Minds are just like houses, Auden. Aurelia’s voice said and I flipped a page of the book in front of me. Ezra was on a phone call, but considering the fact that he wasn’t speaking, it was just plain weird.
Yeah, well, his is a locked up loony house. I replied before flipping another page. Aurelia did well to choose more... challenging books. I got frustrated often and reading about complex surgical processes did not help. As soon as Aurelia learned that I was a vet, she adapted her choice of books, though we had the occasional bloodhound history book, and since I figured out how to make an open line of communication with her a few weeks ago, we spoke quite often. She made for great company.
I didn’t even have to be in this damn office to contact her. Our only problem now, rested on longer distance communication, which I couldn’t exactly test out... and Ezra seemed to rub that fact into my face by using a phone.
“I don’t understand why you’d read a book that causes such frustration,” Ezra said as he hung up the phone.
“How do you have signal?” I asked, eyeing the phone on his desk. He smirked.
“I operate a nearby cell-tower. Sometimes it runs, sometimes it doesn’t,” he replied and I nodded before turning back to my book.
“I’m surprised you haven’t cried,” he said and I refused to look up at him. “I hear mate bonds are quite... heart wrenching.”
“Sorry, I couldn’t hear you over my intensely heart wrenching urge to leave,” I replied, earning a smile on Ezra’s face. Fucking weirdo.
“Still haven’t given up? Not that you’ve made any attempts,” Ezra said and I glared at him. “No comebacks?”
“How’s it feel being locked out of my head? I imagine it must really suck for your ego,” I said with a smile before closing my book and standing up. “You may have everyone else dancing around the palm of your hand, but not me, and that must really really suck.” I hissed before shoving the book into his stomach as hard as I could. I heard him wince slightly as I turned on my heel.
“Where do you think you’re going-“
“To my room. I can find my own way,” I said as I slammed the doors shut behind me.
I had little freedoms granted now, like walking to my room and to the library by myself. Ezra still guarded me and I’d spotted more than a few bloodhounds hanging around to make sure I was going where I was supposed to. That was the first time I’d done anything like an outburst. Ezra would definitely find a way to punish me - at least Aurelia told me he would.
When I got to my room, I simply hopped into bed. I listened to the sounds around me - there were definitely a ton more people around. I took a deep breath, preparing to contact Aurelia, when the doors to the room opened and Ezra walked in, a hard look in his eyes.
“Get up.” I did as I was told. “Follow me.” I didn’t bother making conversation. I simply walked behind him.
Celia was nowhere in sight and neither was Bo as we made our way through the halls. Although, there were four other people shadowing us, probably for safe measure.
“Do you know how much blood you’re receiving nowadays?” Ezra suddenly asked as we walked past the library, followed by his office.
“Full doses, three times, everyday,” I replied just as he turned a left and it suddenly dawned on me that we were heading exactly where I had to go.
We paused at the door and I realized that Ezra had to put in the code. Minds are just like houses. I took a deep breath. More than a few beeps later, the door clicked open and Ezra stepped inside. No luck getting that code… I thought to myself. The room was cold and unexpectedly silent, save for the whirring of a machine and a soft beeping noise that came between regular intervals. In a room almost identical to mine, lay a hospital bed, in which a woman lay down… Celia hung up an IV bag and as she proceeded to work, her eyes met mine with a kind of pitiful sadness. Ezra walked over stopped at the foot of the bed. I felt a sudden tightness in my chest and a dryness in my throat.
Ezra whispered something I couldn’t bother to decipher before Celia backed away and walked with him to the door. They both stood there and averted their eyes as I stood at the foot of Aurelia’s bed.
She was barely even skin and bone, much less healthier than how she looked in the vision I’d had of her before. She was dressed in what looked like a hospital gown, though I couldn’t tell much since she had a blanket covering her from the chest down. Her soft brown hair was brittle and dry, a crease settled in between her brows, and despite her sleeping form, she looked to be in pain.
My breath began to shake as I walked closer to her, moving around to her right side. She’d been talking to me, teaching me, and writing to me, in this state? I looked over at her arms, they had gone purple and bruised, probably from the bloodvac’s they’d give her, maybe other things…
I never planned on meeting you like this. Her voice said in my mind, and for a second, I was started at the strength of her voice. I know it’s hard... but don’t make a sound. Take my hand. I couldn’t help but just... stare.
Don’t think, Auden. I’ll be alright. I took a moment to breathe and collect myself before I traced the bruises down her arm, each one sending a pang in my heart. I took her hand in mine. She was ice cold and if it wasn’t for the heart monitor, I would’ve thought she was dead. I tried my best not to squeeze her hand too hard. I was worried that if I held onto her any tighter, she would break. But as soon as I had tightened my grip, her hand clasped closed around mine and a pain seared up from my palms to my arms.
Our time is coming to an end. She said and the pain ceased. I felt a soft touch on my cheek. But there was no one there. I looked over at her face, the crease in between her brows had gone, and she blinked her eyes awake. She didn’t bother looking at me, instead she looked over at Ezra... and smiled… I thought it was just my imagination, but I watched as Ezra suddenly turned stiff and quivered in his position. Moments later, Celia dropped to her knees.
Ezra began to step forward in a strange, slow… almost unnatural manner. His jaw revealed a tenseness in his actions and I watched as he made his way to the foot of the bed. Celia’s face looked freakishly pale as she watched her brother take out a blade from the inner pocket of his suit jacket. Taken aback, I tried to move and grab him, but Aurelia’s grip held me firmly in place.
Trust me. She said simply but it was hard to watch as Ezra took the blade and to my surprise, brought it to his hand and drew it through. The smell of his blood wafted throughout the room and I watched as he walked around over to Aurelia, trembling as he offered his bloodied hand to her lips. I looked away. I couldn’t watch. But when I felt her grip, loosen around my wrist, I couldn’t help but look at the scene. Ezra trembled terribly under Aurelia’s gaze. Her eyes landed on mine as she licked her lips clean. She pushed Ezra’s hand away from her and I watched as her body pulsed with life, her skin turned supple, hair smooth, and she let out a relieved sigh. Her green eyes then turned a viscious red, as if sending a warning to me.
I didn’t know if I was frozen out of fear or out of sheer confusion. Something was wrong and yet I couldn’t understand why Aurelia would-
This is how you’ll get out of here. Her voice said and I watched as she nodded her head towards Ezra and he moved away from the bed, settling back where Celia was kneeling.
“It’s nice to finally meet you,” she said, her voice was softer than I expected.
What you’ve seen me do is our bloodline’s trait. Mind control. Though it seems like a powerful tool, I can no longer do it for very long. She then took my hand in hers. Consider my plans in action.
“For my blood, a gift,” Aurelia suddenly said and it was like she was reciting a set of lines, “For my enemies, a weapon, and for our lives, a curse.” As she spoke, red lines, almost like veins, appeared from the hand that held mine and I watched, as if in a trance, as they travelled and transferred over to my own skin. A burning sensation then began climbing up my arms and into the rest of my body, images flashed through my head and my breath hitched.
I felt a weight over my shoulders and I couldn’t breathe. Aurelia refused to release my hand even though the heat had now changed into a scorching pain. I could feel tears stream down my face, my vision blurred, and all I could register was pain... and then I heard it. Voices. Jumbled and messy, like I was stuck in a crowd of whispers - and then before I could decipher any single one of the voices…
This is the only way. Our plans live today. Aurelia’s voice said and it was as if she woke me up. I was back in the room but Aurelia’s grip on mine was no longer there, it was gone, and so was the health that had spread through her from Ezra’s blood. I immediately looked over at the heart rate monitor. Stable. I breathed a sigh of relief, but just as I did so, I felt hands grab both my arms, forcing them behind my back.
“What the hell-” I began but all I had to do was look over at Ezra and the anger in his eyes.
“Take her to the basement.” Before I could even try to set myself free, I felt a soft pressure on my neck and I was gone.