Chapter 3 - Lost
One month later.
Grinning, I jump through the portal and end up at the lake for a millisecond before teleporting to the sitting room and back to the training center. Valentina’s loud scream echoes in my mind and I giggle when I remember her frightened look as I appeared out of nowhere while she was watching TV.
Ivan is waiting for me with a smirk on his lips, an excited glint in his bright green eyes. Without my dad telling me to this time, I immediately teleport again to the tree house, laughing as Ivan appears beside me. He’s improved a lot with his gift of power mimicry and dad finally let him use it on me whenever I teleport. He doesn’t jump into the portal with me and I don’t grab him either to take him through, he seems to follow along just fine without any help.
We teleport all over the house, chuckling as we tease each other. Eventually, I appear back at the center and he lands right next to me. Dad grins at us, putting an arm around our shoulders as he leads us back towards our home. But what he says next has us frowning in confusion.
“Looks like you’re ready to start learning how to fight. I’ll let my mentor know, he’s the best one in all of Russia!” He claps us on the back, making me stop and turn to him.
“We’re going to Russia?” I mumble, not liking this at all.
“Why can’t you train us?” Ivan frowns, crossing his arms.
Dad sighs, leaning down so that he’s at eye level with us. “I just want you two to learn from him, like I did. He has a lot of knowledge to provide young minds like you two.”
“But, I don’t want to go.” I pout, not wanting to leave my family.
“Princess, it’s only for three months during the summer. You’ll be home for the rest of the year.” He sighs, wrapping me up in a comforting hug. “I just want you two to think about it, it’s a great opportunity. But if you don’t agree, I’ll train you two.”
“Okay.” Ivan and I mutter, promising him we’ll give it some thought.
He tells us that we can visit Russia and look around, meet his mentor and talk to him to see how we feel. Assuring us that there’s no rush, he walks us back to the house just in time for lunch. Valentina stands on a chair as she helps mom prepare the food, even though she’s not doing much. Dad sneaks up behind her, tickling her as he takes Vee into his arms.
Mom tells us to shower quickly and be downstairs for lunch as we head out the door. We spend the rest of the day together, Ivan eventually heading out with a few friends to one of the clubs. But not before dad gives him the usual talk; that he’ll kill him if he hooks up with someone, not to drink himself to death or do drugs, and to call him if he needs a lift home.
Apparently, dad had a few relationships after his first mate betrayed him. He didn’t think he would get a second chance mate and always regretted it. But mom got over it, understanding his situation. Now they stress the importance of mates, reminding us to wait for them and ignore our peers if they try and pressure us into anything.
I watch my brother leave with a wave and a kiss to mom’s cheek, rushing out the door and to his car. Spending some time with my brothers and sisters, I eventually head up and decide to go to my art studio. Along with the library, dad had also built this for me when he discovered that I liked to paint. My parents would always find me coloring when I was younger and when I grew up and exceeded in art classes they wanted me to continue doing what I love.
I cover the blank canvas with paint, creating a picture of the sun setting outside my window. It always calms me down and I feel free, letting the paintbrush express what I’m feeling. I can spend hours in here, and that’s what happens. It’s around one in the morning when my mom finds me, pulling me off my chair and dragging me to my bedroom. She scolds me for staying up that late, covering me with the blanket as soon as I’m dressed in my night clothes, telling me to get some rest.
But sleep doesn’t come so easy. As soon as the clock strikes three in the morning, I throw the covers off me in frustration and pace the length of my room. Slumping in a chair by my desk, my eyes land on the book about teleportation that my Dad gave me to study. Picking it up, I open it to the right page. My training is going well and I have grown more confident in my ability to teleport. But I must admit that some nights, I have teleported to other rooms of the house just to practice more.
Reading the familiar points in the book, I think long and hard about where I want to go; the library. Concentrating, it isn’t long before I feel the wind whipping through my hair. I open my eyes to see the portal floating; waiting for me to jump through. Nobody but me can see the portal as the entire process takes seconds.
Grinning, I see the library and step in. I land on the carpeted floor with the bookshelves surround me. Smiling proudly, I focus again and think of going to the top floor. Within seconds, I’m stepping through the portal and landing on my feet by the staircase. I keep at it, ending up in different areas of my home. When I start to get tired, I decide to teleport back to my room.
However, it doesn’t last mere seconds like it usually does and I’m not in my bedroom anymore. Instead, when I step through the portal, it opens to a tunnel vision that starts to flicker. Intense wind whips through my hair and I struggle to stay upright. Panicking, I focus on concentrating and try my hardest to think about my home to try and get back. But, it’s no use. Crying out in frustration, I try again and again.
Suddenly, the tunnel seems to flood with a bright blue light and I scream when I feel like I’m falling. My body hits a hard surface and I look up to see the portal disappearing instantly, crushing my hopes of jumping through. I lay there for a few moments, shock coursing through me. Groaning, I finally get up even though my muscles are screaming in protest. My jaw drops as my eyes adjust to my surroundings, everything is dark here. I’m by a lake that reflects the midnight blue sky, twinkling with stars. Swallowing harshly, I stand and dust off the dirt from my pajamas.
“Oh no! No, no no!” I breathe, turning to see that I’m surrounded by densely packed trees.
I focus on trying to teleport again, but it doesn’t work. I try again and again to the point where I eventually scream in defeat and frustration when I don’t see the portal to take me back home. Running through the woods, I try to find my way out and seek help from someone. There’s nobody around and all I keep finding are grassy clearings.
I eventually stumble across an abandoned looking cottage...but it looks like it’s been rotting away for a few years. I step up to it and cautiously open the door, jumping out of my skin when it creaks eerily. There is nobody inside, nothing but old furniture, broken windows and the walls with missing pieces of stone bricks. Whimpering, I curl into a ball by a corner, rubbing my arms to create some form of heat. I can’t help but let some tears escape when I realize that I don’t know how to get back home.
The Next Morning.
Vulcan Romanov’s P.O.V.
“Princess, wake up. Breakfast is ready and training starts in an hour.” I call, knocking on my eldest daughter’s door.
When I receive no response, I open the door and walk in. The room is empty but her blanket is ruffled. I notice a book on the floor but pay no attention, she always has them scattered around her room even though I built a library for her. I already did my rounds of waking up my younger pups so, I know she’s not with them or anywhere else in the house.
Sighing, I walk across the hall to Ivan’s room and open it. My two sets of twins tend to sneak off to each other’s rooms in the middle of the night just because they can’t stay apart for long. When they were younger, it was to sleep next to each other and now that they’re older, it’s to talk and play games into the early hours of the morning.
“I’m up.” My eldest son groans, walking out of the bathroom.
“Where’s your sister?”
“Which one? I have three of them.” He responds cheekily, rubbing his sleepy eyes.
“Ayla.” I growl, slapping the back of his head.
“Fuck!” He curses, making me punch his arm. “Ow! Stop it, I don’t know where she is!”
“She didn’t come to your room?” I ask, growing worried when he stares at me in confusion. “You two always stay up late watching those stupid shows.”
He snickers, following me as I make my way back to her room. “More like her doing my math homework while I play video games.”
“For someone who’s a powerful hybrid, you’re pretty dumb.” I growl furiously at his attempt to whisper.
“Come on Dad, Ayla isn’t that smart just because –” He stops abruptly when he sees the book I’ve picked up from the floor. “She couldn’t have...”
“She did.” I confirm, dread filling me as I wonder where my daughter has teleported herself to.