Lamonte searched around the cafeteria as always for his best friend Jenny. He sighed as if in a beautiful daydream as she came into view with her lunch “Hey Lamonte” she greeted as she sat down. “hey Jenny” he could have face palmed with how stupid he sounded yet again saying her name. “I hate I’m late for lunch because I need to talk to you about somthing important today. I told you about my moms cancer last year”
“well dad really wants to take a week trip to Universal studios starting this coming weekend because we’ll be out for summer break. I didn’t think they’d go for it but since our parents are all friends and you’re my best friend i asked daddy if we could see if your family would go too. Dad says he and mom will pay for everything. Your parents just have to drive their own car and pay for their own gas. I know it’s short notice but my dad brought it up short notice. Do you think they’ll go with us”
“I could ask” he said excitedly. “a whole week long trip with Jenny” Lamonte thought happily to himself. They talked excitedly about going together until lunch was over. Jenny hugged Lamonte “good luck talking to your mom and dad”
“thanks” she smiled adorably then walked away to her next class. Now that he wasn’t in Jennys upbeat presence he worried about asking. His parents still didn’t know about a lot in the world. He wondered if they knew what Universal Studious even was.
Wade stretched and checked his watch. Work would be over soon and he could get back to his family, especially Zaharah. He didn’t know what it was, but when they were apart he always felt so lonely. He loved his job, enjoyed the people he worked with, but home was where he always wanted to be. There was nothing like being wrapped in Zaharah’s arms and falling asleep to the sound of her soft breathing. He had found his place in the world doing research in the geology department of a university. It was where he had met his friend Evan after the other man had brought in some samples. They had become fast friends and in turn so had their families. He checked his watch again and smiled when he saw he only had five minutes left for work and he could go home.
He drove happily home from work despite the normal rush hour annoyances. Being free made him happier and appreciate most everything more than the normal person. When he finally made it through the chaos and arrived home Zaharah was waiting on the porch for him. She ran and tackled Wade for a hug as he stepped out of the car. He laughed “I love when you wait outside for me”
“I ordered pizza for tonight. It should be here any moment”
“Okay, sounds good. Where is Lamonte?”
“watching cartoons. He’s been a little serious today though. I think he wants to talk to us about somthing”
“Okay, if he hasn’t mentioned it by the time we eat I’ll ask him if theres anything on his mind” Zaharah kissed him and they went inside. “Hey buddy” Wade yelled when he came in. Lamonte got up and came to his father “hey dad” he said as he hugged him “how was school today?”
“it was good”
“what kind of pizza did you and mom get?”
“I didn’t have any today”
“Oh, well, I can play that game with you if you want”
“Lego Marvel for Wii U!?”
“yeah if you dont mind teaching me”
“Of course not come on” Wade played with his son even after the pizza came. Once they were full Wade said “you want to take a break and talk to me about what’s on your mind? Your mom said you seemed serious today” Lamonte paused “yeah, today at lunch Jenny said her dad wants to go on a vacation to Universal Studios when we’re let out for summer since they had such a rough time recently with her mom having and getting rid of her cancer. Jenny asked her dad if I could come and he said we could all go and he’d pay for everything but we’d have to take our own car and pay for our own gas. I really want to go dad.”
“Oh, thats that park we saw in a commercial isn’t it hun?” he asked his wife and she said “yeah, it looked fun. Can you get the time off work?”
“I hope so. Let me call Evan and get the full plans”
“then you mean we can go dad?”
“If I can get the time off.” Lamonte got up and hugged his dad tightly “thank you”
Wade went to get his cell while Lamonte helped Zaharah clean up. She smiled at the eagerness on her son’s face and couldn’t help but tussle his hair. “You know your father will find a way to make it happen. Your happiness is one of the most important things to him.”
“I know, I just really want to go.”
“So how are Jenny and her parents?”
“They’re fine. I think Evan just wants to give everyone something fun to do, especially Aria.”
“I can only imagine what it must be like. Your father and I never had to worry about getting sick, we were made to be perfect. Sometimes it’s hard not knowing what others are going through.”
Lamonte smiled. “You and dad do just fine and both Aria and Evan understand your lack of understanding and I’m sure they would rather you not have to deal with stuff like cancer.”
After Wade finished discussing things with Evan he called his boss. He was supposed to give more notice than this for extended time off but he hoped he could slip by just this once. To his relief his boss was understanding and allowed him the time “thank you sir”
“Have fun with your family” They hung up and Wade shared the good news with his family “so we’re meeting them at seven am at Waffle House so we can all eat before hitting the road. Jenny wants to ride in the car with us so make sure we have movies in the car you think she’ll like”
“can I go get our DVD box now mom?” Zaharah grabbed her keys off the key holder and handed them to her son. He ran out and Zaharah smiled “he’s so happy”
“well, we all get to finally see what a roller coaster is like.”
“He’s really paying for it all?”
“yeah, I tried to talk him into letting us cover a little more but he insisted. Apparently he has a savings account that is just for taking his family on vacations and Jenny wouldn’t have enjoyed herself if Lamonte couldn’t come. He says she was pretty set on it and they always enjoy doing things with us anyway.”
“Thats so sweet” Lamonte brought the DVD case inside and put a few movies back before putting in all the Disney movies they had. He also grabbed Jurassic Park since it was one of her favorites. He took it back out to the car and gave his mother back the keys. “Okay, it’s set now”
“good now go take your shower”
“yes mam” He ran up happily. Less than a week and he was going on vacation with his best friend. The next day at school Jenny and Lamonte were beside themselves at lunch. Lamonte reminded her they had a DVD player in his moms van if she had any DVDs at home she wanted to bring. When the week was up Lamonte was out of bed about an hour before their alarms even went off. They had loaded all their things in the car the night before so all he could do was pace and will time to go faster.
Zaharah and Wade were up as soon as their alarm went off and quickly showered. Wade couldn’t help but touch her while they dried and dressed, making her giggle and do her best to avoid him. He just grinned at her, chuckling when he finally caught her and kissing her. “Sorry.” He said as he pressed their foreheads together.
“Never be sorry, I love you very much.”
He smiled and let her go, following her downstairs where Lamonte was still pacing. “How long have you been up?” Wade asked.
“A little over an hour.”
“We’ve never seen you this excited.” Zaharah replied and he blushed.
“Oh well, I’m just happy to get to go somewhere we’ve never been and uh you know see Jenny of course.”
Wade tussled his hair. “Then I guess we better get going, keeping a lady waiting is never good.”
They drove over to Waffle House and looked for Evan and his family. They didn’t see them so they went ahead and sat down. About ten minuets later they arrived and came over to say hi. Jenny slid into the booth beside Lamonte and hugged him “Lindsey couldn’t find her Ipod” Lamonte just silently hugged her back as their parents talked for a second. Evan, Aria and Lindsey took the booth right next to their friends and began looking over the menu so they could eat and go. There wasn’t many people in the restaurant this morning so even though they were in different booths it wasn’t difficult for them all to talk. Well, everyone aside from Lindsey who almost immediately after ordering put her headphones in her ears.
When they were all done Evan went out to the van and typed the address of the hotel into their GPS “there, if we get separated you wont get lost. You guys just need to wait for me if you get there before I do”
“okay” Aria hugged Jenny “you behave for them and don’t be afraid to tell Mr and Mrs Kalafus if you have to pee.”
“Okay mom, I love you”
“Love you too precious” Jenny hugged her dad then sister before getting in the backseat of the tan van with Lamonte. Lamonte grabbed the DVD case and handed it to her “you can pick” She looked through and decided on Oliver and Company. Lamonte got it started and happily sat back to watch it with her. When it was over Jenny insisted that Lamonte pick a movie despite his protests. While he flipped through she asked Zaharah “have you guys ever been to a hotel before?”
“They can be really fun”
“I bet, we looked up the hotel your father booked”
“do you guys know how to swim?”
“No but Lamonte does” Jenny looked over at him “how did you learn then?”
“mom and dad paid for me to get lessons the year before I met you”
“cool, so you’ll swim with me in the pool?”
“Of course” he said with a smile as he continued to flip through the DVD book. Her questions ended there since Lamonte found a movie he wanted to watch with her. Wade and Evan managed to arrive at the hotel still with eachother which was the first feet of this trip. Since Wade didn’t know much about how to do this he hadn’t wanted to arrive before Evan. Evan got their keys, handing one to each child then giving one to the Kalafus’s while keeping another for he and his wife “don’t lose your keys kids and don’t go anywhere alone unless you have gotten permission from an adult. You each have a key so that if anything unforeseeable happens and you really need to get in your room you can.” Evan had bought two rooms, one for his family and for his friends. They each had two beds so the adults had one and the kids had another.
“What should we do first?” Wade asked.
“Why don’t we meet by the pool.” Aria suggested with a smile.
“Well, Zaharah and I can’t swim. We were not really permitted to learn before. It was just another way to leash us.”
“We can teach you, it’s not too hard.” Evan replied and Aria nodded in agreement.
“Okay, thank you.” They all headed up to their rooms and quickly changed into their bathing suits. Zaharah and Wade were both excited to be learning a new skill and it made Lamonte happy to see the almost child like smiles on their faces. He could only imagine how hard it had been to adjust to life on the outside.
“I hope you’ll be able to forgive us if we look ridiculous learning how to swim.” Zaharah said to Lamonte as they left their room.
“It’s good to look silly sometimes and you should know by now that I don’t mind mom, I look silly most days.”
When they got down there Lamonte bombed into the pool causing Jenny to laugh and Lindsey to crack a smile. Jenny bombed in after him and Lindsey scanned the room for boys. Finding none she decided to play with her younger sister and Lamonte while the adults worked on teaching Zaharah and Wade to swim. Zaharah and Wade took to swimming fairly easy and soon were able just to enjoy it with their friends and children. They played around until the little ones were hungry. “How does Sonic sound?”
“awesome!’ Lamonte said and his father smiled. This Sonic was one of the newer ones so it had a nice playground. It was already dark outside since they had arrived so late but the men told their wives their orders and let Lamonte and Jenny play with their supervision since the park area had lights. They soon ate and headed back to their room to rest for the real fun tomorrow. Today may have already been great but they all knew tomorrow would be even better.
The next morning Zaharah woke before Wade and Lamonte. She lay as still as she could, just enjoying the warmth of Wade’s body. She didn’t want to get up, wanted to stay like this forever, but the alarm soon decided for her, the sound waking both Wade and Lamonte. “Morning baby.” Wade said with a sleepy smile and she felt her cheeks grow hot. Even after all this time, he could still make her feel like a teenage girl with her first crush.
“Morning.” She replied.
“If you two are going to get all mushy then at least let me get in the shower first.” Lamonte said, making his father laugh and his mother turning a bright red.
“What, does out lovey doveyness gross you out?” Wade asked as he grabbed Zaharah’s chin and went to kiss her.
“Gross, you’re both gross.” Lamonte said with a laugh.
“Trust me, you won’t be saying that much longer. I mean is Jenny gross?”
“No way!” Lamonte blushed at his outburst. “I’m taking a shower now.
They laughed again and he rushed into the bathroom. While he was still showering Evan knocked on their door. He spoke as soon as they opened it “Lindsey is beside herself to go to the Harry Potter portion of the park so I thought as soon as everyone is ready we could get in and go to that portion of the park. She wants to eat at The Leaky Cauldron”
“sounds good to us”
“to make sure I was clear on the phone I’m paying for your food too. We set up a vacation savings account while Aria was pregnant with our first so we have plenty of money for things like this. Just have fun”
“alright, when Lamonte gets out the shower Zaharah and I are going to take a quick one. We’ll meet you guys in the lobby”
“Okay, who knows when all my girls will be ready” he said with a breath of laughter. After the door was closed Wade laid back down with Zaharah “they are such good people. I don’t know how I would have pulled off us coming if Evan wasn’t offering to pay for practically everything. I would have done my best for Lamonte but I don’t know how I would have done it’
“we were pretty lucky we all became friends. Now hush and make out with me while Lamonte cant see” He chuckled and happily obliged. Once everyone was ready and downstairs Jenny took Lamontes hand and walked with him to the van to make the short drive over to the park. In the van Jenny said “I hope my sister feels better when we’re at the park”
“why?” Lamonte asked. “she had bad dreams last night. She woke up scared and got mad at me when I asked if she was okay. She told me to be quiet and then she pretended to go back to sleep but I don’t think she really did”
“The Harry Potter part of the park should be really cool so it should make her feel better” Jenny smiled “yeah, makes me wonder if she has them a lot though. I don’t think she’d tell anybody if she was. She just got so weird last year but I think all teenagers are weird.”
When they arrived at their destination, the kids jumped excitedly out and Wade handed Zaharah out of the van. He slid his fingers between hers and she smiled loving at him before pressing a kiss to his cheek. “So have you two seen Harry Potter?” Evan asked as they followed the kids.
“Yeah, Lamonte had us watch all the movies with him. They’re pretty interesting.” Zaharah answered.
“You should have seen the look on her face when that giant spider showed up.” Wade added and Zaharah pinch his side. “Hey now, be good. You were so cute and had a death grip on my arm.”
“Hush before I dump you in a fountain.”
He leaned in an kissed her temple. “I love when you get scared like that, you latch onto me and won’t budge until the movie’s over.” Evan and Aria laughed, making Zaharah’s cheeks redden with embarrassment. “I love you Zaharah, with all my heart.”
“I love you too.” Both Zaharah and Wade were surprised by how strange the Harry Potter part of the park was and found themselves stopping at every building to look at or in it. Lamonte often grabbed his mother’s hand to get them moving, trying his best not to laugh.
Over breakfast they decided to give a whole day to this portion of the park since it was so big. The day was amazing and Lamonte found himself even more enamored with Jenny than he had ever been. She just laughed and smiled, it seemed all she could do while she was here. Zaharah and Wade spent their day just taking all this in. When you lived so much of your life as just a worker bee knowing nothing but your job seeing a place like this was almost a shock. It was the third day of an amazing vacation when they all felt somthing. They didn’t know what but they all felt some sort of strange vibration.
The next thing Wade heard Evan say is “where’s Lindsey!” They all looked around and they felt weird again. “wait…what?” Aria asked confused. “what?”
“this wasn’t where we were”
“what do you mean?” Evan thought hard. No they weren’t where they were. They were walking by a souvenir store in the first vibration and now they were by a ride. Were they loseing time or being moved? Whatever the hell was happening he was going to find out where his daughter was and why. Zaharah and Wade didn’t know what to do or say. There was so much they didn’t know and they knew their friends had to be scared. Lamonte took Jennys hand, afraid she might disappear too. Everything went dark for a second and Wade jerked his wife back, swearing he saw some sort of creature in front of her for just a brief moment. Then it went dark for half a minute and all the could hear was snarls and the most unsettling laughter coming from….above?
Nothing was making sense. They didn’t even know if they could trust what their mind was telling them was going on. When they could see again all they could hear was panic. Wade, still nicely built from maintaining the body he had earned from manual labor picked up Lamonte and Jenny, afraid of the stampede of people rushing out of the park he knew was coming. “Lindsey!” They heard Evan start to scream, or had he been screaming the whole time? Zaharah and Wade honestly didn’t know. Their brains hurt and they were utterly confused.
The stampede they all knew was coming began and Aria screamed “get the babies out of the park! We’ll find Lindsey!” Not having time to question their want Wade and Zaharah tried to run out but they didn’t get far before dizziness took over and it was black again, black and the world around them filled with sounds they knew not a thing of. It was all silence for far too long and when they could see again Jenny was gone. “Jenny?” Lamonte was the first to say. “O my god” Zaharah said as she covered her mouth. Wade was marred up like he had fought to keep her but he had no memory of it. “what the fuck!” was all he coudl say. Wade decided now that they werent being moved, they were loseing time. Somthing was messing with their heads and now the two little girls of his best friends were gone.
Jenny now found herself running with Lindsey but she had no idea where they were “Lindsey! Lindsey!” Jenny didn’t know why she was screaming her sisters name as she was pulled along but she was terrified and didn’t know what else to do. Lindsey stopped running through the blue bladed grass “Jenny you need to listen to me. I know you don’t remember me talking to you because he makes sure nobody does but we are in real shit right now and I need you to shut up. I know you’re scared but you’re going to have to trust your sister.” Jenny nodded with tears in her eyes as her sister began pulling her along again.
Lindsey stopped to catch her breath and Jenny asked “please help me understand” Lindsey sighed and hugged her “its my fault he took you too baby but I’ll get you back. I got home last time and I’ll get you home this time.”
“Lindsey, I don’t understand”
“I know baby but I don’t think you’d understand even if I told you. I tried once but then he erased yours and mom and dads memory of it. He wont leave me alone. He says he needs and that I’m a reincarnation of someone. I think hes fucking psycho to be honest but until we’re home we’re in danger, especially from him. I just need to find my friend here. He’ll help us.”
‘yes, now, he’ll seem scary to you but he wont hurt you. He’s about the only person we can trust here. Just think of him like the prince in beauty and the beast. He looks like a monster but hes not one at all”
“whats a reincarnation?”
“No time, we need to get moving again”
“Jenny,” Aria screamed as she spun in circles, “Lindsey, please. My babies.” Evan grabbed her, pulling her against him, afraid she would be next. Wade was in real pain, his chest was on fire from the claw marks marring his flesh. He kept Zaharah close, his eyes darting around. His vision fell dark again then he felt a hand on his shoulder and found himself being pushed forward.
“Run, now.” A voice said in his ear and even though he was dizzy and couldn’t see, he moved forward. His vision cleared and he looked back, seeing a woman guiding Aria and Evan the way they were being pushed forward by a young man. He could see behind them a man, a flaming sword in his hand as he face off against whatever force had attacked them. “Keep going, he’ll take care of it.” The young man said. He pushed them into one of the shops and the woman followed with Aria and Evan.
“Who are you?” Wade asked.
“Kelta, that’s my mother Faline and that man out there is my father Victor.”
“Jenny and Lindsey.” Aria said, her voice terrified.
“We’ll get them back.” Faline said, trying to soothe her.
The panic in the crowd died down and Zaharah asked “why are they acting so normal?”
“they’ve forgotten anything happened”
“how?” Kelta sighed, readying himself for a long explanation “your oldest daughter is in her second lifetime. Souls reincarnate and her soul is originally from a different world. When a soul is reborn it’s actually rare for it to rebirth into the same world it started. In the world she’s from, in her past life the man she married beat her to death. He is a powerful, awful man and god knows why she chose him because another man was trying to woo her when she was single but she chose the self centered brute over him and her life ended with one of his many beatings. He’s already come for her once around her twelfth birthday but the man she rejected in the favor of the man she married caught her scent when he had her in the world and he saved her from him since in this lifetime she didn’t want him either. Your daughter…went through some pretty awful stuff before Varick discovered she had even reincarnated and was there but he did get her home. Sadly Anstine has messed with your minds. She’s tried and tried to tell you guys, to reach out to deal with her pain but in the end all she could do was deal with it alone because you guys dont remember. Varick has kept a watchful eye which is why he knew to warn us Anstine was going to try again and to enlist our help but he tells me very sad things about a sad girl who just listens to music all the time to try and cope. I don’t know if you guys can imagine what its like to go through somthing absolutely terrifying at a young age and not have anybody you can talk to but it’s what your daughter has been dealing with.”
He could tell they were overwhelmed but it wasn’t surprising. They were merely human and had just lost both daughters “are we going to remember this time” Aria asked shakily “My mother will see to that”
“does she know why he took her?”
“yes but Varick tells me she doesn’t know who he used to be. He told me there wasn’t much point in telling her. He said in telling her they were just friends it wasn’t even a lie because it never advanced more than that”
“does he still?’ Evan paused and gave Kelta a weird look, obviously still overwhelmed. Kelta shrugged “I don’t know his heart but I do know he’d still die to protect her so know even though she’s in that world he will do everything in his power to get her home”
“has he spoken to her since last time?”
“No, he’s just been watching because he knew Anstine would try again. As strong as he is he can’t kill him. He’s hoping we can because he’s not going to stop. He will come after her until shes his or she dies again”
Lindsey began to bang wildly on the wooden door before her “damn it! Why isn’t he home!” she cursed then said a few words Jenny didn’t understand. The door opened and Jenny asked “what did you do?”
“My friend gave me a password to get in if I needed to and he wasn’t home.”
Lindsey pulled the door closed behind them and locked it then made sure all the windows were secure before turning to her sister. “So what now?” Jenny asked.
“We should be safe here. Varick would have set up safeguards. We’ll wait for him to get back then go from there.”
“So, he’ll really help us?”
“Of course, he’s a good guy. You’ll like him.”
Jenny smiled. “You sound like you like him.”
Lindsey blushed. “We’re friends.”
“We are, just friends.” Lindsey flopped down on the couch and buried her face in her hands. “I’m sorry I pulled you into this Jenny, I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I’m fine Lindsey.”
“Just don’t get between that monster and me if he comes for me because he will kill you. I can’t lose you Jenny.” Jenny sat down next to her and hugged her.
“I love you Lindsey.”
“I love you too.”
They held eachother until Varick rushed in, startling Jenny so she clung to her sister and trembled “No no Jenny this is Varick” she glanced up at him then buried her face again “I’m sorry” Lindsey said and he smiled “she is fine. I’m just glad you two made it here. Sorry I took so long. One of that bastards mutts proved to be particularly hard to kill”
“at least you gave me the password to your home” he approached and appeared to look Lindsey over “good, you don’t seem to be hurt” her heart sped up and she turned her attention quickly to Jenny “come on, don’t be rude. He’s really nice” Jenny cautiously got up “what are you?” she asked and Lindsey said “Jenny, how rude” he chuckled “you wouldn’t know it if I told you little one. I must get you both back to your home but first I will take you somwhere he wont be looking for you. Just for a few hours to rattle him and buy time for the people I’ve asked to help me get rid of him for good. I wont let him hurt you Lindsey, never again” He looked at Lindsey as he made that promise and her blush returned.
The demon fled which was a surprise to Zaharah, Wade, Lamonte, Aria, and Evan. They had expected it to fight, to try for someone else, but after a few moments of circling and Victor scoring a hit that had the demon growling, it vanished. “Come on.” Faline said as she got up and hurried over to Victor, the others following her closely.
“Cowardly bastard.” Victor said, the sword vanishing as he reached out to hug his wife. “Everyone okay?”
“We’re as fine as can be expected.” Wade said, keeping Zaharah and Lamonte close.
“Where are our daughters?” Aria asked, her eyes swimming with fresh tears.
Faline, Victor and Kelta all exchanged glances. “Probably with Varick.” Faline said.
“Then lets go get them.” Evan replied.
“Varick will move them, he’ll keep Anstine looking which is good, because it will give us a chance to find Anstine and kill him.” Victor explained.
“Look, we know this is all insane to you, I mean demons and angels, it’s all quite shocking, but we’re real and we’re going to stop the man trying to take your daughter.”
“And what about this guy Varick?” Lamonte asked. “He’ll keep Jenny just as safe as Lindsey right?”
“He’s a good man and what is important to Lindsey is important to him. He would die a thousand times before he let Anstine have them.”
As Jenny finished her glass of water Varick said “I know you don’t know me little one but when I leave here with you and your sister I need you to listen when I tell you to do things. This is a dangerous world if you dont know the ways of it and I cannot hurt your sister by letting you get hurt. You’ll listen right?”
“I also don’t want to seem mean but I need you to try not to cry. The quieter we can be the better. If you cry I wont get angry. I’m just asking you to do your best for me”
“I’m going to pick you up now” he warned then slowly reached for her. He grabbed Jenny then stood before lifting Lindsey. Both girls clung to him and he hurried out of his home. Lindsey hated the situation but was glad to finally be around Varick again. He made her feel so at peace. It had been easy to believe he had been her best friend in her past life. Everything about her told her he had meant everything at one point. She had been disappointed not seeing him after he got her safely home last time but at least this time she knew not to expect to see him again. She wondered if it was because she was just a kid in this life still. She knew it might be foolish to hope but regardless she hoped that maybe when she was an adult he might want to at least be real friends again.
Zaharah held both Wade’s and Lamonte’s hand, wanting them close as they and their friends followed Faline, Victor and Kelta. They didn’t know where they were going, only that their new acquaintances had promised to get them to Lindsey and Jenny. “How do we get to them?” Aria asked, still sounding distraught.
“There is a portal nearby that will allow us to step into Varick’s world.” Faline explained.
“A portal?” Wade asked, his suspicion clear in his voice.
“I know it sounds crazy, believe me I’ve been there.” Victor said. “When I found out Faline was a demon I was more than a little confused. Then when I found out that I was half angel, I was even more confused.”
“I don’t know why we’re so bothered by the idea, Zaharah and I are clones.” Wade replied.
“I thought I smelled something strange about you.” Kelta said as he looked them both over. “You’re human, but not at the same time. It’s so strange, you actually have souls and everything. They must have found you as you were being grown, it’s fascinating.”
“Kelta, don’t overwhelm them.” Victor reprimanded.
“Sorry, I’ve just never seen an actual clone before.”
“it’s alright, we don’t mind” Zaharah assured Victor. They made it to the portal and Faline said ‘just keep a hold on eachother. It’ll feel weird and theres a chance you could throw up but it’s normal for first timers” When everyone was ready Victor spoke a few words then guided them in. Aria, already upset into a fit threw up along with Lamonte but all in all everyone was fine. It was while Lamonte was bent over he noticed the grass “woah” he said as he stood up straight “why is it blue?”
“Most everything that is green in your world is blue here” Faline explained “cool”
“I know this place is new and wondrous but you all need to stay with us at all times. This can be a nice world to live in but only if you know it. As amazing as this place can be it can be equally as dangerous. Also we ask you to refrain from crying if you can. There are creatures here who enjoy how blood tastes when a person is crying. They can smell tears for miles and will come to kill you. We can of course protect you but it would be better if we didn’t have that delay” They all nodded and followed their new allies.
After a short time of walking Victor suddenly had his sword out and they heard someone running towards them. The man stopped once he was by them and held up his hands to show h wasn’t trying to threaten them “My name is Uffe. I am a friend of Varicks and was Lindseys friend when she was known as Annette. I just want to help you all stop the bastard after her. I don’t want to see her killed or forced back into a relationship she doesn’t want” Lamonte just stood there with his jaw hanging open. The man before him had white gray skin and lime green eyes. The skin is what caught his attention first but those eyes just grab you. That wasn’t even to mention the antlers on his head. He could tell this was a man but he was beautiful.
“What are you?” Lamonte finally asked and Zaharah gave him a little nudge. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine, most people are curious upon meeting me if they’ve never seen a saytr before.”
“Do you know where our daughters are?” Aria asked worriedly.
“We can check at Varick’s.” He replied.
“That’s where we were headed.” Victor chimed in, eyeing Uffe suspiciously.
“Please allow me to accompany you then, I won’t be any trouble, I just want to help.” Victor looked at Aria and Evan who nodded their ascent then at Zaharah, Wade and Lamonte.
“It’s fine with us.” Wade said.
“I just want Jenny back.” Lamonte said then blushed. “And Lindsey as well.”
“Jenny, her sister. Varick told me Lindsey had a sister. I’ve heard good things” with that they hurried to Varicks and found he was already gone with the girls “so he’s already hiding with them. That is actually good. Anstine will check here too if he hasn’t already. We need to find him now and take care of this. Are you humans sure you want to follow? You can stay in this house where it’s safe. He has made it pretty much indestructible. Most creatures couldn’t get in here no matter how they tried”
“we can’t just sit around here”
“Understandable, haveing you guys with us will help sniff him out. He will smell Lindsey on you and attack just to punish her” Wade was clutching Zaharahs and Lamontes hands again as those words sank in. When they left Uffe made sure the door was locked tight and they began walking towards the home of Anstine.Lamonte kept looking at Uffes antlers so he asked “want me to lift you so you can feel them” he blushed again “No’
“alright but the offer stands”
“Are we there yet?” Jenny asked as Varick jumped over a fallen tree.
“Almost, are you alright?”
“I’m hungry and I need to use the bathroom.”
“Have you been holding it?” His question made her blush and he skidded to a stop. “You should never do that, it could hurt you.” He sat both Jenny and Lindsey down. “Lindsey, why don’t you take her just a little ways into the woods, not too far, but so I can see her and let her go pee.”
“Alright.” She took Jenny’s hand.
“Yell for me if you need me. I won’t let anyone or anything take you.”
Lindsey smiled, making his heart flutter. “I know so don’t worry.”
When Jenny was done he lifted them both again “I’ll find us somthing to eat. I would find you meat but we don’t have that much time. I need you both hidden” He found them vegetation they could eat safely and let them have their fill before running again. Varick swept through this gorgeous and strange world faster than Jenny thought a man could go. Lindsey had gotten over the shock her first time here but this was all new and scary for her younger sister. Every animal or creature was just a blur, somthing she could barely make out due to Varicks rushing. Jenny hesitated to think they had only passed animals since Varick himself might look like an animal to her if she didn’t know he was a man.
They had been in this world a little over a half hour when Victor drew his blade again. Every supernatural creature seemed to get on guard and it frightened their human companions. “where is she and that pest Varick” they heard a growl but couldn’t see where the monster was. “Leave them the hell alone” Uffe said angrily. “she;s mine, she’s still my wife”
“that woman is dead” Victor answered this time.
“She’s there, I can sense her. She remembers.”
“You can’t have her Anstine, the only people allowed to dictate her life are her parents. You have no right to her.”
They heard a growl and what sound like tearing. A tree flew at them and Victor sliced through it with ease. Both Aria and Zaharah let out a yell when vines wrapped around their ankles and began pulling them away. Both Evan and Wade grabbed onto them, holding tightly to their waists as they dug into the ground with their feet. Victor launched himself into the forest while Kelta and Faline took care of the vines. Wade held Zaharah close to him when she was cut free. He wasn’t going to lose her to some abusive, murdering monster, he would die first.
Wade and Zaharah sat there fearfully with their friends and son as Kelta and Faline guarded them. “Mom, don’t you need to help dad?”
“he’s fine Kelta. It’s better we both are here to guard these five. They are humans. If your father is injured he will mend but their bodies can’t take it like ours. I’m sure he’d prefer us doing what we’re doing now. Anstines mind tricks don’t work on him and I think Anstine heavily relies on that. It becomes his weakness when he meets creatures that aren’t susceptible to it” Kelta nodded and waited patiently by his mothers side. He kept all his senses open to make sure nothing was sneaking up.
Not sure how long it was later Lamonte gasped when Victor came bloodied out of the woods. He was bleeding so badly the little boy was near ready to feint. Faline ran to him and Victor smiled “I’ll be okay. I killed him.” she handed him somthing to drink and he downed it “kelta, I’m going to make sure your father gets home where he can be tended to by your siblings. I’ll have them call your wife aswell. Stay put with these people until I return to help you get in contact with Varick”
“he’s not going to die is he?” Lamonte asked and Faline shook her head “no sweetheart, he’ll heal”
Zaharah hugged her son and Wade wrapped his arms around them both. He was sure Lamonte was even more shocked than he and Zaharah were. Blood had never bothered them. “He’s still walking, so I think he’ll be fine.” Wade soothed as he patted his son’s head.
“Alright. How long will it take us to get Jenny and Lindsey back?”
“As soon as Victor and Faline get back, we’ll find them.” Kelta said, flopping down in the grass. “Come on, relax for now.”
They all took a seat, Aria and Evan staying close to their friends. “So that demon and Varick, they both want our daughter?” Aria asked.
“Anstine wanted to control her, to use her, make her his pet. He was not one to take no for an answer. Varick loves Lindsey, really loves her. That’s why he hasn’t said anything to her about their previous relationship. He wants her to love him on her own, not because of a past life.”
“He could always say something.” Evan chimed in.
“Would you be okay with your child being with a creature like Varick?” Kelta asked.
“He’s been watching out for her, he’s protecting her even now, and if he’s half the man you say he is then I wouldn’t mind as long as he swore to love and cherish her the way I do Aria and that he knew I would kill him if he dared hurt her.”
“I think he would give himself over to you willingly.”
Suddenly they noticed Uffe coming back “Oh shit man, I didn’t see you run off into the woods”
“I wasnt what you all were looking at. I wanted to help Victor. He honestly didn’t need much. Your father is very impressive” He laid down in the grass “you heal crazy fast huh?” Kelta asked and he said “yeah, pretty much instantly.”
“yeah, imagine if a man like your father could heal like me?”
“over powered, probably why he wasn’t blessed with that” Uffe chuckled then just sort of went limp. “is he sleeping after all that?” Zaharah asked and Kelta chuckled “stuff like that isn’t too far from the norm in a world like this” When Faline came back they started on their way to find Varick and the girls. With Falines ability to track scents and Uffe knowing his childhood friend they didn’t expect it to be very hard to find them. “Uffe?” Aria suddenly asked as they walked “yes?”
“do you think Lindsey honestly chose Anstine over Varick”
“She certainly convinced Varick she did but who knows. I never got to see her any longer once she married Anstine.”
“If Lindsey is anything like Annette was I don’t think so” Uffe shrugged “Yeah, never made much sense to me”
The place where Varick had taken them may have been a cave, but he had done his best to make it comfortable. Animal hides laid in piles on the cave floor, forming soft cushions for them to sit on and protective barriers had been put up to ward off any predators. Lindsey sat close to Varick who had his arms around her and Jenny had her head resting on Lindsey’s lap. She had fallen asleep after such an exhausting day and Lindsey gently stroked her hair. “You would have made an excellent mother.” Varick said and Lindsey smiled.
“I wish I could remember everything. My memory is still spotty. I have these nightmares about me being in pain, about feeling bruised and beaten. I see his face, Anstine’s and I shudder. I can see he is a monster and I don’t remember why I married him.”
“It’s in the past, a life long gone, just let it go.”
“Yeah right, like I’d do something like that. You should know by now that I’m too stubborn.”
“I guess I should.” He sighed. “Lindsey, I never got to apologize to you for not getting there in time, for not being quicker. I should have done more.”
“It wasn’t your fault Varick, nothing that happened was your fault. No matter what life I’m in.”
“Hush, no apologies, ever.” She kissed his cheek and he felt his heart race. He wanted very badly to kiss her lips, but he refrained from doing so. He rested his head on top of hers instead, just enjoying being close to her. A few minutes later, the sound of voices caught his attention and his head shot up.
“Stay here and be quiet.”
Lindsey felt her heart stutter. “Has he found us already?”
“I don’t know, just stay here. I’ll be back, I promise.”
Lindsey sat there fearfully with her sister. She wasn’t so much afraid for herself as much as she was afraid of Jenny having to experience anything she experienced the last time that man got her. Varick was ready to fight until he noticed it was just his friends and Lindseys family. “where is Victor?”
“Healing at home. He and Uffe took Anstine out though. He wont be coming after Lindsey again” Varick felt as if a mountain was lifted off his shoulders. He hugged Faline “thank you so much. I could have fought him off but I was no match when it came to killing him”
“we were happy to help, you know that.”
“where are my girls” Aria asked, crying even though the worst was over. “Oh, sorry, please come” he quickly guided them in and Lindsey shook her sister awake “It’s mom and dad!” Jenny jerked awake and began running to her parents. Lindsey did the same, the family forming a group hug. Lamonte anxiously waited his turn to hug Jenny. He was happy when she ran for him next. Zaharah and Wade smiled at their son and thanked Varick as well “thank you, those girls mean a lot to us too”
“I’m glad this time I can actually say I kept Lindsey safe” Lindsey huffed and walked back over to him “You did all you could for me last time. As soon as you knew I was here you came for me and that was all you could do. If it weren’t for you I would have never gotten home the first time or this time. I don’t want to hear one more word that implies you failed me last time or in my past life. I married that asshole for whatever reason. I highly doubt as my friend you were thrilled about it back then so no pain I’ve gone through is or ever will be your fault Varick”
He hugged her “I didn’t mean to make you upset. I will stop”
“good, don’t make me tell you again” He held her tighter, knowing she’d be leaving soon. “can we go home now?” Jenny asked and Varick let go of Lindsey “yeah” Lindsey now asked “i’m not going to see you again am I?”
“do you want to see me?”
“how big of an idiot are you? Of course” it looked like he almost laughed “You really are just like you were.”
“so see me, don’t just save me and not come back until I need you again..I missed you”
“then we’ll stop at my home before I take you back so you can call on me when you want to see me. If it’s okay with your parents anyway. ”
“we’d like you to see her” Evan said and they set on their way to Varicks home. When they got there Varick told everyone to sit down and instructed Uffe to get them drinks or food if they needed it since he would be awhile. “Lindsey, would you like to come with me?” she smiled and followed him out of the living room. Jenny sat in her mothers lap while Lamonte sat on their left with Evan on their right.
“You look like you’re thinking really hard.” Lindsey said.
“I am, I have a lot I want to say and ask.” They stepped into his library which was small and had books that wouldn’t fit on the shelves piled around the room.
She grabbed his hand and made him turn around. “What is it?”
“First things first.” He gently pulled away and started sifting through his books, pulling one out and dusting it off before sitting it on the desk in the center of the room. “I want you to be able to always call me to you should something happen or if you just wish to talk.”
“I’ll never get tired of your magic.”
He smiled as he flipped through the pages. “Here we are.” He read the spell a couple of times then moved around the desk to her. “Trust me okay?”
“Don’t I always?” He framed her face with his hands, letting his thumbs brush over her temples. He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against hers as he chanted softly. She felt warmth flow from his hands into her head, the sensation amazingly soothing. She wasn’t sure how long they stood there.
“There.” He said as he pulled back. “Now all you have to do is think what you wish to say and I will hear it in my head.” He cleared his throat and let his hands drop.
“There’s something on your mind other than keeping in touch.”
He sighed. “I don’t want to lose you again. Once was enough. I want you to become a demon, your family too if you’d like. I don’t have the spell for it, but I know of someone who does and I’m sure he’d be willing to help. Will you consider it?”
“that can really happen? Woah” It was more of a surprised statement than a question. He smiled, seeming a little tense. “please talk it over with your parents. Admittedly I hear that it is painful but as young as you all are you’ll be just fine. You will still look human and fit in where you live. You’d be surprised how many people you meet aren’t people at all”
“Okay, lets go in there now and discuss it” He smiled hopefully and walked out with her. Varick explained everything to her parents, ending with “I wont pressure any of you..I just don’t want to lose her a second time” Uffe felt a tug at his heart for his friend. He had gone through so much pain when Annette was alive since he knew she was with an aweful man. Then he had to deal with years upon years of her being dead and now in her second life she had almost been taken by Anstine again twice. Uffe deeply hoped the family would say yes because he didn’t know how much more his friend could take.
“But I don’t want to live forever without Lamonte” Jenny said as she held tighter to her friends hand. “Then I will change them too” Varick answered. Uffe smiled thinking “anything to get Lindsey to pick eternal life” It was talked about for a little bit before they all agreed. Varick let a relieved breath of air “we’ve all had a hard day. i can start getting this arranged tomorrow. If you all want to go home for now you can of course but you’re welcome here too” Faline stood and her son followed suit “i would stay and help with all that would entail but my husband is badly wounded and while he will heal I will feel better being there”
Uffe shook Faline and Keltas hand “are you sure there is nothing I can do to repay you. I know my money is no good in your world but I owe you lindseys life”
“we dont require anything atall. We were happy to wipe out another ass” Lindsey now spoke “Tell your husband thank you for me”
“You’ll all be staying then?” Varick asked.
“Yes, thank you and besides, I think we all want to relax after the day we’ve had.” Wade answered and the others nodded their agreement.
“I only have two rooms, so I’ll take the couch.”
“You don’t have to do that.” Zaharah said and he held up his hand.
“I insist. I’m one person so it’ll be easier for me to sleep on the couch.”
“Alright, thank you.”
“Will you be staying as well Uffe, I can make you a pallet.”
“Of course and I’ll help you with changing everyone if you need me too.”
The next day was long and tiresome changing so many people but between Uffe, Varick and the friend they went to for help it was done all at once so everybody could recover and start their new life together without running over how much vacation time everybody had taken from work. When everybody felt better Uffe and Varick helped them through the portal. Varick hugged Lindsey for much longer than he felt he should have but he couldn’t help it. Lindsey asked before they parted “I want to see you frequently”
“me too, maybe I can pick you up and bring you here on weekends. I’d go to your world and spend time but I wouldn’t fit in”
“you can bring your family when they want to come too. Always know that. I’m not trying to take you from them” Lindsey’s smile widened “I know, thank you for everything. I want you to help me remember who I used to be.”
“A shaman can honestly help if you really want help with that”
“okay, I don’t know of many but I’ll see if any of the ones I do know would be willing. If not I’m sorry but I’m really going to try if you truly wish to remember”
“I feel like I have to” Varick gave her one last long hug before returning to his world and leaving her with her family. They all checked out of their hotels and went home. Lamonte went to the Gideon household to have a sleepover then just ride to school with Jenny so Zaharah and Wade had the place to themselves. “can you believe all that happened?” she asked her husband while they were in bed together. “Yeah, now we’re immortal and I think Lindsey has a boyfriend” Zaharah laughed “yeah, I think there was more than friendship going on in their past life but Varick is holding back”
“he seems to be a good man”
“yeah” They talked about their vacation and what it meant for the future until they faded into a deep, blissful sleep.