Chapter 6: A New Face

Mari awoke with a jolt. She just had such a horrible nightmare where a man snuck into her room and shut her body down. Then her family came in and the man easily brushed them aside, hurting her dad in the process. As she kept her eyes closed, calming her heart, she was glad it had only been a dream.

Once her heartbeat had slowed down to normal, Mari opened her eyes. She was gazing up at a white canopy. Sitting up, she found that she was in an unfamiliar place. She was on a white canopy bed with blood red rose petals scattered around her, and thin white silk bed curtains were drawn, giving her privacy while she slept.

The curtains were shifting at the corner of the bed, showing that a light breeze was entering the room from somewhere. "There must be a window open somewhere!" cried Mari. "I could climb out of here and get home."

She moved the curtains apart and leapt off the bed only to be slapped in the face by her hair. Glancing down at herself, she saw that her hairstyle was not the only thing to have changed. She now wore white silk nightgown that went right down a little ways pass her knees. She hoped that the man who had kidnapped her did not change her clothes as well.

Mari looked up to see where the breeze was coming from and was surprised to see that it was not coming from a window but a balcony. She moved closer to the balcony and saw that it was a marble balcony that looked out towards the star-filled sky. She peered over the edge and saw nothing but ocean. It looked to her like wherever she was sat on a cliff somewhere, and lucky her, she had the room overlooking the drop.

"I am glade to see you finally awake my Queen." came a voice from behind her.

Mari gasped and spun around. "It's you!" she cried, glancing at the man whose upper body was cloaked in the darkness of the room. Thinking back to her hospital room, she remembered what the man had called himself. "You're Zanthos, right?"

"I am honored that you remembered my name, my Queen." came Zanthos voice. "I trust you slept well."

Mari glared at him. "Very, thanks to you." She stared at him for a moment, trying to catch a glimpse of his face, but to no avail. "Why did you bring me here? And What is it that you want?"

Zanthos stood, his face still covered in shadows. "My dear Queen, I told you before. Many times in fact."

"You're not answering my questions. I want to hear it come clearly out of your lips." said Mari, with a voice of authority. "Now, what do you want, and why did you take me?"

Zanthos shuddered for a moment. "Such a forceful voice filled with power." he said smiling. "Very well, my Queen. I shall tell you. But first, we shall eat. You must be famished after such an eventful night."

As if on cue, Mari's stomach grumbled. Embarrassed, she wrapped her arms around her stomach and glared at Zanthos. "There is absolutely no way I'm eating anything you offer me."

Zanthos sighed. "Well that is very unfortunate to hear. I would rather not do this to my Queen, but I will do so if necessary." Zanthos snapped his fingers and two human maids appeared in the room. They wore a typical black and white maid uniform, but around their necks were chokers that looked more like collars with a single red rose on the front. It was clearly meant to be used as a name tag.

They walked towards Mari, grabbing both of her arms and pulling her towards the door. Mari struggled the entire way yelling at the maids to free her. "Zanthos!" she yelled, anger in her voice. "You tell them to release me immediately!" Zanthos remained where he was as Mari was dragged out of the room.

Zanthos walked out of Mari's room and walked to a room at the end of the hall. Closing and locking the door behind him, he walked to the center of the room. The room was all black except for a single hospital bed sitting in the middle of it. A bright light surrounded the bed revealing an I.V. full of blood and a machine showing someone's heartbeat. As Zanthos moved to the bedside, he glanced at the person laying unconscious in the bed.

"You will be awaking soon." he whispered to the person. "Do not make me regret saving your life in that alley all those years ago." With a smirk, Zanthos left the room. "Now to check on my Queen."

"I said I DON'T want anything to eat!" cried Mari. The two maids Zanthos had called were trying to force Mari to eat the fruit brought out from the kitchen. The maids were silent and ignored Mari's cries. "If you guys are going to be this way, then at least let me feed myself!"

"I believe she is willing to cooperate now, so your services are no longer needed ladies." said Zanthos walking into the room. He snapped his fingers and the maids released Mari, bowing to Zanthos before leaving the room.

Mari scowled and grabbed a pear from the bowl that was out in front of her. She turned the fruit around in her hands, examining every inch of it for any sign of being poisoned. Seeing none, she hesitantly brought the fruit to her lips and took a small bite. She sat silent for a moment chewing the fruit expecting something to happen, but whatever it was she was expecting did not happen.

"I assure you nothing is wrong with the food, My Queen. I would never sink so low as to poison the food of my beloved queen."

"But you have no problem with drugging me?" spat Mari glaring at him. It took her a moment to process the man in the light. She'd been so worked up over the food that she hadn't realized she could see Zanthos's face now.

He had a thin and pale face with deep blue eyes that shined in the light. His golden hair was just pass his shoulders and he wore a black collar shirt and pants. The first four buttons of his shirt were undone, revealing his broad and muscular chest. There was a single scar that traced just above his collar bone and disappeared around his shoulder. Mari hated to admit it, but he was indeed a very attractive man.

"Circumstances made it necessary and I humbly ask for your forgiveness." he said bowing his head.

"I won't forgive you until you take me back to my family." she growled.

Zanthos frowned. "That is impossible."

"Impossible?" she cried. "What's impossible is for me to stay here a moment longer with the likes of you! You think you can just keep me for whatever reason you want and not tell me a single thing? You are out of your mind!" Mari leaped from her chair and ran away from the dining hall. She knew she had to find a way out.

Just as she turned a corner, she saw a grand door that she knew immediately had to be the door. She ran straight toward it as fast as she could. Right before she reached the door, Zanthos appeared right in front of her, blocking her only hope for escape. "You will not leave yet."

His sudden speed had surprised Mari. Who was he exactly? And why was it he was keeping her here and calling her his 'Queen'? She didn't understand why he needed her and wanted her. Was he just plain crazy? Or was there something else that she didn't even know about? Was it even worth sticking around long enough to find out? "Get out of my way, Zanthos." she said using the same fierce tone she had spoken to him in before. For whatever sick and perverted reason, he liked when she talked down to him.

Zanthos shuddered slightly and smiled, not moving from in front of the door. "Yes." he whispered, "You do have the presence of a queen. I knew that it was you. My True Queen." He moved closer to her and brought his face to the same level as hers, his eyes burning into hers. Mari felt her face flush slightly at his sudden closeness. "Do you feel it?"

"F-feel what?" whispered Mari taking one small step back.

"The power. Your power. Can you not feel its wonderfully intoxicating presence surrounding you? Its radiant violet glow is surrounding you completely even now, and when you're angry the glow brightens." When she only stared at him, Zanthos frowned. "Can you really not sense it?"

"Sense what? I have absolutely no idea as to what you are talking about!" she sighed, feeling frustrated, "I just want to go home."

"I thought you wanted to know about the power that rushed through you earlier today?" he said with a wicked smile. "Or the reason why I brought you to my castle."

Mari glared at the man, knowing full well he was trying to perk her interest and keep her there. He knew. Somehow he knew about that strange power that even her Aunt and Julia didn't even know about. If her Aunt nor one of the best scientists with the Red Shield didn't know what had happened, then who would? If he wasn't lying, Zanthos could be the only person in the entire world who knew about the power. What is was, where it came from, and how to stop it. Or at the very least how to control it. "Alright." she whispered, "I'll stay. But only if you tell me all about the strange power and why I'm here."

Zanthos' smile grew. "Of course, My Queen."

"Dammit!" cried Kai as Julia examined his ribs. "How could I let this happen?"

"It's not your fault." said Julia standing up and starting to wrap bandages around Kai's chest. "That man gave no warning. He just showed up out of nowhere."

"That doesn't matter! I'm her father and I let him take her away." Kai clenched his fist and teeth, rage filling his entire body. "That bastard is going to kill her with his thirst for power! I couldn't do anything against him, and now Mari is in danger."

"Don't blame yourself, Kai. I'm the one who could have stopped him." whispered Saya. "I'm the one who let him go."

Hagi looked down at Saya, seeing exhaustion and guilt across her face. "Saya. . . ."

"No Hagi!" she cried. "Don't try and comfort me! I've done nothing but cause them harm since I woke from my long sleep! I nearly attacked Asurey and Mari was knocked out after her encounter with me. Now I let a crazy and power hungry chevalier kidnap her! How can you not think this is my fault?"

"Because its not." The group turned around and standing in the doorway was Asurey. "It doesn't matter anymore either. All that matters is that we find her and bring her back."

"And I may be able to help you with that." a tall man walked into the room in a white lab coat, blue shirt, and black pants. He had blonde hair and brown eyes that examined the group around him closely. "Looks like you guys have been through a lot."

"D.J." said Julia walking over to the man and smiling. "What are you doing here?"

"Asurey called me and told me what happened. So. . . ." he walked up to Saya and looked at her for a moment. "This is Saya?"

"Yes, I'm Saya."

"Interesting." he muttered continuing to examine Saya.

"What are you doing?" asked Saya when he started picking up her arm,

"I'm just looking." he muttered again, now poking her stomach.

"S-stop." she said moving away from him. "And what were you looking at?"

"Exactly the same." he said after a moment of silence. "You look exactly the same, give or take a few minor details."

"D.J. I told you that already." said Asurey grabbing his arm. "Now tell them what you told me."

"Right, right." said D.J. gently pushing Asurey off his arm. "But first things first. My name is David Junior, but everyone calls me D.J."

"D.J. Then that means your. . . ." Saya closed her eyes for a moment. She had forgotten Julia's child would have been born by now. She was still adjusting to everyone's new appearance. Was there anything else that would be new to her? "Of course you would be all grown up now. I'm still adjusting to things, I'm sorry."

"Don't sweat it." said D.J. smiling back.

"You said you would be able to help? What do you know D.J.?" asked Kai slowly standing up.

D.J. smiled and walked over to Hagi. "Before I reveal what I've learned, I would be interested to hear about your own research. Tell me, Hagi. What do you know about the legend of the chiropteran King and Queen?"

To be continued. . . .I'm back! Sorry for the looooong hiatus. Starting college and being in the woods for a month without technology. Yikes! But here is a new chapter. Be on the look out for the next one!