I had a great dream. I dreamt that the potion worked, that Amara was vanquished, and the covens cheered with appraisal. I dreamt that the threat was gone, that the world was restored back to how it should be, that the mortals were free again. My bloodline was safe, and no one but Amara died. That was the dream.
Then I woke up.
I’ve been awake for a few minutes now, and I can’t see anything because something is tied over my eyes. My hands are bind with thick ropes that imprison me to what I assume is a very small chair. I’m alive, that’s a good thing, the most important thing. I have no idea where I am or who is in the room but I’m alive. As long as I’m alive, Amara hasn’t got access to the complete Harmon bloodline, and she can still be killed, somehow.
“How is she still breathing?” a British voice asks someone, she sounds close, very close.
“I have no idea,” a male voice responds, also British.
“Hasn’t it killed their kind before?”
“You were banking on that happening,” the female sighs.
“Yes. I just needed her body away from Amara. I didn’t realise she’d survive the transportation star. Especially not mine.”
“Peculiar. She’s awake you know.”
I begin to breathe more heavily as harsh footsteps stamp their way towards me. The thick material is yanked from my eyes and I blink through the haziness to try and focus on solid objects. I am blinded by interior lighting for a few moments before I adjust to the setting. I am sat at a very long, glass dining table in what resembles a very messy kitchen. There are two people standing at the other end of the table, one is a beautiful woman with the longest, raven hair I’ve ever seen and the other is the Slayer leader. The woman twists her head as she looks at me, her hair swinging in its braid.
“How do you feel?” she asks me.
“Thirsty,” I say.
“You can drink after you answer our questions,” the leader states. “We have a few.”
“Can you untie me first?” I whisper, tugging gently at my restraints.
“You’re our prisoner, so no,” the leader says.
The woman glares at him then softens her gaze as she looks back to me. “What’s your name?”
“Theresa,” I say.
“My name is Sophia. This rude and unsocialized beast is Sam. He brought you here, do you remember?”
I flick my eyes to Sam, who just stares back with no expression. “I remember being in the stadium and I remember you forcing me to take your hand. Then nothing.”
“You passed out,” Sophia says. “After Sam used his transportation star on you. We use them to move through space and time, they act as a type of teleportation. The. . . effects of the transportation star worked differently on you.”
“Meaning?” I say through my teeth.
“Meaning, no one other than a Slayer has ever survived being transported,” Sam says, narrowing his eyes menacingly. “Mortals, wiccans, they die. They cannot handle the pure concentration of energy. You lived. How?”
“Did you not want me to live?” I say.
“I won’t lie, it’s an inconvenience,” Sam replies. “How did you survive?”
“I have no idea what you’re even talking about! You’re the one that brought me here, that took me from that stadium. You tell me.”
They exchange looks.
“Where am I?” I ask. “Where have you brought me?”
“You’re in England,” Sophia says. “Specifically, you’re in the sanctuary. It’s a castle designed for Slayer refugees that-”
“I’m sorry, did you say England?” I begin to panic, glancing around to locate a window. It’s across the room so I can’t see out of it but it doesn’t stop me from trying. “You’re lying, I can’t be in England.”
“You are,” she says. “This is our home. You’re the first um. . . wiccan that’s ever been inside.”
“Don’t I feel special,” I mutter. “I can’t be here, okay? I need to leave; I need to get back to Arizona.”
“That’s not an option anymore,” Sam says, walking towards the end of the table. “You’re the last of your line, if Amara gets your power then she’s as good as immortal.”
“Amara will never stop looking for me,” I say. “You’re in danger if I stay here.”
Sophia bursts into laughter and a direct gaze from Sam silences her. She covers her mouth, coughing away gently.
“We’re always in danger,” Sam says. “We kind of like it, within boundaries.”
I swallow, the question I ask next has been in the back of my mind since I woke up, it’s only now when I can look my captures in the eye that I feel brave enough to spit it out. “Are you going to kill me?”
“That’s undecided,” Sam says. “But it’s highly likeable.”
“It’s not just us, Theresa,” Sophia whispers. “There are others. Others that rely on the safety of the castle, that rely on Sam to keep them safe. Having a witch here, alive, will start a war.”
“I’m not an ordinary witch,” I say. “I tried to kill Amara; did you see that? I used the strongest potion ever known to our kind and it didn’t work. If you kill me, she will use her new power from my cousins to get mine, even in my death, no matter what you do with my body, she will find a way.”
“There’s no way of knowing that for sure,” Sam says. “And if you do have enough power to kill Amara then that makes you an even bigger threat to us.”
“A threat? I’ve never harmed any of your kind in my life. I’ve never wanted to. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. I’d never even met a Slayer until you revealed yourself the other day. I’m not strong enough to kill Amara on my own, I realise that, and my cousin also realised that which is why she was trying to contact you. You need my help and I need yours.”
“Are you actually suggesting we work together?” Sam scoffs, the idea igniting something hilarious on his face. “I’d rather kill my entire unit here and now than work with you, a witch.”
“Then they’re going to die anyway,” I say. “We all are.”
“Sam, maybe we should consider this,” Sophia says. “We both saw her throw that potion, she wanted the Elder dead as much as us. Maybe we can work something out.”
“Don’t fall for its tricks, Sophia,” Sam responds, not taking his eyes from mine. “Every wiccan wants us dead, to lie about it is just tragic. We’ll find another way.”
“What about her?”
“The witch will stay alive for now,” Sam says. “Until I decide what to do with her.”
I scowl right back at him. I understand the distrust, it’s imprinted in our DNA like shards of glass, but surely, he must see the tactical advantage? Having me on their side will only increase their odds, killing me will secure their demise.
I believe that I was saved for a reason. I’m not sure what that was, or why it had to be him, to but it was him. He saved me, whether or not he intended for me to die, and that has to mean something more than fear or doubt. Otherwise, why bother at all? Why not just let Amara kill me and then take my body while she was mid-extraction? She would have been at her weakest point then; she would have been almost killable.
Sam walks towards me.
“You survived this once,” he says, placing a firm grip on my arm. “Let’s see if you can survive a second.”