Luminaria

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Leaving Vincent Behind

I was ready.

I was dressed and ready to go to the stupid party I really didn’t want to attend, to make happy people I didn’t care about and I had to do all that with a freaking smile on my face. It will definitely be a challenge for me to stay still and not punch somebody tonight. Riley was also finishing getting ready and Vincent was on the other room getting changed.

I had to admit I was sort of nervous.

“Calm down” Riley looked at me as she put on her shoes. “It’s just a birthday party”

“It is not just a birthday party” And it would be stupid to treat it like one. This was us pretending to be socially acceptable.

“What can possibly happen?” Riley gave me her best motherly look. I hated when she treated me like this.

“Well…many things can happen” I pointed out “I can trip and fall and make a huge fool of myself, I can potentially kill someone out of anger, Myyts can break in and kill us all, or a huge meteor can crash on earth and it will the end of our existence”

“You’re a drama queen!” She declared at the same time she rolled her eyes “Who knew?”

“Whatever” I groaned “Let’s just get this over with”

“Sure”

We walked outside to where my father and Vincent were waiting for us. I saw Eric and Luke were also waiting for us; Riley walked over to them and hugged her brother. My father was the first one to spot me.

“Oh, Maya” He gave me one of those sugar filled hugs, just what I needed in a moment like this “You look so beautiful” He was my cure for panic.

“Thanks, dad” I smiled at him “Remember what we talked”

“Yes,” He said with a full smile on his face “No talks about you growing up, no tears and no ‘you mother would be proud’ at least for the rest of the day”

“You got it” I laughed and hugged him one more time before turning around to face my friends. Vincent was there staring at me with his intense green eyes wide open. I bit my bottom lip because I never thought I would be in front of him wearing this dress. I took a deep breath and smiled at him. “What do you think?”

“You look…” Vincent scanned my body slowly, I felt the air get stuck on my throat “You look beautiful”

“Thank you” I nodded and looked at down at my shoes. There it was again, I thought they were gone but no…awkward moment all over. “You look good too”

“Thanks” He rewarded me with a full one hundred volts smile. I couldn’t help to smile back at him, I noticed he had a small dimple on his right cheek when he smiled a lot, he seriously couldn’t get cuter.

“It’s time to go,” Eric said and he linked arms with Riley. I lifted my eyebrows and he winked at me in return. I guess this party was beneficial for some people.

“I’ll escort you, Maya,” Luke said and Riley instantly punched him right in the stomach still smiling. It was creepy.

“No! Take my other arm” She said “Vincent will take her” Riley pulled them both out the door and my father followed them close behind. I took a deep breath because that couldn’t be any more obvious. I faced Vincent again and he offered me his arm.

“Let’s do this,” He said.

“Can’t I just like…skip this whole thing?” He shook his head in amusement “I’m really good at hiding in small places”

“No, you won’t skip it because on top of everything else, you have a sister waiting for you”

Of course…Lana. I didn’t know the reason as to why it bothered me that he brought her up and I didn’t dig into it. The less you know the better. We walked out of the room and followed the rest of the crew to the ballroom that was located on the third block of the castle, just one floor above the council room. I tried to calm my breathing on our way there but it wasn’t an easy task. Just to think that all the people that in some way hated me were going to be there to celebrate my birthday made me wanna throw up.

We met with Lana and Evan at the door just about to go in. She looked dangerously beautiful in the dress Vincent helped her pick, her skin seemed to shine and her blonde curls were falling over her back like a cascade. She looked so beautiful it was hard to believe she was actually my twin. She wrapped me in a bear hug right away and I hugged her back, then it was Evan’s turn to hug me.

“You look so beautiful” He whispered into my ear. I looked into his sparkly green eyes and smiled, he looked very handsome himself with that black suit and his blonde hair was brushed back in a very elegant way.

“Thank you,” I said “You look great too” A cocky smile appeared on his face instantly.

“I know” I shook my head and laughed at him.

We went back to original positions and Evan opened the door so we could all walk inside. According to Lana, the only people attending were the ones that lived inside the castle, I honestly didn’t know so many people lived here. The members of the council were sitting on a large table in the center of the room, along with The King and Queen. The room was filled with so many people it was crazy, mostly teens.

The first thing we did was to greet the council one by one. These people were really testing my patience, I did it as quick as I could without being rude and rushed to the food table and tried to drown myself with a cupcake, maybe I was being paranoid but I could feel their judgmental eyes on me, burning me. Riley and Eric reached me then. Eric looked extremely happy to be there with Riley, I took a deep breath because I wanted them to have a good time.

“Do you think I’ll get to say hi to Zachary?” Eric asked as he eyed the council table. I looked over to them and they all seemed to be bored as hell.

“I don’t know” I replied. The protocol wasn’t really my thing. “Maybe we should ask Vincent or Lana” He nodded and grabbed a glass of punch.

“This is really nice” Riley looked around the room and I saw a surprising small smile form on her lips. She wasn’t the party type, especially if it was such a big thing as this, all formal and shit.

“I guess” Was the only thing I could say to that. I know most people didn’t understand why I hated this kind of celebrations so much but it didn’t matter. I was here anyway.

Soon someone announced it was time for us to share our first dance as adults. I didn’t know why they were trying to make this thing into some kind of passing on cult or something. Lana pulled Vincent to the dance floor and that’s when I noticed I needed to pick a partner as well. I was a terrible dancer; this was just not going to go right. Evan grabbed my hand and pulled me to the center of the ballroom as well.

“I suck,” I told him “Just so you know…you can’t say I didn’t warn you” Evan laughed and he softly kissed my hand making me tremble.

“I don’t mind” Were his exact words. He put one of my hands on his shoulder as he grabbed the other, his free hand was wrapped around my waist and he pulled me closer as he moved us around at the sound of the music. I would want to say that I was doing something but truth to be told he was the one to do all the work. We twirled around the room like we were some kind of professional dance couple. His eyes never left mine.

The music echoed around us but it was like we were totally alone in this giant room. For the first time in a long time I truly felt like a girl: feminine, wanted and delicate. I couldn’t remember the last time someone made me feel so…vulnerable but at the same time so safe. It was like with his stare he was trying to tell me he would do anything for me. Who knows, I could be delusional.

The song was over but we stayed there…in each other’s arms. Our eyes locked in a stare.

Then a shiver ran down my spine, it wasn’t a nice shiver though, it was an odd one. Evan blinked a couple of times and then he looked around the room. I looked around too but everybody was still chatting, eating and drinking like nothing was happening. What was that?

“Did you feel that?” He asked.

“I did” We looked back at each other and he sighed in frustration as he let me go.

“Just when things were getting interesting” He ran a hand through his hair somehow making it look better.

“What’s going on?” I asked him. I didn’t know why I had that really strange feeling. “What is happening?” He sighed and looked at me.

“Myyts” He replied.

Wait…Myyts? Was he serious? Everybody was still doing their thing, the alarms weren’t on, and how could there be Myyts inside the castle.

“But the alarms…”

“Just give it a second” He interrupted me. We stood in silence for a couple of seconds and then the alarm was on. I gasped. “Stay with Vincent,” He said before completely disappearing. I searched for Vincent among the now panicking crowd, he was holding on to Lana’s hand and our eyes soon landed on each other and he ran towards me dragging Lana all the way.

“Where’s Eastwood?” He asked in a harsh tone. I shrugged before answering.

“He told me to stay with you and left” I looked around. “What’s going on?”

“The alarms can only mean something” His eyes were cold as the ice. He grabbed my hand as well and dragged us both to the far end of the room. “Almost the entire castle is here so that means most guardians will come over to protect, I have to join them”

“Vincent, don’t do anything crazy,” Lana said, I could see the concern in her eyes.

“You’re confusing me with Maya,” He said with a smile.

“It’s nice to see you’re capable of cracking a joke on a moment like this” I scolded him, which only made him smile wider. Sometimes I hated this dude. We spotted Riley, Eric, and Luke by the food table and I hugged them, there were no signs of my father and I had a terrible feeling about this.

“Where’s my dad?” I asked them and they all shrugged at the same time.

“We lost sight of him when the alarm went off,” Luke said. I groaned because this was so not the moment to go missing. Vincent quickly looked at me and pointed a finger at me.

“Don’t you dare to move” He groaned “I’ll go look for him” That actually made me feel better. Vincent took off and some guardians walked into the room. The two guardians that came to my apartment were part of them. They were trying to calm the crowd but it was impossible, the people were running around completely scared.

“Real nice,” Riley said, I sent a confused look in her way. What was she talking about? “Whoever let the dark dogs in waited for the whole castle to be reunited here to do it again” That actually made a lot of sense. I couldn’t believe someone here would actually let them break in; it would be risking their own life. My eyes went directly to the council’s table; they were all looking very calm, which didn’t give me much of a clue. Something wasn’t right here.

“Please proceed to go to the shelter” A guardian opened the door and was letting everybody out. Were they really letting people out before the alarm turned off? That was odd. The King walked over to us with a whole bunch of guardians following him close behind. He grabbed Lana’s hands and looked deeply into her eyes.

“This is where we separate my dear,” He said. It was the first time I saw a real emotion on his face, he looked sad like it was hard for him to tell what he was about to tell her. “You must leave the castle in order to be safe”

“What are you talking about dad?” Lana’s voice was shaking and I just knew she was on the verge of tears.

“As long as you’re here they won’t stop targeting the castle” He looked over his shoulder “We don’t have much time, your guardians will take you where you need to go” He then looked at me “Trust Mr. Eastwood he knows what to do”

What was that suppose to mean?

“I love you with my entire soul” He caressed Lana’s cheek and kissed it softly, his eyes once again looked at me. “I love you both very much” and with that being said he was leaving the room with his guardians. Lui approached us and he grabbed Lana’s hand. I didn’t know why that last statement made me feel weird inside.

“We have to go,” Lui said “Evan prepared everything” I couldn’t be more confused.

“What is going on?” I asked him but he just shook his head and walked out the door, we all followed him close behind. My dress wasn’t letting me walk properly especially when I wanted to walk fast to keep up with everybody. There were still no signs of Vincent or my father.

I didn’t like this.

We soon reached the garage and Lui opened the black Cadillac for us to enter, he gave Luke another key and pointed at another black Cadillac behind.

“You three get in there…there’s not enough room for all of us in here” Luke nodded and opened the door and got on the driver’s seat. I jumped in and found a couple of bags on the back seat. I opened it to find clothes…my clothes.

“Lui, do you mind explaining to me what is going on?” I looked back at him and he shrugged.

“I’m just following orders” I had the feeling he knew more than what he wanted to let us know. This whole situation didn’t feel right and how come we didn’t run into a single Myyt on the way here. The alarm was still on so that meant there were still creatures inside the castle. I finally saw Evan walking over to us with three bags in his hands. He handed Eric two of those bags and threw the last one inside our car.

“Evan, what is going on?” I was so tired of everybody not answering me; if he didn’t come up with a good answer I was going to punch somebody. “And don’t tell me some lame excuse I want to know the truth” He looked at me once before looking around.

“Lui, can you check the perimeter one more time before we leave?” Lui nodded and ran into the darkness. He sighed “Listen, this is an order from the King, he knew the castle was going to be attacked tonight” Lana jumped in her seat when he said this.

“If he knew then why did he let it happen?” She asked him. That’s when I noticed she was crying. Her sobs made my heart break for her.

“Because that would cause a distraction so we could get you both out of the castle without our enemy noticing” He crossed his arms and licked his bottom lip before continuing “You are both more important than you know”

“What enemy are you talking about?” He shrugged.

“We don’t know yet but we believe someone inside the council caused all of this” He sighed and looked down at his watch. Lui came back and jumped into the back seat.

“Everything is clear,” He said. Evan cursed under his breath as he looked at his watch one more time.

“We need to go,” He said and he ran around the car to get on the driver’s seat.

“Wait what about Vincent?” I asked him. He wasn’t really thinking about leaving him here.

“He knew he had to be here before eleven” Evan started the engine like he was about to drive away. I heard Luke starting his engine as well.

“No! What if he’s in trouble” I exclaimed. It was beyond me the fact that they were able to actually just leave him there. I looked at Lui “Lui come on” He looked at me with pain filling his eyes but even then he just shook his head.

“He wouldn’t want us to go back inside” Were his only words. I was astonished. Were they really going to leave without Vincent? That didn’t feel right in any way. I looked down at my shaky hands gripping the skirt of my dress. This all wasn’t right but to think Vincent and maybe even my father were both down there in trouble was making every cell in my body boil, and that went against every single principle I had, it was against my nature. Maybe Vincent was right.

It was a Maya thing to get in trouble.

It was a Maya thing to save people.


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