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Chapter 17.4

Loud knocks woke her up. Frowning, she pulled the covers over her head and buried her face into the pillow. If she did not answer, would that person leave?

Apparently, the one who was out was relentless. They kept knocking. Groaning, she threw the sheets off and glared at her thick curtains. Though that plum curtains did a good job at blocking the light, she could tell if the sun had woken or not. Judging by how monotonous it was, it was still night.

With one eye open, she checked the alarm that neatly showed her it was half-past two. Half-past two?

Who was it? If it was Gaelan, he would have slipped in like a cat on her bed and cuddled with her. If it was Mali- no, that female never came her. As for Dave, that male was enjoying the other slaves that he nearly forgot he used to sleep with her. Either that or Gaelan messed with his mind.

The door was knocked again. Groaning, she got up and found a shirt she had thrown over her chair last night. Wearing it, she opened the door to find a fidgeting female she knew too well.

Seeing her, sleep eluded her and she mumbled for the other female to come in.

“What is it?” she asked.

“I am having doubts, Leigh,” she said. “I remember my daughter-in-law leaving the city for the day and then suddenly I find myself with the memory of her helping me prepare lunch. I want you to look into this.”

Leigh frowned. Mali had told her that she had stopped doing it. So, where was this springing from?

“I will see what I can do, Kessa,” Leigh muttered. “I will check about Harriet again.”

“Do so about Tressa too,” she said. “I am having blank memories.”

“Even Tressa?” she whispered. “I will see what I can do, Kessa.”

“I trust you then.” With that, the female walked out of the room.

Leigh was baffled. She had been away for one year and a half and word around the corner was that Draco had a child with Harriet. Even if Mali had played this game for six months, she swore she had stopped it. And Leigh believed her. Not because she trusted that Omicron, but because her powers told her so.

How long was this Harriet going to play?

Rage like no other clouded her vision. She had sworn that she would not allow anyone else tarnish a mate bond with a person she knew. At least as long as she was alive. This Harriet was pushing her buttons.

The next day, she would pay Draco a visit in his work. That would explain it all.

***********

“You asked for me?” he smiled at her politely in spite of knowing her close relation with Dave.

She was impressed. She had visited his company and he had come down in a matter of a minute to greet her.

“I did,” she said, unscrewing a bottle of water. “Draco Stykes. I think you know who I am.”

Though his eyes shifted a bit, that polite smile did not wear off. “I do.”

“Good,” she said. “That being said, I must congratulate you for the birth of your daughter.”

His smile touched his eyes. “Thank you.”

“Tressa is it?” she asked.

He nodded. “Tressa Grin.”

She smiled. She had him where she wanted. “A newborn. Why are you not taking the allotted three months holidays? All the companies give three months holidays for the new fathers.”

He smiled bashfully. “My mother takes care of her.”

She hoped her shocked expression on her face could convince him. And it did. “Not your mate?”

He shook his head. “She... her school is pretty demanding. They asked her to join back to work as soon as the delivery is done.”

“What a cruel workplace,” Leigh commented. “They should be giving the mother a year of paid holiday. That’s the rule. Want me to talk for you?”

“You can do it?” he asked, his eyes hopeful.

She nodded. “Of course. I can. I will see what I can do about it. Care to give me the place where she works?”

He frowned. “A kindergarten somewhere in the outskirts of the capital...”

That was where her powers started to blare. All the while it said he was telling the truth. Not because it was necessarily the truth, but it was the only truth he knew.

“There are a lot,” she said calmly. “Take your time to think about it.”

“Something beginning with ‘Sun’.” He frowned more and then he suddenly collapsed but not before mumbling, “Who is Harriet?”

That gave her the answer more than anything could have.

She called a young staff and asked him to take care of Draco and she left his company. What the hell was that bitch doing?

*********

After two days of searching all the kindergarten that had the word ‘Sun’ in it, not a single one had a staff named Harriet Grin. Growling Leigh killed the car and got off it. The hospital may be the last resort.

She walked up to the receptionist. “Hi. I am wondering if the head of the hospital is available?”

That girl blinked at her as if she was creature out of earth. “I am sorry? You are...?”

“I am Leigh Caskor,” she said dryly. “I work with Omicron Dave. I have to look into some matters.”

Apparently, Dave’s name held power and the receptionist led her to a room on the second floor. The girl hesitated. “I shall go in and then call you?”

Leigh nodded. “Works for me.”

Taking in a deep breath, the girl knocked on the door and went in. After a minute, she came out and said. “Dr Harrison will see you.”

After the girl left, she slipped in and thankfully only that Dr Harrison was there standing, as if to welcome her.

“May I help you, Ms Caskor?” he asked.

She nodded and took a seat before that Doctor could tell anything. “I need details of two people. Mother and daughter.”

He blinked. “That’s against hospital rules. Patient’s privacy.”

“I get it,” she snapped. “But this female is playing a very dangerous game. She is doing something that may potentially kill someone.”

“If there is not-”

“Listen here, doc,” she snarled, letting her power as a Huntress slip in her voice. What was power if you don’t use, or in her case abuse it once a while? “I am not asking you. I am telling you, I want those details.”

He gulped. “B-but-”

She glared at him. “She is meddling with mate bonds. Happy? She is deceiving a poor guy.”

The doctor looked uncertain for a second before he slumped to his seat and sighed. “What are their names?”

“Harriet Grin and Tressa Grin,” she said.

After a minute the doctor frowned. “Are... are they, mother and daughter?”

“They are not?” She sat up straighter.

He shook his head. “Sorry, Ms Caskor. It seems like Harriet Grin did come here for one year and ten months ago. And that was to get on a contraceptive programme. She is on an oral contraceptive, a highly effective one at that and she just purchased her monthly dose two days ago. The chances of her conception is very, very low.”

“You mean to say that Tressa Grin is not a person?”

The doctor shook his head. “She may be Ms Harriet Grin’s sister or niece, but she could be born to her before one year and ten months.”

“H-has Tressa Grin ever visited this hospital?”

The doctor shook his head. “We don’t have any medical records on a person named Tressa Grin.”

**************

“What was that for?” Mali held her stinging face.

“Tressa does not exist,” Leigh snarled. “What the hell, Mali? I was away for a year and a half and what do you do?”

“You don’t get to question me,” the female snapped. “Oh! The might Leigh Caskor broke the damned spell!”

“I damn well did,” she snapped. “I should have gone and said this to Draco. Wonder how he will react. I should not have come here.”

It was then Mali’s face paled. “Don’t. Please... don’t.”

Leigh took a step back. “What is happening here?”

Mali bit he lips. “Dave’s getting worse. He found that Harriet is using some methods to control Draco. He knew I played my part too. He is forcing me to do it.”

“That is not a reason!” she yelled. “That is not the reason to lie.”

“You may be brave and not lie, Leigh,” she said, sitting on the sofa in her house. The Omicron house where Dave rarely stepped in. “I am not. I want to live. I am a coward and I am doing this to save my skin. But who won’t?”

“If you are expecting pity from me,” Leigh said. “You are not succeeding. Tell me. What will Lawan do?” she paused. “By Kamaria! Don’t tell me you have involved that girl in this too!”

“No!” Mali said immediately. “Lawan and Wirat don’t know about it. They never did. It was only my business.”

Leigh stared at that female. There was once she respected her, for she was Apinya Bidaya’s daughter. But now, that was just a fancy cover for what she was doing. If her mother ever got a whiff of what her daughter was doing, she doubted Mali would be able to save her skin.

“You know about Harriet?” Leigh said after Mali composed herself again. “About Tressa?”

“I knew Harriet was lying,” she said. “She told me that she had Tressa back in Tahareh. Dave was keeping her daughter as a hostage. That’s why she asked me to weave memories of Tressa...”

“Harriet’s on contraceptives!” Leigh said. “Where did Tressa spring from?”

“What?” Mali asked. “I thought-”

Leigh shook her head. “I don’t know what you thought, I am getting at the bottom of this. I don’t care about you at this moment. If you are exposed, don’t come to me crying.”

Mali bit her lower lip. “Why? Why are you doing this?”

She could have said that she was helping Kessa, but that would raise unwanted questions about the relationship they had. Or she could have said she was Surva’s Huntress and this was her job. To keep mate bonds in control. Especially since she was Surva’s Huntress.

But she said neither. “I can’t live my life as a lie. I can’t see people do that either.”

“Sometimes, Leigh,” Mali said. “Lies are a beautiful place to be at.”

“Only until the truth comes biting at your ass,” she said. “I often forget. Your powers are hallucinations. Creating lies out of everything. I am the truth, Mali. I can’t be fabricated.”

***********

“Why?” he asked, holding her hand.

Not because he would not take her, but mere curiosity.

She sighed. “Harriet’s been playing with Draco.”

“Draco?” he muttered. “What Draco?”

Leigh frowned. “Draco Stykes?”

He touched her forehead with his. “Can I? Can I see him through your memory?”

She nodded. She did not have a single secret from him. Not only was it impossible, but she also found it stupid.

He gasped as he left her mind. “Draco? That is him?”

She nodded. “Yes... is there a problem?”

“T-that,” he spluttered. “That guy is a pulsar!”

“What?” she asked him baffled.

When he was just blinking at her like he had seen a ghost, she lost it. She began to laugh.

“Good one, Gaelan,” she said. “Almost convinced me. But alas, it is not April 1st.”

“I am not joking, Leigh,” he said seriously. “That guy is a pulsar. He is someone who saved me. I know who I am talking about.”

Leigh blinked. “You’re not lying.”

“I am not,” he said. “Draco is... he is a pulsar. Not just a pulsar. A first-generation pulsar that too. He was the one to save me.”

Leigh blinked again. “What do you mean?”

Gaelan took in a deep breath. “For the first-generation stars Cosmos created, she called in some first-generation pulsars to neutralise them. If those pulsars had not come, this part of universe would destroy itself because of the unbalanced power. Draco was one of them. I don’t know who he was supposed to balance and I learnt a lot of only through Polaris who visited me frequently.

“When the bind that held the poison back fell, Draco was the Immune who made sure that the bind was back in place. I knew it. Because one bad first-generation star had called me out to forge a weapon made of Aether for her. Lyra saved me from Aether and Draco removed the toxin from me. I will never forget that guy. I owe him too much. I still remember the way that poison corroded me. Draco took out the poison and his sister made sure that I was living.”

“Made sure you were living?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “One of his sister’s powers was to preserve one’s soul. If not for those pulsars that day, I would not be living. I owe them too much.”

Leigh sat on the edge of her bed. “So... this Harper is playing Draco. I want to save him. Will you take me to Tahareh?”

“Playing Draco?” he asked.

She nodded. “I don’t know what exactly is happening, but Harriet says she is Draco’s mate but she asked Mali to create new memories and that Omicron did. Each time she is unable to spend her time with Draco, she keeps asking Mali to create memories in Draco and she went as far as fabricating a person, their daughter. From the medical reports, I can say that Draco does not have a daughter-”

Gaelan began to laugh. “Draco’s mate? Can’t they be more stupid?”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Draco is a first-generation pulsar, rose,” he said, mirth shining in his eyes. “That means, he cannot have a mate. Not even a Soul-Bound can be given to him. He can choose whom to Soul-Bind with, but no one can give him any bonds. He is beyond Cosmos and Chaos.”

“You mean to say that Draco is not Harriet’s mate?”

“Exactly,” he said. “If Harper is experimenting on mate bonds and she chose Draco why didn’t she or her mother recognise who he is?”

Leigh just stared at him.

“Perhaps...” he mused. “From what Polaris told me, three thousand years ago when Cosmos took the memories of the pulsars, she did it so efficiently that no one could recognise them? That must be it. She even took the Warriors’ memories of the pulsars. Maybe that’s why Harper and mother could not recognise who Draco is. For Harper’s mother was a first-generation star when Cosmos out that spell on all the first-generation stars and Harper was not born yet.”

“Damn,” she muttered.

“To Tahareh?” he asked. “We shall go there and see what more stupidity they have done.”

“What do you mean by what more stupidity?”

“When these pulsars were sent to neutralise the Warriors, they formed a special bond with the stars they were sent to balance. If the Warrior whom Draco was sent to neutralise gets their memory back and finds this, get some popcorn and coke ready. It will be one hell of an action movie.”

*********

Finally, after one year and six months, she was able to come here. To Tahareh. Dave had been giving her too many works and looked over her like a hawk too much. She was sure that it had to do something with the questions she had Mali. Dave, after all, could enter Mali’s mind and read what was going on.

After Gaelan told her about Draco, she was even more protective over him. None expected this, but something triggered in her. This guy had saved Gaelan and for some reason, she felt indebted to him. She shook her head. She was here for some reason.

Gaelan was next to her. Invisible. She rolled her eyes at his reasoning. He wanted to see her be badass. What kind of reasoning was that?

Tahareh did have the lab but it had the residencess of the doctors working there. One particular residence caught her nose. It held the scent of the female she was searching for.

The door opened and a five-year-old boy ran out with a toy aeroplane. The way his eyes reminded her of Harriet’s froze her. Did Harriet really have a child? If yes, that should have been a girl named Tressa about two years now. Not a five-year-old boy.

She came up to the main door and smiled at the boy who gave her a confused look when she came near him.

“Who are you?” he asked, lowering his toy.

“I am here for Harriet Grin. Do you know her?” she asked.

The confusion gave way to enthusiasm as a shine lit his eyes. “She’s my mother! She is inside cooking lunch! Are you her friend?”

Leigh just stared at the boy. “What did you say? You are her son?”

“Is that hard to believe?” he asked pouting. “I will call my father.”

“Y-your father?” she spluttered. “Who is he?”

The boy frowned. “He is the head of biochemistry in the Lab! Dr Lukas Fosser. Don’t know him?”

Leigh froze. She knew that male alright. Just not in the right light. When she was being held as a captive here, that male saw her like an animal and never showed her any compassion. If the injections were painful, he never stopped them. He kept them going. If her body ached so much from the chemicals that they gave, he pushed her further.

That guy?

“Take me in,” she said, her voice cold.

The boy opened the door. “Mom! A friend of yours is here!”

Before the boy could finish his sentence, Harriet was out, wiping her hands on her apron. Another set of footprints echoed and Lukas Fosser came down.

When the couple stared at her, she never felt more disgusted.

Harriet sighed and glanced at her fuming mate. “H-honey? We will take this out.”

“I don’t want a pathetic lab rat in my house,” he snarled. “Get out.”

“Get out?” Leigh spat back.

She was no longer that weak female he ordered around. She was a Huntress and she had powers to kill this guy. That tonic no longer worked on her, thanks to Gaelan.

“Leigh,” Harriet came between Lukas and her. “Let’s take this out.”

The boy just blinked at them before he ran inside a room.

“Take this out?” she laughed sardonically. “I want to take this male’s heart out. Can I?”

While the female gulped in fear, the male snarled at her, as if he was accepting her challenge.

Before Lukas’ hands could touch her hair, Leigh spun out of his way and punched his sides hard enough. Even Gaelan had howled in pain when she had given him this punch. This guy could survive it? As expected, Lukas crumbled to the floor, clutching his right side in pain.

Harriet rushed to him, but Leigh was not done with him. She would never be done with him. The next person on her list of people to murder after Dave was this guy. The way he tortured her, she still had nightmares. Even after repeated psychiatric counselling, she at times woke up thinking she was in his lab.

She raised his head by pulling it up. “Get out? You are asking me to get out?”

When he did not answer, she slammed his head on the floor. “Answer me, you pathetic excuse of a male!”

He just groaned in pain.

She smirked. “Now do you know the pain you put me through? Even Dave did not ask you to torture me. You did that for your pure sadistic desire. You think I will let go now?”

She slammed his head again.

Harriet tried to push her away from Lukas, but Leigh flung that female to the wall. “Stay there, bitch. I will deal with you later. I won’t kill him. He’ll heal, but I can’t say when.”

With that, she lifted him up by his hair and punched him in his guts. His nose had broken and blood was spluttering. Did that stop her? No. He was already healing, so why bother to stop her momentum?

A door creaked open and the boy stared at her with his eyes wide.

She snarled and dropped the male down. No matter what, she would never torture someone in front of their kid.

“Thank your kid for my mercy today,” she grumbled. “When I see you again and trust me when I say when I see you again without your kid next time, you better pray to all those goddesses and gods above to save you, for clearly I won’t.”

She moved to her next target who was still whimpering. A blabbering mess.

Pulling that female by the collar of her dress, she dragged Harriet out to their backyard. The boy thankfully stayed back with his father.

Throwing her on a chair, Leigh glared at her as she wiped her blood-stained knuckles on a towel that was hung there. “Speak. I was planning to have a few words with you. Seeing that bastard mate of yours snapped my control. Now if you don’t speak, I might do something you will regret. Like killing you or that fucker.”

Harriet raised her head up and just glared at her.

“You don’t get to show me that look, cunt,” she snapped. “You know what you did. Start talking.”

The defiance in Harriet’s face faded, but it was still there. “Harper had Lukas and Kellan under her control. She forced me to do this.”

“She had Lukas under her control?” Leigh scoffed. “Are you really that stupid or blind?”

Harriet took in a deep breath. “She really did.”

“Stupid,” she muttered to herself. “Definitely stupid.”

“She had my son!” Harriet spat as she stood up. “She was about to electrocute him. Said she would let him go only if I did this. If you are a mother, Leigh, you would know. A mother will do anything, absolutely anything to get her child safe. But how can you ever feel that? Your mate died. You can never have a child. You will forever be infertile.”

A slap resonated in the yard. Leigh was fuming. She already knew about it. When she had been in college, she had often dreamed about finding her mate and having three kids with him. She did find her mate, but he died and since they had met each other until she met another mate, if she had, she could never have children. But saying to someone that they were infertile was not polite.

“Hurts, does it not?” Harriet smirked through her pain. “I gave the inside information for you. And Harper found that out and took my son hostage. I did what a mother would do to keep her kid alive. I will do it over and over if it means I can save my son.”

“You are disgusting,” Leigh spat. “Release the spell you have over him.”

She shook her head. “I can’t. I did put that spell on him, but he was too powerful for me to control. Harper is doing it all now. If you want to stop this, ask her to stop it.”

Snarling, with another slap on that female’s cheek, Leigh walked out. The kid glared at her, but she did not say anything.

“Was that badass for you?” she asked.

“Can I say I expected a funeral and did not get one?” the voice said.

She smirked and when he touched her, they left the blasted place.

************

It was a havoc in the Summer coven when she came. Draco had broken the spell apparently and he was going ballistic. The capital did not survive his rage. If he kept this on, the Summer coven would be in cinders by the time he finished and that would take exactly three minutes for him to do if he kept his momentum.

It could be less. Who knew?

“Just how powerful is he?” she whispered.

“I did say he was pretty powerful, did I not?” There was a smug expression on his face.

“You said he was,” she said, gulping at the way he was destroying the building he was staying at. “But did not say how efficient he was at that.”

Gaelan smirked. “That is true.”

“Should we stop him?” she asked.

He gave her a bewildered look. “You think you can stop him? Be my guest then.”

“You can’t?” she asked. Gealan was pretty powerful himself and he was afraid of triggering this guy?

“He is a first-generation pulsar, rose,” he said. “I am not a first-generation pulsar or a star. Nor am I a quasar. I can’t.”

“So...” she drawled. “We wait?”

“That is the only thing we can do now,” Gaelan said.

It was only then she noticed how the others were running to save their lives. There were some who stared at Draco as if they had never seen him in their life. After all, they had seen him as a peaceful guy working in some software company.

“Gaelan?” she called. “The people-”

Gaelan frowned. “I can manipulate their memories. I will make them forget this.”

“Why?”

“Cause it is not time yet,” he said.

“What?”

“Each Pulsar was sent to earth with the intention to heal their soul,” he said. “It depends on the damage their soul had taken. It is not the time for him to get his memories back.”

“How do you know?” she asked. “Is it in their soul or something?”

He shook his head. “You are not the only one who talks with Surva. I do talk with her and Luna at times.”

“L-luna?” she asked baffled. “Isn’t she kidnapped or something?”

“She is. But I found her once when I was going through the Maze.”

“Why would you go through that?”

“Cause it was fun?”

She just blinked at him. Which idiot would go to the maze for fun?

“Did you hit your head somewhere?”

“I am perfectly fine, rose,” he grinned.

Draco was still wrecking the place. At a point, his powers began to stifle her. Like he was sucking in too much energy.

There was a shift in Gaelan’s eyes. “Go back, rose. I will handle this.”

“What will you do?”

“I will just remove the memories of what Draco is doing from these people’s eyes and repair the buildings.”

“What of Draco? What will you do to him?”

“I am not going to interfere in his life. If he remembers this, fine. If he does not, it’s his phase of life to go one with. He had saved me once. I will not interfere with this and mess it up for him.”

It was then a voice she rarely heard tell in her head. Listen to him, child. It is not the time for Draco yet. One day it will come for him to know who he is and that process will be gradual. It can’t be this abrupt or else everything me and my youngest daughter did will go in vain.

You and Luna? She asked.

Yes, Surva said. I know where my daughter is. But I cannot reach her. I can’t even undo the spell on her. We just agreed to deal with this from where we are.

With another look at the male, Leigh left the scene; her hands in her pocket and whistling a tune, hoping for a brighter day.

A/N: What do you think about this couple?

Any words about Harriet and Lukas?

Until then,

~Quill

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