Happy Sunday and happy reading!
After I leave Rose’s house, my first stop is to see Deklan.
Rose isn’t herself right now and, everyone can see that. What is going on with her, I have no idea. Nothing makes sense.
The Aldinn isn’t here anymore, so what else could be going?
I mean, even when the Aldinn was here, Rose was never like this. This obviously isn’t something I can handle on my own. Which is why I’m here for Deklan.
I look around the first floor of the building but don’t see him anywhere. Then I take the elevator up to the top floor where the doors open to reveal, Deklan and Damen. They are sitting at the table in the center of the room, both with a coffee mugs in their hands.
The both look over at me with smiles on their faces, which slowly fade as they take in the look on my face.
Damen stands up instantly seeming to sense that something is wrong.
“What is it?” He asks.
“It’s Bianca… I don’t – Something’s going on with her but I don’t know what.”
“But, she’s okay?” Damen asks, the urgency clear in his voice.
I nod. “Physically, she’s fine. Well, she’s alive but I think we should be worried. When was the last time either of you saw her?”
The two men share a look.
“Just yesterday,” Damen says.
“The day before that,” Deklan replies.
“And I just saw her ten minutes ago, and she does not look well. At all. She looks like she hasn’t showered in days, like she’s been living on the street. She’s irritable, and she has been like that for awhile lately. Most of the time, I see her and she’s staring off into space like she’s seeing something that isn’t there. Today she lied to me about where she was and no one knew where she was all day. Something is wrong.”
The men watch me for a moment, and then Damen turns to Deklan, who averts his eyes. He turns away, and runs a hand through his hair.
“You’ve seen this before?” Damen asks him.
“Yes, but it doesn’t make any sense. And there is no point in worrying if I am wrong. I will call a friend, and see what she has to say before we jump to any conclusions.”
Deklan turns back around and his eyes meet mine. He stares at me for a moment, and I have the sense to be nervous. I thought I would be able to keep the truth from that night a secret, that no one would have to know. It can’t be that. And Deklan doesn’t know.
I look away, breaking eye contact, and face Damen.
“Just keep a close eye on her. Don’t let her do anything she shouldn’t,” he tells me.
I resist shaking my head. Has he ever met her? You can’t just make her not do something.
A week. That’s how long I’ve been watching her. She’d go to school, and she looked way better than she did the night when she told me she didn’t want me around. Then I would follow her home – where I felt like a total creeper – and just sit outside her house.
She never leaves her house. She would just sit up in her room doing god knows what. And if I couldn’t tell she was in her room – if her light wasn’t on or there was no movement for a while, I would text Duke just to make sure that she didn’t sneak out the back. Every night I would text Deklan asking him if there was any news, because I was so tired of being away from her. Of not being able to help her.
Tonight, I’m so frustrated. I’ve tried to keep some distance from her so that she doesn’t feel cornered, but it’s so hard being so close to her yet so far away.
This time when I text Deklan, I finally get a response.
‘Meet me at my building.’
Something eats at me the whole ride to Deklan’s. The fear that he has found out the truth and that whatever is going on with Rose is because of me. When I park my car, I take a deep breath, hold my head high, and enter the building. I can hear my heart beating the entire ride up the elevator. But I don’t shy or run away, because I had my reasons for what I did, and no matter what happens, I would do them again.
The bell dings, and the elevator doors slide open. I push off the wall, and step onto the top floor. Deklan turns his head to look at me, not saying a word.
“Where’s Damen?” I ask.
“He’ll be here soon,” Deklan response, his face neutral as he watches me. “You know, Chase, secrets weigh you down. And in our world, secrets can get us killed. Is there anything you would like to tell me?”
My eyes meet his. “Deklan, I – ”
The bell to the elevator dings again, cutting me off, and I turn as the door opens. Damen steps off with a woman following him. She’s short, about five foot tall, with long curly black hair that falls down her shoulders and back. She wears a long brown billowing skirt and a black tank top.
“Deklan,” She coo’s, with a deep southern accent as she opens her arms to Deklan. He pulls her into his arms, and give her a kiss on the cheek.
“Marian,” he says, affectionately.
She pulls away, and smiles up at him. “It’s been too long.”
“Yes. I’m sorry that we are seeing each other under these circumstances,” Deklan says.
“Ah, no worries. This is what I’m good at.”
“This is Chase,” Deklan says, taking a step back, holding a hand out to me.
“Ah, the protector. Nice to meet you,” she says, holding out a hand.
I shake hers. “Same here.”
“So, can I meet the girl in question?”
Deklan shakes his head and takes a step back. “Not at the moment. I think we need to know what we are dealing with exactly, before bringing her in.”
“Of course. So, besides what you had told me on the phone, anything else I should know about?”
Deklan gives me a quick glance before looking back at Marian. “Not that I am aware of. What do you think this is?”
“A person’s spirit – their soul – it is what makes them human. Pure. It is what sets us apart from all the other creatures in the world. It is what we are born, what we carry around. What others try to steal. Vampires are not the only things that lurk in the night, and they are certainly not the worst. Vampire’s steal our blood, but demons, they steal you – everything that you are. Think of our soul as those blue bug zapper lights, and the demons as the bugs. But instead of dying, demons latch on when they have the chance. They want the shiny souls. They latch on to those souls, leaching off of them, taking over their mind and their bodies, eating away at them until there is nothing left. Normally, that is what I would say is happening here.”
“But?” I ask.
Marian takes a deep breath. “But, they don’t just start latching on to people. They can only feed off of those who have gone completely under.”
“What does that mean? Completely under?”
“During an operation if someone dies and a doctor is able to bring them back, we call that a miracle. It’s natural, in some way, so the dark beings can’t latch on to a soul,” Deklan explains. “But if someone dies, completely dies where there soul is no longer in their body, they’ve gone completely under and there is only one way to get them back.”
All eyes in the room turn to me.
The end. For now!