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AVIAN : HOLLOW

By Essy Pach All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Scifi

Blurb

Sequel to AVIAN... this is were it all unravels and the true story comes to life... if you are emotional have tissues close, Its going to get sad.

WINTER

Breath to breath time froze as if it refused to exist…


He called it ‘waking up’…

Crowe.

I never wanted to wake up... at least not from him… smiley face with a semicolon and capital letter D.

Jack.

I did something to Crowe?! I know.

When things got normal and peaceful ‘the perfection’ that never lasts, the painful illusion of happiness. Good things fail to feel right at times, like being stuck on the ground in the eye of a storm... a fake calm. I felt uneasy… I always feel uneasy these days.

He took my hand and I calmed... smile…

He called it ‘waking up’… I couldn’t help the feeling that Crowe knew something that Jack didn’t tell me. Nagging at my throat the realisation that I should know something but I can’t put my finger on it.

“There has to be a way to fix this,” Jacob insisted to Flamel.

Flamel smiled, “I have tried everything you can think of. Jacob you can try but I highly doubt there is a cure.”

“But…” he knew something. He stopped himself and plunked himself in a seat, mouth sealed.

A month since… I guess since ‘I woke up’… weird how time flies when you are distracted...

“Jacob,” he sat up straight at the sound of my voice. His hair had grown longer and straitened itself; he seemed to have grown a lot over the time. I guess now I would have to watch out for crazy girls that would be running after him, my little brother.

“Nothing,” he sighed out without me even having to ask. Jack sat on the coffee table in front of him.

“We could always make a pig fly again,” they both smiled.

“Yeah,” Liam enthusiastically burst. Lilly punched in the shoulder and he noticed that Flamel was still in the room with an angry Dad look.

“Sorry, Jacob’s idea,” Liam sold them out.

“Glad to see you living,” Flamel said as he walked out of the room. Liam smiled and crashed into the seat next to Jacob.

“Best out of three,” he gestured with a joy stick in Jacob’s face, “Super Mario Brothers.”

He lit up, “get ready to lose, again,” they started the game as Jack walked towards me and Lilly helped Sue with something at the other side of the room.

“The waking up thing, still bothering you,” Jack asked. I nodded. “Come,” he gestured already half way up the stairs.

I followed and found him in his room.

I walked to the glass wall and watched the outside. The outside, hauntingly died into a deathly beauty, white carpeted floors that could freeze the warmest heart, darkened creepy dark wood sprung out of the white ground like scorched fleshless skeletons… “Why did you appear that day,” I was curious about the first time I saw him. The question just popped up when I was trying to avoid... the pestering thought.

He smiled, took a breath, as he brushed my cheek with his thumb, “I was curious, confused...” He said almost faintly, “you were drawing,” I saw his eyes, forgot about the outside… buried deep within them was an odd sadness I noted.

“Curious? Confused?” He fiddled with my hand as usual.

“I saw you the day I turned,” I had never heard this before. I turned to the glass doors and let go of his hand slowly. I saw that the blizzard had gone calm and was about to end, and I walked towards the glass and lay my hand on it lightly. He walked towards me and took hold of my hand that was against the glass he whispered as my ear from behind me as he wrapped his arm around me.

“I needed to know that you were real,” he smiled. I blushed. His hair rose as usual … smile. “That’s also what went wrong,” what did he mean? I turned to face him, “You are… real. That’s how Crowe found out. I led him to you,” I freed myself from him, “I am sorry. I could have been more careful.” For a second he held my hand tighter and I caught sight of his eyes again.

“Are you sure you don’t know what he meant by ‘waking me up’,” He had his arm round my waist, his grip tightened.

“Nothing good,” he looked at me like a man looks at his dying wife.

“I’m sorry,” I let spill out, “I just feel like hell is on its way.”

“You’re safe with me, love,” he smiled.

“I know,” I took a breath, “I’m just beginning to wonder if everyone else is safe around me.”

“What’s wrong?” he looked seriously concerned.

“If Crowe woke me up… what if I am like the hulk and I blow up on everyone? Or activated me and I am secretly an evil murderer or …”

“Stop.”

“If he set me to kill you, Jacob … I could be a bomb waiting to happen.”

“Anna,” he cupped her cheek in his hand… “You’re okay,” it sounded a bit more like he was trying to convince himself than me. Something about the last statement I said clicked in his mind. “It’s been a month something would have happened by now… but you are okay.”

I lay my head on the inside of his neck and he wrapped his arms around me…

                                                  ***

I could feel her energy rise in my arms and I knew… I knew what he meant, I just hoped I was mistaken… keep her controlled they won’t find her.

“I need to talk to Flamel,” I whispered scared that if I spoke out loud the peace would shatter.

“Now?” she clung on tighter for a moment… I hated having to let her go. Her phone rang and she freed herself to answer the call. “Hi mom,” she held the phone to her ear. Looked at me and smiled, kissed my cheek and walked into the bathroom.

Why her?! You could have picked anyone else but her… I need to get Flamel to check, he knew before I turned.

“Luke,” in his office, “I think she is like me.”

He left the book he was reading at human pace and glanced at me, “explain?”

“Her power…” I sat.

“It’s too early to tell,” he got back to his book.

“Bass?! He can’t know about her regardless.”

“He has been looking for you again… with the Furies,” why did she have to be here now? After all this why would you… I can’t let her get hurt.

“Ohm sorry,” she stumbled through the door… my heart stopped as she spoke, “I hope I am not disturbing anything,”

I smiled, “no nothing at all,” everything melted away.

“I just wanted to ask if Jacob and I could stay over tonight.” YES! “Mom and Dad are stuck at Aunt Lucy’s, the blizzard hit harder that side. They said they will be back tomorrow.”

“Sure, Anna. It would be wonderful if you stayed,” Flamel spoke. He enjoyed the humans because it made him remember his humanity.

I walked out with her and Sue walked in.

                                                      ***

“I want to show you something,” he smiled, a living smile. He took my hand and led the way,

I smiled. He made me happy.

Up some stairs, he opened a door and we walked in. It seemed like a green house, everything was green unlike the lifeless winter outside. He closed the door behind him as I walked on ahead to look around like the helplessly curious person I was.

I saw flowers that were impossible to grow in the winter, blooming and the scent was heavenly on its own. The sight was just beautiful as the colours were beyond magnificent. It had been too long since nature last looked so alive.

“William, get out of here.”

“Sorry,” he said as he appeared from an invisible state. “Have you seen Jacob?”

“Sorry, thought you had him,” I said, “did he win again.”

William just then walked out casually, “I am sure he is cheating. I’ll find him it can’t be that hard.” Obviously, he does not know what he is talking about. The two of them Jacob and William had grown incredibly close over the month.

As soon as the door shut I turned back to Jack who disappeared and reappeared a short distance away as he looked to the sky through the glass of the green house; he wiped away the steam on the glass. I walked to him and stood beside him where he was leaning against the silver rails that blocked people off from access to the glass. I leaned against the rail, facing away from the glass with my fingers tucked into my front pockets.

“No wonder I could never really figure out his power, it’s invisible,” I said with a light laugh, he laughed along. “So why again did we come here,” I asked as he successfully distracted me as usual.

“I don’t remember,” he looked at me dreamily. Turned to lean against the rail as well. I leaned against his shoulder and he wrapped his arm around me, and I could hear his racing heart beat faintly.

“Who’s the green thumbed one?” I asked just out of curiosity.

“Sue,” he answered simply as he fiddled with my hand, his hand moved towards the charm bracelet that documented my life in a way. “I’ve often wondered, but always forget to ask. Why does this mean so much to you?” he looked at every charm like a wide eyed child, fascinated. I freed myself and turned to stand in front of him, he did not let go of my hand. He held it higher, as he smiled at one of the charms.

“My grandmother gave me a week before she died, she left me one weird thing too, and a sketch book that was full of African birds. She said she found it a while back and felt she had to keep it, believed it had a greater future. That is why that charm is a book, and unless you have not noticed, I am somewhat obsessed with reading books. People think that it’s weird.”

“I don’t,” for a moment he looked up to me and his green eyes captured me as usual, “and this one,” he pointed at one which was an autumn leaf, with a bronze-copper tone. I smiled.

“My dad gave me that one a while back, he was trying to convince me to convince Jacob to go convince mom, to go camping.” That was a bit more confusing than I thought.

“That’s a mouthful,” he said with a light laugh and he looked at me captivated.

“Good things always happen in autumn.” I looked at him and he smiled.

“And this one,” he quickly skipped through the other three to the one he had given me after I had almost lost it over a game of truth or dare. I drifted off in thought as I fell in love with him all over again.

“That one, it’s nothing,” I teased. I wished to drag the conversation for longer.

“Is it,” he said daringly as his hands slid into the back pockets of my jeans and pulled me tighter. Breathe gone, he froze his eyes flashed then he smiled.

“It’s something un-explainable,” I wish I could explain in words but just can’t, “Let me think for a moment...” like I would be able to do that with his intoxicating... self, there was barely a silent moment before he said something.

“Like heaven being opened up just enough for you to enjoy it,” I doubted if he was still speaking about the charm, “a heaven you would do anything do keep.” He brushed my cheek with his thumb then tenderly tucked my hair behind my ear. His eyes flashed a golden colour.

I said lightly, “it’s like having part of my heart on my bracelet,” he smiled.

“It’s like having part of my heart with you,” I blushed as his warm atmosphere caressed my skin. I could feel my blood pulsing through my veins and my heart racing as if I had become one of them. I loved the rush it gave me to hear his voice ring in my ears, the rush I still felt by his touch or by his mere presence. One of his fingers traced across my lips, which were probably on fire now as they parted. His eyes were almost wild now; his grip grew a little tighter, my breath was uneven even I could hear how uneven it was. Adrenalin soared in me, my mind was out of order. I could not think clearly.

“I wouldn’t have accepted it,” It just slipped out as my brain involuntarily. I knew that I would not have, I would feel guilty, as if I was leaching off him.

“Why?” As if he had depended on me accepting it, he maintained a naughty/wild smile that made me feel weak in the knees.

“I only took it because I thought that it was a clue to what was going on at the time,” I said as my eyes flicked away from him as the depth of love… no… infatuation, that radiated from me was about to make me explode. “Then I found out it wasn’t and I could not return it, so I was stuck with it, but I didn’t mind. I already loved it so I might as well have kept it. Anyways where did get this there is no record of this anywhere, Jacob searched it looked antique so I figured it must have been in some history books,” His grip loosened as I turned away from him and walked a short distance to a bench that had a clear view of the glass ceiling and the sky that was all dark now. There was bright light in the green house. I took a seat on the red upholstered bench. He followed and took a seat beside me.

“It was my mother’s,” he was serious. I took his hand and his smile returned.

“Ironic how this is a fork tailed drongo and how you are,” he smiled with a chuckle. He wrung his arm around me over the shoulder.

“It’s getting harder,” he said in a whisper that I barely heard.

“What’s getting harder?” I asked slightly louder as I turned to see his face. He did not look at me. He leaned and did ‘The Thinking Man’ thing he took a deep breath, and then he spoke.

“It’s getting harder to be,” he expected a reply.

                                                     ***

Crowe woke her up. Her energy rose… igniting an aching thirst in my throat. I swallowed.

                                                      ***

“I’m a slight bit confused,” I lied as his face lit up with a smile. I stood up again as I kept on having the thought that the plants were going to turn into killer plants any second and attack, I guess I have been reading too many science-fiction books.

“There aren’t any mutant human eating plant in here right?” I just had to make sure.

                                                       ***

I smiled, “no mutant plants that will eat you here.” She looked relieved. I didn’t follow her because I didn’t want to stain the perfection of the image in front of me. I felt it wouldn’t last and I need to savor it.

Savor her… her warm eyes, savor the moment she caught my gaze and blushed… her energy flutters like it exists in my core…

                                                     ***

He walked to me and stuffed his fingers in his front pockets with his thumbs sticking out and for a moment there was silence as I was captivated by the look in his eyes, it was hypnotizing. His hair rose and he instantly closed his eyes, as if to calm himself. I blushed with a light laugh as he smiled and slowly opened his eyes as their golden green color just captured me completely over again.

His look just made my heart race faster and my mind go senseless to avoid a complete black out I had to say something, “What is it like to… lose it… go wild.” I just asked involuntarily.

“It’s great.” It was not the answer I expected to hear; it kept me wondering how could something so good be bad?

“Then why would it be so dangerous,” I walked to him as his face went serious. He reached for my hand and held it lightly in his hand.

“Because. . . . There is no conscience, nothing to hold back from doing anything. Everything is by impulse and instinct. Easily threatened. Nothing matters at all no problems exist. There is no considering consequences of actions. There is no feeling except an overwhelming adrenalin rush and a feeling of freedom, a psychopathic freedom. It is extremely...dangerous but at the same time great. The hunt... It’s the day after that hurts.” He took my other hand and a look that just made my heart fill up with a gust of warm filling air, I was whole.

“Technically you just go loony, life thirsty, creepy, zombie, winged, uncontrollable, insane, inconsiderate, much like Crowe when normal, high on craziness, destructive, in need of anger management (loony management), weird (not so much for me), upside down and back to front thinking, high, super charged and a wild monstrous creature.” I would not be able to repeat that.

“Lots of words for it, but pretty much,” a smile flickered on his face, as he looked at me with the same magnificent look that made my heart beat hard, deep and fast.

“In short, Jacob when he has sugar in his blood,” he laughed and caressed my cheek tenderly.

“Exactly, but a little worse,” he said as his fingers traced my collarbone, moved over my shoulder and then he took hold of my arm gently.

“With that kind of potential he would probably turn into a humming bird,” I said as I turned away because I could not take the look he gave me. I was about to blow up with insanity.

“Probably,” he whispered at my ear with his arm still around me as I had not let go. I turned such that his arm was now round me from the front.

“So, back to it’s getting harder. It’s getting harder to keep you wings in your back and to keep the wild animal in, because of me?” I asked as I really did wonder because he really had never finished off what he meant to say.

“Mainly,” he spoke lowly again but with a naughty tone to his voice. He was crazy, in a good way.

“How,” I asked excusing his tone.

“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “Just remembered,” he said with a booming voice as he freed me and walked around to face me.

“Remembered what?”

“Why we came up here,” he said simply as he took my hand and all I did was follow him, “come,” his eyes were childish and playful bright with joy, it just made my heart tingle. He finally stopped and we were at the far end of the green house. “Just on time.”

“In time for what,” I spoke after a while of silence, there was infectious warmth around him excluding the heat of the green house and his 40°C. He looked away from me and towards something with an infectious smile that made me feel a weakness in my knees so my grip on his hand tightened. I hesitantly turned away from him to look at what he was looking at. There was a white rose, not yet bloomed. I turned to him wondering what he was trying to prove.

“Wait for it, just a few seconds now.” I turned back to the rose, I paid attention to it for a while and it began to bloom. Slowly each petal opening up as if it were in slow motion, it was happening faster that it should have.

“It happens at this time every day. Sue and Flamel are in the study by the piano right now,” that’s why Sue the green thumb was at a level high now, Sue and Flamel were in their heaven right now by each other.

He smiled with a light chuckle at my reaction. I loved white roses, they were so pure and clean, like though they were living life itself had not stained them.

I looked at him. His very essence was angelic and so beyond humanity, averting the whole avian business. My stupid charged up teenage hormones speaking. Then the scary thought came back to me again, I woke up, and I was creeped out for a moment but the warm of his face looking at me expecting an answer brought me out of it as his eyes maintained a perfect green.

He kissed my cheek then spoke, “shall we,” he gestured to leave. We walked to the study and everyone else was there, Jacob was talking to Flamel who was sitting next to Sue on the bench of the piano. William and Lilly were standing on the other side of the piano. I walked in ahead of Jack while he closed the door and followed to the classic black piano.

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