Chapter 9

Chapter 9

A Chapter by thegirlthatwrites

"So how exactly did you get the car?" I asked as I pulled the passenger side door shut, perhaps a bit too forcefully. I was still getting used to all these different methods of transportation, and just how to deal with them.

"A guy let me borrow his keys...and the rest of the car," Lowell replied vaguely as he fiddled with the seat and some of the knobs on the dashboard.

"Put your seatbelt on," Charmeine chimed in from the back where I could see her in the rearview mirror, sitting with a content smile on her face.

"Fine, fine," I mumbled, grabbing onto the seatbelt and clicking it into place. The noise sounded harsh and abnormal to my ears, but the other two seemed entirely used to it. With a bit of a sigh, I leaned back in the seat, resting my forehead on the window as I looked out the window. I was half-expecting some random man to come running across the parking lot to yell at us to get out of his car, but then again, maybe Lowell had not been lying. It was not as if I had a great deal of experience with how generous people could be out here in the real world, and I was beginning to realize that some of the images Gloria had forced Felix and me to believe were hardly true. We had crossed hundreds of miles, and I had not seen even the slightest sign of "anti-supernatural" propaganda that she said littered the place. There had been poverty, and bad areas, but no one pointed fingers and cried accusatory remarks at me.

"Charmie, what are we listening to?" Lowell asked just as the car jerked forward from the parking space and my forehead banged against the window.

"Oh, no, are you okay?" Charmeine asked me, straining her seatbelt as she tried to lean forward between the two front seats. "Lowell's not a very good driver, sorry."

"Clearly..." I muttered, rubbing at my forehead but otherwise waving off Charmeine's concern. I could deal with a bump and a headache. Who even knew what Felix was going through, anyway? This was probably nothing compared to his current treatment. "Just drive."

Lowell jerked the car forward again before speeding out of the parking lot as I clutched the door handle. I shot a glare his way when he took one hand off the steering wheel and only half-paid attention to the road while he turned the dial on the radio. I reached out, slapping his hand away so I could take care of it. "Eyes on the road," I ordered. I had never been in a car before, but I was fairly certain that even I could have done a better job than Lowell as he went at least twenty over the speed limit and weaved in and out of cars on a whim. Behind me, I could hear Charmeine making some irritated and distressed noises, and I swore I heard her quietly apologize a few times, as if the people in the other car could hear her.

Keeping focused on the radio was a good distraction, though, and it only took a few moments for me to figure out how to work it. Mostly we just came across commercials, something I was already growing tired of. We had not had a working radio at the house (mostly because whenever Felix tried to fix it, it seemed like something else in it broke), but we had a lot of different music players, and I had never had the annoyance of commercials breaking through when I wanted to keep listening to music. After the second time of going through all the stations, I finally came across one that was not only playing a song, but one I actually liked. Before Lowell could stop me, I turned the volume up.

"You like this song?" Lowell asked, looking mildly surprised, which only made me feel a bit smug.

"'Course I do. Gloria loved Ike and Tina," I replied. I could hear Charmeine quietly singing the song under her breath behind me, and joined in. "Twenty-five is the speed limit, motorcycle not allowed in it."

If I needed any more reassurance that my voice was terrible, Lowell gave it when he cranked the volume up loud enough to drown me out, but that did not stop me from singing. In fact, it only made Charmeine and I start to sing louder, and Charmeine hit her brother's shoulder until he joined in, a sight I thought I would never see. It was remarkably comfortable in that moment in the car, and Felix slowly slipped from my mind. All my life, I had been expected to be mature, to act responsible. More, more, more had always been expected, and I had never known any other thing to do but deliver what was wanted. Felix was always willing to go out of his way to try to make things fun, but there were some things I had not even realized could be fun that I was missing out on. Like trying to sing louder than a blasting radio with two people I was still just beginning to know.

We kept going, and kept changing the station until we came across songs we liked enough to keep singing along to. It was the perfect distraction, but distractions can only last for so long. As Lowell turned a corner (far too fast, might I add), we entered onto a dirt path that sent us all bouncing in our seats as Lowell sped along. I turned the volume down slowly, realizing that we were going to be coming to our destination soon, and needing to sober up a bit before we got there. The light-hearted feeling had escaped us all now, and all I could feel was a heavy weight in my chest, and even some guilt over letting myself go so long without thinking on Felix and what he could potentially be enduring right now. Silliness and fun had to be out of the question from here on out.

I could still feel my cheeks aching a bit from how much I had been laughing earlier in the car as we pulled up to the large home at the end of the path. There was a wrap-around porch that needed to be painted badly, but the rest of the house was in mint condition, as if it had all been recently renovated. The only thing that looked more than a few years old, aside from the paint job on the porch, was the man that was standing in the open doorway. He had to be in his seventies, at least, with receding gray hair and tanned, leathery skin with age spots dotting his cheeks. He was wearing all white, and when he looked into the approaching car, I could have sworn he was looking directly at me.

We came to a sudden stop, which did nothing to help the increasingly queasy feeling that was coming over me. My hand was frozen on the seatbelt, and it was Charmeine who reached forward to press down on my thumb and click the button to release it. Lowell was already out of the car, but Charmeine waited until I had stepped out before she did, and she walked beside me as we made our way toward the house. If I had been uncertain earlier, I was certain now that the man was not only looking at me, but glaring at me. His hands were folded behind his back, his shoulder's back and chest puffed out a bit. It was like a soldier's stance. He had military experience.

"Charmie, Lowell lovely to see you," the man spoke, his voice gravelly and with a surprising amount of warmth considering his cool appearance.

"Iniqua!" Charmeine sang, now leaving my side as she skipped up the steps and gave the tall man a hug that he returned with a pat on the back. "Do you still have that amazing tea you brought us last time you came to see us?"

"Of course, Charmie. It's just in the kitchen."

Charmie smiled brightly as she turned to look at me. "Fantastic! Iniqua, this is Rae. Rae, this is Iniqua. He's the best scryer around, trust me. I'll go start making some tea for us all."

She sashayed through the open door as Iniqua, Lowell, and I stayed outside, all in the same positions as before. Looking between the two for a few moments of awkward silence, I slowly began to walk up the couple steps of the porch. Before I could reach the door to enter, Iniqua shifted and blocked the doorway with his whole body so there was no way for me to get in. My mouth fell open a bit, but I was completely at a loss for words. What could I possibly say? I did not know this man, and it was his home, so it was entirely up to him if I should enter or not. Then again, he was our only hope to find Felix at this point, and that was enough to make me slam my mouth shut and level a glare at Iniqua that matched the one he was shooting me.

"No darkness enters this home," Iniqua stated, no traces in his tone of the warmth he had shown Lowell and Charmeine.

"How do you-" I began indignantly, but he cut me off.

"I knew your mother. You are not welcome here."

"She is welcome," Lowell cut in, stepping forward now.

Iniqua's eyes drifted from me and he looked toward Lowell with a scowl. "Don't, Lowell."

"Let Regan into your home, Iniqua."

With a noise that sounded something like a grunt and a sigh, Iniqua finally stepped to the side. Cautiously, I stepped over the threshold, half-expecting to be shocked or worse upon entering the home, but nothing happened. I took a few more steps into the hallway that led into a living room, looking back to see Lowell coming in behind me. Iniqua went the other way down the hallway, toward where I could hear Charmeine probably making tea in what must have been the kitchen.

"What'd you do?" I asked Lowell as he sat down in one of the armchairs.

"Nothing," Lowell replied, but I knew he was avoiding actually looking at me as he untied and retied his shoe. "Light witches just get uppity."

"But yet they obey a teenage human's command?"

He looked up now, the smug look back on his face as he settled back into his chair and held his hands out with his palms facing up. "What can I say? I'm a miracle worker."

"Keep your miracles to yourself." I settled down onto the couch, crossing my arms. "I can take care of myself."

"Sixteen years in isolation and you still say the oldest cliché in the book."

"Doesn't mean it's not true."

Charmeine entered the room with a tray full of cups and Iniqua came in behind her with the teapot hovering in front of him. He poured himself, Lowell, and Charmeine a cup, and gave them however much sugar and milk they wanted, but left me to pour my own. His hosting skills were exceptional, clearly.

"Iniqua, we need your help," Charmeine began, sitting down next to me on the couch.

"I assumed as much when you asked to see me," Iniqua responded, remaining standing. "Though I do think that you may want to wait a short while before you ask anything. I have guests coming soon, and I think your interests and theirs are very similar if not the same."

"Who are the guests?"

Iniqua turned his attention to me now, a twisted grin spreading on his face that made me feel so uneasy I had to put my tea down, unable to drink anymore of it. "I think Rae might know them."

Iniqua's face turned away, his sight now directed toward the large window of the living room. From where I sat, it was difficult to see much of anything through it, and I reluctantly stood up to try to get a glimpse of whatever, or whomever, he was staring at. I could just make out the shapes of half a dozen figures approaching from the woods, but it was not until they were fully out from the cover of the trees that I could see that they were all adults, three males and three females, ranging from twenties to sixties. They were all tall, with dark tan skin and black hair. There seemed to be a man that was leading the group, and the closer he got, the more my heart began to pound against my chest.

He looked like Felix.

Suddenly, they all shifted. Where six humans had once stood, there now crouched six wolves. Lupos. I stumbled forward, gripping the ledge of the window as I stared at them all. They had ceased moving, the hairs on the back of their necks bristling as they stared at the house. I kept my eyes focused on the Lupo that had been leading them, the strangest sense of deja vu passing over me as I watched him bare his teeth, able to hear the loud growl from where I stood inside the house.

"I believe you know them," Iniqua's voice came from behind me in the room.

It was them, the Lupos that had attacked our home on Felix's eighteenth birthday. They had tried to claim him, could have tried to kill us, and had destroyed our home. They were the reason for all of this. If they had stayed away, Gloria would still be around, Felix and I would not have had to run, he never would have been taken by the Hearts. And now they were here. Now Iniqua had invited them here when we were trying to find Felix again to bring him to safety. Uppity was an understatement for Iniqua.

I raised my hands and flicked them forward, a large, powerful telekinetic force pushing against the window to make it shatter almost instantly. I pushed myself over the ledge, ignoring the sharpness of the glass that cut through my palms. Five of the six Lupos remained growling in place, but the leader, the one that looked like Felix, came running toward me. I focused on all my surroundings, locking eyes with the Lupo as he continued barreling toward me. Using my hands to bend the image and conjure up an illusion, I was able to visionbend. What I say was what was actually happening, but what the Lupo saw was an image I had conjured. I had split myself into two in the image that were on either side of where I actually was, and made the house seem farther away. As the Lupo charged toward me, he altered his course to go after the image of me he saw that was three feet to the right of where I was, and he leapt at it, snarling and snapping as he sailed through the air and crashed into the living room that was closer than he thought.

"Stop!" Charmeine cried suddenly, breaking my focus enough that I ceased bending the Lupo's vision and he suddenly realized where he was. "Just stop!"

My bloody hands fell to my side as I let out a breath, staring at where the Lupo now stood in the middle of the living room, still bristling. When I glanced over my shoulder, the other Lupos had already changed back to human form, their clothes reappearing as if they had been enchanted to do so. The leading Lupo had shifted back into his human shape, as well, but he still managed to look just as threatening with flashing dark brown eyes transfixed on me. With a sweep of his hand, Iniqua sent the shards of glass of the broken window back into one piece, blocking me from getting back in through any other way but the front door, where Charmeine was already waiting when I got there.

"You need to bandage your hands," she pointed out, sounding more sympathetic and concerned than I deserved for the way I had let my temper get the better of me. Gloria would have never approved of the lack of control I had just exhibited, regardless of the situation. And here Charmeine had told me not long ago that I was some special person because I had "mastered" telekinesis and was advanced with vision bending. What a lie that had turned out to be.

I was expecting Charmeine to lead me into the kitchen, but instead she brought me into the living room. The man's glaring expression had not changed at all, and was now only mirrored by Iniqua. Lowell stood near the Lupo, and I could not tell if he was preparing to hold the Lupo back or not.

"The girl," the Lupo spat with a deep voice, "take her out of here."

"We were here first," Lowell explained, his tone even.

"She was the one who kept me from my son."

I went to speak, but Charmeine suddenly pushed me back onto the couch and poured perhaps too much cleaning solution on my hand. I was forced to bite my lip to keep from both shouting at the sudden stinging and speaking to the Lupo. It was likely for the best, I knew that, but I still wanted to say something. I could see his face, saw the way he resembled Felix in not only his features but his mannerisms. It was shocking to see Felix's father, of course, but it was less shocking to learn that it was this man that stood before me. Then again, regardless of his relation to Felix, I wanted to scream at him.

I wanted to ask him what kind of person tries to attack their son's home, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the ritual of "claiming". I wanted to remind him that I was Felix's family, not him. I celebrated every birthday with Felix, I stayed up listening to him ramble about his ideas for new inventions, I read stories to him when he was younger and could not sleep, I was the one that tried to protect him at all costs. And now this man came out nowhere and, considering the way he looked at me, thought himself better than me? Did he think he was more worthy to know the information about finding Felix than me? Bull. S**t.

"Iniqua, I thought you better than to let a dark witch into your home," the Lupo spoke again just as the rest of his pack came into the house, crowding in the hallway.

"I didn't want to," Iniqua muttered.

"But I am here," I pointed out as Charmeine finished wrapping bandages around my cuts. "And Felix is somewhere out there with Hearts. So the longer you all stay here speculating that I am a terrible person, the longer Felix is alone out there." I picked up my tea again, now taking a long sip as I sat back, looking steadily at the Lupo. "Now, are we finally going to figure out how to save my brother?"


© 2015 thegirlthatwrites


Author's Note

thegirlthatwrites
I haven't updated this in a while, but I have a lot of chapters that I've written that I need to post! Please leave a review to let me know what you think of the story! :)

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Added on June 10, 2015
Last Updated on June 10, 2015
Tags: car, friends, family, brother, magic


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thegirlthatwrites
thegirlthatwrites

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I just really like to write, and there's not much else to it. more..

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