She walked down the corridor to the door at the end. It was a cold iron with a kind of drained dead look that seemed to seep out of the walls. She pushed it open, still making no noise, and crossed the room to the boy in the corner. He was about 9, rocking backwards and forwards and humming what sounded like Silent Night, only more sinister. The room held a small bed, a chair and a table on which stood the boy's only clothes, grey, like everything else. She knelt down next to him and was not surprised when he didn't move. The stories that had leaked from its walls told outsiders that the people inside were abnormal. She coiled her fist behind her and made the air around his head vanish, she saw his eyes widen then a look of great relief crossed his face then the light behind his eyes vanish. She left counting the seconds...
1, she walked out through the iron door and to the corridor on her left...
8, nearly there, the window was still open...
10, sirens blared alerting the 'doctors' that a patient has stopped breathing. She jumped and ran to the black car, only to find someone else leaning against it.
"Damn." was all she had time to say.
The younger Clare bounced up to her father and kissed him on the cheek. "Night Daddy!" she trilled. She ran up the stairs, past the Christmas tree and into bed.
"When you wake up, Santa will have been and you'll get your presents. Won't that be fun." asked her mother. Clare nodded her head enthusiastically whilst her older self was held to the spot by some invisible force. Her mother left blowing her a kiss and turning out the light. Clare watched the clock tick from 8:00pm to 11:38pm while her younger self slept. That was when the thud came from downstairs. Young Clare woke and ran down the stairs thinking it was Santa. But when she got there it was worse than she could ever have imagined...
The walls were dented with bullet holes from were Young Clare and Older Clare stood. Some with such force that the entire section had blown away. They could only imagine what this looked like from the other side of the wall. The carpet had a stain on it surrounding a hand that was coming out from behind the sofa. Young Clare stepped towards the door and peaked round it and that same invisible force dragged Older Clare along with her thinking Don't look, please don't. On the floor in the middle of the the stain was her mother. A hole for her right eye and about seven holes in her chest. Her father was crying next to her, whispering disjointed words as "Murder", "Diadora" and "Hate". He then stood up and ran at the person standing in shadow by the far window.
There stood a man with an almost lazy smile spread across his lips, dazzling yellow eyes like a hawk and sleek, black hair (although Older Clare knew it was now grey) tied casually back into a pony-tail.
Her father ran and stopped just a metre away flinging up his arms so that Lyle was lifted off his feet but Lyle casually flicked his wrist sending her father backwards. He tried to get up but couldn't, he just sank to his knees instead. "Now, now Hector. I know you know where The Alliance is hiding so just tell me, or you leave me no choice but to kill you." said Lyle crouching so he could look Hector Thorn in the face.
"Kill me then." said her father through gritted teeth and spat in Lyle's face.
"Fine," replied Lyle shortly, got up, took out his gun and shot Hector right through the head. When he fell back that last look of defiance was still etched on his face.
The Younger Clare ran outside and into the neighbours house whilst Lyle set fire to number 8 White Cross Road.
The views of her house going up in flames faded and Clare found herself starring at the ceiling of a cold stone holding cell...
Clare looked into the familiar eyes of Adrian Harrison. He was part of the Alliance and his powers were Secondary. "Adrian?" she said. "If you help me your cover will be blown, go away!"
"So, I'm in here saving your ass and you want me to go. Nah. Thomas Everell was meant to be on duty but he's having a nap. Nobody will have known I was here. C'mere Clare let me get them cuffs. Jon's waiting round the back. I'll send you out there." Adrian said this in a smooth whispering one, but only one thing went in - Jon was here.
The next few minutes passed Clare in a haze. She was thinking about Jon and what he would say about her being caught, but she didn't care. She just wanted to see him again. When Adrian used his powers and sent her into the blinding light she used her hand and looked around for the car Adrian had described before hurrying off. 'It's green, small and very fast. Jon will be leaning with one foot propped up on it in that I-know-I'm-gorgeous kind of way.'
She found it exactly the way Adrian had described with Jonathan Tempestas leaning against it. His shirt was a plain white with no tie and the top button undone. His black skinny jeans fitted him so perfectly it looked like he'd been born in them. The shirt was un tucked too but he still looked smart. The black converse had a polished All Star sign on them and were so clean you could eat of them. On his back you could make out the case of his sword he loved so much he bathed with it, but it was excusable - he is a Sworn, Clare thought. His face looked up as she approached. His skin was pale and shaved so smooth. His eyes glittered, the yellow like-a-hawk eyes still clearly viable from behind his shades. His hair was a brown mixed with red and black and sat neatly yet not neatly on his head. The fringe was a little longer than everywhere else (even though his hair covered his ears) and was covering a fraction of the sunglasses on the right side.
He ran and gave her a bone-breaking hug and a kiss on the forehead as she looked into his eyes.
"You do realise I miss you, don't you?" he said smoothly, not letting go.
That was the hardest part as that touched home with Jon. Both him and his father were part of the Alliance. His father, Doctor (Doc) Tempestas, and him had joined after the incident with his mother...
When Jon was six ,and still making his black sword from the metal that had come into contact with a great battle, his father was working at the Cavern along with his mother. When one day his father came home without his mother. He had said 'She has taken her life, after one day of Fermido.' After that they left the house and went to the last known place of the Alliance, it was an old theater, an Alliance member was there to tell all of his fellows where they had moved to. He had believed them and sent them on to the office building where they had remade their home and Jon had vowed vengeance for his mother... When this had happened, Clare was still living with her family... One year left with them...
At the office everybody cheered as Clare stepped into the room then went back to work. Everyone was in overdrive for an emergency, or so it seemed. She stopped one woman and asked why everyone was rushing.
"For the Sworn Tournament. Why else? Go ask Jon he's competing this year." and with that she hurried off and so did Clare. When I find him, she thought, I'm going to kill him with his own sword! The tournament could be dangerous, but so could Clare in a bad mood...
All Sworns place their energy inside a weapon so it is like a part of that person. They also have a major element; Water; Fire; Air or Earth. They can use the other elements but that one is strongest. Secondarys have all the powers Elementals don't. Mind reading, seeing into the future, dark and light and so on. Elementals however have control of the Ancient Elements, like Sworns, and all of the elements discovered by scientists. Gold, silver, nickle, argon and the others.
"I want a fare fight," rang Clyde Pepperman's voice around the room. "This is a fight to see who can hit the most tags. There is one on the chest, one on the back, one on both shins and elbows and one on the top of the head for hilt attacks only." This last one he made very clear. "Begin."
They swung into action dodging and countering moves other people could only dream of. The noise faded and all you could here was the shing of clashing swords. Clare started to feel dizzy - the Fermido was coming back. No, she thought, I won't go under. And she didn't. She opened her eyes to see Jon and Marshall still fighting for the Agradist Cup - a big honor among Sworns. They were in a draw. Next person to hit the chest tag wins. Jon was moving in. People were shouting support and Clare joined in when Marshall spun and instead of hitting the chest tag, slit Jon's throat. Jon fell to the ground still with his eyes open. "No!" Clare screamed. "No!"
She felt hand shaking her shoulders but just curled up into a ball and cried. "Clare get up." It was Doc Tempestas but he didn't sound like he'd been crying even though he had been watching. "Clare get up, it was just the Fermido, you've seen it before" At this she opened her eyes.
"It wasn't Fermido. " she sobbed "Jon's dead. Marshall killed him." At this she fell apart crying in her tight ball.
"What you think I'm dead?" It was Jon. But how could he be here, she thought, I saw him die. She then heard a beeping noise and knew the Doc was scanning her. Jon was now helping her up and wiping her eyes with a tissue. "What is it? How come I'm 'dead'?"
"It's changed," Was all his father said looking baffled at the screen of the medical instrument he had just scanned Clare with.
"The Fermido?" Asked Clare with a voice that was still shaking.
"Yes. The Fermido." He replied.
Jon poked his head round the door. "Is he gone?" he whispered. His father had told nobody to come and see her. Clare nodded. She still didn't trust her voice. "Good. He sat down next to her on the bed and placed his arm round her shoulders. "It'll be all right. You're fine now but you gave Marshall a scare. He came up to the row with me and heard you say 'Marshall killed him.' I think that nearly killed him." At this she couldn't help but smile. Then Jon turned her round and made her look him in the eye by holding her head up to his. "Seriously, I will get you through this. Now get up. You're not missing the party. I won remember."
Ugh, she thought, the party. "I don't want to go." she whined trying to pull her hand out of Jon's.
"No. You are going. You dragged me around the whole of Londonand New York looking for that dress when you found it just down the road. I did not kill my legs for a day for you to sit here and play the Grinch over Christmas." He pulled her up, took the dress from the wardrobe in the office cubicle called her room and threw it to her. She had forgotten how pretty it was. White flowing silk with a soft black scarf.
"All right, but you go change because I'm not showing up without my date..." Clare snapped. If she had to put up with it so did he...
"I'm good, how about you?"
"Fine, bit bored though, not much to do. Where's Jon? He needs to collect his trophy." He pointed to the Agradist Cup that was sitting shinning on the table at the front of the room.
"I don't know. Probably still getting changed."
"Well the ceremony begins at eight at it's five to. You'd better go find him." Tech was changing the song at this point but you could still here the not of longing in his voice as he talked about the ceremony.
"Yeah," Clare said starting to feel uncomfortable. "I guess I should." And walked away. Poor Tech, she thought, I guess he just feels lonely. After all, he is the only technology Secondary in the Alliance.
"But sir," It was the newest member of the Elite Squad, young but viscous. "What if she doesn't go back?"
Questions like this really annoyed Cole. "Of course she'll go back. Wants to be a hero doesn't she!" They all laughed but stopped quickly in order to strike.
Clare's dot reached the room's door...
"Ugh....." was all she got in return. She left Jon on the bed and ran back to the sails floor.
"STOP!" she shouted over the noise off music, general chatter and the clinking of wine glasses. "STOP!" she shouted again. "Everyone stop! Someone got into the building and overthrow Jon! They could be here and second!" Everyone looked at her but just as people started to panic the windows to her left smashed at ten figures in black jumped through. She recognized them as the Elite Squad. They started to round everyone up and deflecting their magic. The soldier closest to her took of his mask. It was Cole. He smiled.
"Hello Clare, you're coming with me."
"Or what? You'll bore me to death with boring facts?" sneered the guard and laughed. Cole snapped her hands into cuffs - again!
"Looks like it was a good thing you got away, eh? Even though if it got me this." he pointed to a deep cut on his right cheek bone. Clare didn't understand. How had they found her. Cole seemed to read her mind. "That Fermido, it has a tracker in it. No matter where you go we'll always be able to find you." he laughed and patted her head.
"I hate you, Cole." Clare spat "I hate you!" she was now fighting her bonds although she knew it was useless. She saw all her fellow members of the Alliance being dragged out of the room and towards the stairs. Tech was the last one down. He was still fighting I never knew he had it in him, Clare thought.
"Aren't they willing to die for you." commented Cole "Been playing with his heart strings have we Miss Thorn?" Clare didn't like the way he said this. He was looking very sneaky as though he knew something she didn't, it made her skin prickle. One of the Squad brought Jon in by is slightly overlong hair. Only one of his eyes could open. The hawk-like yellow seemed darker as if all hope had been sucked out of him. "OK guys. Mission accomplished. Let's get these lot back to base and then we can celebrate." This was met to 'Hoorah's and whoops of joy.
Clare and Jon were dragged and pushed down the stairs and into the unmarked van waiting outside. As there were around thirty people at the ceremony, they were packed in like sardines. "I'm sorry." Jon kept saying thickly through a cut lip and a missing tooth that was still bleeding.
"It's not your fault. It's theirs." Clare replied soothingly each time he said this.
"No, if I hadn't been so stupid and hurried up instead of trying to be fashionably late none of this would have happened and when the others come back they'll walk right into a trap. And it's all my fault!" Every time he said these things people would say 'No it's not!' and 'You're not to blame'. People would jump in and comfort, only Tech sat and stared into space. Clare scooted up next to him.
"Tech, what you did was brave - fighting back, I mean." Clare told him.
"You - you think?" he asked looking her full in the face.
"Yes, but don't do it again. It was stupid." she replied suddenly serious.
"I won't, it hurt - a lot. But only if you kiss me." he said, a gleam in his eye.
"OK." and she kissed him on the cheek.
And he was here tonight. "Hello Clare, we've got a special visitor for you!" he said clipping the end of every word. "Don't know why he's bothering with scum like you though!" he smiled at this, she had no clue why.
"If he can waste time with scum like you I'm sure he has time for me." she replied sweetly and politely.
"Why you little shit!" and he reached in and grabbed her neck.
"Quite enough, Bennson." came a voice from a shadowed figure in the door way but nobody needed to see the face to recognise the voice. Everyone went still and quiet as the figure approached Clare's cell. Jon and Doc backed away with the others but Clare just stood there and looked Dragen Lyle in the face.
"Feeling brave Clare? You know what I could do right? Or do you just want to be shot like your father?" he said through the bars.
"Don't you dare say anything against my father you piece of scum!" she shouted back.
"Cole was right we do have to teach you some manners." and he grabbed the scarf attached to her dress and started to tighten it.
"Leave her alone!" Jon roared and hit Lyle's hands making them spring open. Clare stumbled back coughing.
"Jon. Long time no see! Don't you miss your uncle?" Clare gasped and the whole room seemed to listen, walls and all. "What? Jon didn't tell you that his father and I were brothers? I am disappointed..."
The next few days flew by for Clare. They were lost in thoughts of what other things had Jon kept from her and deceit and others that seemed to grow in the back of her mind and come out to play when she was sitting alone. She didn't eat or sleep or anything, she was a shell. Lyle came in every now and then but Clare couldn't hear what he said. Guards teased her, she didn't here it. All she had heard was Jon saying 'I didn't want you to know. I'm nothing like him!' He had been pleading. Occasionally he would come and sit next to her and talk but she didn't listen.
Days turned to weeks which turned to months. Every hope of escape vanished along with Clare. Slipping into nothingness...
"Clare? You still in there?" she turned her head and saw Adrian. Maybe he was here to save her again. "Look what happened to me, eh? Got chucked in here with the rest of you." he laughed a little, she turned her head away again. He talked to the others about how she was slipping away. He could see into minds - that was his Secondary power. Clunking noises came from the other cell. Then murmurs and a cry of "Rona? Is that you?".
A loud clunk filled the air and a calm voice saying "Who else Nerdy?" Then a woman appeared in front of their cell. She had a short pixie cut hairstyle and her hair was brown with a bright purple and orange streak on the fringe. She wore a T-Shirt with a big pac-man on the front eating a banjo playing worm and bright blue skinny jeans. Up her left arm she wore bracelets and rubber bangles up to her elbow and on the other seven different coloured watches, each showing a different time and a piece of paper with a city name on it. Her feet didn't have shoes on but odd bed socks with the suction cup things on the bottom and on her back were two twin fencing swords, only sharper. How this woman had got into the Cavern was a mystery to Clare.
"Come on then." she said "Stand back." And she pulled out one of her swords that had, what seemed like, veins of a glowing red colour. She was a Sworn.
Everyone stood back and waited. Rona Kloud swiped at the bars three times until they shattered. She walked over to Clare and offered her hand. "Hi," she said "I believe you know my annoying little brother Tech."
Clare took Tech's sister's hand and allowed herself to be helped up. Clare and Rona were the same height and probably the same age too. Tech had always said that his sister was a year older than him and he was a year younger than Clare. "OK people. Let us go into freedom! Hoorah!" Everyone laughed and went out of the shattered cell doors to the others.
Jon waited but Clare held up a finger saying "One minute." Clare turned to Rona. "How the hell did you get in?!"
"Secret tunnels. Duh!" she said this like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Except they were one way so we'll have to get out through the main entrance."
Clare narrowed her eyes. "We'll what?"
"We'll have to go through the main entrance. But come on," she said looking round "We can do it!"
Everyone looked at her as though she was mad. Then Jon stepped forward "OK, I'm in." he pulled out his sword and stood there looking ready for battle.
"Me too." Tech stood up and tried to look brave but gave up. Then the air filled with 'I'm in's and 'Count me in's.
Rona looked at Clare. "What about you?"
"It'll be suicide but we might as well batter the Cavern and the Wishers as we go down. Let's go!" Clare said going through the door into the marbled corridors...
The footsteps sounded like a stampede through the long corridors. They went from red marble, the holding areas, to green, the hospital, to a yellowy cream colour. This was it, just through those bronze doors was the main lobby of The Cavern. Everyone stopped then a woman, Gelda Kendall, Elemental, spoke up. "Can you hear something?" She was right. A thundering sound of metal on marble and the banging of doors. Clare looked up. The circular lights in the ceiling no bigger than the palm of her hand were pulsing a soft blue.
"They know we're here." Clare said, shock and anticipation building inside her while her voice remained calm but barely more than a whisper. "Get ready to fight."
These words took instant effect. Jon, Rona and the other Sworns pulled out their swords. Rona had picked them up on the way to the holding cells. The Secondarys got into groups, banding together. If you were light or shadow you worked together, Tech banded with these as The Alliance held no other technology Secondarys. Clare and the other Elementals formed rows. All of them filled the wide corridor. One of three leading off from the main lobby. Even the children lined up. None of them were younger than nine but Clare still thought they should run. "Should the children go?" Clare asked Rona who was beside her.
"Not if they don't want to." Everyone had been listening but nobody moved.
The thundering grew louder and Warrior Wishers poured in from all the joining tunnels. Elementals, Secondarys and Sworns all moving together like a steel clad ocean. And who was at the front but Anton Cole.
The Warrior Wishers stopped a metre away from The Alliance. Cole came a little closer and spoke. "You can either give in now or we'll take you by force, your choice." He said this while inspecting his finger nails. This was what tipped Clare over the edge, just this one action showing he was a heart less moron was what did it.
She placed her hands palms together and watched as an only-just-visible javelin of shimmering air cam from between her hands and hit Cole on the arm. It tore his skin and opened a big gash which started to pump out blood. "That answer your question? Gatent alten ilyenta!" Clare arched an eyebrow as she said this and then raising her right arm and shouting the battle cry of the Four Stars, the founders of all magic.
"Have it your way." and with this Cole ploughed into their ranks and started to fight. What came next was a blur to Clare. A newbie, by the looks of him; small and not very well trained in Elemental magic, came at her and she easily blasted him aside with a stalagmite that grew from her hand. All emotion left her and she just became a machine, with only one purpose;
Soldiers after soldiers poured in on them, Clare went through them firing attack after attack, changing her fists to iron and hitting them into chests, pushing her hands against chests so they fly backward on fire. Occasionally fighters would cross her path. She saw Jon fighting twice, once he was fighting two people at once and the other he was slitting he throat of Cole's right hand man, Vincent DeMontae.
More soldiers poured in and these were not the newbies' they had been fighting. At least fifty of the best Sworns armed with their Power Blade and other weapons, around one hundred Elementals and the same amount of Secondarys. Sworns were a very rare magic type, if you had one in a group you were lucky - ten like The Alliance, you could rule a country. "Fall back!" Clare shouted. "There's too many of them!" The Secondarys went first through the main entrance, blasting people closest to the white marble door to entrance room 7, the one Clare had come through with Cole. Sworns were next, then Elementals. Cole stood up from the floor and looked at Clare. Shit, she thought and crumpled, barely concious. Jon and Doc came and tried to lift her but Cole got them too. The last thing Clare saw before slipping into unconsciousness was Cole standing above her. Laughing, laughing, laughing...
Clare came around to find herself tied to a chair in Lyle's office - for the second time in her life. Next to her, tied to another chair, was Doc. Where's Jon? Was the first thought that broke the still hazy blankness that lay on her brain. Just then the doors opened behind them. Clare turned round and so did Doc, the creak seemed to have awakened him. Lyle came and stood behind his desk and Cole dragged in Jon by his hair. Jon winced with every step and it looked as though his left leg was broken. "Jon, my dear nephew." Lyle said as if he were welcoming him to a party. "You are very hard to kill so I'll give you a choice instead but first let me have a talk with your dear father." Lyle turned to Doc "Changing your last name, sneaky, nice though tempestas meaning storm. I would never have known but eyes." he said pointing at his own.
Jon nearly fell and Cole hit him in the stomach and the wind rushed out of him. Clare tried to say something but her tongue was heavy in her mouth. "So, here we are and I said you need to make a decision so here it is. You can save one person in those chairs. Your girlfriend are your father, which will you choose?"
Lyle smiled. A choice that resulted in one person's death - only who would it be...
Jon woke with a start. Cole had clearly hit him, more than once. His head felt foggy. "Rise and shine." He said, his face way to close for Jon's liking.
Cole grabbed his bound hands and pushed him up and out of the small room to where Lyle was standing against the wall. "Ready? Good." He said. Jon didn't class him as family. He was to cruel and inhumane. They went along corridors but Jon was just thinking of ways to hurt Lyle. They got to a fancy door with 'Lyle' on it. Coming from inside were the sounds of stirring...
Jon was pushed roughly in. Clare and his father were bound to chairs in front of Lyle's desk. The rope was cutting their skin and looked sore. Cole grabbed his hair and pulled him by it. It hurt, a lot. Jon also noticed his leg was broken and with every step came shards of pain, the fogginess had only just lifted enough for it to come through. Lyle began saying something that sounded like it was to him but Jon didn't listen.
They had Clare.
They had his father.
He was going to torture Cole but not give him the pleasure of dying.
He slipped on the smooth marble surface floor and nearly fell but Cole was there to support him with a good punch. Thanks a lot, Cole, he thought. This fought of the rest of the fog and the room and words being said came into focus. "...We are and I said you need to make a decision so here it is." Lyle was saying "You can save one person in those chairs. Your girlfriend are your father, which will you choose?"
What? Surely Jon had not hear what he thought he had heard but he had. Only one way out of this came to mind. Years of training helped you put two and two together in situations like this as well as always being ready, or that's what you tell yourself when you're a Sworn. Wyvern. That word swam across his mind. Wyvern. The result of being smug.
"I'm sorry, wyvern." he said the code word like a name and understanding flickered in the eyes of both Clare and his father.
"Ahhh." Cole said comically. "Does he have a pet name for you Clare?" He sneered. Oh if only he knew... Jon thought, smiling inside...
Wyvern? What was Jon on about? Wyvern... What! The story... Oh... Now Clare understood perfectly...
"I choose my father." Jon said clearly. Cole doubled over silently laughing, a smile even played at Lyle's lips. Lyle waved a lazy hand and the ropes binding Jon's father came off. Cole came and cut Clare out and pulled her out of the room gloating.
"He chose his father over you. Ha ha ha ha!" Clare was acting shocked but she counted to ten. "'Oh, Wyvern, please forgive me!'" he did what, he thought, was an impression of Jon but was way to high. Clare reached ten in her head.
She turned and forced her palm out and set it alight. It struck Cole and gave him a burn in the shape of a hand. "You little!" He came at her but she clamped her eyes shut moving on instinct and knowledge of his fighting style. She twisted, elbowed his stomach, grabbed his waist and rotated him to the wall and slammed him into it. He was cursing now but Clare was working on breaking his jaw. Two punches left, three right, one up and a palm to the chin. It cracked and Cole screamed in pain. He turned, thrashing, and tried to knock her off. She kicked him in the shin and he responded with three punches to her gut. The wind rushed out of her and she kicked out purely by instinct and it found purchase between Cole's legs. He fell to the floor and hit his jaw. The pain became to much and he fainted. Clare went back to the door and listened. Jon was helping up his dad and Lyle was gloating. Oh, how people should not be smug, Clare thought. She went in, fists a blaze.
"Boo." she said. She threw the first fireball but Lyle was ready, he used his telekinetic powers to put it out but he was not ready for the fiery bull whip that came at him next. It cut his face and it bled. Jon pooled his energy in his hands and spread them wide and there, hanging in mid-air, was his Power Blade. He grabbed it and slashed his uncle in the side. Blood gushed over his crisp white shirt. Clare summoned a thick green vine and wrapped it around Cole's neck while he was staggering back.
"Why did you do it Lyle?" she had an opportunity to question him, she wasn't going to waist it.
"Did what?" he wheezed from the choke.
"You know what. Killed my parents!" she tightened the choke hold so the man's life, who killed her parents, was in her hands - and she liked it. Seeing him struggle and squirm made her feel powerful and full of adrenalin.
"She told me to!" Lyle screamed "Her, in my head, always. Telling me what to do!"
Clare looked at Jon. "What's her name?" Jon asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Lady Cressentina!" Lyle screamed the name and then squealed and fell limp. Clare looked at Jon. She took Lyle's pulse. There was none.
"It was a sleeper hold." Clare said. That was when the voice came from Lyle's dead mouth. It was a woman's.
"Ha ha ha ha! So..." It laughed and then said sweetly yet oddly cold "You've killed my puppet. Oh well. There are others but he was a useful little thing. But Clare. I am coming for you and make note, I will find you." It stopped and Lyle's lips became motionless once more...
'I am coming for you and make note, I will find you.' The words still swam in Clare's head. Over and over and over. She sat on the stone steps leading up to the glassed room patio. It was circular and white in the middle of a lake in the grounds of the abandoned manor the Alliance was now using as headquarters. She had moved all the water out of the way to get here. Maybe cheating but at least she wasn't soaked. She sat there in the middle of the lake, in the middle of the forest with the top of the huge house just visible above the trees. The leafs were gathering on the smooth, glassy surface of the lake, dotting it with yellows and oranges and reds. It looked like parts of the lake had caught fire. She liked it out here. It was quiet and only the sounds of the wind and distant birds kept her company. Someone was waving at her from the edge. It was Jon. He was pointing his finger at the water. She smiled, "Swim!" she shouted. He gave her a look and tapped his foot and she laughed as she parted the water for him. He walked across and sat by her with his arm around her shoulders.
"You OK?" he asked.
"Yeah, I just want to know who this Lady Cressentina is and why she's after me." she replied. She had no idea who she was or why she wanted her, she only knew she was coming.
"Come back inside. We never finished the party and I never got my trophy." he said bowing to an audience that wasn't there.
"We have more important things to think about that fuelling your ego" she almost snapped and pushed him in the lake.
"Like what? What could be possibly more important?" he answered in mock horror and pulled her in too.
"I'll get you for this but for now... Race you!" and she pushed herself along with the water.
She could only faintly here Jon in the distance shouting "Hey! That's cheating!" This lightened her mood but the storm ahead was like nothing they had faced before...
The door was locked. He waved his hand and the iron lock fell apart. Only two people were in the house with the long drive. His targets mother, wife and daughter - she was only three, this made the game more sweet. He opened his scarred left hand and three sets of iron handcuffs dropped into it. General chatter came from the front room. The TV was on and the black and white screen gave everything a ghostly glow.
"When did Frederick say the party would finish?" asked the elderly mother looking up from the lilac scarf she was knitting.
"I think he said about ten-ish but it's only nine." said the wife sitting cradling the baby whilst watching a programme on cooking. The man walked in and the iron cuffs zoomed and clasped themselves on the occupants, even the child, supported by air.
"Sit tight and wait." the man sneered at the shocked faces. He walked and sat down on the cream sofa next to the elderly woman who flinched as he brushed her arm.
The time went by and the clock chimed ten. A few minutes after a car stopped outside. The man went and stood behind the door and when it opened he grabbed the slightly drunk mousy haired man who came through it. The man dragged the new comer into the small sitting room and turned him to face his wife and daughter in one chair and his mother in another. "You can save only one," he half whispered half growled in the man's ear. "Your mother, or your wife and child, technically that's two but," he smiled "I'm the one with the gun so I make the rules." He knew who the new comer would save, his wife and child, his future. The new comer thought he knew everything about that night and what his mother had seen but he didn't so loosing her would benefit the man and the new comer would keep his family.
"I choose my mother, I'll save her." This confused the man and in that moment of confusion he was beaten down, his chance, his money, his status, his life, his money - all gone because he was smug...
Anyway... I hope you like! I also hope I'll win! Anyway... I give you... BLOOD AND WATER!
Credit goes to myself and Robin Snowscar for allowing me to use Sworns! Thank you!