Daybreak Ch. 10bypurefire©
It felt as if they'd been gone for hours. Charisma paced the length of the chaste living room as she went over every horrible outcome to the change in their situation. It would have been one thing if Jameson had only been hurt; she could deal with injuries. But willful capture? Didn't he know that she couldn't handle that?
"Could you stop pacing, please? You're making me dizzy."
Charisma sighed as she dropped down onto the green couch next to Nadia. "Sorry, I just can't..." She cradled her face in her hands and took another deep breath to calm herself. "He has to be all right."
"He is and he will be."
"How do you know?"
Nadia thought for a moment. It was true that she did not know if Jameson was fine, but keeping Charisma calm was priority. "It's part of my role to know. If something bad was going to happen to him, I definitely would have been informed."
"But you said that what you see is destined to happen."
"That's true, yes, but there are random instances in which what I see is meant to be prevented. If I don't get the vision, then that random instance may come true."
"That makes absolutely no sense."
"Tell that to the High Council."
Charisma shook her head as she said, "The more you talk about them, the more I dislike them."
Nadia laughed to keep herself from voicing her true feelings about the High Council. What mattered was that Charisma was kept calm so that her abilities didn't get out of control. She'd only had one training session - a training session that was interrupted when the cloak on the manor was deactivated - and therefore didn't have enough practice to keep her abilities to herself. "You have to believe that everything will be all right."
"You're right. I know you're right." Charisma took another breath and then sat back. As she stared up at the ceiling, she forced herself to think positively. Nothing was wrong with Jameson. He was fine, he would return to her, and she'd apologize for stupidly keeping him at bay when he knew from the beginning that they would have something special. "I just don't know what I'll do if he gets hurt. I finally accept the fact that he's-" She stopped when she realized that Nadia wasn't the person who needed to hear those words. "If you touch me, will you see anything?"
"It's possible. We're both running on high emotion right now." Nadia shrugged in a way that kept her from having to explain much else. She was sure that Charisma already knew that their powers came from their emotions and that neither one of them was trained enough to control them. "But these visions are also dependent on the High Council. They don't want me to have the power to alter the future too much."
"Then what's the point?"
"They don't want me to interfere with their grand plans, whatever they may be."
"Why am I scared all of a sudden?"
Nadia shook her head slowly to calm her down. "Don't worry too much about them. Their grand plans mostly have to do with the guys. We just happen to aid them in their so-called missions." She held her hands out toward Charisma, hoping that she saw something other than a scene comparable to porn. "Let's see what happens."
Charisma placed her hands in Nadia's and felt her eyes widen when a surge of heat went through her body. At first, she thought it was simply her powers coming into play, but when Nadia's eyes only became brighter and more intense, she knew that her friend was seeing something of great importance. When the heat became uncomfortable, she began to pull away. "Nadia, it's starting to hurt."
"To kill the beast, you must go to the den."
"What?" Charisma pulled harder, convinced that something was wrong. If she heard correctly, Nadia wanted her to go to Zaide. Since when was that a good idea? "Nadia, no."
"Yes." Nadia nodded slowly as she continued, "It is the only way."
There were tears running down Nadia's cheeks. That couldn't be a good sign. Charisma used all of the strength in her body and pulled away from the Daemis' tight grip. The move had her half sprawled on the couch, but she was at least free. She watched as Nadia's eyes slowly returned to normal but was quick to see the devastation in her friend's eyes. "Nadia-"
"You have to go to the church."
"Are you nuts? That's suicide."
Nadia didn't bother to wipe her eyes or mask her inner turmoil as she said, "It's the only way."
"But the cloak-"
"There is no cloak on this safe house. You have to trust me. Going to the church will save Jameson."
How could she argue with such a statement? Charisma knew that she would do anything in her power to save him, and she was sure that Nadia knew the same. Though she did not think that Nadia would use the knowledge against her, she had to wonder what her friend's motives were. "You're sure about this?"
"I'd bet my life on it."
Charisma took a moment to sigh before she stood and said, "All right, let's go."
"No, I have to stay here."
"Nadia, you can't honestly think that I would not only go by myself, but that I'd leave you here alone." Not after everything they'd been through and most certainly not after the way Nadia fought to protect her.
"But you will." It was imperative that Charisma go to the church. Something had changed, so much so that the flow of events had been altered. If things were to get back on course, drastic measures had to be taken. "You need to go now. Before it's too late."
"Too late for what?" When Nadia only looked away from her, Charisma became frightened. "Too late for what, Nadia?"
"Please... Just go."
Charisma stared at Nadia for a few moments, unsure of what to do. On the one hand it was stupid to ignore the advice of someone who could see the not too distant future, but on the other, it was hard to follow such dangerous orders. Go to Zaide? Willingly? It was insane!
But Nadia's tears... The look of genuine fear on her face. Those were too hard to ignore. She had to go. "Ok, I'll go. But please, be safe."
"You have to hurry," was Nadia's reply. She did not watch as Charisma walked out of the room and waited until she heard the eerily loud click of the lock. She was alone. It was safe to cry.
The tears started slowly, like the slow decent of rain droplets on a dry windowpane, but the more she prepared herself for what was to come, the faster the tears came. Nadia was powerless to stop them. Nor did she try to; thoughts of what was to happen pushed her closer to hopelessness and she did not know how to stop it. There was no way around this, no way to save everyone from the pain of what was to come. As she curled herself on the couch, she prayed. Not for a miracle, but that she was doing the right thing.
Outside, Charisma roamed the deserted streets slowly as she tried to find her way to the church. She wasn't completely sure, but she thought that she knew where Page Street was. It wasn't too far from the abandoned glass factory, but a side street needed to be taken to get there.
She sincerely hoped that Nadia was right. This was a very stupid idea, especially considering the fact that Jameson got himself captured to keep her safe. Nadia did say that going to Zaide would save him, however, so there had to be some wisdom behind the idiocy. Charisma turned the corner, hoping that she found the right side street, when she walked into what had to be a wall. She took a step back and felt her eyes widen at the sight of the man who was in her house the night it burned down. "Sherman."
"Sherlaine," he corrected. There wasn't fear in her eyes now, he was disappointed to see. It was the fear he loved, not the surprise. "You will come with me."
"You're going to take me to Zaide."
That she said that as a statement of fact and not a question made him quirk a brow curiously. "Yes. You will not fight me."
Well, that was certainly easier than she thought. "How did you find me?"
Sherlaine thought it best to keep from telling her that she'd found him. He'd just finished feasting on an especially delicious human when he heard the sounds of approaching footsteps. By chance it happened to be her. He said nothing as he placed his hand on her shoulder and remained silent as he teleported them to the location chosen by Zaide. "I hope you find your accommodations suitable."
If it wasn't for the fact that she was literally in the beast's lair, she would have been more than excited to look at her new surroundings. The stone floor shone from a recent polishing and highlighted the four-poster metal bed in the center of the room. High, arched ceilings gave the room a medieval atmosphere, especially when paired with the large opened window that let in the moonlight. There was an armoire in the far corner of the room and near it, a full length mirror. It was obvious that the room was prepared for a long stay. A permanent stay. "I want to talk to him."
"You will. In time." And after he made arrangements with Zaide to keep her for himself when his temporary boss was done with her.
"No, I-" She turned full circle and frowned when she realized that Sherlaine had left just as soon as he dropped her off. "That's just nice." Charisma knew when she was beat. With a long, drawn-out breath, she moved to the bed and sat down. There was nothing left to do but wait. For what, she did not know. But she hoped it wasn't for nothing.
* * * * *
How he wished he was able to use his powers. Jameson sat quietly in the dark room, bruised, bleeding, and completely exhausted. Zaide wasted no time in showcasing a broad spectrum of his abilities while he emphasized his need for Charisma. The demon didn't bother asking questions; instead, he made simple statements, all the while reminding Jameson of his sudden lack of ability to fight back. Zaide wanted screams; he received nothing but bored looks and grunts for replies. Those only angered him, but Jameson did not care; he wasn't going to win.
It felt as if they'd been in that room for days when in reality, it couldn't have possibly been more than a few hours. When one was being tortured for information, time never seemed to move normally. Jameson kept himself focused on getting to Charisma and ensuring her safety. Where the hell were his brothers? He knew for a fact that Euan tailed the Mordecai that captured him, which meant that the others knew where he was. Gaining entrance to the church really could not have been that much of a problem.
A subtle knock on the door caused both men to turn toward it. "What is it?" Zaide called out.
Jameson watched as a tall and lean underling walked into the room. If he had to guess, he was Zaide's second in command.
"Relocation has been completed."
"Excellent. What about Sherlaine?"
"He demands a moment of your time, My Lord."
"Of all the..." Zaide shook his head to clear himself of his anger. "He demands my time?"
"He says that you will appreciate it."
Jameson watched as Zaide thought for a minute. What was relocated and what did Sherlaine have to do with it?
"Tell him I will be with him in a minute." Zaide watched his commander leave the room before he turned to his captive. "Since I'm pretty sure your precious brothers are on their way, I had to make sure that you idiots didn't get in my way."
Jameson said nothing to the remark as he'd realized that the other captives had been moved. Absolutely perfect.
"I think you need some time to yourself to think about your selfish behavior. Not only have you taken something that is not yours, but you refuse to return it."
"I'll never let you have her."
"Never say never, Flame Boy."
Jameson allowed himself to scowl in anger when Zaide teleported out of the room. He sat quietly for a moment, both trying to control his rage, and the white-hot pain pulsating through his body. That son-of-a-bitch demon did a number on him. How in the hell did he get those powers? And how were they able to neutralize him? Endless questions flooded his mind as he fought the pain taking over his body. Zaide had to have some kind of a weakness; there was no way he was indestructible.
A familiar heat in his hands caused Jameson to look down. He flexed a hand experimentally and quirked a brow when a small spark ignited. Zaide's powers wore off after he left. He wondered if the demon knew that vital piece of information. Jameson figured not; his High Council half was most likely the reason for the return of his powers. Yes, it had to be his higher half; had Zaide's powers worn off on anyone else, the other captives would have found a way to escape.
Jameson waited patiently for his powers to return enough for him to burn his restraints off. Once the task was done, he did his best to ignore the agony tearing at him as he tried to move. Zaide must have taken his time learning human anatomy; there was no other explanation for the fact that his body was nearly cut up beyond recognition, but yet he did not bleed out. Every step, every move, even every breath was met with gut wrenching pain that made him confused on whether he would pass out or throw up. Getting out would not be easy, especially if he had to do it on his own. It took time, but he managed to get to the door and use his powers to get out of the dark and stale room. Through the bright lights of the hall, he was able to backtrack and find the main area of the church.
His brothers were there, and every single one them were engaged in battle. Andraemalek, the least merciful, too no time ripping the heads off of the demons that attacked him. It was clear, by the utter lack of training, that Zaide had left those who were newly turned into Mordecai behind. Jameson wasn't aware that so many had been created; it seemed as if his brothers were outnumbered nearly twenty to one. He held up his hand to throw out a blast of fire but stopped when Liam took hold of that hand instead.
"Way to look like shit," Liam admonished.
Jameson only grinned wryly as he allowed his brother to heal him. The sting of it was barely tolerable and for a moment, he wondered how Nadia was able to stand the pain when she'd been healed after she was once tortured.
"We would have gotten here sooner, but Lex wanted to check out the perimeter first."
That was as close to an apology as he was going to get from the redhead. Jameson didn't really care about the tardiness; his goals were to kick demon ass, get back to the woman he loved, and then kill Zaide, all in that order. As soon as he was completely healed, he threw out a series of fireballs, each concentrated on the demon scum attacking his brothers. In mere minutes, the fight was over.
"Did you see any of the hostages?"
Jameson nodded at Alexis as he said, "A small group was brought in just after I was, but Zaide have them moved."
"Did any one of them mention where?" Slade asked.
"No. Zaide was having too much fun cutting me up like last night's steak."
"Why didn't you blast him?"
Jameson only glanced at Andrae as he said, "This guy has a lot more power than we thought."
"How much power?" Alexis asked.
"He was able to neutralize me," was all Jameson said as he watched Euan's wolf form stalk out of the church.
"So you're saying that this guy can kick all of our asses?" Liam asked.
"That's just nice."
"Don't go into a fit," Roman said, "Obviously it doesn't work that well if you managed to get out."
"Yeah," Jameson replied, "My powers came back a few minutes after he left to talk to Sherlaine."
"I love how you wait until now to mention that that son of a bitch is back."
"Liam," Alexis warned.
"Where are Charisma and Nadia?" Jameson asked.
"At another safe house," Andraemalek said, "The manor needs to be reinforced before they can go back."
"They know what happened," Draco said, "D. told them both after they pelted Liam with cans."
"Don't fucking worry about it," Liam answered. He glared at his laughing brother and silently vowed to seek revenge.
"We should get - Slade, what the hell are you doing?"
The youngest of the brothers turned from his position in front of Zaide's throne as he said, "This chair reminds me of one I sat in during a visit to a brothel in Morocco."
"What the hell does that have to do with Zaide?" Liam asked.
"Nothing," Slade said on a shrug, "It just brought back some pretty sweet memories."
"We should get the perv back to a neutral area," Draco said.
Andraemalek waited until all of his brothers had taken hold of his arms before he shimmered them back to the safe house. Everything was quiet, but he wasn't worried; the women were most likely sleeping. He found himself following Nadia's scent and nodded in satisfaction when he found her sleeping on the couch. "Is Charisma in there?" he heard Jameson call out. He rejoined his brothers in the kitchen before he answered, "No."
"She wasn't upstairs," Jameson replied.
The men spent a tense moment staring at each other, hoping that someone would have an answer.
"If they came in here, Nadia would be missing too," Alexis reasoned.
"Then where the hell is she?"
Just then, Liam's question was answered. A folded sheet of white paper materialized on the small kitchen table. The men looked at each other once more before Jameson took the piece of paper in his hands. "Son of a bitch!" he shouted after he'd read the contents.
"What is it?" Roman asked. He quickly read what was written on the sheet of paper after Jameson shoved it at him. A second later, he rushed toward the living room. He heard his brothers follow after him but paid no mind.
"What the fuck is going on?" Liam shouted. He stopped when he walked into the living room. "I thought Nadia was in here."
Andraemalek ripped the sheet of paper out of Roman's hands and read what was written aloud. "'Turns out you had no choice in letting me have her, Flame Boy. She came to me herself. The other one on the other hand, I took. Just because."
Alexis ignored Andraemalek's roar of rage as he thought back to Nadia's warnings the day she deactivated the cloak on the manor. "Two will be taken."