Daybreak Ch. 02bypurefire©
What in the hell was Grey Eyes talking about? Charge? What charge? And how did the redhead throw fire? And while she had a million questions running through her head, who had slowed the speed of the fireball headed for her and how? Two minutes ago she was in hysterics. Now she was merely curious. "Can someone please explain what is going on here?"
Jameson looked at the now calm woman and mentally thanked Caleb before he said, "You switched our powers."
"Power transference," Jameson said. "You have the ability to take powers from one person and put them into another." He looked at Liam's understanding face before continuing. "It's been interesting, but we would really appreciate it if you put everything back the way it should be."
She hadn't been kidnapped by rapists.
She'd been kidnapped by a band of lunatics.
"We're not crazy," Caleb said as he stepped forward. This woman seemed determined to believe that they were out to hurt her. "Yes, I can read your mind, and yes, Liam threw the fire at you. He's very sorry, by the way."
She braced her hand on the back of the chaise as she looked at him. Then she smiled in delight as she decided that she was dreaming. Yes, this had to be some sort of weird dream. It explained everything, down to the unreal beauty of the men in the room. Now that she was sure that she was safe in bed, patiently waiting to wake up, she would play along. "If I have these... powers you speak of, I'm sorry to tell you that I don't know how they work." She watched as the twins approached her slowly. They were the tallest men in the room, making her five foot eleven frame seem dwarfish. There was kindness in their eyes, she noticed, and she actually found herself smiling as they introduced themselves. The one with the earring was called Roman. Draco was the name of the other one, but everyone called him Drake.
"We're just going to take hold of your hands, so don't go Britney Spears on us, ok?"
She nodded at Draco and let the men take hold of her hands. She watched as they looked at each other for a moment before they let go and stepped back.
"Test your powers out," Jameson said. He sighed dejectedly when Draco became invisible once more. So the woman really didn't know how to control her ability. Wonderful.
"That's classic," Liam said as he placed his hands on his hips, "Now I'm at risk of turning everyone around me into filet mignon."
Jameson looked at his brothers as he said, "She's probably new to this so we have to figure out what triggers her power so that we can set things back." He turned to Liam as he added, "In the meantime, try not to get mad because that's what triggers the bulk of my power."
Draco laughed boisterously as he said, "Liam? Not get mad? You might as well ask Lex to become a pole dancer." He walked to the quiet man and threw his arm around his shoulder. "Big brother, you've got your work cut out for you."
Jameson looked at the now silent woman as she observed what went on around her. For a moment, he wished that he had Caleb's ability because the amused looked in her eyes was adorable. "What's your name?"
"Charisma," both she and Caleb said at the same time. She looked at the one named Caleb skeptically for a moment before she reminded herself that she was still dreaming. That was how he knew her name when she hadn't mentioned it.
"Nice to meet you, Charisma." Jameson took a few steps forward as he said, "I'm Jameson. The blonde is Caleb, you've probably figured out that the hot head is Liam, Drake and Roman introduced themselves already, and Mr. Serious over there is Alexis." With a frown, he looked around the room and asked, "Where did Euan go?"
"Too much panic from her," Alexis said, "He had to leave."
"You'll meet him later," Jameson assured her. He motioned to Charisma to sit down before he questioned her. "Do you have any idea how long you've had your power?"
"Can anyone else in your family do it?" Liam asked.
"Are you training with anyone to control it?" Alexis added.
Charisma looked at the men in the room and shook her head. "Why are you asking me all of these questions? I don't have a power or ability or whatever you want to call it. This is just a dream."
Jameson looked at his brothers. He had no idea what to do or say to bring the woman back to reality. He crouched in front of her, trying to seem unthreatening. "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but this isn't a dream." When she shook her head, he pressed on. "Whether or not you choose to accept it, you have an ability, one that caused those de-" he decided to curb his tongue before she went into hysterics again, "men to try to kidnap you. You remember the men who tried to take you, right?"
Christ, this lunatic was gorgeous. As much as she tried to concentrate on the ridiculous conversation, she couldn't get past those grey eyes or those incredibly kissable lips. He had to be the most beautiful man she'd ever dreamed about.
She hoped she dreamed about him again.
Charisma cried out in surprise and pain when Caleb moved forward and pinched her arm hard. "What did you do that for?"
"If you were dreaming, you wouldn't have felt that."
She sat back, shocked at how irrefutable his comment was. Charisma looked at the blank expressions of the men in the room and felt her heartbeat accelerate. She wasn't dreaming. Dear God above, she wasn't dreaming.
"No, you're not dreaming," Caleb said. He sensed her rising panic and shifted her emotions to acceptance. The sooner she got past the nonsense in her head, the sooner they could get some answers.
Jameson nodded thanks to his brother once more before he focused his attention on Charisma. "We have to make sure no one else comes after you."
"How do you do that?"
Finally, they could get somewhere. Jameson stood up as he said, "By finding out who wants you. We learn who, we're that much closer to figuring out what they need your powers for."
Charisma nodded her head as she stood. This was a lot of information to digest, but it was a lot easier that the prospect of her rape and murder. "All right, so just keep me up to date. Now if you could give me directions back to my place from here, I-"
"You have to stay here," Jameson said, "You need protection and the safest place for you is this house."
There was no way in hell she was staying in a strange house with five strange men. "I'll take my chances." She moved to walk out of the room but stopped when Draco, Roman, and Alexis blocked the entryway. "Look, I appreciate the concern, but I have to go home. I can't put my life on hold simply because some guy wants to use some power I seem to have inherited out of nowhere. I've got a life to live."
"And you're going to have to live that life from here for now."
Charisma glared at Caleb as she said, "I'm going home."
Jameson shook his head for what had to be the thousandth time as he said, "We can't risk whoever is after you finding you. You're safest here."
"For the love of... Just lock her in one of the rooms," Liam interrupted. "And make sure you put a gag in her mouth."
Alexis ignored her indignant gasp as he chastised his brother. "Liam, the woman already has it in her head that we're either crazy or sadistic. Don't give her any more reason to start screaming again."
"Look, I'll let you choose." Jameson stepped back and ignored the cold sensation in the pit of his stomach because of the distance. He didn't want to think about what that meant. "You can either stay here with us until we know you're safe, or we can all go home with you."
Charisma was tempted to laugh, but the urge was quelled when the men nodded in agreement. "You're serious?" When they nodded again, she closed her eyes in frustration. By now, she'd figured out that they wouldn't hurt her, but they were still strange men who were telling her very unbelievable things.
"I hope you've got room for eight more," Draco announced. He really didn't want to shack up with her, but if it meant her protection, he'd do it.
"Make that seven," Caleb announced. "I have to get back to the city to take care of Wood Creek."
"The furniture conglomerate?" Charisma asked. Wood Creek specialized in wood furniture, restoration, and import.
"Yes. We own it." Caleb said as he walked toward Alexis. "Call me if you need anything."
"You're leaving now?" He knew his brother was set to go, but he never expected the departure to be so soon.
"Yes. I have a manufacturing meeting in the morning." Caleb turned to Charisma and said, "Interesting meeting you."
"Make that seven more," Draco said after Caleb left the room.
Charisma dropped herself onto the chaise in defeat. Suddenly she was very tired.
Jameson empathized with her frustration and gingerly placed a hand on her shoulder. "We'll be right back." He motioned to his brothers to go to the kitchen. There, he crossed his arms over his chest.
"From the beginning," Alexis ordered.
"You know that Nadia and D. are meeting with the High Council."
"Damn, we cam back to meet her," Roman interrupted. Just days before, he'd heard the remarkable story of the human who'd brought their half-demon brother back home after one hundred years. He'd been excited to familiarize himself with the woman who drove the men who lived at the manor insane.
"She'll be back soon," Jameson assured him. He looked at Alexis as he continued his explanation. "Before she left, she had another vision and said that Liam and I had to interfere in the plans of a group of Mordecai."
"But we don't hunt Mordecai," Alexis reminded him. They were for the Nariko to deal with.
"We do now," Liam interjected. He continued the explanation, recounting the events of the fight, Charisma's injury, and how she'd - no, Jameson - had healed her wound. "The rest you know."
"What would a group of demons that live off the souls of humans want with someone who has power transference?" Roman asked, "It has to be more than simply acquiring powers."
"Which is why this is going to be a bitch an a half to fight." Jameson brushed his fingertips over his chin in contemplation. "First thing's first, though."
"Switching our powers back," both Roman and Draco said. Each brother had different triggers that activated their powers. Because the new powers meant that they'd have to retrain themselves, something they didn't have the time to do, they were in trouble.
"Anger or fear?" Alexis asked. When his brothers looked at him quizzically, he said, "Her trigger. Do you think its anger or fear?"
"I'd bank on fear," Jameson said. "But since Caleb made her comfortable enough to neglect her fear of us, we have to find another way to trigger it."
"Make Euan take bear or cougar form and pretend to attack her." Liam ignored the incredulous looks he was given as he added, "Quickest way to set things back."
"One problem," Roman interjected, "He's a partial empath. Her fear will affect him."
"Son of a bitch," Liam mumbled.
"Let's just concentrate on getting her settled and used to the fact that she'll be here for a while before we do anything else."
Jameson nodded in agreement to Alexis' statement as he said, "I'll take care of it." As the one sent to find her, he felt it his responsibility to see to her comfort. There was another reason for his desire to watch over her, one that he wasn't ready to consider. If he did, his head wouldn't be level enough to deal with their particular situation. Jameson expected to succeed, and he couldn't do that if his thoughts were haunted by the beautiful green-eyed skeptic waiting in the solarium. "She seems more comfortable with me."
"Yeah," agreed Draco, "That's probably because you aren't as stern as Lex or likely to turn her into a kabob by accident."
* * * * *
The old church smelled of old, moist wood and mold. Candles were the only source of light. He sat back and watched as his minions painted the glass windows black and tore out the first six rows of pews. He'd known the moment he'd laid eyes on the abandoned building that he had to have it. Asbestos. No money to repair the damage. Weak humans; they were vulnerable to everything.
As he looked at the highly arched ceiling adorned with medieval-looking chandeliers and small statues of the enigmatic Jesus Christ, he nodded in approval. Yes, this was perfect. Left to rot and collapse on its own, the church was part of the old factory district, the only part of this God-awful city. He laughed at the term 'God awful'. If only these worthless humans knew that there was no God, they'd be a little less enthusiastic about putting their beliefs in others. He'd learned a long time ago that if he wanted something, he had to get it on his own. Waiting for others was a simple waste of time.
"My lord, Lycus and his team have not returned."
He looked to the petite blonde who'd bowed low before him. Based on her submissive position, she'd expected him to rip her throat out in anger. That only meant one thing. "They were sent hours ago. Where are they?"
"Others were sent to Filburn Street to find out what happened. Only molten bodies were found."
He stood, ready to take his anger out of her, but she'd taken a peek of his face in her fear. Crystal blue eyes stared up at him and he'd been reminded of another, more beautiful woman with eyes comparable to a clear spring morning and hair brighter than gold. "What the hell do I have you people for?" he shouted as he ran a hand through his hair. "Was it the Nariko?" Those bastards were a pain in the ass. In the past month alone, he'd lost thirty of his best fighters to the hunters.
The blonde shook her head as she replied, "No, we have reason to believe that The Brethren has become involved. One of their blades was found at the scene."
He cursed. If The Brethren really was involved, then the woman was with them. He did not like where this was going. He regained his seat at the throne he'd placed on the alter and rested his forehead on his fingertips as he asked, "What about her house?"
"Sherlaine waits for her there. No one has returned."
One very thin silver lining. He'd take it. "Good. Tell him to stay until she returns. And have someone find out where she is being hidden." He couldn't afford his plans to fall through. He'd worked too long and too hard to have things fall apart now. If The Brethren was involved, which he was sure they were, he had to work harder to cover his tracks. Things had shifted too early in the game. "Tell them-" He stopped talking at the commotion taking place. The sounds of metal shackles brought his attention to the far end of the church, where a group of ten women ranted and raved as they were forced to move toward the back rooms of the building. Good. At lease something was going as it should.
Zaide looked at the blonde and narrowed his eyes at her as he said, "Tell them to hurry. I need the woman before the next full moon." He watched as she slowly backed away as she nodded. It was obvious that she feared him, which only meant that she'd been recently converted. Which meant that he would have to double the training schedules. It made no sense to have an army that wasn't capable of staying alive long enough for him to accomplish his goal.
As soon as he had the woman, he'd be unstoppable.
And that was when the game really started.