Marco left without a fight. He saw the determination in her eyes and knew better than to try. But he did warn her before he left, that he would be back, and the next time, he would not be alone. Grandmother knew where she was now. He would not be the only one she sent after Mia.
Mia took his warning seriously. But she also knew now that she had power. She wasn’t going to run away again. She would let them come to her. If they wanted to try and take her, they would have a fight on her hands.
Once Marco left, Mia returned to her cart and started shelving books again. She wasn’t sure if anyone noticed Marco’s arrival or departure, but if they didn’t, she didn’t want to bring attention to it. She really didn’t want to explain to anyone right now what she and had cousin had spoken about. She was still getting used to the idea herself. She wasn’t ready to talk about it with anyone.
When she finished shelving the books on her cart, she went back for another cart and then another until the part-time girl was done with her shift and ready to head home. Mia returned the empty cart to the backroom and headed up to the register to take the girl’s place.
She noticed that Ronan was no longer in the café but now there was another man in his place. He didn’t need to be wearing a guild uniform for Mia to recognize him as one of the other men Alistair had assigned to protect her.
The man looked up briefly from his newspaper and saw her watching him. He gave her a nod before going back to the news.
Mia let out a sigh. She was going to have to get used to being watched. Well, at least until she could convince Alistair otherwise. Since it was a little dead, Mia began to straighten up the counter. She organized the receipts, prepared the cash register log for the next day for Liz and straightened the merchandise on the counter.
She was just organizing a row of mini book lights when the front door opened. A cool blast of wind gusted through the open door, blowing her ash blond curls in to her face. She was just brushing them away when every part of body stilled and her blood froze over.
The air around her began to sizzle with power, the lights above her began to flicker. The store got quiet as the customers looked around. Those who were magic users, stood in a similar position to Mia, still, wary. Even the Norms could sense something was wrong as they looked around them.
Mia slowly looked up at the man who walked in to the room. He didn’t look much older than Mia did, in his mid to late twenties. His dark hair was wind-blown and hung around his face in a messy mass, but on him, it looked good. There was a wide smile on his full lips as he looked around the store, totally oblivious to the fact that almost every eye was on him.
But then again, he was probably used to it. He was extremely good looking, model good looking. If this man went anywhere she was sure to be noticed, so how was it, he had murdered six people and no one had noticed him at all.
His strode to the cash register in an easy manner. He hands tucked in to his leather jacket while he examined the merchandise on the counter that Mia had been straightening. As he drew nearer to her, she realized just how tall her was, he towered a whole head over her.
The store was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop yet the man didn’t seem to notice. Instead he took his time pursing the items on the front of the counter. Mia stood perfectly still, her hand still frozen on the mini book light she had been straightening.
“What would you suggest?” the man’s voice broke the silence. He looked directly at her, his bright gray eyes watching her with a big smile on his lips, “Would you go with the one with the replaceable blue or the LED light?”
He picked up the box Mia’s hand was one, their fingers brushed as he grabbed the box. A gasp left Mia’s lips as her magic suddenly burst to life within her. The air around them began to spark as the lights flickered above them.
The man said nothing but just stood there staring at her with a pleased smile on his lips. Mia bit down on her bottom lip, as her magic rushed through the body, trying to find a way to escape. She had never called on some much magic before. Not even yesterday against her father. She had thought that had been her full strength, she had been wrong.
Above them the fluorescent lights began to burst and shower down shards of glass and dust. The customers screamed as they ran for cover, those brave enough ran for the door, passed Mia and the unknown man.
The magic kept coming, whirling around her like a maelstrom. The books lights and gift cards went flying off the counter. People screamed as Mia began to glow. Her hair was floating around her face like a golden halo. Her skin shone through her thick clothing, so brightly that even with all the lights shattered the store was now brightly light.
“Mia!” A voice shouted her name but Mia couldn’t turn away from the bright silver eyes that captured her.
“It’s been such a long time,” He told her, his voice soft yet sure as he held a hand out to her.
“Who are you?” The words were hoarse and hurt her throat to speak them. The power was growing too strong. She could no longer control it. It would break free even if it had to break through her. The air around her now literally sparked, tiny starbursts showered the wooden floor beneath them. “What did you do to me?”
“I have been waiting such a very long time for you,” He told her as took her hand in his own.
Mia screamed them as the power within her raged. The world round her disappeared and everything went white. Pain, pleasure, ecstasy, it was one and the same. She could no longer tell where she began and where she ended. It was as if a door was suddenly opened before her and she could finally see.
Images began to flash through her mind, a smiling face, a field of green grass, the sound of someone’s warm laughter filled her ears as that warm golden glow filled her once more. I know this. I know this place, I know that face, I know this sound.
Suddenly everything came back in to focus and Mia was no longer alone. A warm arm was wrapped around her, holding her tightly to their strong chest. The hand the stranger had been holding was now held firmly in another. The air that had been sizzling before, was now calm and warm, just like she was.
The bright silver eyes that had been watching her so intently before were now focused on another. A sneer had replaced the smile on his lips. Gone was the handsome man she had seen a moment ago, now all she saw was the monster, the man that had murdered twenty-one women so callously.
“I should have known you would be nearby,” The man said, disgust dripping from his words. He eyes flashed angrily before turning to Mia. The gaze softened as he looked at her, “It will make no difference. I have finally found you again, and this time, I will not let you slip through my grasp.”
“Who are you?” Mia asked.
“You will remember,” He assured her, “And when you do, you will see. We were meant to be together, you and I. They were able to keep us apart once before, but things have changed now. I have changed. I will not let them stop us. I will not let them stand between us. You will see, this time we can be together just like we always dreamed.”
His words sent a shiver down Mia’s back. The arms around her tightened, holding her closer. Mia’s hand held tightly to the arm that was wrapped around her.
The man’s silver eyes narrowed as he watched them, but he said nothing. Instead he took a step back, away from them and turned towards the door. A loud blaring sound could be heard through the glass door followed by the sound of sirens. The sound was getting louder fast.
“It seems that it’s time for my departure. But I will be back,” he promised, his eyes only for Mia. “And when I come, things will be different. You will remember and then you will come with me of your own free will. I know it.”
With that he turned and left, just striding through the shattered glass. His boots crunched over the shards and dust. He walked right out the store door as if nothing had happened. As if he were just a normal customer leaving after making a purchase.
It all felt so surreal. As soon as the door closed behind him, Mia felt all the energy leave her as she sagged against the arm that held her tightly.
“Are you all right?” A familiar voice asked. Mia nodded as she turned to look into a familiar pair of gold eyes flecked with black. I know those eyes, she thought to herself. Not from a day ago, not from twenty-five years ago, but from before that.
She didn’t know what was going on. She didn’t know who she was anymore, but she did know one thing. This man had changed her life once before. A long time ago, a life time before this one. He had saved her then, just as he had done twenty-five years ago.
Whoever he was, whoever they had been, it didn’t matter to her. Not now. Now she knew all she needed to know. He had saved her again, now it was her turn. This time she would save them all.
That monster was out there, killing people, growing stronger. She had no idea what he had planned but she knew it wasn’t good. Whatever her grandmother had done to her, whatever she had awoken in her, it had given her the power to protect the one’s she cared for. The next time he came, she wouldn’t hesitate, she wouldn’t freeze. The next time he came, she would make sure he did not leave alive. For those girls her murdered, for the future girls his very existence threatened, she would not let him live. She would stop his once and for all.
If she had a destiny, if she believed in fate, then this would be it. She gone through a lot in the last week, but now she knew just what she had been created for. She would slay the monster no one else could. That was her purpose. That was her fate. That was her destiny.
And now, well, now her life had truly begun. Now it was time for Mia Carlisle to truly live. No more running, no more hiding. If her enemies came seeking her, she would meet them head on. She may not know who she truly was, but it didn’t matter. Her past no longer mattered. All that mattered now was the future and what she planned to do with it.
Smiling up at the man who still held her tightly as gave his arm a squeeze.
“I’m good. For the first time in a long time, I’m good.”