Lynx and I were in one of the shuttles, trying to find a communicator to contact Lainie.
“I found something!” Lynx walked to where I was at the back of the ship. In his hand was a circular silver device. It must have been SE’s. He opened it and inside was a screen and a keyboard with English letters/numbers.
“Score,” I whispered.
“You know we could get in huge trouble for talking to Lainie,” Lynx said. He was never one to care about rules or consequences.
“Why do you care?”
Some very real emotion passed through my brother. “I just got Alex back. I don’t want to leave him.”
My heart softened. “If you’re really worried about it, leave. I’ll do it alone.”
He elbowed me. “When have I ever left my kid sister to do something illegal by herself?” He told me to recite Lainie’s phone number (that I’d memorized when we were still dating) and he typed it into the keyboard. I hoped her iPhone was compatible with this space device.
The device made a high-pitched sound that sounded like a dial tone. Lynx’s face scrunched up. “I don’t think it’s wor-” He was cut off by Lainie’s unmistakable voice.
“Lainie? It’s Amy.”
“Amy! Oh, my goodness, I was getting worried.” Her face wasn’t on the screen but we heard her loud and clear.
“Sorry, there hasn’t been time to call or email.”
“Hey, Lain,” Lynx said.
“Lynx? Hi!” Lainie said. She and my brother had always gotten along well. “Are you guys coming to get me?”
“Well, there’s strict rules involved. We are here on Earth now but we aren’t allowed to make contact with humans.”
“So, I’ll be alone when they come?” There was fear in her voice. The sound was so familiar, it caused me to sway where I stood. I vividly remembered that fear directed at me. I’d almost forgotten the terror I saw in Lainie before I made her leave Enceladus.
“No, of course you won’t,” I told her. “As soon as we can leave, I will come get you. I promise. You’ll be safe with us.”
She breathed out a sigh of relief.
Just then someone knocked on the shuttle door, causing both me and Lynx to jump. “Lainie, I’ll call you back when we are coming for you.”
I pocketed the device after she hung up and stepped out of the shuttle. Lord Mel and Talia were standing there.
“Lord Mel wanted to talk to you,” Talia said. She grinned like she knew something I didn’t.
“Amelia,” Mel bowed toward me. He was so polite, it made me almost uncomfortable. “I was wondering if you wanted to spar with me.”
I grinned. “I would love to.” My heart already started revving.
In the middle of the warehouse where no shuttles were parked, there were mats set up for sparring. Mel and I took one of them. The he took off his clothes.
Well, not all of them. He was left with only pale khaki-type pants. He handed his robe and shirt to a nearby guard of his. The way the guard handled them was like they were sacred. He was tan and toned and near perfection. I self-consciously looked down to my attire. I was wearing a black tank top with black pants. It was warm in D.C., what could I say, nearing fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
“Shall we use our abilities?” he asked me.
“Yeah, we should. And fists.”
“Ready?” He grinned.
He didn’t waste any time. One second, he was there in front of me and the next he was gone. I whipped around and spotted him. I used my elemental control in the form of water and drenched his head before he could teleport again.
He shook his head, water flying everywhere. He barreled into me so fast, I didn’t have time to breathe. He knocked me down but I jumped right back up and swung my fist at him. I had suggested using fists but suddenly I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to hurt him.
Mel started circling me and I pivoted so we were walking around in a circle together. We danced delicately, him matching my strength and me his. He was a good opponent.
Suddenly he stopped moving and brought his hands to his forehead in a praying motion. I stood still, wondering what he was doing. Out of nowhere, a gigantic bird appeared next to Mel. The oversized hawk-like thing dove at me and I ducked, covering my head before realizing I had abilities too. I turned invisible.
Mel laughed as the bird looked thoroughly confused. I noticed we had drawn a crowd.
I snuck up behind Mel and jumped on his back. Ever so gracefully, he flipped me down on the ground, emptying the air from my lungs. I held on to his hand though and sent him careening down with me. I hopped on top of him and placed my hand lightly on his throat. I had won. Only then did I reappear.
Some people clapped. One of them Talia. I smiled.
I looked down and realized I was on top of his golden, sweaty chest. I hurried off and helped him up.
“You are a very skilled fighter, Amelia,” he said, normalizing his breathing.
“Thank you, Mel. You’re not so bad yourself.” I hadn’t broken a sweat.
We shook hands. Talia came up to us. “Good job.” She kissed my cheek. “Lord Mel, you are incredibly graceful and agile.”
“Why thank you, Miss Talia.” He bowed and took back his clothes.
“Your teleporting is really cool,” I praised.
“Oh, is it?” He disappeared and reappeared next to Talia. She laughed in delight.
“It really is. And everyone can do it?” Talia asked him.
He nodded. “We all have teleportation and telekinesis and summoning. But it’s our glamours that differ.”
“Glamours?” Talia asked.
“Yes.” Mel put back on his shirt which immediately soaked up his sweat and the water I’d dumped on him. “A glamour is like a spell we can put on ourselves or others. We can make people see anything. Or not see something.”
“That’s incredible,” she said in awe. It was.
“May I?” he asked, reaching for Talia’s hand.
She nodded and took his hand.
“Do you always have to be touching the person?” I asked.
“No but it works better.” He stared at Talia.
“Whoa. How is this possible?” She was looking around seeing something we didn’t. “This is absolutely breathtaking.”
Mel smiled warmly. “I’m showing her an Earth rainforest.”
“Do you have to have been to the places you show?” I wondered aloud.
“You’ve been to Earth before?”
“I have.” Mel’s smile dimmed a bit with pain.
I decided not to ask the details. He let go of Talia’s hand. She was grinning from ear-to-ear. “That was amazing. It was so real. Thank you, Lord Mel.”
“What was with that bird?” I asked him.
He chuckled, the sound so regal. “It’s called summoning. My elves can summon any animal known in the entire universe if they know what it looks like.”
“That could come in handy.”
“It does, indeed. Now if you would excuse me ladies, I need to make sure Adina hasn’t gotten herself into trouble.” He bowed and sauntered away.
“He is really great,” Talia said to me.
I agreed and tugged her closer to me.