“What do you mean, your Mother was here?” Lync inquired, waiting his turn for the treadmill.
“I thought she was...”
“So did I!” Kember sighed, having found her way to the gym after tossing and turning in her bed for hours.
“She wasn’t here, but Sanctuary is close enough to give me the shivers.” She and Malice had spent some time together, some rather, incredibly sinful and steamy time, and now Malice was back in Sanctuary with Rehoboam and her children.
Kember was, well, at this very moment, working on her second round of cardio in the Null’s gym. Had to keep in shape. Had to keep her mind off of everything.
“So, is she gone now?” Lync asked, giving up on the treadmill and moving on the free weights. “Or am I going to have to hide away?”
She wanted to tell him that it was all over, and that none of them had to worry about Kalin again, but yeah, fat chance. That female was a Witch in the truest sense, though Kember often replaced the W with a B.
How could she not, though? Her Mother had tried, how many times now, to have her killed?
‘I was trying to protect you from him, Stavros was not the male you thought he was! ’
There was protecting, and then there was kidnapping and confining your daughter, for weeks and months on end; one test of magic after another.
‘He wanted to steal from you, your gifts.’
More like, she wanted to steal her gifts, as Kember had heard her whisper to others; but, if Lady Ellaria and Kalin had their way about it, and Navina too, she’d be forced to believe that all her Mother had spoken, was true.
She had tried to protect her. Her Father was a vile male who used them both. Pathen, oh and then there was that egotistical pawn of the Eno’tai, rearing his ugly mug and ruining hundreds, no, millions of lives.
Right, and she was able to flip that switch, and forget about all the horrible things her Mother had done? Just like that?
“You okay? Cause you look like you’re planning for war!” Lync called out, drawing her back to reality.
“You might want to...” But it was too late, and Kember felt her feet go out from under her, her upper body hit the treadmill and she spun right off of it. “slow down!” He finished, and dropped the weights on the floor, coming to help her up.
“Bloody hell!” She grumbled, accepting his hand and examining her elbow and shoulder.
“You should head over to the clinic and let someone look at those for you!” “Not, happening!” Kember sighed, “It’s just a flesh wound.”
“At least grab a vial of Vamp...” His eyes grew wide and he went for his wrist.
“What the fuck, is your crazy ass thinking? Hell fucking no!” She glared at him.
“I will never, accept your wrist, so don’t even try and offer!”
“They say I’m the best!” He laughed, just as Markus entered through the doors.
“Hey, if not mine, then maybe his?” “My what?” Markus grumbled, clearly not impressed.
“What’s got you tied in a knot?” Kember inquired as the Vampire came over to examine her arm.
“You need to see the Doc!” He replied, ignoring her as he went for a cloth on the shelf, and wet it in a nearby sink.
“That one gash above your elbow is gonna need stitches.”
“Fuck off!” She sighed, and made for the first aid kit in the gym office.
“You need stitches!” Markus called out again, but Kember shook her head. She wasn’t going to the clinic, there was no one, in, the clinic anyhow. No Madrina, no Zahara.
“Nyx can stitch you up!” Markus glared at her. “Vampire, mind reader, remember?” “HA!” She laughed, and pulled out a roll of gauze and then the tape, and started to bandage herself up.
“And any one of you two says anything to Malice...”
“What does Malice say?” And Kember spun around to see Navina coming through the doors in her pajamas. “And why are you bleeding?”
“I’m not bleeding!” Kember smiled at her, and applied another layer of gauze.
“So, that’s a puddle of wine at your feet?” Navina cocked a brow at her.
“Shit, Kember!” Markus gasped, pulling up the sleeve of his sweatshirt.
“I’m fine!” She told them all, but looking down at that small pool, she was definitely, not alright.
“What the...” But she didn’t get to finish that sentence, as her legs went jelly beneath her and she found herself being whisked through the halls of the Null.
“If you can, try and reverse the flow of energy, it won’t make sense, but for some reason, their magic works differently!” Kalin told them, as her hands worked fast.
She was mixing and meddling with all sorts of glowing orbs, some green, some red, trying to get the combination just right. Reh was already healing nicely, nestled away in his bed across the hall, and Malice and Lady Ellaria were working as fast as they could to put a stop to the shifting age business that had plagued the Verse as of late.
It seemed that cross breeding had not worked, and from what Madrina had told her of Jakob and his brood, it had been quite a messy experience.
From there, the Masters had tried abducting small children, which is why Marena had fought so hard, and finally managed to send word through Mia, that Malice’s own children could be in danger.
Fast forward past all the labs she had found, where they had taken to growing their own Hosts from the DNA stolen from others, and head right to the nanobots, that Kalin and Ellaria had found floating in the bloodstream of everyone affected by the aging process.
Flawed nanobots, but still, itty bitty little beasts, floating about inside you and wreaking havoc; Malice hated anything she couldn’t see, or fight; and those were at the top of her list.
“If this is what I think it is...” Kalin started, and then stopped, her fingers working the ancient runes in her favor until the orbs became one, and a soft white glow illuminated all around it. “Perfect!”
“And that will do, what?” Malice inquired, having gotten lost in her own thoughts.
“Once set off, near the portal of course, it will sweep across the Verse, deactivating any and all of the nanobots.” Kalin smiled,
“And the elixir it has been dosed with, will prevent any further spread of the little buggers, if they survive.”
“You just said it would kill them all!”
“It should kill them all; but we cannot be sure until the device is detonated!” Lady Ellaria smiled, trying her best to calm Malice.
“The tonic will help, just in case, Malice!”
“As it has already helped your children!” Kalin smiled, and Malice cocked a brow at her.
“What do you mean, my children?” She growled, “What have you done?”
“It had to be tested on someone!” Kalin replied. “
Kalin!” Lady Ellaria sighed and shook her head.
“How could you? After all your promises?”
“The daughter was eager and willing.”
“Bathsheba?” Malice roared, half expecting her daughter to appear right away, but the young female was clearly out of the service area.
“You tested your tricks, on my daughter?”
“And she has not aged a day, and we have experienced many surges in the energy vortex...”
“Oh Gods, Madrina...” Malice’s face went white, completely appalled. “And her children, were they privy to your little experiments as well?”
“It was for the greater good! There is no better subject than that of a child!” Kalin let out.
“And who told you that?” Malice let out, as Lady Ellaria made her way from the room. “Stavros? Cause it sounds an awful lot like something he would say, being the enemy, and all.” She shouted even louder.
“How dare you?”
“There were no side effects, other than an intense need to...” But she stopped short.
“A need for what?” Malice screamed, her armor engaging and her wings spreading out with razor sharp precision.
“What, have you done with my daughter?” She growled, and her hand shot out before she could stop it, her fingers wrapping around the female’s neck.
“She needs a male..” Kalin gasped, “She needs to mate!” “And the others? Madrina’s young?”
“There were no side effects, with the second batch!”
“So you’re telling me that in the twenty four hours we have been back in Sanctuary, you have meddled with not just one life, but four?” Malice hissed at her, “Four children, who had no idea what you were offering them.”
“Bathsheba knew, as did, your son!” She gasped again, trying to pull Malice’s fingers from her throat. “And only Bathsheba, was affected by the need. I cannot tell why I need, more time.”
“Because she is Valkyrie, you fool! A Valkyrie has needs beyond any mortal being, and when you tamper with their genetics...” Malice roared so loud, she did not hear the snap until it was far too late.
“Fuck, me!” She let out in horror, as the sudden realization of what she had done, sank in.
“Oh shit!” She heard another voice, and turned to see Zahara standing in the doorway, and Malice felt the thud, as Kalin landed on the floor at her feet.
“Fuck!” Malice shouted, and made for the door.
“Where is my daughter?” She asked, just as Navina appeared behind Zahara.
“Malice? I...” But she too had stopped short, taking in the lifeless body.
“What happened?” She inquired, rushing forward to check for a pulse, but Zahara stopped her.
“She’s got no aura.” Zahara told her, “She’s gone!” “But she was just... And Kember...” But she couldn’t complete a sentence.
“What about Kember?” Malice asked, ignoring the lump on the floor as she found herself at the counter pouring herself a glass of that Scotch that Zahara had said was not for drinking.
“She’s in the clinic, back in the Null...” Navina told her, “She took a tumble off of a treadmill, so um, what exactly happened here?”
“I lost my temper!” Malice replied, before disappearing out the door.
“Totally confused right now!” Navina sighed, helping Zahara lug the lifeless body up onto the examining table.
“So am I, how did Kember fall off the treadmill?” Zahara laughed, covering the Witch with a blanket and grabbing a chart off a nearby desk, just as Lady Ellaria returned to the room.
“Kalin?” She called out and stopped short, hanging her head.
“Bloody Hell!” She sighed, and came towards the bed. “I was afraid of this!”
“Mother?” Zahara seemed confused. “I assume this is the work of Malice?”
“Okay, first off, you never assume, and second, what the hell happened?” Zahara went on.
“One minute I’m coming in to help with the samples, and the next, I’m wrapping a dead body! This is getting ridiculous! What happened to going before the Courts and facing judgment? Doesn’t anybody do that anymore?”
“The Council has gone into hiding, and the doors of the Courts have been locked for the time being. One will arrive in the lobby, and spend an eternity, if that is what it takes, to face judgment!”
“You can’t be serious?” Zahara gasped.
“The time of war is upon us, and we must take every opportunity that we can; if this means imprisonment in the between for all those souls, to be sorted out at a later time, then so be it, Zahara! They will get their moment before the Courts, just, not right now!” Her Mother sighed again.
“As for this, this was inevitable! I knew that Kalin could only be trusted to carry her work so far.”
“What did she do?” Navina asked this time, but she feared she already knew.
“Was it the children?” “Bathsheba, Ben, Ellana and Espiria, though only Bathsheba seems to have been affected by the side effects!” Ellaria told them,
“Her brother, and your sister’s young...” She turned to Zahara, “...remain unaffected, and cured of the ailment of age.”
“So, it worked?” Navina let out.
“It did, the children will age normally now; alas, her motives may have been pure, but her actions, her choices, I fear may have proven her end!”
“She tested her tonic on the children?” Navina couldn’t help but ask, there were so many questions.
“It appears the first batch was tested on Malice’s son and daughter, and with Bathsheba showing side effects, she altered the dosage before administering it, and the energy wave needed, to Madrina’s, to stop the nanobots that invaded their bodies.”
“And Malice killed her for it!” Zahara hung her head. “Sounds about right!”
“Yes, she did!” Her Mother replied, “And now, I must ask that you both go and tend to her, I will dispose of this all. She will need support as she works through recent events.” She nodded towards Kalin’s lifeless body.
“Of course!” Zahara replied, and Navina nodded her head, following Zahara as she exited the room.
“Dammit!” Navina sighed as they passed a few closed doors.
“Understatement!” Zahara shook her head.
“You think Malice has gone to see Kember?” “That’s definite, but...” She stopped and patted the pockets of her jacket.
“Crap!” “What?” Zahara let out as they reached the top of the stairs.
“I think the pouch fell out of my pocket!” She grumbled, reaching inside to be sure.
“Shit! It’s got to be back in the lab!”
“The pouch? Sounds mysterious!” Zahara laughed, “I’ll meet you by the portal then, just hurry!”
What an idiot! She scolded herself as she turned away from the stairs, and made her way back down the hall to the lab. Sanctuary wasn’t much different than the Null, other than being lighter, brighter, and prettier; there were still long ass hallways and big ass rooms hidden behind closed doors.
Always with the closed doors, as per Madrina’s constant request. At first, it had been out of safety, and then, her paranoia involving Jakob; but now, it was to prevent the little people from stumbling in on something nasty, or naughty.
Either way, doors were always closed, or there would be hell to pay; yet the door to the lab was still open.
“How could you?” She heard the voices as she drew closer. “What were you thinking?” Was that Ellaria? But who was she talking to?
“I wasn’t thinking!” And that was Kalin; but how? She was dead, Navina saw her dead, moved her dead body. Dead. Dead. Dead.
“But it worked, Ellaria! The nanobots have been destroyed!”
“That, and the fact that we are at war, and you hold the title of Sovereign among your people, are the only reasons I brought you back. How could you be so careless? They were children, Kalin!” Ellaria scolded her, and Navina couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“And they still are children, thanks to me!” Kalin reminded her.
“And you are alive, thanks to me; I would ask that you remember your place, before you attempt anything like that again!” Lady Ellaria hissed at the female,
“Now go, before the Valkyrie returns and finds you breathing! Stay hidden in the Isles that Float, or I may just let her snap your neck again!”
Navina couldn’t see anything, but she could hear every whisper, every whimper and sound... except the sound of footsteps before Ellaria opened the door wider and Navina was busted for eavesdropping.
“Not a word!” The benevolent female told her, “She plays a vital part in this war...”
“I only came back for the pouch she gave to me, it must have fallen from my pocket when..”
But she had to stop as she stared over at Kalin, who was truly, one hundred percent, not dead.
“When you carried my body to that table?” Kalin laughed, “I must thank you for that, it was honorable!”
“The pouch!” Ellaria smiled, handing it to Navina out of nowhere.
“Thank you, my Lady!” Navina bowed her head, ignoring the Witch.
“Remember, Navina, not a word!” She was told again, as she tucked the pouch away.
“Of course!” She nodded her head, and took off out the door and back down the hall. Shit! What the hell was that?
Had Ellaria just...? She must have, but wasn’t that breaking the rules? Her rules?
“It’s nothing, Malice! I promise!” Kember tried to convince her Valkyrie, but Malice wasn’t hearing it.
“Bullshit!” Malice cocked a brow at her. “Six stitches, is not, nothing!”
“And a damn fine job I did too!” Nyx grinned, snapping off his gloves and tossing them into a nearby can. “You sure, you don’t want a vial?”
“Shut up!” Kember let out and rolled her eyes. “I don’t need any juice!”
“Suit yourself! Just don’t expect to be back to normal for a few weeks!” He laughed, rising from his chair and throwing his trench coat over his shoulders.
“A few weeks?” Kember let out.
“You could always let your lover heal you!” He smirked at her, and then disappeared, leaving a small vial on the desk.
“Son of a...” Kember started again, watching Malice pick it up. “You know?” She cut in. “I have heard many wondrous things about this stuff, even tried a few drops myself.” She added with a grin before running her hands through her long blonde hair, and tied it back in a messy as hell looking bump atop her head.
“And?” Kember waited for her to continue.
“And the trip was well worth it!”
“It’s a drug, and I’ve seen too many fall to its clutches!” Kember shook her head.
“What of the sinful properties it carries?” Malice whispered into her ear, letting her tongue glide up and down that sweet outer rim of Kember’s lobe.
“I thought you said that I was the wicked one?” Kember felt the shivers run through her, that sweet electrical current, sizzling beneath her skin.
“I can’t trust myself with it...” “Then trust me, and know that it will all be alright!” Malice smiled back, “But first, there is something that I must tell you,” As the smile faded. “about your Mother!”
“If the Gods could be so cruel...” Kember mumbled and let out a sigh, “What has the Bitch done now?”
“It is what I have done...” And Malice turned away. “...how I ended it.”
“What has happened?” Kember turned her back around, and looked deep into Valkyrie’s eyes. “Tell me, so that it can be forgotten!”
“She has been condemned for her ruthless deeds, and the blood of the innocent on her soul.” Malice sighed, unable to look Kember in the eye.
“Her life was taken, by my own hand... her neck snapped and she...”
“She died, for all of her crimes!” Kember smiled back at her, her hands on Malice’s cheeks as she raised her eyes to her own.
“She paid the ultimate price for her foolish deeds; and yes, you were the one to release her bonds, but I would thank you, not hate you for it!”
“That Bitch was right about one thing, I am a monster.” Malice growled, only to feel Kember’s lips pressed against her own.
“As it was in Janice’s day...” Malice let out through sweet lips, “I, Malice, Queen of Winter, do renew our alliance to you, Kember, for you are the rightful heir, and Sovereign of the Realm of Magics!
For as long as the Universe lasts, I will always cherish and protect you and yours, Kember.”
Such sweet words, masking such an awful truth. Kember, didn’t want to be their Sovereign, she didn’t want to rule the realm. “Uh, sorry to barge in like this.” Zahara mumbled, “But Mother asked that we check on you!”
“And I was asked, to deliver this!” Navina piped up, hiding behind Zahara.
“It is from... uh, it is from Kalin, she says it will waken Marena, and rid her mind of the Eno’tai.”
“Ha, you’ve got to be joking!” Malice rolled her eyes, pretending to fiddle with Kember’s bandage.
“Whether it will work or not, I don’t know... but I was asked to deliver it, and so I have.” Navina replied, and set the small pouch down on the table before her.
“Were you there, when my Mother passed?” Kember asked, climbing down from the exam table.
“I was not, I only arrived a short time after, to find her as she was.” Navina replied, her head still down as she avoided eye contact.
“Then it is possible that she tried a batch on herself, honorable as she was, and didn’t survive the outcome?” Kember went on, and Navina was confused. “
Sure!” Zahara laughed, “She poisoned herself with her own work, but in doing so, found the cure for the age shift! Quite honorable indeed!”
“Works for me!” Kember smiled, and then turned to Navina, “What say you?” “Uh, I wasn’t there, I didn’t see a thing?” Navina let out, trying to hide her grin.
“See, Malice? There is nothing to fear!” Kember smiled at her, “And if you wish to use the contents of that pouch, I would be happy to inspect them for you!”
It couldn’t hurt to have Kember check it out. She was after all, the Bitch’s daughter; and was more than capable in the herb department. More so, than Malice.
“While you’re at it, would you examine this as well?” Navina asked, “I found it on the floor when I came in!”
“Sure!” Kember smiled at her, “Where are you going?”
“For a walk! It’s kind of stuffy here!” Navina laughed, hoping it would fool the others; cause it wasn’t fooling her.
She needed to breathe, she needed to clear her mind; problem was, that here in The Null, one couldn’t just take a time out and relax.
Something was always bound to happen.
Walking the endless halls of the Null, avoiding all that she could, Navina let her thoughts run through the chaos as of late; this morning in particular. She was just supposed to lie?
‘I wasn’t there, I didn’t see anything!’ Yeah right, she’d walked into the lab just in time to watch the Valkyrie snap the Witch’s neck; but she wasn’t about to say anything, not with all the other secrets she had cooped up inside.
‘Your knowledge, and rank as Sovereign among your kind, is the only reason I brought you back.’
Kalin had used children as lab rats. Malice had killed Kalin. Lady Ellaria had brought her back, and they’d made sure Navina wouldn’t speak a word of it.
Not that she would have anyways, there were just some things she didn’t want any part of; and secrets and lies were on that list.
Now, she had ′Shh, Malice didn’t kill Kalin. Kalin killed Kalin!
′Too much had happened, but in a heartbeat, it would all change, as she caught a whiff of his scent and the hormones took over.
“Vina, come?” It was a command that often fell from his lips in such sinful ways, they tickled her insides and plucked at her heart strings.
“No!” She purred, forgetting everything but the sizzle that ran through her veins. She wasn’t going to give in that easily.
“Come here, Vina” He called again, and she turned towards him in the hall and grinned.
“You may be the Sire of all Vampires, and they may fall to their knees at your beckon call...” She let out, slowly making her way to him, “But I, am your mate, and I will fall to my knees, when I see fit!” She approached him, biting at her bottom lip as her hand reached out for him.
“I bow to no one!” She whispered as his lips came down over hers. Lync groaned as she ran her nails across the back of his neck, nipping at his lips and running her hands through his dark, spiked hair. He shuddered in her arms, his muscles rippling beneath her touch.
“It has been far too long...” He growled, pulling her close and wrapping her in his arms.
“I need you...”
“I need a lot of things!” Came another voice, and Lync all but howled in a fit of rage; if it were not for her arms around his neck; pinning him against her.
“Now is not the time, Demon!” Lync let out.
“I’m sorry, my friend, but duty calls!” Nyx sighed, “Lord Eroch wants you with me on this next little adventure!”
“Take Markus!” Lync snarled back, before burying his face in her neck.
“You see, we totally would, being King material and all, but you, my brother... You have got some skills, with the whole ‘You will obey me’ routine!” Nyx laughed and bowed his head.
“They love you, what can I say?”
“Fucking Vampires!” Lync growled and shook his head.
“Hey now!” Markus piped in as he came around the corner.
“My bad...” He added, and turned back the other way.
“Freeze!” Nyx called to him, “Don’t even move, Homeboy!”
“Yeah, that only works when he does it!” Markus rolled his eyes at the Demon, but stayed put nonetheless.
“See, Lync? Now how does that make you feel? Knowing the Vampire King himself.”
“A Vampire King without his throne!” Markus corrected him, and Nyx just groaned.
“Homie, you are the shit! So stop your sulking and put that mother fucking crown on your head!” Nyx growled, and it almost sounded like an order.
“So long as I’m not in shit with the female...” He cut in, but the growl coming from Lync was causing quite the round of goosebumps for them all.
“Fuck!” Lync grumbled, and lay a kiss on Navina’s forehead.
“If I don’t go with them now, I may end up killing them!”
“You mean you won’t kill them on the way?” Navina grinned and kissed him back, long and hard, just the way he liked.
“Hey now, no secrets! That shit is so not cool!” Nyx grumbled and crossed his arms over his chest. All big and mighty looking with his hair pulled back so his tribal markings let off their amber glow.
Gee, well Navina and Lync were full of secrets. Some they knew, a lot they didn’t, and a few she’d rather not let come to light.
“Be safe!” She told Lync, and kissed him one last time for luck before stealing from his arms, making her way past Nyx and Markus.
“Not everyone will bow to him, you know?” She glared at the Demon.
“There are those that will try and fight.”
“Oh, please, tell me you’re seeing the future, and that I didn’t pack my blades for nothing!” Nyx’s dark eyes narrowed at her,
“Don’t worry, your Prince of Darkness will be safe!” Navina took one last look at Lync and then disappeared around the corner, shaking her head as she went.
She feared for them, feared that the enemy would surprise them, feared that they would not make it back; but then, she always felt that way whenever Lync left.
‘You saved him, and that is a bond that cannot be broken!’ Say what now? In fact, who had said that? And where, where...‘You risked your life to save him. He may have forgotten it for a time, but his memories are returning, my sister!’
That voice, so gentle, so sweet; and totally in her mind, as she looked around and saw no one.
“Navina?” Now that voice was not, in her head; and she looked up to see Mia making her way towards her.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Long, black and white hair, amethyst colored eyes, and one hell of an attitude; yup, that was Euphamia.
“You found me!” Navina smiled at her, wondering what the hell was up now.
“It’s a good thing too, cause Malice is upstairs and she’s pissed!” Mia told her.
“About what?” Navina started walking towards the stairs as Mia spoke.
“A pouch, a mixture, her daughter... Take your pick!” Mia grumbled and led her towards the stairs.
“Crap!” Navina let out as she took the stairs two by two; staying right by Mia’s side.
“Malice? Kember?” Navina called to them from out in the hall.
“In here!” Kember called back to her, and dodged a lamp as it flew towards the wall behind her.
“I’m sorry!” The Valkyrie growled, her hands up in the air as she shook her head.
“What’s going on here?” Navina inquired, stepping over a broken stool.
“It’s not just in here, crazy shit is happening all over the Null today!” Mia shook her head.
“And I am very sorry, about your Moms!” She added, looking at Kember.
“That is one less issue I have to deal with...” Kember smiled back at her.
“Don’t get all worked up over it!”
“She has every right to get worked up over that Bitch, but only if it includes a hefty dose of rage and a few of her daggers.” Malice replied through gritted teeth.
“My Mother...” Kember started, and then hung her head as Malice continued on for her.
“Kalin thought herself wise, sneaking behind my back and testing her tonic on my children.” Malice seethed.
“She did what?” Mia grumbled, and then held up her hands.
“No, don’t; cause it’s still floating on repeat in my head! Was she fucking stupid?”
“She’s dead!” Kember let out,
“She tried the latest batch on herself, and...”
“Poisoned herself? Seriously? Wow, she is that stupid! Or was... Damn!”
“I asked Kember to test the vial she gave to Madrina’s young.” Malice was going off, but that all slammed to a halt as Mia started to flip out too.
“Whoa, back the fuck up! She did what now, to my sister’s young?” Mia growled, and her eyes began to glow.
“My children were not the only ones to bear her... testing!” Malice joined her, and the two sounded like a pair of Wolves.
“Then she is lucky that she poisoned herself, so I didn’t have to do it for her!” Mia spun about and made for the door.
“So, very lucky!” She added, and then was gone from sight.
“Where is she going?” Navina asked as the room filled with silence.
“To Sanctuary no doubt!” Malice sighed, “I should not have mentioned it like that.” Malice whispered and hung her head.
“I will go and tell them of our findings, you stay here with Navina and see if it works!” Kember smiled at Malice, and laid a kiss upon Valkyrie’s shoulder.
“See if what works?” Navina muttered, but Malice was already moving towards her. “Are you talking about the pouch?”
“It would be easier to show you!” Malice replied, and smiled at Kember as she left the room.
“If you will permit me.”
“Uh, okay!” Navina tried to smile back, but she hated these little trips, and the fact that Malice could even do something like this...
“Sit there, in that chair, and give me your hand.” Navina did what she was told, sitting in the chair and making herself as comfortable as she could before offering her hand to Malice.
“You’ve done this before?”
“Not in many, many years!” Malice admitted, “And to tell you the truth, if it had not been for Orella.”
“Orella? What did she have to do with it?”
“In another vision, perhaps!” Malice grinned, and the fog began to invade Navina’s mind.
‘Do you remember the small jar on the shelf in our room?’ Kember giggled as Malice ran her fingers up the back of her neck.
‘Sure!’ Malice replied with a giggle of her own. ‘Though I would much rather that you come and show me!’
‘You know fine well, that if we go into that room together, it would be forever before we got back to this!’ Kember whimpered as Malice kissed her neck, and then shook her head to rid herself of the shivers.
‘We have to do this, and I need that jar!’
‘Very well!’ Malice grinned, slapped Kember on the bottom, and made for the door. ‘Do not do anything with that until I return!’
The vision went dark for a moment, and then Bathsheba, Malice’s daughter stood before her.
‘It is too fierce!’ She whimpered, quivering in a corner. Just as fast as it had come upon her, the darkened image of Bathsheba receded and again, Malice was standing beside Kember.
‘What is this, that you have just opened?’ She asked as she approached the desk and a sharp, very spicy odor assaulted the Valkyrie’s senses. Navina watched as Malice shielded, displaying the onset of shudders.
‘Mal, what’s wrong?’ Kember shouted, the bag still in her hand as she approached.
‘That’s...’ Malice started, backing away as far as she could. ‘That is the Keiran root that I smell, and Malorin?’
‘I know!’ Kember replied, completely confused by the look on her face.
One is an aphrodisiac, and the other is a deadly poison, from an insect!’
‘Yes, and when combined in the right quantities, it has wondrous healing properties!’ Kember laughed. ‘Not to mention its abilities to cleanse one’s mind!’
‘Oh, it works as an aphrodisiac alright, and she gave this to Bathsheba?’ Malice was still shouting. ‘By the Gods, nothing with a pulse is safe.’ The Valkyrie was pacing about the room.
‘She’s going through the blossoming, it’s tough enough to deal with the change, let alone with someone fucking with your DNA.’
Navina watched as Kember put her arms around her lover, and Malice’s hands, balled into little fists.
‘Mal, take a deep breath, and calm yourself.’ The Witch said in a whispered voice.
‘We need to finish this for the others!’
‘Your Mother spoke that she had given it to Madrina’s...’
‘Lady Ellaria has seen them, and once this is ready, we can begin on the others!’ Kember smiled at her, ‘And soon enough you will be able to see your Marena, Malice, she was not lying there!’
‘I don’t know if I can...’ Malice dropped her head with a sigh.
‘Take Navina with you, you don’t have to do it alone!’ Kember grinned, and leaned in for a kiss as the vision went dark once more.
“See? Not so bad now, was it?” Malice laughed as Navina came to.
“Bloody hell! Easy for you to say!” Navina grumbled and tried to rise from the chair.
“Easy, my ass!”
“Is your ass easy?” Malice inquired, offering a hand to steady the female.
“Did you finish it?” Navina blurted out, ‘You will be able to see your Marena.
“The pouch for Marena! Is it safe to use?” Navina replied. “Will she wake up and be herself, or one of their pawns still?”
“There is only one way to find out!” Malice grinned at her, holding a small jar in the palm of her hand.
“And I figured you’d want to be there when she awoke!”
Of course Navina wanted to be there. Marena was her sister, and though she couldn’t remember much, she felt the longing in her chest to be reunited. She knew that she had searched for decades, and she wasn’t about to miss this.