Part 2 Chapter 14
Maximus and Isobel lie together on top of the bed in the Queen’s old quarters - Isobel’s new room. Blood soaks the sheets but we can do little about that. I place Isobel’s dismembered arm where it should be and then I look away, feeling queasy while Darrius paces the room.
“I don’t want to rely on her,” Darrius growls under his breath.
“Rely on who?” I ask, facing him as he paces.
“We need a witch,” Leah answers for him, she is lying on the couch nursing her leg, staring at Darrius, “We need Meredith -”
"No,” Darrius cuts her off instantly.
“She is the strongest witch in the city!” Leah yells, frustrated, “We don’t have a choice. Call her - now.”
Darrius pauses in his pacing and glares at Leah and then me, before glancing at Maximus and Isobel on the bed - both bodies healing too slowly, if at all. They were pretty much dead, as Leah had said.
"God damn this,” Darrius snarls, stalking his way over to the phone on the bed side table. He picks it up and dials a number - having an incredibly short conversation with whoever is on the other end of the phone. When he hangs up he turns around to glare at Leah, “I told Xavier to call her - she won’t come for me.”
“What is the bad blood between you and Meredith?” I ask.
“Never you mind, sweetheart,” Darrius growls this low, highly tense and on edge.
“You need to relax,” I say, even though I know it’s a stupid thing to say when his best friend was possibly too far gone to bring back to life.
There is a knock at the door and then is swings opens.
Revealing someone I didn’t expect to see.
He steps right into the room without hesitation.
“Hey, Darrius, I was looking for you,” he says calmly, in an even-tone... not at all crazy.
Everyone is frozen to the spot as he stands there with his hands in his pockets. He is wearing a black suit and seems normal enough.
“John?” I ask, confused.
“This is the second time I’ve been given these sorts of looks,” he says to all of us, laughing - slightly nervous, “Did I do something wrong? I’m just looking for dad, do you know where he is?” he asks Darrius.
“No, I don’t,” Darrius answers bluntly, predator eyes trained on his youngest brother - assessing what the hell was going on.
“Well, I have to find him so I’ll talk to you guys later, okay?” he backs out into the hall, closing the door.
“What the hell?” I ask, getting to my feet and turning to Darrius, “He isn’t crazy anymore! How is that possible?”
“How do we know he isn’t crazy, darling?” Darrius asks this with a raised eyebrow, “It doesn’t make sense.”
“Shouldn’t you go follow him and find out?” I ask, exasperated.
“I’m not leaving them,” Darrius motions to the bed, “Leah needs support too.”
“Johnathan didn’t comment on Leah’s leg or Maximus and Isobel,” I say, “Isn’t that weird?”
“Yes. Good point! Bloody hell,” Darrius walks towards the phone once more, “I’ll get Owen to pull Johnathan aside and tie him down. We can’t trust him.”
“Owen will be on security duties on the cameras,” Leah pipes in, “Get him to track down Johnathan fast. We need to know why he is going for the King.”
“Darrius,” I say, “I’m going to go outside and get my ring that I threw away.”
“Be quick,” Darrius nods, reluctantly before picking up the phone and contacting Owen. As I walk past Leah, I see her leg still dangling by a few threads so I look away quick.
“Do me a favour, princess,” she says, for the first time not as nasty as she usually sounds.
“What do you need?” I ask, wearily.
“Get me a human - I need blood. Yours won’t do,” she says this with a smirk and I manage to smile - somehow.
“Sure thing, Leah.”
I find my ring and return with a human for Leah. Xavier joins us all in the waiting process for Maximus and Isobel to come around, but their conditions don’t change.
We wait for what seems like forever - but eventually the door opens and Meredith is escorted into the room with... Claudia?
“Oh my god!” I jump to my feet, grinning, “You’re safe!”
“I’m sorry for disappearing,” Claudia apologises, coming over to me and giving me a big hug, “I was with Meredith the whole time.”
“It seems everyone is in need of me these days,” Meredith says sweetly, but still looking flustered.
“Welcome,” Xavier goes to greet Meredith, they shake hands. He nods to Claudia, acknowledging her existence as well.
Darrius stands up from the couch and accepts a hug from Claudia before turning to glare at Meredith - who glares right back at him.
“Do you need my help or not, Darrius?” Meredith asks, her voice suddenly icy cold, “I suggest you show me some respect. I’m the only one that can help - the only thing you told me was Eddrick was involved,” she directs this to Xavier, then nods to Claudia, “Claudia filled in the details. May I see the bodies?”
“Don’t leave out my leg,” Leah adds in, waving from her own couch - where she has become paler and is sweating out a temperature. The blood from the human slave helped her recover a bit, but her condition was getting worse.
“Don’t worry, dear, I’m here to help,” Meredith smiles, but the smile doesn’t last when she takes in Leah’s nearly detached leg, Maximus’ screwed up neck, ripped back and Isobel’s... mess.
Meredith stays silent for a long time, crossing her arms over her chest.
“There is only one way to cure them,” she says, slowly, “You need Eddrick’s blood - he is wholly evil but I assure you, we need him alive.”
“The werewolves are hell bent on killing him - as am I,” Darrius snarls, losing his temper, “Why do we need his blood?”
“Because it is the only way to bring them back to life,” Meredith explains, “You have multiple options but I’ll run them through with you when you come back to me with his blood. He must not die, we need him alive. His blood is one of a kind.”
“We can try and get his blood,” Xavier glares at Darrius, who is doing nothing but sending Meredith glares filled with fury, “But we need to stop the werewolves from potentially killing him first.”
“We are meeting them tonight in Oak Meadow,” Darrius explains, “I agreed to tell them what is happening and they’ll want to know the details. We will have to return to them the dead bodies of the deformed wolves.”
“When did you agree to meet them?” I ask, shocked. Darrius ignores me.
“How long will we have to get Eddrick’s blood and save my friends?” Darrius asks Meredith.
“You need to do it as quickly as possible. Come back tonight with it and I should be able to save them - however do not take your time. We need his blood as soon as possible,” Meredith turns to Claudia, “This will be a solution to your problem as well.”
“Thank you,” Claudia grins.
It made sense now. Claudia went out into the city to find help for Johnathan! I lean over to her and whisper, “He’s back in the palace acting really strange.”
She turns to me with furrowed eyebrows as the others talk about their plans to meet the werewolves tonight and how they are going to find Eddrick and get some of his blood.
“Are you serious?” Claudia asks me, “Why did he come back?”
I can see hope in her eyes.
Maybe she thought he came back for her.
“I honestly don’t know, Owen is going to stop him. I don’t think he is up to any good, he said he was looking for his father, the King,” I explain.
“I want to go find him, but I can’t, because I’m human - he’ll want to kill me,” Claudia sounds sad, “But Meredith said she can help.”
“All we need is Eddrick’s blood,” I say.
“Yes, then we’ll finally, finally be on the upper hand,” Claudia says this with a new sense of calm, “I have a good feeling about this!”
She had a good feeling, we had a strong witch on our side...
...but things were never that simple.
And if I wasn’t careful I wouldn’t see the real danger.
A friend inside the palace - who would catch us all by surprise.