Mia was exhausted. She barely made it to the hotel bed before collapsing. She let herself fall face forward on the thick bed spread, inhaling the light citrusy scent the hotel used for cleaning their sheets. She would have stayed like that forever if she could have. But as is, it’s as getting hard to breath, rolling over on to her back she threw her arm wearily over her eyes and let out a groan.
Her sister truly was insane. As bad as she had it, she never had thoughts about world domination. She hadn’t wanted to rule anything. Her greatest desires had been a little house deep in the woods, far away from society with only those she loved for company. Long ago, those dreams had only consisted of Kia and herself, and their unborn child. Now, when she thought about running away from the outside world, she dreamed of a large house filled with light and laughter, surrounded by her family and friends. Never once had her dreams been about taking over the world.
A part of her just wanted to close her eyes and go to sleep. Dreams be damned. She just wanted to pretend this day didn’t happen and she was seriously thinking about it when her phone began to vibrate in her jeans’ pocket. She groaned as she twisted and turned, trying to pull her phone out of her pocket before it had time to stop ringing. He would not be happy if he thought she was avoiding his calls. She had done that once before and he literally knocked her door down in fear that something had happened to her. He had ruined a really nice shower as he came barging in to her bathroom.
Mia finally got her phone out of her pocket when it slipped out of her hands. She shot up, fumbling the sheets to grab it before the ringing could stop. She just pushed the answer button when the ringing stopped.
“Shit, shit, shit, shit,” she swore as she quickly hit redial before he could do anything stupid.
“What the hell took you so damn long?” He snapped in way of greeting.
“I was tired. I was just about to take a nap when you called,” Mia snipped back.
“Oh,” Nick replied, in a much more subdued voice. He knew how hard it was for her to sleep and just how much she needed it now days. She also knew he wasn’t truly mad at her, he was just worried. He really didn’t like that fact that she was away from him and that she refused to give up on this stupid mission. Since the memories from his past life had awoken, he had become extremely over protective. He had nearly lost it during that week she had refused to seem him. The only thing keeping him sane during that period of Sarah’s assurance that she was doing okay and that she was getting better. Little did he know she was bleeding out over six pints of blood every four or five days to remain that way. If he ever found that out, he would literally exploded.
“Did you meet with him yet?” Nick asked, his words clipped and cool. He really didn’t like Damien, and he especially didn’t like that fact that Mia was meeting with him. It didn’t help that William and Aiden had gone with her. He hadn’t known about that until there were already a couple states away and he was too deep in a case to follow.
“Yes, we just got back?” Mia answered as she lay back down, throwing her free arm back over her eyes.
“And what did he have to talk to you about?”
“Oh, nothing much. He just confirmed just how crazy my sister really is and how she planning to wake our father, put his blood in some ancient artifact so that she can take complete control of him, turning him in to her ultimate weapon in her conquest of the world as we know it,” Mia said in an offhand manner. Her only reply was a long moment of silence.
“Oh god, I wish you were joking.”
“I had hoped the same thing when Damien had told me.”
She could hear him letting out a long weary breath before he spoke, “There had been reports of sighting of the man who attacked you in the bookstore. It has been coming in from all over the city but no one has a solid lead on where he is. As soon as an officer gets there to investigate, he’s gone. What makes matters worse is that more young women are beginning to disappear again. The city is going insane and the mayor is thinking about installing a curfew.”
“Is it only happening in Stonehearth or are there reports from other cities?” Mia asked after giving his news a moment of thought.
“As far as we can tell, it’s only been Stonehearth so far, but warning having been sent out to the surrounding cities and counties.”
“So that means whatever is happening is happening in Stonehearth alone,” Mia said thoughtfully, more to herself than to Nick.
“Or whatever is going to happen, is going to happen here,” Nick added.
“Hmm,” Mia replied as the weariness of the past days began to catch up with her. She was so very tired but she wasn’t ready to hang up yet. She liked hearing the sound of Nick’s voice. It was just as soothing as being held in his arms.
There was a long moment of silence before Nick spoke again, “Mia, come home.”
The sound of agony in his voice pulled her from her near sleep.
“I need you here. I need to know you’re safe at home waiting for me, not running around the country with your crazy cousin and that self-surviving prick and his blood hound.”
Mia could help but chuckle at his description of her companions, mainly because he was right.
“I know things have been off with us lately. I wish I could say it was stress and that it would get better when everything calms down, but you and I both know things are not going to calm down, not for a long time anyway.”
“Nick-” Mia started but was cut off before she could continue.
“I know what you’re going to say and you know what I will say to that. So let’s skip that argument. Being apart has never worked for us.”
“But being together isn’t working much better right now either. On the rare nights you are home, you don’t get any rest. You have to deal with my nightmares waking us up when I do fall asleep. And when I don’t, you stay up with me to keep the sleep at bay. We can’t keep doing thing. We’re barely surviving.”
“What if we moved back to the old house. You know grandfather would love to have you. If we stay in that little room behind the kitchen, it will be perfect. The magic of the hearth will help you,” Nick nearly pleaded. It killed her to hear him like this. Things had been falling apart for the last couple of weeks. It hadn’t been perfect when he dragged her back down from the cave where she has hidden. For for a few days they had been able to pretend things were the way they were meant to be.
Near the hearth, surrounded by the warmth of their combined magic, she could rest and sleep. But when Nick could no longer stay away from the city and she refused to allow him to commute everyday, they had moved in to her apartment since she felt most comfortable there.
The first night there, the dreams had come. She hadn’t realized what was happening until she woke up screaming. If Nick had been anyone else, he would have been dead. As is, he was barely fast enough to deflect the needles of blood that she forth from her blood covered hands.
In her sleep, she had clenched her fists so tightly she had dug her nails in deep into her flesh. When she had woken from her nightmare she had been in attack mode before her eyes even opened and she shot out her blood needles before even realizing there was no threat.
When she realized what she had done, she had sat shivering in Nick’s arms as she tried to remember what had frightened her so badly she would wake up prepared to kill. She couldn’t remember what she had dreamed, not that first night, and not the next few nights. But slowly, as her mind began to adjust to the nightly horrors, she began to remember.
She stood in alone in a bloody battle field. Bodies lay strewn around her. Their bodies were mangled, their flesh shredded, the limbs twists, some nearly ripped off. Some started at her with hollow eye sockets, while others stared at her accusingly.
Blood dripped from her hands. It soaked her clothes, covered every inch of her skin, matted her hair to her face. The rich coppery scent filled her nose, the blood’s song fought to pull her back under its spell. But Mia fought hard, she fought with everything she had. She couldn’t lose control again.
Pain ripped through her body then, cramps like she had never felt before tore her body apart. It hurt so much she felt sick. She began to gag, she felt to her knees in the blood soaked ground. She barely caught herself before falling face forward in to the much. Her weary arms held her up as her body purged the contents of her stomach. There hadn’t been much there to begin with, but her body didn’t care. Even when there was nothing left, she kept heaving.
A scream tore one last massive pain ribbed through her womb and warm blood gushed down her legs. She screamed and screamed when she realized what was happening. The physical pain was nothing compared to the pain in her heart. Their child, the precious being they had created together, she had lost them. Kai had been taken from her and now their child.
As deep as her pain was, the rage within her was growing stronger. The rage within her wanted revenge. She wanted to make them pay, she wanted them all to pay. They had taken the two most important people away from her and left her with nothing. They deserved to do. At that time, it didn’t matter who the they was. It could have been the next person that came about her. It didn’t matter. Everything had been stolen from her and now she wanted to take that away from them.
Mia would have gotten up at that moment and stalked to the closest village and wiped all life from it without a second thought. She wouldn’t have even blinked an eye. She was just getting to her feet when she stumbled over something.
She stared down at the offending object that dared to get in her way. It took a moment for her crazed mind to make out the still figure at her feet. The long pale blond hair now stained red with drying blood. The scar marked forearm that held her tight at night. The face that was more angel then man. She could have spent the rest of her lifetime just starting at his face and never getting tired of looking at him.
She fell back to her knees, tears streaming down her face, sobs stuck in her throat as she brushed a bloodied hand against his cold cheek.
He had saved her yet again. Even in death he protected her. If she hadn’t tripped over his leg she would have become like her father. She would have become a creature that was consumed with the need for revenge. Kai who knew all about her fears of becoming her father and promised that would never happened. He had promised he would always stay by her side and make sure that would never happen.
But he was gone now. He had been taken from her by the very people she had created to prevent her father’s second coming. Mia could feel the rage growing in the pit of her stomach, she could feel it burning there, but this time she pushed it back down. She couldn’t lose herself again. She wanted to protect the world Kai loved so much. She wanted to be worthy of him.
Leaning forward she brushed her lips against his cold ones and prayed silently that when he walked this land once more, she could be with him. Although she knew there was no chance of that, she had stilled wished for a place where they could have existed where there was no fear and where they could be truly happy.
Mia had picked up his body and took him home. She had cleaned him up and buried him besides the place he had once called home. She prayed that he would finally find peace, find a place where he no longer needed to fight. She prayed for him and then she turned away for the one place she had truly felt at home.
She had sought out Thea then. She had begged her sister to set her free. To end this life before she could no longer control the rage and pain within her, before she became their father. Thea tried to talk her out of it, tried to tell her it would get better. But Mia knew it wouldn’t. Not without Kai. He was all that kept her sane, all that kept her in the life. Without him, it was only time before she lost to rage within her and her sisters would have to deal with her as they had dealt with their father.
Thea cried as she did as Mia asked. She brushed a kiss against her sister’s forehead and shoved the blade through Mia’s heart. Mia remembered their was pain. It was only for a second though, and then everything went dark.
That was usually the time that Mia would wake up screaming, remembering the echoes of the pain of the blade being shoved in her heart. But sometimes, sometimes she would wake up after that. Sometimes, she dreamt she would woke up naked at the feet of a black alter. There would be black ash beneath her naked body, her fingers would slip through it as she struggled to sit up. Her body would be raw, her skin pink and sore. The room around her was dark, but she knew she wasn’t aloud. She could hear someone else breathing. She could hear their slow shallow breaths. She would count them absently as she struggled to remember where she was, how she had come to be there, and sometimes, just who she was.
Those were the dreams she hated the most. Those were the ones that left her haunted and afraid, because those were the ones she couldn’t tell if they were real or not. Where they true memories or where they just nightmares. Had she really woken up besides her father’s body after Thea shoved the blade through her heart or was it just something she had dreamed. Not nothing it was scared her the most.
She had asked Sarah if she had been able to see anything? If she could see if the vision was true. But Sarah had just shaken her head and told her sadly that she couldn’t control the visions. She could only see what the visions allowed her to see.
Mia had been tempted to go to her father’s resting place to see if she could find any proof if what she seen had been real or not. But Adeline and Daphne had convinced her that it would be far too dangerous for her to go there. Their father was at the point, that even the slightest change in his surrounding could wake him once and for all and right now they needed him to sleep as long as possible. After all, they didn’t know what to expect when he woke. Better now to tempt fate, Daphne had told her.
Mia had agreed, but the fear still haunted her.
“Mia, please at least think about it,” Nick voiced startled her, drawing her back to the presence. She wondered how long had passed in silence. She hadn’t meant to ignore him. She had just been so lost. She may not see visions of her past any longer, but the memories still haunted her.
“I’ll try.” Was all she could promise.
Next: Chapter Three