💙 Sienna’s POV 💙
I walked through the aisles of the supermarket in search of something to eat. It was my stomach that brought me out here, demanding I fill its void. As I opened my fridge this morning, I was not surprised to see it empty of anything edible. Just a few slices of stale cake from Friday’s party, gone-bad-leftovers, and some sauces. Not exactly appetizing.
The feeling of being watched hit me, almost like invisible fingers stroking my skin. However, as I look back, I see nothing and no one. Deciding it was just my paranoia. I continued dropping items into my cart, scanning every aisle twice to occupy my mind with something other than him—the man who haunts me both in the waking world as well as the dream world.
I found it strange grocery shopping without my mom. It was something we always did together as far as my mind would stretch. But now, I was alone, without her nagging about what was healthy to eat. I felt lonely, even as people surrounded me. But worst of all, I felt like I didn’t belong among them.
To comfort my alienated heart, I began humming an old song. It was a song I haven’t sung since my dad left me as a twelve-year-old. The words weren’t in English but something else. I still didn’t know if the language even existed.
I once had an imaginary friend. I saw him as a fatherly figure as he was always more present in my life than my own father ever was. He taught me the song and would often sit and listen to me as I would sing it for him.
Unlike most children, my imaginary friend remained even as I was old enough to know that fairy tales were false. And that Santa and the tooth fairy were a sham. In my loneliness as a child whose father treated her with little affection, I extended the existence of my imaginary friend for a few more years.
But he too left me.
One day he stopped coming to see me. It was the same day that my own father left mom and me, striking my soul with two poisoned arrows of loneliness.
The sound of whispering paused my melody as I paused to listen.
“It’s the future Azure queen, so beautiful,”
“Lower your stupid voices, she will hear us. The king must not know we were here in the first place. We can’t affect her decision to cross over. Come. Now that you’ve seen her, it’s time to leave.”
“We could just watch her from afar, no need to get close. She will need all the protection she can get. The Azure knights are weaklings.”
“Have some respect. They are the most elite warriors of our kingdom. You’re just miserable they refused you,”
I heard their whispers from where they stood hidden behind a tower of kidney bean cans. There were three distinct voices, two girls and a boy. I didn’t know how many more were hidden, but they were definitely not human as they called me the Azure queen.
As I discreetly crept closer to their hiding spot, I felt the necklace Luthias gave me pulse and saw its soft radiance. At least I know it actually works.
As I was within ten feet of them, the tower of cans came down, clattering all over the floor. And that’s when I saw the three.
“Holy Toad belly,” The boy whispered, wearing the same expression of panic as the others.
The two girls were polar opposites of one another. They were more different than the heavens and the earth. One was the definition of pure black. Her hair, lips, and clothes held the same black pigment. My attention was drawn to her eyes. The irises were so dark you couldn’t even tell if she had pupils. Her hair was pulled into a high ponytail, cascading down her shoulders like black silk strands freshly harvested from the darkness. Adorning her body was a glistening black armor, almost leather-like. The air around her was cold, and she had an aura of a fighter, one who could hold her own against an army.
The other girl was the definition of pure white snow. Her appearance followed the same course as the other girl, except she lacked any pigment in her hair, eyes, or clothes. Her aura was so soft, and more fragile than snow as it instantly melts in the palm of your hand.
Next, my eyes landed on the boy’s short silver hair, curling around his pointed ears. His eyes met mine, giving me the view of his one green, one blue iris. Even the metal with which his armor was welded was imperfect, an incomplete mixture of different precious ores. Everything about his mismatched appearance screamed attention-seeking and chaos.
Even without the pendant, I knew they weren’t human. However, they were more alike to Luthias than to the monsters who kept coming after me. ‘These coming days you must trust no one,’ Luthias had said, warning me.
I need to be cautious.
As both the girls smacked his head, I knew I was right about his gravitation to trouble. He was the one who knocked over the cans.
“What happened here?” One of the market associates yelled, running to see the damage.
“They did it,” I said, pointing to where the three were once standing, except now they were gone. The necklace stopped pulsing, its light dimming by the second as no unnatural entity triggered it.
Even if they were still there, the human woman wouldn’t be able to see them. She just looked at me like I was crazy. I was pissed off at having to take the blame.
Apologizing for the seventh time, I rushed my cart to the register. Standing in line, my phone began vibrating in my back pocket. Seeing as I was next in line, I had to ignore the call.
Soon I was outside, loading the groceries into the back of the truck. Sitting down in the driver’s seat, I pulled out my phone to see whose call I missed.
His name on my call log was a sight for sore eyes. I hadn’t seen him since the morning after my birthday after I was dropped off at home.
Finally, he was getting back to me. These past few days, he neither called nor texted, and that was the longest amount of time we ever went without talking. I was starting to worry that something happened to him, praying that Luthias didn’t play dirty.
I called his number, the phone ranging three times before he picked up.
“Sienna! Why the fuck did you refuse to answer me? You’re so incompetent,” He shouted into the phone, sounding breathless. I was startled by his outburst and pissed off by the way he was speaking to me. He never ever used that tone with me. I noticed something seemed off with his voice. It sounded deeper than usual.
“Excuse me? First of all, never speak to me like that. Second of all, I was cashing out at the market. You have no right to be mad, I was the one who was texting and calling you every day, but you never answered,” I said annoyed.
“I’m sorry, love. Please disregard the foul words I used. These days I haven’t been feeling like myself.” He said a lot calmer now, speaking in a manner so unlike his typical fashion. Not feeling like yourself? Oh, it shows.
“It’s fine. What did you want?” I questioned him, wanting to get to the bottom of the hole and figure out what was going on with him. I needed to know where he had been for the past few days.
“Please, I require your aid. I will meet you behind your home.” He said, before hanging up abruptly. It’s not that I wasn’t willing to help my boyfriend, it’s that he left me no choice but to meet him, sounding so demanding and I didn’t like it. Not one bit.
My anger dissolved as I felt the necklace’s chill against my skin, reminding me of my guilt and what was the right thing to do.
I had to tell him.
I needed to tell him about Luthias. I never kept secrets from him as he never kept any from me. Something this big shouldn’t be kept a secret. He deserved to know that a king from another realm was stalking his girlfriend.
But to tell my boyfriend that I practically cheated on him, I needed some support. I texted Evelyn to come over to my house, and she answered back quickly, agreeing to come. I was surprised by her quick reply as she usually took her time to text back, hours at a time.
Well, this works in my favor.
Walking down the carved path leading to the back yard, I saw him standing with his back to me, facing the forest. He looked better than he usually did. There was a healthier shine to his blond hair, giving it the appearance of gold. Even his skin held a sun-kissed glow, freshly gifted by the stars.
He held himself with a stiff posture, a contrast from the laid-back fashion he carried himself.
“Jax?” I called, feeling uneasy. His eyes locked on my direction as soon as I parted my lips to speak. Even his eyes looked more lively, clearer, and a deeper brown.
“Sienna! Finally, you’ve come to join me!” He said with a smirk, walking towards me, but I backed away feeling uneasy.
“Are you Jax?” I asked, feeling stupid for even doubting him. Who else would he be?
“Where is this coming from, darling?” He asked, looking as if I wounded him.
“You seem different,”
“The way you look and the way you hold yourself is...strange,”
“Do you not like it? I’ve been...working so hard to learn how to behave and speak like this. Why do you have to be so judgmental? It is so very unlike you, dear,” He said, providing my mind with even more troops to fight my mental battle.
What the hell am I supposed to make of this?
He looked like my Jax, but he was different.
“Come with me, Sienna, I have a special surprise for you,” He said, extending his hand to me, wanting me to walk closer to where he stood.
“You said you needed my help with something,”
“I do require your help, but we first need to go to the special place,” He said, his eyes two brown pools of compulsion.
As I stood frozen, not knowing what to do, the pleasant expression on his face twisted up into a scowl.
“COME!” He roared in an unnaturally powerful voice, scaring all the birds in the vicinity into an early migration. I recoiled, taking several steps back, my heart pounding with fear.
No, he definitely wasn’t my Jax.
But where did the real one go?
As I turned to run, I crashed into something, throwing me flat on my back.
Evelyn stood over me, with a surprised expression on her face. Reaching down, she helped me off the muddied floor. The entire backside of my body was smeared with fresh mud.
“Oh, hey Jax!” Evelyn said, going around me to accept the hug Jax offered her. I just stared at them, my mouth on the ground. Did she not see his outburst? Did she not notice any changes? Did she not care about dropping me into the mud?
As I went to wipe my dirty hands on my shirt, I took a sharp breath.
How did I miss this? I had been so distracted by Jax that I didn’t notice the pendent glowing and pulsing like crazy against my skin.
‘These coming days, you must trust no one,’ Luthias’s words echoed in my head, bouncing off the subconscious walls of my mind.
My eyes searched my surroundings, trying to make out any shapes amidst the dark forest. I had a feeling that it was just us three, and the animals for miles. It was an intense gut feeling. One I couldn’t dismiss.
As I backed away from them, the necklace’s activity lessened, justifying what I dreaded.
Who was the creature?
Sorry for the late chapter! I’ve been so invested in my newest book, BlackXs. If you enjoy a good mafia story, be sure to head over and give it a read.
I will do my best to at least give you guys a chapter a week for this story. I will aim for more but sometimes things don’t always go as you plan.
Thanks for reading!
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