“Mia, be reasonable. There is still so much we need to talk about. So much you still don’t understand,” the woman she had once known as mother, begged.
“Get out.” Mia repeated. Her voice as cold as steel as she gazed at the woman who had created her and then dared to heap abuse on her. To call her a monster and tell her she should have been killed before she could spread her evil in to the world. And then to claim she felt for Mia when she had lost Kai and their child. She didn’t understand true pain. She didn’t what it meant to truly love for if she had, she would have done more then just watch.
“Mother, I think it is time for you to go,” Damien said, stepping between the two of them as he tried to usher his mother, or her mother, or whoever the hell she was out. “I think its best for all if we take some time to cool off.”
“No, there is more she needs to know. More she needs to hear,” The woman Mia had known as Iliyana, or Mother, argued.
“There is nothing else I want to hear from you, now or ever. Nor do I want you anywhere near my sisters. They do not need to know the truth of your existence, nor do they need to know your opinion of us, your own flesh and blood. I will be leaving in the morning and I never want to see you again.”
“Mia you need to listen,” Iliyana fought her son who easily picked her up and headed towards the hotel room door.
“Mother, you will only make things worse, you must leave now,” Damien tried to tell her patiently, but she would not hear it. She squirmed, fought to get out of his hold, but he was so much stronger than she. So instead she looked over his shoulder at Mia.
“The soul you inhabit it deteriorating,” She yelled over her son’s shoulder just as Damien grabbed the door knob, “Even a body as strong as the one your sister created for you if not strong enough to contain your true powers. When you awoke your memories, you also awoke the powers, the body you reside in now is struggling to contain them. The soul is shattering.”
“You should be happy then. After all, isn’t that what you wanted. My death,” Mia sneered.
“I never wanted your death. Please Mia, you have to listen. You inherited your father’s gifts, but you also inherited my own. I’m not what you and your sister thought I was. I was never just human. I was just like your father. I thought I would never find another like me. But I did, and I fell in love. I didn’t want children. I didn’t want to pass my curse on to them, but your father wanted them so badly. He had been alone for as long as he remembered and he wanted to have a family. So I gave in. When each of you were born, I prayed that you would be normal, I prayed you would take nothing from me, but you, you of all my children did. You are the only one, of them all who inherited my curse,” She cried out. Damien stood with his back to Mia, his hand on the knob but he did not open the door, and he did not leave. It seemed her words were as much of a surprise to him as they were to Mia.
“What are you talking about? What curse?” Mia demanded to know, tired of her little games.
“You are immortal. You cannot die.”
Mia frowned at her words, “You are wrong. I died. Thea took my life and I died. It was how I was reborn in this body. You said so yourself. This body I inhabit it not my own. Thea pulled my soul from the Void and she tied it to this body so I could live again.”
Her mother shook her head, “No Mia, she didn’t take your soul from the Void. Your soul can never go there. You soul, like my own is bound to this living world.”
“You are wrong,” Mia repeated herself. She died. She remembered it. She remembered the pain, the remembered the darkness, and…and… Mia’s eyes suddenly got large. It hadn’t been a dream then. It had truly been a memories. She had truly awoken at the site of her father’s tomb when her sister had stabbed her through the heart. She truly couldn’t die.
“See, you understand now,” her mother said, nodding her head, but Mia refused to look at her.
“Get her out of here,” Mia said, her eyes staring blankly at her hands. She couldn’t die. She was cursed to live over and over again. She could never die. She…she stopped as she suddenly remembered that she was not alone. Not her mother, but there was another just like them. Nathaniel. He would know what to do. He would know how to help her, to help them.
“Mia, you need to listen to me,” Her mother pleaded but Mia had stopped listening. She needed to leave. She needed to return home. She needed to speak to Nathaniel.
“Mia, listen to me!” The woman she had once called mother shouted, forcing Mia to finally meet her eyes. She let out a breath of release when she realized she finally had her daughter’s attention. “What your sister did was wrong. When she took your soul from your body she broke something. When you die this time, if you die before you able to find your true body and restore the connection, when you awake again, everything you know now will be gone. You will become a blank slate. You will remember nothing of your past life, you will remember nothing of this life. The person you are, the woman you had struggled to become will all be gone. What will awake in her place, even I cannot see. But a being with that much power and the inability to die will either become our greatest savior or our destruction.”
Mia sat frozen in the bed as she left her mother’s words wash over her. If she didn’t find her body, if she wasn’t able to restore the connection between her soul and her body, she would be erased. Everything she had done up till that point would vanish as if she had never existed. She would quite literally disappear.
“Please, leave now,” She asked hoarsely as she looked away, unable to bear the sight of her mother any longer.
“Mia, please, you must not do this. You need my help. I can help you find your body, i can help you restore your soul, Please you must listen to me,” she begged and pleaded, but this time Mia refused to hear her words.
Damien’s hands turned the knob this time as he opened the hotel room door. He paused in the doorway to look at her one last time. His mother struggled in his arms, pleading with Mia still, pleading with him, but they both ignored her.
“I am truly sorry for what you have learned. I had hoped to break it to you in another way,” Damien said. Mia just nodded that she heard him but she didn’t look up at either mother or son.
With that he walked in to the hallway with his screeching mother on his shoulder and closed the door behind him. For a long moment after, Mia just stared at her clenched hands before finally taking a deep breath and looking around the room for her phone. She found it quickly resting on the bedside table. She leaned over and picked it up, quickly dialing a number she now knew by heart. Her mother may have given up on her, but there was someone who had never stopped believing in her, who had never stopped loving her no matter what she had done. She didn’t need a mother who would so easily abandon her own children. She had what she needed and it was time to remember that.
“Mia?” A gruff voice answered. In the background she could hear the sounds of sirens and shouting. Even in the middle of a crisis, he was still willing to answer her call. That was all she needed to know.
“I’m ready to come home now.”
Mia was awoken by a knock on the door. She opened her eyes to find her cousin still sitting in the chair beside her bed. She scrolled through her cellphone completely ignoring the knock. She didn’t even bother to look up when she Mia shifted on the bed.
She was still mad it would seem. She had stormed in to Mia’s room two minutes after Mia had hung up with Nick. She had received a call from Sarah and Sarah had tattled when Mia hadn’t texted her to let her knew she was okay. So no, Ada had not been happy with her. Especially since she had been in charge of Mia’s safety.
The knock came again, and again, Ada ignored it. Mia tried to move, tried to push herself up with her arms. She gritted her teeth and bit back a scream as her muscle protested. She was nearly sitting up when she couldn’t bare it any longer and collapsed back against the mattress. Her body was worse now then it had been before she fell asleep. It’s as as if all of her muscled had stiffened up and even the slightest movement sent ripples of pain through her whole body.
Ada finally glanced up then, to watch Mia panting. Mia had to close her eyes and breath deeply to make the room stop spinning and her stomach stop rolling.
The person at the door knocked once more. Mia’s eyes flew up as she glared at her cousin.
“Would you get the goddamned door or tell them to go away?” Mia snapped.
Ada just glared back before turning back to her cellphone, shouting an, “It’s open,” over her shoulder.
Mia began to run through ever curse she knew in her head as she clenched the sheets in her hands to keep herself from doing something stupid. If she could have still accessed her magic, she would have zapped her cousin.
“Am I interrupting something?” William said with an amused smile as he darted looks between the two of them.
“Nothing of importance,” Ada said blandly, as set her phone down and turned to their guest. Mia bit down on her tongue to keep the words in her mouth. It wouldn’t do to upset her nurse any further. After all, Mia had to put up with her until their escorts arrived.
“I see,” William replied with a rise of his brows before he turned to Mia, “I hear we will be leaving shortly. You cousin called to inform me of our flight plans and told me to be prepared for the guild team he was sending over to pick us of.”
“Oh, for the love of God,” Mia swore as she pushed her head back in to the pillow. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the smirk on her cousin’s face, “Seriously? He’s sending one of his Guild Ops teams to pick us up? What does he think I’m going to do? Run away? Because I can totally see that happening when I can’t even get up to pee by myself.”
“Seems you pissed off more than one person today,” Ada said snidely.
“You two are being ridiculous.,” Mia snarled.
“Oh, you think so,” Ada said, crossing her arms over her chest as she stared down at her cousin, “Just as ridiculous as you were when you decided to climb in to a tub and cut your wrist with no one there to watch over you. Don’t you understand that you could have died. That there was a chance that you lost too much blood, or that you didn’t close the wound enough, or that you could have drowned. What you did was very stupid.”
Mia had to keep herself from rolling her eyes. It’s not like death was an issue for her any longer since it seems she couldn’t die. Well actually she probably could. She just didn’t stay died. She really wasn’t sure about the specifics since usually she was at the very least unconscious while this all went on.
Just thinking about it made her angry all over again. Why the hell had that woman bothered to save her life at all? Wouldn’t it have made her point better if she had just let her die? After all, she would have definitely noticed something was wrong if she collapsed in one place, only to wake up in someplace completely different. Of course it probably wouldn’t have been a good thing if she had died in the bathroom only to awaken at her father’s side. That would have probably woken him up which would have started the apocalypse way ahead of schedule.
And what right did that woman have to blame her spreading evil when if she bore the same curse that Mia did, she would have been reborn not long after she died. She had probably woken up not long after her husband had murdered that village and taken the lives of their five children. But had she stayed behind to check on them, to make sure they were alright, no, it would seem she had went in to hiding, leaving them to deal with the problem her death had created.
If she had only told them about her powers in the very beginning, this whole thing wouldn’t have happened. Their father wouldn’t have become the monster he was, if he had realized his wife was a fucking immortal who would have risen from the dead if they had just waited patiently. No, she left him lose him mind and tear apart the world to keep her secret.
Mia swore if she every saw that woman again, she would take at least one of her lives. It’s not like she wouldn’t just wake up again. There was no such thing a permanent death, not for her and not for Mia.
Mia could fill the anxiety building up in her chest at that thought of being truly immortal, never being able to die, watching as everyone around her died and left her alone. When she began to hyperventilate, she knew she needed to calm down. She needed to think of something else before she had a total breakdown, and that would definitely not be pretty.
She need to think of something else. She needed happy thoughts. She tried as hard as she could, but happy thoughts really weren’t her thing. So she tried to think about anything else that would take her full attention. She tried to do complex math equations in her head. But math really wasn’t her subject so even the simplest of problems began to stress her out which only made the anxiety worst. She tried name flowers and herb alphabetically, something she had her sisters had done for fun when they were younger when they use to roam around the keep where they grew up. But that just reminded her that those days were gone. Really, nothing seemed to be helping so finally she just gave up and counted down from one hundred.
When she was finally able to calm her breathing down and it didn’t feel like the world was crashing in around her, she opened her eyes, only to find two sets of eyes watching her very warily.
“What the hell is that all about?” Ada demanded to know, when Mia didn’t immediately explain. “Is there something else wrong with you that you’re not telling us about? Something else besides that fact that you been secretly bleeding your body to the point of collapse once or twice a week.”
“That’s not what was happening and I will talk to you about it later,” Mia said tightly.
“Oh, you bet you will,” Ada said with a nod of her head, “And I won’t be the only one there waiting for an explanation. I’m sure Nick will enjoy hearing what you have been doing to yourself when he’s not around.”
William looked between the two of them with a deep frown on his lips, “Just what is it that I am missing?”
“Nothing,” Mia said through gritted teeth as she glared at her cousin.
“It is not nothing. You’ve been cutting yourself. Sarah didn’t have the time to tell me why, but she told me enough. She said I wasn’t allowed to let you out of my sight and to make sure that you weren’t allowed near any sharp objects.”
Of all the stupid things for Sarah to say, she had to tell her idiot cousin only the bare facts. It’s not that Ada was stupid, it was that she was too damn loyal. She didn’t care about the facts, all the she cared about was what mattered. Sarah told Ada it was dangerous to leave Mia alone and near any sharp objects because she would endanger herself and that was all that matter. Anything else Mia could say at the moment would be pointless. Ada wouldn’t understand the need for the cutting. All that would matter to her was that Mia was doing something dangerous to herself and that she had to stop it.
Mia would have shaken her head in frustration if that wouldn’t make her sick to her stomach. She really needed to talk to Sarah about the things she said to Ada. Now, she was virtually a prisoner until they got back to Stonehearth and Sarah could probably explain things because Ada sure and heck wouldn’t believe anything that Mia told her now. She would think that anything that came out of Mia’s mouth now was nothing more than a lie.
“Does any of this have to do with why Damien Chen was carrying his frantic mother out of your room earlier this afternoon?” William asked as he gazed speculatively down at Mia.
Mia couldn’t keep the scowl from her lip. She would have used the word crazy rather than frantic. That somehow made it sound better. No, crazy was definitely a better word to describe that woman.
“He has a mother?” Ada asked, her curiosity peeked. It had turned out that Ada had a little crush on the Chen heir. He had been all she could talk about last night. Of course, all she had talked about was how delicious he looked and how yummy she thought he was. Mia had reminded her that anyone who showed any attention towards Damien, usually ended up dead or disappeared all together. Ophelia Rosengard was a very jealous woman. Ada had waved off her warning. She didn’t wanted to marry Damien, she just wanted to sleep with him. She was sure Ophelia would completely understand. Neither Mia, nor William or Aiden had bothered to correct her. She wouldn’t have listened anyway.
“I’m pretty sure you need one of those to be born,” William said with a smirk.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Ada said, waving off William’s comment, which caused the man to chuckle.
“Then by all means, what did you mean?”
“I mean,” Ada said rolling her eyes at him, “That there is like no word about her ever. Of course he had a mother otherwise he wouldn’t have been born. But no one knows anything about her except for the fast that she is from somewhere is Europe. I don’t think anyone even knows what she looks like, except you it would seem.”
“Hmm,” William said nodding in agreement as she crossed his arms over his chest.
“So, how do you know his mother?” Ada asked suspiciously.
“I am very, very old child,” William said with a weary smile, “There isn’t much I don’t know. But you are right, even I don’t know much about her. So I am curious to know why she stopped by to see you and why she was carried out screaming your name.”
William turned his eyes back to Mia as he watched her closely. Ada finally turned her attention to her cousin completely forgetting for the moment that she should be ignoring her.
“I want to know what you know about her first, then I will tell you why she was here,” Mia said after a moment of silent deliberation. She needed to know as much as she could about the woman and she was willing to give up a little information to get what she could.
William agreed with a shrug as he sat on the edge of the dresser, “There’s not much to say. No one really knows much about her. She appeared one day in Hong Kong, caught the eye of Xavier, became one of his many wives and left to return home when Damien was still a baby. Why Xavier agreed, nobody knows, but Damien was raised among his mother’s clan until Xavier decided it was time for him to return home. By then, his mother and her clan had already installed their sense of honor and duty in him and was already a better man then his father.”
“That tells me nothing about her,” Mia said with a frown.
“There isn’t much to know. Her clan is very private and keeps to themselves. As far as I know, no one outside of the clan even really knows where the clan is located. Even my own extensive information network can’t find out anything about the clan. I only recognize Damien’s mother because I met her once. It was not long after Damien was born. She came to visit Theodora with an infant Damien. I don’t know what their connection was, I didn’t even realize who she was until Theodora introduced us.”
“So you’re saying that my sister was already acquainted with her when you met her?” Mia asked, her frown growing deeper. Did that mean that Thea had known who Damien’s mother? Who she was to them? And if she did, why had she never said anything to the rest of them? It would have been nice to know that their mother was still alive. She was pretty sure the rest of the sister knew nothing about her, otherwise they would have told her. That was kind of big thing to forgot to mention.
William nodded, “I had known your grandmother for nearly five hundred years by that time, and even I admit I didn’t know everything about her, but it did surprise me that she knew Damien’s mother. After all, no one was supposed to know anything about her, yet Theodora seemed to know her well.”
“How did she introduce her? What did she call her?” Mia asked.
“Theodora called her Iliya,” William told her.
“Iliya,” Mia repeated the name. Similar enough to Iliyana to not be noticeable. But then again, there was never any mention of a name of the wife of the creator god who created all magic users. Nor was there any mention of his name or his daughter’s names.
“Okay, that’s all I know, now tell us why she was here and how she seemed to know you,” William said as crossed his arms in front of his chest, waiting for her explanation.
“I probably know just as much about her as you do,” Mia lied, “She told me she was a seer. She has seen my death, so she had sent her son to save me. She then went on to tell me she know exactly who I was, how she had seen it and condemned my sisters and I for the monster we were and how we should all be dead.”
“Damn bitch,” Ada swore, “Why did she bother to save you at all then?”
“That’s what I had demanded to know, but she started making up some stupid story. I kicked her out then. She was completely crazy, shouting and me one moment, telling me it would better if I had died another. She was completely insane. Damien finally had to carry her out of her to make her stop,” Mia said, making sure to mix enough truth with her lies and omissions to make it as believable as possible.
“Are you sure you’ve never met her before? Because from what I could see, it’s seems that she seemed to know you?” William asked suspicious.
“I never saw her before today. If she knew me, it was through her vision because I never met her before,” Mia told him flatly.
“Yet her name seems to mean something to you,” William countered. Mia directed her steely gaze at him.
“I wanted to at least know the name of the crazy woman who called me a monster and said the world would be better off if I were died,” Mia said coolly.
“That Bitch!” Ada swore as she slapped the arm of chair she sat in. William said nothing, just watch Mia silently. He knew there was something she wasn’t saying, she could see it in his eyes. But the question was, would he push her for the information now, or would he walk away and accept her story, for now. She knew enough about William Gregor to know he wouldn’t stop searching until he had the whole story. But he had to know her well enough by now to know that she wasn’t going to give him anymore then she wanted.
They stared at each other silently for a long moment. Neither giving anything away, until finally he let out a weary sigh and shook his head.
“I had originally come here to let you know that your cousin said he would be having someone coming in a couple hours. I had thought to stop by and see if you needed any help packing,” William said as he pushed away from the dresser.
“That won’t be necessary, I never unpacked,” Mia said as she gestured weakly to the bag that sat untouched on the other chair in the corner. She was quite sure he had come over to do more than to assist with her packing, but she would find out about it later. As is, she hated having these types of conversations lying prone on a bed. At least she hadn’t felt so sore when she had been speaking to Damien’s mother. She would have hated to have that conversation lying down.
“Well then, I shall gather Aiden and we will prepare for our departure,” He said with a nod of his head at Mia, then to Ada before her left the room. Ada watched him go, keeping her eye on him until the door shut behind him before she turned back to Mia.
“You should probably get some rest, William was right, the team should be arriving to pick us up in couple of hours. You’re going to need all your energy for what’s about to come,” Ada told her, a little more calm now.
Mia just nodded as she closed her eyes. Ada was probably right. She sure as hell wouldn’t be getting any rest once she got back, Marco would make sure of that. With a deep yawn, she relaxed her body knowing she was safe with her cousin watching over her. Ada would never let anything happen to her, no matter how angry she was. Ada would protect her with her life. With one last weary yawn, she let sleep claim her once more.
Mia wasn’t sure when she became aware that she was no longer alone. One moment she was asleep, the next she was awake. She knew she had never really been alone. Ada had been with her the whole time, at least until recently. But Mia knew without a doubt that the body in bed with her did not belong to her cousin.
Warm arms were now wrapped around her, and long legs were tangled with her own. Her back was pressed up against someone’s chest. She could felt his heart beating. If she were to close her eyes and concentrate, she would be able to hear her own beating in time with his.
“Nick,” She murmured sleepily as she curled up against his warmth.
“Sleep love, we still have time,” Nick said as he brushed a kiss against the back of her head.
“What are you doing here?” She asked between yawns. She tried to turn around so she could face him, but his arms tightened around her, holding her in place.
“Sarah said you would need me,” He explained, there was a long silent moment that forced Mia to open her eyes. She tried once again to turn around and look at him, but he held tightly, keeping her in place.
“Nick?” She was completely alert now.
“Damn it Mia, why didn’t you tell me what you were going through. Why do you always have to keep things from me,” Nick groaned as he rested his forehead against the top of her head. “You can’t keep doing this to us. You can’t keeping risking yourself to protect me. I may not be an Omega, but I’m not helpless either. I should be the one protecting you, not the other way around.”
“I don’t want you to protect me,” Mia said as she clutched tightly to the arms around her, “I don’t want you to protect me if it means risking your life. I can’t lose you. I can’t Nick. I barely lived through it once. I know I will not survive it again.”
“Mia,” Nick groaned her name as he tightened his arms around her, pulling her as close to him as possible.
“I don’t care what I have to do, what I have to suffer. I will not lose you again.” She told him.
“Don’t you think I feel the same way? Do you know what it was like lying there choking on my own blood as I watched you. I knew I was dying. I knew there was nothing I could do and it killed me. I was supposed to be the one who protected you. I was the one who was supposed to keep you safe and I failed.”
Mia choked back on a sob at his words. They had never spoken about that day before. It had been something they had both silently agreed never to mention. He somehow knew she had lost their child and that she had slaughtered what had remained of her clan. But he had never brought it up and neither had she. It had been too painful for her, the loss still haunted her everyday. She had just never realized that it haunted him too.
“I thought I had lost you that day in that club. When I saw you lying in all that blood it was as if my heart died. I didn’t remember then, but it felt exactly the same. I didn’t want to live in a world without you. I would have brought the club down on all our heads if you had died and I wouldn’t have cared.” He told her, his voice shook and clutched her so tightly she was sure she would have bruises, but all that mattered to her were his words. She knew their love wasn’t normal. She knew it was too explosive, too all-consuming, but she didn’t care. She would do anything for him, even if that anything meant dealing with a mother she wished were dead.
If she died before she could find her real body, she would lose everything, not just her memories but her heart. It would be just as bad as truly dying. She would lose Nick and he would lose her. As much as she loved him, as much as he consumed her heart and soul, she couldn’t guarantee that she would still do so if she were to lose every part of herself. So that meant they had to find her real body before this one failed her. That meant working with her mother. But she swore, if her mother did anything to endanger any of the people Mia loved, she would make sure her mother found no peace for the rest of her immortal life because Mia would make her life a living hell for the rest of hers.
Next: Chapter Five