Chapter Thirty-Five: Things Are Working Out
Monty, already alerted to a commotion in Salatia’s streets, headed in the direction with a subtle hand hovering over the strap of his holster.
He marched down the street passing a few people moving in the same direction, only to find the crowd thickening as more and more gathered.
Acknowledging the familiar voices amongst the gasps and whispers, Monty pushed through the current of bodies until he reached the front, it wasn’t easy but as his chest filled with dread hearing snippets of conversations, he couldn’t let himself be swept backwards.
Blood, deep wound, I wonder what happened and the list of uncertainty went on, but he couldn’t have asked or said anything different than anyone else when he finally reached the front, the gory scene in front of him was a spectacle.
Evan, just about supported by Fraya and Erabos, Kaydence slipping to the ground as Mayfel’s muscles gave in to the weight, his wings hanging and tainted with deep crimson blood..
Mayfel had attempted, and failed, to catch Kaydence on his descent, Monty witnessed it all and was there in support of the collapsing body, aiding Mayfel in lifting him from the floor.
“Clear a path! Out of the way!” he yelled to the crowd swinging an arm as if to ward off an angry mob.
A path slowly parted, no one seemed in a rush to do so and were more intrigued with the drama happening in front of them, but it was enough room for them to pass through.
“What happened?” Monty asked taking more of Kaydences weight from Mayfel as Ida and Xenia trekked past the and up ahead, a box Mayfel knew all too well in Ida’s one arm and in the other, a cloth-covered rectangle.
“Too much to explain right now, all I can say is that there’s an angry man after us. And he has the power to control minds and read them” Mayfel noted in a hushed voice as to conceal it from any ears that might have been listening in curiously.
“Who did you guys manage to piss off?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you”
Bursting into the medical wing, startling a few healers into action, saw those of them that were helping the injured in through the doors left empty as Kaydence and Evan were whisked away behind the privacy of the curtains.
The hardest part of it for Mayfel was the fact he had to wait outside with the others, all the while Kaydence was being poked and prodded.
“If it’s any consolation, there’s been crazy things happening here since you left” Monty mentioned, hoping to somewhat draw Mayfel’s mind away from the current situation.
“I guess that’s a long story to share as well”
“We have a lot of catching up to do”
“Before that, I need to get in touch with the King” Mayfel stated as if suddenly remembering everything he needed to explain as his eyes widened and his fingers began to fiddle amongst themselves.
“Nerina was communicating with him over the past few days, your best shot is to see her or travel to him yourself. Maybe Xenia could use her portal fingers to whip one up”
“I don’t think she has the strength right now, she didn’t look too well”
“She seemed perfectly fine marching off next to Ida”
“Even so, I don’t want to leave Kaydence, at least until I know he’s okay”
“That’s a more reasonable answer,” Monty said
As if summoned by the ere mention of her name, Nerina saunters in through the door in a whirlwind of white and shades of blue that clung to her upper body in a dress and shawl.
“My lady” Mayfel greeted her with a gracious bow and spotting Wren and Demetrius stood behind her, relief and form of worry shadowing Demetrius’ face.
“Welcome back to you all, I am glad to see you all return”
“My lady Nerina, I must get a letter to the King” Mayfel blurted out.
“I am very aware of your situation, one is being written as we speak. I came to see how our fellow injured souls are fairing”
A nurse managing the check-in desk spoke up “One is currently receiving stitches, the other essential remedies” she said, her eyes reading from the clipboards in her hands.
“And what of our other patient?” Nerina asked
“He is still improving, although t is too early to confirm if it will continue”
Nerina nodded in thanks to the nurse, who resumed her work, only to be disrupted again by Mayfel and his growing impatience.
“Do you know how long it’ll take for the Aer Clan Fae to be released from your care?”
“It will not be before the morning, he may not have injured anything vital, but it is still an injury that needs care. The boy will be on pain remedies, so he may be out of it for some time.
“When can I see him?” he asked, silently hoping the answer would be there and then.
“I will notify you when he Is settled” her tender voice stated, her careful fingers arranging the papers on the desk to one side.
Nerina who had been discussing the way forward with the others during Mayfel’s enquiries turned to Wren/
“Find our guests some rooms in the nearby tavern and inform them that I shall be paying the prices”
“Yes my Lady, is there anything else you would like us to do on your behalf?” Wren asked as he prepared to leave.
“Actually, there is.” she turned to Demetrius “I wish for you to spend some time with Mayfel. Salatia may be in danger but one must relax and clear the mind, Mayfel will need a distraction also.”
“Yes, my lady,” he said and bowed his head.
Signalling them to follow, Wren exited the room, Fraya and Erabos on his heels.
Monty had slipped back to Nathan’s side, his body disappearing behind the door as it closed, Mayfel was desperate to do that same but undoubtedly the nurses would be watching and checking in on Kaydences state.
He had stayed behind to talk to Nerina but she herself was moving towards the doors out of the medical wing.
“Nerina” he called his feet carrying him towards her gliding figure. “How will I know when I can see Kaydence?” he asked her.
“Someone will be sent for yu, do not fret child”
Accepting her words, Demetrius’ hand landed lightly on his shoulder and gradually guided him away.
Mayfel, as he left, spared a glance over his shoulder, as if he’d catch and glimpse of Kaydence by some random flare of chance.
* * *
“I see someone’s coming around” Zack noted to Andrew as the man grimaced, his eyes blinking open to see Zack crouching over him.
Continuing on with his mockery of the man, Zack said “Did you think that little trick of yours would have worked? There was you, against three of us”
“A man’s got to try” he responded.
Rowan, who was sitting beside them, spoke up with a demand “You will tell us where Horatio is, his real location. Or we will kill you getting the information”
“It would be an honour to roam the afterlife with the Mati, death doe not scare me. Even so, I wouldn’t risk killing me without getting an answer”
“With or without you” Rowan began, his eyes fierce “I will find him. Even if I must travel every inch of the four lands and beyond, I will find my son”
“He isn’t your son, nor Is he Horatio’s for that matter, not that he knows any better of course”
“What are you talking about? You must have punched you harder than you thought Aveline” Zack mocked.
“The child, Tollen Ranemis-Moore. His last name is nothing but a lie, conjured up by Braylen to hide his real identity” Andrew stated.
Not trusting a word, Zack tested him a little more, he chose to ask the big question “Then who’s the father?”
Andrew’s lips stretched to a knowing smirk “Our Mati needed an heir. Jeanove thought it would be him, but the Mati would never entrust something so important to an adopted follower”
“Are you saying Bregan is the father?”
“Horatio, the poor sod has no idea,” he said as his voice trembled with laughter.
Rowan pushed Zack aside taking his place, his hands grasped the front of Andrew’s shirt and began to violently shake him, all the while he demanded to know Horatio’s whereabouts.
Andrew, however, seemed to find the situation hilarious as the wicked cackles continued to tumble from his lips “I wonder if the little nipper is still kicking. If Horatio finds out it’s not his, who knows what he’ll do. That man is unpredictable, he did afterall kill your wife, didn’t he Rowan?”
The man snapped, Rowan’s hand shot out to Zack’s holster and within the second, it was pointed to Andrew’s forehead between his eyes.
“Will ask once more before I pull the trigger” Rowan snarled, his voice dangerous and deep as his eyes held a severely crazed delirium.
“Do you even know how to use that?” Andrew ridiculed
“We shall both find out, now where is he?”
“I am Mati, I see all, I protect all, I follow only the Mati and that Mati is me” he replied, the words Rowan, Zack and Aveline knew and had heard on more than one occasion.
Raising his voice to speak over the babbling, Rowan asked once more “Where is he?”
Andrew did nothing but look right into his eyes, pressing his head to the barrel of the gun “I am Mati, I see all, I protect all, I follow only the Mati and that Mati is me”
“Where is he!?” Rowan yelled, rage overflowing in every ounce of his being.
“Think about what you’re about to do Rowan” Zack warned him, seeing how riled up he was getting.
Aveline, who was awaiting them in the driver’s seat, had caught sight of them in the wing mirror and swiftly wound down the window and stuck her head out “What’s going on?” she asked concerned.
“Rowan stop” Zack called out
“I am Mati, I see all, I protect all, I follow only the Mati and that Mati is me”
As Rowan cocked the gun, Zack’s hand leapt out in an attempt to grab it, all of which Aveline lay witness to from the front of the van.
She watched the scuffle, her hand on the handle but her movements weren’t fast enough.
The gun fired, the loud bang sending her heart skipping beats as it drummed frantically in her chest, she clambered out with the worst-case scenarios replaying in her mind.
The three bodies started to move, Rowan sat back on his heels seemingly fine, if not a little frustrated and lost, Zack was the next to sit himself up, his hands skimming his torso in search of a bullet wound.
Andrew, however, remained flat on the floor, alive and well to their dismay, although it did raise the question of where the stray bullet had landed.
“Are you all mad?” she cried out, perfectly prepared to whack them all individually.
As if to answer her question, Rowan threw his body onto Andrew’s, his hands wrapping around his throat as he throttled him.
Aveline and Zack, with one of Rowan’s arms each, pried his hands off enough for Andrew to croak out “Millturn City, Brook Court number 6”
“Start driving” Rowan stated, getting himself off of the man.
“Try asking me nicely, I know we’re in a rush and all but you should still keep your manners and respect when speaking to Zack and me”
“Of course, Zack sit in the front” he continued “I will not kill him, I have the information I wanted and when we return to Salatia, he will be handed over to the king and charged with conspiracy alongside Horatio.”
Sighing in defeat, Zack climbs into the front, Aveline already seated with her hand on the gear stick.
On the road again, the air fell stale and silent, Zack kept his wary eyes on the rearview mirror when they weren’t busy memorising Aveline’s features that he so much adored.
He often wondered where they’d be if everything hadn’t happened, perhaps they’d have the family he’d dreamed of by now, a house maybe, a sister still.
Zack couldn’t help but think if Aveline was truly serious about wanting a family, seeing as she’d never been one for staying in one place.
She constantly took days at a time away from The Raven’s compound, so it was difficult for him to imagine her settling into a home and living such a mundane life.
But maybe it’s what they both needed after such chaos and loss, if he had a ring then he would propose to her in a heartbeat although he had to ask himself if she would even want to get married.
He thought he knew her well, but it seemed she’d grown and changed and he didn’t actually know much about her at all anymore.
The simple things like her favourite colour or number were probably different too and the fact was, no one had time to think or talk about trivial things anymore.
Weddings and birthdays were forgotten between them for the past year, there was no need to think of them when they had bigger things to focus on
It was strange that he now had time to stop and process it all, he realised how much he missed out on compared to the oblivious human workers that did the usual days work to then go home to their families.
Maybe life could have been easier.
Looking down at the gun in his hands, he thought about the times he thought about using it, not to hurt others but to hurt himself.
In retrospect, he wouldn’t have had the guts or the desperation to pull the trigger, it was a possible door of escape guarded by impossible defences.
Even now with the world in the state it was and his life in turmoil, he felt no need to use it, he had no need to reunite with Helena.
There was still a shimmering pinprick of hope for a family, a happy life with Aveline and if it was to be just the two of them for the rest of their lives with no rings of tiny feet padding around, then so be it.
As long as her hand was in his and he could relearn everything about her.