Truth: A Valkyrie Saga Book 3

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Chapter 6 - Unwanted Interest

Nothing was for sure. We didn’t have any proof. But I knew Elijah and I were of the same mind. My brother had just met one of The Hidden. From his description, ‘met’ was a little strong of a word for what happened, but one thing was for sure. She was a female and she was incredibly strong. What if Ray wasn’t as unique as we assumed. What if there are dozens just as powerful as she was living somewhere within the void.

Would Ray finally discover the place that she belongs and leave us?

Dread nearly took my breath away as I considered that possibility. Ray irrevocably changed my life the moment that she stepped into it. I couldn’t go back to how things were before. It would be like going back to only seeing black and white once you discovered the beauty of color. I loved her and wanted only the best for her.

I just prayed that we were what was best for her.

-Max Nilsen

I pushed us and the SUV into the void so that we wouldn’t draw too much attention. Once we were in the void, we could see that Elijah and Max were standing right in front of us. Before I could say or do anything, Derik lunged forward and cupped Elijah’s head in his hands, clearly searching for any injuries. Elijah didn’t pull away and instead just reached over and placed his hands on Derik’s waist. I watched as they shared an oddly intimate moment and the longer that it lasted the more I started to wonder. Were Elijah and Derik a thing? Like did they have a relationship that went beyond just being clan mates?

The more that idea started to grow within my head, the more it made sense. I had never seen either of them with a girl or even heard them talk about anyone they were seeing. They always seemed to be together and worked incredibly well with each other. I had always thought that was because they were linked, but maybe there was more to it. Not that it really mattered, I was just curious. And focusing on their possible relationship status was distracting me from what I really needed to be worrying about. What had happened to Elijah?

I tore my eyes away from Derik and Elijah and looked over to Max. He was standing stiffly and looked worried. Something really serious must have happened. I walked over to him and straight into his arms. Hugging Max was one of my favorite things to do in the world and always made me feel more balanced. More able to face whatever the world was going to throw at me next.

When I started to shake a little because my nerves were getting the better of me, Max talked gently as he tucked my head under his chin. “It’s okay. Everyone is going to be okay. We will figure this out and everything is going to be okay.”

But the buzz in my head told me that Max didn’t really believe the words that he was saying. He didn’t think that everything was going to be okay.

“What happened?” I questioned and pulled away from his chest.

It was Elijah that answered, “I was listening to the Queen and Hernan talk when this woman walked into the room. She went completely unnoticed by everyone but me, and she could see me. When we made eye contact she called a Weapon and the next thing I remember was Max waking me up. She must have attacked me somehow.”

What? Elijah was attacked inside the void? It was quiet as everyone took a moment to fully digest what Elijah had just told us. My mind was still stuck on the fact that someone else was in the void. Ever since I was a child I had been spending time in the void, and I have never seen anyone else there that I hadn’t brought.

“He had a fairly big concussion. Meaning that she hit him in the head, knocking him out. But I didn’t see any sign of her,” Max told us in a low, concerned voice.

We were in the void now. Were we in danger? The void had always been my safe haven. A place that only I could reach and could take shelter in. Now I scanned the surrounding woods looking for the intruder that threatened that sense of safety. Connor must have been thinking along the same lines because he reached out to take my hand and said, “Let’s take this back to the house. I am sick of being at the palace.”

Without any protest, each of us climbed into the car and I returned it to the physical plane. The first half of the ride home was spent in silence, and I assumed the guys were just as lost in thought as I was. Finally, I couldn’t stand the silence anymore and had to give voice to my biggest question.

“Are we assuming that Elijah just met one of the Hidden?”

“That is the only conclusion I have been able to think of,” Max offered, and a weird mix of hope and dread coiled in my stomach. Hernan believed that my mother must be one of the Hidden. Was it possible that we were one step closer to finding out who she was? What if she was still alive? What if I was finally able to meet her? What if she was just as evil as my father?

“Don’t get your hopes up,” Derik growled and I looked up to see that he was looking at me through the rearview mirror. “We are working under the assumption that the Hidden kidnapped your father’s entire clan, not to mention the war that Hernan told you occurred between us and them. Whoever this woman that Elijah saw is, her first instinct was to lash out and hurt him. She could have been aiming to kill him. Until we know otherwise, I think we need to consider these people as dangerous.”

“Now, let’s not be hasty,” Elijah replied in a calming voice. “Maybe she was just scared and reacted out of instinct. If she wanted to kill me, she had plenty of opportunities to do so while I was knocked out. She could have returned at any time to finish the job too. But she didn’t. So let’s not jump to conclusions before we know all of the facts.”

“How do we get all of the facts?” I asked and no one answered for a long moment.

“Before she noticed that I could see her, it looked like she was doing the exact same thing I was,” Elijah said slowly as if he was thinking carefully about each of his words before saying them. “It is possible that the Hidden are eavesdropping on the Matching, just like we are. It would make strategic sense for them to be knowledgeable about their enemy.”

“So we are saying that the Hidden think of the Royals as their enemy,” Blake clarified and I glanced back at him.

“I don’t think we have enough information to come to the conclusion that they are enemies. But I do think they were gathering information,” Elijah elaborated. “Assuming that is correct, then if we want to see them again we just need to keep an eye out in the void during the rest of the Matching.”

“But if we see her again, won’t she just attack again? How do we know that she isn’t gathering more people and planning on coming after us? We aren’t the only ones that learned something new today. She also discovered that we have access to the void,” I countered because I was starting to have a bad feeling about this.

“We won’t know unless we try,” Max reasoned. “We will just have to be more careful moving forward. Anyone in the void should stay in pairs and text the moment that they see something out of the ordinary. But we can’t just ignore this. This is a chance for Ray to finally get some answers about her family. Not to mention that Mathis and Sean will most likely be really eager to help. That woman might have answers to what happened to the Rebec Clan.”

“Maybe we should ignore this,” Connor rebutted when no one else said anything. “I mean, we have enough things all happening at once right now. Foreign Royals are kidnapping Ray while someone else we still haven’t identified forced Derik to attack her. Do we really want to possibly add the Hidden to our list of threats right now? Plus, Ray doesn’t need answers about her family. She has done just fine without them so far. She doesn’t need them now.”

I was a little surprised by the amount of heat in Connor’s voice, but couldn’t really blame him. A lot had happened to us in the last couple of weeks, and he was right to be wary of adding more. But I didn’t think we could just ignore this. Even if we didn’t go looking for them, that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t come looking for us.

We all remained quiet and lost in thought for the rest of the ride to the clan house. When Derik pulled into the driveway, I instantly went on high alert. I hadn’t been back here since I was kidnapped. I felt uneasy and was worried that there were people waiting in the bushes. Max must have noticed how tense I became because he suggested that we use the void to check out the house before settling in for the night.

I thought this was a great idea and we spent the next half hour searching both around and inside of the Oakland Clan house. We didn’t find any possible kidnappers, but we did find two different sets of watchers. Max and Blake found a group of three Valkyries camped out in the woods while Connor and I discovered a pair of guys in a car parked down the block with binoculars. After taking time to listen in to their conversations we concluded that the ones in the woods were the group of Valkyries that Prince Darron Deveroe had ordered to keep watch over me while the ones in the car I recognized from the Blade Clan.

I was about ninety percent sure that the Deveroe Royal Line wasn’t going to kidnap me, mostly because they wanted me as an ally and they saw how badly the kidnap had gone for the Russians. And while the Blade Hunters might be collecting as much information as they could, I knew that they would step in and help protect us if we needed it. I decided that having two extra layers of protection wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and just left them alone.

I pushed us all free of the void and Elijah started dinner while I took a shower. Somewhere along the way, one of the guys bought me several sets of clothes and placed them in the guest room of the Oakland Clan house. I suspected Elijah, but he never said anything about it, and with everything else going on I did admit that it was easier to leave some things here. When I got out of the shower I found Max sitting on the couch flipping through different T.V. channels and I went to sit by him. I knew that we were far from done for the night, and wanted a simple moment with Max.

When I moved to sit next to him, he raised his arm up and I snuggled into his side. The clan bond burned to life and I relaxed into the feel of it. Now that I spent most of my time around the guys, I don’t know how I ever survived isolated in the human world. Thinking about my time before I met the guys had my mind drifting to Jack and Amy. I took out my phone and sent them a text letting them know where I was and checking in with them. Jack texted back that they had spent the day lazing around the house and they were both good.

“Where are your protected?” I asked Max because it was something that I wondered about but had never brought up. I had three protected, Jack, Amy, and Maria, but I hadn’t ever heard any of the guys talk about any of theirs. And I was pretty sure I hadn’t met any of them because they hadn’t introduced me to very many humans.

“I don’t have any,” Max admitted and I shifted so that I could see his face. He must have seen my confusion because he was quick to explain. “From what I understand, you either need to spend a lot of time with a human or be in an extreme situation before your Valkyrie power will surge and claim someone as a protected. Most of us don’t spend that much time around humans, especially not as kids. On average, Valkyries only have one or maybe two protected during their entire lifetimes. And mostly, we bond to a protected when we are older.”

When I thought about it, what Max was saying did make sense. I spent months slowly spending more and more time with Jack and Amy before I claimed them as my protected. It happened one afternoon when we were just hanging out and I was thinking about how they were the first real friends that I ever had. I was thinking about how I would do anything to protect them and make sure they were okay in life when I felt that surge of power. It had been different with Maria. I had been hugging her little body close to mine as gunshots rang out in the background when my power surged, claiming her.

“Derik has one,” Max said, cutting off my thoughts about the shooting. “He doesn’t talk about her much, but I know that she is somehow related to one of his brother’s victims. He doesn’t have a relationship with her like you do with Jack and Amy. Instead, he protects her from afar. He sends her money to live off of and pulled some strings to get her a better job. Plus, all Valkyries will step in to help another’s protected, so he is confident that she will never go without.”

“He drives up to Napa where she lives every once in a while and just sits outside of her house,” Connor said and took a seat on my other side. “I don’t even think she even really knows who Derik is.”

How sad. I take so much comfort being around Jack and Amy and I love seeing Maria’s face during the video calls. It would crush me to only be able to watch them from afar. I secretly dread that I will be forced to do just that one day if Jack and Amy get too close to the supernatural world. I swallowed down the knot that was forming in my throat and then told them that I wanted to talk about something else.

“What do you think of Prince Goro?” Connor asked with a hard edge to his voice, which surprised me. Whenever he talked about the Tanaka Royal line in the past, he always sounded like he had a lot of respect for them.

“I think he cares about other Valkyries and supernaturals more than any of the other royals I have talked to. He is also refreshingly straightforward. He was upfront with the fact that he was interested in getting to know me better, but wasn’t pushy or rude about it,” I said as Connor reached down and pulled my legs into his lap. When he started rubbing my feet, I leaned my head back against Max and almost let out a groan.

Bananas that feels good.

“The reason that he has not accepted a marriage proposal from one of the princesses is that he has a long-standing relationship with one of the princes from China,” Connor said and I opened my eyes and gave him a skeptical look. “I thought you should know so that you don’t fall into the same situation that you were in with Jonas.”

Thoughts of Jonas killed the relaxed mood that the foot rub had induced. “Did you guys know that he was gay?” I asked because I knew that they grew up with Jonas in the Blade Clan. I was pretty sure they would have said something if they did know, but I wanted to be sure.

“Of course not,” Max was quick to answer, sounding slightly offended. “We would have told you if we knew.”

Now I felt bad. “I know. I just can’t believe that the first guy that I ever kiss turns out not only to be gay but was sent to spy on me. I have the Truth Gift, yet he still had me completely fooled.”

Connor was staring blankly at the T.V. when he replied, “I don’t think it is as simple as that. Jonas is a good guy, he just can’t stand to disappoint his father or Edison. He is just as miserable in Blade as I and Blake were, but refused to leave with us. We did ask him to join us because we could see how he was slowly starting to lose himself to all of the strong emotions around him, but when Edison told him no, he obeyed without fighting it. Some people are just like that. They find it impossible to stand up for what they want or need.”

“That still didn’t make what he did to Ray acceptable,” Max snapped and it might be the angriest I have ever heard him sound.

“No, of course not. I am not defending him, I just-. I don’t even know. I just feel a little bad for the guy even if I also want to pound his face in,” Connor replied sounding defeated.

I totally understood where he was coming from. I still felt incredibly raw about the entire situation and didn’t know who to blame because I felt like I couldn’t blame Jack even though he is the one that hurt me the most. “I told Edison that I would only agree to lessons at the palace if he let Jonas go to Denver to try out the clan he was excited about,” I said and felt Max tense underneath me.

“Why would you do that?” Max demanded.

“Because Connor is right. Jonas is drowning in the Blade Clan. I may be hurt and mad at him right now but in the big picture, it was the right thing to do. We were only together for like a week and it wasn’t like I was in love with the guy. Obviously, he really wants to go to Denver if he was willing to play me like that. Plus, if he leaves then I won’t have to deal with an awkward situation when we bump into each other.”

The room fell quiet after that and I felt Max relax. Connor refocused on rubbing my feet and I closed my eyes so that I could soak up this peaceful moment. After a few minutes, I felt Max finger the chain around my neck.

“What is this?” Max asked and I reached up to pull the crystal that hung from the chain from under my shirt.

“It is a crystal that Chasity gave me a while ago. It is supposed to disable someone who is attacking me. She gave me two and I gave one to Amy, but I haven’t been wearing mine because I was too confident in my Gifts. I learned my lesson after what happened with Derik. I can’t always depend on my Gifts to save me. I think I want to start training to fight without any Weapons or other Gifts.”

Max took a moment to look at the bright red crystal before replying in a soft voice, “I am so sorry that happened to you Ray. I hate that we weren’t here to stop him and I get sick to my stomach thinking about them trying something again. I am terrified that they will try to use us against you again. We only want to support and protect you. We would never hurt you on purpose.”

I knew that. More importantly, I believed what Max was saying with my whole heart. But I also knew that he may need to say the words out loud. If that were the case, then he most likely needed to hear mine in return.

“I believe you. I believe that none of you would ever hurt me. I trust you. I trust you more than I have any trusted anyone before,” I said and meant every word. I looked up into Max’s eyes to see them glistening with unshed tears and I felt Connor tightly squeeze my feet that were still in his hands.

“I would never do anything to hurt any of you guys on purpose either,” I felt compelled to say and watched as a tear spilled from Max’s eye and trailed down his cheek.

“We know,” Max said in a choked voice.

It was silent for a beat before Connor said something so softly that I was barely able to make it out over the background noise of the T.V. that no one was watching. “Your leaving us would cripple us. Please stay.”

I replayed the whispered words back in my mind and then sat up and cupped Connor’s face in my hands. I stared deep into his unaltered vibrate green eyes and tried to come up with the right words to say. The right way to convey just how much they meant to me. How much I depended on them just to get through the day.

I was just opening my mouth to say something along those lines when the front door opened and Mathis and Sean came rushing into the room. “My Dear Child, you sure do know how to stir things up. We have so much to share with you. More than half a dozen royals lines have made formal requests to gain an audience with you and every single person we talked to wanted to know if you were going to have your own Matching. The possibilities are almost endless! I told you! Didn’t I tell you that you would have options? This is all so very exciting,” Mathis said with clear excitement vibrating in his voice, breaking the moment between me and Connor.

Connor was most definitely not excited about the fact that so many different royal lines wanted to get to know me. I watched with a sense of helplessness as his eyes grew cold and he drew away from me. He gently moved my legs off of his lap and then practically fled from the room. I was going to go after him when Max stopped me.

“Let me,” Max said under his breath and then got up to follow Connor upstairs, leaving me in the living room with my grandfather and uncle. I really thought we were over this whole I belong with a more powerful clan idea. I belong here. I belong with the guys. I am almost certain of it.

“Come on, young lady. Let’s go to the kitchen and discuss everything we have learned with Elijah. That boy has a strong eye for strategy. And we need to make a decision about your Matching sooner rather than later. I personally think we should hold it in the Northeast because that is where we are from,” Mathis was saying and barely paying any attention to me. I narrowed my eyes at him and Sean was quick to reassure me.

“Just because we hold your Matching back home doesn’t mean that you are agreeing to move back with us. It just distances yourself a little from the Collins’ Royal Line so that people don’t think that they can go through them to get to you. We could also pick a different kingdom that you have no connection to. I am sure anyone would agree to hold it for you. They would consider it an honor, and would probably take care of all of the details for you. That actually might be our best option. I saw you speaking to Prince Goro. If the Tanaka Royal line agreed to host your Matching, every single important Valkyrie in the world would come. It would make quite the splash,” Sean said, sounding just as excited as Mathis at the prospect of parading me around like a prized cow at the county fair.

I was so not having this conversation with them right now. We had more important things to discuss and I was still ninety-five percent sure I hated the idea of having a Matching. I understood that I somehow needed to find a purpose in life and now that the supernatural world at large knew about me, I would need the backing of a strong Royal Valkyrie Line but I really wasn’t looking forward to making those types of decisions.

“Elijah had a run-in with one of the Hidden and she knocked him out cold,” I blurted out because I knew it would effectively change the subject. Mathis had been searching for answers to what happened to his son for close to twenty years. There was no way that he would continue to focus on my future with this new piece of information.

My statement had the desired effect and both Mathis and Sean turned to look at me with dumbfounded looks on their faces. I just raised my eyebrows at them and gestured for them to follow me in the kitchen where Elijah and Derik were. Then we spent at least an hour talking about what happened and what it could possibly mean for us. Mathis was convinced that the Hidden were evil and were to blame for turning his perfect son into the monster that raised me. Elijah kept asking us to keep an open mind until we had more information and insisted that we approach the Hidden with cautious optimism.

After much debate, we ended up planning on doing exactly what Max had originally suggested. Tomorrow we would return to the Matching and I would send everyone but Derik into the void. Everyone would have a partner and Derik would be mine. Derik and I would stay visible and play political games while everyone else spread out in the void and search for any sign of the woman that Elijah had seen. Meanwhile, everyone would continue to eavesdrop on conversations with the focus of learning more about the Hidden and who had ordered the attack on me.

So basically, nothing had changed except for my anxiety level. I hated that I had to stay visible when I worked so much better under the radar, but Queen Florence had ordered me to once again be present at tomorrow’s events. I still hadn’t told the guys about her threat to kick me out of the Kingdom if I didn’t start falling into line, but I figured they already had enough to worry about. Plus, I knew that the twins were extra touchy about the subject of me leaving them and didn’t want to add to that worry. Now that I had agreed to play nice and get tutored at the palace hopefully, the Queen would feel secure enough to back off.

I was just preparing to head back to the rent house with Mathis and Sean so that I could check on Amy myself when the doorbell rang. Elijah tilted his head to the side for a moment before furrowing his brow. Then he went to the door and looked through the peephole. Whoever was here, Elijah didn’t know them enough to identify them by their thoughts alone. After a moment’s hesitation, Elijah opened the door and I saw two men standing at the door.

When I took a closer look, I realized that I recognized them. They were Regina’s cousins. The ones that she got so upset over at her ball because she wanted them to pay attention to her instead of me. I am pretty sure their names were Everette and Yates Norwood and they were from the Americas South. Their father, Eli Norwood, is Florence’s brother and is now the king of the Southern Kingdom.

I was still in the kitchen and couldn’t hear what they were saying to Elijah, but after a moment Elijah stepped aside and both boys walked into the house. They scanned the house, looked unimpressed, and then made a beeline for the two empty chairs across from where Max, Blake, and I were sitting at the table. The older brother, I think he was Everette, reached out and placed a bottle of something on the table in front of me.

“Everyone our age is having a party at the Palace, but we didn’t think you got an invite. We didn’t want you to feel left out, so we thought we would bring the party to you, pretty girl,” Everett said with an easy charm that I am sure usually worked wonders. I, however, was not impressed.

I reached out and turned the bottle so that I could see the label. It was a John E. Fitzgerald 20-year-old straight Bourbon Whiskey and it looked really expensive. The only time I really ever drank was with Jack and we only ever had cheap beer. I was pretty sure that a single shot of this would put me on my ass.

“How thoughtful of you,” I said because I didn’t know what to do in this situation. Before I met the guys, I spent the majority of my time being invisible. Talking to strangers was not one of my strengths. “You said that there is a party at the palace?”

“Yeah, a real rager. A final hoorah for Gina before she officially gets engaged to that Vera weasel,” Yates said and it sounded like he had started indulging in the party before deciding to come over here. He then pushed himself up from his chair and walked into the kitchen. I kept an eye on him while he started looking through cabinets, and Everette started talking again.

“The parties are the best part of Matchings. But since this is your first one, we figured you wouldn’t know that. Why else would you decide to come back here instead of staying for the fun? But it’s okay. Tonight we can have our own little party and then tomorrow you can see the real deal. Gina will have a party every night,” Everett explained as if that was the most important thing for me to know.

Yates came back to the table with his hands filled with glasses and Connor came down from wherever he had been before. I looked around to see that Elijah, Derik, Sean, and Mathis were all giving us space. I really wished they wouldn’t. Yates started pouring out the alcohol and passing around the half-filled glasses.

“So you all go to public school with humans, right? What is that like?” Everette said while taking a large swallow of his drink and leaning back in his chair. I looked around at the Three Musketeers and silently asked them to talk because I really didn’t feel comfortable around these guys. They felt off to me. Why were they here? What exactly was going on right now?

“Yeah, we go to Skyline High,” Blake replied in a neutral tone as he eyes the brothers. He thought something was up too, but couldn’t say anything because they were princes and he was just a normal Valkyrie.

“What about you?” I asked to try to take some sort of control over this situation. “Where do you go to school?”

Yates leaned forward, rested his elbows on the table, and focused entirely on me before saying, “We are a little old to still be in school. Have been for a couple of years now. That makes us more experienced. If you want, I can show you just how experienced we are. Give me one night and I will change your whole outlook on life.” He then reached out and tried to brush his fingers down one side of my cheek.

The implied innuendo ignited a spark within me and the rage that I was keeping just under the surface surged forward. I formed a partial Shield around his hand that was just inches from skin and pushed it forcefully away from me. I felt the zing of power as Yates’ hand made contact with my Shield and he flinched away so hard that he toppled over his chair. I didn’t pull back and continued to push the Shield towards him. Yates was supernatural, so he could clearly see my Shield as it continued to creep closer to him. He drunkenly scrambled to his feet and started shuffling backward while yelling obscenities at me.

I didn’t stop until I had pushed him all the way out of the front door, actually zapping him one more time when he didn’t move fast enough. When I swung my gaze back to the kitchen I saw that everyone was on their feet and Everette was watching me with a calculating look in his eye.

I stared at him and let him see just how on edge I was. I was sick and tired of people trying to play these games with me. I just wanted to be left alone.

“Why did you come here tonight?” I demanded and heard the same push of power that I felt earlier with Goro.

“Our father wants us to get close to you. To get you to consider one of us to marry,” Everett said in a slightly strangled voice and fear started to creep into his eyes. I wasn’t surprised by his answer. Apparently, every prince in the world - even the ones that preferred men over women - wanted me to consider them as my future husband. But coming over to my clan house while drunk and propositioning me was so not the way to go about things. I was starting to think that it wasn’t the royals on a whole that was rotten, just anyone who was related to the Collinses.

“A little bit of advice,” I said with heat behind my words. “If you want a girl to like you, don’t try to push yourself on her without her permission. If you or your brother ever tries to touch me again, that person will lose a hand.” I figured the fact that I had cut off the Russian King’s hand before cutting off his head would emphasize that I wasn’t making idle threats.

“Now, take your brother and get out of our clan house,” I demanded and felt my allure surge. Instead of turning and running away as I wanted, Everette took a step towards me. I would have treated him to the same thing I had his brother if each of the Three Musketeers hadn’t also taken a step towards me too. I was losing control and pulling them in because of my overly strong allure.

I stopped myself from yelling out in frustration by clenching my jaw so hard that I was pretty sure I was going to crack a tooth and then pushed back into the void. As soon as I was sealed away, the effect of my allure drooped and everyone was able to take a step back.

“What the fuck was that?” Everette asked and I had the urge to bring him to the void just so that I could punch him in the face. He really needed to listen to what I had asked him to do and leave before I really lost my shit. I wasn’t completely in control of my Gifts right now and it was only getting worse.

“That was my granddaughter expressly asking you to leave, young man. I would do so while you still have the ability. Just because you can’t see her, doesn’t mean that she isn’t right there with a blade resting against your throat,” Mathis said in a low dangerous voice that sounded much too similar to my father’s for my liking.

Everette took another moment to scan the room before stiffly turning and walking out the front door. As soon as he was gone, I encased the entire house in one giant Shield. It was just a little too easy to accomplish and further evidence that my power level was only growing.

“So you are just letting in random creeps into our house uninvited now?” Connor growled out at Elijah and I had to admit I was also a little concerned that Elijah had let them in so easily.

“They are royal princes. What did you expect me to do?” Elijah huffed out and I took a moment to really see how tired he looked. This wasn’t Elijah’s fault. If it was anyone’s fault it was mine. They had come here to see me. I was the one that kept bringing huge levels of drama and danger into their lives.

I shifted back to the physical plane and everyone turned their attention to me. “I think we need to add another thing to our to-do list,” I admitted and then told them about how my Gifts were starting to grow to the point that I wasn’t able to always control them. After detailing all the instances that I hadn’t been in complete control of, everyone in the room looked worried and I felt like I had swallowed a ten-pound rock.

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