Book Two of the Guardian Series
An excerpt from
Bezaliel's Lost Scripture
The children of God bearing the matching marks will be tasked as guardians.
Their bond must be strong to prevail.
He must protect her from harm, for her weakness is her own grace.
She must forgive his fallacies, for his weakness is her.
Lost brethren of Eden seek redemption.
Fallen children of God will strike against the guardians.
The Accursed one will lead them into battle.
Abduction and agony, a mother’s love holds strong.
Lucidity separates and aggression is unleashed.
White light will bring darkness.
Broken bonds liberate caged wings.
I can’t see where I am, the room is hot and completely pitch black. I don’t know how long I’ve been here. I am sitting on a rough surface. From feel alone I believe it to be concrete. There is no noise, just silence. I walk the room from corner to corner. Ten paces to a corner then turn, another ten paces to a corner then turn. So on and so on for infinity. I sit in a corner with my knees drawn to my chest. My whole body hurts from all the abuse. There is no bed, only the floor. There is no toilet, only a bucket. There is no escape, just the walls and the floor, and darkness, and my pain.
I feel something crawl across my bare arm, making me scream. My voice is hoarse from screaming. I do the only thing I can do, think. I think about my mother, about her death. I think about my dad, and how much he must miss me. Does he wonder where I am? Is he looking for me? Someone must be looking for me. I think about what a failure I am. How could I have thought I could save my mother? I can’t even save myself.
I try to stay awake as long as I can. My rest is broken with nightmares, terrifying images of Armaros killing my mom again and again. I try to think of happy thoughts. I picture DJ in my mind, try to remember the feel of his touch and I can’t. His embrace around me seems like a distant memory.
I think I must be losing my mind. Sometimes I think I hear Andy calling to me. He tells me to be brave, that he will find me, and that he loves me. After my failure at saving my mom how can anyone love me? I can’t even love myself. I hate myself. I am worthless.
I have a lot of time to think. For the past several weeks before this all I wanted was a normal life with normal problems. I can laugh at the irony now. I am as far from normal as I can get at the moment. I hear a noise. I tilt my head to listen. I realize it is me. I am laughing. I am going crazy. I tap my forehead. “Stop. Think. Stop. Think.”
“DJ I wish you were here! DJ I WISH YOU WERE HERE!” I scream. He can’t hear my wish. I don’t even know his true name. I laugh again.
I cry, my eyes are swollen with the strain of the never ending cascade of tears. I miss Andy. I wish he were here with me, to put his arm around me and comfort me. He is so caring, so sweet. I think I am falling in love with my protector. Although, he isn’t much of a protector, I make a mental note to tell him that next time I see him.
There will be no next time. I am going to die here. I scratch at the flakes of blood on my neck. The tender spots there barely have time to heal before he is back for more. I hurt everywhere. This is a game to my tormentor. I scratch my head and pull away hair with my cracked nails.
Just when I don’t think it can get any worse a door cracks open. I see a silhouette of a man enter the room. I retreat further into my corner, holding my breath. Hoping he can’t see me. No such luck.
I feel his bony hand on my arm pulling me to my feet. “Please…” I whimper. “Please don’t hurt me again.” I press my nails into my palms, focusing on the pain in my hands instead of what I am about to endure.
He doesn’t speak, only grunts in response. I feel the nails of his hand digging into my cheeks, squeezing them. I can smell coppery breath breathing in my face. I try to pull away, back into my corner. “No… “A raspy voice hisses. “Be still.” His voice sounds like sandpaper rubbing on stone. I cringe away when he licks my face.
I close my eyes and pray it will be over soon. I try not to cry. He always makes it worse when I cry, but it the end I always do. I am a coward. I am worthless. I am broken.
The strange lady sits on the couch next to me and my brother. I look sideways at Cody to see what he thinks. He shrugs at me and then makes a motion with his eyes. Conveying he doesn’t know either, but she is pretty huh? Twin language is great. We can talk without using words, almost like telepathy.
My mother is on the floor playing with the little girl. Lego blocks are scattered everywhere. The toddler reaches her chubby fingers out to play with the blocks as her long wavy hair hangs in her face. My mom calls for me and Cody to come play with her. Cody jumps down, eager to make a new friend. I continue to sit on the couch with my arms crossed. I don’t want to play with a baby. I don’t want to sit next to this strange lady either, but it’s better than playing. I would rather be in my room reading. My parents tell me that I am too smart for my own good.
The strange lady smiles at me. Since I am always polite I smile back. “Andrew.” She says to me. “Your mother says that you are already reading at a fifth grade level, at only five years old you must be very smart.”
“Yes ma’am.” I tell her. “I am. I can do addition and subtraction as well. All the other kids in my class can barely say the alphabet.”
She claps her hands excitedly. “That is fantastic.” I grin back at her. Maybe this strange lady isn’t so bad. She seems to understand me. However she did bring her drool machine with her, so I keep my arms crossed. The smile drops from my face when my dad walks into the room.
“Andy, please come into my office with us for a moment.” He tells me. “Cody, be a dear and stay in here with Kathryn while we talk.”
“Okay daddy.” My twin chirps from the floor, always eager to please.
I follow my mom and dad into the office, the lady in sitting in there too. I climb onto the high back chair across from them and swing my legs back and forth. “Andy this is Belle.” My mother tells me motioning to the strange lady sitting next to her. She is small, much smaller than my mom. Her hair matches the little girls. Her wide green eyes sparkle when she smiles at me. She gets out of her seat and kneels in front of me.
“We have something very important we need to talk to you about Andrew.” My father says, walking over to stand next to my chair. “You are still so young, but you are smart so we think now is a good time for you to learn your destiny.”
Belle takes my left hand her own. She is so small they are almost the same size. She looks at my thumb closely, at the birthmark there, the only defining difference between me and my twin brother.
“Eli…” She whispers to my father in awe. “I can’t believe it. It’s all coming true.”
I lean over the edge of my bed and throw up the contents of my stomach into the trash can. I can feel her pain, every time. My hands tremble when I wipe my mouth. Sweat beads on my forehead.
“It’s not her fault you know.” Cody says walking into the room handing me a cold wash cloth. “She doesn’t know.”
“I know.” I say hoarsely, my voice cracking from the strain of screaming. “I don’t blame her. I blame myself.” I look away from my twin. I don’t want him to see the silent tears that run down my face. He wouldn’t understand, he thinks he does but he would be so wrong.
“I got an update from dad.” Cody says. “Good news! We know where they are!” He says cheerily.
It has been weeks since Armaros took Kat. Since then the Thirteen have been suspiciously quiet. There has been nothing but silence from them or any of the factions working with them. We have tried numerous times to get in contact with DJ but he has been unreachable. His house is empty. He is not answering his phone and no one from either realm has seen him or his family.
Most of the fallen are working with the Thirteen, but quite a few are fractioned against them. My dad has spies in their ranks, reporting back to him. None are high enough to be in the inner circle so as of yet we haven’t been able to locate them. Now that they have their wings back it is only a matter of time before they launch an attack.
My family is doing everything we can to help, well everyone but me and Cody. I am too busy trying to find Kat. I try to reach her, to get a feel for her whereabouts. I subconsciously rub the birthmark on my hand. I have been tracking her location via our connection. I am getting closer, I can feel it. “I’m going to take a quick shower, be ready to head out in an hour.” I tell Cody, gathering my things I walk into the small bathroom.
The white tiles in the small room are beaded with moisture. Everything here seems to be wet. The island is supposed to be a Caribbean paradise for the wealthy travelers out on the beach soaking up the sun’s rays. For me it is the opposite of paradise. I am uncomfortable and sticky. Our tiny enclosed room is sweltering. The hotel said the air conditioner is broken, more like missing. The constant perspiration dripping into my eyes is tiresome.
My shirt clings to my sticky skin as I peel it off and throw it on the floor at my feet. Opening the zippered pack sitting on the back of the toilet, I pull out the clippers inside. Staring in the mirror at my reflection I run my hands through my thick hair for one last time. I can’t help but think what Kat will think of me without it.
When I am done I rub my hand over the short bristled hairs on my head. I look so different, more like Cody and less like myself. Being an identical twin can be challenging, it is easy to lose your sense of individuality. That is why I grew my hair out to begin with.
Leaving my sandals on I squirm out of my shorts. I stand under the cold water of the shower for a full five minutes without moving. Just enjoying the cool refreshing stream carry away the heat. I clean up quickly making sure to wash away any loose strands of hair clinging to my neck. I dry off the best I canin this humid room and throw on a loose fitting cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt.
My feet squelch in wet sandals walking back into the small bedroom. Cody is tapping away at his laptop, completely oblivious to his surroundings. “Ehhh?” I ask, spinning around the room showing off my lack of hair.
“Andrew Gabriel Dominic, you look sexy as Hell!” Cody exclaims with a clap, “And by that I mean, you look like me!”
I chuckle lightly under my breath. My brother has always been the light hearted one, charming, charismatic, and comical. I have always been the serious one, brainy, stoic, and quiet. “We should ge…” I start to say, but a stabbing pain in my gut cuts off my words, causing me to double over in agony. Bent over at the waist I press my hands to my stomach. I feel like my insides are being cut up.
Cody is there, putting his arms around my shoulders and leading me to the bed. I sit down carefully. With trepidation I remove one hand from my stomach, with as much suffering as I am in I expect to see blood but there is nothing. Another stab causes me to cry out. Desperate, I close my eyes and think of Kat. I try to get a pinpoint on her location, but the anguish is making it difficult to concentrate. “Close…” I mumble, “She is close.” Suddenly the pain is gone and I can open my eyes.
Cody is on his knees in front of me. His hands are on my shoulders. “Andy, what happened?” He asks his voice absent of its usual good humor. His eyes are shining with worry and sweat trickles down his face.
“We are so close Cody.” I tell him. “Come on.” Standing up from the bed I wince, expecting more pain, when there is none, I grab the keys from the table. Even though the physical pain is gone, the misery is still there, the anxiety, the loneliness, the utter terror that death is near. I need to save her. I need her to save myself. “Let’s go find Kat.”
I rap lightly on the hotel room door of the penthouse suite, only the best for Armaros. An instant later Lilli throws it wide open, a huge grin plastered to his face. “DJ!” She squeals with delight. “Come in. Daddy is waiting for you.”
I wipe my sweaty palms on my slacks. I feel like I have been wasting my time the past couple of weeks. We left the very night Armaros took Kat. I have attempted to speak with him several times since then, yet he continues to avoid me. Kat’s absence has left a hole in my heart. The fact that she is a Nephilim is not lost on me. I know when I am with her my love feels real. I hold onto that feeling and focus my energy on confronting Armaros.
“DJ.” He says walking in to the living room of the suite. His long blonde hair hangs in loose waves down his back. Sunlight gleams through the windows making his skin and hair shine with ethereal light. He smiles at me showing his perfectly white teeth behind pink lips. “Would you like a drink?” He asks with a chuckle.
“No thank you.” I tell him. With a pang of guilt I remember what happened last time I accepted a drink from him. I glance around the room for Lilli. She is nowhere to be seen. This surprises me, since for the past couple of weeks she has rarely been out of my sight. She keeps trying to rekindle our relationship. So far I have managed to avoid her, but I can feel my resolve weakening. Armaros gestures at the overstuffed sofa for me to sit. I relax back into the suede and try to get comfortable but my nerves are too much on edge. I clear my throat and try to compose myself. I remind myself to not lose my cool. Keep it together, for Kat.
“Thank you for meeting me.” Armaros says to me. He sits down in the chair across from me, crossing his legs. He absently picks at imaginary lint on his slacks, waiting for me to reply.
I take a deep breath before answering. “You’re welcome sir, and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to see me.” Although I try to keep it at bay the anger seeps into the voice, snapping out the words in a condescending tone.
He raises one eyebrow at me in a knowing way before responding. “Please DJ, tell me why you are so angry?”
“What?” I stutter. How could he not know why I am angry? He ripped my life apart. He stole Kat from me. He opened my eyes to my own parent’s deception and betrayal. “Because of everything you have done. That’s why!”
Armaros uncrosses his legs and leans forward in the chair. His azure eyes turn dark with anger. “Everything I have done?” He questions. “You mean opening your eyes to the fact that your little girlfriend is actually a Nephilim? That she was using you and betrayed you? You should be thanking me for my honesty!”
“Kat was not using me.” I mumble under my breath.
“You want her back, even now?” Armaros asks. “After learning the truth? After knowing you two were not meant to be together? It is not love you feel DJ, it is magic.”
“I don’t care.” I state flatly. I tremble with rage. Trying to keep my anger in control I clench my fists. I feel my nails digging into my soft palms. I know there will be four crescent shaped wounds on the inside of my hand when I leave.
He flips his hand in the air gesturing away from his body. “Let this be a conversation for another time. I need your help with something.”
I nod my head in acceptance. He knows he can control me. He will hold the lives of my family over me until I have exhausted every ounce of strength I have to his cause.
“Great!” Armaros says clapping his hands together delighted. He grins at me, showcasing perfect white teeth that look just a tad too large for his mouth. “I need you to lead a group to find something for me.”
“Find what?” I ask leaning forward. I am interested to know what it is that Armaros wants me to find that he cannot locate himself.
“A special sword…” Armaros sighs heavily. “DJ I am concerned about how much trust I should place in you. I wonder where your loyalties lie. Not with myself, I am sure.”
“You can trust me Armaros.” I tell him. “I have never broken a deal, and I plan to follow through with whatever is needed, as long as you assure me that Kat is safe. Can you do that? Can I see her?”
“Yes, I can show you.” He waves his hand over the glass coffee table between us.
The clear pane turns milky before showing an image across the top. It is like I am looking at a movie. I see Kat. She is lying on a white bed. Her eyes are closed and her hair is spread around her head. Her hands are clasped on her abdomen. She appears to be sleeping. “Kat…” I whisper. I reach to touch the table. I yearn to touch her cheek, to feel her smooth skin under my hand, and to feel her heartbeat against my chest. I can feel the unwanted tears slip down my cheeks. I rub them away quickly, running my hands across the stubble on my face to distract against my moment of weakness. I clear my throat before I speak. “What do I need to do?”
Armaros smiles at me wickedly. “I need you to retrieve a sword. It is deep beneath the soil of a terebinth tree in the Valley if Elah.”
“Why?” I ask. What could be so special about this sword? Why does he need it? And why can’t he get it himself?
“Do not concern yourself with why DJ. Please just do as I ask.” He tells me with a stern expression on his face. “I would like to trust you, and for you trust me. You can go far, if you will learn to not doubt me, or question me.”
“Okay…” I say. “If I do this will you release Kat?”
Armaros stands up and walks to the window looking down over the North Atlantic Ocean. He pinches the bridge of his nose before responding. “No I will not. It must be enough to know she is safe. If you do as I ask promptly I will allow you to see her.”
He will let me see her? This is great news. “When do I leave?” I ask, eager to get to get back already.
You will depart in the morning. Please get together a team, no more than four individuals total and meet at the airport at five in the morning. My personal pilot will escort you safely to Jerusalem.” He tells me. “Now please go.”
Armaros promptly leaves the room. I stand there for a moment at the strange turn of events. I need to get together a team of people to help me. I should head down to the lobby restaurant and bar. That is where I will find almost everyone. I haven’t taken the time to socialize much so I unsure of who I want to take with me. I turn to leave and I see that Lilli is standing by the door waiting for me.
“Goodbye Lilli.” I say to her, gesturing with my hands for her to move away from the door.
“Take me with you.” She whispers.
“What? Why would I take you with me?” I ask her appalled at the fact she would even think I would consider having her around me after everything she has done.
“Please DJ…” She looks up at me still whispering, her eyes wide and shining with tears. “Please I have to get away for a little while. Please.” She places her hand on my arm. Her fingers are cool to the touch against my warm skin.
“Why?” I ask again. I have never seen Lilli like this before. She has always been so confident and sure of herself. She almost looks scared.
She turns and opens the door pointing toward the hallway. I take her gesture as a cue for me to leave. Lilli follows me out in the hallway. She presses a finger to her lips and walks to the elevator. I follow her into the elevator. Once the doors are closed she starts crying. “What is going on Lilli?” I ask her.
“It’s my dad. He is going crazy trying to decipher the text Bezaliel transcribed.” She whimpers between sobs. “He is going to return to Heaven by any means necessary, even if it means destroying humanity. Even if it m-m-means killing m-me.” She finishes with a wail.
I am shocked at her response. I had always thought that Lilli was just as evil and conniving as her father. I have never seen this side of her. I wrap my arms around her to comfort her. She is so small and dainty the top of her head comes to my chest. She burrows her face into my shirt and wraps her arms around my waist. “It’s okay Lilli. Calm down, it won’t come to that.” Holding her like this brings back memories of when we were together.
She mumbles something intelligible against my chest. I can feel her tears soaking through my shirt. “What did you say?” I ask her.
She pulls away from me and looks up. Her eyes are red and puffy from crying. A black smear from her mascara is smudged across her face. “Please take me with you?” She asks again with a sniffle.
“Yes of course. I will take you with me.” I give her another hug as she presses herself against me. I can’t help my body’s reaction. The feel of her against me is turning me on. I try to think of Kat to get my mind of off Lilli. “Will you help pick out two more people to go with us?” I ask her, hoping she will pull away from me before she can feel my arousal through my clothes.
She nods her head against my chest and she squeezes me tighter. I put my hand on the top of her head and smooth her hair down. She pulls away a little bit and stands on her tip toes reaching her hands behind my neck. I feel her pulling my head to her. I know I should stop myself. I know I will regret this later, but right now it feels so right.
I place one hand on her waist and with my other hand I reach over press the emergency stop button on the elevator, halting us between floors. Picking her light frame up at the waist I bring her up to my level. She wraps her legs around my torso and kisses me fervently. The flashing emergency light in the elevator bathes us in a crimson glow as I press her back to the wall.
The beeping noise next to my bed wakes me. That doesn’t sound like my alarm clock. My eyes flutter open. The brightness of the room causes me to squint. White, everything is white and bright. I can’t see. I keep my eyes closed to a slit until they adjust to the brilliance.
My head is pounding and my body aches. There is throbbing cramp in my abdomen. I keep my eyes closed and try to remember where I am and how I got here.
Flashes of memory cause me to gasp. Beads of sweat form on my brow as I remember the sweltering heat of the dark room with no escape. I clench my fingers recalling the pain and misery I endured at the hand of my unknown assailant. I gag at the thought of my torment’s coppery breath in my face. Whispering in my ear how sweet I tasted as he would bite into my flesh. A spasm rocks my body sending bolts of pain radiating from my stomach.
I remember being pressed against the damp wall of my black cell. Bony hands caressing my waist with sharp nails tracking bloody trails down the outline of each rib protruding from wasted frame. I couldn’t take it anymore. I lashed out with my own cracked and broken nails scraping away at the exposed flesh on his face and throat. He reacted quickly, using his pointed needle like fingernails to stab me in the gut. Severe pain coursed through my body causing me to slump to the floor at his feet. The last thing I remember before waking in this room is his harsh laughter mocking my feeble attempt to attack.
I gently move my fingers over the bandage on my stomach. How did I get here? Why are they taking care of me? Why didn’t they just let me die? Silent tears track down my face. I crack my eyes open again, taking the chance that they have adjusted to the dazzling light in the room. From the look of the room I must be in a hospital. There are bars on either side of my bed. Wire and tubes are running from my arms to machines sitting on either side of me. The beeping noise is monitoring my heart rate. A wheezing noise interrupts the silence of the room and I feel the pressure of a cuff on my left bicep tighten.
The door to the room cracks open and a tall blonde woman with rosy cheeks walks into the room looking down at a clipboard in her hand. I watch her swift movements with partially closed eyes. She makes her way over to me humming softly under her breath. After a few seconds she places the clipboard on the table next to the bed. She looks at her watch and she picks up my wrist in her hand. Her cold fingers feel like ice against my warm skin.
“Where am I?” I croak out. My vocal cords feel strained with the efforts of screaming over the past however long I was in that room.
The blonde woman lets out a small yelp and drops my arm back on the bed. “You’re awake!” She squeaks before running out of the room.
I am unsure how to react to that. Am I not supposed to be awake? I don’t have long to consider this because she walks back into the room followed by a short Asian man wearing a white lab coat.
He steps up to the bed to stand next to me. He removes the stethoscope from around his neck as he speaks without a hint of an accent. “Kathryn, hello. My name is Doctor Takahashi. How are you feeling? Any pain?”
“I… uhh, a little. How did I get here? Where am I?” I ask. The questions pour out of me. I can feel my heart rate elevate. My palms start to sweat and I can feel a tremble go through my whole body. “Can I go home? Where is my dad?”
“Kathryn, please calm down.” He tells me.“I will answer all of your questions but please let me evaluate your condition first.”
“Okay.” I say to him. Trying to slow my beating heart I relax my posture and focus on breathing. He places the stethoscope on my chest and listens for a moment. Seemingly satisfied with what he hears he wraps the cord back around his neck.
“I will need to see under your bandage so please lay back and try not to focus on what I am doing Kathryn.” Dr. Takahashi tells me, pulling down the thin linen sheets covering me.
The chill of the cool air feels good against my hot skin. I hear the bandage crinkling under his fingers and a slight tugging as the tape is pulled away from my skin. The strong scent of antiseptic pervades the room. I peek down at what he is doing, immediately regretting it.
My midsection is a bloody mess. Open wounds run diagonally across my stomach. Bright red ribbons of wounded flesh lay in stark contrast to my pale skin. Halfway between my pelvis and bellybutton lay an open hole. I draw in a quick breath wondering how I survived. My insides must have been cut to pieces.
The blonde nurse hands Dr. Takahashi new bandages and he gently replaces them on my stomach. “How is the pain?” He asks me as he works.
“It’s okay.” I tell him, wincing as he applies pressure to the bandage to get the tape to stick.
“Hmm yes.” He says. “We have you on morphine.” He points in the direction of an IV going into my arm. “Just press this button if the pain gets too bad.”
“Okay.” I tell him turning my head to watch him sit down in the chair beside my bed. I am not brave enough to try and move my body after having seen how mutilated my stomach is.
“Overall Kathryn I am very pleased with your healing.” He says.“There will be scars of course and I doubt you will ever conceive a child. Your uterus was badly damaged. I tried my best but…” He waves his hand in the air. “Now, you have questions for me. I will do my best to answer them.” He says looking at me pointedly.
I will never be able to have children? I always wanted kids of my own. That won’t happen now. No one will want me as scarred and mutilated as I am anyway. “Where am I? How did I get here?” I ask, my voice trembling with emotion.
“You are in my home. Armaros had you brought here after…” He trails off for moment. “After Saul lost control.” He finishes.
Saul? That must be the name of my tormentor. Armaros is behind this. That means Dr. Takahashi is no ordinary doctor. “What are you?” I ask him.
He chuckles softly before answering. “Kathryn I am one of the Fallen.”
“Why didn’t you just let me die?” I ask him. Silent tears slip down my face.
Dr. Takahashi shrugs his shoulders in response to my question without answering. “Since you are Nephilim your body’s ability to regenerate damaged tissue is exponentially greater than a human. You should be as good as new in two weeks or less.”
I smile weakly at him. I am not interested in getting better unless I can leave. “And then I can go home? Can I see my dad?” I ask.
His face turns somber upon hearing my question. “No Kathryn. You will not be returning home. I must go now.” He stands to leave. “If you need anything please ask Amber.” He pats me on the arm gently. “I want you to know that I do not condone the way you were treated. I have spent my time here on Earth as a healer and as long as you are under my care no harm will come to you.”
As he is walking away I think of one more question. “Dr. Takahashi?” I call out. “What day is it?”
“Oh it is October 20th.” He says, as if I should have known that.
It is already October. I have been gone for weeks. My dad must be beside himself with worry. I missed my birthday. I am officially an adult. I think about Andy, I wonder what he is doing right now. Is he looking for me? Will he find me? Do I want him to find me? I close my eyes and press the button for more morphine. Not because I am in physical pain, but because I want to escape this reality and dream.
I am sitting at the kitchen table working on an English essay that is due in two weeks. I have written so much that my hand is cramping. Since I am left handed there are smears across the paper where I’ve smudged the pencil.
My dad walks into the kitchen and pours himself a glass of juice from the refrigerator. “Hey dad.” I say to him.
“Hey kiddo.” He responds. “What are you working on?”
“An English essay.” I tell him. “Hey dad, can I ask you a question?”
He laughs quietly from across the table. “You just did son.” I scowl at him. I dislike being corrected. “Let me rephrase. May I please ask you a question about…“ I trail off. Unable to decide how to word it.
I decide to start over as my dad looks at me quizzically over the top of his glass. “Today at school during lunch I was sitting at the table minding my own business and all of a sudden there was a sharp pain in my knee. It was like I had fallen down and cut it up. Then I felt really angry, for no reason at all. It was so strange. What is happening?”
My dad places his glass down on the table in front of him and takes a deep breath. “Andy you know you’re special. You are meant for so much more than becoming a bio-engineer or whatever it is you want to be.” He says with a flip of his hand. “You remember what you are son?”
“Yes dad, I am Nephilim. I am a guardian. It is my fate to protect mankind from destruction.” I look down at my hands clasped in front of me on the table. My left thumb over my right. I stare the odd shaped birthmark. It is the root of everything.
I remember the day my parents told me that I am destined to save the world. Myself and a toddler. Well, she probably isn’t a toddler anymore I chuckle to myself. Since that day my dad spends one day a week training me. He has taught me how to use every aspect of my grace. This, just like all learning, I have excelled at it. We have worked on some hand to hand combat training, but since I am only ten he wants to wait until we start any vigorous physical training. It still doesn’t explain the odd experience I had today.
My dad clears his throat before talking. “Andrew we decided on that day long ago that you should know what and who you are. What your destiny is. However, Kathryn’s mother has decided the opposite. She does not want to raise Kathryn the way we have raised you, instead she wants her to have a normal childhood. Her mother will explain everything to her on her eighteenth birthday.”
He takes a sip of juice before continuing. “Do you remember during training how I taught you to shield?”
“Yes.” I answer. I do remember that. My dad taught me that it is important to guard my mind and emotions from others. To build a wall around myself.
“The reason I taught you that is to protect Kathryn. You two are… connected. If you allow it, if you let your shield down, she will feel what you feel.”
The realization of what he is saying dawns on me. “I can feel what she is feeling?!” I ask excitedly. “She was mad, so I felt mad? Right?”
“Yes son. Since Kathryn is unaware of what she is and her abilities it is important that you continue to shield yourself.” He pinches the bridge of his nose as he talks. “As she gets older her powers will get stronger, since she doesn’t know she is doing it, you can expect to feel her more often than not. I’m sorry son.”
I am not worried about the future. I am intellectually intrigued about the possibilities of using this connection to learn. I rub the birthmark on my hand. I know that Kathryn has the same birthmark on her right hand. It is this mark that makes us special.
I wait until my dad leaves the room to lower my shield. I concentrate on Kathryn as I remember her, a chubby toddler still in diapers. I think about her and about being happy. Even though I don’t know her, I don’t want her to be mad. I radiate happiness at her, thinking about ice cream. I hope this works.
I stare out the window watching the passing scenery. Cody is driving the car, since my episode two days ago he didn’t want to take any chances with me behind the wheel and I certainly can’t blame him.
When the pain subsided I felt I had a clear lock on Kat’s position. I felt her presence pulling at me. By the time we even got halfway to the location I was being pulled, it was as if she vanished. I haven’t felt anything since. Cody hasn’t said it out loud, but I know he thinks she is dead. I know she isn’t. She can’t be. I would be nothing without her. I promise myself when I find her I will tell her everything. I will hold nothing back. I will tell her everything her mother wouldn’t.
“This island isn’t that big.” Cody says. “I mean we could just start at one end and make our way to the other, knock on every door until we find her.” He looks over at me with a smirk on his face.
I know he is trying to cheer me up. I rub the birthmark on my hand and continue to stare out the window. My eyes start to drift closed. I haven’t slept in two days. The motion of the car coupled with my weariness is taking its toll.
“Hungry?” Cody asks snapping me awake. “I am starving! How about we stop at one of these little shacks and get some grub?”
I respond with a nod. Even though I am not hungry it is best if Cody eats. He needs to keep up his strength. We pull into a gravel parking lot. Standing in the middle is a wooden building with a large porch. A handwritten sign on the door says Big Mac’s: Open. There are several cars in the lot and a large crowd is gathered on the porch.
I summon the energy to get out of the car and walk up the wooden stairs. Loud Reggae music wafts outside. I can only imagine how loud it will be inside. My head is already pounding from lack of sleep. I grab Cody’s arm before he can walk inside. “Hey… I can’t.” I say with a nod, gesturing at the door. “I’m going back to the car. I need to rest. Take your time and grab me something to go alright?” I hold my hand out for the car keys.
Cody places the keys in my hand and holds his palm over mine. He presses his other hand under my own. “Do. Not. Leave.” He orders me, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. “I won’t be long. Get some rest little brother. You need it.”
“Thanks Cody.” I tell him. I pat him on the shoulder as I walk away. I shamble back to the car like a zombie. I roll down the windows and stretch out in the backseat. Resting my head on a backpack full of clothes I close my eyes and think of Kat.
I am standing in Kat’s living room. She is curled in a ball on her sofa. She appears to be sleeping. I walk over to the sofa and kneel on the floor in front of her. I brush her long hair away from her face and tuck it behind her ear. Her eyes open and she stares at me. “I’m dreaming.” She mumbles.
Relief washes over me like a cold shower. She is alive. She is dreaming, and so am I. “Yes. You are dreaming.” I wrap my arms around her and press my forehead to hers. I can feel the sting of tears prick my eyes. “Kat I have been searching for you nonstop. Where are you? Can you tell me anything?” I ask her, hoping for the best.
She pulls away from me and sits up on the couch. I get up from the floor and sit next to her. She stares into the corner of the room and her eyes glaze over. I take her hand in mine to comfort her. “Kat?” I ask.
She pulls away from me shrieking. “No, no, no, please. Please don’t hurt me.” She is all the way on the other side of the couch from me now. Her knees are pulled up and she buries her face in them, wrapping her arms around legs. I can hear her sobbing. What has happened to her? Why is she like this? It is like she doesn’t even recognize I am here. Can she not see me?
I edge my way down the couch to where she is coiled. Once I am close enough I wrap my arms around her and pull her to me, enveloping her body against mine. I feel her stiffen and then finally relax. “Andy?” She asks. “Are you really here? In my dream?”
“Yes. I’m here.” I hold her close and caress her hair down her back, trying to calm her.
“I’m so scared he is going to hurt me again.” She mumbles against my chest.
I can feel my anger rising. I press it down. I don’t want her to hear anger in my voice. I don’t want to frighten her more. “Who hurt you?” I ask quietly.
“The bad man. He h-hurt me.” She says hitching her voice. “It was so dark, and he bit me, and clawed me, and…” She trails off unable to finish her sentence because of the sobs racking her body. She pulls herself into my lap and wraps her arms around my neck, like a child would do after a nightmare. Her face is pressed against my neck and I can feel the tears trailing down her face and dripping onto me.
I don’t say anything. I just hold her and rock her gently. I think of all the ways I will kill the person that has hurt her. Finally she settles down and stops crying. She looks up at me with puffy eyes and a tear streaked facing, making my anger diminish. “Kat where are you now?” I ask her. “I have been looking everywhere.”
“I don’t know. In a hospital. In a house.” She says. “I’m sorry Andy. I’m worthless. I can’t help anyone. Just let me die.” She looks down at her hands in her lap. Her bottom lip trembles, threatening another flood of tears.
I am shocked at hearing her say that. I place one finger under her chin and push her head up so she is looking at me. “Kathryn you are not worthless. None of this is your fault. Don’t think that. If you die, then I would die. You mean everything to me.”
“I-I do?” She asks with a sniffle.
I squeeze her gently to me. “Yes, you do. I love you, always.”
“You… you love me?” She asks. “Why? I am pathetic. I don’t even love myself.”
“No, you are not pathetic.” I tell her. Why would she even think that? “You are perfect and I will prove that to you when I find you. I will spend the rest of my life making you happy. I would move Heaven and Earth to find you and keep you safe. Can you tell me anything else that may help?”
She relaxes against me and reaches for my hand. I let her take it. She caresses the birthmark on my thumb. I remember the last time she did that. I was so insecure I ran from the room, unable to tell her what we are. What she is. What she means to me. A pang of guilt stabs my heart, knowing I had hurt her feelings by doing that. I am so deep in my own thoughts I didn’t hear what she just said. “What?” I ask her.
“There is a doctor. His name is Takahashi.” She says again. “He seems nice. He says he won’t let the bad man hurt me again.”
I intertwine my fingers with her and kiss the top of her head. “I won’t let anyone hurt you again.”
I wake from dream feeling a million times better. Knowing that Kat is alive gives me strength to go on. I pull my phone out my pocket and open a search engine. I type in Dr. Takahashi. Over thirty thousand results are displayed. I narrow down my search location until I find who I am looking for, thank you Google. I input the address listed into the GPS and wait for Cody.
I think about how Kat reacted in the dream. She is depressed. Her captivity is taking a toll on her physically, emotionally, and mentally. I will need to be careful about what I tell her in that fragile state.
“Did you get any sleep brother?” He asks me, throwing a greasy bag in my lap.
I grin at him like a madman. “I did. And I saw Kat. She is alive and I know where we can find her.”
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 26.03.2015
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