Chapter 45

Writer Notes: It’s time for opened eyes. 😉  This is also the last chapter I have saved in my files so…this means I need some motivation for completing the next few.  Nevertheless, enjoy!

Warnings: 1st person view, sleeping dragon, italicized my and ams, suggestful comment about how women react, explaining, arguing, blaming, and a few other things…

I raised off the bed, slowly, my world was still in swirls.  It would just be stupid to stand up to fall down again.  I hate starting back at square one.

But this was ridiculous.  It was like trying to learn how to walk again.  How long was I in that box?  How bad of shape did it make me?

I did regain my awesome balance though and strode into the living room.  There was laughing and ramblings in the kitchen and snoring in the living room.  I didn’t dare disrupt Lewej, the dragon in her slumber, but I was interested in who was in my kitchen.

“The Elvin warriors have the rebels on their heels, but it is a matter of time before the rebels come back with a larger army.” I heard Coastal say.

Zarah looked up at me with her hypnotic stare.  All Vampires have some type of magic in their eyes, but Zarah’s held something special and frightening all on its own.  She could capture you with her gaze; although, she had never even tried that on me.

“What are you doing up?” Zarah questioned me.  “You need to rest. You are not strong enough…”

“I’m fine.” I muttered.

“Oh, are you?” Coastal laughed.

“I just glad you’re awake!” Zarah said in embrace.

All these women and their worrying.  I am an Elvin warrior.  I am one of the best there is.  Of course I’m fine.  I have been through a whole lot worse than sitting in a box.  You would think they would remember that…but I’m just kidding myself.  They skip logic and run to panic.

“We know you’re strong, Vaiden.” Zarah said.  “But we can’t help how we feel.”

“You can’t read minds.” It was a statement, but there was curiosity also.  I didn’t know if Zarah had developed any new powers since the last time I saw her.

“No, but I know how you think.”

What is there to say to that?  I just sighed.  She was right.  She did know me…a little too well.

“And how did you get involved in this?” I asked Coastal after Zarah sat down.

“Well, you brought Tatiana to me.” she replied.  “And, I knew that this girl was going to get in trouble, which led to you getting into trouble. Are you not glad to see me?”

“Yeah…I’m always glad to see you…” the sarcasm was obvious in my voice.

“You should be.” she said.  “Without me it would have been extremely difficult to get you out of La’Belle’s dungeons.”

“Sure.”

“But there is something you want to ask me?” How she could read my mind…not literally of course.  Coastal never forced her powers on anyone.

“What do we know of Tatiana?” I asked.  The last I remembered was leaving her here with Lewej.  Lewej’s here, but evidently Tatiana isn’t…there’s something wrong about this situation.  It makes my skin crawl.

Coastal started with a sigh.  It couldn’t be good.  She rarely showed her frustration.

“We have bigger problems than La’Belle.” she said.  “It seems during this whole show of the Vampires, there has been an underlying player.  One who should have been recognized earlier in this game.”

“Stop the riddles, Coastal and tell me!” Yeah, I was aggravated.

“No need to get worked up, Vaiden.” Zarah said afar.  “Coastal is trying to explain it to you.”

“Sure, she is.”  Zarah doesn’t understand that Coastal knows mind games and she knows how to bend words.  Zarah’s ignorant to the power of elder Elves, especially one such as Coastal who has lived for almost two thousand years.

“Tatiana and Lewej came to aid you against the Vampires when Zarah was captured.” Coastal began.  “They were intercepted by the other player in this game.”

“Who?”

“Jen.” she replied.

“Again, who?”

“You of all people should remember the stories about Jen.” Coastal said.  “You were a protector of the Royalty once.”

I thought about it, but my mind was still a tangled mess.  Jen?  It did sound familiar, but from where?  She had done something to the Royalty or Coastal would not have mentioned my tormenting years aside the throne…

I gasped.  “Jen! Jen the Unfavorable!”

She nodded.  We were in BIG trouble.

From the other side of the room I heard a noise.  My dread soon became real.

“OH MY GODDESS, YOUR AWAKE!!!” Lewej smiled.  I depicted tears in her eyes.  Women and their emotions.

Why do they have to hug?

“Lewej has been at your bedside this whole time.” Zarah said.  “I just got her to sleep before you got up.”

“Stupid girl.” I muttered.

“But you’re awake!” Lewej cried.  “Everything will get better now!”

I sighed.  “Let’s hope.”

Lewej had no clue what we were going up against.  She didn’t understand the magnitude of the situation.  Jen the Unfavorable was not a weakling foe.  She was, at one time, the most powerful High Elf of all time…she may still be the powerfulest.  Our situation was looking grimmer by the second.

“So Jen has been plotting every move since the beginning.” Zarah said. 

“She has been hunting Tatiana’s family for a long time.” Coastal added.

“Why?” I questioned.  “What would she want with Tatiana?”

“More power.” Coastal replied.  “What else would someone of her stature want?”

It made a little sense, but then again…why? Why would someone spend countless years tracking down a single family? For power? It seemed like a lame excuse.

Zarah made me sit down and the girls told me how Jen had captured Tatiana while I was in the mix with the Vampires.  Jen was a smart cookie.  While I was distracted she could grab herself a snack…in this case Tatiana.

“So she wants to extract power from Tatiana?” I shook my head.  “Tatiana just got her power. She doesn’t know how to use it and since it’s new…it can’t be that much power…can’t it?”

“Yes, it can.” Coastal said.  “Power doesn’t just bloom all asudden, Vaiden. You are born with it. In Tatiana’s case, her power has grown into a beautiful bloom, though underneath the surface there is much magnitude that she is not aware of.”

“What are you implying?” I asked.  “That Tatiana is some type of powerful sorceress? That she has enough power to rival Jen, even yourself?”

“That’s exactly what I am saying.” she answered.

Suddenly my stare was on Lewej.  “And you let them get her.” I growled.  “Are you completely useless?”

“Do not blame, Lewej.” Zarah said.  “Jen is a terribly talented mastermind. She knew that Lewej and Tatiana would come to help you and she knew exactly where to be to intercept them.”

“I can be disappointed!” I shouted.  “If Jen gets the power out of Tatiana then we’re all doomed!”

“But that’s not going to happen.” Coastal said.  “Tatiana escaped and now is…somewhere safe.”

“Where’s safe when Jen is after you?” I questioned.

“Where couldn’t Jen find Tatiana?” Zarah asked.

“Actually, the question should be when.” Coastal said.  “Jen couldn’t find Tatiana when she was with her parents.”

Lewej sniffled.  “I’m sorry that I let Tatiana get captured.”

“Damn right! It’s your fault!” I growled. 

“No, no.” Zarah shook her head.  “It wasn’t your fault, Lewej. We didn’t know that Jen was involved.”

“It matters not now.” Coastal sighed.  “Tatiana is safe. You are awake Vaiden. We have to make a stand now.”

“Yeah,” It was my turn to sigh.  “We not only have La’Belle on our heels, but Jen too.”

***

I freshened up after I couldn’t stand the squibbling between the girls.  Women can be a whole lot louder than men.  They will talk one hundred miles an hour, understand uncomplete sentences, and any code language in-between.  But I’m a guy and it doesn’t work for me.  Their talk is just bickering and annoying.  So, leave right?

“What are you doing?” Zarah questioned.  Her being spread across my bed is a pleasing memory, but now is not the time for games, definitely those type of games.   “Actually, I guess I should be asking: where are you going?”

I just made a satisfying hmph sound and was done with her questions.

“You cannot go get Tatiana.” Zarah then said.  “We do not know where she is and it is better we do not because it means that neither La’Belle or Jen will be able to get the information from us.”

I just stood there with my arms crossed and gave her a look.  It would scare many people, but not Zarah, she just smiled up at me.  She liked all my dirty looks.  It made her think…those thoughts.

“Aw, my poor Elf.” Though the words were meant to be pouty, she looked happy. “Do you worry about our not-so-Human friend. Tatiana should be ok.”

“See that should makes me nervous.”

“I can’t believe that you are so worried about this not-so-Human.” Zarah said.  “You hate Humans and magic and Tatiana’s the perfect combination of them both.”

I just stared at her.

“Do you see her as a challenge or something?” she asked.  I shook my head in distaste.  “You…” she stopped and composed herself.  “Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Love her?”

I sighed and sat beside her on the bed.  She ran her hand up and down my thigh, not in her usual seductive way, but more in a comfort…way.  It was so unlike her.

“I know you think you can’t feel…these emotions.” Zarah said in a low tone.

“I’m a Shade, Zarah.” I interrupted her thought.  “It’s a proven fact.”

“So you’re saying you don’t love me?” I didn’t like her question.  If there was one thing about Zarah I knew, it was if she didn’t think herself desirable, she tore whoever didn’t love her into pieces.

I choose the path of not answering her question to avoid such wickedness. 

I didn’t expect her to laugh, but there it was.

“My poor Elf,” she said.  “You are such a sensitive.”

“Am not.”

“Are too…” she gave me a look.  “We are not going to go through this childish path that you often do to escape a conversation.”

It was my turn to laugh.  “You think you know everything about me.”

“Oh, no, luv.” she smiled again. “You do feel these emotions and you do feel something for Tatiana. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t want to go rescue her.”

You hired me.” I snapped.  “I’m just doing my job.”

“You’re job was to kill people, Vaiden.” she said.  “You took this job because you were tired of all of the negativity. You wanted something positive and Tatiana was the break you needed. She saved you from your misery as you rescued her from La’Belle and Jen. You have to feel something more about her than just a check mark on your task list.”

I again chose the silent path, but added that look.

“Shade Elf or not.” Zarah continued.  “If Tatiana needed you right this minute, you would go to her. Am I wrong?”

I thought about it.  Would I?  Would I just drop everything and go get her?  I had done it for Zarah on several occasions.  Would I do it for Tatiana?  This should scare me that these women were controlling my life, but they were the only things keeping me…alive inside.  Dammit.

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