I opened my eyes all of a sudden without knowing the real reason I woke up so suddenly, I was a little disorientated for a while, I was warm and cozy and happy, and I didn’t want to get up ever from this place. I felt the bed slowly rising and falling under me which felt a little awkward at first. I looked up and the first thing to greet me was Vincent’s sleepy face, he looked so much younger when he was asleep and less intimidating, I tried my best not to move and wake him up because I wanted to take in as much of this moment as I could.
There was a strong knock on the door.
“Maya are you there?”
That was Evan’s voice. I sighed and sat up on the bed and took a moment to rub my eyes. Evan picked such a great moment to come here and bother me. Note the sarcasm. I took the blanket off of me and started to get up when I felt a hand grab my arm and pull me back a little. I looked over my shoulder to see Vincent lying in the same position but with his eyes open this time.
“Careful,” He said. I guess he was talking about the fact that he shouldn’t really be here.
“Ok” Was the only thing that left my mouth, I frowned because I was starting to get really annoyed by the fact that I had to be awake this early. Vincent checked the time and chuckled.
“It’s almost noon,” He said, I was very surprised of this fact.
“I thought it was way early,” I said and looked down at my hands “Haven’t slept this good in days” I whispered to myself.
“Me too,” He said. I guess it wasn’t that much of a whisper to myself; he smiled at me and nodded in a direction to the front door of my room. I sighed because there was no way Evan was going to see a good side of me anytime soon. I stood up and walked over and opened the door just a little bit, so he could see me. Evan was fully showered and dressed, he had his hand up like he was about to knock again when I opened the door.
“What?” I said. He lifted an eyebrow.
“Good morning to you too sunshine” He leaned against the door frame and I saw his eyes quickly fly over my head to my room. “What are you doing?”
“I was sleeping but not any more thanks to someone” This guy knows I’m not a morning person.
“It’s almost time to go…I allowed you to sleep as much as I could without actually changing our schedule” He crossed his arms over his chest.
“Fine” I scoffed “I’ll start to get ready”
“Good” He started to turn around but then stopped mid-turn and looked back at me “Have you seen Vincent?” His look went over my head again, I think he was thinking Vincent was in my room. I shrugged and tried to keep my cool.
“Haven’t seen him since last night” Was all I said.
“Ok” He looked back down at me and he leaned in to kiss my cheek for too long. I felt the heat rush over to my cheeks, Evan smiled and winked an eye at me before turning around and walking away. This must be because of everything that’s been happening, this strange thing I’m becoming, maybe it’s got me feverish.
Yes sure…that’s it.
I walked back inside and closed the door to find no signs of Vincent around, I even looked inside the very fancy bathroom and he was no longer there. I really wanted to know more than anything how did he make it out of the room without me noticing. Dude was sneaky.
I shook my head trying to focus on the main goal here and walked into the bathroom to take a quick shower before leaving. I had a feeling this day is going to be even longer than any other day.
I walked downstairs again putting special effort on not looking at any of these Horos in the eyes, the last thing I needed was for any of those people to be judging and pointing and for everybody to be in trouble. I carried my bag to the car where everybody was gathering; it didn’t go unnoticed by me how everybody stood silent when I arrived. I was just going to let it slide for now.
“What now?” I asked, and everybody just looked at each other with confusion. “I mean what’s the plan?”
“To get back on the road,” Evan said “We’re almost there”
“Ok” My eyes landed on Lana who looked a little cheerful this morning. I was glad to see that. “A few more hours inside a car with you guys…yay”
“Oh, come on!” Lui protested “It is really fun to road trip with us”
“Sure!” I rolled my eyes “Between your quiet self, Lana making up stupid games, the two guardians that barely speak and the idiot brother who starts to count birds, things are like a freaking roller coaster that only goes up”
“Hey, I read that book,” Lui said with a smile, I returned it.
“Actually, I watched the movie” He gasped and put his hand to his chest in a very dramatic gesture.
“Can I ride in the other car…I cannot breathe the same air this woman is breathing” He said as he turned around to face Evan, who just chuckled at our stupidity.
“Get over it,” I said and punched his arm playfully. We started to get in the cars and to get ready to get back on the road.
“My games are not stupid, right?” I heard Lana asked behind me.
“Of course not, darling” Evan said with a faint smile on his lips.
“Actually, they are,” Hayden said “No offense”
Evan drove away from the hotel parking lot and we hit the road one more time, I was starting to notice my stomach was empty and that’s when I remembered I didn’t have any breakfast back at the hotel. My stomach then made an awful sound, and everybody stared at me.
“Did you even have any breakfast?” Vincent asked I shrugged.
“I forgot,” I said trying to make it seem like I really didn’t care but trust me I do care…A LOT! You had to actually be here to hear the sound of the gasps around me, people were shocked, and I could tell why, I haven’t missed a meal in my entire life, that just never happens to me, missing a meal to me is like killing a person, so right now according to my hunger level I was a serial killer.
“You forgot to have breakfast” Hayden was the first one to speak “Guys I think we left my sister back at that gas station; this is a really crappy clone”
“Hey” I punched him “Shut up, I’m just not really myself lately”
“I can tell because you forgetting a meal is like forgetting your own child at the mall and returning home” Hayden was having a great time picking on me. I just rolled my eyes.
“How can you even forget to eat?” Lui then said “That happens only to the people who only watch the movie”
“Shut up Louis” I tried to defend myself as I crossed my arms over my chest. I was aware that I looked like a five-year-old.
“That’s fine doll,” Evan said pulling his million-dollar smile as he handed me a wrapped sandwich that he got from the hotel; the souls know how grateful I was at that very moment. “I got you”
“I hope the souls pay you with eternal life,” I said, and I didn’t think about it twice before digging into the sandwich. He rewarded me with a half-smile.
“So, no more stops, right? We’re going straight to the secret place” Lana asked as she looked at Evan, I didn’t try to see her reaction because I knew she would probably be pissed about Evan giving me stuff and that wasn’t something I wanted to deal with right now. He nodded and then silence fell over all of us. My mind was full of questions and concerns right now, I didn’t know what was wrong with me and even when I had Vincent on my side, for now, I knew that when the time came he would pick Lana over me, she could barely defend herself, you know what, scratch that, she couldn’t defend herself at all, so Vincent as her guardian he would have to look after her. I needed to find a way to figure out what was happening to me.
On my own
We rode for a couple more of hours until we arrived at the far end of Helenwood, there was nothing but forest around us, I didn’t even know who would even dare to live on this side of the island, it was even crazy to think about it. I started to notice a huge mansion peeking in the distance, it looked to be very tall and I had no doubt that was the place we were heading. As we got closer I noticed that what made the mansion look tall was that it was built right on the edge of a cliff.
“Who would do something like this?” I asked more to myself than anything else.
“Tons of people,” Evan said. His voice was raspier than ever, and I had a feeling it had something to do with what we were just about to face. Every second that we were getting closer made me just increasingly nervous, I also saw Lana tapping her fingers furiously on her leg so that meant she was just as anxious as I was. The mansion was very weird; it looked so old like it was more than a hundred years but at the same time it looked like someone had been taking care of it during all this time.
Evan pulled up in front of the mansion and I heard the other Cadillac stop behind us. We all sat in the car for a while like we were all afraid to get outside and deal with what could possibly change our lives forever, once Lana is called she would be the great warrior, there would be no way back, she would have to face a destiny that was set for her without her permission.
Vincent was the first one to open the door and get outside, we all followed close behind. It didn’t go unnoticed how Lui rushed to Lana’s side and held her hand, my gaze landed on Vincent and he looked at them for a split second before looking back at the mansion, this was something messy. Evan walked in front and before opening the door he turned around to face us.
“Don’t speak more than what you should, don’t stare for too long and most importantly do not talk without permission” He said.
“You practically said that twice,” Eric said. Despite the tension, some of us managed to almost laugh.
“Yes,” Evan looked at him “The second one goes for you…” He pointed at Eric and then his finger moved in my brother’s direction “…and you”
“I’m not that bad” Hayden looked at everyone like waiting for somebody to back him up. Trust me no one would do such thing.
“I don’t even know you dude, but I know you just don’t shut up” Evan rolled his eyes and turned back around to open the main door for us “Just stay quiet she’s very picky”
We walked behind him, the interior of the mansion was just as clean as the outside, old furniture was on the right place, I felt like one of those women from those human movies, almost like a princess for the first time since I found out I was indeed one. It was so quiet that I could almost hear everybody’s heart beat rapidly. I did not like to not know what was about to happen next. We entered a room that looked like a living room, except that this was like the third one I’ve seen since I walked into the house, that person was there sitting in one of the chairs with her back turned to us, she was sitting so straight that I thought she would break any moment. Her platinum hair was falling on perfect waves around her back. I think she knew we were there, but she wasn’t even looking at us.
“Come with me” Evan told Lana, he grabbed her hand and immediately Vincent and Lui pulled her back, I could tell none of them was feeling comfortable with any of this and I couldn’t blame them, the air felt weird here, it was like the air refused to completely fill my lungs as I forced it down my system. Like some kind of strange creature lived here, something that could not be explained. “Do you trust me?” Evan asked her, and she stood there for a while looking deeply into his eyes before nodding and taking a step forward. “All of you stay here” Evan then said and walked with Lana towards the mysterious woman.
He made Lana sit on the chair in front of her; from over here I could hear her gasp and I felt so curious to see whatever she was seeing now. I hated to be back here without being able to serve as some kind of support for her. I could tell Lui and Vincent were feeling the same way, the tension was coming out of Vincent’s body in waves as he tried to hold back. Hayden, Eric, and Luke were peeking and completely kept Riley behind them. Looked like everybody was protecting somebody here.
A couple of minutes passed by until I heard the low whisper of a sweet voice speaking in some different language, I couldn’t see the woman’s face because her back was turned to me, but I knew that it was her, this was Lana’s calling, it was really happening. I felt my breathing speeding up on its own as the whisper got louder and louder and echoed around the room like a very scary story. It was like I couldn’t control my heart that was beating so hard and fast that I had the feeling everyone else could hear it, it was harder also for me to breathe. Soon the words that didn’t make any sense to me at first started to take form and have some sort of meaning.
Vayet calls you…
I felt like something just grabbed my heart and was trying to pull it out of my chest in a very horrible way. My right hand flew to my chest where my heart is supposed to be and tried to make it stop beating so hard.
“Lana?” I heard Vincent whisper next to me, I looked in her direction just to find she was sitting in her chair like nothing was happening. What was going on? The voices became stronger like they were yelling, and the pain was stronger every second that went by, my eyes started to tear up.
“No,” I said as I tried to keep out the sounds that were rushing to me in equal intensity as the pain that I was also feeling.
“Maya” I heard my name, but I could no longer distinguish voices.
“Stop” I fell to the floor in pain as I tried to not be a distraction for everyone, Lana was about to be called. This could not be happening right now. I looked up and noticed the woman was now staring at me with a scary look on her face, just that it wasn’t so scary at the same time, I could see every detail on her face even when she was so far away but what caught my attention was her eyes, that were the exact same blue mine were.
That was when I completely lost it.
I stood up and ran to the closest door I could find that strangely lead to a yard, I could hear people calling me over and over, but I didn’t stop until I was at the very edge of the cliff, I looked down and tried to calm myself, I was very sure that falling would be even more painful than what I was feeling at the moment. A strong arm pulled me back from the edge and we fell on the grass.
“Are you crazy? Do you want to die?” Those words were barely a whisper under the strident noise that I could hear inside my head, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I screamed, I yelled at the top of my lungs and shook under whoever had me pinned down. I easily took that person off me and ran back to the center of the yard. I fell a couple of times and struggled with pain to get somewhere.
“Maya, what’s wrong?”
I shook my head in pain and when I thought it just couldn’t get any worse something inside of me exploded.
And then everything went black for a moment.