I sucked in a breath, glancing towards the door as Ash pulled away slowly, almost hesitantly. He gave me a quick, reassuring sideway look before getting up in one swift movement and extending a hand in my direction. He smiled lightly, but disappointment tinged his eyes from the unintentional cut reunion. This 'crash' obviously held more meaning than an obnoxious sound; Ash wouldn't have retreated from the sweet moment unless it was important. So taking it with caution, he helped me up, and led me out into the hallway.
It felt as if had been months, instead of two days, since my presence occupied. The shock shouldn't have settled in me. Nonetheless, my eyes took in the familiar, grand hallways of Lord Thierry's mansion, home of Circle Daybreak, and gleamed with surprised awe. I made to inspect the whole area, because even though I have seen it, I wasn't used to it. They only took in the creamy, regal walls before Ash's hand gently but forcibly tugged me forward. There was an urgent look in his eyes, I met, with a serene glamour that made me realize whatever that sound was meant significant news.
So no sooner than a minute later, I was standing in the grand living room, meeting familiar faces, that were scattered all over, mingling and discussing.
One look of the scene would make the average knowledged person label this as nothing more than sixteen teenagers, sixteen friends hanging out and doing the stereotype high school Saturday night. It was in fact a group of allies, but it mixed of supernatural, inhumans with humans' conversing on how to bring peace between the Night World and regular world. That, and the fact that more than half of the "people" here were unmistakably beautiful, human and creature.
So not quite your typical impression, I mused in my head, remembering my first look of Circle Daybreak. It made me wonder what Evelyn's reaction would be.
On the loveseat closest to us sat Jez and Morgead, the couple seeming somewhat comfortable. One of Morgead's hands rubbed Jez's shoulders soothingly while she sat upright, looking stressed and impatient. When she sensed someone was near, her unique eyes met mine before she gave me a small smile and commented, "Mary-Lynnette. How are you?"
"I'm fine. Woozy from the drugs, but fine. You?" Jez shrugged and gave a nod, and shifted her eyes from mine to meet my soulmate's.
"Ash." She smirked then, obviously meaning, in some way, to mock him. Ash rolled his eyes and muttered a "hey" under his breath, trying to be cool. But it was relevant that he was greatly relieved to see that his cousin was unharmed.
Not that I would admit it anyway. His voice eased into my head, with obvious charm. I elbowed him playfully, murmuring it wasn't surprising with a small, teasing smile. He laughed and kissed my head, giving my hand a soft squeeze before he departed his lips that had moved onto my forehead.
Moving my eyes elsewhere, they locked with a pair of fierce emerald green ones on the end of the larger couch.
Rashel, I thought, giving her a warm smile before I started walking over, receiving a small smile of her own.
There were two people placed on either side of her; Quinn sat beside her snugly, one of his arms wrapped around her waist protectively and Keller was standing, one arm straightened out on an angle as it was leaning against the arm of the couch.
"Hey Mare." Rashel casually murmured, eyes glancing up to meet my gaze. Before I could respond, Keller cut me off. Her fierce-much like her sister's- gray eyes met mine.
"About time. There's an important matter, and you guys-" Her annoyed snap was politely interrupted.
"Keller. Maybe they weren't procrastinating; remember Mare was deeply drugged, and she's human. However, they're here now, right? Let us explain to them." Galen's formal voice spoke neutrally, his golden and green specked eyes calm and willing for Keller to relax as he peered over her shoulder.
Keller let out a controlled breath, and her eyes resumed to their normal, patient look. She swept one hand through her ebony hair raggedly, and let it rest against her slender hip as a sign of agreement, or rather, surrender. She looked at us with an aggravated expectant expression-I figured she wasn't pleased with two more people engaging in their conversation. I sighed.
"So, what's this "important matter"? Did the noise have anything to do with it?" Mary-Lynnette looked at the four, inviting anyone to answer her question.
"Frankly, it did." But this reply didn't come from any of them.
She turned around to see Thierry Descouedres, or "Lord Thierry" standing formally behind, a wary expression on his normally calmed face.
"Sir…?" Keller trailed off hesitantly, and glanced about the room. Everyone had stopped what they were doing, killing their conversations and doings to pay him full attention. A curious, nervous feel coated the atmosphere as it silenced.
"It is nothing to worry about; rather, find victory in it. Though it increases silent chaos in the callous Night World Council; we have an upper hand, but must be careful of not to take advantage of its goodness too quickly." Thierry started with competence, his eyes managing to inform everybody else's in an experienced matter. He clasped his hands together before continuing.
"We have found and gained the third Wild Power, along with his newly founded soulmate." Thierry stopped mannerly, allowing commentary to unfold. Hannah, who had come up to his side seconds before, widened her eyes and Thierry threw her a small, confirming smile.
"Oooh! How exciting, another soulmate couple found. Along with a Wild Power! This is good news!" Iliana's chirpy voice was the first to ring out, her whitened golden hair swinging gently as she twirled it around her finger.
"Finally. Someone else I can talk to about this kind of thing." Jez murmured this coolly as her presence lit up. Morgead chuckled beside her.
"Watch it be another Redfern. If it is, I'll be here, laughing my ass off at you, Jez." This time Ash's taunt rode over the soft murmurs and talks between the room, and from the corner of my eye I could see Quinn snort and smirk in agreement. Jez glared, sending blue and silver daggers at both.
"Oh, shut the hell up Ash. I'll be here, watching you eat your own words. Quinn, I can just get Rashel to kick your ass. So both of you- piss off." She smirked triumphly.
Quinn chucked. "Sure Jez, sure."
"What about Hunter?"
I spoke softly, trying to casualtise the horrific question into something minour, as to cause no drama in the remotely sanguine room. I acted it too, shifting my stance to what seemed like a sense, calming, and relaxed posture. I prevailed my tone to sound doubtful about worrying, trying to pass it off like any other curious question.
But it was to no avail, as the Daybreakers abruptly muted everything. All heads snapped towards me, all eyes meeting mine.
This silence wasn't as easy as the last; there was sharp hate and tension so deep it could be cut in mid-air, it seemed.
I cleared my throat, clearly uncomfortable with the change of scenery and attitude. I opened my mouth to speak, to try to soothe the horrid reactions and tend to undo the silence to the much lighter settings before. Bringing up any confidence I could muster, I drew in air and heard a response come out; one, that was definitely not mine.
"It's no one to worry about, unless, the dead doesn't favour your likeness either."
Simultaneously, all of us shifted our attention to find the source of this anonymous reply.
"Fellow Daybreakers, meet our new members, Maggie Neely and Delos Redfern." Thierry said this all naturally, but he ended with a cautioned note, obviously figuring what was going to happen next.
This time, everyone burst out laughing. Rashel, Keller, and even I searched for Jez to give her a sympathetic smile, to try to amuse and sweeten up this bad luck despite the cocky irony and smugness radiating off from Ash. Jez huffed, shooting ire to her new cousin. She muttered incoherent words under her breath, no doubt colourful comments towards Ash and Quinn, who was now standing as Rashel had shifted to standing, leaning back against the couch, next to Keller.
"Lord Thierry…?" The one called Delos Redfern asked for attention hesitantly, his confused, golden, gaze scanning the room.
Thierry sighed. "Just ignore them; or rather, Ash. And in the future, Quinn, Morgead, and Jez."
"This is surely going to be interesting." Maggie, I assumed, talked this out slowly, amusement and curiosity lighting up in her aura. When she caught my eye, she smiled. I did a small wave, acknowledging her friendliness. I had a feeling she was going to fit in perfectly with my group, our trio of Poppy, Hannah and I.
"Introduction time!" Poppy squealed from somewhere ahead.
Now this was going to be interesting.
Snorting, I looked over to Rashel and smirked.
"This ought to be fun, huh."
She rolled her eyes, letting out a forced laugh. "Yeah…" She answered back with sarcasm, a taint of a smile on her lips. She trailed off, though, and when she did her eyes looked elsewhere, a distant state setting in. She gave one more sharp look towards "Delos Redfern" before glancing away as quickly, cringing. I frowned.
"Hey Shel, what's up?" In any normal case in the past, I wouldn't have really cared, for anyone that was excluded from my team. I had my own misery, my own small depression that I would mourn over in silence, and extend it in little ways, convinced I had somehow deserved it. So caring wasn't really popular in my book, and I even looked above that.
But then Galen had been born into my life, making other things in my attitude change and create too. All in all, my whole persona and its feelings were redeemed.
Of course, Galen was the one and only person I allowed myself to be open and vulnerable with, after. He was one person I could absolutely trust whole heartedly, despite good friends. But only one, and I vowed only one.
That was, until, I heard some shocking news that changed that to two.
I had a twin sister, a fucking long lost twin sister I was separated of, from extreme young age. I had always thought that any, all blood relatives of mine ceased to exist, and was never to be heard about again, even if they were no longer living. But no, one tiny part, (or huge in blood and closeness wise) was alive.
After recovering from a, triumphant in defeat but brutal wracking in physique, dragon attack, me and my newly founded 'sister' had a long, insightful talk about the whole situation, ourselves, our lives, and about anything and everything that was meaningful. At first I, actually, we, were both very wary, doubtful about placing loyalty in a stranger. But after the brief suspicion and awkwardness, we revived our sisterly connection, and became close, more likely, closer, as any twin sisters should be.
Besides our half shapeshifter, half human blood, confirming our race to be 'hybrid', and other…unusual self-facts, we were a normal pair of twins.
She sighed. "It's nothing big. His eyes- I mean, they're that golden yellow, and, well…" Rashel stuttered a bit, something very unlike her to do. I narrowed my eyes. Obviously, I knew what she thought of when the new Redfern made appearance.
She sighed, glaring off into the distance. "I want to know what he meant about his response to Mare's question. About the "dead", and Hunter. She tsked, arms crossing over her chest, eyes narrowing as she spoke the name of the killer of her-our mother.
"Yes…but we also need to know for you guys- we don't know if the information Hawthorn gave out arrived to Hunter. That would be bad." I sighed out in frustration.
Roll call was unusually quick- whenever we got someone new, Poppy would go on about everyone, and then go on about some other subject. But the introductions were brief; everyone acknowledged their names, soulmate and reason of why they joined.
"So what was your earlier response about? Like, what did you mean?" Lady Hannah asked Delos, after they had settled, and everything was going about right. Her eyes were wide.
"And the noise?" Jez added.
Delos, the Wild Power, grew serious as he answered. "To start out simple; Hunter Redfern is dead. I killed him with my blue fire. The noise was simply me, barging in, and the door hitting the wall hard causing a vase to fall and shatter. We were in a rush." Everyone had burst out talking and exclaiming, even before Delos had ended his statement.
"It figures," Rashel started dryly. "Whatever. I guess it's better to have him dead from someone else, rather than he being alive and doing Goddess knows what… " She trailed off, contempt freezing over her tone.
"You wanted to do apply his death yourself." Galen spoke by my side, his eyes flitting from their usual patient stance to sympathy.
"Obviously." Rashel seethed calmly, rolling her eyes.
"Hey, it's better, kind of. I mean, if Delos hadn't, you, along with Mare and Jez, would've been in his evil hands, thanks to Hawthorn." Ash joined our conversation.
"I hate our family." Jez glared at Delos again.
"Yeah...guys. Where exactly is he? And Evelyn?" Mare's panicked voice rang through the whole room.
Causing for quietness to overcome again.
Thierry quickly responded. "I sent Lupe, Thea, James and Nilsson to get her. And…" He started to grow more hesitant, pausing for a second to adjust his counter. "And…maybe Hawthorn too; it's based on what happens, majored also on his opinion."
"Hawthorn? Hawthorn Redfern?" And I thought Ash and Quinn having soulmates was impossible." Delos snorted.
"Please, princey. We're better-shall I mention what he did to Mare? And Rashel and Jez?" Ash sneered. Delos simply raised an eyebrow in curiosity, inviting him to explain.
"Would you really allow him to join, Sir?" My annoyed reply/interruption caused Quinn, Ash and Morgead heads' to nod in agreement of the preposterous idea.
Thierry's eyebrow lifted. "Of course, precaution will be enhanced, and in official terms, he won't be instantly trusted, and technically, not be a part of Circle Daybreak, as a fully loyal member. But it was the same with Ash and Quinn-remember?" Thierry paused to glance at the two. "If I see and sense pure redemption, I won't hesitate to bring him in wholly."
"There was a difference though, between us and him. After finding and accepting our soulmates, we, as fast as possible, came here to try to do good. We didn't kidnap girl soulmates, and try to ship them off to Hunter," Ash stated instantaneously, shooting a look towards Delos as well. Delos's expression changed from smug to alarm in one second.
"And Hawthorn's the type to falter over and over, and, to intentionally cross over to the bad path repeatedly." Quinn murmured. Morgead nodded in agreement, while Thierry shook his head and sighed.
"There's a true matter in that. But giving one chance isn't going to kill any of you-despite what he did. Remember there's still the slight possibility he won't come; if that occurs, even I will be sure to have him watched."
"Evelyn is most definitely coming, though, and Hawthorn's no doubt to follow. So Thierry. At least send him away for missions a lot; mostly to keep away from the Circle." Morgead jumped in lastly.
"Aw, now why suggest that? Like Thierry preached-give me a chance."
Hawthorn smiled from the doorway.