Mark banned Jake or any Guardian from searching for the girl before dawn. Everyone was exhausted and the conductor did not want Jake to commit some rash act. He knew very well that it would not be an easy task to keep Jake indoors. To calm him down, Mark promised to contact the Longaile sniffers to locate the girl. They were sensitive and powerful Guardians and were able to trace any creature thousands of miles away, so it would be easier and more prudent for them to find Kate instead of letting the boy wander aimlessly at dawn. That particular evening had been too disastrous and everyone was upset because of the macabre events. Jake had tried to call and leave messages for Kate several times.
The previous night had been hectic and tiring enough, thanks to the runaway spirits and Lana, that brat who teased him the whole night. And now, this happened. Despite the exhaustion from the previous mission, Jake thought of his encounter with the girl which was going as he had planned, and it was all happening naturally. He found no evidence or marks that she was being pursued by any entity. Also, according to the human auras and energies of her family, the girl had no factor that indicated she was with the Kingdom of Darkness. However, everything went downhill starting with the unexpected visit from Olivia who interrupted their kiss and warned of a possible demonic activity near the girl’s home.
That night had several surprises, even the most unpleasant and monstrous that Jake had ever witnessed. It had been many years since he had witnessed a human death. Once, the Guardians of Darkness had given them a break a few years ago, ceasing with the invasions and massacres. Lately, the only creatures that were terrorizing and possessing bodies were only hoping to experience and enjoy human life. They envied the world and the life created by God, so a vast majority of demons crossed exclusively for this purpose.
When he thought about what had happened to Kate’s family, he suffered with her. Jake felt an immense uprising emerge from within him which made him so enraged that he had to restrain himself from destroying the room. He thought that he was even guilty; he should have told her at the onset. Jake knew the girl felt strange and different as he had sensed this. However, he was cowardly and negligent. She did not deserve to go through such monstrosity. Kate was a lovely girl.
However, the Guardians needed to act cautiously by being prudent and discreet. They could not reveal their true nature to humans until they were absolutely sure of the facts. In the case of Kate, everything remained a great mystery. He should have paid more attention. Mark was right. Lately, all had been nervous and fickle, especially him. Besides hormones, there was something else that was disturbing. He just did not know what Kate’s reason was for leaving him. Perhaps, it was all linked with the great threats of demonic activities that were about to be completed. The portals were preparing for great invasions; the turbulent and unstable Alcantes the sky did not deny this outstanding opportunity. Naturally, the Guardians, being very sensitive, were mentally and physically shaken by all the commotion caused whenever a portal was created.
He wondered if it was linked to the fact that Kate had moved to this region. Ever since the girl had come to Alcantes, the weather had changed drastically. The moment he laid eyes on her, he soon realized that Kate did not have a human aura. Although he presumed that the girl did not represent any kind of threat, Jake sensed something was wrong. He just did not want to admit it, ignoring what was right before his eyes. It was too late.
What about Gabriel? Why was it taking him so long to give him some news? Was he having difficulty getting any information about the girl? Jake picked up the phone and dialed his friend’s number. It directed him to the mailbox as Gabriel’s phone was off. He decided to leave a message. “Gabriel, it’s me! Where are you? You haven’t returned to me. I’m in urgent need of an answer to what is happening! There’s been a tragedy ... The creatures crossed the gate, entered Kate’s home, and killed her parents!” With a lump in his throat, Jake continued, “Now, she’s run away and I don’t have the slightest idea where she might be ... Please call me back! You are the only one who can help me!”
Later, he would try to contact his friend again. The smell of smoke was stuck to his body. Jake changed into his old baggy jeans which Nathan called hippie pants, and put on a knitted sweater. He wore this ridiculous clothing to avoid suspicion. He decided he would go searching for Kate. Of course, he would not wait for the sniffers or dawn to begin his search. Before anything else, he needed to eat. He went to the kitchen to find something to eat and found the Guardians discussing.
“What a beauty! Julio’s entire congregation learned about our eminent failure. Now, I’ll have to put up with that motherfucker for the next three hundred years!” the conductor said impatiently.
“What could we have done to predict this massacre? We went straight to the girl’s home when we received the signal and did not envision anything! What did you want us to do, guard the door of the house?” Lana said.
“Keep calm, Lana.” Mark understood her, but he just could not accept it.
“I think nobody here” It was true, Nathan thought. He was worried about what had happened even if he was the least experienced of the Congregation. He imagined that behind that invasion, there was something unholy and illegal that allowed the demons to evade the Guardians and commit the murders.
Mark stood up from his chair letting out a long breath and spoke, “Alright, folks! Enough of this for today. I will just contact the sniffer Guardians of Longaile and soon, we will have news about the girl. We are all exhausted. Let’s get some rest.” He looked at everyone with a tired expression and said, “Honestly, our problems have not even begun.”
“I have to disagree with you. Our problems started when that weird girl disappeared, and now we have to waste time looking for her. If she causes trouble by saying something about this subject out there, we’re screwed!” Olivia said, finishing her dinner while the other Guardians went to sleep. When she turned and saw Jake entering the kitchen with the clothes he was wearing, she provoked him by saying, “Hello, Prince Charming! Looking at this ridiculous outfit you’re wearing, I can deduce that you have not yet taken any initiative to rescue her.” Glancing at his pants, she let out a mocking laugh. “What are you still doing here? Why not go looking for his helpless maiden? Tell me, what will save her?”
By God, how could Olivia be a brat after so much misfortune? He frowned. At least, she fell for his clothing trap. Still scowling, Jake imagined some appropriate response. However, he was not very inspired. Opening the fridge, he replied without looking at her, “To save my maiden, first I have to kill the dragon that keeps driving me away. By what I’m seeing, the dragon remains alive and is well here in front of me. I’m talking to it right now,” he said sarcastically.
Olivia, who was wearing only a long sweater, wiped her mouth with a napkin and took her plate to the sink. She turned to him with a glacial stare, “You think you’re so funny, don’t you? Are you almost freaking out because a girl you do not know is gone? In fact, Kate is beautiful.” She raised an eyebrow, questioning him, “What do you really want from her, Jake? Are you really worried about her and interested in helping her, or do you just want to get her in bed with you?”
Jake frowned and squinted at her, “Let me get this right. You were talking about people who care about me. Are you are included in that list? Honestly, you’re more like an enemy to me than a friend. You care for me and speak about her like that? You’re making me look like a monster. Spare me this hypocritical speech.” He was pissed off with the Guardian. She was the slyest girl he had stumbled upon. Looking straight into her eyes, he added, “Also, what I feel about Kate is not and never will be in your account. Now get off my back because you’re testing my patience!”
“Do you want to know what I think about that weird girl?” Olivia stared at him. “Obviously she’s in cahoots with the Kingdom of Darkness. She’s probably done something and now they want revenge against her!”
Jake stared at Olivia for a while. Then, he grabbed her arm and dragged her to the wall, cornering her. He came close and spoke in her ear, “Look here!” he demanded. “Understand once and for all that when I say I’ll give you a lesson, I’m not bluffing!” Jake’s eyes were glazed. “Stop raising lies about her. I know it’s your fault why she ﬂed. If something bad happens to Kate, I will gladly bring you back to Orpheus.” Olivia held the air for a moment. Jake frightened her. She knew how impulsive he was and fought for what he believed in. “My advice to you, my dear, is to sleep with one eye open. I have not forgotten what you said earlier today at Kate’s house.” He rubbed his mouth to the ear of the girl, “Olivia, answer me! Is this is a pet peeve towards me because I rejected you? I did not lie to you. I told you it would only be for one night.”
“Fuck you, fool! Be aware that the little girl will not forgive you and you will not be able to stick with it,” she said harshly while rapidly breathing.
“Is that a threat?” He walked away from her, still holding her wrists. “Why do you care so much? Do you still have hopes that I will change my mind about her?” He shook his head. “I think not baby, do not waste your time. Nothing’s going to happen between us.”
“Have you ever stopped to think about the possibility of Kate being a human that can carry a powerful spell to confuse or camouﬂage her aura without us knowing their origin, leaving us all in the dark? How is this happening exactly? I know it’s crazy but it’s not impossible. There have never been reports that there was another kind of species inhabiting the Earth. So, is Romeo willing to break the rules?” Olivia asked defiantly.
“I regret to inform you that there is nothing circumstantial that shows Kate is human,” he answered with a coquettish smile, but he could feel his heart almost exploding in his chest. The redhead managed to make it more tormented. Due to this poignant speculation, he did not doubt anything. He lifted his head and stared in the distance, “I don’t think I need to answer you. I think you already know my choice.”
Olivia got rid of his hands and stomped out of the kitchen. Jake was tired of her games. Olivia was a beautiful girl, he could not deny that. She was able to arouse the attention of any man. Even in college, the guys did not leave her alone and always tried to invest in her, unlike Jake who had no interest in her. Perhaps he had acted like a bastard on the night they were together. He remembered warning her that he would not be able to love another woman and what happened during that night would not happen again. Since then, she had not accepted the fact and would not leave him alone. She always tormented him. Jake knew he had exaggerated the scolding he had just given to Olivia, but she deserved to take it hard. He felt responsible for Kate. After all, he promised the girl’s mother that he would take care of her. This could not depart from the head - the images of the house which he had to burn to destroy any evidence. When thinking about the tragedy, he lost his appetite and went to his room with the intention of putting his plan into practice.