“Serena? Can you meet me in the library,” Marcos voice called for me. I stared at the sketch I was hovering over and stood from my seat. I walked down the long hallway to the library. Marcos was pacing which was never a good sign.
“Yes Marcos,” I said crossing my arms over my chest.
“We have a new problem on our hands,” he said looking at me with a sorry look.
“What have you done now, dad?” I asked. He lowered his shoulders in defeat and motioned for someone deeper in the library to come forward. It was a tall thin boy. He looked no more than a year older than me and he seemed like he didn’t care where he was and who he is with.
“Serena, this is Kyle. He been through some tough times and he’s going to be staying with us for a while,” Marcos said.
“You’ve got to be kidding. Please tell me you’re kidding,” I said in disbelief.
“Make Kyle feel at home Serena. I have a few calls to make,” he said in a now serious voice. I suppressed a sigh and looked at the boy. He raised his cold blue eyes to mine and I shivered before motioning him with my hand to follow me. I ran my hand through my hair and looked at Marcos. He caught the gesture and nodded. He received my message and nodded. I frowned and walked out the library with the stranger by my side. He said nothing as we walked through the mansion sized house and that was OK with me. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have him here. Not now any ways. I stopped in front of an open guest room door.
“Here is you room,” I said. He looked inside but it didn’t look like he was actually seeing anything. He nodded, still not saying a word. “If you need anything, I’ll be right down the hall.” I walked away, having nothing else to say to the stranger I knew nothing about. Marcos had nodded when I ran my hand through my hair. That was a signal. Running a hand through your hair meant ‘is there danger?’ and Marcos had nodded. I sat in the living room and folded myself into a ball on the couch. I shut my eyes and reopened them when I felt another presence in the room. The boy stood watching me, his hair halfway covering his still cold eyes.
“Do you need anything?” I asked. He shook his head no.
“Well do you want to talk about something?” I tried again. He shook his head no again. He tucked his hands tightly in his pants pockets and watched me. I shrugged and shut my eyes again. What else could I do? A gust of wind came from the open window and I got up to close it. The room was still cold so I began putting wood into the fireplace to heat up the room. I held up a book of matches in my hand when the boy walked up to the fire place and extended his arm toward it. Fire waved from his hand to the wood in the fireplace in one quick motion. I nodded impressed but I wasn’t surprised.
“Thanks,” I said putting the book of matches down. He nodded and walked back to where he was standing. He stared at me for a long while. His eyes were no longer cold. They almost looked like they were surprised at the fact his parlor trick didn’t faze me or have me running away. “Are you sure you don’t want anything?” I asked one last time. He nodded and I plopped back down on the couch.
“Serena? Where are you now?” Marcos asked sounding annoyed.
“We’re in here, dad,” I yelled. A few seconds later he came in the room with a book in his hand. Not just any book. It was a book called Angel Elements. A book I knew all too well.
“Nice to see you two bonding,” he said not looking up from the page he was reading. We watched as Marcos read until Marcos snapped his long fingers and pointed at Kyle. “Alexander. The Angel of Fire. Banished the year the Spanish Armanda lost to Queen Elizabeth I. How could I have forgotten?”
“He’s one of us?” I asked Marcos. Marcos nodded but then cocked his grey head to the side.
“He does posses the abilities of an Elemental Angel but whether he is with us or against us is beyond me,” Marcos said.
“What did you just call me?” Kyle asked and I couldn’t help but laugh. He stared at me while I tried to stop laughing. He hasn’t said a word since he got here and hearing him say that almost made me remember when I was adopted by Marcos.
“Pay her no mind. You’re an elemental angel. Just like Serena, well, her birth name is Reyna. Though Reyna denies who she is, it’s not easy to run from.” Marcos said looking at me while my laughter ended and a frown formed on my lips.
“Whatever. I’m not having this conversation with you again,” I said getting up from the couch. I marched past the both of them and back to the art studio where the sketch I had started waited for me. It was a picture of my mother. Being elemental angels doesn’t mean we live forever. It just means we are born again but we usually have keepers, promised humans to keep record of an angel’s activities and action so the angel can read until their memory return. My first keeper was killed and after he was killed I promised myself that I didn’t need to be a normal elemental angel so I denied the next keeper and Marcos has been arguing ever since. Every mother I had was the same. They were all sweet and gentle. Until they died. They all died when I was ten, every time I was ten. I would usually end up in a house just like this one, hanging with people of my kind. The last time I died and was reincarnated was in 1995 but I have my memory from centuries ago. It’s like my memory doesn’t die with me.
“Did you do all of this?” Kyle’s voice pulled me from the past.
“Uh, yeah. They’re pretty old though,” I said turning toward where he stood in the room. He hovered in the doorway while he looked around the room. His eyes landed on an old painting of an angel with grey wings. The angel had a girl protectively behind him.
“I love that one,” he said pointing at it. I walked to the painting and gently pulled it from the wall. I held it out for him to take. He shook his head no. I walked toward him and handed it to him gently.
“I want you to have it. Think of it as a welcoming gift,” I said. He held it in his hands very carefully and looked at the date under the signature.
“1684?” he asked.
“I was in Paris,” I said. He shook his head in disbelief.
“Is Marcos your keeper?” he asked.
“I don’t have a keeper,” I said.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because I don’t want one. I’m not going to become anything more than I already am,” I answered.
“What do you mean by that?” he asked, leaning the painting on the wall gently beside him.
“Do you know why we are here? As in, on earth?” I asked.
“I don’t even know what we are,” he said shaking his head.
“Grab a chair. This might take a while,” I said sitting down. He pulled a chair up and sat across from me. He waited patiently, his blue eyes studying me. I sighed and began.
“There are many types of Angels. There are the Fallen Angels, the Guardian Angels, and the Nexona Angels which are warrior angels. And there is us, the Elemental Angels. Elemental Angels are special because we can live like humans if we choose to. But that’s only because we live and we die but we are born again. The other angels are stuck with immortality. Elementals can choose if they want their immortality. To gain immortality, we must earn our wings but saving lives while risking our own.
“I didn’t want to become immortal so I avoided as much hero work as possible. But here and then I would save someone from a fire or save a drowning child. Whether you choose to become immortal is your choice. Marcos adopted me six year ago but he already knew what I was. He is what we call the booker. Keeper records are sent to him or his colleagues when the keeper or angel had died. The most important angels are written in the book Angel Elements. You’re in that book. And so am I.” I stared at him while he opened his mouth to speak.
“Why am I in that book? Why are we in that book, I mean,” he said.
“I have no idea. We would have to look at your keeper’s records and see. As for me, I don’t know or care why I’m in the book. That’s not who I am anymore,” I said.
“Why are you running from who you are?” he asked me.
“How can you be so accepting of what you are?” I asked him in return.
“Because I know what I am now. I always thought that I was a freak who accidently set things on fire mysteriously. I had to move six times because I kept burning down the house. Now I know something. I killed my parents in the last accident and I don’t think I will ever be the same again. I also don’t ever want something like that happen anymore. I want to help people. Not kill them,” he said. He tried to hide the pain in his eyes by looking away but in the one second I did see his pain, I felt sympathy. The closest thing to killing anyone was the first time my mother died. My very first mother. I tried to commit suicide when I was told that she had died of sickness. I tried to drown myself so I jumped into a river and floated to the bottom. After an hour or so, I was wondering why I wasn’t dead. That’s when I learned that I could control water. Water is one thing I couldn’t die.
“I understand. The only reason why I run from who I am is because I get sick of losing people. Yes, we can save people but saving people puts us at risk and we become targets of the angels who will disagree with what we do. They will use the ones we love to show us how serious they really are. They will kill anyone you love with no hesitation. I should know,” I said, looking down at the floor.
“Someone killed someone you knew?” he asked. I nodded not looking up at him. I sighed.
“Three lives before this one, I lived England. Back then, I didn’t mind being what I was. My keeper’s name was Jonathan and he was the same age as me which was rare. We were only eighteen. We hung out more than any other keeper and angel would. We made a mistake and became too close. Then, I saved the lives of everyone I could so some people hated me. They saw him as the best way to warn me. They slit his throat and left him in my bed. That’s why I run. So things like this would stop happening.” I stood up and turned my back toward him. My face burned with pain and my hands were shaking. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and I looked. Now it was Kyle’s turn to look at me with sympathy.
“We both had it rough,” he whispered. I nodded and looked at the grandfather clock.
“I have to work,” I said. He pulled his hand away and stepped away. I looked at him for a minute and smiled. “Would you like to come with me?”
“You want me to go with you? To your job?” he asked confused.
“It’s not a normal job,” I said smiling.
“Well where do you work?” he asked.
“There is only one way to find out,” I said challenging him. He rocked in his heels and sighed.
“Fine,” he said motioning for me to go first.
“Marcos! I’m going to work! Kyle’s coming with me!” I yelled to Marcos.
“Alright! Be safe and have fun! Tell Cameron I said hello!” Marcos answered.
“How can someone have fun at work?” Kyle asked.
“There is a lot you must learn about me,” I said smiling.
“I’m starting to see that,” he said pushing his hair out of his face. I laughed and opened the door. James was already waiting with my door opened. Kyle’s eyebrows rose when he caught sight of the white limo. I laughed harder.
“Like I said, there is a lot you don’t know about me. But you will soon learn,” I said pulling him forward by his arm. James bowed as I approached him.
“Good evening Miss Serena. How are you?” James said smiling politely.
“Fine. How have you been James? I missed you last week,” I told him.
“The wife has been sick for a few days but she is back on her feet,” he said.
“That’s good to hear. This is a new friend of mine. His name is Kyle,” I said motioning to the tall figure beside me. James bowed politely.
“Any friend of Miss Serena’s is a friend of mine,” James said and I smiled. “We must be on our way now Miss Serena.”
“Your right,” I said. I climbed in and slid across the large seat so Kyle could get in. He climbed and gave me a look as James closed the door behind him. “I’m not normal. You’ll have to learn the hard way.”
“Darn. I thought we were going to attempt to take this easy,” he said sarcastically. I smiled as we drove off.
When we got there, the front door was packed with people. There were six bouncers tonight which were four more bouncers than usual. James opened the door and let Kyle and me out.
“It’s always a pleasure Miss Serena,” James said. I smiled and kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you,” I said. I grabbed Kyle by the arm and walked up to the bouncers. They all looked at me and smiled. I couldn’t help but smile back. I knew the guys well. They were all brothers of Cameron, though Cameron was the youngest and he owned the place.
“Hey Serena. Where have you been?” Charles asked me. Charles was Cameron’s favorite and oldest brother.
“I’ve been around. This is Kyle. Today is bring a friend to work day,” I said smiling. Charles smiled back and let me and Kyle behind the red ropes. Music blasted so loud that we could actually feel the beat of the music under our feet. I pulled Kyle through the crowd to the back room. Cameron sat tiredly on the long white couch. He looked up at me as I opened the door and closed it behind Kyle. He was wearing a button up white shirt and a pair of black jeans.
“Yes. You’re here. Thank god,” Cameron said, pulling himself to his feet.
“I told you I was coming tonight. Plus, you sent James. What choice did I have?” I said walking up to him. He chuckled but it sounded weak. “This is Kyle.”
“Boyfriend of the month or just a random dance partner?” Cameron asked.
“Just a friend you moron,” I said.
“It’s really hard to tell now a day. They all look the same. Quiet and shy. That’s how you like them. Which is why you chose to not be with me,” he said shrugging. I rolled my eyes and pushed him back on the couch.
“What do you need me to do?” I asked standing in front of him. He looked up at me and closed his eyes.
“Melody is sick and she needs a replacement singer and when you’re done with that, Alex needs some help at the bar. Do you think you can manage?” he asked without opening his eyes.
“I can handle it. Get some rest or a drink. Either or,” I said.
“And miss you sing? Not gonna happen,” he grinned, his eyes still shut.
“It’s not my first performance here,” I said annoyed.
“But you get hotter each time,” I rolled my eyes and looked at Kyle. He stood awkwardly by the door, staring at the floor. I walked to where Kyle stood and gently touched his arm. He looked me in the eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him. He shook his head and straightened himself.
“How long have you been torturing him?” Cameron asked from behind me.
“I didn’t torture him,” I said.
“That’s what you think,” Cameron said.
“Want to dance?” I asked Kyle. He shrugged and I grabbed his hand.
“What time is the show?” I asked Cameron.
“Half an hour. Save me a dance,” he said smirking.
“Sure. In your dreams,” I said pulling Kyle from the room. I pulled him to the center if the crowd and we danced for a while. Kyle was a great dancer. I wouldn’t have thought he had it in him. We danced to four songs before heading to the bar for drinks.
“You’re a good dancer,” Kyle yelled over the music.
“I was just gonna say the same thing to you. That was fun,” I said waving a hand at Alex who nodded my way. His way of saying ‘I’ll be right there’.
“I haven’t been somewhere like this since my last girlfriend,” he said.
“And when was that?” I asked.
“Two years,” he answered. I raised my eyebrows in disbelief.
“That’s way too long,” I said shaking my head. He chuckled.
“Hello my love. What can I get you tonight,” Alex said in his smooth English accent.
“Two waters please,” I said.
“Coming right up,” he said. He turned around and pulled two waters from a mini fridge behind him. He handed them to me and winked before attending to a group of females whispering at the end of the bar.
“You’re much known here,” Kyle said taking the water I was holding out for him. I shrugged and took a sip from the bottle.
“Cameron is a close friend of mine and he owns the place,” I said. Alex came over and tapped me on the shoulder.
“You're up, my love,” he said pointing to the stage. I nodded and smiled.
“I’ll wait here,” Kyle said, sitting on a bar stool. I smiled and pushed through the crowd. I climbed on the stage and said hi to the band. On guitar were Emily and Chase. On drums was Matthew and on base was Josh. Melody winked from back stage. I smiled and turned to the mike.
“How are we feeling tonight,” I yelled to the crowd. They screamed in return. “Unfortunately sweet Melody is sick so I will be helping her out. Is that ok with you guys?”
They cheered and clapped. I smiled and waved at Kyle. Matthew started in the drums and I sang on key to the beat as the others joined in. We did three songs before we switched back to the DJ. Cameron and Kyle were waiting for me at the stairs of the stage.
“Amazing. As usual,” Cameron said grinning ear to ear.
“That was amazing,” Kyle said.
“Thanks. I’ll do an hour at the bar. Then we’ll head home,” I told Kyle.
“You two live in the same house now? I guess the game is on,” Cameron said.
“Grow up,” I said, shaking my head.
“Give me a reason to,” he said. I pushed past Cameron and walked to the bar. Alex nodded my way and I smiled. I slipped behind the counter and walked to two guys who had just sat down.
“What can I get you guys?” I asked.
“Two beers and your number,” one said. He was muscular and his blonde hair curled around his face.
“Two beers. Coming right up,” I said, ignoring the last part. “Alex. Two beers.”
“I got it,” he answered. He handed me two glass bottles and I set it down in front of the two guys.
“Anything else,” I asked. I looked at both guys and they looked very familiar. I shook my head and waited for a response.
“Do you have private shows?” the guy that first spoke said. The other guy that didn’t speak a word punched his friend in the arm. The voice sounded familiar and I couldn’t remember who it belonged to.
“Have a nice night guys,” I said walking away to an impatient girl waving urgently at me. I poured her and her friends drinks but I was watching the familiar guys. Cameron sat at a stool in front of me, following my gaze.
“Are you shopping already? Jeez, give Kyle a chance. He’s a pretty cool kid,” he said.
“I think I know those guys. I just can’t remember who they are,” I said ignoring his comment.
“From the looks of it, they’re pretty important. You’ll figure it out,” he said. I pulled my eyes away from the guys long enough to see Cameron lighting a cigarette.
“I need to leave. I have class tomorrow,” I lied.
“Ok. Need a ride?” he asked exhaling a gust of smoke in my face. I faked a cough and pushed the smoke out of my face.
“Sure. Thanks. Who’s gonna be in charge here?” I asked.
“Alex. Who else?” Cameron said. “Be right back. Get your boy toy,” he said walking away. I found Kyle talking to Chase and Emily. He gave me a half smile when he saw me coming.
“Ready to go?” I asked him. He nodded and followed me out the back door. We stood in the alley and waited for Cameron.
“Did you enjoy yourself?” I asked. I leaned on the side of the brick building, with my arms wrapped around me to fight against the cold.
“Yeah. It’s a nice club. Thanks for letting me tag along,” he said. He looked at me and quickly unzipped his sweater. He handed it to me and I thanked him. I slid the sweater over my shoulders. It looked big on me and he began to chuckle. Cameron came out and looked me up and down. He shook his head but didn’t say a word. We followed Cameron to his car. I slid in the back and Kyle sat in the passenger seat. We drove for a few minutes before Cameron looked past me.
“We’re being followed,” Cameron said.
“Don’t worry. Keep driving. I know who it is,” I said. It was the two guys from the bar. Though I don’t remember who they are, I figured they weren’t at the club to have a nice time. Cameron gave me a strange look but continued driving.
“Remember those two guys at the bar?” I asked. Cameron nodded and gave Kyle a look.
“Just drop me off in the front. Take Kyle to the back and don’t leave until I say,” I ordered Cameron. He nodded and handed me a small bag. We pulled up in front of the house. I climbed out and pretended to wave as Cameron drove off. I dug in my pocket for the keys to the front gate. I felt the presence of two people behind me. I turned around and was greeted with a stupid grin and an annoyed expression.
“My shift is over guys,” I said. The guy that didn’t speak much reached for the bag in my hand. He opened and pulled out a bottle of water. My greatest weapon. I took the water from him and opened the lid. “Why did you follow me here? Who are you?”
“Let’s just say we are old friends,” the taller guys said.
“Friends don’t stalk other friends. You’re gonna have to better than that,” I said sipping at the water.
“We need to speak with you. It’s urgent,” the silent one said.
“What are your names again?” I asked. I felt the water traveling to the palms of my hands.
“Can we speak inside?” the silent one asked.
“Not until I know who you are,” I said straightening myself.
“My name is Angelo. This is my brother Marcel. We come with a warning,” he said seriously. I thought quickly but guided him through the gates and into the house. I kept the water bottle opened and closed the door behind the one named Marcel.
“Marcos. Come quick,” I called through the house. Marcos ushered quickly through the room with a book in his hand and Cameron at his heels. Kyle wasn’t that far behind.
“The great Angelo. And the brave Marcel. What bring you two here?” Marcos asked. I felt the shock form on my face.
“You know these guys Marcos?” I asked.
“Yes. As do you. But that was many years ago,” he said waving his hands as if emphasizing how long ago.
“I thought they looked familiar but I thought I was mistaken. I am pretty sure I never met these men before today,” I said shaking my head.
“Not in this life time, you haven’t. Trust me. You know them very well,” he said smiling at some inside joke he had floating in his head.
“Our visit is very urgent. We wouldn’t come all the way here from Europe if it wasn’t this important,” Angelo spoke.
“We believe that during the next Blood Moon, The Path of Worlds will open on its own. This is bad because we have no idea what world will be on the other end of the path. This has only happened once before and the outcome was not at all positive,” Marcel said, now sounding completely serious.
“When exactly is the next Blood Moon?” Marcos asked just as serious.
“Am I missing something here?” I asked waving my hands to catch someone’s attention. They all ignored me. Even Kyle was listening in even though he might be as clueless as me. Angelo gave me a side glance and then turned away quickly. I watched Marcos, Angelo, and Marcel chat while Kyle looked at the floor with a thoughtful expression.
“How long will you guys be staying to deal with this problem?” Marcos finally asked.
“As long as it takes,” Marcel said looking at me and raising his eyebrows.
“You two are welcomed to stay here. Reyna? Come with me please,” he said before storming gracefully but quickly out the room. I sighed and ran to catch up with him.
“What’s going on?” I asked when I caught.
“The short way of answering that is all hell is about to break loose but we don’t know which hell to be exactly,” he said. He turned into the library and I followed him. He was looking at the books on the many shelves. He pulled several out and handed them to me to hold.
“What is that suppose to mean?” I asked.
“If you would stop trying to deny who you are, you would know this. The Path of Worlds. The main portal between the multiple dimensions and worlds. The problem with the main portal is that it travels so the location usually differs.” As he spoke, he continued piling books in my arms.
“I’m guessing you need to close the portal before something get’s free?” I asked.
“Precisely. And that’s where you come in,” he said avoiding my eye.
“What do you mean?” I asked standing completely still.
“The portal is under water and there hasn’t been any Angels of Water since you were brought to earth,” he said.
“There has to be another way to do this. Without me getting involved,” I said dropping the books.
“I’m afraid not,” he said. He looked me in my eyes which were now filled to the rim with tears. “I’m sorry Reyna.”
“I guess that leaves me no choice,” I said. “No matter how it kills me.”
“I think you need to speak with Angelo. He was just like you. He denied what he is just as you have,” Marcos said. I looked at the floor and balled my hands into a fist. “I know this is hard Serena. But it’s your job to save people. You must never forget that.”
“I haven’t forgotten,” I yelled.
“Prove it,” he said in a low voice.
Cameron plopped beside me on my bed. He put an arm over my shoulder and laid his head on mine. I didn’t move away. Him holding me was kind of comforting even though I don’t feel the same emotions for him that he feels for me.
“After so long, they want me to bring that part of me back and I can’t even say no,” I said. He rubbed my arm with the palm of his hand.
“Even though you don’t want to, you always do what’s right. Even if it hurts you. I admire you for that,” he said. I looked up at his face. There was a hint of humor. He looked more serious than I ever thought I would see of Cameron.
“I guess it’s time to start training again,” I said. He nodded and let me go. I stood from my bed and walked out my room with Cameron by my side.
“They’re upstairs in the other library,” he said pushing me toward the stairs. I ran up the stair and through the double doors on my left. Four pair of eyes lifted up to me and I turned away from them angrily. Marcos handed me a book and I took it without looking at him. I sat next to Kyle who every once in a while would look up from his book at me. I caught his eyes once and nodded reassuringly. I saw him relax in the shoulders and thought it weird how he already seemed so fond of me.
“What do we have here,” Cameron said looking at the cover. He groaned at the title because it was written in Latin. The book was called Worlds within a World. The leather cover of the book felt old and fragile in my hands.
“Failed Latin Cam?” I asked giving him a smug look. He shrugged.
“Nah. Too lazy to learn it,” he said. He ruffled my hair with his hand and I glared at him.
“Marcos. I think I found something,” Angelo said from behind me. I didn’t turn toward him. I buried my head in the book in front of me and ignored what was happening behind me.
“Serena? Did you hear that?” Marcos asked. Though I wasn’t trying to pay attention. I repeated what was said.
“There is a possible chance that an angel of water which is me can feel the portal with waves and things like that,” I said not looking up.
“Got to give her props. She was paying attention,” Marcel said.
“Reyna, must we have another talk?” Cameron asked. I suppressed a sigh and turned around to face the many eyes watching me.
“Let’s get this over with,” I said folding my arms over my chest and pouting.
“Aw! Cute!” Cameron said. He reached for my cheek but I kicked him in the leg before he touched me. Everyone turned back to the book but Angelo. He stared at me with something in his eyes. Something I didn’t understand. Recognition? He shook his head and turned to hover over the book. I walked to the book. I stood between Marcel and Angelo. There was a picture at the bottom of a lady controlling the waves at what looks like a beach.
“I can do that,” I said pointing. Every eye was on me again and I sighed. “That’s going to be annoying. Ok. I’m not good at it but I know how to do it. I can go for a few miles.”
“That’s perfect,” Marcel said slamming the book shut. “Problem solved.”
“Problem not solved. We still have to stop the portal from opening. And be prepared if we don’t close it in time,” Angelo said.
“Well. My parts done,” I said heading for the door.
“Lady Serena? May I have a word?” Angelo asked when I reached the door. I rocked on my toes.
“It’s just Serena and fine,” I said walking out the door. He caught the door before it shut behind me. He let is close and I stood there, waiting for him to speak.
“I’m sorry we ruined what you have here. It wasn’t out intentions at all. Please believe me,” he said. I sighed.
“It’s not your fault. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I was selfish to think it would never happen,” I said.
“I also must apologize for my brother’s behavior at that club. That was a wrong approach to anyone of your status,” he said.
“I have no status. And don’t worry about it. I’m used to guys acting like that,” I said sighing.
“I don’t want to waist anymore of your time,” he said turning for the door.
“Wait! Why does Marcos believe we met before?” I asked.
“Because we did. In another life. We were engaged but you died a tragic death,” he said, watching me carefully.
“Why don’t I remember that?” I asked.
“You don’t always remember everything. You only remember what’s important,” he said.
“Are you sure?” I asked looking at him bewilderedly. He nodded. He handed me a folded paper and went back into the library. It was a picture from 1924. I was there with Angelo’s arm wrapped securely around my waist. My hand quivered and I saw what was really happening in the photo. There was a boat not too far behind the bridge we were standing on. He was holding me so I didn’t jump in to help.
“What are you looking at?” Cameron said coming out the library. He snatched the photo from my hand and his eyes widened. I knew Cameron was gonna say something so I ran down the stair before he got a chance.
I stayed in my room the next morning. I did the research in my keeper’s journal. I was engaged in 1922 and I died September 5, 1923. I paced back in forth in my large room with keeper’s journals scattered everywhere. I was getting married to Angelo but it was more than that. He seemed to be written in all of my keeper’s journals. Every single one. His name was mentioned a lot though it said he had never once confronted or spoke to me until 1921. There was an article taped into the inside of the day I died in 1923. It read:
Dearest Susan Crowell was killed saving two twins and a mother from a burning boat coming into the harbor. The mother and those twins thank Susan Crowell for her bravery though they will, unfortunately never get to tell her in person. Susan Crowell shall be missed. Her husband Luis Crowell is devastated by the lost of his beloved wife and says to the press, “How will I ever go on?” We give Mr. Crowell our deepest respect for him and his beloved wife.
“Serena? May I come in?” Angelo’s voice asked from behind my closed door. I looked at the books spread around my room and shrugged.
“Come in,” I said. The door cracked open and he slid into the room, closing the door behind him. He saw the article on the page and he pointed at it.
“May I?” he asked. I handed him the book and he rubbed a long finger across the page. I could see a little hint of a frown form on his lips. He handed me back my book and I hid it behind my back.
“I have a question. Why are you mentioned in all of my keeper’s journals?” I asked.
“I was assigned to protect you. Your status is more than what it appears. If I’m not mistaken, you’re the last or close to last Angel of Water. You were a very smart artist and you interested me. I wasn’t supposed to come to close to you. They didn’t kill you but they knew you couldn’t ignore a disaster that was happening right under your nose,” he said. He didn’t look up at me. “After that, I kept my distance. After losing someone like that, I had to avoid it again. I knew you would come back but I didn’t want to be anywhere around you. So I stayed as far away as possible. But here we are.”
“I guess I caused you a lot of pain in the past. But I can’t be held accountable for the past. Not for a life I don’t remember,” I said coldly. I didn’t like anything he just said and I was going to let him know it.
“No! That’s not what I meant. I just meant that I know what would happen if I were to get too attached. I have nothing against you Serena,” he said. He let out a sigh of relief when I relaxed.
“What is your kind?” I asked lifting my chin in a defensive way.
“I’m one of the Nexona. I looked him up and down and saw how muscular he actually looked. His bold shoulders were tight and he seemed troubled.
“Is something wrong?” I asked walking to my desk.
“Why do you ask?” he asked. I felt his eyes on me as I searched for something on the desk.
“Your shoulders, you’re tensed. Are you preparing for battle already?” I asked sarcastically.
“You could say that. Sorry to have disturbed you Lady Serena,” he said. He turned to open the door and I jumped in front of him.
“You’re not getting off that easily,” I said.
“I beg your pardon?” he asked confused. I sighed and shook my head.
“I need to know some things. Something I know you know the answers to,” I said.
“I think I have something that might help you answer those questions for you,” he said staring at the door, expecting me to let him past. I slid away from the door and he opened it. Cameron was hovering just by the door waiting for me with an angered smile. I rolled my eyes and walked toward him.
“Is love boy here reinventing the past?” Cameron asked.
“Learn your place and speak when spoken to,” Angelo hissed. I raised my eyebrows in shock at the seriousness in his voice. Cameron growled and watched as Angelo swiftly walked away.
“I don’t like the guy,” Cameron grumbled.
“You don’t like any guy that gives me the time of day,” I said, shaking my head. This made him chuckle.
“You have no idea how true that is,” he said wrapping an arm around my shoulders. He walked with me to the library where Marcel and Marcos were hovering over yet another book. Their eyes immediately looked up at us. Marcos went back to reading but Marcel stared with a challenging smile directed to Cameron. I pushed away from Cameron and sat next to Marcos.
“I can’t live with a whole bunch of guys. This is seriously going to kill me,” I whined. Marcos chuckled and glanced up at Cameron who still stood at the door.
“Shouldn’t you be heading back to the club Cameron?” Marcos asked him.
“Yeah. It’s getting kind of competitive in here anyway,” he said glaring at Marcel.
“I will walk you to the door,” I said eager to get him out of this room as soon as possible. Hopping from my seat, I walked to Cameron. He slid his arm securely around my waist and pulled my into a kiss I wasn’t expecting. I heard a small growl come from Marcel and a sigh come from Marcos. I was frozen in shock so I didn’t do react to the kiss. When Cameron pulled away, he was smiling with amusement plain in his eye. I grabbed his hand, squeezing it with anger, and pulling him out the door. I saw him send a smug smile in Marcel’s direction and I pulled him harder. Once out the room and out of ear shot, I punched him in the face. What made me even more pissed was that he only laughed, though his nose was bleeding and probably broken.
“What the hell were you thinking?!” I yelled.
“I don’t like these guys. Not just because of the way they act but because of what they are. They’re Nexona angels Reyna,” he said wiping at the blood from his nose. He sounded serious. “If I have to make you hate me to keep you away from them, then so be it. They aren’t like us,” he said. I sighed because I’ve known Cameron a long time. He may talk crap but he has a kind heart and he is very protective.
“Thank you for trying to protect me but these guys aren’t the enemies. Not yet anyway,” I said.
“If you say so,” he said. I watched as he turned away from me and walked toward the front door. I sighed when he was gone and turned around running smack in Angelo. He caught me by the arm before I hit the floor. When I was steady I pulled my arm away. He put his arm to his side as if he regretted what he just did. In his other hand was a shiny long blade that I surprisingly recognize. Recognized and feared.
“Where did you get that sword?” I asked, taking a few steps back.
“You remember it?” he asked in amazement.
“Why do you have that? I thought I got rid of it. No one was suppose to find that,” I said staring at the shining blade. The blade was rare and heavy. The only thing that blade has every touched is flesh and blood. It has the power to make the purest person the most lethal person in the world. It was my greatest weapon before I realized who I really am.
“It was given to me by my master. You are well known by the True Bloods. Korana speaks highly of you,” he said holding the sword out to me. I took a giant leap back, shaking my head.
“She knows what I did. She knows why I gave her the damn thing in the first place. I don’t want that thing,” I snarled.
“I understand,” he said putting the blade back at his side. I sighed at the fact that he didn’t push the matter any further. “Though I am curious.”
“Curious about what?” I asked finally relaxed.
“On how good you are with a sword. My job was to keep my distance and I did what was told of me. For a while anyway,” he said looking at the floor.
“I guess you won’t know until tomorrow during training. Please keep that thing away from me. You will regret it if you don’t,” I said walking past him. I walked to the library thinking only of the way Cam acted tonight. Living with these Nexona angels aren’t going to get to my head. I refuse to let that happen. I am also going to have to set some limits from Cameron. I could still feel the essence of his lips on mine. When I walked into the library Kyle was glaring at Marcos. Marcos ignored him and continued reading in the book he had.
“I just thought of something else,” Marcel spoke, rubbing his jaw line in deep thought. “We might not be the only ones looking for the portal. Some people actually want the damn thing open. How are we going to keep what is inside in and what’s not inside from freeing what’s inside?”
“Excellent point that you have created but the solution is very simple. We must get as much Nexona and Elementals as necessary. Serena is well trained in combat,” Marcos said looking up at me from his book. He pushed his reading glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“Well trained is an understatement,” I laughed.
“We’ll have to see about that,” Marcel said looking me up and down.
“I’m going to call it a night. Training is at five o’ clock sharp,” I said to Marcel.
“In the morning?” he asked in anger. I laughed at his reaction.
“Of course,” I said. I turned out of the library and headed to my room. I hopped in my bed and stared at the ceiling thinking of the past. I was so desperate to let it go and no one stopped me. Now I have to bring it all back and I’m scared that I won’t be able to. I thought about the past until it gently pushed my eyelids closed and I drifted to sleep.
The water filled my lungs but it felt just as pure as air. It flowed freely in an out of my opened mouth. My hair floated in curly strands as I swirled my arms around me embracing the beauty and freedom of the water until I saw him. He stood there below me, looking at me as if I was the answer to all of his unanswered questions. Our eyes met and he smiled. He lifted his right hand out to me and without hesitation I swam toward him. I placed my hand in his and he pulled me into his arm. I laughed and it came out in bubbles out of my mouth. He held his hands gently around my waist and put his lips to my forehead. I then looked at him and his smile was gone. It was replaced with a frown that looked permanent on his beautiful face. I frowned at him and then I was being pulled away. The water began to burn at my lungs and I was finding it really hard to breath. I can’t breathe.
I sat up trying to catch my breath. I was shivering and my heart was pounding in my chest. The dreamed played over and over in my head. The water and him staring at me with a smile. It was Angelo that had stood smiling in the dream. The dream felt so real as if it was actually happening. I shook my head to clear and jumped off my bed. I slid into a pair of sweat pant and an old pair of converse. I pinned my hair up into a bun and slipped quietly in the hallway. I walked downstairs to where the whole entire room was covered with swords and exercise equipment. I kicked at the practice dummy standing in the corner. I punched and kicked at the dummy with anger and without mercy until I felt a tap on my shoulder. Marcel stood dressed similar to me in sweat pants and sneakers.
“Are you ready to apply that force to a real person?” he asked. I smirked and put my hands up to my face.
“Do you know what you’re asking for?” I asked him.
“I think I have a good idea,” he said chuckling. I laughed and pretended to swing at him. While he tried to dodge the punch, I spun and kicked him in the side. He stumbled from the surprise blow but nodded in satisfaction.
“Please don’t tell me you’re going to go soft because I’m a girl. That would only make me kick your behind twice as hard,” I said.
“A little birdie told me to never estimate my opponent when the opponent is you,” he said. I thought about what he said and nodded.
“Smart little birdie,” I said. He swung at me only catching the air and giving me a chance to punch fiercely at his ribs. He tried to grab me but in a back flip I managed to kick him in the chin. This made him laugh.
“The worst part of this is that I am actually trying to beat you,” he said grabbing for me again. I sidestepped him and he collided into the wall.
“You can’t just rely on your strength. Never forget your speed and the weakness of your opponent. Would you like to my weakness Marcel?” I asked.
“Sure. That might be helpful,” he said.
“Balance,” I said. “It’s hard to make certain strikes without the proper balance and I lose my balance a lot.”
“I find that hard to believe,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“You’re too graceful to not be able to keep your balance,” he said.
“That’s the illusion of combat. People never suspect the smallest of weaknesses in a great fighter,” I said folding my arms across my chest. “This is the only reason why I never lose a fight.”
“We’ll see about that,” he said and began swinging at me. I dodge and readied myself for my final attack. He was still swinging and I pushed at his arm with enough pressure to make him stumble a few feet back. When he came to swing at me again I grabbed his arm to keep from falling when I jumped and kicked him in the stomach. The blow sent him flying halfway across the floor and me rolling to the spiraling to the ground. I hopped up to see if he was still trying to attack but he was laying on the floor laughing. I walked up to him but didn’t stand too close to his arms or legs.
“Are you hurt?” I asked while he continued to laugh.
“No. I’m good,” he said.
“Are you ready for the next part?” I asked as he jumped to his feet.
“Sure,” he said. I motioned to the wall that hung all the sword and daggers.
“Choose your weapon,” I said watching him. His eyes blazed at the glistening blade that hung on the wall. A typical Nexona Angel’s reaction to weapons. He pulled his eyes from the weapons to look at me.
“Which one are you going to use?” he asked me.
“Well, the one over there with the blue sapphire in the hilt is my favorite,” I said pointing to the sword that hung between a bunch of axes and daggers. “But since this merely training, I’ll go a little lighter.”
“These are awesome,” he said walking to the wall and grabbing the twin blades that hung crossing each other at the blade. I nodded at his choice, not daring to mention that those were Cameron’s favorite weapons. As if I said his name out loud Marcel mentioned him.
“So, what’s with you and that guy Cameron?” he asked. I looked at the wall with deep concentration, choosing my blades carefully.
“We’re just friends,” I said grabbing a curved sword and touching the blade with caution.
“Didn’t seem like it yesterday,” Marcel said.
“Cameron has trust issues. He was only trying to protect me,” I said.
“Where do you stand in terms of my brother?” he asked. His words sent a chill running along my spine. I stopped the shiver that was about to take over me and shrugged.
“Both of you are strangers to me. I don’t remember that life,” I said twisting the sword in front of me. It made a hissing sound as it whipped through the air. The sound of feet descending down the stairs made me lower the sword in my hand. Kyle lingered at the last step glancing around the room. When his eyes met mine he gave me a shy smile.
“Alex and Cameron are here to see you,” he said glancing around the room again.
“We’ll be right up,” I said. He nodded and ran up the stairs.
“I guess this battle will have to wait then,” Marcel sighed.
“Like you had any chance of winning,” I laughed.
“You may have got me in combat but with a sword, I’m practically lethal,” he said.
“If you say so,” I said putting the sword back in its place, my fingering lingering on the hilt. I turned and faced Marcel.
“I’ll race you to the kitchen,” I said nodding toward the stairs. He place the weapons he had chosen back on its place on the wall.
“You’re on,” he said darting toward the tail but I cut in front of him leaping up the stairs. He tried to grab for me to slow my pace but ended up catching a arm full of air. I laughed as I turned into the kitchen. I came to a complete stop next to Marcos who handed me a mug of coffee. A few seconds later Marcel emerged from the room out of breath.
“I beat you in combat and a tiny race. What makes you think you can beat me in a sword fight?” I asked.
“You challenged her to a sword fight?” Marcos asked almost choking on his coffee. Marcel nodded, unable to use words.
“Where are the guys?” I asked Marcos.
“The family room but you have time to make yourself presentable,” he said looking me up and down. I rolled my eyes and sipped at my coffee.
“I’ll be right down,” I said dragging my feet slowly to my room. I placed my coffee mugs on the bedside table and grabbed some clothes for my shower. I ran the water and got in the shower. The heat of the water relaxed me. I shut the water off and wrapped a towel around me. I dressed quickly and headed downstairs. Alex was sitting on the couch next to Cameron was talking to Kyle. Alex smiled and stood up when he saw me.
“Hey Alex,” I said wrapping a arm around his small waist.
“Hey Serena,” he said in his beautiful accent. “I heard the situation. What can I do to help?”
“You would have to talk to Marcos. I’m just the locator,” I said. He chuckled and let me go. I went to sit next to Kyle but Cameron grabbed me by the waist and pulled me next to him.
“Good morning,” he said securing his grip around me.
“Good morning,” I said trying to twist out of his arms. I gave up and looked up at Alex who was watching with amusement and sympathy. “Alex, where’s Isabelle?”
“I believe she is in the kitchen with Marcos and one called Marcel?” he asked.
“Let me go now,” I glared at Cameron.
“Why? I’m only going to follow you,” he said. I hit his hands and he let me go. I walked out the room with Cameron at my heels. I entered the kitchen. Marcel was cleaned up and was sipping on a cup of coffee. Isabelle was sitting across from him next to Marcos.
“Hey Isabelle,” I said walking to her side. She looked exactly like Alex. She kissed me on the cheek and wrapped her arm over my shoulder.
“Why haven’t you stopped by the house? Alex is driving me crazy with his guy friends. It’s like those guys never go home,” she said shaking her head in disbelief. Her English accent was just as beautiful as Alex’s.
“Sorry. I’ve been a bit busy lately,” I said.
“And like my house, you’re surrounded by a whole bunch of boys. How do you do it?” she asked.
“This is new to me and that’s why I am so happy you’re here,” I said giving her waist a light squeeze. Marcel cleared his throat and I looked up at him.
“Am I that bad to be around?” he asked.
“Not at all but I am a girl. I don’t like being the only female in a circle of guys. It’s weird,” I said.
“How about we go somewhere more private then,” Cameron said wrapping his arms around my waist from behind. He kissed my neck and pushed him away from me. I noticed that Marcel’s eyes dropped down to the table as he stirred his coffee.
“Touch her again and I will make sure you won’t be able to use your hands again,” Isabelle said noticing my discomfort.
“That’s cold Belle,” Cameron said. He leaned beside me on the table.
“When are you two going to get back to practice?” Marcos asked speaking for the first time since I walked in.
“It’s up to Marcel,” I said. The sound of his name must have pulled him out of his thoughts.
“Later on tonight,” he said. I nodded.
“You’re training with this guy?” Cameron asked picking an apple from the basket.
“He has a name and yes, I am training with him. Grow up Cameron,” I said turning and heading out the kitchen.
“Serena, wait!” Isabelle called after me but I was already gone. The sound of Isabelle’s familiar black boots followed me into my room. I sat on my bed glaring at the wall. Isabelle leaned casually in the doorway of my room staring at me.
“Why do you hang around that idiot?” she asked, her accent thick with hatred.
“He was a good friend,” I said.
“He’s a pig. That’s what he is,” she said. “What do you think of Marcel?”
“He’s a nice guy. Flirtatious at first but a nice guy in general never the less. Why?” I asked.
“I think he likes you,” she said walking to sit next to me.
“That’s kind of awkward considering in some point in my past I was engaged to his brother. His brother doesn’t seem to like me all that much but I can’t be held accountable for the past. Especially if it’s a past I don’t remember, can I?” I asked. She thought about it for a second and nodded.
“What happened in the past is something he can’t blame you for. I won’t let him,” she said. I laughed as she stiffened like a soldier. “But seriously, Marcel likes you. Did you see the way he looked down when Cameron put his disgusting claws around you?”
“Yes, I noticed but I’m not ready to jump into a relationship. I have too much to think about already,” I said hopping up off the bed.
“You hang around Marcos a tad too much,” she said shaking her head. A knock on my opened door made us look up in alarm. Angelo was standing there with his hands tuck tightly in his jeans pocket.
“I’ll see you in the library,” Isabelle said giving me a quick hug before sliding past Angelo and out of sight. I turned my back to face him, fumbling with a strand of my hair. I heard the door silently close and I turned to see that Angelo was sitting in a chair looking at me as if he wanted to tell me something but couldn’t quite word it correctly.
“Did you need to talk to me about something?” I asked folding my arms across my chest.
“I honestly don’t know. I went where my feet led me and here I am,” he said.
“Your brother is waiting for you,” I said.
“He can wait,” he said. He stared at the floor and I watched as a dark emotion shadowed his face.
“Do you want to know the worst memory I have of you?” he asked not looking up at me. I managed to croak a ‘yes’. “The worst part was trying to save you from the boat and you not letting me. You were bleeding a lot and sinking in the water but you managed to create a shield of water way to tough to penetrate. You were dying and losing a lot of blood but you kept me away. It was like you wanted to die, like you didn’t want to be with me.” A series of memories flooded over me. I was helping the mother when I fell back into the water. I was losing a lot of blood but I was smiling. A figure began to swim toward me as I sunk. I waved my arms around me. The water that surrounded me began to twist and twist until it became a spinning wall between me and the figure. The figure banged and kicked at the wall but nothing happened. I reached to touch the figures face but then I was gone.
“You remember?” he asked bringing me back into my room.
“Now I do,” I choked.
“Why did you do it? Why wouldn’t you let me help you?” he asked pain clear in his eyes.
“I’m not sure completely but I think it was out of fear,” I said.
“Fear of what? Tell me. Please,” he begged.
“Fear of change. I’ve always died alone. I left no one to feel guilty over my death. I didn’t want to be that burden of someone important to me. I still don’t want that. I tried to make it hard for someone to get attached to me but you were an exception I suppose. But even the exception can’t stop that fear,” I said. I felt a tear slide down my cheek and I wiped it away.
“I think I understand,” he said standing up. He walked up to me and I looked him in the eyes. They were soft now and a small smile spread across his face. “Committing suicide is the worse way to run from that type of situation.”
“That was a long time ago and that’s not fault,” I said taking a step back.
“Don’t worry. I won’t interfere with what you have here. Well, no more than I already did,” he said. He turned and headed for the door. I began to laugh and he turned to face me. I realized why the dream I had seemed so real. It was real because to a certain extent the dream did happen. I was pulled away from Angelo in the past and that was why I was dragged away from him.
“What’s so funny?” he asked amuse.
“Nothing,” I said trying to stop my laughter. He shook his head and stalked out of my room.
“Isabelle, will you please calm down!” Marcos asked over Isabelle’s yelling voice.
“What is wrong with you?” Cameron yelled.
“Isabelle, put the knife down!!” Marcos yelled.
“Bloody hell,” Alex said with a sigh. I walked into the room to find chaos. Isabelle was holding a knife to Cameron’s neck while Marcos tried to claw it out of her hand. Kyle looked at the scene with horror on his face while Alex rubbed his temples in small circles.
“Isabelle!!! Drop the knife right now!!!” I yelled. She sighed but placed the knife on the counter and stormed out the room.
“Crazy bitch,” Cameron said rubbing his neck.
“Get out Cameron,” I said coldly.
“What did I do now?” he asked.
“You tell me,” I asked putting my hands on my waist.
“All I said was that you would like pretty damn hot in a two piece and she went ballistic,” he said pulling out a pack of cigarettes.
“When will you learn Cameron,” I said shaking my head. “Next time, I’m going to let her.”
“I’ll go calm Isabelle down,” Marcos said.
“Right behind you,” Kyle said following Marcos out the room. Alex had his head on the table. He looked exhausted.
“Alex, are you alright?” I asked placing my hand on his head in search of a fever. He sighed and nodded.
“Just fine love,” he mumbled. He closed his eyes and after a few seconds he began to snore silently. I turned to leave the room but Cameron grabbed my wrist.
“Let me go,” I said. He hesitated but let me go.
“I’m sorry,” he said. I shook my head no believing there was any meaning to his words.
“Prove it,” I said storming out the room. I followed the sound of Isabelle cursing Cameron to his grave. Marcos sat watching as Isabelle paced angrily in front of him. She stopped pacing when she saw me.
“I don’t know how you do it!! Two minutes in the same room with that creep would get me arrested!!!” she yelled throwing her hands in the air.
“I can see that. Cameron is a special case. He doesn’t care what people might think about him. That’s the way he is. You should know that considering he is always hanging out with your brother,” I said shaking my head at her.
“I don’t even hang out with Alex anymore,” she said dismissing what I said.
“Marcos, do we have any new information?” I asked changing the subject.
“Well, Angelo, Marcel and I have come to a conclusion that we need to have some sort of team in order to prevent anything loose from the portal. We also all agree that you should be the one to lead the team considering your skilled for the job. But that’s entirely up to you,” he said. I nodded.
“How are we in terms of time?” I asked.
“We’re not sure yet. What we really need to discuss is the roles we are going to play in this operation,” Marcos said. He stood up and cleared his throat. “Everyone is to meet me in my office. Now.”
“We’re right behind you,” I told him as he walked past me. Kyle who was leaning on the wall on my right followed Marcos out the room.
“We’ll talk about this later Isabelle. For now, stay away from Cameron and sharp objects. Tell Angelo about the meeting and I’ll tell Marcel,” I said and she instantly started smiling.
“He’s in his room,” she said pushing me into the hall. I sighed and walked to the closed door. I knocked and waited for a response. The door opened and Marcel stood looking at me.
“Marcos wants all of us in his office now,” I said, taking a step back. He came out of his room, closing the door behind him.
“Lead the way,” he said. I led him up the stair to the room across from the upper library. Everyone was already there. They sat at a large round wooden table. Cameron sat across from Kyle and Isabelle glared at him from her seat next to Angelo. Alex was awake and slouching tiredly in his chair. I sat next in the empty seat next to Kyle and Marcel sat beside me. I could feel Cameron’s eyes on me but I ignored him.
“The first thing we need to establish is who is what. I believe everyone but Angelo and Marcel are Elementals. I just don’t know what Elements you guys are. Isabelle would you like to start?” Marcos asked. She nodded and waved her hands in the air. A sharp wind began to spin around us making the room temperature drop a few degrees. She put her hands down and the wind stopped. Cameron grunted and pulled out a cigarette. He put the end of it near his mouth and blew on it. The cigarette began to burn and he put the top of it to his lips and took a long drag. I rolled my eyes while Kyle tried to hide his laugh. Isabelle waved her hand toward Cameron and his chair flew back causing him to hit the shelf of books behind him. He cursed before jumping to his feet. Isabelle laughed and threw her head back. Alex snicker and shrugged when Cameron glared at him.
Texte: My original idea.
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 27.09.2011
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