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“Hello, Violet.” Xavier was condescending. “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you. I always thought it would be me seeking you out, yet, here you are.”

Violet said nothing. She kept switching her gaze from Xavier to Delilah and back.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of me.” He boasted.

Violet looked him in the eyes. “I have.”

“So, then you know what needs to happen, right?”

Violet took a deep breath as she searched internally for the realm, to give her the peace and guidance she needed. “I know exactly what needs to happen, Xavier.” Violet met his confidence with her own.

Xavier laughed. “So that’s how it’s going to be, huh? You do have guts. I’ve heard you’re different from the others. It’s quite refreshing, actually.” Xavier stopped laughing and stared Violet directly in the eyes. “I love a challenge.”

Violet met his stare and did not falter. She needed to buy time to enter the realm to harvest the energies and powers she needed. She found it more difficult than she had hoped. “Xavier, don’t you think you’ve taken enough from me?”

“I’ve taken plenty, but I’m not done.” Xavier moved closer to Violet. Violet instantly moved her father back and stood in front of him. Xavier continued, “Your mother, well, she was easy to eliminate. Poor thing didn’t stand a chance. Your father, on the other hand, was a feisty one. At least, at first. But, eventually, he succumbed. It took years, but we got out of him everything we needed. In fact, we got more than we ever expected. You have no idea what he has given us. He’s almost worthless to us now. But, you, you are something I have wanted for a very long time. You are the prized possession, Violet. The bounty on you is large, and I’m ready to collect.”

Violet tried her best not to let his words get to her, but they stung. She needed to get to the realm quickly. She was not having much luck. She tried desperately to release the negative, but Xavier was making it very difficult. “What did he give you?” Violet needed to keep Xavier talking, and she needed to be strong to reject his intentions to hurt her. She needed the realm.

Xavier took another step forward and was close enough for Violet to smell his breath. “You have no idea, little girl. You have no idea.” His face contorted into pure evil. “He is virtually useless to us now. We have everything we need from him. He will be disposed of. And I think I may have you watch!” Xavier took another step towards her.

Xavier was way too close for Violet’s comfort. He was right. She was not like other Prohibited. She didn’t and wouldn’t give in to him. She walked around to the back of the wheelchair and guided it around Xavier and towards the car. The men had both Delilah and Damian in their grasps. Violet demanded they let go. They did.

As Violet began to place her father in the car, Xavier motioned for the men to take action. As Violet secured her father inside the vehicle, she stood up to advise Delilah and Damian to get into the car. However, what she saw were large shields separately surrounding both of them, preventing each of them from having a clear vision of each other. Therefore, they could not protect. Violet could no longer see Delilah or Damian. She saw the barriers begin to move towards the trucks. Delilah and Damian were defenseless. Violet processed the actions of the men and then looked at Xavier. Her fear turned to anger. The realm was gone. She shut all of the car doors and stood by the car.

“You think this is going to stop me?” Violet demanded.

“Yes, yes, I do.” Xavier replied confidently. It’s worked for decades, Violet. You have no choice. You might be able to get away, but they will not. So, if you would like to be able to assist them in captivity, I suggest you play along nicely.”

Violet hated his words but hated his tone even more. He was the most arrogant and demeaning person she had ever met. Obviously, he had one too many victories at the cost of her people. It cost her her own mother. She was going to end that. “I suggest you let them go now, Xavier, or you will pay dearly.” Violet demanded.

“Or what Violet. You may be different from the others, but you are still a Prohibited. A worthless, Prohibited.” Xavier was slowly approaching.

Violet took a step towards him, which made him stop. This had never happened. A Prohibited of her kind showing aggression. He knew better than to continue, so he stopped.

“If we are so worthless, why do you find such interest in us, Xavier?” Violet closed her eyes and took in a deep breath as she searched for the realm. She began to let go of the negativity as quickly as possible. She was calming down and starting to feel the light and love. As she did so, Xavier motioned for the men to take this opportunity and put Delilah and Damian in the trucks.

Violet felt the realm nearing when she heard the doors open. Without warning, Violet’s arms raised as her eyes opened. Violet produced a silver glow that lit up the night sky. The men hurried to get Delilah and Damian in the trucks. Violet raised her arms in a swift motion. Instantly, the shields were ripped out of their hands and tossed through the night sky. The trucks began to shake violently as the men ran.

Violet’s eyes continued to glow, and her stare was straight ahead of her as if she were in a trance. She stretched out her hands as the trucks slowly levitated off the ground, and with one swift motion of Violet’s hands, the trucks, like the shields, flew through the night skies. Delilah and Damian sent out waves of protection towards their captures they could still see so that no harm would come to them. Delilah moved slowly towards Violet as Xavier remained steadfast in his position.

Violet’s eyes slowly approached Xavier’s outline in the darkness. He illuminated silver as he watched her with fascination. Violet brought her hands forward as Delilah came from behind, watching what was taking place. Within seconds, Violet brought her arms in front of her and began raising Xavier off of the ground. Delilah watched in fear as her daughter raised Xavier higher and higher. Xavier started to to show hesitation at his decision to remain as he was far beyond savable heights. If he were to drop, he would not survive the impact. Xavier was no longer as confident as he once was. Damian got into the driver’s seat of the car and turned it on as the headlights beamed through the darkness. Delilah placed her hand on Violet’s shoulder as Xavier met the dead of night and could no longer be seen.

“Violet.” Delilah whispered. “Violet. Sweetheart. You need to stop.”

Violet did not respond. Her eyes were glowing straight ahead through the darkness, and her arms remained outstretched above her, but Xavier still could not be seen.

Delilah walked in front of her daughter, who gave no recognition. Delilah had no idea where she was, but she wasn’t there. “Violet!” Delilah said a little louder. “Violet! Can you hear me?” Delilah placed her hands onto Violet’s shoulders and slowly began shaking her. “Violet! Stop!” She shook her harder. “Violet!”

Instantly, Violet’s eyes turned violet again, and she brought her arms down. Her eyes no longer glowed with silver, and she was back. She had no idea what just happened. Suddenly a man’s voice screamed through the night as Delilah desperately searched for him. She quickly made out the figure as it descended quickly to the ground, and she sent a wave of protection that gently laid Xavier onto the earth below. Xavier immediately stood up and ran.

Delilah stood in front of Violet. They were both completely bewildered at the events that just took place. Violet was in shock, and it showed. Delilah walked her to the back of the car, placed her next to her father, and then got into the passenger seat. Damian put the car into drive and sped away as fast as he could. This was not the night he had intended and would forever change him and his confidence in his safety.

No one spoke the entire ride home. Damian had made the drive in half the time. He wanted to go home. He pulled into the driveway, and Delilah went into the house and reemerged with male Prohibited. One carried Jacob up to his room, and another took in the wheelchair. Delilah helped Violet into the house and up to her room. She helped Violet changed and placed her under the covers of the bed. She sat next to her for a moment as Violet fell to sleep. Violet had not said a word yet, nor had she communicated with Genevieve or the Senator. They could not access her mind to speak with her. She was exhausted, and she fell asleep quickly. Delilah would deal with it tomorrow. She turned off the light and shut the door, and walked into Jacob’s room. One of the Prohibited who worked with Delilah as a nurse in the medical facility checked Jacob’s vitals. They weren’t good.

“We need to get an IV started.” The Prohibited told Delilah. “His blood pressure is very low, and he is extremely dehydrated. He also has a high temperature.”

Delilah nodded. As the nurse prepared the IV and medications, Delilah picked out a change of clothes. God knows how long he’s been in these clothes, Delilah thought to herself. She helped him get into clean clothes and clean sheets. As the nurse put the needle into his arm, Delilah retrieved a warm washcloth from the bathroom and began to wipe his face and hands. He smelled to high heaven, but Delilah would deal with that tomorrow as well. Right now, she wanted to make him as comfortable as possible.

Delilah repelled the need to admonish his captors for the deplorable condition and health that Jacob was in. She knew if she gave it credence that she would not be able to let it go. So, she focused on the fact that they finally had Jacob, and he was alive. He was in his fifties but looking at him, he looked decades older. He was a shell of a man, and it made her sad. She weighed more than he did. His small stature and aged features made Delilah mourn him. He was not the man she remembered. She was afraid that he would break if she touched him too hard. He was still not coherent, but Delilah knew that he would recover, whatever that looked like.

Delilah was unsure of the experiments that had been done, but they were not kind to him by his condition. She was sure he had been through a great deal. This made her very sad. For one split second, she regretted saving Xavier. That was not a Prohibited type of thought. She felt ashamed, but she still regretted it. How many Prohibited lives had she sacrificed to save him? She could not get this thought out of her mind.

She and the medical staff stayed up with Jacob all night, monitoring his vitals and making sure he did not slip away. Delilah was determined that Jacob would be back in good spirits. Occasionally, she would hear a murmuring or yell from Violet’s bedroom. She would run in to find Violet sweating profusely and either in a violent dream or coming out of one. She would comfort Violet and stay with her for a while and then go back to Jacob. She did this all night long.

As the sun rose, the Prohibited began to fill the home with conversation, although quiet conversation. Delilah was asleep in a recliner in Jacob’s room, and Violet was still fighting demons in her sleep. The smell of coffee and bacon filled the house. Delilah had finally fallen asleep around four that morning and hadn’t moved. The nurse entered the room and began checking Jacob’s vitals when he slowly opened his eyes. The nurse continued her duties as Jacob tried to focus on where he was. He began to look around the room, as the nurse approached.

“Where am I?” He whispered through a parched mouth.

“You’re safe. You’re in a Prohibited home.” The nurse replied quietly.

“Can I please have some water?”

“Of course.” The nurse went into the bathroom to get him a drink. Jacob looked over to see Delilah asleep. He did not recognize her. The nurse brought him the water and helped him sit up to drink it. He took a few sips and then laid his head back to rest.

“How did I get here?” He asked the nurse.

“You were rescued, I believe. But that is all I know. I’m sorry.” She ran a thermometer over his forehead and looked at it. “Your fever has broken. That’s good.”

Jacob looked at the nurse, very confused. “I had a fever?” He asked as he observed the IV in his arm and medications on the nightstand.

“You did. We started an IV with fluids and antibiotics. You’ve gone through almost four bags so far. You were dangerously dehydrated. How do you feel?” She asked.

Jacob tried to recall his last coherent memory. He couldn’t. His short-term memory was a bundle of incohesive recollections. “Um, I think I feel better. I don’t remember the last time I felt good, though.”

“That’s alright. You’re doing much better than you were last night. You’re going to be alright now. It would be best if you rested, though. So, try to relax.” She handed him a remote for the TV. “Here, just in case you want to watch television.”

Jacob looked at the remote and then back at the nurse. “What’s this?”

The nurse looked at him just as confused. “It’s a remote control for the TV.”

Jacob picked it up and looked at the buttons, and then flipped it over. “What does it do exactly?”

“It turns on and off the TV. You can change the channels and the volume.” She said, astounded. “Have you never seen a remote control before?”

“No.” Jacob was embarrassed.

“Oh. Well, do you want to watch TV right now? I can show you.”

Jacob looked over at Delilah and then back at the nurse. “She’s sleeping, so I probably shouldn’t.” Jacob was curious about the remote control, though.

“Well, I’ll be up in about 30 minutes to check on you. I can show you then. Oh, we’re cooking breakfast. Would you like to try to eat something?”

Jacob had noticed the aroma in the air, and they smelled great. “Yes, if you wouldn’t mind. I’d like to try to eat something.” He couldn’t remember the last time he ate anything at all.

“No problem. I’ll be back.” The nurse smiled as she began to leave the room.

“Oh, ma’am?” Jacob asked.

“Yes.” She whispered.

“Who is that?” Jacob pointed to Delilah.

“That’s Delilah. She’s Violet’s mom.” The nurse left the room.

Jacob looked at Delilah. He didn’t recognize her. Delilah? He thought to himself. Why did that name sound familiar? Who was Violet? Why was he here? Why did they rescue him? Jacob laid his head back while he stared at Delilah. His eyes opened and then closed as sleep overcame him. His memories would come flooding back soon enough. For now, he needed rest.

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