She’s so close yet so far. Only a few feet away yet I’m restricted from seeing her and saying her name. It just isn’t fair and yet, sadly, it is. My girlfriend is in this realm and in this apartment. It is Hailey who I should be worried and thinking about, not her.
We were moved out of the open when she knocked on the door. That Kitoshy guy used some spell to see through the door and see who it was. That’s when Hailey and I were shoved out of the room so none of us would see each other. I wish we had just hid my girlfriend instead. Let her see me. Let me see her. In the flesh, just once more. But what good would that do me?
According to Alaric she doesn’t remember me. She said she misses someone she can’t remember. But after some digging, Alaric found out that it was me. Or at least it’s safe to assume that it is me she misses. Alaric wants to try something out but he hasn’t told me or Kitoshy.
“Alaric, have you figured out the details of this experiment you want to complete? We don’t appreciate being left in the dark.”
I nod in agreement earning a glare slightly less harsh than the one Kitoshy received. After a few more minutes, Alaric takes a seat next to me on the couch, turning so he can face the two of us.
“Since Aszurya doesn’t necessarily remember you, I want to try and test how strong this gyen is. But in order for that to happen in a safe environment you would have to be apart from your girlfriend. Kitoshy, I know you don’t want to do this but oh well, I need you to take the blonde girl into the city for a few hours so I can bring him out in front of her.”
“You are right. I don’t want to be with the rude human girl-”
“She’s not rude, damn it.”
“Whatever, half-breed. As I was saying, why can’t you bring her into the city?”
“Aszurya doesn’t know you like she does with me. Plus, I have a better handle on her than most people if we exclude Theodore here.”
I frown and raise my eyebrows at the warlock. I have no control over the woman in the room behind me. I may have led people to believe so when I was younger but times have changed and so have the two of us. We aren’t little children any more. Aszurya’s more developed now.
Way fucking developed…
I bite down hard on my lip, thinking about her body and how she used it against me. Engaged or not, with the way she seduces me without knowing it…. I’d screw up everything I worked hard for just to get my hands on her. But no one will ever know just how badly I want her sometimes. Even being away from her didn’t help it.
I proposed to Hailey because I was unhealthy. Not bodywise, but mentally. It gave me a barrier. A reason to stay away from the clubs I snuck out to. A reason for me not to dream of her when I had Hailey in bed with me. I couldn’t even have proper sex with her before I proposed. For a year and a half, I thought of Aszurya instead of Hailey. My mind played tricks on me. My eyes played tricks on me.
Looking over my shoulder at the closed door, I think about how she drove me crazy. How our memories together made me completely forget about who I was dating. The only name I knew was hers. I had to take days off and stay away from Hailey because I couldn’t keep my mind from shifting back to her. But those days are over now. I’ve changed and now I’m engaged to the love of my life.
“I said we need to go see something before letting the two of you see something. We need to head over to the archives, before you ask.”
Alaric nods his head and stands up, a new jacket appearing on his lean body with the snap of his fingers. I follow suit and walk out of the apartment after the warlock. He opens a portal leading into a large white building with while marble tiles and a large glass dome ceiling with a crystal chandelier. It’s so clean I wonder if it’s ever been dirty. Just how new is this place?
“Welcome to the archives,” A stout man says with a broad smile on his face from behind the large curved desk in the center of the front room. “We have held information about everything since the beginning of time. What is it you are looking for?”
“I would like to see what information you have on a specific person by the name of Aiden. I’m not sure of his last name but I can give you a description. As for my friend here, he would like to see everything you have on Aszurya Death-Rose.”
Sticking my hands in my pocket, I raise my eyebrows and watch as the Siethen walks out from behind his desk. The little man gestures for me to follow him down a long hallway and into a small grey room. The only thing in the room is a red bean-bag like chair and a large desk with a strange device on it. The employee stands in front of the desk, maneuvering through the device with ease.
“These are the archives of the future great reaper of the realm. There are texts, videos, and pictures explaining everything we know of her.”
I nod my head and sit down on the red chair watching the man as he leaves me alone in the small room. The device in front of me is the size of a large tablet, but the shell is so thin, if turned sideways you wouldn’t be able to see it. It is like a hologram with no source.
I press on a video from a few years ago without reading the captions. Music begins to play through invisible speakers, playing a song similar to those that played in the clubs of my world. Strip club music. The video starts out a bit hazy but focuses better than any camera I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s like I right there at the scene of the video yet it’s just a recording.
There is an empty stage and a few long strips of fabric falling from the ceiling. A few girls barely wearing any clothes on, large heels on, walk onto the stage and begin to dance. The way they swing their hips is mesmerizing and way too sexual. As the video continues, I wonder what this has to do with Aszurya. Sure she danced but I doubt it was ever like this.
I exit out of the video and read the article below. My jaw drops as my eyes scan the words on the screen. Just how much do I not know about her. If we are linked then how is it I know so little about her. This… this is a big secret she kept from me.
As I go through the similar articles and pictures and videos, I realize that I know absolutely nothing about Aszurya. Everything that I thought was true was merely a small glimpse of the truth. Who exactly is Aszurya? I sure hope that I get the chance to talk to her about it. To really see the true side of Aszurya.
Alaric comes to get me after a few hours have passed by saying that he’s found out some interesting things. I wonder if he knows the true Aszurya. I’m tempted to ask him but only after he explains what he found out about this Aiden guy.
“Are you going to make me wait until we get back to tell me what you found out?”
“Well, it only makes sense. I don’t like having to repeat myself.”
“What if I told Kitoshy when we got back. Then, you wouldn’t have to repeat yourself.”
“Kitoshy wouldn’t believe you.”
“How would you know?”
Alaric shrugs his shoulders and opens the portal into his living room. Kitoshy and my girlfriend are nowhere to be found. I roll my eyes aggravated with their absence. I drop down on one of the couches and sigh heavily before dropping my head in my hands, reviewing the things that I saw and heard today in the archives.
I feel responsible for the things that she did and went through. It wasn’t just what was in the archives. It was our link. I saw her crying, alone, with no one to comfort her or tell her that things get better. She had no support because I was in oblivion in a different realm. She grew up without her guide and peaceful half.
She was wandering around in an empty space, walking through walls like a ghost with no escort. No one to stop her when she went on rampages, killing hundreds. I felt her heart being ripped out of her grasp and there was nothing I could do about it.
I look up to see Alaric watching me with his cat-like eyes. Running my hand through my messy hair, I shrug my shoulders, fold my arms, and lean back on the couch.
“The things I saw today at the archive… they make me feel so damn guilty.”
“Did she actually do all of those things they said?”
“Oh… you saw all of those, didn’t you? Look, Aszurya had some dark years but to answer your question, yes, she actually did all of those things.”
“Then you understand why I feel so guilty. I probably could have been there for her. Been her light in the dark.”
“I do understand why you feel guilty, being linked with her and all that. You probably felt more than the normal companion of Aszurya would feel watching her in such a dark time. But that is not a reason to be guilty, you couldn’t help not being there. You didn’t walk in to find her lying half-dead in a pool of blood with cuts, burns, and welts all over her body…”
I stare at the warlock sitting in front of me with disbelief written all over my face. His yellow eyes are filled with sorrow and regret.
“What do you mean? When did you…”
I trail off as the pieces click in my mind. The archives had dozens of pictures but not all were pleasant. Some were gruesome, like a torture cell. Aszurya was tortured, beaten, malnourished. Those pictures didn’t hurt as much as the ones with her lying in a pool of her own blood. The ones with her on a medical table with people trying to revive her body, her father standing in the background waiting for his time to come. The ones with partially healed scars all over her body.
“It was only a week after you had left when I came home to an eerie mansion. I called Aszurya but got no answer, just more silence. As I walked up the stairs I got the sense that something bad had happened. I pushed open her bedroom door and instantly smelled blood. Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw her lying there on the floor with her joggers halfway down her legs. An empty bottle of Black Vodka layed next to her along with a long iron knife.
“She had cults, welts, and burns made from the iron knife and her own nails. Her organs were shutting down because of the amount of alcohol in her system. There was a long gash across her throat, the reason she was so still. There was no heartbeat. No breath. Just blood everywhere. I thought all was gone until I looked into her half-lidded eyes. I could barely detect the life lingering in her eyes.
“I felt like a failure trying to heal the wound to her neck and stop her blood from running out. I was already too late and I wasn’t helping. I wasn’t trained to be a medical warlock. I didn’t even get trained to be anything. I skipped warlock school after a while which would have come in handy. It was my first time trying to prevent someone from dying. And I wasn’t much help.
“I called one of my warlock friends and asked her to save Aszurya. It was her and Blithe, Aszurya’s mother, that managed to save her with the help of several others, including me. She died right in front of our faces but we managed to restart her heart and get her blood rotating. She came back to us but with some consequences. The woman inside that room now has two beating hearts, causing her pain every time she thinks about the life she could have had. She herself feels guilty because she couldn’t convince you to stay. That man took advantage of how weak she felt and gave her ‘peace’.”
Alaric and I sit in silence, both feeling guilty for not being there for a woman we both care about. We both sit there feeling absolutely useless. Like a marble in an empty room. What use are we to the world?
“This is our time to help out Aszurya,” I say with a gruff voice. Alaric nods his head and we silently say our words of determination, vowing to help out the one we care about. Just as Alaric opens his mouth, the door opens up to reveal Hailey and Kitoshy. The red headed warlock looks wearily at the two of us before storming off into his and temporarily Alaric’s room.
“I might as well tell you what I found out now. Kitoshy doesn’t seem to be looking too well.”
I nod my head as my girlfriend comes and sits down on my lap, resting her head on my shoulder, her nose buried in my neck. I wrap my arm around her waist and tune my attention in on Alaric.
“What’d you find?”
“This man isn’t who we think he is. Aiden is just an alias he is going by. He is in fact, Adrian Nagatory, a powerful Siethen that was said to have died three hundred years ago.”
“How is that possible? You just said he died three hundred years ago.”
“I said that he was said to have died then. No one ever found a body and there’s a conspiracy that he might still be alive.”
“So you are saying that he faked his death.”
“It appears that way. The resemblance is uncanny and if I could just get either a strand of hair or anything, I could get it traced back to see if it is a match.”
“And if it is?”
“Then, getting Aszurya back is going to be long and difficult. We need to unleash your powers asap. Hopefully, Aszurya will remember who you are when she sees you.”
This is going to be next to impossible. Especially with Hailey in the picture now. Alaric stands up and walks into his usual bedroom, now absent of the woman in all of our minds, save Hailey. Leaning back, I try to plan our next steps but I find my mind running back to the archives and Aszurya. Just how deeply has this gyen affected her?
We need to focus on retrieving my powers. I feel just as I did years ago when I was in search of my memories. To think I had thought my life was just settling down when I proposed to Hailey. I thought everything was going to be swell until Alaric showed up at my departing party telling me that there was trouble in his home realm. He whisked me away from my own party and dropped a ton of problems on my shoulders.
I need to get my powers and save Aszurya from this crazy lunatic. Then I can head back to my realm and finally marry the love of my life.