The Prologue

The Birthday


Mum was ill again; the cancer had finally come back. We all knew it would, just like we knew eventually she would die. We had hoped not this soon, never this soon. Today was my sixteenth birthday. It was also the day we got her test results back, so much for a day for us all to be happy, since none of us were happy was nothing near what we were feeling. Dad had left back when she had to be tested again, when mum had first gotten diagnosed, I was thirteen. That was the first time he had left us, it had been too much for him, so he ran. I couldn’t, wouldn’t run, she was my mother. Who else would hold her hair when she was sick, or hold her beautiful delicate hands? Who else would hold everything together with the crappest glue known to man?


My mother laid snuggly in her soft pink bed, smiling softly. I think deep down she knew her time was running out. The doctors gave her two years tops. She looked deeply into my eyes and told me it was okay; that she would go when it was her time. Go? Go where? I had thought angrily. Leaving me all alone? Just like that? Just like dad had? Just like my grandparents had left her years ago. She was all I had left, after her there would be no one. Who would I focus on now? Lord knows I would go insane left alone to care for myself.


I waited till she was sleeping deeply before slipping from the room. I could hear my father’s mother pottering around in the kitchen. That’s all she ever did was potter. She couldn’t get a real job because of her arthritis. Mother was to sick of course, so that left me. I worked in a nearby café, but it wasn’t enough. Soon we’d have to leave here too. Just like my mother was going to leave me, I would have to leave all I knew behind.


I looked out a nearby window into the gloomy daylight of a half cloud obscured afternoon. That’s how I felt, as downtrodden as the weather appeared. I decided a walk was in order, stuffed my ear buds into my delicate ears. I needed the music; it never ceased to calm my frail nerves. If I couldn’t get my mind off everything, I was certain I would breakdown and cease to function. The constant thought of a life alone monopolized my mind, threatening madness. With the music blasting in my ears, I could do anything, be anything. Be anyone but the girl with the dying mother who had nothing left.


The weather, though gloomy, was still pleasant. I wore my favourite blue jeans, along with a deep purple top with a dream catcher artfully painted on it. My mother had made it, which was all she could manage anymore. Even then, with the sickness, she tried to keep at her art, but these moments were becoming fewer all the time. My boots made a weird sucking sound as I pulled them free of the mud. The sound etched itself in my mind, and with every step, I could almost hear it. The dream catcher on my shirt did nothing to calm my nerves or calm my racing heart, this was the first time I had been alone in a long time before I had craved it now I only craved a free mind.


My walk was without purpose or direction. I simply walked. I didn’t have to be into work until later. You might think, with it being my birthday that I would have the day off. That’s

unfortunately not the kind of world we live in is it? The air was growing colder, and soon I felt it. Tugging down the sleeves of my undershirt alleviated the problem for now. A thick daunting yet beautiful forest blanketed one half of the town. Everyone seemed to avoid them, as if some long ago tragic curse covered the woods. I almost giggled to myself at the silliness of it. I looked back, to where the sky had yet to lighten, or had it grown darker before the light had any chance, any hope. I wasn’t sure.


With a deep breath, I stepped over some fallen branches, and plunged into the forest. A quick glance back revealed the wood had swallowed me in a way, blocking out the real world and my problems. I plucked my ear buds out and tucked them away, the forest had a music all its own to sooth my soul. Almost like that of a heart, a natural pulse and rhythm. I closed my eyes letting the harmony saturate me, and began walking. The forest is as lonely as I am; the thought came unbidden to me as my hand brushed the bark of a nearby tree. I stopped, letting my hand rest there.


“Take the pain away, use the energy to help yourself grow.” I whispered, hoping the tree would do exactly that. With a not quite exaggerated sigh, I opened my eyes and found myself much deeper in the woods than I had expected. Surely, I hadn’t been walking for that long? It was of no importance I had time to spare. I swept a stubborn lock of my long brown hair from my eyes and kept walking.


“Sky.” A single word rode the wind, and caused me to stop. Wait what? That’s my name. “Yes?” I replied, a question lingering on the tip of my tongue.


“This way.” Was the reply. I giggled a little to myself and followed the voice. Perhaps it was mum; maybe she was playing a trick on me. She always was a prankster, and she used to love hiking. The thought of how ill she was crept into my mind and made my stomach churn. I turned away and ran, not wanting to end my trollop through the woods so soon, but that voiced was more than a little creepy. “No, come back!” It echoed around me.


“Not towards them, this way.” Came another voice. Now several voices were calling out all at once. Some pleasant, deep, baritone, others were harsh and shrill, still others soothing and alluring. My head spun, but I chose the least creepy one. The enemy of my enemy is a friend right? Wow, now I’m talking to myself I thought as I leapt over a rock just ahead and landed awkwardly on a low hanging branch. I nearly fell before I caught myself. I was glad that I had to, for ahead of me was a dazzling waterfall, below that a crystal blue pond, pristine, hauntingly beautiful with the whitewash of the falls feeding it.


“Come back!” A deep voice rumbled, “We only want your first kiss.” Inane giggling ensued, a whole torrent of it.


Two choices I thought, pull the car over or, wow totally inappropriate time for song lyrics I chastised myself. I could feel the ground tremble as something neared; hear the sharp crack of

branches breaking. I gasped and almost slipped. “No worries, she won’t last long there.” A snide voice, feeling so close to my ear I could almost feel the breath. I shrieked, letting myself hang precariously away. “Come back dear.” This time it was my Grandmother’s voice. I know she’d never make it all the way out here. I gulped in as much air as I could, and simply let go, allowing myself to plunge the twenty feet below. There is only one thing to do, 'put the peddel to the meddle' I whispered to myself finishing off the line of lyrics I had began.


Time stood still a moment as I watched the glittering blue pool growing ever closer. What felt like minutes, was only seconds as I landed with a whoosh and a large splash. My momentum carried me deep down into the recesses of the pond. My hair splayed out, dancing with the water to obscure my view, as it snaked away something appeared swimming before me. It appeared to be a horse, but underwater? His mane and tail floated in the water around him, giving him an odd mythical appearance. This can’t be happening I thought, surely I hit my head when I landed in the water. Sure enough though, despite blinking it was still there, its front hooves stabbed at the water angrily as its tail swished lightly. His fur was an intense shade of black with a greenish hue to it; all of it was long and fanned out in all directions. To be honest, it was one of those events in your life that cannot be forgotten, so imprinted perfectly in your mind that you can relive each moment if you wished.


I swam forward, trying not to startle the creature. Smiling I placed my hand on his mane, resting my forehead against his. Deep brown eyes stared into me, seeming to calm my soul. Suddenly they became panic stricken, and the creature’s body began to shake. I wrapped my arms, and began kicking violently to the surface, the pressure in my lungs building to a climax as I tried desperately to save him. That’s when I noticed the tangles of seaweed holding him. An air bubble escaped me as I involuntarily gasp. Amazingly, the weeds relented their grasp and we shot upward like a cannon.


We broke the surface in a mad gasping rush, water splashing all around us as we drug ourselves towards the shore. The strange thing collapsed in a heap on the shore, whinnying frantically as it convulsed. My heart fell, “No you cannot die!” I yelled tears brimming. “I owe you for saving me, I’ll give you anything.”


A last shudder racked its body and he began to change, shrinking before my eyes as I held him in my arms. I gasped, closing my eyes thinking the worst as I curled my fingers through his luscious mane. “You’ve made a very silly promise.” A deep baritone voice rang in my ears.


I opened my eyes to find something entirely new in my lap. The same midnight and green hued hair, deep bottomless brown eyes, but now a human boy lay against me. “I th…thought you were dieing.” I stuttered, not yet willing to let him go no matter how weird the whole situation was.


“You still owe me.” He informed me, a mischievous smile tugged at his wet lips.


“But, I don’t have anything to give you.” I protested, confused.


His smile intensified at my confusion, “Oh but you do.”


“What exactly do you want?” Concern began to fill me.


“I saved you. I want what you wouldn’t give the others, your first kiss.”


I nodded defeated, tears flowed freely trailing down my face, covering the lips he desired. I pressed them slowly to his, planning to give him a chaste kiss. My stomach fluttered on its own accord as my eyes closed. I felt his hand shift, cupping my face gently, outstretched fingers lightly touching my hair. “What are you?” I whispered once the kiss broke.


“I’m a Kelpie. Well half Kelpie really.” My blank stare explained my ignorance. “A water faerie of sorts.” He continued as if that explained everything, anything!


“Why did you save me?” I asked leaning back to look at him clearly.


“Some fay are like humans, we have a conscience.” He tilted his head a little looking at me ponderously. “Why are you drenched in sadness?”


"I have lost the will to fight. It was a test, and I have failed. My moms is dieing and there isn't anything I can do." Tears brimmed along the edges of my eyes.


"Are you sure it was you? The one being tested?" He asked, his head tilting to the side as if slightly confused.


Nodding gravely with a shrug, I looked up meeting his eyes. "Everything! Everyone I love always leaves me and it’s beyond my control." My voices raised a few octaves, the grief apparent, riding a wave of pent up rage. "There's no winning and now I'll lose everything again." My voiced died down to a whisper as the dam broke and the tears came with sobbing. So broken, I thought.


He seemed touched by my pain, and lightly placed a hand on mine as the tears fell. "I have something for you, but you have to promise to never let it go." My confused look said more than words ever could and he looked at me unsure. Soon however he stood and left me. The time I spent alone was nearly unbearable. Time seemed frozen in place, unmoving. With each and every second I spent alone, the more my heart cracked in its utter loneliness. Finally, he returned, a bundle wrapped in his arms.


It whined in its sleep. Curiosity overtook me and I stood to inspect closer. He passed me the bundle, swaddled in cloth lay a small black female pup, deep black in color with paws to big for her body and the pinkest ears I had ever seen. She yawned, popping her little tongue out.

“She’s like me.” He informed me, “But I can’t keep her, she is in danger.” He sounded solemn sad, as he placed a kiss on her head. “She won’t change for her first five years, so you have time.”


I arched an inquiring brow, “How do I know you’re not lying?”


“Fay can’t lie.” He said simply.


I rolled my eyes, “Maybe it’s fate.” Was my answer as I snuggled the bundled lovingly. I already felt a bond forming with the pup. The second she opened her pale blue eyes, each slightly different from the other, I knew I was lost.


"Fay-Te." He replied, stretching out the words painfully.


"I’ve gotta go, I've got work. When can I see you again, I have questions." I asked.


"Aren't you a little young to be working?" A singular brow raised, his pitch incredulous.


A slow smile formed, "Aren't we all?" I clutched the bundle protectively as it dawned on me what he had said. "How much danger is she in?"


"Enough that she should never be brought back here." His voice had an ominous vibe that made my skin crawl. "At least not until it’s fixed." The last part almost inaudible. With that, he grabbed my arm, urging me towards the edge of the forest.


"You don't have to worry then, soon we leave and we won't be coming back." I whispered to the bundle I cradled. He must have heard me, for he nodded in relief, as if somehow he knew he had made the right choice. It wasn't long before things became recognizable and I found myself standing just outside the forest. Little did I know that would be the last I saw of him for a long time. Often I think about that day. Thought about how Sasha entered and changed my life in just one day.


Chapter One

The fay


I dont remember too much more of my sixteeth birthday, the whole day was a little blurry. The more I thought about that time over the years that passed the less I thought about the monsters following me, the horse and the changling. The more I thought about the wolf dog pup, the boy I  could no longer picture and the stresses of that time. 


My mothers Illness went quickly down hill, it was a repeat of last time, though this time there was no fight left in her. Yet she still tried. Eventually I went to college, and held down a job at the bar we lived upstairs of. We moved to another city and didnt look back. Two years in animal management and a year working for a local farmer later and she passed away. It wasn't pretty, nor was it clean. I was so busy with work and training Sasha, I had forgoten how much she relied on me. I was ninteen so focused on living that I almost forgot she was ill. 


Almost. Until the days where I would find her laying in her sick. Sometimes urnine. It was easy to blame the booze or her meds. I forgot she didn't do this to herself. Yet sometimes I couldn't help but blame her, as her health lessoned her so did her mental health. She was not the same beautiful cheery woman with so many goals I had once known. She even gave up painting. I think thats when she too gave up on living. It was soon there after she died. 


I wasn't even there. I was too busy out will Sasha, training her to jump over the same logs and rocks. Sasha was a good distraction, I always practiced moving her and health checking her. Improving my skills with animals. It wasn't even me that found her. My mother I mean.


I felt so numb. I hand't needed her in so long. I could only appoligise. Yet there was no one to appoligise to. No one was there any more. God had never looked down on me, my mother had yet to bless me with knoledge of her safe passege therefore mentally I could no longer allow myself to believe. I had not only lost my mother but my faith, my will and even a small part of me. I have turned into someone completely new. There is nothing left for me here. The whole ceremy is to be held at my granmothers local church. Somthing about my dad wanting to appoligise by paying for it all. I looked down from where I'd led on the matress on the floor, over to the small suitcase filled with all of my possessions it was a sad sight really. I had nothing. The lonely bag seemed to sigh as it fell in on itself and dramatically fell to the floor with a huff. 


Once again I would be starting again. There was nothing for me here. Maybe I'd see what my dad has to say, but like hell am I living with him. I will try for mum, try to forgive him. But deep down I know I far too stuborn for that, as I'm sure she knew. She always told me I got that from him. It could eaisly be enough for me not to want to be, but I am far to stuborn for that. She'd always look at me in a certain way when she thought of him, the same dazed loving look would come across her face. Her eyes would crinkle, her thin lips would smile and she would sigh. She had forgiven him. 


Stepping onto the plane was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. People sourounded me, Instantly I hated it. I wanted to be driven down with Sasha - but she had been taken yesterday with mums coffin. And to be honest I couldn't be in that car with her ( my mothers corpse) and the man I am told to call dad for hours. The aroeplane was a small joy in comparrison. 'Always treasure the small things.' She had told me, I chucked to myself as I peeled off my leather jacket. Glancing down at my leather shoes knowing my feet would be drowning in sweat soon enough. Newyork was hot, I didn't feel like home here but close too it. Returning to some stupid backwards town wasn't going to help me, I wouldnt refine my identity, I wasn't going to maraculously find myself and love my dad. Things dont work like that. Working at the vetnary survace wasn't going to help save me. Teaching teens about animal cpr and moving hit animals wont help make me feel again. I was too far gone. I've been left alone too long. Sasha has this weird habbit of tilting her head if I comanded her to do something she missunderstood. I could see her doing it right now looking at the dead like bag that had came to life a mere few seconds ago. Before she would pounce on it, crumpling the already crumpled clothes. I dont wear paired socks and I dont fold clothes. Thats just not me. 


It's been two weeks. I packed up all her clothes and health equitment and dropped them off at the closest charity shop. I couldn't keep looking at them and feeling empty. Feeling like I should cry but I cant. It's just medical equitment, I use the animal substatues during my lectuers. It was just cold dead equitment. I gulped at the word dead, another almost reaction. They've been orgnising now for two whole weeks. She'd have a simple grave stone under a large oak in the nearest cematry. I havent cried. I havent even seen her. It's almost as if nothing has changed. Well kind of. My burgandy tank top stuck to my black bra and the rips in my black jeans did little to cool me, the wheather today was stupid. I actually couldn't wait to be able to breathe again. It was freaking December. 


As soon as the air stuadess walked passed me I turned off my phone ignoring anouther one of my dads 'cant wait to see you princess' texts. Grabbing a book from my rucksack. Five hours and I'd be there. Five hours and maybe I'd feel something again. Maybe. I can't help but wish I was hung over, maybe high or something. A distraction an obnormality but drining and drugs wern't me, they never were nor ever will be. I wish I felt some remenence of uncomfort other than feeling too warm. The heat wasnt a big enough distraction, only enough of one to be an annoying inconvienance. The smell of the obesely sweating man next to me blocked my nose and irratated me more. His meaty fists were clenched and I watched as little balls of sweat dropped from them. Yet he refused to take off the big assed looking space jacket. Puffy and sleveless I have no words but idocy for you. No that coat does not cover your sweat marks sir, yes you do look like a big sweaty mess. 


Would it be rude if I asked for a towel and handed it to him? Handed him some aresol? I sighed to myself not wanting to be a bitch, wanting to honestly help him. But knowing me, I'd say the wrong word and get him stuttery and embaraced. Instead I suffered silently, I asked for the distraction hand't ? Slightly less smelly would have beem okay. I didn't turn on the air con, I really didn't want to waft his smell around. Four hours and fifty minuets of this great. He smiled at me appoligetically, I only waved a hand and went back to reading hoping for any place to allow my mind to be. Anywhere but here. But the book a crappy romance I'd picked up at the airport store was relentless in its actually going no where and needed to be thrown from the window. 


It starts with two people growing up together. They both wanted to go somewhere. The guy makes it becomes an ass and she dosent. She gets knocked up and left behind. But shes happy, he turn out to be the farther. But she never told him... Its going around in circles really. They both love each other yet are too proud to admit it. Its totally stupid and four hours later I've finished the bloddy thing feeling annoyed really. She dies and leave him her kid. Writes him a letter telling him shes dying, literally on deaths road. Her five year old son is left alone and without knowing his farther. He grows up and has a bestfriend but his dad makes him move away with him. His mother dies and he dosent get to kiss his bestfriend before he leaves ( big suprise the kids gay, he grew up with a bunch of women and was the sweetist kid but his best friend is left behind because he dad is a homophobe). I sigh and role my eyes. The guy next to me smiles. 'You want it?' I asked, he seemed to have read a coupple pages here and there. 'You mind?' He asks generally happy 'sure have at it.' I replied smiling softly. 


I try to nap for the next hour and barely manage it. Sleep never really find me anymore. It seems to avoid me like the plague. I refuse food from the trolly lady once again knowing my granmother would have food ready for me no matter if i had eaten or not. Hard potatoes and mince beef I would sneek Sasha because she wouldn't respond to me for atleast an hour before shed settle under my covers for sleep. Where I'd lie for an hour tops before getting up and going for a run with her. My life is one continus circle. Well maybe I'm fed up of it. Maybe I'll jog through the woods. Maybe I'll run from pretend demons to make me sprint. Run like all of hell was chasing me. Thats what my track teacher said. Durning college I'd taken up badminton, football, baskteball, running, mixed martial arts and kick boxing. Six days of sports and the seventh day I would most likely crash for the whole day. Only after college did I keep running, Mixed martial arts and kickboxing. The rest I was okay with leaving behind. Though I did miss the gentle swift movements of badminton. The soft passes until a powerful blow would win a point. I sighed. Activity always calmed me. I couldn't dance, I couldn't draw, I wasn't all that good with clothes. But 'competitive' was somthing I could do. 


The forty remaining minuets passed quickly. I hadn't told anyone my boarding or landing time. I hadn't talked to my farther yesterday just sent Sasha out and allowed him to collect my bedding and book case. A coupple pictures and he was gone. There was no words spoken, he didnt look any diffrent. His dark blond, brown hair matched my own. My old gray eyes matched his. Though I had my mothers green tinge to them. 


My button nose was my own, a round face. Doubble d boobs and hips that annoyed me to no end. I was a 'woman' now as everyone put it. Though I didnt mind wearing baggy clothes and hiding behind a cap if I had too. I was shorter than both my parents a grand whole 5 ft 2, and a nice weight of nine stone four. My feet were the stupid size of three which alse annoyed me to no end. My hair now reached the bottom of my ribs and I was two knots away from going real short. If pink comes near me I cant promise I wont have an allergic reaction. And thats pretty much me. 

Chapter Two

Airport, airport, airport...


 The airport was slow, almost lifeless. Wow what is up with my language lately? I'm turning into a..ugh... grebo (gothic emo). Flowers, roses and no they smell like decaying leaf. Dang it I want to just face palm myself. 


B there @ 12. 


I sent the quick emotionless message to my mother ex. Yhea I like that Ex, like he was no longer apart of out lives. My ex dad. I can pick you up...


Came his instant reply, he seemed almost poised over his phone. If I knew him better I would have pictured it better but I didn't even know what phone he had... 


I'd rarther shit in my hands and clap. 


I quickly deleted the message and then re-typed it. Closing my eyes I quickly sent the message. Almost snorting when no instant reply came. Sometimes people just deserve my inner bitch, some not all. Like I honestly tried to be nice but I really didn't want an hours drive in the car with him. The walk would only take me an hour two tops if I cut through the forest but I found myself not minding at all. My bag on the other hand might be a little diffivult to manoover. I sighed and found the path instead two hours, three tops. Smiling I plugged my head phones in and begain the long ass walk 'home'. The funneral wasn't to be held till tomorrow and for social services reasons I wasn't aloud to completely leave the area for a coupple months. I wasn't aloud to be alone - for now I had been relocated here. 


Deep down I knew my Ex-farther probbly had something to do with this, to do with all the councling sessions (twice a week) I had to attend in order to assist in teaching first aid to animals. I didn't have a teaching degree nor did I want one. I'd been asked to to teach animal first aid for road saftey awareness week. It was something new. The vet service was small but it was the only one in the town, it was actually them who had asked me. Considering I was closer to their age and a recent college gradiate they were more likely to listen to me and maybe stop running over animals. I even got to take Sasha in with me for them to practise on her. It'd been a while since I'd had any human contact with people my age. I was looking forward to it more than a little. 


Tomorrow was the funeral. The day after I was planning a hike maybe try to unpack and the one after then my new life began. The rock version of a popular song I actually liked came on and I grinned to myself. Slipping my leather jacket on I grabbed my suitcase. Today was the begining of a new day. The plane ride had left me feeling drowsy and a little unsteady but the further I walked the better I felt. I walked as close to the forest as I could feeling the hum that always drove me to hiking or running through the green foliage. 


I couldn't not yet. Eventually I found the area that the little run down cottage I was renting was in, only problem? It was in the forest. I'd been walking in the direction of town for about an hour now. Another hours walk through the forest and I'd be there. Dragging my luggage didn't sound too appeling to me but I couldn't wait to find Sasha waiting for me. I knew that my granmother probably wouldn't be there from what I'd the place was hard to drive to and most gave up, deciding instead that it was far eaiser to walk. The cabin was up for renovation in a coupple months but for now it was mine as long as I worked at the vets. (Boss woman's ill sister needed the money to renovate hense the renting). 


As soon as I stepped into the forest, as soon as my foot stepped on the first leaf crushing it instantly I knew I was home. The forest would always call to me. Always hum my name calling me back. I hated this place, but the forest was diffrent. No one could reach me here. I sighed and lifted the suitcase up, holding it aloft I began my walk there. Ten minuets in I felt eyes on me. 'Who is following me?' I asked softly taking my headphones out, I turned around to see a guy with long-ish blond hair following me. 'Sky?' he asked. 'Who's askin?' I asked pressing pause and putting down my bag. 'Your friendly elven.' He called out laughing. 'Parden?' I asked tiling my head at him in confusion. 'You granmother mentioned you might need some help finding the place.' He told me. 'Doubt it.' I replied smiling stifly. 'Need help carrying your bag?' He asked walking under the suns rays. His straight blond hair shone, somthing on his head peaked out from under his hair. Horns? No must be the branch. I blinked and his image went back to normal. I stood there staring into his weird light, liquid blue eyes confused. 'Sure why not.' I muttered handing it over. Truth be told the path leading there was looking a little less worn and more I could get lost pretty soon. I felt like little red riding hood when she wondered from the path, picking flowers and utterly alone until the bad wolf comes to greet her. 


'What are you thinking about?' He asked looking generally intregued. 'Little red riding hood, that I shouldn't wonder far or I too could get eaten by a wolf.' I chuckled to my self but his face remained impassive. Hmm, tough nut to crack. 'Why are you here?' He asked sounding confused. 'I need to bury my mother.' I informed him a little insulted. 'No I mean here in the forest. Why don't you stay with your farthers mother and then leave?' He asked rudely. 'Because they will refuse me work. I need to undergo a physiatric evaluation, my mother was sick a long time. I thought the whole town already knew' I whispered almost to myself. He nodded but didn't look any less angry. What have I done? 'Yes but you dont have to do it here, you can go anywhere.' He raised his voice a little. 'I happen to like it here.' I informed him. Plus I needed to try, I had failed mother in every other way, sense and form. I would try for her. 


Chapter Three

Another cold night.


'You are sad.' He informed me looking down into my face, I rolled my eyes and walked away muttering no shit. 'Why are you forcing it?' He asked from behind me. 'Because I refuse to just give up.' I retorted anger lacing my tone. Sighing I jumped over a fallen branch and landed in a puddle, giggling to myself I watched as the torrent of waves washed over my unclean shoes. 'For someone who lives in the city your shoes are awfully muddy.' He informed me as I stood waving my feet in the water. 'For a friendly elven your awfully bossy.' I replied laughing as I continued to walk towards the cabin. We didn't talk to much, and fifteen minuets later it paid off because Sasha came crashing out of the woods.


She pounced straight at me and I drooped ny rucksack and caught her easily. At three she was now easily brushing my lower hip, though she wasn't all that heavy. Her front paws clung to my shoulders and bottom paws balanced on my hips. Laughing I kissed her nose and dropped her. 'Is she yours?' He asked looking far to confused. 'Hm yhea she's a wolf / dog some sicko decided to cross breed his dogs and wild wolves. They need and now a generation of animals without the capability to mate were born.' He gave me a huh look so i continued. 'Hybrids, a cross between to kinds of animals. They are incapable of having pups.' I informed him getting the bone I had bought for her from my backpack. It looked crispy and exactly how she liked them. The thin plastic was easily torn off and I shoved the smelly plastic back in my bag.


She picked up the bone and led the way back to the cabin. Within minuets I spotted the old wooden building, leaning slightly to one side. There was a small hole in the foliage and trees. It was small in comparison, as soon as I walked I could clearly see a bathroom in the far left corner half hidden by its door. An old claw bath tub, sink and toilet were all there. They all were the old style yet surprisingly clean and well maintained. I looked at the ladder next to the door and followed it up to the ceeling, about seven foot before the ceeling there was a little ledge. From here I could see one pillow on a soft looking bed. Grinning i almost snorted at Sasha knowing she would learn to climb the ladder. Probably already had during my absence.


There was a couch in the middle of the room facing an open fire. On the other side of the room (the side I was on) was the kitchen. There was no oven only a fridge and another sink. A small table, a kettle, microwave and toaster later and that was everything. I could do this. I could survive here. There was no logs here but outside I saw an axe stuck in a a tree stump. That's obviously where they were cut. 'You good?' He asked already turning to leave. 'Yhea'. I replied grinning to myself. 'Your grandmother told me to tell you not to forget to go shopping.' He called as he left the premise. A layer of dust and mud had followed us in, I saw a broom resting just outside the door and began sweeping.


My headphones hung loosely around my throat, shooing Sasha and her messy bone out I swept all my worries, I mean messes away. There was another door next to the bathroom under the bed. Looking in I found extra blankets, a first aid kit and cleaning equipment. This could work I suppose. Sitting in the fire was two bricks, a pan and a straight hot plate were lying on them. I did need to go into town, another hours walk. Hmm. I went over to my rucksack and emptied it. Balls, leads, about seven granola bars, ten pens, a pair of socks, a spoon, fork, gloves, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, keys and purse all fell with a dramatic flop onto the couch. Grabbing my keys, the ball and purse out of the pile I shoved the rest back in there. Placing my phone, purse and keys into the front pocket of the backpack I walked over to my suitcase and grabbed the coffee travel mug out of the top of it - inside was mostly my hiking and sport equipment I didn't trust my Ex-farther to not sell. After untying the not in the kettle I plugged it in. In the fridge was a lone liter of milk, a stake I knew my grandmother had bought for Sasha and some butter. On the table was half a loaf of bread, a couple tea bags half a cup of sugar and another half cup of coffee. I grinned to myself, she always knew to pack the necessaries.


If I knew her well enough, I knew that later I would find a lone tin of baked beans. I would probably find it when I found the rest of my stuff. I think dad had mentioned an outdoor storage place a little close to the road. Ten fifteen minuet walk tops. I would grab what I could on the way back. Following the dirt track was easy, it was an act that needed complete mindlessness. There was no sound other than Sasha's panting and the occasional snapping of a branch. I didn't even need to listen to music. Here in the open I never did. There was no bullshit to hide from. No unnecessary talking to fill the screaming silences. It was so quiet I could almost hear my own heart beat. I hummed softly to myself and laughed when Sasha stopped waiting for me, she loved it when I sang to her. I wasn't very good but I think she just liked the sound if my voice. The song started slow and quiet but didn't stay that way. The lyrics soon came quicker and louder.


Power, as I had always thought, was hidden in words. My voice echoed around me, like the land wanted me to hear. Wanted me to feel the energy I was giving back. I sighed and sang another line, it was once again echoed back to me. 'You can no longer hold onto me. Because I know that I am free. You are prince of nothing but disgrace. It's funny really, I mean have you seen your face?' I laughed to myself as I sung complete nonsense, anything that popped into my head. 'Not really I tend to avoid mirrors.' Came the shouted reply. Wait what? I turned around sharply to see Josh. 'Hello stranger, its been a long time.' He informed me completely straight faced. Sasha walked over to me, sitting on my feet growling softly. 'She still doesn't like you. I wonder if its because you smell.' I called back with a sad smile. 'You okay?' He asked still not smiling, his question left no space to say yes. He already knew I wasn't. He already knew why. 'I'm alone.' Was all I replied.


He nodded walking towards me slowly, I wasn't sure if it was in order to mot scare Sasha or me. I was okay with being alone, I always have been. I can't argue with myself but he also knew I could get lonely. He knew that if I was alone with my head to much I over thought. I stressed myself out. Sighing he walked until he was a mere footstep away from me and rapped his arms around my stiff form. Josh was the closest person well I don't actually have anything to compare him to. That was just it. I didn't have friends. My mother was the only family I really had. My grandmother felt nothing more than a carer who got stuck with me. She likes me well enough and me her but we weren't family. My farther had left us. Left me.


I had friends and family once, we traveled around alot - she had a career selling her art. She was good. Remembered and loved. And then it all fell to shit. Of course we had all the love and support at the beginning but when she stopped painting she was forgotten. My friends, the ones I had tried so hard to keep eventually gave up. The money from her paintings was soon swallowed by bills. In the last two weeks of working I actually had money, it was a weird feeling. The weather was getting cooler and the sun slowly dropping. It must have only been half four but darkness was already falling. The silence became a little less inviting and more solitary. Eventually I broke through the forest and ended up on the edge of town. By five it would be pitch black. Sighing I pressed play on my iPod and called Sasha close to me 'stay close Sash.' I told her softly, cooing almost.

Chapter Four



The streets looked the same yet completely different. I was used to the night. It was my preferred time. Less people around, I mean like hardly anyone was around. It was a nice change:in NewYork there was not a time in the day were too many people were far to busy. Everything was one big rush, a rush to go to work, a rush to the coffee house, a rush to grow up... Here it was different of course you could see students hanging and laughing in the coffee house (Mocha Us) and a couple round by the food store I was walking to. There was also a second hand dresses store, a bridal store and a nice looking alternative clothing store called Jessica's. A couple charity shops but my eyes passed by all this and locked on the guy staring at me angrily. His hair a deep black, eyes a deep brown. He seemed familiar, as soon as he passed under the street lamp his hair glowed green. What the hell kind of dye was he using? Freaking trend setters. I rolled my eyes and walked away from him and his creepy staring. Don't get me wrong he was attractive but staring really isn't all that an attractive trait.


Walking into the store was odd I couldn't hear anything yet I knew who they were talking about, looking at. I'd moved around so much I knew. They would be jealous that I'd gone and confused why I'd come back. They would be thinking I dressed weirdly. They would comment on the fact that Sasha was standing at the window looking at me fogging up the glass. They would talk about me and josh's brother. Did he know I was back. I rolled my eyes, now I remembered why I'd left. Walking to the frozen isle I picked up a cheese pizza and then walked to the meat isle knowing Sasha would chew everything apart if I didn't get her some more meat - for a sweet temempered dog she really did wolf it down. I think she was going to have another growth splert soon. Sighing I picked up a chicken, shrugging I turned around to go and find the coffee isle I needed decaffee coffee I knee I sleep with caffeine in my system all the time. I can have coffee and chicken sandwiches. If I cook the chicken I can have food tomorrow too... Hmm yhea that'll work. Right what else do I need? I walked over to the soap isle, I picked up a bubble gum smelling shampoo and conditioner. A face scrub and some roll on anti prespriant. It was much better for the environment and lasted longer. Something about defusion of the particles.


Suddenly my legs were circled by two tiny little hands. I looked down to see Joshes little brother smiling I pull of my headphones and pick him up, balancing the six year old on my hip I carry him to the check out. 'What have I told you about walking off sweetie?' I asked kissing his head softly. He scrunched up his face in thought, his nose wrinkled adorably. 'to make sure I was in eye site?' He asked grinning mischievously. 'And sky I am in eye sight, yours silly ' I rolled my eyes technically he had me. 'Who's lookin after you today?' I asked him a little worried, already knowing the answer. 'Lee.' He replied sighing dramatically. 'S'matter?' I asked him knowing he was about to play me. 'He was too busy talking to a girl.' He said hiding his head in my neck. I swallowed and looked around not wanting to knock into them. Me and Liam or Lee as Mason called him had a past and I didn't end to well. He never wanted me to leave, he was possessive and commanding which annoyed the living day light out of me. He was sweet and considerate too, well sometimes anyway.


I put all my items through the self scanning machine, and bagged what I couldn't fit in my backpack. With Mason still on my. Hip I felt like I was juggling with a bag in my left hand and a backpack, I knew I wouldn't drop him though. Stepping outside was like stepping into a completely different world. It was darker now, the weather colder. Mason shifted closer hiding under my hair and closer to the warmth of my skin. His breath danced across my skin, nap time I thought smiling to myself. Liam was still stood outside talking to a tall blond girl wearing short shorts and a light blue top, little ankle boots to match. I didn't know how she wasn't freezing. Her long golden hair was weved into an intricate plait that never seemed to end. 'Mase?' Liam asked, looking and the child hidden under my coat. We hadn't talked in three years. Since the day I left without saying anything. I nodded silently waiting for his first move, slowly he stepped forward no longer looking relaxed. Looking down I saw Sasha taking a step forward, protecting both me and Mason.


She knew mason more than any of the other family, Josh would leave him with me alot whilst he was at work and I never minded Mason was like my own little brother. 'He always gets to you first.' He retorted walking passed the girl with little care. I rolled my eyes at his rudeness. 'Hey I'm Sky.' I said bending down to put my bag down and put my hand out to take her hand. She grinned a massive smile and shook my hand. 'Annie.' She replied jumping on the spot. 'Are you teaching us Monday?' She asked. I nodded and her smile came impossibly bigger. 'I've heard so much about you. My mother owns the vet your helping out at.' She said smiling. 'Oh cool, please thank her for allowing me to live in your family erm.. Cottage?' I replied alittle confused as to what it actually was. 'Oh anytime no ones using it till the re-build. We were all surprised when your farther asked us. Its a little run down and he lives alone...' She trailed off blushing.


'Why didn't think a city girl could tough it.' I replied winking, she let a big great of air out obviously worried about insulting me. 'Na we all know your... Well your different.' She said looking down at Sasha with another goofy grin. I clicked my toung and nodded, Sasha jumped up and walked over to Annie for a fussing. She knelt down and immediately began fussing her. Sasha rolled over and shower her belly asking for a tickle. I smiled softly, that's why I had Sasha really she made me smile when nothing else could. I was so completely alone in this world. The smile fell from my face, looking down at the sleeping Mason I cradled his head. 'I missed you, my little man.' I whispered stroking his head... In his sleep like state he reached out with his hand and curled it around a tress of hair. 'And no it was your other brother to find me first.' I said to Liam, looking up into his strange blue eyes. They were harder now, his laughter lines had completely disappeared. He reached out to take Mason from me, mason however clung to me further. 'Sky.' He said sleepily, meaning he wanted to stay with me. He'd always been like this with me. Liam sighed. 'Can I have my brother back.' He asked annoyed. I looked up into his face hurt. I wouldn't hurt him. 'Look your walking through the forest. At night. Alone, you are not taking my brother with you.' He retorted angrily.


'I would never put him in harms way.' I whispered back angrily. 'No? You leave him with your mutt constantly. God knows what the half breed could do to him.' He half shouted. 'Oh you mean the puppy he grew up cuddling? The pup he helped raise?' I retorted just as angry. Annie looked up afraid and began walking away with a sad little wave my way. I nodded and clicked my fingers, Sasha walked back to me swaying all the way. Sas and pride in every stride. I nearly laughed aloud. She growled as she passed Liam and licked Masons dangling foot. 'We both know he's safe with me. We both know I wouldn't walk through the freaking Forrest with him so what's your real problem?' I half shouted back. 'You left us. You left him, he had nightmares for months after you left. He would wake up shouting for you. And now just as he began to forget you, you come stalking back in looking like someone's dragged you through a hedge backwards by the way and think its okay to see him again? Its not okay.' A single tear traveled down my face. 'I never knew.' I whispered defeated. 'I never chose to leave. But we couldn't live here. Not then.'


I continued , something in me was breaking. Tearing in two. My poor little Mason, he didn't even know his mum. She died giving birth to him. Their dad died a couple months into her pregnancy. They were all alone too. 'Why did you leave?' He asked. No longer shouting, he was just sad now. 'Her cancer came back. Grams couldn't keep us.' I told him ashamed knowing it wasn't a good enough reason. 'I could have helped you.' He shouted, his face contorted in anger and betrayal. 'When have you ever known me to take anything. She was my problem Lee not yours.' I whispered, my heart physically hurt. I think it was breaking in two. I couldn't take much more of this. Clutching it with my spare hand and looked at the floor ashamed at myself. Ashamed I could never admit I needed help. 'How would it have been fair to put you in debt too?' I asked.


'You think I care about money?' He shouted, angrier than before. A deep rumbling sound escaped his throat. Was he growling? Sasha stood up and pressed her body against mine, a whining growl left her own mouth. I could feel her physically shaking. He took a threatening step forward. And then suddenly he was stumbling back. 'Don't you dare.' Someone was standing behind him, grabbing his shoulder. Pulling him away from me, from us. A sneer crossed Liam's face. A flash of black hair was all I could see before Liam threw punch at the mystery person in the shadows. 'Liam stop! What are you doing?' I called loudly, shit what if Mase wakes up.


'Liam I have Mason stop now!' I commanded. He didn't listen, just continued throwing and blocking punches. Mason stirred in my arms 'stay here sweetie' I said placing him on his feet. Dropping my rucksack I ran a couple steps forward and threw myself in front of Liam. 'Take your brother and leave now.' I shouted at him, I was angry now. He was physically shaking all over. Taking a step back I bumped into the stranger, Sasha stood at Masons dude growling loudly. 'Get away from that freak.' Liam spat the words in my general direction, but he kept glancing at Mason wondering on his level of safety. He made up his mind and turned his back on his little brother. For some reason this enraged me. 'No. You don't get to turn your back on him.' I screamed racing forward and slapping his face. He stumbled back looking ashamed of himself.


'You take him home now.' I told him in the coldest voice. 'Skylar.' He whispered. 'Leave.' Was my only reply. Nodding he turned to Mason and picked the small boy up. Mason had tears streaming down his face. 'I'm so sorry I left you Mason.' I whispered to myself, I had done this. Me. This was all my fault. I sighed, the air seemed to fly out of me with a whoosh. 'Thankyou for all your help, I'm sorry he hit yo...' I turned around to see the black haired guy from earlier. Why did he look so familiar to me? 'Hey, do I know you?' I asked confused. My lips tingled and unconsciously my left hand reached up, my index finger softly swept from one side of my bottom lip to the other. I tilted my head watching him curiously. 'Its okay. He's an idiot anyway.' He replied smiling slowly, his voice was deep and very masculine. 'You two have a rap sheet?' I asked walking back to where my bags lay motionless. I slid my backpack on and then reached down to pick up my shopping bag, Sasha was already trying to eat the uncooked chicken.


He looked at me sadly, nodded and began walking away. 'Thankyou again.' I called to his retreating form. 'You know you really shouldn't walk through the wood at night.' He called back sounding concerned, his brown eyes borning into mine intensely. 'The forest will forever and always just be a forest. Regardless of the time I awake in it. Its the people who constantly change. They will never be the same from one day to the next.' I called back turning left instead of right. The further I walked the more I thought about him and his steady growing smile. The concern that always seemed to linger in his gentle eyes. Why did he seem so familiar, so kind? All in all I have only lived here for two months before I had Sasha. After my sixteenth birthday it was only three weeks before we left. Three months of my life was spent here, surely I had seen him before it was a small town. I breathed in the nights air smiling softly to myself. I knew I would freak out about what I have done to Mason, how Liam one of the funniest people I knew had lost his laughter lines, how tomorrow I had to bury my mother, face my farther.


Suddenly I couldn't breathe anymore. The airways in my body just all seemed to be closing all at once. I felt like the was a constrictor around my throat. Slithering tighter, twisting so I couldn't free myself. Sitting on the ground I gave up walking, I just gave up. Placing my head in my hands , but I couldn't keep still. My whole body seemed to shake with exhaustion and left over adrenaline. Sasha bullied her way onto my lap and curled up there, I felt a small comfort in this. I know I shouldn't feel so alone but I knew even if I was in a room full of people I would feel the same.

Chapter Five



Sit up. Breathe. In. Out. You. Are. Okay.


Breathe in. Breathe out. You are okay.


In. Out. I'm okay.


In out. Okay.


I don't know how long I practiced this martyr before I was once again breathing automatically. But I did know that I was now surrounded in darkness, a little snore came from my lap. Okay, sky you need to grab your bags. Great. Now you need to stand up. On unsteady legs I stood looking around confused. What do I do now? I asked myself. Okay, look down at the floor. Looking down all I saw was a slight dirt track filled with pebbles and sticks.


One step forward.


And another.


Walking became eaiser much like breathing I didn't need to concentrate on it so much. Instead my mind was full of; stick, stone, leaf, mud, stone, muddy stone, random black object, stone that nearly breaks my ankle, little baby leaf, bigger leaf... It was boring and simple.


This was exactly why I hiked. The only sound I could hear was the scraping of my feet. On unsteady feet I found my way to the footpath leading home. The marker that meant I couldn't drive any closer. Ten minuets now. This path was different, more trees covered my overhead lighting thus leaving me partly blind. Keep walking Skylar. You can do this. Home is near. I nodded to myself picking up the pace. Nothing bothered me. Nothing at all, well that was untill the cottage came into view. The door ajar, robbed already? I thought confused looking at the rub down building. Hmm.


Slowly approaching the door I peered in. Nothing. 'Go see.' I told Sasha standing back at the door. She walked in sniffed around and wagged her tail. Sitting at the bottom of the stairs she waited. Mason, the only other person she actually liked. Of course. Pulling out my phone I checked the time, I had been out for almost three hours. An hour there, half an hour in store and a hell of a time after. 'Missin someone?' I texted Liam, knowing his number off by heart. 'Sky?' He asked instantly texting me back. I pressed dial after staring at his text for a whole ten seconds. He picked up on the first ring, poised. 'Hes here.' Was all I said, broken off by the whoosh of air leaving his lungs. 'Hes been gone for an hour where have you been?' He asked with a passive tone. 'I needed to think.' Lie. All a lie. 'I'm sorry.' He said after I'd been sorry for a couple of seconds. 'Me too.' I replied walking back outside. It was way too cold in there, I needed firewood.


The door opened with a whoosh, placing my phone on my shoulder I bent to pick kindling and fallen logs (well mostly large sticks). 'Are you sending someone to pick him up? Shall I feed him?' I asked juggling the wood. 'No.' Was all he replied. 'Parden?' I asked unsure. 'I trust you. And he's where he wants to be. And no he's been fed.' He replied sounding tired. 'Shall I drop him off before the f-funeral?' I asked stuttering like a school girl with a crush. 'No, its fine we'll come and pick you up. We were planning on going anyway, if that's okay?' He asked sounding unsure. 'That would be great thankyou.' I said, a little bit of Mason cuddling was all I needed right now. Placing the wood in the fire and my bags on the table I began getting ready. Placing the food in the fridge, leaving the cleaning products on the table, I then started the fire and instantly the room began warming up. I grabbed the face wash and walked into the bathroom, after brushing my teeth and washing my face I pulled off my jeans and climbed the ladder in nothing but my tank top and underware. The kid had showered with me naked and not asked a question, I loved him dearly. He never asked questions, he never aksed me why I was the way I was. He didnt look at me odly, I wished I would never loose him again.


 Seconds later I heard Sasha sighing below and smiled sadly to myself. Poor pouch. Mason rolled over and curled his hand into my unbound hair. I places a kiss on his cool head and tried to unwind. So much was on tomorrow. The snores and crackling fire eventually lulled me to sleep though it took me a while. Thoughts kept flying around my head making it impossible.


When I woke it was sudden, someone was in the room with me. The energy felt different. Charged. I didn't move a muscle, only fluttered my eyelashes slightly. Reveling nothing I slowly rolled my head towards the door. Nothing? I closed my eyes knowing it was best to go back to sleep. Suddenly there was a creak on the steps. Ahh it was just Sasha. Well that was what I thought until a hand was touching my knee. My eyes flew open, I rolled onto my side hiding Mason from view. Liam sat down next to his hand, he looked horrible. Bags under his eyes. Unshaven. I sat up and placed my hand on his face. My eyes holding his blue ones. I sat up slowly and nodded to the floor bellow.


He smiled brokenly and jumped the seven foot drop landing perfectly Silently. I turned and climbed down the stairs. As soon as my foot was on the bottom step his hands were on my hips helping me down. I looked down and blushed. His hands clung to my barely clothed hips. I place my hands on his and gently pulled them away. Looking in my suitcase I found a pair of sleeping shorts. It wasn't much but it was better. I couldn't quite force myself to put on the dress of death quite yet. I sighed at myself that was a horrible thought. Goosebumps rose on my thighs, sighing again I walked over to the front door and walked out to go find some wood. My porch less door was wet with mildew, which was actually oddly comforting on my shoeless feet. The ground was rough, uneven and full of rocks. I was home here.


I walked out and towards a thicker part of the forest to find some logs. I felt like I was being watched, in the dim light though I couldn't see anything. No one was here. I bent down and touched my toes, and straightened and rolled my shoulders back. Yawning, I began collecting firewood. A damp leaf stuck to my hand, it was a perfect skeleton of a leaf. I held I in one and and the thick sticks and twigs in the other.


I walked back to the house and placed the sticks by the fire, the leaf I placed on my table I wanted to frame it. I then turned the kettle on and pulled out Sasha's stake, placing it on a random plate I placed it on the floor. I grabbed the chicken and put it on the cooking tray, putting it on the fire where it would slowly cook. Hopefully. I turned back around to find Liam directally behind me, I let out a startled yelp and nearly fell, well that was until he once again put his hands on my waist straightening me. '


Thankyou' I mumbled walking back to the kettle before it made an annoying noise. I found two mugs and began making coffee. When I was done I passed Liam his. 'I am sorry.' I told him, sitting on the couch. It was a comfortable big green pillow pretty much. It looked swade by the way the fabric had lines running down it. It just seemed to swallow me whole. I sighed in content and curled up, my face angled away from Liam and towards the fire. My feet were the closest body part to him. 'I know you didn't want to leave, I just wish you had told me. I cant help but think we could have helped you.' He told me staring into the fire also. 'Lee you were seventeen. Your brother worked at the same shitty restaurant that I did. How would it have been fair for any of you? You have to look after Mason not me. He doesn't have a mum or a dad, you all he's got. You and your family have done more than enough for me.' I told him feeling lower than I bad yesterday.


I had run and we all know it. 'Blood isn't thicker than water here Sky that's not how it works. Were a community I'm sure there was something that could have been done.' From the corner of my eye I saw him put his head in his hands. It physically hurt me to see him so distressed. 'I had lived here for three months. All I know is how to start again, I don't know how to live. I don't know how to enjoy life, I just know how to breathe. This so called community doesn't know me. Why would they help me? My own farther didn't want me. Surely that's a hint.' I replied, I took a sip from my hot scolding drink giving me something to do. 'That man is weak. He wouldn't know how to fight his way out of a paper bag, let alone fight for you. He watched you grow up.' I stared at him for a minuet. He was acting so weird. It was something he'd said, something he didn't say. Daughter. He didn't say daughter or farther. He's hiding something. 'Spill.' Was all I said in response. 'What?' He asked looking generally worried. 'Now.'

Chapter Six

Liam does as he always will 


He looked at me with such a depressed look, such sadness and weariness in his eyes. 'Its okay. You can tell me.' I told him closing my eyes, the pain evident in his face was killing me. 'Your... The. Man who raised you. He.. I ...' He trailed off thinking for the longest ten seconds of my life. Never had my heart race so much whilst I was so completely still. I didn't want to spook him. Sighing he continued, 'after you left I... Well I didn't know what to do. Everyone was talking about it. Apparently people don't know that its none of their business.' He ground out sounding angry, this was something we would have to revisit later.


'Well anyway, I was at the local bar and your... he was there. He was completely bladdered so the bar keep asked me to drive him home, he had seen us together around town and assumed he'd be okay with me taking him home. Thinking i wasn't the only one being left I agreed. Only the things he was saying made no sense.' Liam took in a gulp of air and continued. 'He kept talking about how it wasn't fair. That he was led to believe 'she was his' or something. At first I didn't understand him, I didn't understand anything until I got him home. He grabbed my collar and pulled me so close I was almost lying on top of him. His breath was so putrid I thought I was going to be sick, but what I heard next was worse. He looked me deep in the eyes and said tell sky I'm sorry but I can't raise a daughter who was never mine.' Liam looked away ashamed of himself.


The only family I had left and he wasn't even family. 'He... He left because of me?' I asked in a quiet strangled voice. Liam turned to me sharply. 'No he left because your mum had cancer that much was true. But she didn't know she was pregnant with you until she was six months in, he didn't know she couldn't go back to him your real farther I mean. I think that's why he called you here, because regardless of who your biological farther is he'll always be the man who raised you.' I couldn't move. I didn't even think I could breathe. The longer I sat there in silence the more confused I became. 'I...I look like him?' I asked. 'I thought that too... So I did a little digging. Your dad, well he looks like alot of your mothers ex's. Gray eyes blond, brown hair that's common. You don't physically look like him, even the tone of your skin is different.' I stared at him totally silent.


'W-why did you never s-say anything?' I asked stuttering. 'You left me sky. I thought you knew.' Was all he replied. I swallowed before standing and turning the chicken over. I was restless now. I needed action. But at the same time I was exhausted. 'What time is it?' I asked after yawning. Looking sheepish he replied 'about two' nodding I flung myself back onto the couch. Lulling my head towards him I said, 'You staying I don't mind if you do its late?' He must have shook his head or nodded I couldn't tell the difference all I heard was a rustling sound. Looking up I saw him smiling. 'What?' I asked smiling a little back. 'Nothing its just your not the kind of girl who has lads over and there one I your bed and another on the couch whilst he's sleeping.' I giggled a little and put my foot in his face, which he quickly snatched and tickled until I was crying.


'Give up?' He asked now pinning me down on the couch, his whole body poised above me. I shook my head, sneaking my hands out from under him I squeezed his sides repeatedly until he fell off the couch with a dull thump. He quickly pulled me on top of him, the subtle heat of the fire heated my bare skin. Well that's what I told myself, as he ran his fingers through my hair and pulled my face closer to his. My eyes flicked to his for a second, I saw the loneliness and pain behind them. 'I left Liam. You don't just get over that. We cant just pretend everything is okay, that I didn't hurt you when I left.' My voice was weak, it would be so easy to run back to Liam. So easy. But I knew my words were true. Trust was gained, I had thrown it away when I left without reason. 'But we work. We both know that. Why throw it away?' He asked looking completely lost.


'You don't trust me. Today is evidence of this. What if I want to go on a hike? What if I go missing for a few days? You have other priorities Liam.' I told him sighing and lying my head on his shoulder. I could just lift my head and press my lips to his. It would be so easy. And I think that's why I didn't. Because I couldn't do that to him. To his family. 'But I could try.' He whispered. 'I could change.' He continued, taking a breath he was going to continue. 'You are perfect Liam, you don't need to change not for anyone. You want your family, family to be safe constantly. You go insane if they are missing for half an hour. I cant do that to you.' I hated being the sane voice. Deep down I knew there was a chance a slight one that could work but I couldn't risk it.

Chapter Seven

The funeral part one


Eventually I gained the strength to sit up. To stand alone again, it was hard. To finally be with someone who cares for you and to be able to push them away for their wellbeing. Because you know your no good to them. Because no matter how much they tell you, you make them happy you can always hurt them without realising it. I didnt want to make him miserable. I didnt want to break him the way I was. I didn't want anyone to feel the way I did. 


The lack of feeling though that was so much worse, when I got to that point it was dangrous. I could do anything and no feel a thing. I have come so close to that point and my mothers death right now was pulling me closer and closer to the abyss. 


I collected all the neccessary bathing equitment  (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, shaver, toothbrush, tooth paste, funeral dress, underware ect.) I walked without looking behind me, I didnt need to look at the look on his face. I already knew what it would be. Sighing I closed the door behind me, the door leading to my past. I had a new life awaiting me. Of course I would never give up on Mason, I just couldnt. 


I turned the stiff taps until water sprayed out scoulding and freezing. I quickly found the plug and put it in the drain hole. I slowly got unchanged and tied my hair up in a bun, I quickly brushed my teeth and applied facewash to my face.  Stepping into the scoulding water was blissful, it seemed to ease pains I didn't even know I had until they were leassoning. 


I slowly lowered my body into the water pulling my hair free I allowed it to spread out alongside me in the water. Sighing I closed my eyes and dipped further until my whole head was under. I stayed under the water as long as I could, time killing I supposed. I knew that eventually I would get up but for now I was content. My fingers and toes tingled, the water making them feeling numb, I sat still in order to not to splash water everywhere. 


Running my fingers through my hair I sat up, I began rubbing shampoo in my hair, leaning my head against the head of the bath as I did so. Closing my eyes I don't know how long I sat like that for. Sighing, I pushed myself back under removing the soap from my hair. Which I quickly replaced with conditioner, the bubblegum smell was pleasant enough. I left the soap in longer this time, scrubbing my face and shaving my legs in the free time. After I had rinsed it all out I scrunched my hair up in my hand ridding it from extra water. I stared at my hands for a second, the were all prune like from the excessive amount of time I'd spent here. I pulled the plug out and watched as the water fled from around me, I watched it all get swallowed by the drain.


I stepped out before it finished draining and turned the water back on to wash the bath out. I picked up my toothbrush and began scrubbing my teeth until they were clean. Whilst I grabbed my towl and wrapped it around my body. Drying myself quickly I replaced my underware and picked up the plain black knee height dress and pulled it on over my head. The dress was made from a stretchy under cloth, which was a deep dark red. The top layer was a see through, a plain black that finished at my thighs instead of mid thigh like the red part did. It wasn't something I would usually wear for a funeral but she had bought me this dress, I can't remember the reason but I'd never really worn it before. I do truely hope she can forgive me. I wrapped the towl around my head and began to press the water out. Finding my minimal amount of makeup I quickly rubbed foundation under my tired eyes and across my face hiding how pale I was coming. I was becoming a lock in I thought regretfully.


I quickly found my eyeliner and ran a line above my upper lids, when they were equal I did the bottom water line too. When that was done I found my mascara and ran it over my upper and lower lashes. I pulled out my contor kit and put a swipe of a golden brown color across my cheek bone and rubbed it in until it was barely noticeable. Next I found a deep red lipstick that matched my dress. I walked back into the main room in search of roll on. When I found it in my bag I rolled it under my arms, found my perfume and sprayed that and then turned to see Liam staring at me. 'What?' I asked annoyed, I pulled all my hair to the left side and began braiding it. It was easer to squeeze the water from it and maintain in general.


'Nothing, just never thought I'd see you in a dress.' He replied sounding a little surprised. 'You look beautiful sky.' Masons excited little voice informed me, smiling I picked him up. He was wearing a light blue tuxedo and looked so adorable. 'Well your beauty will always over power mine my little prince.' I told him placing my head on top of his. Liam stared at us with interest, he was wearing plane black jeans, dress shoes and a tailored white shit. His jacket was hung across his arm. He had a flushed look to his cheeks, he'd been and got them from his house. I found a pair of strappy heals that I hated and wanted to throw away but they were useful.


They were a black with white little studs decorating the shoe, the heals were at least six inches tall, what I'd officially call ankle breakers. Sighing I walked up to Liam and stood next to him. 'How are you still taller than me? Screw this im not wearing heals.' He chuckle as I threw the heals across the room and actually fell on his ass laughing when Sasha chased them. She did a cute little pounce and slid across the floor. I snorted and went to go find where I had left my shoes yesterday. When I found them I walked over to where the chicken was still cooking with a plate and scooped it on burning my hand quickly. I took the plate over to the table and buttered eight pieces of bread. Liam would eat two, me and Mason would only eat one each. I turned to find Liam already calving it, neat pieces of chicken already laid out on a plate. When he'd gotten all he could from the chicken he carried the carcass over to where Sasha lay and allow her to eat it.


I picked up the plate she had been eating off of before and washed it in the sink. Drying it with a random towl I passed Mason a sandwich. Took my own and gave the other plate full to Liam. He smiled his thanks before wolfing them down. The drive down was met with silence. Not a word was uttered, Mason settled himself in the middle seat in the midnight blue pickup. The truck was well lived in but clean and had that pleasant new clean car smell. It must have been about six half six yet the sky was yet to lighten. Masons hand fitted into my bigger one which was clammy but he didn't seem to mind. I rubbed my thumb im little circles over the back of his hand making him chuckle softly to himself. We arrived at the church all too soon. I wasn't ready for the service.


I wasn't ready for anything. I felt like I could blow away in the wind. I shivered in the wind and walked to the nearest café. The ceremony didn't start for another hour or so but we had to go over the eulogy (my farther was reading it) and anyone else who wanted to say something. I walked into the café with stiff legs and an unsteady heart. The café was nice, a steady balance of red and black colouring. The furniture was morden and looked more like a bar (which by the looks of it, it became one at night). Two women were walking around with red pinnies and black shirts / trousers. For a backwards hick town there wasn't any cows in the room being milked in the corner or anything. It was surprisingly clean and simple, yet sophisticated.


I sat down in a booth and laid my head on the table. 'Oh no.' Liam muttered sounding utterly shocked. 'Hm?' I asked as Mason climbed over me and sat in my lap forcing me to look up. My farther was walking over with a coffee and three hot chocolates. Wow that man really didn't know me. I looked at Liams shocked expression and snorted as elegantly as you can. It wasn't quite a laugh but I was getting there. Sighing I turned to Mason and picked him up, taking him back over to the counter I ordered two mochas and an strawberry milkshake. Mason actually hated hot chocolate. He told me once that all he tasted was burnt milk.


My Ex farther looked shocked but quickly blanked his face. Passing Liam his drink was probably the funniest moment I'd experienced in a while. Mason jumped up and down on the spot looking terribly bored. 'Why don't you go get a coloring book sweetie?' I asked pointing to a bunch available for kinds use at the front of the café. He jumped up and ran over to the coloring books nearly causing two accidents. 'Can you please control the child?' My farther demanded as the second person looked down at him smiled and ruffled his hair. 'What children too much for you dad? You can walk away you know wouldn't be the first time...' I told him annoyed. Masons sweet voice trailed over as he apologized and explained why he was running. It was somewhere along the lines of pixies stealing the colouring book.


'That's not fair sky.' He complained softly as Mason crawled back onto my lap. Humming softly he began drawing. 'No what was not fair was leaving me to care for mum alone. I thought you loved her once.' I whisper shouted back. 'I just couldn't deal...' He trailed off knowing how stupid he sounded. 'You could have helped her. And its not fair what you said about Mason I guess were even.' I retorted angrier now. She died alone, and my so called dad well he was supposed to help me. She shouldn't have been alone. 'Yhea well after today you wont have to deal with any of us, Franklin.' I hinted. He should know that I knew. His eyes widened and flashed to Liam who shrugged playing it off but we all know nothing would be the same again.



Chapter Eight

The funeral part two


The hour passed in uncomfortable silence. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had only been Mason, but I was furious with my farther and couldn't seem to look at Liam without feeling an instant rush of guilt. I had almost forgoten how easy it was to be with him. I had always wondered if he ever thought of me, but I never wanted to check. It was too painful. I used to think about the days (and sometimes presious nights) we'd spent together. He was my first real boyfriend, my first real everything. It was normal for me to miss that. Wasn't it? 


I sighed and placed my head on Masons shoulder, I had missed him the most. I didn't want to give him up again. It would kill me, Mason was the reason I lived the reason I was back. I was so sorry for leaving him and breaking his poor, fragile little heart and nothing would ever drag me away again. That I promise. 


Eventually the time came to go to the church. I felt like I was sweating through my sweat. I was so nervous and clammy I hardly knotised the walk over. Hardly paid attention to what the preacher - I mean preist had to say. I didnt really knotice the whole world around of me until I found my self at the front of the room with thirty maybe fourty people staring at me. 


'Me and my mother. It was just us two for the last few years. We werent alone, we had each other. In the end that love was never enough. But I will always cherish the time I spent with her, the days I would wake with her in my bed from a particularly bad anxiety attack. I never minded but in the morning when I snuck out of my room I felt like a naughty school girl slipping away to do something. And I suppose I was. I can't deny that she was naive but she never left me unloved. I didn't need friends, I didn't have family. She was all I had. My door will forever be open to her, the best night of my life I spent with my mother, the worst? My mother was there to console me, when I was too tired or hungry to function she was suffering and fighting for me with me. There was nothing more my mother could do for me, she is now lost. My only regret is that she died alone. I will forever regret that, I hope she was sleeping and the process was painless. I will always love you brest friend, farther, uncle, ant, teacher, critique, complamentor. Mother. Rest in peace your battle is over.'


Tears ran down my face with no shame, I didnt feel childish or broken, just sad. I missed her, I could openly admit this. I couldn't stand to hear what other people had to say about her so I tuned them out. When my farther walked to the stage however I listened in. What did he have to say?


'There was a time I missed you, a time I loved you. A time I couldn't live without you. And now I moarn for that woman. The one who made me strive to be a better person. The one who took the numbness away, the one who gifted me a daughter. Even if it is too late to realise this now. I will forever love you. I am now a stranger to you, and you me. But I will also forever be yours.' He wiped a single tear from his eye, I felt nothing but anger from him. Forgiveness is nothing I handed out freely. He could wait in line all day, the forgiveness he was chasing would never be given to him. 


People rose at once, my farther walked over to the closed casket and put his hands in place to lift it. Tears still fell freely from my eyes. She had left me all alone. With nothing but loss and betrayal to keep me company. Josh and Liam helped a few guys I didnt recognise carry her away. Carry her passed the other graves, until we came to the one with an oak infront of it. The rain began to fall softly. I closed my eyes, for a second I could pretend I was okay. For a second I could pretend I didn't want to scream at the top of my lungs I'm not okay. That without love I would turn entirely into the ice queen I had been hiding from. Sometimes emotions hit me so hard that all that I felt was nothing. It was a sort of home now. 


I watched her cassket being lowered into the ground and fell to my knees in front of the hole in the ground that would become her dark home. There was no stopping the onslaught of tears now, even Mason was carried away from me. He didn't understand, he couldn't figure out how to help me and it was breakin him too. I watched as people threw mud ontop of her. I didn't move, I couldn't. 


Sobs racked my body, yet I was left alone. No one dared aproach me, silence echoed all around me. Once by one people left. Even Josh and Liam. They had obligations. After an hour or so of sitting next to me in the wet rain they had to leave, Mason needed to be cared for. I couldn't tell them it was okay for them to go. I coulnd't tell them I was leaving too... I stood on unsteady feet , slowly I stood and made my way into the forest. It didn't greet me like it usually did. I dont know how long I had been walking but I found myself drawn to a little pond hidden deep in the forest. I kept walking, I couldn't seem to stop. Eventually the water surounded me completely. It began creeping around my ankles. Grew to my knees.  Surpassed my hips. And then my shoulders. I stood still on unsteady feet. What was I doing? 


My whole body was numb, yet I knew I was slowly freezing. Alone and afraid. If I didn't move, I too would soon die. Hyperthermia would eventuall take me. I needed to move but I couldn't, slowly someone aproached me in the water, walked smoothly through the water, the mud and rain like it had no real effect on him. It was the black haired boy with the green tinge. His black teeshirt was plasted to his chest, his black jeans were mud coated. His eyes held mine, though the rain hid my unstopable tears. He took my filthy hand in his, leading me gently from the water. I was so lost. Terrified. What was I going to do? 


He led me to a rock on the waters edge, it was rounded and overlooked the pounds shiny serface. He sat down and pulled me down with him, I flopped like a dead fish with no energy. How could I go from okak. Too no energy, no life so quickly? 


'What are you thinking about?' He asked looking generally intrigued. I cleared my throat it felt like it handn't been used in hours. 'Ever seen the statue of the man holding up the earth? Ever noticed how he was on one knee. I always thought he was standing up slowly. That he could manage the weight. I've now realised that I was wrong, he couldn't manage it. That sculpture was taken as he was falling. That's how I feel now. Like the darkness is pulling me down. The gravity force is so strong my shoes are sinking. I felt. No I feel like the oxygen is being pushed from my fragile lungs. Crushing me slowly, soon I wouldn't be able to breathe at all.' I explaied, Once I had started to explain I couldn't stop.  


'Why are you here?' He asked sounding confused. 'I needed to bury my mother.' I informed him a little insulted, I had just burried her. 'No I mean here in the forest. Why don't you stay with your farther’s mother and then leave?' He asked rudely. 'Because they will refuse me work. I need to undergo a physiatric evaluation, my mother was sick a long time. I thought the whole town already knew' I whispered almost to myself. He nodded but didn't look any less done with me. 'Yes but you don’t have to do it here, you can go anywhere.' He raised his voice a little. 'I happen to like it here.' I informed him. Plus I needed to try, I had failed mother in every other way, sense and form. I would try for her. I would try for Mason. 'You have reasons?' He asked sounding certain. 'Obligations.' I corrected instantly knowing it was true. 


'Then you need to wake up every single morning and think of thoes reasons. List them if you must. Because they will be the only thing that carrys you through the night, you can't do this every time you loose someone. Not everyone is worth it... Through the lonliness of life, thoes reasons if not remembered will float away on the horrision. Yes you have lost your mother, she was very dear to you. You may feel like you've lost your way, that you don't have a place on the earth anymore but you do. All of the earths creatures do. You can wake up each morning freezing without her or their love but you can't let that change you. You need to think that you aren't alone. Not completely, no one ever is.' He stopped his deep brown eyes survaying the serface of the water. 'Why are you here?' I asked really pronoucing the you. 


'Because someone has to answer your cry. The sound of a shattered heart echoes for all to hear' He replied taking his hand and trailing it across the water. Leaving little tidal waves in his wake. Sighing I rest my head against the strangers shoulder. 'Why do you keep saving me?' I ask generally confused. 'I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress.' He replied chuckling as I weakly punch his arm. 


We sat in a comfortable silence for a long time, around him even the coldness fled. The lonliness and betrail were gone... Siging I closed my eyes. 'Thankyou.' I whispered sincerly as sleep finally took me.


Chapter Nine

 I awoke with a strange taste on my lips, a rich berry taste. I opened my eyes too see the strangers face inches from mine, something in me didn't care and wanted to go back to sleep. Another part of my brain was screaming that something was missing, where was I? I closed my eyes for a second and he was already walking back through the door. Sighing I closed my eyes. Again. For some reason the taste seemed familiour, like home? I should be enraged, insulted even. But for some reason I wasn't.


On the couch was where I spent the remainder of my day. The night too. I just couldn't find the will to do anything. A strange man with almost green hair plagued all of my thoughts, consumed them. Eventually I sighed. I needed some kind of release. I needed to run, hike, swim anything. I looked down at the dress I wore but it was ruined. I didn't even have the enengy to change. 


I couldn't manage it. I couldn't do anything. 


Yes you can. You are not alone. Your being foolish. Get up. 


I silentally cursed the stupid voice that sounded strangly like a certain strangers. It was a new day now, I had one day. One I needed to do something. Anything. Suddenly the door flew open and Sasha ran in, my farther with her. Liam and Josh carrying a book case, my farther carrying two rubbish bags full of clothes and a coupple picture frames. There was a bog cafufel as all of my things were delieved. Liam walked over to me slowly assesing my mental health I supose. 


'Hey sweetie, I think it's wise some one stays with you for a while. Your not mentally ready for all this...' He trailed off at my raised eyebrow. 'To be honest, I got left out in the rain too long and crashed out on the couch. Thats a pretty normal saturday night for me to be honest.' I lied a little it was a only a small lie. Half of one. 


'My point still stands you can meet all kinds of creeps in the woods. You should really have someone with you for a while. Or go with your granmother for a while?' He suggested looking generally worried. 'If you wanted to move in so bad you should have asked.' I told him sitting up and rubbing my eyes. 'I can't, I work from home most days. My secatary wouldn't aprove of the crappy signal.' He replied smiling worridily. Glancing at josh with the same expression, something in my mind was screaming I was missing something but I overlooked it. I wonder what he did...


'Talking of secratarys..' He announced looking down at his phone as it had began to ring. Sighing he walked away 'yes, Olivia I'll be back soon.' He continued to speak to her as he left the room. I rolled my eyes and turned to Josh who watched his brother walk away with an angry expression. 


He said nothing for a long time, instead turned around and left. Coming back a little while later with a tonne of books. Thats how it worked for a while, Liam found random places to hang pictures, Josh collected books from his car complaining about how many there were and I sorted them. And folded my clothes in between times where I'd ran out and Josh was getting more. It was nice it was quiet and my farther had left which made everything better. 


The day fled slowly, Liam left as soon as he was done with the pictures but Josh stayed to help me make this shack into a home. He refused to fold clothes on account of his manliness and capibility. Instead choosing to build a fire with wood he decided to chop. We were waiting on the couch now, for the embers to die down so we could cook a pizza.


It was a nice day and a nice night. Not much was said but with Josh words never were really needed. I knew somthing was on his mind and eventually when he was ready he would tell me. Whilst the pizza was cooking I bathed quickly and came out wearing sleep shorts and a random baggy teeshirt I'd some how claimed as mine. Josh stood infront of the fire burning mashmellows and drinking hot chocolate. 'SHARING!' I shouted running and pouncing on his back trying to steal his drink. 


'You have one get off me you crazy naked woman' He complained as I pulled his arm away from his mouth and ate his marshmellow. Grinning I gobbled down the sneeky melted treat. The couch was far enough back that there was enough for maybe three people to lie down infront of the fire with Sasha somewhere squeezed in, it seemed silly to me to have a couch facing the fire but I generally liked watching the fire burn and it wasn't close enough to get burned, spat on or melt. I found my drink on the fireplace, away from the heat. Decafe coffee was in mine. 


Sighing I placed my head on Josh's belly and reclined. I began humming softly to myself 'Theres a party friday, you should come.' He told me sounding more serious than excited. It was his way of telling me / not telling me somthing. Sighing 'I'll think about it okay.' I replied smiling softly, maybe I'd make friends. 'Oooh hows it going to look going into school tomorrow with a tearcher?' I asked poking Joshes arm gently. 'Well they all know I'm a woman slayer.' He replied chuckling softly to himself. 'Whens your first class?' He asked. 'Erm I think I have year tens and elevens for road safety. I need to talk about the rules on moving hit animals, on basic first aid. Then I have a twice a week shop for health and safety like more of a hands on experence. I think there on Monday and Fridays. Tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays I'm working in the local vets.' I told him, I thought he'd already have my scedual memorised, apparently not. 


'Why the tens and elevens?' He asked sounding confused. 'Well they arent sixteen yet. Its too late talking to the sixthformers they have all pretty much learned to drive. Thats why theres a first aid workshop, I think mondays session is durning a free for the tens, elevens, twelves and thirteens. So youll be there' I told him sticking my toung out. 'We dont all have frees at the same time?' He asked. 'No your right there. But durning the first three periods thoes years all have frees. Its manditory to atleast come for an hour a week. The other is after school for the curious teens.' I told him yawning. 'Makes sence. So I have to see you first thing, monday morning?' He asked sighing. Josh was the year bellow me and Liam. 


We chatted for a while and eventually slept next to the dying embers. My couch was completely full of folded clothes so we just slept on the floor. Which wasn't as bad as it sounded. The wodern flooring wasn't uneaven or paticulary cold. 


I woke with a birds nest for hair and freezing feet. The fire was still slowly burning (though it was down to half a log now). I stoked it up without waking the snorning Josh and began searching for something to make for breckfast. I was running out of milk and everything. I really needed to shop.



Chapter Ten

The new or slightly old beginning


So starting, back where I'd already lived wasn't so hard. I didn't know the school, last time I was here I had just turned sixteen. The school term had finished and the three month summer break had began. Back then I hadn't cared about much. I just never wanted to miss an opportunity. There wasn't a party I wanted to miss, there wasn't a meet I would overlook. But that didn't make me bad. I worked on an hours sleep before going back out with people who I tried to call friends. Truth is the kind of never were. They were distractions. I had thought I needed friends. Because mum was okay back then. But when she suddenly wasn't people didn't understand why I once again withdrew. I was called shelfish, a bitch and spoilt. It was apparent they thought I believed I was better. Truth was I wasn't I had just matured quicker. That didn't mean I'd lost my virginity or gave my 'love' to any guy who would pretend to give me theirs. That's not growing up. Growing up is having to care for someone else. For putting their needs before your own. So what if I complained once in a while? That didn't make me a bad person, infact it made me human. I remember thinking I had people who cared for me, but they never did. I became sick of peoples selfish behaviours and turned tail and walked away before I could get emotionally invested.


The week started normal, I met new people. I even talked to a councler but it all seemed so unsignificant now. Thinking that though, how could a whole week be so... 'Fuzzy?' I remembered being introduced to new people yet I couldnt remember what I'd taught... it was more introduction games to be honest ice breakers. The week at the clinic had been quiet. I'd spent too much time in my own mind. I think thats why I thought of  joshes offer so much... there was just something he was hiding. From the way he looked, his whole demener was wrong. I'd packed it away but now I was alone I knew something was up. That was the last I'd seen of him, Mase and Liam for a while. I missed them. I was actually painful, a sharp twisting in my heart. I knew I woudn't make it much longer. I was sad to admit but I needed them. I changed quickly and rang an old aqatence. 


Jesse turned up an hour later, meeting me at the edge of the forest. He had the same crappy truck he always had, he even hadn't bothered to cut his hair really. It still sat in that slaker style he'd always adored. His black shit fit his thin body well, his dark blue jeans hung loosely from his hipps. He didn't look as healthy as I'd once known him. His truck smelt a mix of something to sweet and a mix of herbs. Spice? 


Some one had taken drugs in his car, looking into his puipils he seemed fine. 'How are you?' I asked uncertainly closing the door. He shrugged flicking his hair from his face, it was an action I'd seen him do often. 'Things could be worse...' He muttered refering to his crappy home life but shrugged it off eaisly. He had it much the same as i had, though we hadn't really spoken about it we knew if needed the other person was always there. 'I get that.' I replied nodding tersly. 


Wherest my mother had chosen drink his mother purfered harder substances. I didn't feel sorry for her, she could be horrible to Jesse I didn't feel sorry for Jesse either. If he wished to he could have left. We both knew I would take him in. He looked at me sadly but didn't appoligise for my mothers death, I'd seen him at her funeral but he hadn't said anything to me. I didn't think I could have taken it if he had. 


'You holding together?' He asked starting the engine, he knew the answer. I was walking wasn't I. I sighed 'Councling sucks.' I replied, he snorted but didn't comment. The ride went in a confortable silence. There had never been anything between me and Jesse, never would. It was a respect that kept us as friends. Before he left however he grabbed my hand and sweezed it, his eyes held mine. Be careful they seemed to scream at me, I nodded before sqeezing back and letting go. It was time to face the music. 

Chapter Eleven

 Dancing with no shame 


I walked into the room and surpassed the people who were grinding on one another. I didn't actually want to see that. Hands groped me as I passed, it took every ounce of my being not to break someone's bones. I didn’t fit in here, with the sweating bodies smelling profoundly of fake flowers and sweat. Alcohol was spilt all over the black and white checkered floor. My heels slipped a little and I worked my hardest not to fall.  


The kitchen was almost a relief. Other than watching the guy throwing up the contents from the cup he had just drank. Sighing I walked around him and knocked into the blond girl, platinum heals and all ass. Sighing I grabbed a sealed beer, she shot me a look but continued bitching about some guy and how he'd been distant lately. I sighed and choked on the stench of cigarettes and marijuana. The fog roamed around me making my head spin.  


 I sighed and pushed off the kitchen counter. I could no longer see the colour of the room. I took a couple steps forward but the room began swimming intoxicatingly so. The music seemed to even become louder. Slowly I let go, I walked into the another room swigging my drink, the music wasn't clear but the beat was enough for me to want to dance.  


 The beat was heavy and the song loud, as soon as I’d entered the room the lights called to me, it was a dim purple in here. I let go of everything, thought became too much effort. My skirt twirled around my legs lifting up my arms I span in a slow circle closing my eyes I felt free. Suddenly arms were around my waist but I knew by the weight of them exactly who's they were. The smell that surrounded me was nothing but his.


  I had missed him, now that I was back I felt like we did nothing but argue and avoid each other. I span in his arms still not opening my eyes. I rested my head on his shoulder the room stopped spinning so much as I began. He took the drink from my hands and placed it somewhere, I looked up into his eyes long enough to see his dart from my own eyes to my lips. Slowly I crept onto my tiptoes, the decision was all his. Instantly his lips were on mine, I sighed into his mouth knowing that this was something we had both wanted for so long.


  He tasted sour, this was wrong. He’s not the guy you’ve been thinking about all week and you know it. I tried to push that voice away. I tried so hard to push that voice away but I couldn’t I needed room to breathe. I stepped back and grabbed his hand, his eyes were foggy, his pupils dilated.I didn’t think it was down to me either. Hmm. I dragged him back into the kitchen and grabbed a sealed bottle of water. I pushed it into his hands, but he shoved my hand aside and grabbed my ass instead. Sighing I brought my knee up, so close to his man area but not that close. ‘One more move and I’ll knee you.’ I warned in a low voice, almost a pur.


  'You are so beautiful. You always were. So shy and innocent hiding away behind your  hair that begged to be touched.' His hands instantly went to my hair, his hands though didn't stop when he reached the hairs tips his hands went down further, sighing I prepared to move them from my ribs to my hips. They had already began their upwards mission.


 ‘Hey Celine. I think I’ve found the bitch who's trying to steal your man.’ I looked over sharply. The blond chick who’s knocked into me before. The one who was bitching in the kitchen. ‘Liam, darling.’ Her voice started soft sweet even. ‘What the fuck are you doing with that slut?’ She growled out. Opsie. I tried to push Liam away but he was too busy latching onto my neck. ‘Liam.’ I whispered pushing him away with every ounce of strength I had, he stumbled back shocked and looked at me surprised and then at the door where Celine stood. ‘Shit.’ He cussed looking from me to her.   ‘How long have you been seeing that slut?’ She asked snorting at the look of me. Hey I was innocent here, I’ve done nothing! Well kind of, I was getting angry at the accusations. ‘She’s not a slut. And were not together Celine.’ Liam muttered annoyed. I stood awkwardly to the side, Josh stood on the other side of the other room  looking worried but there was no way he could know what was being said. He must have known.  


 ‘No? Whose bed have you been creeping into for the last five years?’ She screamed at him. I turned then, five years. You mean three years ago when we were together… What a bastard. ‘Liam.’ I growled angry now. ‘You said there was no one else. You made me believe…’ I stopped shaking my head. Ashamed and so incredibly angry of course someone so perfect someone so normal would never want just me. I stepped forward and punched him straight in the face. I pushed down the angry and emotion I had no place feeling. That was three years ago. I had already walked away once, there was nothing left of my past here, he had been lying when ever he said he had to go because of his job. I bet he didn’t even have a secretary.   


He could do anything to me now and I wouldn’t feel a thing but he wasn’t aloud to spoil my past. Three years ago I was okay, I could still feel. Buy now? He’d ruined every memory we shared. Plaguing it.  


 People parted, even the music stopped as Liam fell drunkenly on a bowl of something that spilt on him as he fell. I sighed and walked away this wasn't worth it. Searching for anyone to take me home, I quickly found Jesse 'Can you take me home?' I asked in a quiet voice, his pupils were enlarged. He stoped nibbling on the girls ear. 'You hike?' He asked sounding not worried at all. 


I sighed and moved on... Liam? No. Josh? I coudn't force myslf to ask... I really didn't have anyone. I asked a coupple people who I'd known one but their answers were a all negative or too confused for me to bother saying yes to the ride home. Lilly offered to walk home with me but I didn't know her well enough and she looked far to delicate... Hmm

Chapter Twelve



So I guess this is what friends are. People who leave you in the middle of nowhere. But I guess it's acceptable because I hike. I guess it's morally okay, to leave someone and allow them to walk along a main road.  I was okay, personally I was enjoying the walk. Scarcely lit two foot wide paths were my speciality.  


 So I guess this is what 'friends' are I thoght annoyed, Liam and Joshes faces sprang to mind. You know what I think I am doing just fine without them. I guess I should feel angry I was just left. I didn't.  A car's headlights suddenly appeared behind me. I turn around to have chips and burgers thrown at my face. The usual onslaught of boyfriend stealer and slut were thrown my way. 'Have no friends to come and rescue you?' Was also screamed at me in the highest pitch voice I'd ever heard.   'You know you're going to get raped if you keep walking.' Followed the screech in a deeper more masculine tone. Josh. He was still following me. 'Go see to your brother. I think I broke his nose.' Was my half growled reply.


  Sighing Josh pulled up next to me and shouted at the bitches to leave. 'Look I'm nearly home.'I told him exhausted.'You've got another two hours to walk!' He retorted angrily. 'Not if I cut through the forest.' Was my chaste reply. 'Then you'll get raped then eaten.' He was kinda being logical to be honest but I was so angry at his brother I couldn't be around his almost identical younger brother.  'I live in the forest Josh leave me alone.' He sighed again before nodding, he jumped out of the car and ran over to me wrapping his arms around me. 'I'm sorry.' Was all he whispered before jumping back in and driving away.


  I thought I'd feel better alone but I didn't. It didn't bring me any peace whatsoever. Soon the farm lanes finished and I was once again able to walk through the forest. It was quiet here.i like the calm before the storm. My heels slipped and slid from under me.  This day couldn't get any worse. I couldn't trust anyone. Liam had lied to me and josh covered it up. I was through with so called friends and family. They aren't worth it.  


The slippery twigs made me fall on my bare knees and graze them. The trees seemed to snag on to my hair any way or form it could. Scratching my face and upper body in the process. But that pain was nothing in comparison.   I had my phone; Liam's name kept popping up. But I didn't want to answer, it was sad to admit there was no one i could call who would answer me. They were right. I was alone.  


 There was no light here. I put my hand in front of my face and saw nothing. Nothing at all. And that was the exact second I fell, rolling down a stupid ass hill head over heals. Well tit over ass but who's watching. Well apparently someone considering I head a dry half cough half laugh.


  'Who's there?' I asked standing up on unsteady feet. My ankle was doing something funky and I couldn't stand on it without feeling like it was going to give way.  'Don't shoot im unarmed.' Was called out before another dry cough was let loose. It sounded painful, like a heave almost. 'Show yourself?' I asked impatiently. 'Wrong question princess.' He replied in the same tone I had used. 'What am I supposed to...'


  I looked around and trailed off seeing an object not to far from me, problem was as soon as I took three steps I fell flat on my face. 'Is your introduction always the same as your entrance or does it differ from time to time?' He asked, his voice was deep and masculine and totally recognizable.  


 'What's that?' I ask a little confused, I put my hands on the floor intending of standing but found a wet puddle instead. 'Why are you sitting in a puddle?' I asked seconds later. When I took my hands back I realized I had made a mistake it wasn't water.   'Well you enter screaming and introduce yourself screaming. Enter falling and introduce yourself falling. Least you can say your consistent.' He replied avoiding my question.   'Where are you hurt?' I asked already searching for my phone crouching beside him, I found it in my bra knowing it was the only place i could store it. Blushing I took it out, hopefully he could see neither but a flash of teeth later I knew he could.  


 I press the screen on button and drag the bottom screen up, finding the flashlight button I clicked it on. The light instantly flashed light, making me realize how much of an idiot I was to have not thought of it sooner.   Sighing I looked up into his deep brown eyes what I found there surprised me; he had a kind, caring, trusting side to him behind the pain and betrayal. My eyes flicked across his body, though I didn't have to look far.  


 An arrow was sticking out of his shoulder. 'Shit.' I cursed I handed him the phone (his right arm seemed fine). I didn't have any rags or spare clothing. His shirt was dirty and full of shreds. My dress was clean (ish). Ripping across the hem I found myself something to stem the bleeding.   'I need to get you to a hospital.' I informed him immediately. 'No can do princess. I'm stuck here.' He told me. 'Cant sit. Forward?' I asked out of breath. 'Fraid not.' He replied. 'Shit. I'm going to have to pull it out. What type of arrow head is it?' I asked worried even more now, he was so pale.  


 'You cuss an awful lot. And I don't know I didn't really have chance to inspect the arrow head as it hit.' He replied sounding bored, he was in pain not bored though he hid it well.   I pressed the cloth to his shoulder and grabbed the arrow with unsteady hands. One wrong move and it could puncture his heart. 'Three. Two.' And then I was pulling.   One tug and nothing happened other than an escaped groan I pretended to not hear. 'Where the fuck did one run off too?' He asked making me chuckle a little. It was weird, how could I laugh now? Of all times. This must have been the first time in years...


 One two and pull. I pulled with all my weight, eventually it came loose and I fell backwards with the blooming arrow in my hands. Sitting up I quickly placed my rag over the front.   'Hold this.' I asked when his hand placed itself over mine I looked back into his thankful eyes, nodding I looked back down at my dress and ripped along the hem again. This time a longer price that could warp around his shoulder a couple times. Tying it with wet hands was the worst part but some how I managed it.  


 I let forward and grabbed his hand, 'come on my cottage isn't too far from here. I think I can patch you up enough to send you in. I can't do anything about the through - and - through but I can stop infection. Nodding he reached out with his right arm, sliding under it I started forward. I couldn't put any weight on my ankle but I would make it.   At first it seemed to burn, and shake like jell-o. And then it went numb, I really hoped I hadn't broken it. He weighed alot, I know he was trying to spare me from the burden of his weight but he wasn't doing himself any favours.   


 We didn't talk, the only sound to be hears was heavy breathing and cracking undergrowth. Eventually he fell, I knew we were so close to my cabin. 'Wait here I will be back.' I told him with my sternest voice. I left him with my phone and half ran half limped back to my cabin, it must have only taken a minuet or two but it felt like eternity. Sasha was led on the couch and looked at me confused and followed me to the cupboard.   Grabbing the first aid kit I turned and ran back. My ankle was ready to give way at any second. As soon as I found him he was half seated and half lying against the tree. He was staring at something. Looking forward I saw the figure standing there. 'Friend?' I asked in a hushed tone. 'Valkery.'  


 'You mean the people who take warriors to Valhalla? You know the myth?' I asked in a tedious tone. The figure stepped forward his midnight wings stretching out before me. They were massive, longer than me but looked razer sharp.  His eyes were the same black, endless color. 'Skylar, move aside.' His voice had the least amount of character in it. 'How do you know my name?' I asked scared. Insanely so.


  'Worry not. Your time is not soon. I only know of you through relatives.' He replied in the same deadpan voice. 'Now move aside it's Hayden leon Grayson's time.' He demanded. 'No.' I retorted standing in front of Hayden. 'Move aside.' He commanded again, impaitence and indiffrence filtering his tone. 'You took my mother I won't let you take him too.' I replied throwing my arms out.


  'It was your mother's time. She had another battle to fight.' He replied rationally. 'Did you know she was pregnant? That she lost it because it was her time. It wasn't his or her time. You owe me, you took away my chance at happiness surely they were my future. Surely my little sister or brother deserved a chance. Just like he does.' I shouted angry now, throwing my arm out pointing to him angrily. They can't take who they want.   'He will die soon, do you even know who he is what he is capable of? Allow me to take him before he shows you.' He replied sighing. 'I can help him too. It's not his time or mine. I can save him.' I replied deadly serious.


  'You will risk his soul on the off chance?' He asked. 'No, but I would risk mine.' I retorted angry. 'So be it. If he dies your soul will take his place in the darkness.' I nodded agreeing instantly. 'Skylar Anne Clarke do you agree to these terms?' He asked looking me in the eyes. Oh crap he was dead serious.  'Yes. I agree.' I agreed after Hayden muttered a quiet no. He was dying slowly.  'What if he lives?' I ask almost afraid now.


 His wings arched over his head, a big leap in the air and he was flying through the sky. I turned and threw myself on the floor in front of Hayden. 'That was the most stupidest thing. Why are you risking your life, your soul for me?' He asked groaned weakly. 'Shh save your breath you going to need it. Scold me later.' I whispered already looking for alcohol scrub for my hands.  


 Getting him to sit up was hard, getting the fucker out? Well that was no walk in the park. I had to use all of my strength just to push it an inch back - into his skin. The sound of it tearing through his broken skin was unbareable. His groan had my teeth cleanching together. Going behind him I cleanly snapped the arrow head off. Hopefully no more damage would be done. Now that the arrow head was no longer half sticking out of hi skin or even attached I walked back around to his front. Three easy tugs and it was out. I was sweating, my hands kept slipping but I managed. Sewing him up was nothing in comparison. The skin closed easily, no think or splerting blood meant no arties or veins had been severed. Sighing I found some needle and thread, getting the thread through the needle was a night mare, cleaning the wound however made that look like a walk in the park. I had nothing but alcohol scrub and hand wipes. The skin around the wound was read and angry, spotted with dirt and blood. He groaned when the alcohol ran into the wound.


  The whole process was terrifying. I could die if I made one mistake, more importantly so could he. He made soft pained noises but wasn't that vocal almost as if he was scared the people who shot at him would be back.   I could already hear the forest humming with pent up energy. What on earth were we to do? We were out in the open, Hayden couldn't risk another wound. How was I thinking so clearly? Flying man. Flying arrows. Seriously how is none of this making me freak out?   


Because he already told you.   


Something deep and primitive whispered in the deepest crevices of my mind. What do I already know? I asked myself. Exactly who and what he is. Exactally who they are. 


  Shivering I looked into his eyes. He was nothing but human with the gentle heart of a... A horse?   No a kelpie. That same old voice whispers again. What is a fucking kelpie? Someone who's too lazy to be helpful what?   Hayden's gentle cry of pain brought me back mentally. I had finished the front. Now for the back. The skin was less flexible here more taunt. His back was muscled annoyingly so. Pinching the skin together was no easy feat. His back was a hard wall and the cut was sewn together slowly.


  As soon as I'd finished I inspected the back wound. It was tight, a bright Infectious red, though it was too early to tell if infection had set in. Though it was unlikely everything I had used was clean.  Unsteadily he got on his feet, his usually tanned complexion was as white as the moon. It seemed to shine, his skin I mean, like that of a porcline doll.


  I instantly rushed forward the second he wavered and put my arms around his frame. He seemed smaller now, like his strength had been sapped all in one blast.


  We limped in the direction of my house. Well that was untill howls filled the night. It wasn't an animalistic sound, no it was pure desperation. The sound belonged from that of a human voice, it was too high in pitch to be an animal from these parts of the woods.   


'Sash, talk.' I whispered terrified now. It could be a drunkard or it could be some physco. Either way Sasha's howl should keep them away.   


She stepped out I front of me facing nothing. Spread her legs wide and began howling, her head rose slowly with the action. Her call was pure predatory a warning through and through. Let us hope they didn't take us up on it.


  I half dragged half pulled Hayden, even his head was drooping now. It seemed that in the short distance his energy had left no fight was pulling him along now, it was only me. I could see the house now. My house. The smell of fire and Sasha met me as soon as I was close enough. I pulled Hayden through the door and Sasha quickly followed. In the darkness darker shadows learked waiting to attack.   


'What are they waiting for?' I whispered to Hayden, closing the door as quickly as I could. I felt so lucky that there was only one window in this whole building. Over the sink next to the fridge.   


I quickly closed the curtains as Hayden leaned against the couch uncertain. I quickly grabbed his hand and led him around to the front and sat him down. After pulling off his boots (I left his mud coated black jeans alone I didn't want to deal with them quite yet. No injurys were present there, he could deal with them himself.


  I turned around and began building a fire, I needed this place hot if I planned of bathing him.   Stacking the wood was easy, a mindless action. Lighting it was slightly harder. Though I managed that easy enough. Finding an old metal bucket I filled it with ordinary water and placed the bucket on one of the rocks. It sat there just right as I found the bigger medical kit - the one I would teach with. I'd spent so long tending to animals I had almost forgotten people needed help too... 


  Yes it was for animals but he really needed the medical attention. I grabbed the rounded scissors and began cutting a rag from an old tea towl. After finding salt I added that to the bucket of quickly warming water. When I deemed it hot enough I used the wodern part of the handle to move it.


  The metal itself was hot, the bag of salt was big and I didn't know why. 'You okay with salt?' I asked uncertain, he nodded jerkily as I poored a metric shit tone of the stuff in.


  My palms stung as I put my hands in the water, little cuts stung but quickly became numb. Picking up the wet rag I squeezed all the water out.


  Finding the rounded scissors on the floor I began cutting away his ruined tee shirt. I placed the warm rag on his freezing skin, as they touched a little steam rose. I began cleaning the opposite shoulder wiping all the grime and blood away.


  I had cleaned almost the entire side before the howling started again. Sasha was led so close to me she might as well have led on my lap.

I didn’t mind I needed her comfort as much as she needed mine. Her heart warmed me, I began singing softly. Sadness filling my tone and breaking my heart. 


Some people say you won't make it.

 Some people shout that your doomed.

Some people say anything to hurt you .

 But those people just ain't worth it.

Aint worth it.




I stopped singing but he was smiling softly. It covered the howling and I felt alittle better. I pushed the rag into the clean water turning it a deep crimsion red.  The colour stopped me for a few seconds, his hand crept over and found my wet one. He sqeezed it, looking deeply in my eyes. There was still fight there. We were going to be okay. 

 And that's not me that's you  

You say that you're helping.

 You try to tell to me what's missing.

But I cant see that. 


What am I doing so, so wrong.

  The old me would have cared,


The old me would have cried.

 But this one,this one has no feeling.

Shes broken inside.



His audible gasp stopped me, the rag had touched some of the inflamed area. I stopped and squeezed out the rag. I started again slower this time. His teeth were clenched, I wondered if his jaw would break. I follwed the line of his cheek bones with my eyes. His ears were small, the looked to be the only delicate thing about him. Everything else looked hard and forged in fire. I watched his adams apple bob up and down as he swallowed, some of my long hair gently fell from behind my ear and landed on his chest. His hand slowly crept up and pushed it back. I looked at the simple band of leather around his arm, I wonderd why he wore it. I began washing again staring down at his chest blushing. The way his eyes bore into mine made my heart stutter nervously. What was happening? I was as unfeeling as a freaking potato. Sighing, I gently placed my spare hand on his undamaged sholder and cleaned the hurt one as good as I could well singing softly to destract my mind. Threating infection would take him any second which was obserd it took hours, days to kill... 


 Help me or fight me

I will no longer listen.

  I can't help but be done.

 With you

 With everything.

 You and everything.   


Your hatred is contagious

Hurt over powers me  

Consumes me..

Your contagious.   


 The old me would have cared,

Would have cried.

 But this one,

this one has no feeling.  

Help me or fight me

I will no longer listen.

  To you or anything

I will no longer listen.


 You don't help me no more,  

You can only hurt me.

 But me I don't care no more.

 Your so called love is contagious.




 You broke me.  

Contorted my love .

 Turned it evil.

I won't stand for it anymore  

I can't take it.

 You broke me.    


The old me would have cared,

Would have cried.

 But this one,

this one has no feeling.  

Help me or fight me

will no longer listen...


 I trailed off feeling sadder than I had ever before. I didn't want to sing anymore too much sadness stole the words from me. It broke my already fractured heart. 


Chapter Thirteen

Nothing remaining 


There was nothing left for me anymore. Sasha was all that kept me going. Masons life meant much to me but he would forget about me if I died... I sighed and began tiding the bloody bucket and rags away. His eyes followed me where ever I went. The voices hadn't calmed down either. Cackles were bounding through the air. 'Hayden come out, come out where ever you are.' Was whispered regulary. But what was more suprising was the called my own name. Flashes came to me. A familour feeling of fear. 


The had called my name before... But when? 'You gave your kiss away so effortlessly... We dont even want that anymore.' I gasped, something was in the very debts of my mind. It was locked away from me, not even submerging now. Something was still holding the memory away from me... I tried to think about my first kiss but there was no recolection. I remembered Liams first kiss with me, a quick kiss on the cheek gone wrong. But before that there was nothing. 


I walked into the bathroom and emptied the water down the drain, the colour disapating down the drain. Dilouted it didnt appear that crimsion anymore, bits clung to the bottom of the bucket. Twigs and mud. It was gross but I quickly sprayed it with water, finding so bleach I cleaned the bucket and my arms. Even the coppery smell left. The water was running competelly clear now, not even a tinge of pink. Sighing I left the buckt in the bathrub and walked back into the kitchen. 


I had tomartoes and all kinds of vegerables like peppers, mushrooms, onion ect that I could use to make a soup. I cut them all cleanly and placed them in a deep pan with a little water and oil in it. Herbs quickly followed before I placed them in the pan, which I placed over the fire. The spicy smell lingered in the air, Haydens stomach rumbled softly and I smiled. Hunger was a good sign. 


His eyes were closed, his long lashes veiling his pail lids. I missed his deep brown eyes, they held so much trust and compasion. No fear was there, no hatrid. I sighed, I didn't know this boy... man. He looked to be older than me twenty something maybe. He didn't have goosebumps lacing his barechest but he should have it wasn't all that warm here. I knelt infront of him and placed my hand gently on him forehead. He was very hot. I sighed, that was a bad sign. 'I'm naturally hot.' He told me lazely opening his eyes, his lashes no longer obscured the view of his mesmerising eyes. 'Parden?' I asked a blush leaking its way onto my unprotected cheeks, I felt the heat of them spread. 


'I'm a type of shifter technically, a Kelpie.' He whispered reminding me... Why was I not suprised? I asked myself sighing, my eyes lingered on his naturally tanned skin. My paler hand was such a contrast on his head. I removed it slowly relashing in his warmth. I turned around, turning away from him and began stering the already stewing soup thing I was making, to be honest I was the worst cook. I sighed and left the woredn spoon in the pot. 


I began braiding my hair instead deciding I needed a distraction. Whilst I was braiding I glanced down, Hayden wasn't the only one in need of new clothes.  I stood slowly and went in search of some, I found a pair of jogging bottms (aidas) with a white and dark blue line running down the side. They should fit Hayden, I also found a deep purple teeshit that was baggy on me, it was plane but would do. For myself I grabbed a pair of leggings and a long black and white stripy teeshirt that would reach just over all the important parts. 


I was one of my faveroute teeshirt dresses that gave the impression that I didnt care, cause I did't right? Dont answer that.. 


I changed quicky, throwing the ruiened dress away. My clean clothes felt smooth and well worn across my skin, I loved them. I quickly walked back into the main room, 'I found you something to wear?' I half whispered, not wanting to wake him if he was sleeping. 'Thankyou.' He half whispered back smiling a half pained smile, his damp hair had began curling adorably, the more it curled and the more light reflected on it the more the green tinge became apparent. I left them folded next to the couch. Looking at the soup it was liquidifying nicely, the finely chopped veg dissapeared under all the juices. I smiled before turning around to butter some tiger bread. I loved the stuff and often just ate it. 


I took a half eaten chicken out of the chicken and left the plate on the floor, Sasha needed to eat too. 

Chapter Fourteen

The worlds weight supressing me


Every second I stood still breathing heavily, every step I took exhaustion wanted to consume me. Drown me. I could feel it. The tiredness I mean, it seemed to be deep in my bones. Todays relavations all to painful to think about, I didn't want to think of everyone I had lost. Maybe it was me. Maybe I called for it. Pushed people away. 


No. I didn't I can't help it people dont like me. I can't force anything. I felt like social life was what critonite was to superman. Atleast he could fly I thought clenching my teeth. I shook my head and grabbed two bows and a plate for bread, spoons too. I turned and found that Hayden was already changed. I walked over slowly seeing that he was sat on the floor now I rushed over. He was breathing heavily, placing my arm under his goodside I lifted with all my strength and slowly allowed him to fall into the soft confines of the couch.


Atleast he was sitting. I knelt infront of the cooking food and placed an old rusted kettle on the hot stones I found more herbs, healing ones mostly but lavender for sleep, extra honey for healing were added too. I left it to simmer to and went in search for some pain killers and thats when the banging began. Outside the winds howled ever so loud. The lights in the room flickered, even the fire became a small flame. 


I moved the food and drink off of the dying fire and tried to rekindle it, but with little acess to anything that could help us. The lights died in the room the second the fire did. I sighed and began shaking. Howling seemed to echo around us. Screams and cries desperate. 'You owe us Hayden, she was out.' The room quickly became cold, if I could see anything I would have bet the air before my face fogged as I breathed. 


I could feel there eyes through the thin layer that made my home, I could almost feel there waiting impaitence. I was too energized to sleep. It was imposible. I found the lighter I often used to light the fire and found cadles in the cubard. I fell into almost everything, but the three candles I found did so much to relieve some of the pent up tension. I placed the candles on the frozen heart, far enough away from the fires frozen atmosphere. I quickly poored two meals into the bowls and handed one to Hayden who was looking at me with wonder in his eyes. I quickly poored him some of the quickly cooling herbal tea which he drank all of it thirstly. He pulled a small face after swallowing the last part. 'Sorry nasty after taste.' I muttered taking a seat beside him, Sasha was already jumping up to sit on the left of me, where the remainder space was left. 


I couldn't help but think of the last time I was sat on the couch with someone. Liam, Josh... Their betrail ripped deep into my heart. The pain was so fearce I pushed the bowl away from myself feeling sick. I sighed and pulled my legs up to my chest and rest the side of my face on them, I was facing him but closed my eyes and frose my expresion. I didnt want him to see the pain in my eyes, the utter life seeping from them. 


'Why were you in the forest?' He asked after a minuet or two of silence went past. Sighing I didn't wan't open my eyes yet, I had drowned out the noise the chaios but if I opened my eyes all of that would cease. 'Hmm, someone I had known for a while. Trusted when I otherwise thought it stupid to did something I never thought he would.' I replied, well not just one person. Jesse, Josh... Liam. I sighed again. I wasn't exactly heart broken, I never loved Liam, Josh tried to warn me and wel Jesse he didn't mean it but that did not lessen the blow. Only made my trust in them seem stupid. 'You looked hurt.' He replied sounding wise and very sad. 'I was.' I replied instantly, what if Mason liked her more? I shook my head it didn't matter it wasn't a compertiton I would love mason always. 


'You sound lost.' He continued after a few seconds. 'I am, I have lost everyone I once cared about. I didn't think I needed friends or family but now they are gone? I miss them.' I whispered the peoples names I had once known swiming into my mind each more painful than the last. My Ex farther and grandmothers even came to mind. I a single tear ran down my face. 


I took in a deep breath and slowly opened my eyes, unashamed. 'Why did you carry me here?' I asked suddenly. I remembered the funeral. After it. He always seemed to be there for me when I needed him. Even if i had only just learned his name he had been therefore me more times than I had cared to admit right now. Always picking me up, it was about time that I was able to help him. 'I didn't think waking in the place you broke down in would be all that good mentally. He shrugged and then winced auidbly. My brow creaced in concern and I placed my cool hand on the top of his injured shoulder. It was ludicrus, stupid. But I had to try. 


I sighed a long exhail and pulled in a deep painful breath. Dragging his pain in with me. I could almost feel it now. My shoulder, burned with an excrutiating pain. I sighed out another ragged breath and breathed in deeply once again dragging some of the pain with me. I rolled my shoulders focusing on healing this time but the pain was too bad. I couldnt concentrate. 'That's enough give it back.' He complained moving backwards sharply. I shook my head pursing my lips. Tomorrow. I didn't want to move, every time I did a fresh bolt of pain wracked my body. 


I knew I wasn't normal. I never had been. I could take peoples pain away. I could harber it. I could even heal... sometimes. It wasn't always certain though. I had tried with my mother so oftern that it exhausted me. She never became better though. I could only take away so much and when the pain came back it would be so much worse in the end she refused my treatment. 


I was a freak. I had always known that. A defective one at that. I sighed, I guess that was why I helped animals so eaisly. Wherest it would take Drs hours to fix broken bones it took me minuets. The only issue? It sapped my energy rappidly. 



Chapter Fifteen

'Skylar... Sky wake up!'


The voice was worried, though it was strong and did not tremble. My eyelids fluttered pathetically, even that hurt. 'Can't' I managed to croak out eventually, my voice sounded rough. How long had I been out. After a minute of trying I finally managed to open my eyes. 'Hayden?' I asked holding my shoulder, he was near by I could feel his presence, now that I carried his pain we were connected. Nothing like a little life and death to make friends right? I almost laughed, it was close but something in me still wasn't quite ready to laugh or smile yet.


'Yea?' He asked jogging into view, the right side of his jaw was slightly shadowed, a bruise? Hmm. 'What's a kelpie?' I asked, it was something I thought I needed to know. It wasn't right that I was pressing him I mean he didn't ask me what I was. But something deep down whispered that I needed to know. 'The scottish name for a water horse that roams in the lochs.' He replied not looking me in the eyes. 'Kelpie?' I asked again jaw clenched. 'A shape shifter water spirit. A fay.' He muttered painstakingly. 'They tell stories of horses appearing from the water, then turning into human, though they also say we retain hooves like the devil himself.' He continued grinning awkwardly to the wall, still not looking me in the face but standing in front of me looking at the wall behind my seated form.



'The scots also made up the Lochness monster, tell her the truth Nessie.' Liam growled from next to me, he was knelt in front of me still. I stared into his pained eyes, no longer seeing him as the person I once knew. What was he? I wondered quietly. 'They believed us to be gods of the water so gave us sacrifices, in return of not kidnapping children or young women.' He continued cringing. 'Did it work?' I asked completely fascinated. 'For a time.' He shrugged nonchalantly. 'Imagine a cute little pony drowning in the water or a cute harmless horse on the shore of water. It became too much for the solitary fay, you see the seelie and unseelie courts do not have to feed on humans. Not like the solitary fay do.' He finished sounding sad.



The whole thing confused me, solitary - seelie - unseelie what was the difference? Liam must have seen the utter confusion on my face because he spoke. 'Solitary fay are those that have been banished from their own world to this one, either they have broken the laws or lost favour. There are two different kinds of fay, the bright and the dark. Those of the skies and those of the earth. Though you don't have to have wings or tails to be in either court. The seelie court being the lesser of two evils own the summer whilst the unseelie own the winter.' He finished sounding tired.



'Own?' I asked yet again confused. 'Have more power during these seasons. In the summer the seelie will retain the most power whilst in the winter the unseelie will possess more power.' He continued. 'The autumn and spring?' I asked a slight tremble breaking my voice. 'The solitary in.' Hayden whispered his voice low and steady. 'How have humans not heard of this?' I asked the tremble in my voice not yet leaving me, it was attached to me now. My second shadow.



'Both courts fight to control them, the courts are selfish and do not want the solitary - or in other words the fugitives living in their own back yard.' Liam spat glaring at Hayden. 'Is that why you hate one another?' I asked looking between the two. 'No. We were friends once.' Hayden replied sighing. 'What happened?' I asked focusing on Hayden he was the easier of the two to read. 'His queen ordered my father died.' Liam replied in the stone coldest voice I'd ever heard him use.



'Why?' I asked generally confused. 'Because he was the leader of the solitary. He wanted nothing but to come home. He wasn't a criminal, none of the second generation were, but we were all exiled for our ancestors mistakes. 'Why hayden?' I asked my eyes once again skipping between the two. 'Because he was always the favourite. Always put on the best guard duties, his parents were also fugitives no different from me yet he is a royal guard yet I still remain a foot soldier fighting the real battle.' Liam explained staring at a patch of my couch eyes unwavering. I put my hands on Liam's shoulders, 'you need not fight with those closest with you Liam, there will come a day when you need someone fighting in your corner.' I whispered ashamed instantly that I was backing Hayden the pain in his eyes registered for a second before he closed them. I too was losing Liam.



'I tell you he eats people and you take his side?' He asked outraged. 'He doesn't eat people.' I whispered back annoyed. 'He's a fucking Kelpie Sky what else do you think he does?' He shouted. 'Saves humans from drowning.' I whispered back shocked, another revelation hitting my memory hard. 'What?' He asked. 'Otherwise I would be dead twice over. I informed him standing up painfully, the two of them needed time to talk and personally I really needed a shower.

Chapter Sixteen

'Skylar... Sky wake up!'


The voice was worried, though it was strong and did not tremble. My eyelids fluttered pathetically, even that hurt. 'Can't' I managed to croak out eventually, my voice sounded rough. How long had I been out. After a minute of trying I finally managed to open my eyes. 'Hayden?' I asked holding my shoulder, he was near by I could feel his presence, now that I carried his pain we were connected. Nothing like a little life and death to make friends right? I almost laughed, it was close but something in me still wasn't quite ready to laugh or smile yet.


'Yea?' He asked jogging into view, the right side of his jaw was slightly shadowed, a bruise? Hmm. 'What's a kelpie?' I asked, it was something I thought I needed to know. It wasn't right that I was pressing him I mean he didn't ask me what I was. But something deep down whispered that I needed to know. 'The scottish name for a water horse that roams in the lochs.' He replied not looking me in the eyes. 'Kelpie?' I asked again jaw clenched. 'A shape shifter water spirit. A fay.' He muttered painstakingly. 'They tell stories of horses appearing from the water, then turning into human, though they also say we retain hooves like the devil himself.' He continued grinning awkwardly to the wall, still not looking me in the face but standing in front of me looking at the wall behind my seated form.


'The scots also made up the Lochness monster, tell her the truth Nessie.' Liam growled from next to me, he was knelt in front of me still. I stared into his pained eyes, no longer seeing him as the person I once knew. What was he? I wondered quietly. 'They believed us to be gods of the water so gave us sacrifices, in return of not kidnapping children or young women.' He continued cringing. 'Did it work?' I asked completely fascinated. 'For a time.' He shrugged nonchalantly. 'Imagine a cute little pony drowning in the water or a cute harmless horse on the shore of water. It became too much for the solitary fay, you see the seelie and unseelie courts do not have to feed on humans. Not like the solitary fay do.' He finished sounding sad.


The whole thing confused me, solitary - seelie - unseelie what was the difference? Liam must have seen the utter confusion on my face because he spoke. 'Solitary fay are those that have been banished from their own world to this one, either they have broken the laws or lost favour. There are two different kinds of fay, the bright and the dark. Those of the skies and those of the earth. Though you don't have to have wings or tails to be in either court. The seelie court being the lesser of two evils own the summer whilst the unseelie own the winter.' He finished sounding tired.


'Own?' I asked yet again confused. 'Have more power during these seasons. In the summer the seelie will retain the most power whilst in the winter the unseelie will possess more power.' He continued. 'The autumn and spring?' I asked a slight tremble breaking my voice. 'The solitary in.' Hayden whispered his voice low and steady. 'How have humans not heard of this?' I asked the tremble in my voice not yet leaving me, it was attached to me now. My second shadow.


'Both courts fight to control them, the courts are selfish and do not want the solitary - or in other words the fugitives living in their own back yard.' Liam spat glaring at Hayden. 'Is that why you hate one another?' I asked looking between the two. 'No. We were friends once.' Hayden replied sighing. 'What happened?' I asked focusing on Hayden he was the easier of the two to read. 'His queen ordered my father died.' Liam replied in the stone coldest voice I'd ever heard him use.


'Why?' I asked generally confused. 'Because he was the leader of the solitary. He wanted nothing but to come home. He wasn't a criminal, none of the second generation were, but we were all exiled for our ancestors mistakes. 'Why hayden?' I asked my eyes once again skipping between the two. 'Because he was always the favourite. Always put on the best guard duties, his parents were also fugitives no different from me yet he is a royal guard yet I still remain a foot soldier fighting the real battle.' Liam explained staring at a patch of my couch eyes unwavering. I put my hands on Liam's shoulders, 'you need not fight with those closest with you Liam, there will come a day when you need someone fighting in your corner.' I whispered ashamed instantly that I was backing Hayden the pain in his eyes registered for a second before he closed them. I too was losing Liam.


'I tell you he eats people and you take his side?' He asked outraged. 'He doesn't eat people.' I whispered back annoyed. 'He's a fucking Kelpie Sky what else do you think he does?' He shouted. 'Saves humans from drowning.' I whispered back shocked, another revelation hitting my memory hard. 'What?' He asked. 'Otherwise I would be dead twice over. I informed him standing up painfully, the two of them needed time to talk and personally I really needed a shower. I still felt light headed but some needs are just more powerful than others...


The second I stripped and allowed heavens waterfall to rain down my back was the most bliss I had felt all week. Well technically it wasn't heavens water.. Nor was it raining but utter bliss is the word I would use to describe the feeling of the scalding water cascading down my bare back.



I eventually tear myself from the shower after doing everything necessary to emerge feeling clean, smooth and calmer. I quickly pulled on my underwear, whilst trying to brush my teeth and not fall into the side of the bath tub or something. The shower curtains were a deep crimson red and become an even deeper colour of red once the water splashed onto it. The shower itself was more than likely added years later because it looked at least ten years newer.



I pulled on ripped grey peppel washed jeans and a deep green sleeveless tee that came dangerously low to showing too much, I pulled on thick fluffy socks and my usual comfy black boots. For ever reliable I thought grinning to myself. I finally put my toothbrush back onto the sink and nearly tripped over the bucket still lying around, I kicked it across the room with a peculiar sense of glee and walked to the closed door. I pulled it open and walked into the other room only finding Hayden, I almost tripped over him. He was sat directly by the ladder looking unsure of himself. 'Need to pee?' I asked regaining balance and offering him my good hand (connected to my good arm) and pulled him up (which I was ashamed to admit wasn't as easy as I had imagined, my strength was still sapped).



'Wheres Liam?' I asked searching for him again. 'He went to go check on his kid I suppose.' He replied shrugging. 'Masons his brother not his son.' I replied angrily, defending him instantly. 'Why do you care?' He asked sounding just as annoyed. 'Because I used to look after him too. He's like my little brother.' I replied shrugging, there was no reason for me to get annoyed but no one was aloud to say anything about Mason. 'You were with Liam once?' He asked looking deep into my eyes, I cringed visibly and went to take a step back but forced myself to stand still. 'Liam is with no one but himself.' I replied tersely. 'But you were with him once yes?' He asked looking for something in my face, he must have found it for he turned around ready to leave.



'So was another girl, she is still with him. I am not, never will be.' I replied instantly grabbing his hand before he could leave me. 'Why... Why didn't I remember you? I mean I feel bad for... Well Liam now but I didn't remember you?' I asked still a little foggy on the whole scenario.



He sighs, his eyes squeezing shut his expression pain filled. 'I suppose that's why I wanted a kiss.' He muttered looking ashamed. 'Pardon?' I ask I could almost see it,the moment he kissed me. I remembered the taste of salt and then nothing. I cannot even recall what was said...


'I...Well we... Kelpie the way we lore women in the water. We ask for a kiss and they forget everything, it's a part of our natural skills I suppose much like your healing is a part of you. ' He sighs again and opens his eyes. 'Why couldn't you stay away like I asked sky?' He whispered taking a step closer to me, resting his forehead on my own. 'How was I to know you didn't want me to return?' I asked iin a pained whisper.



He exhaled again deeply, 'I... Well it was the first time I'd ever used that particular gift of mine. I suppose I am not very good at it.' He replied sounding more than a little disappointed in himself, he even said the word gift with distaste. 'Wait, had you never kissed anyone before?' I asked more than a little intrigued. 'Of course not, I was 18 Sky of course I had kissed someone before. Tell me something, do you heal people by touching them if you do not will it?' He asked sounding sure of himself, I shrugged counting in my head quickly - three years that would make him 21; two years older than me.



'It is entirely dependent. At first it came when it wanted to, if I touched a wounded animal during class I could accidently heal him or her but I suppose deep down I had always wanted to heal them.' I trailed off deep in thought, remembering all of those terrifying lessons - hoping no one would notice the animals sudden recovery. Of course normal people summed it up to time and modern medicine though it had come close a couple times. These thoughts were the ones that kept me up at night wondering if people still burn witches at the stake... Silly really I mean wasn't my lack of energy after the healing more than enough of a punishment?!

Part two


The fey aren't like you and me.


They never were. They were brought up with a natural advantage. We simple humans grew with soft, squidgy skin easily broken. Nails more for decorations then use. Teeth flat and used for only chewing. We are not predators. Place us next to a lion with nothing but our fists and we will tremble. But the fey? They come in all different shapes and sizes, literally. Some have; wings, claws, talons, canine teeth, some can breathe fire, change shape, empower others, turn the dead into warriors... To be honest we don't know the extent of what they can do. But if we mere humans were ever to find out? We would be doomed. Our world would be no more, forever onwards we would be slaves of the giggling child like monsters roaming our forests. 




Chapter Seventeen



'What do we do now?' I asked Hayden, it had been half an hour and Liam still hadn't returned. 'Protect Sasha. The reason those lowly ranked fey were after me yesterday was because there's a leak in the castle.' He replied looking devastated, since he had been here he hadn't truly taken his eyes off of Sasha, who was she? What was she? I wondered. I voiced my questions and he only shrugged. 'The king's daughter.' He replied not looking at me. 'She won't be safe until she is five.' He informed me. 'Why five?' I asked, and why was that number familour?


'At five we becomes less of our stronger self and more of both. Our two sides join to make us. Have you ever heard about muslims? How they believe it isn't murder if you abort your baby before four months? How their soul isn't in their body yet?  He asked, which I quickly nodded to. 'Well it's the same with us, but I guess it's five years instead of four months. Fey believe we are only born with half a soul, the other less dominant half will follow five years later, after we have already found ourselves. Sasha will be five in a few months, she'll be able to return home then.'


My anger was instant. Death was still death. People are aloud their view. People are aloud their views. No it's not the same, four months old and you only have the potential to live! At five years you are already alive, already a person. I cannot argue with their thinking but to me it was still death. Sasha didn't deserve to die. 'They truly cannot think that?' I asked outraged. 'Surely theses hunters are just trying to justify murdering those under five?' I retorted eventually. 'It comes back to the if you knew Adolf of as a child would you have murdered him argument.' He replied looking as unhappy as I.


'No.' He looked at me sharply. 'No, if I knew him as a child I would teach him different, I would try and show him what was right or wrong. Everyone is worth trying to save.' I replied sadly, Hayden turned and walked over to me quickly. Placing his hands on either side of my shoulders he held my eyes, with his powerful brown ones. 'That is exactly why you were chosen to guard her Sky. For your heart and your belief, you are who Sasha needs to grown into a strong and kind leader.' He replied smiling for the first time in hours.


'What if I fail and create another Hitler? What if shes destined for greatness and I've ruined that?' I asked gasping. He chucked softly, 'I highly doubt it.' He replied placing a kiss on my forehead. 'How do we keep her safe?' I asked generally worried now. 'I-I don't know Sky, I've totally fucked up by coming here.' He told me taking a step away from me, I almost wished I hadn't said anything.


'What if we give her to them?' I ask, a plan already forming in my head. I jumped up and down on the spot - stopping after two seconds because his face was filled with utter rage. 'And what me and you just live a happy cozy life?' He snapped, sarcasm mixing deeply wit his tone. 'No, but we should make them think we are.' I replied in a soft tone trying to calm him down, he cocked his head adorably looking confused.


'If they think were willing to give her up, willing to save ourselves we buy time.' I replied - my brain began to throb, it felt like a second heart beat. 'Like a counter strike before the initial strike?' He asked sounding a hundred percent more certain than he was twenty seconds previously.


'So any idea for a counterstrike?' He asked sounding gleeful. 'No, but I think we call a meeting for tomorrow. See what we can bargain for her?' I asked thinking logically, she of course would be nowhere near the site. 'Who will watch her?' He asked sounding uncertain. 'I will.' Liam said walking into the room looking a little embarrassed, Mason wriggled down from his hip and ran over to where Sasha was led on the floor. He quickly curled up in a little ball cuddling her. 'I missed you Sash.' He mock whispered, 'you're my only friend. People at school think I'm a freak. I don't mind, Liam says it's cause I'll grow up to be smarter than them all.' He chuckled the same way Liam would, the sound was off. Higher than the usual culprit who made it, none the less it was adorable. I smiled down at him my heart feeling whole again instantly.

'Why would you do that?' I asked suspisious. 'This is not some game...' He cut me off instantly. 'You don't get it, before you weren't appart of my world. I guess I used you more than I should have, but mostly I just didn't want Mason to see what I had to endure. Plus the kid generally liked spending time with you. You don't understand the amount of times you saved my sorry... Well yea. I just guess I owe you with the mut.' He finished trying to smile. 

I shrugged, true enough I had baby sat often enough but I didn't want to leave him unaware. 'She is of importance and may be sort after.' I warned with a cold stare, I would not put Mason and Sasha in harm. He shrugged 'shes fey?' he asked looking down at her sleeping form. 'Yes though her animal is stronger than her human side.' Hayden warned. 'Like any warrior then, like we were.' Liam told staring at the 'mut' with wonder. 


'What does he mean?' I asked curious, Hayden smiled softly. 'She has the heart of a wolf, much like her mother. Warriors are born in their truest form, the other fey like the scholars and such are born with a human appearence and will not experence fey life until it is exposed to them.' Liam looked at Hayden confused. 


'There is only one woman whos child would be sort after...' He trailed off glancing at me and Hayden in turn looking more understanding than I ever did. I sighed and shook my head, boys and their secrets. 


Chapter Eighteen

We all ended up spralled infront of the fire, Sasha and Mason curled on the couch the rest of us leaning against the trim of the old couch sipping from long gone cold bitter coffee. Cold toast lay hard in my hand and I was seconds from throwing it in the fire. I sighed and closed my eyes, I slowly drew my hand back closer to me in order to flick it into the fire until a solid warm one engulfed mine. 


I knew who it was instantly, my skin buzzed under his touch almost seeming to know and cheris his touch. Rolling my head to the side I opened my eyes and staired into his deep brown eyes. In this light his hair seemed more black than the usual green tinge, I noticed for the first time he wore a necklace. It was a simple really, deep black thread holding a simple hummingbird. My eyes touched where my hands were to scared to... 


I followed the line of this throat to the line of his jaw, which lead to his lips. Blushing I flollowed his cheekbones to his eyes, the dark colour danced with amusement and mischief. His bottom lip twitched, trying against everything to hold back a smile that broke free seconds later. I watched as he pulled my hand closer to his mouth and he took a bite still stairing into my eyes, butter on his lower lip. I alowed myself the small pleasure of wiping it away. 'You have a lipring?' I asked looking at the tiny dot 'yea I take it out if I'm going to get jumped at any second.' He replied rolling his eyes, his grin was fearce and showed off his two slight kainine teeth. He flicked some of the slightly curled black locks from his forehead. 


'Your a total goth you know that.' I told him giggling like a school girl. 'Says you sky, I don't think anyone should cound the pure number of leather coats you have.' Liam called out looking worried from his position on the floor next to me. I moved away from Hayden slowly, throwing the old toast into the fire and watched it burn with a small pleasure.


'Pfft, hush it you black happens to look good on me.' I replied not taking my eyes from the burning flame, it had my utter and total attention. I didn't listen as the two began talking, instead I watched the flames. Suddenly I had a thought. 'What if you ride with me on your back? I carry a bundle of clothes smelling of her. If we split up only half will follow both of us. If we manage to trap one alone we could bargan for his or her life?' I asked turning to Hayden with a little grin. 'It won't work, they care little for their foot soldiers.' He replied looking disgusted, hmmm. 'What if we made them care? What if someone higher comes along to deal with the mess we make?'I asked biting my fingernail. 


'One problem there Sky.' Liam answered with a duh tone, 'we are just foot soldiers me and Hayden. The higher officials are higher because of power, knowledge and experance trapping one of thoes would be dangrous and might I add stupid.' He retorted sounding generally worried. 'So what do we do?' I asked sounding deflated. 


'Take the good with the bad.' Hayden replied. 'Huh?' Both me and Liam asked. 'Well if they believe us stronger, something they do not want to face they will leave us alone, because as lovely as it sounds we can't stay here until she's five and this time they know your scent they will follow you.' He informed me sighing. 


'We need to list their weaknesses, their fears.' I told him. 'Well for one fey are scared of humans.' Josh told me walking into the room. I stood and gazed at him with wonder, he cocked his head gaging my body language. I understood what he had done, I hadn't forgive him but acceptance was all I could do for now. He nodded and walked into the room, Liam had been texting him fearcely for sometime catching him up. 'Why though?' I asked confused they were the natural predators not us.


'Well their diffrent, they've survied without any natural defence and worked their way to the top of the food chain. Thats not naturally possible..' He trailed off grinning with a weird sense of pride about him, he sat by Mason careful not to wake him. 'So we use unnatural weapons?' I asked to which I recieved a shrug. 'What do they want, no need more than they want Sasha?' I asked already knowing the answer. 'What she is stopping, freedom towreck havoc. They have been building in size for far to long, as soon as they are stronger than thoes of the seelie and unsealie clans they will attack.' Hayden answered soudning tired. 'What will stop that?' I asked already thinking of an answer. 


'Something far worse. Something they fear more than the taimed fey, they believe them soft.' Josh retorted sounding worried himself. 'What do they fear?' I whispered, the sombre mood of the conversation was threatining to break everything. 'Pure unimagionable power.' Liam whispered. 


'You say they are stronger durning certain months correct? Well how is that possible?' I asked anyone in general. It supprised me who answered, 'a wind sprite will be stronger in the winter because its windy more. Therefore its easier for them to use their power, it is much eaiser for them.' Mason replied sleepily. 'Is there anything that would amplify power?' I asked, but really I was asking if there was anything that would scare them more than a bunch of people they didn't understand. 


'Are you asking if theres an acient ring we could use to defeate them and then turn evil?' Liam asked with a snort. 'No thats not what I'm...' I trailed off looking at Haydens face, 'what?' I asked. 'There are acient artifacts hidden around the world. Objects that hold power.' He replied sounding awed. 


'So were supposed to go looking for talasmins or amulets?' Liam asked sounding disbelieving. 'Kinda I suppose. I don't mean like horisis eye or Buddah but something like the tree of life...' He responded sounding awed in his own realiseation. 'How are we suppose to find something they fear if they dont know what they fear...?' I asked defeated. 


'So were supposed to grab a bunch of silver, iron, garlic, crusifices.. Hands with eyes in the middle...dream catchers...' I asked closing my eyes in pain. 'It's not about the objects but the power stored inside of them. The tree of life dosen't work because people thinks it does, it works becuase thousands of people put life energy into in every single day. It's powerful because no power is as strong as hope, love and devotion.' He finished the mood of the room was no less somber but a strange sense of hope was hovering in the room. 


We had an idea we just needed to find something, anything that would make it work. 'Are witches real?' I asked thinking deeply again. 'I suppose that some would call you that Sky.' Hayden replied seriously. 'Well there human, if we find a wiccan group and get them to put power into an amulet and make Sasha wear it she could be safe..?' I asked, hope and almost begged for it to be true. 


'Problem is finding them. Another problem is getting them to work for us, another problem is getting them to work togther.' Liam replied with distaste, he spoke as if from experance. 'Do they not live in covens?' I asked confused. 'Do you?' Hayden retorted, 'if I had found out about my 'gift' before now and knew of other people with similar ones then yea maybe.' I replied shrugging, thinking of all I could learn. 


'Do we know any witches?' I asked sounding sure for once. 'Well yea actually Celienes antie is a witch she never talks to her cause shes really excentric 'the black sheep' or something. Shes more of a witch doctor but I think we should go check her out.' Liam replied with a shrug, of course it had to be something with Celiene. 


Liam stood up and left the room his phone to his ear, Oh so I guess that choice is made. I cleanched my teeth and looked away from Josh, Haydens fingers brushed over the back of my right hand. It was resting on the floor , when I didn't look up at him they traced up my wrist and slowly up to the inside of my elbow tickling me. When I still didn't move they traced up to my shoulder and rested over the place that carried his pain for him. 


Slowly I dragged my eyes up to his, they reflected the pain in mine. I didn't want to hurt him with my pain but for the life of me I still couldn't smile. I realised I had laughed eairler though no one had said anything, I was slowy becoming un-broken but everytime I had began healing I revieved a sucka punch to the chest. His hand continued upwards following the line of my delicate throat thus slid to its position - hiding behind my hair, in and amoungst the stray strands that covered his rough hand.



Chapter ninteen

 Joshes cough couch was a warning but neither of us moved, I no longer cared if Liam saw us. There was nothing there anymore. He had shown me that there was never anything. I closed my eyes and felt the subtle buz his body gave off. I could feel it, the pull of his heart the push of his lungs. Even the very energy of his brain. It was all so beautiful. My body fell a little when I exhailed. I hand't realised I was holding my breath until I nearly sufficated, funny that. I was so focused in his body I hadn't thought of mine. 


I didn't know what to do anymore. My head hurt. We had no plan. Well a half thought up one that would certainly get someone hurt. But for some reason something was telling me we had to go through with it. We were both safe for now. The angle of death had told me that. 


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 25.11.2015

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