The metal door slammed behind us as we made our back into the safety of the bunker. Silence followed after in a loud wave, the door having knocked the adrenaline out of our veins.
My ears are still ringing and my vision won’t stop flashing no matter how many times I squint and rub my eyes. I shakily make my way over to one of the cafeteria tables. Sitting down seems to help. I can’t help but feel like I’m under water and everything around me is muted, but my head is burning with a million thoughts.
There are muffled voices in the room now. From the tone I can tell that some are yelling while others are simply speaking. A shadow appears in front of me and the yelling voice is a lot louder then before.
I can only ignore it since I can’t hear a single word coming out of the persons mouth. I stand up and walk past them, digging my hands in the front of my hoodie. For a few seconds I feel around, looking for a certain material to help shield me from my surroundings. A rising panic begins in my chest as I don’t feel it. Frantically I check my back and front pockets, hoping desperately to find something.
“Are you even listening to me?” The voice suddenly bursts through my consciousness.
“It must have fallen out.” I whisper back.
“My- my beanie. It must have fallen- fallen out when we were running.” My voice is just as shaky as the rest of my body, but it’s the last thing on my mind.
“Are you kidding me right now?” Even though I’m not completely paying attention I can still tell its Cala who’s irritated at me. “We could’ve just died or got caught and the thing going through your mind right now is a stupid beanie?”
I shake my head and turn around towards the hall that lead to my room. Cala grabs my shoulders harshly before I can make it far.
“Where do you think your going? Huh? You have some serious explaining to do. How the hell did you know about that stupid gas leak?” I don’t answer and just keep shaking my head and searching the room randomly. “Answer the question!”
I jump a small bit and that’s when Nat jumps in. “Cala stop! She’s clearly in shock. We all are. Let’s just take a step back and calm down.”
“Stay out of this, Natalia. We don’t know anything about this girl. For all we know she’s the one that caused the explosions and was just trying to cover it up.”
“That’s ridiculous and you know it- “
“Do I? Do I really? Don’t you think it’s a little odd that Miri would just randomly let a new comer take a trip outside? Miri has never done that before, ever. She’s way too cautious and protective. Besides we don’t even know what this chick is. She could be a Dark Witch in disguise and we would be none the wiser!” Her grip on my shoulders tightens and gold light appears from her hands, sending a burning sensation through my body. “Don’t tell me something is ridiculous when it involves almost losing you, Nat.”
I scream out in pain, a hot searing pain rips through my body. My blood feels as if it is curdling inside my body. My knees collapse underneath me and she finally let’s go as I plummet to the ground.
“That’s enough Cala.” A strong firm voice echoes from the other side of the room.
The room goes silent as Miri makes her way towards me, her heeled feet click on the ground. Long thin fingers gently grasp my arms, just below where Cala’s hands had been only seconds ago.
“What is the meaning of this?”
My head is faced downward so I can’t see anyone, but I can feel glares from all around the room.
“Little miss Lark here blew up Brimstone Market.” Cala claims as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
“That’s not true.” Nat intervenes.
“Shut up, Natalia- “
“No, I won’t, and stop calling me that. Just because I gave you permission to say it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to use it against me.”
Miri shifts me so I’m no longer leaning over. She sits to the side of me and lays my exhausted head on her chest. “Tell me what happened Nat.”
She steps forward slowly and an astounded Cala scoffs and goes to sit on the table I was sitting at before.
“We were just getting everything like we normally do; we split into groups, you know? Lark sensed something that we didn’t and I could tell it was something really bad. Then, she mentioned that she smelt gas and that’s when me and Ash knew that it was something bad. If it wasn’t for her then we wouldn’t have been all together when the place went up.”
“You’re forgetting that she made herself known to a SIF’er and kept us there longer even though she knew what was going to happen.” Cala spits out.
“She was trying to warn everyone else in the building!” Nat defends me. “A lot more people might have died if it wasn’t for her.”
“Yeah but- “
“That’s enough, Cala.” Miri glares, sounding sterner than I’ve ever heard anyone talk. “I sent Lark specifically for this reason.”
“To put us in danger?” Cala is now standing up; her wings are out and flaring.
“To protect you from danger.” The room goes silent. “Lark has a very keen sense to the spirits of death and destruction. If she can stop the risk of any of you dying out there then you can bet, I’m sending her with you.”
“But I didn’t” I finally am able to speak. My voice is tight and shows the pain I’m enduring. “The woman I saw, the one I told you about. She still died. I saw her- I saw her die right in front of me. I saw. I saw it.”
I continue to mumble under my breath and rock back and forth. I’ve never seen so many stares of concern or fear. So, I look down. They all think I’m crazy, especially Cala.
“Shhh, it’s alright. There are bigger evil’s in the world, my dear.”
Instantly I freeze and shuffle out of her arms. “Bigger evils?” I try to stand up but my legs give out from under me. “… I’m a dark one, aren’t I?” no answer. “Aren’t I?!”
“Honey, no, of course not.” Miri tries to sooth me. “Dark ones are creatures who have no conscious way of interpreting what is right or wrong. You understand that damage was caused and could’ve been prevented. That makes you a protector; a guardian.”
“She is not one of us.” Cala seethes.
“She saved our asses tonight.” Ash steps forward for the first time glaring down the angry angel. “We named ourselves guardians because we protect each other; our own kind. That’s exactly what she did. If you ask me, she matches the qualifications.”
“Well nobody did ask you, did they?” Cala spits back at him. “I say she’s a danger to us all, how are none of you seeing what I’m seeing. For all we know, her crying over her brother was just an act and she got his sorry ass caught on purpose.”
Something clicks in me as those words spill out of her mouth. Katie’s breathing exercises and positive thoughts can’t help me now. The pain in my arms and body subsides to a dull ache as I clamber to my feet. It all becomes a blur as a guttural sound escapes from my mouth and I go for Cala’s legs, taking her to the ground.
She doesn’t expect it in the slightest and easily goes down with me. We both fight to get the other one pinned down, though I have a bit more of an advantage since I’m on top.
“Get this bitch off of me!” she screams out and it seems to work because I feel strong arms pulling me off of her only seconds later.
I continue to fight in the persons arms as I yell out to her. “Don’t you ever talk about my brother again. I will rip your head off; I swear.”
“See she just threatened me, Miri aren’t going to do something?”
Miri steps in front of my struggling self and that’s when I finally calm down a little bit. “Go to your room, Cala.”
Cala’s eyes widen in shock as she looks around at everyone in the room staring at her. She scoffs then stomps down one of the hallways, I’m guessing to her room.
Nat moves to follow her but stops when she sees me look at her. She hesitates. “I’m sorry.” Is all that escapes her lips before she flashes away to follow her friend.
“You good, Miss Brimstone?” I hear from behind me and realize that Asher is the one holding me.
“Don’t call me that.” I pull out of his arms, but the adrenaline has seemed to left and the pain returned so I just fall back to the ground. I’m maybe two inches from face planting when Ash catches me again.
“I’ll take that as a maybe.” He smiles and slips his arm under my shoulder to help me up. His skin is radiating heat. It’s like a warm blanket. Usually I would be fine with that type of warmth but my burnt-up shoulders are screaming.
“Candace, do you have enough energy to do a healing treatment?” Miri asks as she comes to my other side to support me. They all ignore the fact that I practically just attacked one of their own.
She slightly nods and pushes off of her brother. “I think I- “her knees buckle underneath her and Carter is instantly there to catch her. She must have used everything she had while we were out. We all have our limits.
“It would be best if she got some rest first.” Carter almost whispers. “When she wakes up, she’ll come straight to help Lark.”
He doesn’t wait for anyone’s answer and picks her up, instantly making his way out of the room.
“Candace hasn’t yet learned to focus only some of her power and ends up using it all in one or two goes. She’ll get it someday.” Miri says, trying to take the attention away from me.
I’m not sure when Reid and Mitchel made their escape but now they are nowhere in sight. If I were them, I would’ve left too.
“Aren’t you going to scold me or something?” I ask in disbelief at their avoidance of what just happened.
Miri shakes her head and cups the side of my face with her long fingers. “You just proved to all of us that you’re a fighter, Lark. We need fighters.”