As the day of the reset dawns they sit in a restricted room of the library, which is housed in it's own wing. After the cave they had gone back to Bonnie's room and for the first time in days she had slept the night through, Kai watching over her. The memory of what he had done is still fresh but now that she knows who is behind the mind games the feelings of confusion and helplessness are now replaced with a fierce purpose. She will make Silas suffer.
Kai sits at the end of a long wooden table. Around them hundreds of phials line shelves, each filled with blood. Bonnie stares around them, the room glowing red in the sunlight as she takes a seat.
"Uh, is this like a Gemini blood bank?"
Kai smiles, lifting his brows from the book he is reading. "Pretty much. It houses samples of our blood and our enemies. It's used for tracking purposes…and cursing," he adds and she looks upwards. Floating above the table is the ascendant for the island. It turns slowly, catching the light and Bonnie watches as blood drips off the metal and falls into a deep bowl directly below. She leans forward and sees it is full of blood.
"What are you doing?"
"Draining it of Eloise's blood. Her blood is the key ingredient to crossing over but she's dying so…"
"You need someone else's. Yours?" she asks. Kai shakes his head.
"Yours. These places have always been used with Bennett blood and Eloise changed it. I don't think that was meant to happen. That okay with you?" he asks and she shifts, flexing her back. Being linked to any ascendant makes her feel uncomfortable but at least this way she has control over who can come and go.
"All prison worlds are opened and closed with Bennett blood, this is no different. Will your grandmother argue?"
Kai clenches his jaw. "Yes but she'll see it's pointless wasting her energy…" he trails off, looking darkly at the dripping blood until Bonnie places her hand on his arm. He looks at her and the troubled look on his face fades. "You okay?"
She shrugs. "Better than a day ago. I just want to do something, I don't want to wait for his next attack, one that we won't see coming."
Kai nods. "We'll be prepared now, that's why I asked you to come here after breakfast. I did some digging and unearthed something interesting about Silas."
He taps the book he is reading, closing it and Bonnie touches the leather bound tome. The Gemini symbol is embossed on the cover and as he flips it open again she sees names neatly scrawled in rows.
"A family tree?"
Kai nods. "The Parker's. My coven is old, we've travelled extensively but it began two thousand years ago in Greece. We cursed the Travellers, who some believe were originally part of our coven. When Silas and Qetsiyah created the immortality spell he and his follows were shunned."
Bonnie looks at him in surprise. "Silas was a Gemini?"
"Suspected but I think he was. The Travellers created the doppelgangers, who they wanted to then sacrifice to end access to spirit magic after we cursed them. I have to admit I'm kinda proud that I sucked up their five hundred year old plan when I siphoned the anti magic barrier," Kai grins with accomplishment. "All those witchy sacrifices which also acted as a magic hot spot? Delicious," he sighs and Bonnie ignores the wistful hunger on his face and focuses on the family tree.
"What does this have to do with Silas?"
"We have nothing to track him with…but his bloodline is still going. My coven tried to protect the doppelgängers, which we did a shitty job of, but we always kept tabs on them. Tatia, Katherine Pierce and Elena…"
"The Petrova line."
"Right and Silas' line is…"
"Salvatore," she says, understanding but Kai shakes his head. He flicks through the pages until he stops during the mid 1800's.
"Didn't you ever wonder why Lily Salvatore got embroiled with Gemini siphoners? Why she got locked up in 1903 with them? Kinda random right?" he taps a name on the page and Bonnie peers closer and reads.
"Lillian…Parker?" Bonnie looks up, mouth opening in shock. "She was part of your coven?"
"No, she had no magic but she was distantly related. Her family was Irish originally before moving to Virginia where she got married. Her bloodline carries the Silas doppelgängers."
Bonnie looks at Kai and bursts into laughter. "You're related to Damon?"
"Don't, it's still too early," he shakes his head, mock disgusted and then grows serious. He flicks through the pages until tapping his finger on a name. "My dad said that a man called Tom Avery gave him the curse but he couldn't remember who he was but the name rang a bell. When I got out of 1994 I did some research about Lily and 1903. Then I remembered you talking about Luke shadowing the last male doppelgänger."
Bonnie frowns. "I didn't tell you about the Travellers in 1994."
"You talked to Damon about it and I overheard."
"Like a creeper," she adds and he shrugs nonchalantly, not denying it. Bonnie shakes her head and looks down at the name on the page. "Tom Avery."
"The last Silas doppelgänger. He was killed by a vampire called Enzo. Silas took his name."
"Okaaay?" she frowns in confusion and he smiles, taking pity on her.
"What I'm trying to say is that we can trace Silas because his bloodline is still going."
"But if Enzo killed Tom then who? You can't use Stefan's blood, he's a vampire, it won't work."
"I know…but we could go back to a prison world, grab the cure and give it to Stefan. He'll have human blood and then we can fuck up Silas without him even having to be in the same dimension," he gives a blood thirsty smile and hope ignites inside her. If Stefan had the choice to be human again he will jump at it, she is sure.
"If anyone would help us take down Silas it's Stefan."
"Good. I'm bummed I never got to meet him. Imagine if he had come to my prison world with you instead of Damon?"
"My magic would have been back a lot quicker without Damon's form of encouragement that's for sure. I miss Stefan…all of them. I haven't seen Jeremy in years," she sighs and Kai looks aside, lips pursing and she laughs. "Was that a jealous face?"
"Yes it was."
Kai grabs her and pulls her down onto his lap. "Do you want me to be jealous?"
"No…" she smiles, relaxing against him. "I don't think I've inspired that in anyone. I only really had one serious relationship, before you…and he cheated on me. With a ghost."
Kai makes a noise of disbelief. "Jeremy was an idiot. From the moment I saw you I knew you were mine. All that waiting…" he sighs against her shoulder and she turns in his lap. He gazes at her intensely. "I thought the merge, the leadership, was what I was waiting for. I was wrong."
Bonnie smiles softly and trails her fingers down his cheek as she kisses him. His fingers thread through her hair as she pulls back. She smirks. "I almost set you on fire."
"That was the risk…" he warps his arms around her as she leans against his chest. He stares at the ring on her finger, the one he had given her the night before. "No nightmares?"
"…Just one but I think that's just me. They'll pass, with time…" she watches the blood dripping into the bowl, becoming unfocused. "I don't want to kill him, it's not enough."
Kai nods. "And he seems to have found a way out of hell."
"I remember some things, I get visions of him…Do you think my grandmother is in hell?"
Kai shakes his head, sitting up and makes her look at him. "Why would she be in hell? That's reserved for well, for people like me," he says with a smirk but she looks troubled. No matter the good he tries to do now he has no delusions about where he will end up.
"I could hear her, it felt so real…" she sighs and gets to her feet. She rubs the heels of her hands into her eyes. "I want to cause him pain but there's nothing he cares about. He just wants to hurt me."
"I won't let that happen again," he stands and moves to her side. "He did have something he cared about, you told me. Elena's progenitor."
"And we're witches. I don't know about you but I haven't put my necromancer hat on in such a long time," he smiles at her look of incredulity.
"We're not bringing anyone back from the dead. Screwing with that shit literally killed me last time. Anyway there's no body…and Elena is missing and hopefully living a new life, if that's what you're thinking about," she narrows her eyes at him, wondering what plot is now whirling around his head.
"Oh I won't touch a hair on her head…promise."
He smiles as innocently as he can as she gives the bloody ascendant one final look before leaving to find the twins. They warned them not to explore, especially the grounds, so they are reading in the library. Kai had created stronger wards around the island that morning. It might have no effect but it makes him feel better to do something. He waits until she is out of the room before feverishly searching through the blood phials before he finds what he is looking for and smiles.
Lia watches her father across the dinner table as he scribbles Latin phrases in a notepad. A spell, one of his own it seems. When asked about it he just shrugs with a smile, calling it a work in progress. His preoccupation reminds her of Ames when she gets an idea in her head.
"Tomorrow we'll be able to leave? I hope so! I want to see Astoria and your house," Ames licks fresh strawberry icecream off her spoon. Her dad made it earlier and it is delicious. Bonnie nods.
"You'll link with the other siphoners before sunset, combine your power."
"Before sunset? What happens if we don't break it?" Lia asks with worry. Kai stops writing and looks up.
"We will. I'll help, along with Eloise. We have to wait until sunset because that's when the curse is at it's most concentrated but both of you together weaken it. If you use Expression and we all siphon it from you the curse won't stand a chance. Your grandfather will bring the binding object and we'll suck the curse from that and you're free to go."
Lia frowns at her father in worry. "What about you?"
"Huh?" he stands, helping Bonnie clear the table. They are staying up late to watch the celestial event before the reset, which their father is still keeping a secret.
"Aunt Jo said that you shouldn't leave yet. Last time you were out you got sick. You were only out for like an hour."
Ames nods. "You lost a lot of blood."
Kai looks between them before smiling briefly, clearing the rest of the table. "I'll be okay. Help your mom with the dishes," he instructs and they stand, looking unconvinced. Ames moves to Kai and surprises him by wrapping her arms around him.
"It's not fair."
"…I'll be okay," he says and places the bowls back down on the table and hugs her. "I can't stay in here forever right?"
"I won't let that happen," she says in a quiet, fierce voice. "It's like someone has hexed you. Lia said that when you tried to go to Mystic Falls before you got sick and when you try to leave this place the same thing happens."
Kai smiles, cocking his head. "You think it's related?"
She shrugs, pulling back as Lia comes to her side. "We'll only know once you leave."
"If you have to stay then I'm not going anywhere," Lia says as Bonnie frowns behind her. The setting sun slants through the garden and into the kitchen. It is a peaceful, still evening but a contained energy is circling.
Kai shakes his head. "No, if you can leave then you're going back to Astoria with Bonnie."
The twins shake their heads, Ames speaking up first. "No we all stick together. I think we'll break the curse but if you can't go then I'm staying. You don't deserve another lonely prison sentence."
At these words the kitchen grows still and tense. Bonnie looks at Kai behind the girls but his gaze is stuck on Ames. He swallows, licking his lips before speaking.
Ames shifts on her feet, nodding. "Our cousins mentioned it. I don't care if it's true! Whatever happened I know you're a good person, you didn't deserve to be locked up in one of these places for so long."
Kai clenches his jaw, chest rising and falling before he speaks through stiff lips. "…I did."
Bonnie moves forward, hands on the girls' shoulders. "Let's get the roof ready," she says with a forced excitement but the girls are focused on Kai.
"…You don't have to tell us," Ames says quietly, gently while Lia stares in silence like a rabbit caught in headlights. She clenches her top in shaking fists.
"I – I think I do," Kai sits back down at the table and Ames follows but Lia remains standing. Ames takes her hand. Kai looks at Bonnie, who looks deeply worried but she moves to sit beside him. Kai inhales a breath, looking at her deeply for a moment, gathering strength, before turning to his daughters.
"This is really – this is really hard to talk about."
Ames nods in understanding. "It's okay, you don't have to tell us everything. Right Lia?" she pulls on her sister's arm until she nods stiffly. She remains standing, her shadow stretched out behind her.
Kai closes his eyes, biting his bottom lip before speaking. "I lied to you for a long time Cecelia and I'm sorry. I was scared to tell you about them. My siblings."
"Luke?" Ames asks but Kai shakes his head.
"No. I had four other siblings. Me and Jo were the first born but then…Elliot was next. He was four years younger," he waves his hand and the girls turn to suddenly see someone standing in the kitchen. The boy is young and handsome, shorter than their father but eerily similar. The illusion looks into space with a lopsided smile. "He was…calm, really chill, into Karma and all that stuff. Complete stoner, we had that in common."
Kai recalls fondly before waving his hand again. Two more people appear: a teenage girl with masses of dark curly hair and a surly, bored expression and a lanky teenage boy with glasses.
"Lucille and Joey. She was sixteen, Joey fourteen…she hated my guts," he adds with a sigh, staring at the girl with an odd look. "The feeling was kinda mutual…but I miss her. Both of them."
"She looks a lot like aunt Liv," Lia answers, the first words she has spoken since the illusion appeared.
Kai nods. "The curly hair comes from my mother. She was tiny but had all this hair," he recalls and after a moment of deliberation a woman appears. Kai's mother smiles, head cocked to the side. "She was a very powerful witch."
"What was she called?" Ames asks, moving closer for a better look.
"Mahalia. May for short."
Ames nods in understanding, moving around his lost family. "She died?"
"…When I was twenty. She got sick…"
Lia looks at her grandmother, a frown forming between her eyebrows before another illusion forms, the final.
"…Eleanor. She – she was ten," Kai's voice is thick and Ames turns to see tears in his eyes. The little girl has long hair that passes her hips, her skin like porcelain and beautiful dark blue eyes. Lia moves closer, hypnotised. There is a striking similarity, though their skin tone and eyes are different.
"She looks like us, doesn't she? Younger…" Lia murmurs and Ames nods, standing beside her.
"Is she dead? Did she get sick like your mom?" Ames asks.
"…No. No I…I didn't mean to do it. I didn't mean to do that to her. It was an accident," Kai struggles to speak and Ames turns to see tears on his face but Lia is frozen, staring at the little girl who has been dead for over thirty years.
"…What?" Ames whispers, her smile gone.
Kai cocks his head, pain twisting his mouth. "You know. You know don't you? I deserve what happened to me, I deserved everything."
Ames blinks, shaking her head. Lia can feel her confusion and fear through their bond, the mad beat of her heart. Hers has become still, like the illusions before them.
"But - but it was an accident? You said…."
Kai shakes his head, mouth opening but Lia turns around sharply and the cuts her arm through the air. The illusions disappear and the lights wink on and off around the room. The dogs, who had been snoozing, whine and leave the room. The sun is falling.
"No, I don't want to hear anymore."
Kai blinks, frowning. "But I -"
"No. I don't want to know. I can't. That's my choice, I do have a choice right? I've never heard of these people! You've lied to me for years so I should have a choice…" she shakes, eyes blazing but the look of agony on Kai's face softens her. "I know you did something bad, I've always known it…but I can't believe that, I won't. I want to be in the dark, just like you always wanted."
Ames looks at her sister with shock but it quickly turns to pity. "Lia, you're not in the dark, you're hiding."
"I don't care. He's been your dad for a month so this doesn't hurt you like me. I don't want to know, I don't want this to change. I just want us to be together and no more crazy shit. I'm tired."
"We don't want to hurt you baby. He – he's just trying to do the right thing." Bonnie pulls Lia into her arms but she resists, shaking her head.
"Not for me," she wipes her hands over her face, inhaling though her stuffy nose. She looks at her sister. "I can't stop you asking questions but whatever you find out keep it to yourself. Dad," she looks at Kai who sits with his hands in his hair. He looks up, eyes raw. "I meant what I said, I'll stay with you but never talk about them again."
"Lia…" he calls her name as she walks out of the kitchen and after a moment Ames follows. Bonnie thinks about following but one look at Kai makes her stay. She sits opposite and takes his shaking hands.
"She – she's in denial."
"She knows and she's fucking terrified," he looks up at Bonnie before pulling her into his arms. She strokes his hair as he presses his face against her chest. She looks upwards in worry as the lights around the kitchen flicker but then burn steady.
"I'll check on them…I didn't think you would do it so soon," she says and he looks up at her.
"I wasn't planning to. I mean I was but after we got out. Fuck maybe I should have kept my mouth shut," he shakes his head angrily. Bonnie cups his face.
"I didn't want you to tell them, you know that but I think they would have found out anyway. If Lia doesn't want to know then that's her choice but well…"
"She doesn't want to know more because she's already guessed. I said enough…" he sighs, staring up at the ceiling. "See if they're okay? I'll – I'll set up the viewing for the reset. I need to do something," he stands with a nervous energy, his arms still around her and she nods.
"It'll be okay Kai."
He shakes his head with a tired smile. "You don't need to make me feel better. I knew what might happen if I told them…I guess it could be worse but I can't stand the thought that she's hurting because of me."
"I know," she gives a long tired sigh. "So much has happened to us. I wish when the reset happens it undoes it but that's wishful thinking."
"…I have that power." Kai looks at her and she sees a glimmer of sharp desperation there. He could make them all forget if he wanted. She squeezes his hand and gives him a sharp knowing look.
"You could but you don't have the right. We just have to deal with the repercussions, be there for them. You know it's not over but together we'll get through it," she says and then gives a hollow laugh. Why do they have to be strong against these odds? Why can't they just have mundane problems? "I can't freaking wait to have a day where its just normal. You and me grocery shopping or something. Just – just nothing from the past holding us back."
He shakes his head and pulls her to him for a quick, hard kiss. She pulls back with a half smile and steps away. "Get the telescope ready, I'll bring them down when it's time…"
He nods and watches her go, his fingers trailing over her arm and hand.
Midnight approaches and the sky is clear and dark. The twins had stayed in their room for hours, cuddling Bonnie on their bed before Kai called them from the door. They had almost fallen asleep.
"The celestial event is soon. He hasn't told me what it is," their mother says as she pulls on a cardigan. She wears a green dress with a petticoat below, favouring the fashion of the time they are stuck in. Their mother can pull off any fashion, though she usually goes for an eclectic, bohemian look when in the real world.
Lia, quiet but calmer, laces up her chucks. She had talked – argued – with Ames but they had reached an agreement. She is not in denial, in fact she sees more than Ames for all her genius. She knows what their father had done but even that brief glimpse is enough. Ames thinks what happened to those kids was an accident and Lia will let her keep that delusion as she stores away that sliver of truth and locks it away. She loves her father but his betrayal is a bleeding wound and if he dares to tell her anymore he will do nothing but make it worse. She'll have to escape from it. Lia just wants to be safe and in one place with her family and she will do anything to make sure that happens…
As they enter the roof below the lighthouse they find their father placed before a strange glass screen hovering in the air, concave like an old TV set without the back. Ames frowns and comes closer. The glass is six feet across.
"What is it?"
"It's a magical telescope. It'll magnify the sky. I made hot chocolate to drink before the reset. You uh, you might feel a little weird when it happens. An entire month rewinding will be a ride," he explains but looks at Lia nervously, who peers through the glass rather than at him. Blankets and pillows line the floor and Bonnie sits. The glass moves upwards slowly, hovering over them. They can lie down and look directly up.
"So what is it?" Lia asks as she lies beside her sister.
Kai smiles in relief and sits down by Bonnie. "…Santa"
Lia purses her lips. "Dad."
"It's not Christmas yet."
"It's a practise flight. You think he sits on his fat ass for a year?"
"Yes." Ames laughs. "Anyway we're thirteen, we don't believe in father Christmas."
"You know what happens every time you say you don't believe? A mall Santa drops down dead."
"You're so stupid," Ames laughs and after a beat Lia joins her before stifling it.
"You better not make him an illusion like when I was six," Lia warns and Kai holds up his hands.
"And have you set the tree on fire again? No tricks this time, promise," Kai smiles at her warmly and she holds the eye contact for a moment before whispering to her sister. Bonnie takes his hand when Lia sees the relief on his face turn to worry. Bonnie moves closer to him and whispers into his ear. Lia watches them peripherally, the way Kai nods and tries to smile. He is hurting but what did he expect to happen? She wishes she could get the image of that little girl out of her mind. An accident? They don't lock someone up for eighteen years because of an accident. She will not be able to look at her father the same way again and it makes her want to scream.
I have to forget…but not alone.
The thought drifts into her mind and lingers. She stares at Ames, who looks up at the sky through the glass. She laces her hand through hers and focuses on the stars above.
Bonnie presses against his body, his arms around her as the celestial event begins. At first she does not notice but then a streak of light flashes in the dark, gone in an instant. Another flash and another, almost too fast to see. Without the screen above them she wouldn't have noticed.
"Is that it?" Ames complains.
Kai says nothing, just points up, encouraging them to keep watching. Bonnie tries to keep her eyes open, looking for more but the sky is still, just the twinkling of stars. She blinks a few times and then sits up with a gasp. A huge comet sails through the sky, it's tail gold and white. In its wake hundreds of shooting stars suddenly burst over the sky.
"Wow!" Lia gasps.
"They're all burning up in the atmosphere," Ames says, never taking her eyes off the display.
"Make a wish, if you can. There's almost too many to choose from," Bonnie urges and Kai smiles.
"You're spoilt for choice…" he says and looks down at Bonnie. "What's your wish?"
Bonnie looks back at the comment, which is starting to fade. "…That he pays," she says and though her magic is still blocked she forces all of her power into that wish, that curse and Kai nods, staring at the comet with a matching hard expression.
"This repeats every month so…he's fucked," he says into her ear and Bonnie smiles as the celestial event begins to die. Harbouring that violent wish she looks at her children and smiles softly.
"What did you wish for?"
"Can't tell you, it won't come true." Lia says, getting to her feet. She looks at her twin and then pulls her up. "We're tired."
"You don't want to wait for the reset?" Kai asks but Lia shakes her head.
"I've kinda seen enough for a day. Tomorrow…tomorrow things will be okay again," she moves towards her father but then stops, bending down to pick up her hot chocolate. "Come on Ames…"
Amelia looks at her twin as she leaves the roof and then back at her parents. "She's being weird. Dad, I know that it wasn't your fault, what happened. I don't know why she's being like this, she knows you better than I do. She's blowing this out of proportion," Ames shakes her head and Kai opens his mouth but Bonnie squeezes his thigh.
"Go to bed honey. Tomorrow is a big day," she pulls her down to kiss her cheek, Ames bending over to kiss Kai before she drains the last of her drink and leaves after giving the sky one more look. It is over.
Bonnie waits until she is gone before looking at Kai. He shakes his head with a tired sigh.
"I know after Thanksgiving I shouldn't but I want to get blackout drunk."
"…I might have slipped a little something into your chocolate," Bonnie confides and he snorts, looking into the cup.
"Sorry I think you drank it all," she shuffles until she sits between his legs, back against his chest. He sighs and after lowering his cup he wraps her up in his arms. They watch the sky, Kai lowering the glass back into the case it usually resides in with a wave of his hand.
"Will you sleep with me tonight? In our room?" he asks and after a pause Bonnie nods, managing a smirk.
"Has a whole two days without sex been rough?"
"Ha! Try eighteen years. You know I got to point where I couldn't even get it up? Then I saw you at your grandmother's house, hugging that teddy bear, and boom."
Bonnie laughs. "Ms Cuddles gave you hard on?"
"Don't kink shame me," he play bites at her neck and she laughs again. "If you're still awake after the reset I'll show you how rough it's been," he places his hands on her hips, pulling her against his groin and she can feel how much he wants her. Not as much as she does. She gyrates against him, slow and deliberate.
"It's back to the end of May in two minutes but if you wanna wait till afterwards…" she trails off with a sad look and gets silence in response before he suddenly pushes her forwards onto the pilled pillows and flips her onto her back. She looks at the open doorway and Kai swipes his hand, closing and locking it. He places his hands either side of her head, leaning off her. She reaches up to cup his face, running her thumbs along his stubble.
"I won't go clean shaved again, not if it freaks you out."
"No I want you to. That wasn't me, the fear," she says sincerely. "It was a long time ago Kai. Neither of us are the same."
He gazes down at her as she slides her fingers around the back of his head and pulls him down gently to her. As midnight passes they miss it, their eyes closed in a kiss. They miss the storms and clouds, the seas rolling back and forth and the shifting of the constellations until spring bursts back though the grounds and trees, roses curling back into their buds and eggs sealing closed again.
Blossom clings to the fruit trees, each a multi coloured cloud of purples and pinks. Ames looks down at her hand, where she got a paper cut a few days ago, and inspects the smooth unblemished skin of her palm. Her body has been reset, just like everything else on the island. She is now a month younger than she should be.
"I hope this works," Lia grumbles, hands in the pockets of her winter coat as the pets sit at their feet. It is now December in the real world. Their dad nods, offering the ascendant to their mother, who uses a sharp edge to cut her palm. The twins lift their brows in surprise.
"We don't need Eloise's blood anymore?" Ames asks and Kai shakes his head.
"Bennett blood, so you and your sister can use it. I'll have to do a spell on the other ascendant, to cleanse it of her blood," he says and hands the small pyramidal device to Lia. She only glances at him and Ames sees the hurt on his face. She has promised not to ask any more questions about their dad's crimes for her sister's sake. They share a psychic bond, even if she never breathed a word her twin would know. Their dad was a criminal and he did something terrible and that is enough for Lia. Now it will have to be enough for her.
Bonnie gives Kai a small smile and the tension hunching his shoulders relaxes. The twins say the spell and with a lurch they blink away the light from their eyes. Cold fog envelopes them at once and they all stuff their hands in their pockets. It is not snowing but it is cold enough to. The sea washes up on the beach in the distance and along the isthmus people appear out of the fog. The dogs bark, the cat watchful.
"Malachai," Joshua motions at his son and Kai moves to him as others appear. Bonnie moves quickly to her mother who stands with Jo.
"Is everything okay?" Bonnie asks, pulling out of Abby's embrace, as she does she notices someone behind her and freezes.
The vampire smiles gently and takes a step towards her but then Kai is standing in front of Bonnie, hand out.
"Uh, no hard feelings but can't be too careful."
"What?" Stefan frowns. Kai snaps his fist closed, snapping Stefan's neck. He falls to the ground as the girls gasp.
"Dad!" Ames wails, moving forward but Bonnie pulls her back. Kai spares them a glance, not able to handle their appalled expressions before getting down on his hunches.
"He's a vampire, he'll shake it off," he says and as if on cue Stefan groans and rolls onto his back.
"…That's not the greeting I had in mind."
"Sorry dude, had to be sure it was you."
"You could have thrown vervain at me," Stefan grumbles as Bonnie helps him to stand. She brushes grass off his coat and after a tense smile she pulls him in for a hug.
"I missed you."
"Me too. I uh, I assume there's a reason you had to be sure it was me?" he asks, brow furrowed but Bonnie sweeps her eyes over the girls, who still look shocked.
"Later," she says as Ames tugs on Stefan's arm and he gives her a hug before introducing her to Lia.
"Dad's got the binding agent," Kai says and shows Bonnie. She frowns, taking it.
"A wrist watch?" she touches it gently, feels the immense amount of magic contained within and turns it over. An engraving is on the plate: To dad.
"He said that the man he saw, Tom Avery, gave him that along with the spell. Told him to wind the watch at sunset. He forgot about it till now, he thought it was just an old watch. I think Silas must have cloaked it."
"It's still ticking," Bonnie says, pulling it away from her ear. She looks through the dense fog. "Where's your dad?"
"Gone to the beach to get the siphoners and Eloise."
Bonnie inhales, heart racing. "This is it. Oh god, I'm scared."
"I know," he pulls her into his arms as the nine siphoners approach with his father and grandmother. Most of them are young and friends with Lia, who grins and races over to two boys, dragging Ames over with her. Kai smiles at his grandmother, who looks pale and thin. "You up for this?"
Eloise narrows her eyes and Kai gasps as magic is sucked from his body without her laying a finger on him. She inhales, closing her eyes and sighs.
"Let's get this over with before it snows."
They form a circle around the gate, while the others watch from the isthmus. Kai closes his eyes, instructing the others there to do the same.
"The girls will add their power to you. You'll be able to siphon way more than you're used to and it'll – it'll be intense. Don't let it consume you," Kai says and a man, who is a teacher at a Gemini school, frowns. Kai opens his eyes.
"Josh said this would be safe. I don't want anything to happen to my children," Dwight says, looking at the two boys, Lai's friends.
Kai stares before smiling and something in Bonnie prickles unpleasantly at the sight. He and his father lied to these people, there are risks. Siphoners can drown in too much magic, become catatonic. Or crazed.
"My kids are here too, I understand. I'm also your coven leader and I'm a siphoner. Whatever you can't handle you give it back to me. Understand?" he directs this to the teenagers, of which there are many. They nod, wide eyed.
Ames smiles at her father. "I keep forgetting you're in charge."
"He hasn't been sworn in yet," Lia says and Kai nods.
"She's right. Something to look forward to right? It'll be a big event. Dancing and fireworks and all that jazz. Everyone will be invited," he says, looking significantly at the siphoners. "This won't be forgotten by me, I promise."
"It will be if you keep talking," Eloise grumbles, motioning at the sun. Sunset is approaching, the days shorter now. Kai gives his grandmother a strange smile and then looks at his children.
"Ready? Remember when it's over let go of each other."
They nod, their heart racing. Lia takes her great grandmother's hand while Ames takes Kai's and they form the circle. Ames clears her throat, opening one of her eyes.
"Um, so we'll push our power through you and you'll use the boost it gives you to drain the binding over the curse. Okay?"
"Hold on to your dog Dorothy," Lia says and Kai manages to smirk before Expression suddenly floods through his body, passing through his hands to Dwight, who gasps and stiffens.
Everyone gasps and almost breaks the circle, not anticipating the strength of the magic now weaving through them. Kai feels that golden magic making a full circle of thirteen and he grits his teeth. It is overwhelmingly sweet; honey to drown flies in and every one there could succumb to that temptation with no resistance.
They could soak us up, take our magic for their own, he thinks distractedly but then he feels his children switching focus from the group to the curse.
"Destroy it," they whisper and it makes him want to shiver how calm they sound, how unconcerned. He is seconds away from giving in to that power, to absorb it like he had once done with Bonnie but he has to use it. Kai grits his teeth and directs the magic towards the watch he has placed on the gate, his grandmother copying him and slowly the others follow. The sun sets, a dim orange coin through the fog. Bonnie looks back from the horizon to the group, who glimmer like gold dust.
"Are you seeing that?" Stefan whispers and she nods, petting the dogs by her legs.
"That's their power. It warps reality…Or lets you see it for what it really is," she adds thoughtfully. The girls smile, heads thrown back with a dreamy smile while the other siphoners struggle between that state of surrender and a fight to keep in control. Despite the cold Kai sweats and she worries. Stefan takes her hand.
"They'll do it Bonnie."
"I just don't like sitting back and doing nothing."
He gives her a sad smile before motioning at the circle. "That was usually you and only you. You never had help."
"That's not true," she says, looking at him briefly and Stefan shrugs, looking back.
"It wasn't enough, whatever we gave you in return."
Bonnie swallows the strange need to cry and focuses on her children. "This is for them and I pray this is the last time they'll have to do this. I don't want them to grow up like I did. Their magic is meant for more, they are…" but then she laughs, shaking her head. "They can go live with ten cats and never cast a spell, as long as they're safe and happy. That's all I want."
Stefan nods and squeezes her hand. "Then I'll give you a tip: don't come back to Mystic Falls," he says. "It might be quiet now but that place is strange. The violence…hibernates. It's only sleeping but it remembers. It calls you back."
With these ominous words the group gasps as a small cracking noise is heard. The glass watch face caves in as weak beams of sunlight break through the fog. The hands continue ticking but as the siphoners strain, the gold light around them intensifying, the hands begin to slow.
"They're doing it," Jo says and her father nods with a determined expression.
"But they're going to be gouged, if they survive."
"Kai always lost it when he took in too much," Jo says and Bonnie is vividly reminded of Kai staggering upright in a bloody hallway, his brother dead at his feet. The magic had warped his already frayed mind.
"No, he'll be okay," she whispers to herself as one of the boys groans, biting his lip until blood drips down his chin.
"I – I can't…I – I," he begins to pull away but Kai's hands suddenly flare red. Dwight groans.
"Don't break the circle," Kai warns and through the golden light red shines, molten blobs of it as each siphoner draws the magic from the witches linked to them. Kai's mouth falls open as the influx of magic passes to him.
Bonnie moves forward but not to close. So many siphoners in one place creates a vortex. Even without touching her and with her magic blocked she can feel the gravitational pull of them.
"Kai? Share the magic," Bonnie urges but he shakes his head, sweat plastering his hair to his skull.
"They're not strong enough."
"Then let it go!"
"I can't," he inhales a deep breath and squeezes his eyes tight. Ames, who looks peaceful, almost sleepy, turns to her father, as if seeing him for the first time.
"I'll take it."
"It's too much," he groans but she and Lia smile.
"It's like licking ice cream off a bowl. Nice but…"
"It's nothing," Lia answers and Kai's eyes snap open as the watch suddenly ignites, the metal buckling. No blinding light bursts from the watch, no crack of thunder. Just a small fire and melting gears. Kai falls to his knees, bringing the others with him and Bonnie watches as Eloise falls onto her front, breaking the circle. Fog obscures the horizon, darkness creeping over the sea and land. Stefan shakes his head.
"The sun set, I felt it."
Bonnie blinks, trying to digests his words. "It's broken?"
"You're still here right? We remember. It worked!" Jo says with a grin as her father moves to the gate, his face grim. Bonnie quickly follows him, rushing to Kai, who lies in the grass.
"Kai? Can you hear me?" she touches his face but his eyes remain closed. Joshua looks at his unconscious son and coven leader and motions at the hidden island.
"He needs to go back."
"But we're free."
Jo inspects her brother, her happiness fading. "His pulse is weak. Help me with him," he says and Joshua pulls Kai up, who starts to come to his senses.
"No, I'm okay. It's just…just the magic," he answers, trying to pull away from Jo. Joshua narrows his eyes at him and then bends down to help his frail mother to her feet. Eloise inhales deeply.
"He's right, it's just the magic. Those girls…they have no idea what they're capable of," she says, looking at the twins with awe. They are still standing, their hands clasped. Bonnie looks at Kai and he nods.
"I know, I was worried this would happen," he and Bonnie approach the twins, calling their names softly but their gold-green eyes peer unfocused, their heads tilted as if listening to some far off music.
"What's wrong with them?" Stefan asks.
"When they use Expression they go into a trance. It can be hard for them to wake up from it," Kai explains as Bonnie talks gently to the twins but after ten minutes she stops, increasingly worried. She is about to suggest transporting them back to the island when the twins straighten their heads but the relief in Bonnie and Kai is short lived.
"We unbalance nature," they both say sadly and Kai stiffens. "We shouldn't be here."
"No, of course you should be," Bonnie urges and forgetting about the threat she takes their limp hands. No blast of power knocks her back and she holds on tightly. "You're exactly where you should be."
"Nature will restore balance, it always does," Jo says and Bonnie nods. Kai frowns, his jaw clenched before speaking.
"It's okay, nothing will hurt you again. I promise."
"…Only your own actions will do that…I've seen it," Lia says and there's a sharpness hidden in that soft voice.
"Seen what?" Bonnie asks and Ames answers.
"The end. Always the same," she whispers sadly and tears appear in those vacant eyes. Kai shakes his head.
"No. Things – things will be different."
The girls nod. "Yes daddy. Not what you want…but we're still gonna die."
"We won't make it beyond seventeen."
"No!" Bonnie shouts and rips their hands apart. Magic slams her back into Kai and they fall to the ground, their minds filling with a blinding gold and nothing else.
Night has fallen when Kai awakes in a strange bed. Bonnie sleeps beside him and he quickly touches her to make sure she is okay.
"You're awake, thank god," Jo says as she enters the room. Kai sits up as Bonnie still sleeps deeply, unresponsive.
"They knocked you both out. We're at Eloise's."
"Are they okay?" he gets out of bed and Jo hesitates before answering.
"We managed to get them inside but…they're still linked."
"But they were separated," he says, looking back at Bonnie before leaving the room. Maybe it will be better if she misses this and wakes to her children back to normal.
"They just grabbed hands again. Kai…Eloise is weak, I don't think she'll make it through the night," she says but Kai barely hears her.
"Where are they?" he demands and Jo leads him to another bedroom. He finds Abby sat in an armchair while the girls stand by the window. They stare out, hands clasped.
"Lia? Ames?" he calls softly and after a moment they look at him over their shoulders. The stare looks right through him before they go back to gazing at the window but he knows they are not seeing the sea. "Jesus. How long have they been like this?"
"Hours. We can't touch them, they agreed to come back with us. They just…zapped us here, like it was nothing. Well, except Stefan. He's with Ric. Eloise won't allow vampires in," she explains, moving closer to the twins. "Kai…what are they?" Jo asks but he does not answer. He turns and finds his father watching from the doorway. He appears warn out, how Kai presently feels.
"Your grandmother wants to speak to you," he says and after gazing deeply at his children Kai nods. He looks at Abby.
"Call me if anything happens," he says and follows Joshua out.
"The siphoners have just gone. They needed time to recover, they were pretty out of it," he explains, leading Kai up a flight of stairs. As they pass the framed pictures on the walls he catches sight of Eleanor's grin and feels like he has been punched in the gut. Joshua pauses at the noise Kai makes.
"I lifted the spell over the pictures and everything else this morning. They're everywhere I look."
Joshua looks at him, saying nothing. Does he expect thanks for doing the bare minimum? For restoring the memory of his siblings to a man who has had to pretend they did not exist for Kai's sake? A gruff silence is the least he can hope for.
"She's drifting in and out of consciousness," Joshua says when they reach Eloise's room. "Helping you and your children took a lot out of her."
"I know and I'm grateful," Kai says but when Joshua moves to enter he places a hand on his shoulder. "I want to speak to her alone, just for half an hour or so."
Joshua stares at him and then nods. "I'll check on Bonnie."
"Dad, we know who did this to us. It was Silas. Once the girls are okay I'm summoning a council meeting. I want the entire Gemini coven behind me on this. Will you help me?"
Joshua nods, inhaling deeply. "He tricked me, he tricked all of us back in Monroe. I won't let that lie. The coven will seek retribution," he answers and Kai smiles briefly before slipping into the room.
He has no idea if Silas wants a war but that is what he is about to receive.
Bonnie gazes at her daughters, her voice hoarse. She had awoken fifteen minutes ago and has talked none stop to Lia and Ames. Kai is with his dying grandmother but he'll be back soon.
"What do you think they're seeing?" Abby asks and Bonnie shrugs. She leans against the wall, beside the twins.
"They've said that they get a jumble of visions, of the past and future."
"They say things sometimes, spells and names," Jo says and Abby nods.
"They keep saying Elias."
"That was the name of my grandfather," Jo says, looking confused as Bonnie gently pushes Ames' hair off her shoulder. They allow her to touch them but she knows not to try separating them again.
"And Atti," Abby adds and Bonnie grows still, staring into Lia's large glassy eyes. Is she doing this on purpose? Would she rather drift through time then come back to her present reality? Bonnie closes her eyes, trying to still her beating heart.
"Come on, just let it go. I know it's hard, I remember but you have to come back to us," she sighs, hand on Amelia's shoulder and she looks down. Her head cocks and she touches the chain Ames always wears.
"What is it?" Jo asks.
"Nothing really…her pendant is missing."
Kai hands his grandmother a cup of tea and she sips it, sitting up against a pile of pillows. Elvis plays gently from a record player. Love Me Tender.
Kai sits back in the armchair, smirking softy. "Think you'll see him? My other grandfather."
"You don't have to believe me. Your father doesn't."
"Cause it's crazy pants granny…but I'll indulge you, just this once," he smiles as Eloise sips the tea and his smile fades away. He stares at her curiously and she cocks an eyebrow.
"You kept being a siphoner a secret, once you won the merge no one had to know because you had a steady supply of magic."
"That changes when the leadership passes on. You're weak, weaker than before. You'll need to siphon again."
Kai shakes his head. "I'm not passing my crown to anyone else. It's mine and it'll die with me."
Eloise sighs, lowering the empty cup to her lap. "I thought the same once, that I could spare my children but you can't. You think you're the first? The Gemini have been trying to break the link for thousands of years. You're still young Malachai, you can have more children. Bonnie would never have to know."
He clenches his jaw, looking aside. "I think she'll guess something is up when the coven isn't trying to merge our kids…"
"We have to endure, the coven comes before family."
Kai snaps his head back to her. "The coven is family, don't you get that? My family will survive and I will do anything to ensure that. If – if I have to use a surrogate then I will but not before I've exhausted every other possibility."
She gives him a weak smile, eyes drooping. "All those paths have been walked Kai. There's nothing you can do. Spend time with your family but do not get attached."
Kai snorts, siting back. "Too late. Fuck…what the hell did this coven do to deserve this?"
"It's confused, no more than myths now. Nature cursed us a long time ago. Or another coven in retribution. The merge is dark magic, a magic that gives the leader access to a power that no other coven has. You're linked to us all and you can draw on that strength. A siphoner, born to it. You and me, we're only amongst a handful who won the merge. Now one of your children will carry on the legacy. May it never end."
Kai sneers, siting back as his grandmother, a woman who has at once taught him everything he knows and turned a blind eye to his suffering, offers the empty cup to him. He takes it away and speaks softly as she drowses.
"Do you want to die?"
"Don't think…don't think I have much choice in the – in the matter."
"I suppose not…but would you rather die now or later?" he asks and she frowns, her oddly young face confused before she opens her eyes. Kai stares at her openly, head cocked to the side. Eloise grows very still.
"What have you done?"
"I'm giving you a choice. My kids are an imbalance, it's true and nature will restore it by either creating something else or killing my children. I'll kill my entire coven before I see that happen. So…" he smiles at her gently as her eyes narrow and she looks at her cup now on the side table.
"You drugged me."
"I also put vampire blood in your tea. Surprised you didn't notice."
Eloise laughs, which makes her cough. "You're gonna turn me into a vampire?"
"No, I'm going to turn you into a Heretic," he answers pleasantly and she grows silent. Kai sighs, getting to his feet. "If I wasn't linked to them I'd make myself one but I can't. I thought about turning the siphoners who visited but dad wouldn't do much to protect them if they were targeted. He wants to help me but he doesn't like what the girls are, he fears what they can do. He doubly doesn't like the idea of a vampire with magic. You can see my conundrum. For all your history he would protect you and unlike those other siphoners you'll put up a fight if anyone tried to take you down. There needs to be balance and you're it…or you can die."
Eloise watches him without blinking as he stands by the door. "My choice?"
Eloise smirks. "An illusion of one. How long have you been plotting this?"
"A few days. They don't know."
"Hmm didn't want to sully your good act with your girlfriend I assume?"
Kai lifts his eyebrows. "She'll be pissed but when it comes to her children she'd be snapping your neck right about now. I'm kinda the good witch in this scenario."
Eloise stares at a picture of her late husband and sighs. "I hate vampires."
"I know but you hated being a siphoner and you got through it. You'll be forever young and super powerful…and my kids need a tutor."
Eloise cuts him a look. "You also promised me leadership."
"Good. You won the crown, no matter the circumstances. Wear it. I wouldn't be surprised if this drama is a result of you shirking your responsibilities."
Kai lifts his brows but says nothing. He leans against her writing desk opposite the bed. His grandmother takes the picture down of her dead identical twin and sighs.
"Little longer Esme…Your father will kill you for this," she looks back up and Kai leans off the desk.
"No, he prefers other means of punishment," he smiles and lifts his hand to stop the music.
Ames lets go of Lia's hand, inhaling a deep breath. She turns as her sister blinks, disorientated.
Where are we? Where's Elias?
Lia rubs at her forehead, as if to get rid of Ames' question, one that becomes more and more confusing.
Ames opens her mouth to answer but then shuts it. She does not know, only the warm love that the name evokes stays with her. She looks around and sees her auntie and grandmother asleep on a small couch together.
"Where are we?" she asks her sister and then looks up when Kai appears at the door. He smiles at them, a strange fragile thing.
"You're awake. I thought you would be."
"What happened? What day is it? How did we end up here?" Lia looks around the room, staring at her sleeping grandmother.
"You don't remember?" he asks, opening his arms and they quickly cling to him.
"I remember eating strawberry icecream…and shooting stars," Lia screws up her face in concentration but then deflates, shrugging, "That's it."
Ames nods in agreement, looking confused. Kai grows very still, looking between them. "You – you don't remember anything but that?"
"Oh and your siblings who died in an accident. That's all," Lia says lightly and Ames nods again.
"Same. What the heck happened?"
Kai opens his mouth to answer but not knowing what to say he leans down and shakes Abby awake.
She comes to her senses gradually, smelling pine and the chill of the sea wind blowing against her jean covered legs. She remembers Joshua Parker motioning at her to follow him from the doorway and after a lingering look at her girls she had followed. After that everything is dark.
Sitting against a tree trunk she looks up to see a man staring out to sea, his back to her. She looks along the cliff and sees lights from Eloise's house in the distance, the only thing visible in the fog. She is about to call Joshua's name but she keeps silent, her stomach knotting. Brown curls blow in the wind.
"I used to live by the sea, with my coven. They're all scattered and dead now of course, thanks to the Gemini," he says and Bonnie gets to her feet quickly. Her magic is still buried but as she takes a step forward she forgets about magic. She could push him over the edge, crack his head open on the rocks below. He laughs.
"…I'd just come back Bonnie, though I guess you know that," he turns and she freezes. Silas had said he would stick with one face from now on and he meant it. Atticus Shane had been a desperate, grief stricken man who manipulated Bonnie, when she had been at her most vulnerable. She had needed someone to tell her is was okay, that she was not beyond saving, that she was powerful and appreciated and he had played on those desires expertly. He had just been an ordinary human but because of him she had lost control.
"You're not really here…and you're not Shane."
"Hmm it really bothers you. I think you were starting to crush on Professor Shady weren't you?" he says with a grin, coming closer and she backs up, snarling.
"We're coming for you. Two thousand years stuck in a cave will be nothing to what we'll do to you," she promises as he stops a foot away. Green eyes peer at her intensely, just as she remembers. It turns her stomach. Silas looks down at the ring on her finger and before she can move he takes her hand. His flesh is warm and she gasps.
"Nightmares? Yeah you'll have to do better than that. All I did was dream for hundreds and hundreds of years. The mind is my speciality," he taps his temple and Bonnie snatches her hand away.
"What do you want?!"
"I told you, to ruin your life. Do you know what it was like to get sucked into oblivion and not find the woman I loved after everything I did? Do you know who was there?" he asks and Bonnie smirks.
"And your grandmother," he adds and her smirk drops. Silas smiles, leaning closer. "Actually messing up your dysfunctional family is second on my to do list. First is stop the plot that's currently whirling around your boyfriend's head."
"Stefan. You plan to make him human to get a trace on me. I don't know why, all you had to do was call and I'd come. I'm never far away Bonnie," he smiles gently and she shivers.
"If you hurt Kai…" she warns but he shakes his head.
"What's the point? He's doing fine with that all on his own. But oh it's a shame about the whole linking thing on the Gemini right? I'm quite proud of that, before Qetsiyah locked me up."
Bonnie blinks as she hears voices calling out in the dark. "You cursed them?"
"Two thousand years ago. The Gemini cursed us after they found out we created immorality. The Travellers came to be and your ancestors scattered but you could still do spirit magic, though you couldn't form another coven without it imploding. You never wondered why?" he asks, not really curious at all but Bonnie's mind is spinning.
"I know I'm descended from Qetsiyah but I didn't know about the Gemini."
Silas nods, walking around her. "Qetsiyah managed to protect her family from the worst of the curse. We got the Gemini back though. This was before she found out about my uh, my infidelity," he pulls a face and sighs. "We were quite a team once upon a time."
Over the sea and through the fog she can hear Kai shouting her name and the dogs barking. She wants to call to him, to run but she feels hypnotised. It's an old, familiar feeling facing those green eyes.
"If you cursed the Gemini, if the merge is down to you…"
"Then I can undo it, yes," he answers with a cruel smile. He tilts his head and touches her hand. "I can save your children and Kai…Still want to kill me?"
She breathes heavily, caught in his gaze as her heart hammers against her ribs. She shakes her head, trying to clear it of him. "I don't believe you. You don't want to help me."
"Not for nothing obviously. I'm not lying about this. The truth is in the archives, if you dig deep enough. So I might help you, with a condition."
Bonnie snatches her hand away, stumbling back. "You just said you wanted to ruin my life!"
"Oh I do! But I'm also giving you the chance to free the Gemini in exchange for something."
Silas smiles with Shane's face and comes closer. "I want one of your daughters."
"Kinda feel like Rumpelstiltskin," he says with a laugh and shoulder wiggle. She doesn't want it to remind her of Kai but it does. He smiles gently. "I need a witch with Expression again. Shane worked so hard to create you, though you shouldn't be so hard on him," he says in sudden reprimand. "He didn't want to do any of it at first, it took me months to wear him down, a lot longer than he took with you. He thought he would see his family again."
"And you lied."
"No, he did see them again. I just didn't tell him he'd have to die to accomplish it. You left him to bleed to death. Cold."
Bonnie tries to ignore the deliberate guilt trip, shaking her head and shouts for Kai. "I'm not giving you anything."
"Not even if it will save his life and your daughters' by extension? He's sick."
"No, I just…exacerbated it a little. Come on Bonnie, I'm mortal now and I know I can't escape oblivion forever. As long as Kai is the leader the holes between dimensions remain open. Of course every time he dies more and more rip apart. You think I'm bad? You haven't seen Hell. If I got out trust me there's more on their way. What it did to Qetsiyah…I ran and ran," he answers and for the first time the humour and cruelty fade and she sees real fear in his eyes.
She looks behind her as lights appear through the fog. "I don't care. I will never trust you and I'm sure as hell not giving you my daughter."
Silas nods with a thin smile. "I thought you'd say that. Oh well, it's no matter. I'm patient. You'll call on me in the end, when all your hope is gone and you have no other answers. I can break the Gemini curse and I can save Kai…all I want is one of those girls when she's of age. I'll even give her back when I'm finished."
Bonnie screams and magic blasts from her, bending the trees and whipping the wind into a frenzy. Silas smiles for a moment, caught in the centre of the maelstrom before he fades away. Bonnie falls to her knees and suddenly the fog is gone and the wind eases.
"Bonnie?" she looks up at Kai, who pants and drops to a knee beside her. "Are you okay? Where is he? You were cloaked again."
Bonnie shakes her head. "Only in my mind."
"What happened?" he helps her to stand and pulls her into his arms.
"He wants one of the girls," she says and then pulls back with a gasp. "Are they okay?"
"They're awake, they're safe. They – they don't remember what I told them. It's like they purposefully wiped the memory away." He sighs and Bonnie notices now that Kai is bleeding from his nose and red marks cover his face. She touches his cheek as the dogs sniff around her, making sure she is safe.
Kai hesitates before speaking. "My dad had a bad reaction to some news. He left. I uh, I'll tell you when we're inside and calmer."
They begin walking and Bonnie can see her family standing outside the cottage waiting for them. Kai limps and she frowns at him in worry but he brushes off her concern. Bonnie rubs at her temple, feeling jumpy and sick.
"I need to guard my mind from him but he's so powerful."
"I'm working on that. You need an equally powerful ward. Usually they're jewellery but you have something much more enduring," he says and runs his fingers up her back.
"It's magic, inert but we can adapt a spell for it."
Bonnie stops, seeing the girls waiting impatiently at the door. "He said he could help you, that he could stop the merge from happening because he was the one that created it."
Kai narrows his eyes and then snorts. "Suddenly he wants to help us? Did he have a change of heart perving on us?"
"He wants one of the girls in return."
The mocking smile disappears off his face and he looks back to where he found Bonnie. "I won't let that happen. I have a plan and even death won't be an escape when I'm done. My coven will back me, back us on this. They believe Lia and Ames are in running for leadership and any threat to them they will fight."
"Silas used them and my family against us last time. He could do it again."
"We're prepared now. My coven has been in the shadows for too long but not anymore. I can lead them."
"And when they find out they're not in running for leadership?"
Kai's fierce look fades, replaced with conflict. "They won't merge. No matter what happens or what else I have to do…they will never merge."
She nods, believing him but they will have to convince his coven that they are raising their children to take over from him one day. If they believed they have no intention would they find other means to secure Kai's progeny?
"I don't want this for my kids anymore Kai. Whatever you have to do to keep them safe, whatever sacrifice…do it."
They stare at each other, the words unspoken but understood. There might come a day when Kai's offspring will merge and become the next Gemini leader…but it will not be her children. Arms around each other they smile at the twins, who race from the cottage as the sun begins to rise over the Pacific.
And that's the end of this arc. There is one more to go, set about five years later but I'm putting this story on hiatus until I feel more motivated and inspired. I can promise coven leader Kai, domestic bonkai and a new addition to the family...