his help to stand before looking around the grey landscape they were suddenly in. Arianna shivered in the cool misty air before she turned to Logan.
“Okay, let’s start.”
Rubbing her hands together she started her spell, the soft glow enveloping her before she released it. The golden mist spread out in a wide circle before dissipating to nothing.

“What went wrong?” Logan asked.
“Nothing,” she told him, “Just wait.”
They stood for ten minutes until a golden arrow appeared before them pointing them in the direction they needed to go.
“Red stone that way,” Arianna told him with a grin, “Are you coming?”
Logan shook his head, “You’re really annoying sometimes.”
“I know,” she took his hand and started forward.

“This is kind of creepy,” Logan noted as they walked through the buildings, “Reminds me of a horror movie I once saw.”
“Yeah, that’s a good thing to focus on,” Arianna scolded him, “Instead of that try nice and light.”
Logan looked at her, “Is that something that could cause problems?”
“I have no idea,” she told him with a slight grimace, “There’s not much known about this place, any sorcerers who’ve come here either don’t return or return not wanting to talk about what they’ve seen.”
“You didn’t think to mention this before now?”
Arianna turned to him with a challenging look, “Would that have changed your mind?”
“No,” he replied, placing a quick kiss on her lips, “But I’d have liked a little more warning.”
“Where is the fun in that?” she squeezed his hand, “Come on, let’s move as fast as we can. This silence is worrying me a bit.”
Logan nodded and they picked up their speed. After ten minutes the small buildings thinned out and they stopped staring in awe at the castle sitting within the cliff in front of them.
“That would be the actual Keep,” Arianna breathed, “Things are about to start getting interesting.”

Davin sat going through several of the books in the shop that he hoped would be able to help him protect the rift beneath the Labyrinth. It had been years since he’d had to actually make potions or study spells, when he’d been made the Sentry of the rift it called only for a few standard potions that he could make in his sleep. Most of the others wouldn’t work anyway as they required more energy than he got from the rift.
“Here,” Laurie placed a mug of coffee in front of him, “I thought you might need this.”
Davin smiled at her, “Thank you, especially for coming here and keeping me company as I wait for them.”
“I’m not sure I’m happy about Logan going,” Laurie told him, “But I doubt I could have talked him out of it if I was here.”
“So do I,” Davin replied, “Logan is very single-minded when it comes to protecting Arianna.”
“You mean he is falling for her,” Laurie replied.
Davin shrugged, “I’d say fallen.”
Laurie sat down, “So, have you found anything?”
“There is something in an old volume about a way to find out who opened this,” Davin mused, “Can you go into the stack of books in the top level and see if you can find me the other volumes of this book.”
Laurie took the large musty old book he handed her and noted the name before she climbed up the ladder into the top level of the store. As she reached the top she saw pile upon piles of books sitting there and grimaced.
“Davin, this might take some time,” she called back, “How many volumes are there?”
“Four,” he called back, “So there should be three up there.”
Laurie looked at the task before her and sighed, “I’ll get back to you in a couple of hours.”
Davin chuckled and went back to work. After about ten minutes he heard the door open, sighing in annoyance Davin marked his place in the book before going to the outer shop.
“Hello, Davin,” Holston grinned at him, “I believe you have something that belongs to me.”
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