Immortally Bound

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Chapter 20

The scent of cherry blossoms woke me. Lynna gazed down at my face. Everyone else in the room was sound asleep. Drew held Ella in his arms and snored softly. Teresa and Kevin were sprawled on the floor. Clara slept on the sofa bed with Mehgan and Alex rested his cheek on the armrest of his chair. I quietly got up and followed Lynna outside the house and back out to the pool. It was well past daybreak, but early enough that we could talk without any interruptions from our friends.

Lynna began. “I’m trying to get my father to rescind your oath, but I don’t know how long it will take. I need you to tell me about your dreams. All of them.”

I stared at her. “I don’t think that you’ll want to hear them, at least not all of them,” I mumbled out. I knew that the part about the rape I witnessed in Saladian’s cell wasn’t something she’d like to know. It was horrific enough thinking about the incident.

Her eyes bored into mine as I remembered the visions. “What have you seen?” she asked again.

“Saladian, she’s trapped inside of a crystal prism, well I think she is…sometimes.”

“What do you mean sometimes?”

I grimaced not knowing how I should answer that. “Well, she wasn’t last night or the day of the Autumn Ball, or the…”

Lynna cut me off. “Stop. Last night’s vision was of the past. That wasn’t present day. And the Autumn Ball? How did she get free of her prison?”

I cleared my head. “Wait. You mean to tell me that whenever I see Saladian outside of the prison it’s because it’s a vision of the past?”

“Yes, but what did you see at the dance?” she pressed me.

Her answers changed my perspective on what I had learned about her world. “Wait, you’re saying that her prison, the crystal prism she’s trapped in, is the current state of affairs?” I clarified.

“Yes.”

I felt stranger than I did earlier. I felt hollow and empty. A wave of nausea swept over me. The chilly air was suddenly stifling, though this was the first time for me to notice the effect it had on me. “She’s a prisoner. I think someone is trying to force her into conceiving a child.” I didn’t want to go into too much detail, but hopefully Lynna would understand the real meaning behind it.

She blinked from the revelation, but she didn’t move nor become frightened by my words. “How do you know that for sure?”

I stared into her eyes, so she would know that I meant what I would say. “Because I witnessed it.”

Her eyes widened slightly, and she averted her gaze. “How?” she whimpered.

“I don’t know. I’ve been dreaming about her and occasionally visiting her in her prison for a long time, though I don’t know how I get there. She’s spoken things. She knew I was there with her.”

“Like what?”

I scratched my head. “Like, how it’s been a long time that anyone’s been able to visit with her; how she can’t see her warrior because it will reveal his location. She said something about someone’s choice though I don’t know who…” I trailed off because I couldn’t remember her exact words on that topic. Lynna’s face was a mask of shock and horror. I expected as much when I knew I must tell her what I saw.

She didn’t speak out loud.

“You know of what I speak, don’t you?” I whispered.

She nodded slowly.

I sighed. “And you can’t tell me anything because of the oath.”

She kept nodding.

“Why did I make that stupid promise?” I wasn’t mad at her. I was mad at myself. “It’s done nothing but make things worse for me.”

“Garrett, I think you know why you made the oath,” Lynna stated.

“Well I can’t remember that.”

She shook her head. “It’s not a memory issue, it’s your personality. You act before you think. That’s why you won the hockey game against West Fork, that’s why you agreed to date Jacelyn even though you knew the consequences of your actions, and that’s why you agreed to the oath even when you knew nothing about the blood binding.”

I couldn’t reply. I was stunned that she knew so much about me. Every word she spoke was true, though at the time I couldn’t justify the truth to myself.

“You have noble intentions, but you lack the facts to make rational decisions. Cass goaded you into making the oath because he knew you wanted to protect me. It was obvious from the first day.”

“But I do want to protect you. I have thought that since I first laid eyes on you,” I blurted out without weighing my words again.

She blushed. “Garrett, I don’t need protecting. I never have.”

“But…” I didn’t know what to say and how to say it. She was letting me down easily and I knew that she didn’t need a protector from the first day I witnessed her in action. She was a fighter, a warrior. She knew the skills of an assassin. But the dreams haunted me. In my heart I knew that she wasn’t as strong as she seemed to be on the outside. I didn’t know what her weakness was, though I knew she had one. I never wanted it for exploitation, but as knowledge. That alone drove me to understand her and her world, despite the oath I had made.

“Before you cut me off again, I need to get this off my mind. You’re right. Every word you’ve said about me is true; I act before I think. But I also know that what I’m about to say is true though I don’t know how I know it. You need help and protection. You’re here for a reason; something happened to me for a reason. It wasn’t a coincidence that you were speaking Gaelic and I understood you. It’s not a coincidence that my mom taught me five languages before I even met you. Saladian pulled me into her prison for a reason. I was meant to witness what I saw while I was there in her cell. The visions from the past are mind altering and wild, but it’s your world and I need that knowledge of your world, so I can help you. Whatever oath I took was to protect you, and no matter what I will not succumb to its curse because of it. In the end you will need my help. You needed it that day I dived in front of the knife and you know you did.”

She looked disturbed. “The only reason I intervened that day was because you got hit. You were never supposed to get hit. Even they don’t attack the humans on this planet. I shut my body down so that you could safely get away, but you thwarted my plans and attacked them.”

I rounded on her. “I attacked them because even in this world women fight back. You didn’t. And I know enough to know that you didn’t want to be taken away! You were helpless, Lynna! Whatever they did to you, you couldn’t move, you couldn’t fight! And it doesn’t matter that I intervened or tried helping you or whatever excuse you want to throw upon me. The truth is they attacked you in the open, at school! They tried abducting you in front of me. It’s the same situation with the ambulance and Ella. No matter what you say, they’re not afraid to reveal who they are!”

“That’s only because they think you’re one of us!” she yelled back.

“If that was true, then they wouldn’t have revealed themselves in front of Ella no matter what they say!” I shouted back at her.

She didn’t respond. Her face was stricken with grief.

I hadn’t realized it during our heated argument, but we spoke to each other in Gaelic having made the switch somewhere in the middle of my long speech. I caught movement in the corner of my eye. When I whipped my head around, my eyes fell upon Ella, Drew, Kevin, and Alex, whom held a plate of eggs, bacon and pancakes in each hand.

The three stared open mouthed at us in shock. They knew they stumbled upon a private conversation. We were on the other side of the pool, far enough away for any one of them not to hear us, if we had been speaking in normal hushed voices. But we weren’t, and it was clear that Ella was involved as we mentioned her name more than once.

For several minutes none of us moved. Eventually Teresa and Clara broke the uneasy silence that settled in. They emerged from the house with pitchers of orange juice and iced tea in hand. Mehgan brought up the rear with syrup, napkins, and silverware.

“Time to eat!” she announced loudly, not realizing what had taken place. She set the stuff down on the patio table and then faced Ella. Teresa and Clara already had taken their seats and were chatting about the next school event. “What are you guys standing there for? It’s going to get cold,” she chastised. Before Ella could react, Mehgan grabbed the plates from her and set them down on the table.

A mixed range of emotions crossed the faces of those who stood staring at me and Lynna. I didn’t know what to say. What were they thinking?

Lynna turned away from me and proceeded to go into the house. She mumbled, “I’m not hungry,” as she passed between Ella and Alex.

I plopped myself down on the bench and turned away from everyone. I wanted to rewind the past few minutes and keep Ella from hearing our conversation. She could be thinking a myriad of things right now, none of them good. I stared at the blossoming tree in front of me, even though it was winter.

Someone sat beside me. It was Drew; I noticed his posture was slumped like mine. Plus, his shoes were a dead give away on who the newcomer was.

“Do I want to know why Ella was mentioned?” he asked me. “She’s completely thrown by the fact you were talking about her to Lynna. You don’t have a crush on her, do you?”

“No,” I stated quickly. That was the last thing I wanted any of them to think. Ella and I were just friends, and nothing more.

“Okay. I’ll take your word for it.”

When I didn’t say anything more he got up and went back to eat with the others. I didn’t talk with anyone else for the rest of the day. Lynna retired upstairs in the guest room she stayed in and neglected emerging from it until after I left. Drew and I went back home after six that night. School started back the next day, and I needed a good night’s rest in my own bed, especially after the stressful conversation I had with Lynna.

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