The biography of a schizophrenic Empath

The biography of a schizophrenic Empath

A Story by Christy Hauck
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the onset of empathic powers is not something anyone should go through... not everyone comes out the same... me? well... blood is blood

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Okay, so here I am in Minnesota. I have no idea what the name of the town is since I decided to read a book the entire trip up here. My parents dropped me off without as much as a wave good-bye. That by itself sucks. It’s also snowing and though I’m not known for my love of summer, I am most certainly not known for my love of winter either. I hate the cold more than I hate having to get up in the morning.

            The school looks like some sort of prison. It’s got a huge fence around it and almost no windows; the windows that are there have metal bars on them. I’m wondering if it’s going to have the same disciplinary rules that prison has. Not that I have ever been to a prison and know what the rules are. They might not have rules and they just add rules to make shows more Hollywood efficient.

            A guy that appeared to be twenty-five came out of a nearly invisible door and approached me. He looked me up and down and asked “Are you the empathic psychic?” quickly. I nodded and turned and walked back towards the school. I followed him and tripped a few times in the snow. He never turned back, though he waited once he got to the door.

            I gave him a rude look as he opened the door, but he pretended not to notice. “Okay, Empath. I don’t need to know your real name. We don’t use names here.” He started walking down a hall and continued to talk to me. “We don’t have many rules, but the rules we do have are strict. Some will not apply to you since you have already graduated from high school. I’ll still tell you them so you won’t pester the younger students about them.” He turned and looked at me and I saw his eyes were a dark blue that had gray bubbles in the mix. He had Scandinavian blood in him. Genetics always fascinated me and I had done studies on what genes were dominate in certain cultures. Scandy droned on, “Younger students must attend classes every day of the week for at least six hours of the day. Classes run from 6am to 8pm so they get a range of times they want to go. Weekends are free time for the students. We split you into groups and on certain weekends certain groups get to head into town for a day or two to be able to integrate with society.”

He stopped and looked at me with sad eyes, “We also have a no-student-on-the-roster policy. The government fully funds the school and in return they get to use students for missions they don’t want to ever go public or are too deadly for humans. As a rule that the government doesn’t know about, we keep untrained and younger students off the school roster so the government doesn’t use them before they are ready. For the meantime, that means you are not on the roster.”

He started walking again, this time faster and it was hard for me to keep up. “There are some student’s that are acceptations to the government and roster or no roster, the government will never use them for anything. I am one of those acceptations.” He looked at me as if he expected me to ask why he was an acceptation. There was no way that I was going to ask. The guy was as old as my favorite actor and the government considered him to be too… something to do their dirty work. That could only mean that he was bad news.

We had stopped in front of a door. He pointed at the silted window in the door and nodded at me to take a look. I looked and saw nothing. Than suddenly it looked like a great white shark had attacked the door because all I saw was teeth and blood. I jumped back against the scandy and he steadied me. “That’s Felicia. She’s another acceptation.”

He pulled me away from the door and down another hallway. This time he pointed towards a room with two beds. On one bed was a young boy who appeared to be anorexic. “You’ll be bunking with Andy. Don’t worry about the whole different gender thing; Andy is a fallen angel and has no gender.” The scandy slammed the door in my face.

I turned to my roommate. He was looking at me with eyes as blue as ice and hair blonde enough to look natural bleached by the sun. He was too skinny and I wondered what he ate, if anything. I sat down on my bed and he turned on his side to look at me. For a second we just stared at each other and than finally I broke the silence, “Andy? He who slams doors said that names are used around here.” I waited for an explanation and Andy blinked.

“We don’t normally, but when people become social things are mentioned.”

I nodded, “So are you really a fallen angel?”

Andy nodded sadly.

“What did you do to fall?”

“I invented the cell phone.”

I was a little shocked by this, yet it made sense. The cell phone could be considered just as evil as alcohol, and look where drunkards ended up most of the time. Then reality crept up on me. Fallen angels? Okay, so I knew I was an empathic psychic, but did that mean angels really existed? What about Felicia? What was she?

Andy cleared his throat and I looked up at him. “So, what can you do?” he asked quietly.

“Oh. I’m an empathic psychic. I can hurl balls of emotions.”

Andy looked unimpressed and turned over. I tried not to gasp at his back. For starters, it was more muscular than one would assume just by looking at him. Secondly, he had two gaping holes right over his shoulder blades. He really was a fallen angel; his wings had been taken from him.

 

When I woke up the next morning Andy was gone. He’d left a note on my pillow telling me where to find the breakfast hall if someone didn’t show up to escort me.

I was feeling a little dirty so I ventured out to find someplace to shower before heading down to breakfast. I entered the first bathroom I came across and was pleasantly surprised at how clean it was. The tub was hidden in a corner and when I came across it I jumped back and screamed. There was a girl of at least seventeen in the tub and she had a huge flipper of a tale. Holy s**t, I was looking at a mermaid. She looked up at me when I screamed and splashed water in an unsuccessful attempt to hide herself.

Her eyes were constantly changing from emerald to sapphire as the light hit them differently. She squeezed them shut and started twisting in the tub in agony. Her tale started to shrink and it split into a pair of legs. She looked at me and stood up. Okay, so I’m not a lesbian, but I thought this girl was absolutely gorgeous.

“Hello, I’m Èa.” She lilted. I just stared drop-jawed at her for a moment before I remembered my reason for coming in here. “Uh. Bathroom with unoccupied shower?” I tried forming a coherent sentence and failed. Èa pointed out the door, “Just to the left and down the hall four more doors. Sorry to scare you on your first day.”

I quickly hurried out the door without saying anything else stupid and found the showers. I turned the water on as hot as I could and took the longest and hottest shower in the universe. I was a salmon pink when I stepped out and found my way back to my room to get dressed.

Once I was dressed I opened the door to head down to breakfast. The scandy was standing in the doorway and his blue eyes were a shade darker today. A few things flitted through my head before I gave him a dark look. He looked confused, “You hungry or not?” He turned without waiting for a reply and headed down the hall. I followed as fast as I could; I was starving.

I caught up to the scandy just as he turned to go through two large metal doors. He stopped me before I entered them. “Don’t stare.” He hissed before shoving me through.

I stared. It’s kind of impossible not to stare when the room your in is the size of the library of congress, resembles the golden globe theatre, and multiple objects are floating around it.

“Uh, where are we?” I asked stupidly. The scandy was suddenly in front of me.

He turned, “Self-service provisions hall.”

My mouth formed an ‘O’ without any thought. Then it clicked and I happily chirped, “Food!” and started looking around. In the center of the room was a bunch of machines that had minuscule labels placed at random spots. The rest of the room was full of tables and most of them were full.

The scandy rolled his eyes at me and grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the machines. My dumbness rolled away when something that smelled vaguely like hash browns filled my noise. “Oh, um, whoever you are, I should tell you something.” He looked at me and waited, “I was a little in shock this morning and might have used up the schools hot water for my shower.”

He blinked and started laughing. I had no idea what would be so funny. He was still laughing as he grabbed a tray for himself and handed me one. He shook his head, “Don’t worry about using up the hot water.” He nodded towards a table where two girls and a boy sat. One of the girls and a boy were eating something that looked indistinctly like obsidian and the other girl seemed to be nibbling on ice. The scandy bent over and whispered in my ear, “He’s a pyropath; when he’s up to it he heats up the water, keeps the school warm on cold days, and does anything involving fire for the school. He’s on the roster and the government ‘borrows’ him a lot.” 

I looked at the two girls, “What about the girls with him?”

He glanced at them as he grabbed a cup and filled it with tomato juice. “The girl eating the ice is a hydropath. They’re the best of friends. She does a lot of stuff with the plumbing here. She’s also on the roster and they do a lot of government crap together. The other girl is a phoenix. Every time someone touches her, she bursts into flames, disappears, comes back as an egg that can appear anywhere within a five mile radius of where she burst into flame, and than hatches.” He shivered slightly, “You don’t want to be anywhere around her when she hatches. Don’t ask why. Just run if you ever see her in egg form. She’s not on the roster since she can’t be trusted to not burst into flame on some top secret mission and give away the position of the people she’s working with.” He smiled at that for some reason, “They learned that the hard way.”

I grabbed a cup and looked at the machine he’d gotten his juice from. It had the weirdest blends of drinks I’d ever seen and very few appealed to me. “Clam juice, liquid nitrogen, propane, pig’s blood, mineral oil, water, morphine, algae?” I asked slowly.

Another chuckle, “Some students need a certain diet to fuel their abilities. I’ll let you guess who gets what.” He led me over to an empty table near the door that had a view of the rest of the room. I started looking around and looking at certain people. He drank deeply his tomato juice and looked very satisfied. “Ah, they added a bit of human to it today.” He muttered and looked at me sharply.

 I didn’t notice what he had said because I was watching a girl no more than five sitting at a table with older students. She was concentrating on her tray and before my eyes it lifted a few inches off the table and started to spin. I watched open-mouthed as the tray continued to spin and then settled down back into the place it had been before it had lifted. The girl looked pleased with herself and I looked around the rest of her table. Food was floating off of trays into people’s hands and pages of books were turning on their own accord.

The scandy grunted and I turned my attention back to him. He shook his head, “You might want to stay away from them, giving what you are. The principal doesn’t like them and they’re on the roster. Some of them are mind readers; others are your average telekinetic. Overall, they aren’t very friendly, especially towards empaths. They’d hate you even more since you are also a psychic.”

I just nodded. This was the first time I had heard of the principal. “So, is the principal something special or just a normal average human?”

He smiled suddenly, “I think you two will enjoy each other very much.” That’s all he said.

I looked around and noticed that my roommate was no where to be seen. “Hey, where’s Andy?” I asked.

“Andy doesn’t need to eat; he’s immortal. Though he’s a fallen angel, he’s still an angel.”

Suddenly, there was a scream from the mind readers table.

 

I looked over at the table, alarmed yet trying to remain calm since I wasn’t sure about them. A girl with blonde hair stood up and the entire room went silent. Even the scandy looked concerned.

“They’re coming.” She whispered.

I was suddenly grabbed from behind by the scandy and pushed towards the door. “RUN!” He yelled in my ear. “Just run back to your room and stay there!” He shoved me towards the door and I slide across the floor. I heard another scream and there was a loud explosion behind me. “Oh, s**t.” The scandy whispered.

An egg fell into my hands then. It was really warm and it looked very fragile. I stared at it and the scandy’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. “Okay,” he said in a soothing voice, “put the egg down slowly and than run faster than you have ever run before. Run towards your room and get under your bed. Stay there until I come to get you.” He looked really worried.

I slowly knelt and put the egg on the ground. The scandy than flew at me and pushed me through the doors into the hall. Students were running all over the place and I heard the scandy scream, “PHEONIX IS AN EGG!” and everyone started running faster than I had ever seen before. I stood up as fast as I could in the stampede and started running towards my room.

When I got there, Andy was lounging on his bed with a book. He looked at my expression and sat up quickly. I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Egg?” and Andy dove under his bed. I dove under mine moments later. Andy was holding on the legs of his bed so I imitated him. “Oh yeah, and someone said ‘they’re coming’, whatever that means. Who are ‘they’?” I whispered across the room.

Andy’s eyes shimmered from under his bed, “the government. They’re performing one of their raids.” His eyes narrowed, “I hope Phoenix knocks one or two of them out.”

I heard something that sounded like a train. I saw Andy’s hands tighten around the bed and I did the same thing. Suddenly I was thrown against the wall and it felt like I was saran-wrapped to it. I could see that the same thing had happened to Andy. Seconds passed and than the saran-wrapped feeling disappeared. Andy crawled out from under his bed and tripped to the door. He locked it and than tripped back to his bed. He wormed his way back under it and went to the wall. I stay where I was and watched Andy. He looked terrified.

“You’re on the roster, aren’t you?” I whispered.

He nodded and I felt a tear slide down my cheek.

It seemed like an hour passed. Then there was a knocking on the door. It sounded like the door was being forced open. I looked at Andy and he clawed unconsciously at the wall. They were coming for him. I decided that I wasn’t going to let them take him without a fight. I crawled out from under my bed and faced the door. Planting my feet and positioning my hands in the ready position to throw an emotion ball at whatever came through the door I waited for the door to burst open.

Moments later it came flying open and I threw a purple ball at the man that came in. He went flying back into his buddies and laser sights were suddenly pinpointed on me. I felt bored and I hurled a blue ball into the hall. I heard a few thumps and punched another blue ball out. I heard some more thumps followed by, “Take her down and get the boy!” Blackness descended on me in a delirious form and I heard Andy scream.

 

I woke up slowly to see the scandy standing over me. For a moment I wondered why I was on the floor and why the door was in splinters and why I had a headache from Hell when it came back to me. I sat up and yelled, “Andy!” before blackness crept up on me again. I fought it and my eyes flew open to look into the scandy’s face. He knelt down and picked me up. “Come on, little fighter. We need to figure out what you did to them and what they did to you.” His voice rumbled in his chest and I snuggled against him. He was so cold and yet so comfortable.

“Where’s Andy?” I asked softly.

I heard him sigh and he kicked open a door. “They took him and the hydropath. Don’t worry. They should be back.” He laid me down on a bed and looked down at me. He smiled and I noticed that his teeth seemed larger than normal. I felt a needle in my forearm and as I started to be overcome by the blackness I looked at the scandy, “what are you?” I asked.

“Vampire.” I heard a different voice answer just as the blackness took me.

 

When I woke up a very sophisticated looking man was standing over me. He looked to be at least 40. He was wearing a black suit with a white shirt and leather gloves. I couldn’t see his shoes, but I bet they were black as well. His eyes were a penetrating blue and his hair as black as newly formed obsidian. He noticed that I was staring at him and blinked.

“Good morning.” He pulled a chair over to the bedside and sat down. I looked at him and waited for an introduction. When a few minutes had passed and he still hadn’t said anything I started strumming my fingers on the bed spread. He looked at my hands and then looked back at my face to raise an eyebrow.

Another man came rushing into the room and stopped when he saw the man. “Principal Ethos, I had no idea that you had stopped by. I’ll come back later.” He rushed out of the room and I felt numbness creep in. The man sitting next to me was the principal. I squirmed uncomfortably and was just about to say something when the door burst open and running in came the scandy. Principal Ethos stood up and the scandy hissed. Principal Ethos smiled.

Orpheus.” He said and I finally learned the scandy’s name. I would have thanked Principal Ethos, but Orpheus looked like hell run over so I kept quite.

Orpheus realized I was there and his eyes flew open. He rushed at the principal and grabbed his shirt. “What have you told her? What does she know?” He roared over and over. His eyes went from blue to a muddled brown and his teeth seemed to get bigger. It finally sunk in. He was a vampire.

“Orpheus.” I whispered hoarsely. He snarled in my direction and than realized that it was me that had said his name. He looked so disappointed in himself and his eyes went back to being blue and his teeth shortened.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He said as he let go of the principal and started retreating out of the room. When he got to the door and ran through it I heard a howl of pure rage and anguish echo through the room. I looked back at the principal and he looked very pleased. I struggled to sit up.

“What the hell was that all about?” I asked.

He sat back down and smiled at me. “Well, now you know Orpheus is a vampire. He used to be a Roman solider in Caesar’s army, but than another vampire fed off of him and turned him into one. He went crazy when he discovered what he was and devoured his entire battalion in one evening. He has never forgiven himself for that. He has tried to swear off feeding on humans, but it’s impossible. Vampires can live off of feeding on other animals, but they have to feed on human blood occasionally or they go insane. No one knows why, though I have a theory. Feeding off of animal blood is like a human being vegan. They don’t get all the nutrients the body needs so they take vitamins. Well, since there’s no vitamin for vampires they have to feed off human blood to get those nutrients that they’re lacking.”

I sat back down and tried to absorb everything. So Orpheus was at least 2000 years old. I looked back at the principal. “So why did he attack you just now?”

Principal Ethos looked uncomfortable at that. “Well, the school actually belongs to him and when I started working here I notified the government of its existence. It’s my fault they come in and take students. Orpheus had originally wanted this place to be a sanctuary for those with special abilities. Now that I work here, no one that comes here will ever be safe.”

He stood up and made to leave. I was curious for a moment and blurted out, “what are you?”

He stopped and slightly turned towards me. He held up one gloved hand and flicked his wrist. A red ball appeared in his hand and for a moment I thought he was a pyropath. Than I heard screams coming from the ball and I realized what he was. An empathic psychic; just like me.  

 

I tried grasping onto everything that had happened since I had come here. “Vampires, mermaids, psychics, oh my.” I whispered to myself. I started thinking about what that meant to me. So I had always known I was a special case, but being thrown into this was a little too much for me.

Orpheus had been around for 2000 years. He had fought in Caesar’s great army. He was a vampire. There was a mermaid in the showers. Psychic’s acted as early warning systems. The principal had the same ability as me. What else was going to be thrown in my direction? Probably etiquette for empaths.

 

“Okay, young empath, you are now my main concern at this moment. There’s certain etiquette that an empath must know for being in public. You may consider it rude, but it keeps us safe as well as keeps other people’s lives private from our senses.” The principal was talking to me in his office. The doctor had let me out of the white room and the principal had practically ordered me to report to his office.

I sighed and tried to look bored. Where the hell was Orpheus when I needed him? “So what etiquette do I need to know?”

A pair of gloves flew at me. I caught them and pulled them on. They were warm and very soft, like silk. They were leather though, so I guessed that silk had been sown into the interior. “First thing, cover as much skin as you can. Wear those gloves as much as you can.” He looked at me, “Second, don’t smile. You don’t want to interact with creatures that have emotions and smiles encourage emotions to be put out into the air. Don’t touch people. Keep your eyes lowered at all times. If you need to look into a person’s eyes, learn this trick.” He pointed to the spot between his eyes. “Look right here instead. People will think you’re looking into their eyes when you’re not. It keeps you from looking into their souls.” He turned around and than brought both his hands up. Two glowing balls of pure sadness erupted in his hands. He turned around with the balls in his hands. I got up slowly and took a step forward. He looked at me with wonder in his eyes.

“How do you form the emotions?” He asked quietly.

I was taken back by the emotions and took the normal stance and slowly tilted back my head. A glowing ball of happiness slowly grew in front of my eyes. One problem existed in what had just happened. I hadn’t wanted the ball to form. I had no idea how to keep rid of it. The only thing that came to mind was throwing it at the principal and having done with him.

The door behind me opened and my concentration wavered. The ball jerked forward a bit and I tried to keep it hovering in front of my eyes. A familiar voice started talking behind me.

“What the hell, Ethos? I leave you alone with her for a few minutes and you two are at each other’s throats. Get rid of the emotions and let’s have a civilized conversation for once in your life.”

From around the ball I could see Principal Ethos put his hands back at his sides. I still had no idea how to get rid of the ball so I did the only thing that came to mind; I aimed low at the principal, shouted, “Fire in the hole!”, and let the ball fly.

 Principal Ethos put both his hands up and caught the ball. He clapped his hands together and the ball disappeared. Both he and Orpheus looked at me disapprovingly and I felt chagrined.

“Well, young empath that shows some raw talent that is not under control.” Ethos grumbled. Orpheus grunted in agreement and I saw them trade surprised glances that they actually agreed with each other.

Orpheus placed a hand on my shoulder and pulled me out of the room. I’m guessing that he didn’t want to agree with anything else Principal Ethos may say.

He guided me to my room and when we got there he slammed the door and made me sit on my bed. He sat on Andy’s and looked at me gravely. I wondered what he was thinking, and than stopped. Given what he was, I was betting it wasn’t good.

He stood up and started pacing. I noticed a book on Andy’s bed that made me wince. Deliver Us From Normal. It was a book that had a male empath, though he never called himself that. Orpheus made a low growling sound and I instantly looked at him.

“Orpheus, why didn’t you tell me you were a vampire? You knew that Andy was an angel, you knew that I was an empath, you told me about the psychics, I met Èa, and I haven’t gone crazy, so why didn’t you tell me.” I stood up and felt like hurling an emotion at him. He knew it to since he swiftly moved behind me.

He grabbed my hands from behind me and put them into one of his hands. I felt like I was being arrested. Then he did something that surprised me; he nuzzled my neck.

I freaked. I couldn’t help it. So I read Anne Rice novels, fell in love with Stephenie Meyer’s vampires, and had on more than one occasion wished that I could meet a vampire. Yet, here I was, with a vampire pushing his lips against my bare neck, and I was panicking.

Orpheus moved closer to me and I felt my heart start beating faster. His lips moved from my neck to my ear and gave a slight nibble. If I had been as strong as he was, I would have flipped him over my shoulder and staked him. If stakes could kill him; I still had no idea how vampires died.

He whispered something against my earlobe, but I couldn’t hear anything over the beating of my own heart. Something snapped and I was back in control.

Hoping that I would catch him off guard, I yanked my hands out of his hand and turned on him. He looked surprised. I felt deadly and powerful. I lifted a gloved hand and willed an emotion ball to form in it.

Hiroshima was nothing compared to what happened. 

 

Orpheus was thrown back through the wall and disappeared down the hall. I could vaguely see him hit the wall at the end of the hall and go through that wall. I felt myself screaming. There was a blue light emitting from me like the aftershock of a bomb. I knew that students all over the school were getting thrown through walls and as far as my range could go. I also knew that I had no idea how to stop myself. After what seemed like an hour of me screaming and emitting the light, I felt a hand go over my mouth and my body was clamped against another one. The light gave one feeble attempt to keep going and died. My voice was gone from all the screaming I had done.

“If you ever,[i]ever[/i] do that again, I will have you thrown in with Felicia.” A deadly voice whispered sharply into my ear. I was shaken and turned around to face the savior of the universe.

Principal Ethos looked pissed. He also looked regretful. I heard something crack and the wall behind me that Orpheus had flown through crumbled. I winced and looked into Principal Ethos’s face. “Little empath, follow me.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me back into his office. He shoved me down into a chair and started pacing. I noticed that the window behind his desk was gone and some snow blew in. How the hell were they going to pay for all the damage I had done? At least Phoenix didn’t throw people through walls. 

Orpheus, my savior, burst through the door just as Ethos turned to me. Ethos looked even more pissed and he bared his teeth at the vampire. Orpheus returned the favor with his fangs and a threatening growl. I just looked at my hands during the entire encounter. I had a feeling that as long as I was alive, these two men would be fighting over my head.

“If you touched her, I swear I will sink my fangs into your jugular and only remove them once the last drop of your blood is gone.” Orpheus sounded a bit more dangerous than I would have liked and I turned to give him a piece of my mind. Ethos beat me to it.

“If I were you, Orpheus, I would get out of my office. She needs to be taught a lesson.”

“Oy! Hey! I am sitting right here!” I shouted above the mounting tension. Both men looked down at me. I felt the urge to duck and I did, just as one of Ethos’s emotional balls struck the chair I was sitting in. Orpheus reached down to grab me and pulled me out of the room. I felt my hair get pulled back and suddenly I was in a part of the school that I hadn’t been in before. Orpheus shoved me through a door and followed to lock it behind him. His hand was over my mouth and I was pinned against a wall. I moaned a little and his eyes went wide and he lifted a finger to his lips.

The sounds of someone passing by the room came and went and Orpheus went still. I wanted to move, but with Orpheus’s bulk pinning me against a wall, I had no option in movement.

After what seemed like forever, Orpheus pulled his hand away from my mouth and moved away from me. I remembered what he had done earlier, trying to seduce me so he could drink from me, and I did the only logical thing that came to mind.

“What was that for?” Orpheus asked as I slapped him as hard as I could.

“You were trying to get me to let you drink from me earlier. Since I can’t do the miniature version of an emotion ball like Ethos can do, I thought that a slap would be the next best thing.”

Orpheus rubbed his jaw and went very still. Something pricked at the back of my neck and my deepest instinct told me to run. We both started looking around and I felt my heartbeat rise. A muttered, “Oh s**t!” left Orpheus mouth as a dark shape came hurtling through the air at us. For a moment I thought it was some rabid dog, but as Orpheus picked me up and starting running, I was able to look behind him to see something that could [i]not[/i] be a dog.

 

“You have a [i]werewolf[/i] pack here?” I had been yelling at Orpheus for the last ten minutes and at the moment, he was dumping me on my bed and trying to ignore me. I saw his eyes roll at my most recent question and a small sigh escaped his lips. “Oh right. Ignore the person at least 1990 years younger than you! I’m from a younger generation and I don’t know anything. The thing is, I would know something if you told me!” I jumped off my bed and started yelling in his face.

Fangs that would put Diego from [i]Ice Age[/i] to shame sprouted out of his mouth and a threatening growl emitted from his throat. I didn’t care; I was on a roll and nothing short of him tearing into my jugular and ripping out my voice box was going to stop me.

“Okay! I give up! Yes, I did find a werewolf pack in Finland and convinced them to come here. Ethos practically starves them so they were so ravenous they didn’t recognize me for a while.” He scrunched up his face and bent down to look me straight in the eye. “You could have defended yourself. Why didn’t you throw something at them?”

I blinked a few times, “What?”

Blue eyes bored into mine. “Balls.”

“Excuse me? Is that some Greek expression or did you pick that up when you possibly visited England?”

Orpheus straightened up, “The problem with you younger generations is that you need more explanation to understand what people are saying. You,” he pointed at me, “are an empathic psychic, right?”

I nodded, still confused at what he was trying to get at.

He licked his lips and gave the ceiling a glance, “The only power you know how to somewhat control are your little emotional balls that you can throw at anyone you want to.” He paused at looked at me. I just blinked again, wanting to use that younger generation excuse since I still had no idea what he was getting at.

A muttered string of curses in what sounded like at least eight different languages sprouted from his mouth. “Why didn’t you throw one of your emotional balls at the werewolves?”

“Oh. I wasn’t thinking and I wasn’t grounded?” I asked like a student not sure if she was answering the question correctly.

Another string of curses left Orpheus’s mouth and he flopped down on Andy’s old bed. “That’s it. I have deemed you incompetent enough that you need to have a guide to get you around the school. From now on, I’m not leaving your side until you know every thing that exists here and now how to fully use your powers. Whether that takes two months or two decades doesn’t matter.”

I thought for a moment, “Does that mean that I can’t even go into the bathroom without you being there?”

Blue eyes that could have thawed ice in Siberia looked at me. “That I am positive you can do on your own. Though, if something does happen, I may have to be around during your private times too.”

I lay back down on my bed, “Fine, but you can’t feed off of me.”

Orpheus chuckled and turned off the lights so I could finally get some sleep. It wasn’t until I woke up in the middle of the night that I realized that the walls I had damaged with my outburst were completely solid again and looked like nothing had happened to them.

 

 

I woke to see Orpheus standing over me. He was holding a tray with some tempting looking fruit on it and I sat up. He slid the tray into my lap and sat down next to me. I felt myself being gently pushed forward and then he moved behind me. He lifted me into his lap and I was startled at how comfortable I felt. Sure, Orpheus was a vampire and thus, freezing, but he was still comfortable. Either the stories about vampires gaining sex god bodies when they are turned were true, or Orpheus worked out more than anything else when he was alive. I leaned back against him and tilted my head to one side. My hair fell away from my neck and I heard Orpheus give a moan.

“Oh my God! Sorry!” I quickly brushed my hair back onto my neck and turned to look at Orpheus. “Please, don’t eat me?” I whispered as a joke.

Orpheus just nuzzled my back where my hair ended and I giggled. I forgot about how he had tried to seduce me into letting him drink from me. I had already forgiven him for that since he had saved my skin from the werewolves. I knew that since he had brought me breakfast in bed that he thought I was still slightly mad at him.

His voice rumbled in his throat and his arms engulfed me as he reached in front of me to pick up an apple. “The fruit of knowledge,” he whispered as he held it up to my mouth. I took a bite and the sweet crispness of the fruit filled my mouth. I moved to take another bite, but he pulled it away from me slightly and I had to lean to get a mouthful. He laughed and I turned to look at him, my cheeks puffed up like a chipmunks.

“What?” I asked and he laughed harder.

“I’m sorry, but you looked as pathetic as a starved animal when you reached for another bite, it was very cute!” and he held the apple within easy reach of my mouth again. I pretended to glare at him and then grabbed the apple out of his hand and set it down on the tray.

“Okay, what else did you bring me?” I said looking down at the tray. “Ugh, that [i]is[/i] tomato juice, right?”

He lifted the cup brimming with the red liquid, “Sorry, its pig’s blood and it’s for me.” He took a large gulp of the liquid and the pure ecstasy that crossed his face made me want to shiver. I hoped he wouldn’t smile and I would see his blood-stained teeth.

Orpheus put his cup back down on tray and prompted to finish feeding me. I was glad to see that he had brought me orange juice and a bowl of cereal.

After breakfast, Orpheus pulled me into his arms and carried me out the door. I protested that I was able to walk, and he protested back that I wasn’t. I let him win since he let his fangs come out and I was worried what he’d do to me if I argued any more.

He let me down in front of the bathroom and I glared at him before going in and just to piss him off, took a very long shower and spent at least twenty minutes on my hair.

“Okay, squeaky clean empath ready for duty, sir!” I saluted in front of Orpheus and he just rolled his eyes at me.

“Come on, today is registration day. We’re going to the arena to see who gets on the roster.” He turned away from me and started walking down the hall. I swear, there were too many halls in this place and it was so easy to get confused.

“What do you mean by registration day? What do you mean by arena? Orpheus, I am so confused.” I started following him and had to run to keep up with his brisk pace.

“We all have powers here that separate us from the rest of the world. The government likes to use us. This I have already explained to you. The arena is more of a testing facility for those who are ready to do the government’s dirty biddings. It’s done once a year. It’s like a gladiator arena where they would all fight to the death, though no one dies here. Whoever wins the most stays off the roster for a year and those who demonstrate abilities that cannot be controlled are permanently off the roster. Those who have abilities that can be controlled are put on the roster. There are also certain rules in the arena, but you’ll understand them when we get there.”

We arrived at huge steel doors where a bunch of other students were waiting. Orpheus pushed through the crowd and he opened the doors as is they were made out of Styrofoam. Everyone piled in and I was in the middle of the rush. As I passed through the doors, it felt as if a blanket was wrapped around me. I couldn’t feel the other student’s emotions. I kept tripping since my psychic sense wasn’t telling me anything. I started to panic, but suddenly, Orpheus picked me up. I clung to him, and than something clicked. He was warm. “Orpheus, what’s going on? I can feel your heart beating!”

 

Orpheus sighed and set me down in front of a railing. “The arena blocks the gene that makes you what you are. It makes everyone and everything that comes in here into a normal human being, unless you’re down there.” He pointed over the railing and I looked down to see that we were in an amphitheater like structure with a sand pit for an arena.

“So, you’re human right now?” I whispered, trying to get over the shock. This was way too much for me.

“Yes.”

“And right now, I have no psychic sense, no empathic abilities?”

“You are as normal a human as I am.”

I sat down and grabbed onto the bars. My face fell to the bars and I peered through them into the sand pit. It didn’t look like pampered sand that is used at fake beaches. It looked like what was filtered out of the pampered sand. I didn’t think that could be comfortable.

“Who’s… fighting today?” I asked, still trying to get over the shock.

“Three psychics, a werewolf, a shape shifter, a VHW, a fallen angel, two succubi, an ET, a water demon, a vampire, four pyropaths, a hydropath, and an empathic psychic.”

“Wait, me?”

Orpheus laughed, “No, Ethos likes to battle it out every now and then.”

I thought about that and then thought about the other students he mentioned. “What’s a VHW and when you said ET, you could not have meant an alien, right?” I looked up at him with a worried look.

He just raised an eyebrow at me and cleared his throat, “A VHW is a vampire hunter werewolf. He or she was born of a vampire and bit by a werewolf. They are impeccable hunters and are like a bounty hunter for either species. Oh, and yes, I did mean an alien. They don’t all flock to Roswell, you know.”

“Okay, now I am officially freaked.” I paused, “Vampire’s can have children?”

“For the first year after a vampire is turned, the body is adjusting to an undead life. It is still capable of having or producing a child. But it is only for the first year after a vampire is turned, and before you can ask, I didn’t know about that until I was 1000, so I never had a child.”

 I continued to stare between the bars as I sat on the floor. Orpheus remained standing next to me and we stared into the sand pit in silence as the rest of the school poured into the amphitheater.

Finally, after what seemed like an entirety, the rest of the school was there and everyone went quiet. A door I hadn’t noticed straight across from me in the pit opened and a bare chested man walked out. I gasped when I realized that it was Principal Ethos. Orpheus growled. I felt a door beneath me open and I looked down to see another bare chested young man walk out. He had golden hair with red highlights and I guessed he was a pyropath. His skin was strangely tan and when he turned to look up into the stands, I saw he had eyes as black as coal. It’d be strange if he wasn’t a pyropath.

A voice filled my head and I hit my head on the bars in shock. Welcome to Sanctuary’s 25th annual registration day. We have eighteen contenders today, including our principal, Principal Ethos. He will be fighting first with a pyropath. Gentlemen, please take your stances. I looked down to see Ethos clap his hands together and formed two balls of emotion. The pyropath reached into his hair and pulled a strand out. He held it for a moment, and then threw it into the air. Flame engulfed the strand and fed into both his hands. I tried not to be impressed since no one else was making any sounds. Start on my mark, gentlemen, three…two…FIGHT!

Flame encircled the pit and flooded inward. The sand burned and melted into glass and I looked frantically about for Ethos. Okay, so I was more worried that he had some plan that would kill the pyropath then I was worried that he was dead. I saw him engulfed in a flame colored bubble. It took a second to sink in, and when it did, my jaw dropped. It wasn’t flame that made up the bubble; he had formed a ball of emotion around himself and had colored it the same color as the flame so the pyropath wouldn’t see him. Looks like the newbie may be in some trouble. That’s cheating, Ethos. The voice muttered in my head and I wondered who was doing the speaking. I didn’t agree with it. Ethos was not cheating since he was using his powers and that’s what the arena was for. The pyropath looked like he was enjoying himself. I watched him carefully as he walked over the burning glass to where Ethos was. That’s when Ethos made his move.

He did the same thing that I had done, only much more controlled. The pyropath was shoved up against the wall as the blinding blue light emitting from Ethos filled the arena. It didn’t go past the walls of the arena, and unlike my own blast of light, it didn’t send the pyropath through the wall. He was just stuck up against the wall and couldn’t move. Okay, it looks like Ethos wins this match. Release him so we may have our next match. Oh, and could we get a hydropath to cool the glass a bit or get someone to reverse the effects? Ah, there we go.

The glass went being red hot to cracking and turning back into sand. I just kept looking into the pit, waiting for the next pair of people to come out.

The pit door across from me opened once again, but this time it was a girl with long brown hair that stepped out.

I looked down to see the person underneath me step out. Black hair, the color of newly formed obsidian. Tanned skin, the color of a California beach.

“Oh my god.” I stood up.

He turned in the pit to look up into the stands. Blue eyes, the color of a storm approaching over the ocean.

“Oh my god.” I whispered it this time and took a step back.

A tattoo, the eye of Horus, was over his left pectoral.

“Oh my god.” I felt myself fall to my knees. Silence roared around me as the stands went quiet. I could hear the two people in the pit move around on the sand. Nothing else was making any sound. I felt my heart begin to beat faster by the moment. I broke out into a sweat. I started shaking like an earthquake. I thought I heard Orpheus whispering in my ear. I thought I felt him pulling me to him. I’m not sure. I was so numb. This just could not be happening. This was never supposed to happen.

Silk. Chocolate. Chlorine. Pine wood. My senses were overcome.

“Jake.”

 

Jakub Wrobel and I never really knew each other. We knew people who were friends with the other, but neither one of us ever tried to make any contact with each other. I knew that he just never wanted anything to do with me. I was a girl who was out of his league. To me, he was a god; the physical embodiment of physical male perfection. I loved everything about him. His eyes reminded me of storm clouds over a body of water. His hair was black as obsidian and just as beautiful.

He moved here from Tarnow, Poland when he was twelve. From what I knew, he had two older siblings. He wanted to become a lawyer, and move back to Poland. He could get very focused on whatever he was doing. He could be polite when necessary, though most of the time, I saw him as quiet and impartial. He had been on the swim team for three years, and I threw a mental hissy fit at him when he quit his junior year in high school. He still did water polo his senior year and I went to one of the matches. I threw an even bigger mental hissy fit at him when I saw that he had gotten a tattoo. I was so pissed that I nearly ran down the bleachers I was sitting in and slap him across the face and yell at him as much as I could until he turned his back on me and pretended that I wasn’t there. Instead, I seethed the entire game, watching him, and when I got home, I looked up the tattoo and laughed until I cried. It was a bloody math equation, and I had a feeling he had no idea that was what it was.

That was the last time I ever saw Jake. Until now.

“Who the hell is Jake? Are you okay, little empath? Hey, can you hear me?” Orpheus was whispering in my ear as I stared unblinkingly down into the pit where Jake turned into a wolf and flew at the girl. I watched his lithe wolf form chase her around and attack her at random points of time. He was so beautiful. His pelt was the same color as his hair was in human form and his eyes remained unchanged. To him, this was just another water polo match, one that his life was staked on.

“Beautiful boy, beautiful man, can’t catch him, oh yes I can.” I muttered.

“Do you know him?” Orpheus whispered into my ear.

“Jakub Wrobel. Add five months to my age, and that’s how old he is. Born and raised in Poland. Catholic. Swimmer. I think. I’m going. To faint. Catch me.” And it was lights out for me.

I woke to see Jake in the same room as me. S**t, I was dreaming and now it was going to get worse, because Jake would look at me, say some random thing he always did in my dreams of him, and disappear.

“Jake, please don’t go.” I whispered.

Jake just looked at me and blinked. He got up and sat on the bed that for the second time since I had come to this school, I was laying in.

“Is that my name? Jake?” He asked and I remembered his deep voice, one that I had always strained my ears to hear whenever I was in the same room as him.

I opened my mouth to respond when Orpheus came into the room. “Ah, you’re awake. You had me worried for a while. You missed the rest of the matches.”

“I won all of mine,” Jake said proudly that made him sound like a proud puppy.

“That’s good. How come you don’t know your name?” I asked him, trying to make sense of the situation at hand.

Jake looked uncomfortable, and it was Orpheus that answered. “When a human is bitten by a werewolf, and turned into one, he or she has no idea what has happened. No one can remember his or her life before being bitten. It is a miracle, odd, and quite a coincidence that you and the wolf knew each other before he was bitten.”

Jake looked at me, “How did we know each other?”

“We went to the same high school. We only had a conversation once, one that I don’t remember fairly well, but besides that, we didn’t know each other at all. I had a huge crush on you, but since I had a boyfriend at the time, I never acted upon it. Your name is Jakub Wrobel.”

“Jakub Wrobel.” He tried out his name. “Sounds right. So what else do you know about my life? I want to know everything. Do I have a family I can go back to? Do I have a girlfriend? Am I in any school right now? Do I have a job?” He fired questions at me faster than a pyropath.

“I’m sorry, Jake, but I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. I think you’re the youngest in your family, and your family may have moved back to Poland. I don’t know anything about the other questions.”

Jake’s face fell and I wanted to hold him and comfort him. I started kicking myself for not having tried to get to know him better and make friends with him, because now his life balanced on the tidbit of knowledge I had of him.

Orpheus had remained quiet for a while, but he spook up now. “Little empath, young wolf, it is time for you to go to sleep.” He stood up and walked out the room. I got up cautiously and quickly followed him. I heard the sound of cracking bones and seconds later, Jake, as a wolf, was by my side. He held his tail high with pride and followed me and Orpheus back to my room. Orpheus told him that he could stay the night as long as he stayed in wolf form. After Orpheus went into his death like state of vampire sleep, I got out of bed and snuggled up to Jake’s sleeping form.

 

Not much happened for the next two years. Jake and I went back down to Illinois and dug up information on him, just enough to satisfy him. I learned a few more empathic psychic tricks from Ethos, and I finally gave in and let Orpheus take a bite out of me.

It was registration day again and this time, I would be put to the test. Not that I minded. Okay, maybe I did. Ethos had been telling me that he wanted me to be the next principal after him, but I told him that I’d just give the school back to Orpheus’s command, and the government would stop coming for us. He wasn’t pleased with that.

I had been waiting for the door to open so I could face my opponent. I was told that it would be a werewolf, and Jake offered to train with me in preparation. I had agreed and now I knew a majority of wolf’s weaknesses, and what signs to look for when it got ready to attack. In turn, Jake learned how to dodge the emotional torments I threw at him.

When the door finally opened, I walked out calmly, and saw both Orpheus and Jake pressed against the railing. They didn’t try to get my attention, both knowing that I needed to be completely focused on the match.

The wolf came out in wolf form and I was instantly impressed. It was bigger than Jake, and a deep auburn of fall leaves. Internally, I sighed in jealously. It pranced around like a prize stallion, and leaped at me. I knew the fight had started and I threw up a wall of emotion that the wolf smacked into snout first. It snarled at me and I formed my favorite tool out of the emotions Ethos had directed me into learning. It was a whip, one that Jake had come to hate with every fiber in his being. I could win very quickly with it, and Jake knew it. I heard him in the stands, yelling something I couldn’t understand. I ignored him, and flicked the whip around the wolf’s neck. It gave a startled bark and bit it. It broke, but I quickly reformed it and flicked it in the wolf’s direction again.

 It howled at me and faster then I could realize, it had pounced on me and had me down on the ground. Its eyes were the same green as mine, and that had me kick the animal in the chest, and use a quickly formed bubble of emotion to push it off me. It gave another startled bark. I didn’t care; no one could steal my eye color and get away with it.

This time, I went all out, and did the same thing that Ethos had done the first time I had watched the matches. The wolf went into the wall, and stayed there. I heard a voice in my head telling me that I had won, so I released the wolf and turned back to head back into the area under the stands. I fought a few more times, and won enough to be considered under control, but not enough to give me that year’s release from government duties.

 

That night, Jake slipped into my room. Orpheus had moved out months ago, and I had turned the room into my own. Andy had never returned. I tried not to think about what that meant, but it was hard.

Jake was in wolf form, and when the door opened, I patted a spot on my bed. He instantly leaped up and lay down, looking at me with his beautiful eyes. I had been reading a book, and I went back to it once Jake settled down. I became absorbed into it and I didn’t realize that Jake had shifted into human shape until he wiggled his way up next to me. I looked at him, but went back to reading. He touched my arm and I sprang out of the bed.

“My god, Jake! You never wanted me to begin with, and now because I’ve helped you scrape together pieces of your life before you were turned into a were, you feel as if you have to cling to me? Uh huh, I may have wanted it at one time of my life, but there is no f*****g way I’m going to take advantage of you!” I gave him my best glare and he looked at me.

“I’m sorry.” He lowered his head in shame, and I tried not to feel sorry for him. “I just want someone to be with. I guess it comes with being turned into an animal.”

“You are as much an animal as you are a man. I adore the animal part and feel much safer with it. You, as a man, scare me. You are too goddamn beautiful for your own good, and I’m not ready for what you may be offering. I’m not even sure if I want that type of stuff from you. I stayed away from you, knowing I’d never have you unless it was in my dreams. This is too surreal for me. Maybe I got shot that night and this is heaven or hell and you’re either an angel or a demon.”

Jake’s eyes went deadly cold. “Someone tried to shoot you?” His voice was as dead as Orpheus.

“It was kind of the reason I came here. I was home alone and this guy broke into my house by climbing a tree and coming through my parent’s window. He had a gun and he shot at me. My mother gave me the option of a decade of therapy, or taking me to a safer location where I could expand my gifts. I choose this one, and look where it’s going to put me. One day, I’m going to be grabbed by some government agent and either come back mentally and physically scarred or I’m going to wind up dead!”

“Same here.” He whispered it and I felt every defense I put up collapse into a pile of shards at my feet. 

“Welcome to the school of freaks. We might as well start our own circus.” I whispered. Jake gave a small chuckle.

A knock on the door brought us back to the reality of the situation. Jake sniffed the air and gave a growl. Faster than I thought possible, he was in wolf form and launching himself at the door. I grabbed him by the back of the neck, and he reached back to snap at my fingers. I instantly felt stupid for having removed my gloves when getting ready for bed. Jake’s teeth scared me and if I had been wearing the gloves, it’d have been impossible for him to hurt me.

“Come in!” I yelled over Jake’s strange behavior. The door opened and two men in uniform were holding a limp form of a man. They pushed him into the room and I grabbed onto him without thinking.

The second his flesh touched mine, I couldn’t breathe. I started shaking and became immensely tired. I could hear Jake’s barking howling in the background as I fainted.

 

“I COULD KILL YOU FOR THIS, ETHOS!”

“SHE’S IN CHARGE OF HIM! WHY SHOULDN’T I HAVE BROUGHT HIM UP HERE?”

“HE ALMOST KILLED HER! DID YOU NOT SEE THE CONDITION SHE WAS IN?!”

“AT LEAST SHE’S STILL ALIVE, ORPHEUS! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS DOING DOWN THERE! HE WAS OUT OF CONTROL! HIS KIND NEEDS HER KIND TO KEEP THEM IN CHECK!”

“BUT TO BRING ONE OF THEM HERE! IT VIOLATES EVERYTHING THIS SCHOOL STANDS FOR!”

Orpheus and Principal Ethos were standing outside the room that I was becoming very familiar with. I had no idea what they were shouting about, but I was guessing it was involving one of their favorite topics to shout about; me.

In the bed next to me was the man who had been brought to my room last night. He was sleeping and, this I had to do a triple take on, shimmering.

The older men in my life burst into the room and saw me staring at him. He looked so familiar, but I couldn’t place it.

“How you doing?” Orpheus asked me gently as Ethos moved to block the man from my sight.

“I’m fine. Really tired,” Ethos stifled a chuckle at that, “but fine. What happened? Who is he?”

Orpheus looked pained, “Don’t worry about him. He’s just a Psychic Vampire.”

“The one you are in charge of.” Ethos cut in.

I sat up quickly. “You brought him, him, up here?” I got out of the bed and backed away. “What have you done? Do you know what he did to me? Do you anything about him? Why did you bring him up here? I couldn’t control him and he kept eating me!” I was at the door when the man stirred.

“Christy?” He whispered and I collapsed to the floor in a tide of tears.

 

“Tim, I really hate you.”

“I know.”

“And I don’t want to talk to you.”

“I know.”

“You are to come no where near me while you’re here.”

“I know.”

“Jake will kill you if you come any where near me.”

“Jake?”

Oh s**t. Tim looked at me with an interested gaze and it took every fiber in my being not to jump out the nearest window. Tim Rinn was my worst enemy, biggest temptation, and the guy I was supposed to prevent from eating the rest of the world. Not as easy as it may have sounded. This guy had tried to rape me, and I knew absolutely nothing about him. I never pried into his life because every time I did, he’d tell me a huge lie. I gave up after getting at least three different stories about sixth grade from him. We stayed away from each other after my junior year in high school and I heard stories that he quieted down after I graduated early from high school. Now, the lil bugger that I wanted to kill was here.

“You know, Jakub Wrobel. Swim team, water polo, and from Poland.”

As if just saying his name would summon him, Jake came around the corner. He was in human form, and the second he saw Tim, he somehow pounced on him and slammed him into the wall. I did nothing, knowing that everyone that came in contact with Tim had a good reason to tackle him.

“Rinn.” It wasn’t a statement or question; it was a warning. Besides, Jake’s tricep was pushed against Tim’s throat, so I doubted that Tim would have been able to talk if Jake had asked a question.

I turned to leave them, when Tim’s hand reached out and grabbed the bare flesh of my upper arm. I gave a scream, and Jake let Tim go to reach me and pull me into his arms.

“Don’t ever touch her.” Jake sounded so threatening that I almost broke out of his grasp and ran to find Orpheus. Instead, I burrowed my way into his chest.

“Just making a point, Wrobel.” He walked away and I pulled back from Jake.

“You don’t remember him, but you hate him as much as I think you did before you became a were.” I was very confused.

Jake looked down at me, “The fact that he scares you combined with my animal instinct to kill him is more than enough. Plus, I came across some stuff about him when I was looking up stuff on myself. He should be put away in some nice white padded room, for the universes protection.”

I nodded. Tim Rinn was a Psy Vamp. A species that should have been eliminated a long time ago, but instead each one was given an Empath to watch over it. Tim and I had been paired up when he started high school. The fact that he was out of control of his abilities, the fact that I was new to mine and learning them, well, there were very explosive results. Tim ended up becoming obsessed with me, and I became suicidal. Now, almost five years later, Tim was back to his old self before he met me.

“Stay away from him, Jake. He is out of control.”

Jake gave a bark of laughter and scratched behind his ear, “Aren’t all Psy Vamps? I have yet to hear of a case where the Empath in charge of a Psy Vamp was able to keep it in check. They’re a very dangerous species.”

“I know.”

 

 

It was a few days later when I decided it was safe to venture out of my room. Jake came and went whenever he wanted. It was very therapeutic to pet a wolf head while reading Sara Douglass books.

If I had known what would happen that day, I would have continued hiding in my room for another day.

Jake had come into my room in human form and I tried to ignore how beautiful he had become since constantly running around as a wolf and somehow slimming down while gaining a lot of muscle. It was a good look on him.

I lay on my bed, holding [i]Druid’s Sword[/i] in both hands as he shifted into wolf form and jumped on my bed. He wormed his head under my book to look into my face with something that could only pass as serious. I put down my book and moved so he could lie next to me. Without warning he jumped off my bed and backed against a wall. In a blink he was human and staring at me.

“Not tonight, Christy.” And on that note he flew out of my room fast enough that I thought that he was a cheetah instead of a wolf. I tried to dismiss his attitude and went back to reading.

A howl that chilled me to the core and stopped my heart sounded outside my room and without thinking, I was in the hallway and running towards the noise. Jake was in wolf form and another one of the pack members that I didn’t recognize had his jaw buried in Jake’s neck.

“Why you little disrespectful b*****d!” I whispered and felt my hands and arms erupt into shimmering emotional rods. I was about to grab Jake’s attacker and see how well he’d feel with a rod of anger spearing his heart when I was grabbed from behind by multiple hands.

“That is enough, empath.” Both Orpheus and Ethos barked at me.

Jake gave a howl of pain then and I tried to wrench myself from the two men’s grasp, but they both held fast.

The power went out then and Orpheus muttered a few curse words.

A red laser beam cut through the darkness and landed on Jake. I heard a hiss of air and he gave a bark and went still.

Somehow I got away from Orpheus and Ethos and bolted towards what I hoped to be freedom from everything Ethos had set up.

 

Felicia’s door was bolted tight and I tried many times to get it undone before I gave up and blasted the damn thing with a few balls of aggression.

I waited for the insane vampire to come tearing out and attack me, but instead she was huddled in a corner. She looked up at me, “Daddy, can I come out now?”

“Come on, Felicia, let’s go.”

“I’m hungry and I smell food. Are you food?”

Just what I need and exactly what I expected. “No sweetie, but the men that have red beams shooting out of them are food. Go ahead and have a few of them.”

Within seconds, Felicia’s fangs grew and she disappeared. The screams hit my ears moments later and I cringed. At least that should teach the government a lesson in sending it’s finest to this sanctuary.

I ran down a hall and slid to a stop when I saw multiple dark shapes in front of me. I hit something and squeaked. A red beam flashed in my vision and darkness overtook me. Crap.

 

A blonde man with brown eyes leaned over me. “Hey, empath, you awake?”

“My eyes are open, stupid, so yeah.”

“Christy? Christy, it’s Jake.” I felt arms pull me up into a sitting position.

“I am so going to kill you for doing that.” I said as I leaned forward and started coughing.

The blonde man moved closer to me and Jake bristled. A pair of feet stopped in front of me and I knew that they did not belong to a friendly face.

“ So you’re all awake now. That is amazing. You freaks have high metabolisms.” The feet disappeared and I looked up slowly to see three letters that I didn’t want to see: FBI.

“What happened Jake?”

The blue eyed wolf peered at me, “We were grabbed, what else would have happened?” He started pacing in a small circle around me and the blonde haired guy. I realized that we were in a pen of some kind. I doubt that any of us could get out.

“I’m Justin, a pyropath. What I don’t get is why they took us three. You’re an empath, he’s a wolf, and I’m a pyropath. What sort of mission would require all three of us?”

Jake answered, “Dangerous retrieval of human cargo in a woodland area. I track, Christy senses the state of the cargo, and you burn anything that gets in our way.”

It made sense and I tried to stay calm, but how was I supposed to sense someone I had never met?

 

We went through five days of intense training. Bullets were shot at me while I was blindfolded and I had to deflect them. Justin was chained to the bottom of a pool and still had to burn items over the water’s surface. Jake was sent into the woods to hunt wild game twice his size. We were made to fight each other. The left side of my face was burned enough to get blisters and Justin’s ankles were twisted from a well aimed pounce of Jake’s. By the end of each day, I was shaking uncontrollably and Jake looked near comatose. Justin stared forward as if he was mentally burning everything in sight. When we woke up the sixth morning, collars had been snapped around our necks over night and we were escorted to the base we would be working from on the mission we had been captured to do. The fourth day I had woken up shaking and hadn’t stopped since.

If it hadn’t been for the situation that we were in, I probably would have enjoyed the area a lot better. Instead, Jake, Justin, and I were shoved into a muddy trench together and told not to move until instructed. A man a few years older then me sat down across from the three of us and stared at each of us in turn. He was curious, but disgusted at what we were. He wasn’t shielding his thoughts and feelings from me very well and I stared back at him with my head hanging loosely and bobbing gently.

“You won’t die here. Your instinct protects you from most dangers. The only thing you should worry about is how easily a true psychic could get into your mind. I’m weak, you’re projecting your thoughts, and I’m not in a good mood. Yeah, I’m not in a good mood.” I whispered while my head lolled on my shoulders. My eyes rolled all over the place and when they finally settled back on the man, he was getting up and leaving.

Justin gave me a quick punch in the arm, “ Way to go, Empath.”

Jake whimpered. He had reverted to staying in wolf form and nothing any of the soldiers did to him would turn him back human. I found enough courage to give him a pat before curling up next to him and falling asleep.

 

“You filthy scum, get up!” A voice roared in my ear and I jumped up. Before I could register anything, a hand had seized me and was dragging me away from Jake and Justin. Justin’s eyes opened and his hands curled into fists when he saw me being dragged away. My voice finally came to me and I screamed. “Jake!”

Jake’s head shot up and in a blink of an eye, he was running towards me. I opened my arms to receive him, but he gave a bark and fell short. A dart was sticking out of his side. “J-j-jake.” I whispered before I was blindfolded.

 

“Okay, freak. You know what you need to do, now do it!”

Focusing on escaping the place I was in, I started reaching out with my mind to explore to woods around me to find whoever they were searching for. My spirit soared and I found a tree who told me of a young man who had passed by a few days ago. I followed the trail the trees put me on and came across a body of a man. His face was scraped and his hands were bloody. He was completely covered in dirt. Sending up an emotional flare that I could find when I was back in the camp, I ran back to my body.

“Follow me.” I whispered to the men standing around me. I started walking in the direction of the flare, but something hit the back of my head and everything went black.

 

Muffled voices woke me up.

“She…. Terrible… Why… Her?”

“… Respect… Empaths…”

“Somebody…Luke.”

“Jake….Enough.”  

“They both need it.” Orpheus leaned over me and looked into my face. I was still trembling.

“What happened?” I asked.

“They no longer needed you. Jake and you were released. Justin has yet to be sent back. They want him for something else.” He smiled at me. “Don’t worry. Jake is going to take you to a wonderful place before you can return here in one piece.”

“How many pieces am I in right now?”

Ethos stepped into sight and gave a small sad smile. “Way too many for you, sweetie. Jake and you will be put under a friends care. You need to heal.”

Jake trotted into view. He was still in wolf form. Orpheus and Ethos lifted me onto Jake’s back and gave him a scrap of cloth to sniff. I had to throw my hands around his neck to stay on as he bolted. We ran through the woods that covered most of the land surrounding the school and Jake started sniffing the ground. He tracked for an hour before taking off again. He ran faster then normal and I wondered where his strength came from. The woods kept getting deeper, closer, and darker. They finally burst open into a lake and Jake ran around it. He stopped and tracked a bit more before once again taking off. After five hours of tracking and running, we came to a small lake that had a house overlooking it. It was more of a mansion and amazing in its size. Jake ran up the steps and waited at the door that put the cafeteria doors at school to shame. I slid off his back and went to knock on the door. Just as I was about to touch the door, it opened. A man of no more then twenty-five stood there. He looked at me and Jake and beckoned us inside.

Inside was something that took my breath away. The foyer was white marble with an oak staircase that spiraled upward. The man led us up the staircase and into a room that had to be the king of all bathrooms. A claw footed tub was the closest tub to us, with a whirlpool tub sunk into the middle of the room. Something that could only be called a shower was against one wall and through the entire room flowed a stream that looked like it came from outside.

The man turned to us. He looked at Jake and Jake walked out of the room. I stayed where I was and waited for the man to address me. He glanced at me and I saw eyes the color of a sapphire held over an emerald. He started pacing around me. I stayed as still as my slight trembling would allow. After a few rotations and minutes had passed, he stopped behind me. He leaned over my shoulder and whispered into my ear. “Does the scalding water comfort you? Do you feel that you need new skin everyday because there is something just under your skin that needs to come out?” He moved to my other ear. “You are common.” And I heard him start walking away.

“My dear little Empath, you are a common breed. Father with psychic abilities, mother with empathic abilities, it’s as common as the waves lapping at my front stoop.” A sound of a stopper coming out of a bottle and liquid being poured into a glass made me turn to look at him. He offered me the glass and I took a tentative sip. My nerves instantly calmed and the trembling ceased. “My special blend of wine is a perfect stimulate for a stressed out Empath. But that is not all you need. The wine only works on the surface. I need to find the source of your stress and work it out of you. Then we will find a way for you to heal.”

He led me to the whirlpool tub sunk into the floor. He waved his hand over the pool and it was filled with water that steamed and gave off a rose scent. I took off my clothes and stepped into the water. It felt like silk against me skin and I sighed. I looked up at my host and wondered if I could find out who he was by digging through his mind.

“That would be very rude. Besides, my mind is so complicated that is near impossible to penetrate it. If you could, it would be a miracle and land you in a comatose state.” He leaned down and brushed my shoulder gently with a hand. I felt calmed as if I had just been submerged in his wine. He moved to be behind me and gently started massaging my shoulders. I gave a purr of delight.

“Who are you?” I asked after sometime. I felt so relaxed that I could easily float off to sleep at any moment.

“I’m the Warlock Luke. I do small favors for the students at Orpheus’s school from time to time.”

 

The next morning I woke up with Luke lying next to me. We stared at each other for sometime before he reached behind him and pulled out a steaming tray full of hash browns with cheddar cheese, my favorite thing for breakfast. I sat up straight and felt my jaw drop. Luke conjured a fork out of midair and then initiated to feed me breakfast. Each bite was a bit of heaven in my mouth and the joy on Luke’s face made everything so much better. I studied him while I ate, and I knew he could sense what I was thinking because he blushed every so often. He was tall, at least two feet taller then me. He had thick brown hair that any woman would love to grasp onto in the threshold of love. His skin was gently tanned, though from the sun or from genetics would have to be a guess. His eyes were as brown as smoky topaz, which for some reason, made me homesick.

Luke sensed my pain and gave a smile. “Home is where the heart is, but I do not think your heart lies at that place. You have given it to someone close to you.” He tapped my forehead, “That is where your home is, don’t forget that.” He moved off the bed and disappeared out the door. I finished my breakfast and decided that maybe I could do a bit of exploring.

The hallway outside of my room was covered in oak paneling and the carpet was plush enough to sleep on. There was no way in hell Luke was sparing any expense to make his guests feel uncomfortable. I walked down the hallway, stopping every so often to peak my head into unlocked rooms. No room looked the same. One was painted blue and the floor was a wall to wall body of water. It smelled salty and when I leaned forward to look in, I saw what had to be an aquatic reef—at least 20 feet down. Another room was as huge as an Olympic sized pool and had sand dunes. The heat coming from the room made me feel faint and I closed the door right away. There was an artic wasteland, a greenhouse like room that had to be a rainforest, and so many others. I had to have the only normal looking room in the entire house.

Luke ran into me after I peaked into a room that looked normal, but felt odd.

“That is the Room of Death. I have some ghost residents living here and that is the room they spend most of their time in. You probably feel slimy now and would like a shower.”

He led me to an elevator and we went up five floors {the room I had woken up in must have been in the basement, because the house didn’t look like it had five floors}. I saw Jake, still in wolf form, and he bounded over to me. I leaned down and gave him a hug. Luke sighed from behind us. “Jake is even more traumatized than you are. He’s beginning to remember things from his past, but they aren’t very good things. He refuses to change back to human, so I first need to find the parts of his brain that were not burned during the transformation from human to werewolf and piece them together. Then I need to find those who are in those memories, extract their memories of him, put those memories into his brain, and then help him get over the shock of everything that happened to him before the transformation, help him adjust, and so on. It may take years before Jake ever chooses to become human.”

I held Jake tighter and he squirmed a bit, “Years? Is that how long I will be here?”

Luke smiled sadly, “That I cannot say. You have more emotional and mental scars then I previously thought that need to be healed. I also would like to do a blood memory test on you to see if there is anything that can be done physically to help you progress faster. My job is to heal you two ASAP, but not all treatments work the same.”

“Alright,” I held up a finger, “Prick away.”

 

Since coming to Minnesota, waking up to having people around me had become fairly common. Waking up with machines around me was also a common sight. But this was the first time I woke up, the person standing over me shouted, “OH F**K!” and I felt myself slipping back into unconsciousness.

When I woke again, Luke was standing over me and he had a very particular look on his face. Looking around I tried to figure out what was wrong, but nothing was out of place. Unless you included the fact that Jake was on the floor and still a wolf. I had become used to waking up and him touching my forehead in a friendly manner. I wondered if I would ever see him smile again or hear him laugh.

A tear fell down my cheek and Luke cleared his throat. I instantly looked back at him. “So what are the results?”

“You have werewolf DNA.”

“What?”

 

I had decided that the room that was wall to wall water would suit my needs after that shock. I swam around a bit, and then dove down to the reef and examined the coral around it. After a few dives, I dragged myself out of the water and went to find Jake. He was in the rainforest room, lying under a tree and looking up.

“Hi Jake, remember me?” I asked timidly as I approached him. He looked at me, gave a bark and ran up to me. I petted his head and knelt down to give him a hug. Tears filled my eyes and spilled into his pelt. It was just as soft as I remembered his hair had been when I had once asked to touch it junior year in high school. I wondered if he was remembering that, or if all he had were memories of Poland and life after the transformation.

“His memory is pretty scattered. But I’ve been able to track down some relatives and get some memories back for him, but so far he’s more wolf then human and will remain so. About you having werewolf DNA, I strongly advise against even trying to turn into a wolf. First, you’d turn into what Jake was when you first met him in the state and second, there’s a strong chance you’d be unable to turn back. Your wolf DNA is very pure, and comes from an aggressive breed that I do not ever want to deal with. Becoming a wolf would probably mean the death of the two people in this room and the eventual death of yourself when someone decided that you were a rabid dog and killed you.” Luke had walked up behind us.

“Okay, enough with the bad news. Is there anything else, something good? How will my having werewolf blood effect my treatment?”

Luke looked very unsettled and pressed his lips into a thin line. “The werewolf blood shouldn’t affect you at all. That is, as long as you stay human.” He gave a nervous chuckle at that. “But today we are just working on more relaxing techniques and then with your permission, I’m going to look through your memories and find ways to permanently suppress those that happened to you while… you were away from the school. If there’s anything else that needs to be suppressed, I will see what I can do with it. It’s not erasing your memory, so your mind will still have learned from the experience, but it is keeping it out of any thoughts you will have in the future, conscious or unconscious.”

It was a very relaxing day and I felt much better afterward. I found Jake and we lied in the rainforest room and stared at the ceiling without saying anything until it was too dark to see each other.

 

“Christy.” A familiar voice spoke in my ear and woke me up. I was facing my watch that I had put on the table next to my bed and the numbers read 2:24. I groaned and stuck my head under my pillow.

“Go away Jake! I want to sleep!” I yelled at Jake and then suddenly, I was fully awake.

I pulled myself from under the pillow and looked at the figure sitting on my bed. Blue eyes that were barely visible in the moonlight twinkled happily.

White noise filled my ears and Jake twitched backwards and I realized that I was screaming. I stopped and threw myself at Jake. “You’re human!” I pulled myself away from him and scooted to the other side of the bed. “You are human.” I whispered this time.

Jake looked down. “I was able to change back. And I have all my memories from before I was bitten. I know who bit me, and where he is. I’m going to leave the school so I can hunt him down.”

I felt tears in my eyes and swallowed hard before replying, “Are you ever coming back?”

Jake looked away, “Once I hunt him down, I’m going to finish my college education. I might come back. But that is a big might. He was very strong when I met him, and he has probably become even stronger since I came up here.”

“Where are you going to start looking?”

St. Charles, where else?”

I fell off the bed out of shock and peered at him from the floor. “You are going back to St. Charles? Why didn’t you say so? I’ve finished my training at Sanctuary as well as you have. Let me finish my healing here and then we can both go back to our old lives!”

Jake reached out and took my hand. He smiled and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Okay, I’ll wait for you to finish healing, and then we will go home.”

He got up and left the room, giving me a small smile before closing the door. I went back to sleep, dreaming of home.

 

“Again,” Luke screamed at me. We were in a practice room. Luke had felt that in the time of our rehabilitation that Jake and I had become weak when it came to using our abilities.

I felt my fists clench and I glared at Luke, “look, I am no Peter Petrelli if that’s what you’re looking for,” Jake lunged at me and tackled me to the ground. “And all I can do is throw an emotion in your face and see how you deal.”

Jake rolled off me and turned back into a human. He lay on the ground and stared at me, “Come on, you were able to freeze bullets in midair, don’t tell me that all you can do is lift a finger and send a small marble of envy rolling on the floor.” He flipped over onto his back and lifted one arm into the air. I watched as he turned his hand into a wicked looking claw. “It’s just genetic manipulation. I have wolf DNA, you have wolf DNA. Try integrating a bit of it into what you do.”

I looked over at Luke, “and do what, howl at the full moon? I’m not supposed to use my wolf DNA, which I have no idea how I got, and how would it help me with my, lack a better term, emotional problems?”

Jake gave a bark of laughter, flipped back over onto his stomach and stared at me. He slowly turned into a wolf and got up. He started circling me, as if I was prey. I got off the ground and stared into his eyes, following his every movement.

“He is not just a wolf. He understands human movements.” Luke had backed off into a corner and was narrating Jake’s movements. “Watch his paws, tail, and shoulders. Minuscule movements will give him away as much as you lifting a finger will make him pounce. This is what he meant by integrating your wolf DNA. Right now, you are the prey and he is the hunter. Make him the prey and you the hunter.”

Jake stopped circling and gave a growl. I stared as deeply into his eyes as he would allow. I felt something inside me give an answering growl to Jake’s. Something that wanted to come out. Something that couldn’t be let out, but could come to the surface.

A howl escaped Jake’s throat, and I opened my mouth to give an answering cry.

Luke was behind me and he clamped a hand over my mouth.

“That is enough for now. We don’t want to have you go through the same thing Jake did.”

Jake turned back human and gave me a strange look. It looked like he was trying to figure something out. After a moment, he walked out of the room.

 

 

I lay in my bed and thought about what would happen when I went home. Would I get back my old job? Would my parents let me come back to live with them? What had they told people during these years that I was away? Sure, Jake and I had gone back to St. Charles, but we hadn’t made any contact with our old acquaintances, just looking for links to Jake’s past. And now, we would be going back to stay. We would go back to our old lives. Would we ever see each other again? Jake had gone to school in Chicago, and I had been getting ready to leave for a college close to St. Louis. We probably never would see each other. Maybe a two minute telephone call in the hall outside of our dorms to make sure that the other was still alive.

There was a knock on my door. I got up to answer it and there stood Orpheus.

“You want to leave.” He stated. “You and that puppy want to leave.” He took a menacing step forward. “You two want to leave and leave a pack of rabid werewolves without a leader and psychic vampire intent on destroying everyone’s lives at the mercy of whoever kills them first. You selfish b***h.”

His fangs were in my neck before I knew what was happening. I tried grabbing onto him and pushing him away, but his anger gave him strength. I thought back to when I was still trying to get a hold of my powers and I sent him flying through a wall. Trying to tap into that power while having the life sucked out of me was near impossible. I reached for it and tried bringing it to the surface. It was tough. My vision was becoming blurry and the room was going dark. Orpheus was going to kill me. Then he would kill Jake.

“NO!” I screamed and the room was covered in a shimmering blue light. Orpheus was yanked away from me and slammed against the nearest wall. I looked at him while the light continued to get brighter. “Don’t even think about going anywhere near him, you b*****d.”

The wall crumbed and Orpheus went flying through it. The blue light turned red and slowly curled back to me. It then hit me that Orpheus had attacked me. I had then almost killed him.

“Orpheus!” I screamed and ran to the hole in the wall. He was lying on the ground and not moving. Being a vampire, I didn’t expect him to move. Yet it looked like I had done more damage to him then he could tolerate.

“Ow.” He muttered and slowly got up. He rolled his neck and more then one bone cracked.

My door burst open and Jake skidded to a stop in wolf form. He looked up at me and then through the hole. In a second, he was human and peering through the hole at Orpheus. “What the hell just happened?” He whispered hoarsely.

 Orpheus noticed Jake and growled. “You two want to leave! I would have thought better of you, Jakub Wrobel, then to leave the school to the werewolves’ mercy. I would rather bump into Phoenix a dozen times then leave them without an Alpha. You are the closest thing to an Alpha we got. I need you at the school.”

Jake cracked his jaw and then pointed at me. “You want an Alpha? Take her.”

“What?” I muttered before succumbing to blood loss and fainting.

 

A soft buzzing in my ear gently woke me up. I was leaning against something warm and smooth. I moved to face an impressive set of abs. The buzzing stopped and I realized that the person I had been leaning against had been humming.

I moved to look up and see Luke’s face shining down at me. “Good morning. You had quite a night. Don’t worry, your blood has been replaced and the house has been repaired. Though, I would like to keep you here one more week just to make sure everything is fine. Other then that, you are ready to leave.”

“I’m an Alpha.” I muttered stupidly.

Luke gave a small laugh, “That you are my sweet little Irish wolf. In fact, I would like to give you something, just don’t read too much into it.” He reached behind himself and pulled out a small gray box and handed it to me. I opened it and inside was a silver claddaugh ring. “It has a spell upon it to keep it from melting, rusting, chipping, or anything else that may be thrown at it. It will remain this pristine for as long as the world exists.” He gave a small laugh. “I won’t be surprised that if the world blew up, this ring would be the only thing still intact.”

I took the ring and put it over my right middle finger with the heart facing outwards. “Thank you, Luke. I have no idea how to repay you for all the kindness you have shown me since I came here.” I looked up and gave him a sad smile.

He returned my smile with full strength, “How about this. Just don’t get yourself so injured that you have to come back. I do enjoy company, but I get worried if I start seeing the same face over and over.” He gave a sigh “Yeah, Jake told me that you are an Alpha. I have no idea how it happened, but it means that now Jake has to respond to everything you ask him to do. Him and the other wolves at the school. You are in charge of them, if you feel up to the challenge.”

“I can’t do that to Orpheus. But I want to go back home. I want to spend time with my family.”

Luke pulled me into a hug, “I think we can talk Orpheus into giving you and Jake a month away.”

 

A week later, I was driving a borrowed car from the school and Jake was sprawled out in the back. He fell asleep an hour into the drive, and five hours later, I reached back to wake him up so he could tell me how to get to his house. I dropped him off and took the long way home, hoping my parents still lived in the same house.

I was very fortunate that they did, and we spent the rest of the day talking about everything that had happened since I had left. I showed them what I could do, and they were impressed, and understood that I would need to go back. It turned out that I got werewolf genes from my father’s side, from a small pack in Austria. He knew, just thought that the blood was so diluted that it wouldn’t matter in him or me. I had to put that to the test.

 

One month later, Jake pulled the car into the school’s garage. We both sharply inhaled when the lights hit at least twenty half-dressed men standing in the darkness of the garage. I didn’t recognize them, but Jake breathed, “it’s the pack” before turning the car off, but leaving the lights on. “He dort Michael. Ungefähr was ist das Ganze?” Jake called out to the man standing closest to us. We both got out of the car and faced the werewolves in front of us. “Es ist jenes Weibchen, Jakub. Wir sind erzählt worden, dass sie ist, unser Alpha zu sein. Wir werden erlauben, dass keine Frau uns führt!” Without warning, the man pounced on me and I was pushed to the ground. Jake started screaming in German, but the other wolves blocked him off from me. “Christy! Say Halt! Look him in the eye and say Halt!”

I looked my attacker in the eyes and gasped out, “Halt.”

He looked down at me and screamed, “Weibchen! Sie ist ein Alpha!” and jumped off of me. The other wolves retreated and in moments they were all gone. I started coughing violently. Jake rushed to my side and pulled me into his arms. “You okay?” The pack backed off and in a flash, they were all in wolf shape and disappearing into the darkness.

“I’m okay. What was all that about?” The lights from the car went out and we were in pitch black darkness. Then, a man I recognized faintly filled my vision.

Stroking a red goatee and looking at me with serious gray eyes he nodded at me, “It’s time for you to wake up, Christy. Time to come home.”

I banged my head on a wind chime as I woke up in my old house in St. Charles. Jake and I had yet to go back. We had just arrived the week before. Every night since coming home I had similar dreams all with the same person in them.

 

That day it was raining heavily, but I felt like walking to the library and seeing old faces, if they were still there.

“Christy!” Melissa Proulx actually yelled when I walked through the doors into the children’s department. She ran at me and threw her arms around me. Returning the favor we held each other for a moment before stepping back. She gave me a genuine Melissa smile and tilted her head. “You look different. Where have you been? You disappeared one day and no one knew where you went. Your mom was under a lot of stress from Denise and Christine, but if she knew where you were she never said anything. Everyone thought it was strange that you were never reported missing and there was almost a trial for your murder before your parents have some small meetings with people and that was when everything was dropped.”

“There was a murder trial in my name?” I was shocked that it gone that far.

Brian Bailey rushed past me toward a window I noticed had started to leak. The rain was falling too fast for it to be drained and the ditches around the library were filling with water and putting pressure on the windows. Melissa looked toward the window and gulped. “She says that the water will drain and is refusing to close the area off. I just know something bad will happen.” She disappeared off into the stacks and I went over to the windows to say hi to Brian.

“Hi Brian.” I whispered when I got over to him. He stopped and turned to look at me.

“Christy.” Suddenly his mouth was on mine. I pushed him away, but he was holding on too tight. Trying to control my anger and failing, Brian went flying across the department and hit a far wall, a red ball of sizzling emotion propelling him. Everyone turned to stare at me and felt myself start trembling.

“J-j-jake!” I fell to my knees and tried to make myself as small as possible. I needed Jake. Orpheus. Ethos. Someone who could control me right now. I was going to turn the entire department into a neon blue sign just because I couldn’t handle an old friend’s way of saying welcome back.

My back felt cold and wet and I looked over my shoulder. The glass in the window was cracking and the water was coming through. Before I knew what was happening, I was against the wall between two windows and the glass shattered. Water came pouring in and I shouted, “MESLISSA!” as the water rushed towards her. I watched as she was pinned against the wall near an unconscious Brian who was floating face downward. The water continued to flow in and soon I was treading water and looking around frantically. I was caught in the current and was soon swept away from windows and any chance of getting out.

 

I began to wish I had never left the school as my face was pressed against the ceiling of the department with everything black I had no idea which way to head if I wanted to get out. As the water covered my face I thought about the man in my dreams. I did know him. He was a swimmer. If I had his abilities, I would never have been swept this far into the department. The water was filling my lungs and the darkness was fuzzy in my vision. Deciding that I would end it my way, I breathed in the water and closed my eyes. My vision cleared to see the man from my dreams. He was shirtless and waist deep in water. He wasn’t in the library, but he was still in water. Looking at me and stroking his chin he muttered, “I had a feeling you may be one.” He reached out and pulled me to his firm and very well defined chest, “Come on, Christy. Embrace the memories of your blood.” I looked up at him and he leaned down to give me a kiss.

Air filled my lungs and my eyes burst open. I was under the water, but everything was clear and I was… breathing. I was breathing the water. I looked at myself and hit my head on the ceiling in shock. My legs were gone and in their place was an earthy tone colored tail. I looked around and noticed that my fingernails had grown into long points. I rubbed my fingers together and realized that a spiny pad had covered my fingers. Everything else seemed to be the same, but how could I tell. I had been turned into a half fish during a moment before death experience.

Finally thinking, I used my tail to swim. With one swish, I was slammed against a wall. Okay, so now I was a powerful swimmer. Somehow everything was visible and it hit me that I could see in the dark. Gently swimming around, I found both Brian and Melissa and pulled them towards the youth services lobby. The doors were closed, but being simple glass, I rammed through them and continued upstairs where we finally serviced. There were a ton of people around and once I had gotten both Melissa and Brian to safety I tried to think how I could turn back into a whole human. The water was black, so no one saw my tail.

“Come home to me and I’ll teach you everything.” He was sunning himself on a rock, naked except for a red tail, the color of his hair. He looked over at me and beckoned with one finger, “I’ll help you this time, but you really need to learn it yourself. Come to me and I will show you your full potential as a Sea Guardian.”

I felt my legs come back and pulled myself out of the water. Melissa and Brian were being attended to and someone placed a blanket around me. I felt something odd in my hand and opened it to see a tuft of red hairs, his hairs. I didn’t know if they were meant as a warning or reassurance, but I held onto them tightly.

 

Ireland? Are you sure about this?” I was sitting on a couch in Jake’s house and he was pacing around.

“One hundred percent. He wants me there so I can learn everything about what I am and what I can do.”

Jake rubbed his eyes and stared at me. “You are a genetic freak. Empath. Psychic. Werewolf. Mermaid.” He ticked them off on each finger. “Next you’ll find out that your great-great-grandmother was an extra terrestrial.”

“Oh please, do not say that. It’s probably true. And Callan used the term ‘Sea Guardian’, not ‘mermaid’. I have a feeling that if you said mermaid to him he’d smack you with his tail.”

“The word ‘mer’ means ocean and ‘maid’ means unmarried woman with an intact virtue. To simplify it, mermaid means ocean maiden. Since we do not just live in the ocean and there are men among the existing population, Sea Guardian best describes what Christy is.” Callan appeared out of no where lounging out on Jake’s other couch and gave me an award winning smile.

Jake was a wolf and had attacked Callan before I could say anything. I grabbed at him and pulled him away before he could do any damage. Callan didn’t have a scratch on him and looked unfazed. Jake returned to human form in my arms and ogled Callan. “Damn it man, what is your skin made out of.”

Callan moved slightly and some muscles I shouldn’t have been looking at flexed. “The two Sea Guardian’s skin is made to handle the pressure of the bottom of the ocean. When we want, we can be invincible.” He turned his glaze to me. “Will you come with me or not? I can teach you everything.”

Jake moved out of my grasp and looked at me. Eyes the color of the ocean before a storm came and eyes the color of starting to tarnish silver stared at me and I wondered how I could make a decision. Callan got up out of the chair and came to kneel in front of me. “You do not have to come with me, but if you don’t, you will never learn about what you truly are.”

“I forbid it.” Jake was all but snarling. “Luke and Orpheus have told me everything about the self proclaimed ‘Water Guardians’. You are monsters and menaces to the world. You have tempers that can kill more then one person at a time. You are a selfish race and I will not let her be a part of that.”

Callan looked into Jake’s eyes and lifted a hand. I stifled a gasp when his finger nails turned into the sharp points that mine had been. “As you can see, Jakub, I have no need for water if I wanted to hurt you. I’m not being selfish. I am giving her a choice. She can come with me and learn the ways of her dominant heritage or she can stay here and be an unwelcome member of your little pack.”

“Dominant heritage? I thought my dominant heritage was my empathism.” I whispered.

Callan looked at me, “No, my sweetheart, your dominant heritage is that of the sea. The gifts you have been learning are part of your Sea Guardianism. When you visited Luke after that unfortunate circumstance, he discovered your Sea Guardian heritage and tried to keep it dormant.” He looked down, “I’m sorry to say that those who belong to the society of Water Guardian’s are not exactly looked upon fondly in the greater society. Many families all over the world have lost members due to a Water Guardian’s temper. To go around and publicly announce that you are a Water Guardian to invite shame to your name and possibly an early death.” He stood up and held out a hand to me. “Take my hand if you wish to come with me and learn the ways of Water Guardian’s or turn me away and stay in the life you are leading. I will not bother you again, but if you ever get into a jam where your abilities as a Water Guardian would come in handy and you have no idea how to use them, I will not help you out again.” He nodded his head and looked down at me, “As a member of the society of Water Guardian’s, I have done my job in informing you of what you are and have given you the choice to join it or forsake it for the rest of your natural life.”

I stared at his hand and glanced over at Jake. He gave a ferocious shake of his head. I looked up into Callan’s eyes. He gave me a warm smile. I already knew how to be an Empath. I knew how to control that part of me. I was not allowed to embrace the werewolf heritage I had recently discovered. To stay here would remain status quo. To go with Callan would mean learning about something I knew absolutely nothing about.

It was a hard decision, but I reached up and grabbed Callan’s hand.

 

Callan smiled at me and pulled me up. We were no longer in Jake’s house, but standing on the shoreline somewhere. The wind brought along the smell of seaweed and salt. I looked around. Everything was so beautiful and green that I decided to go out on a limb and bet Callan had taken us to Ireland.

“That path over there will take us up to the mansion. It’s the biggest on the isle and if you ever go into town expect people to stare at you since you’re a new face and come from the mansion.” Callan released my hand and pulled off his shirt. “For the moment, you need not concern yourself with the mansion. Today is your first lesson on being a Sea Guardian. What you need to know is that there are five different Water Guardians, Sea Guardians being a part of them. The other four are Vapor, Ice, Lake, and River. Each Guardian has a purpose and there are only ten alive at a time on the planet. You and I are Sea Guardians and therefore fit the role of mermaids to the general public. The other Guardians do not look like us when they are in Guardian mode.” He started to pull his pants off and I focused on his face.

“Callan… do you really need to do that?” I asked.

“Yeah, and you do to. That is, unless you want to stay here and miss out on a learning experience.”

I tried to turn my glare into laser beams, but instead I must have looked cute because Callan threw back his head and laughed. He then tore down the beach and jumped into the waves. He disappeared under the water and then came back up as a Sea Guardian. Turning to face away from him, I quickly took off my clothes and then ran into the waves. The water was so cold that I started swearing at him before he pulled me against him.

“You definitely have some Irish in you lass. Shh, relax and just listen to me. You want to focus on breathing, and that is all.” He started pulling me deeper into the water and soon he was swimming backward and I was holding on limply, us both knowing that I could swim if the need arose. “Alright, I’m going to bring you under the water and you have to focus on breathing the water. Once your body realizes that you want to breathe the oxygen in the water, it will take care of the rest.” He took my hands in his and gave me a small smile before we were submerged under the water. He held my hands and I tried to focus on breathing the water.

It was impossible. The water was cold, I was naked, and Callan’s hands were like holding flames. I started feeling myself start to drown and struggled. Callan held on harder and I knew that at any moment I would start crying. Using that to focus on the element surrounding me, I took in a mouthful of water and tried to get my body to realize that I wanted to breathe the water and not drink it. My eyesight started to go black, but just as I started to black out, I felt myself involuntarily swallow the water and instead of it being the last thing I would ever know, it was my first breath of life after nearly dying again.

Callan let go of my hands and threw his arms around me. Even though we were underwater and things tended to move a lot slower in the water, Callan moved as if he were above the surface. I tried not to think about how strong his muscles had to be to allow him to do that. Letting go of me, he took my hand and started pulling me further into the depths of the ocean.

The deeper we went the harder it was to swim. Callan was still moving along as if he was taking a leisurely stroll, but my movements were jerky. After what seemed like an hour, Callan stopped and put his hand up. I stopped and looked around. Nothing seemed different about where we were, but I trusted Callan’s instincts about the ocean more then I trusted my own.

Fish Human! Fish Human Mate!  A voice lilted through my head and I looked around to come face to face with a gulper eel. I felt my eyes widen. We must have swum almost to the bottom of the ocean to come across such a beautiful and misunderstood creature. I reached out to it and surprisingly, the gulper eel’s tail moved to curl around my wrist. Hello Fish Human! The other Fish Human comes to visit us often, I hope you will too!

I will try, most beautiful creature. My thoughts must have drifted into the eels thoughts because something that could only be a smile crossed the fish’s features and it released its tail to swim around me excitedly.

Fish Human flatters those who have survived 36 moon phases. Another gulper eel appeared from beneath me and swam around me. Fish Human meet my mate, she has survived for 12 moon phases.

Callan! I called out and he turned to me; a lantern fish was swimming around him. He swam over and stroked each of the gulper eels tails. Callan, this is amazing! Do you know any giant squid? Oh! How about a whale shark? Sun fish! I have always wanted to see a sun fish!

Callan gave me a huge smile and pulled me into his arms. Don’t fret, we have the rest of our lives to look forward to, all the oceans to explore, and you will see everything that you can see about the ocean. Now, how about we leave so you can finally get some rest?

We started swimming upward when something nipped me. Thinking it was one of the gulper eels asking me not to leave I looked down and let out a startled scream. It was a viperfish, swimming around me and taking nips whenever it could. Callan started pulling me up towards the surface, trying to reassure me, but I couldn’t help it. The first thing that happened was that my ears popped. I thought I smelled blood, but thankfully passed out.

 

“Callan. Honestly, you really need to ease up. Her body told me it has been fainting at a constant rate since she was forced to leave her home and taking her to the shelf this early on was a little too much. She could have died.” A man’s deep voice that sounded like it carried an accent from all over the world woke me up.

“It’s not my fault, Orca. She just got here. How was I supposed to know that that viperfish was going to attack her?” Callan protested hotly. I shook my head and instantly wished I hadn’t. My eyes fluttered open to see Callan and a very dark skinned man leaning over me.

“Do I still have a tail?” I asked stupidly and both men tried to conceal smiles.

“How are you feeling? No, you don’t have a tail.” Callan whispered while petting my hair. The other man pushed Callan’s hand away and glared at him.

“Now that she is awake, why don’t you get out of here so I can take care of her? You have done more then enough damage to her as it is.” The man continued to stare at Callan who finally gave in and left.

“Who are you?” I asked when he picked up my hand and held it for a moment for setting it down.

“My name is Odysseus Roman Caesar Admriales. Feel free to call me Orca, everyone does.” He smiled and for a split second I thought of Orpheus.

I watched him for a while. “You’re a vampire.”

He nodded, “Yep. Have been for a long time.”

“Are you older then Orpheus?” I assumed that vampires knew each.

Orca through his head back and gave a hearty laugh. “Orpheus is still a newborn babe compared to me. He is the youngest of the vampires and,” he touched the side of my neck where I knew I still had a scar from Orpheus’s bite, “It looks like he is finally ready to leave his mark and no longer be the youngest.”

I thought about that for a moment, wondering if I had missed something in all the stuff that Orpheus had told me about vampires. It took a moment for me to realize that Orpheus had never told me anything about vampires. “What do you mean about that? Orpheus never told me anything about vampires, other then the first year thing.”

Orca moved away from me and pulled a chair up to my bedside. “Vampires have a sack just behind their fangs.” He tapped his teeth. “I would show you mine, but since there’s Orpheus, I don’t have it anymore.” I must have looked confused because he quickly went on. “The first vampire in the world was made with the sack. It was cursed and it made the vampire only be able to sire one more vampire. Once that vampire had sired the next vampire, the sack breaks and pours immortality into that new vampire. That vampire grows the sack and the process repeats itself. It is how we have kept our number low all these years. It is what our maker intended.” He sat back.

“So how old are you?” I was curious since he didn’t look that old, yet he seemed far wiser then Orpheus and Luke combined.

“The maker created the first vampire 10,000 years ago. I was his sire. That should give you an approximation.”

I felt myself whistle and my head burst into pain. “What happened to me?”

“You were exposed to the pressure down there.

© 2008 Christy Hauck


Author's Note

Christy Hauck
very rough, very raw, just something im doing for fun... maybe when i feel its finished ill go back and fix it so its all in the same tense, blah blah

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I liked it. I also want to know whether it is just a chapter, or the whole story. I hope only a chapter. You had me hooked by the first paragraph.... haha.

Posted 12 Years Ago


hahahha...
the last statement is sooooo stating the obvious

@[email protected]
now i understand the schizophrenic part of the title
is it even possible to have so many er...species at one time?
this is a really interestin story
is this the first chapter? or this is the story itself?

Posted 12 Years Ago



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Added on August 6, 2008

Author

Christy Hauck
Christy Hauck

Sun Prairie, WI



About
I tend to write Urban Fantasy, but that is because everytime I sit down to write anything but that, I always end up brainstorming some weird fictional thing that does not factor into the environment o.. more..

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