Just something I was thinking about

He was in darkness and time seemed to stand still and then she came, she was beautiful and wreathed in light. She approached him and held his hand all the while giving him an enchanting smile, and then she kissed him. Even though it was a light peck, to him it felt like hours for time stood still there.

He was sad to see her go and looked forward to her visits which became more often and then it happened the spell broke. Looking around himself he saw for the first time how pale he was and then he heard his name carried to him in a whisper. "Warren!"

"Who's there?" he called back and was stunned to hear how hoarse his voice sounded. The person spoke again and Warren was shocked to hear that it was a young woman's voice, "You can talk! Oh my gosh! What happened?"

He was more than a little irritated that the woman had said that and snapped, "Of course I can talk. I'm sorry- who are you?" there was a pause and then her voice came again, "I'm Kendra." She sounded a little stunned and Warren felt slightly guilty for being kinda harsh and sighed.

"I'm going to need a little more to go on." He said trying to make her form out in the night. "I'm Kendra Sorenson. Stan and Ruth are my grandparents." She whispered. Warren sighed again and muttered. "If you say so." Then he raised his voice a little. "What compelled you to hide in a tree in the middle of the night?" He had started to realize that Kendra was in fact sitting on a thick branch of a tree, but he couldn't see her face, then another thought struck him "Can you tell me how I got here?"

"Meet me at the back door, I'll be there in a second." Her voice reached him again and Warren sighed but he did as instructed. When he met her he froze and stared at her stunned it was the woman from his dream.

Kendra frowned, "From when you were a mute?" she asked, Warren rubbed his chin trying to distract himself from her beauty. "Was I mute? That's a first. Come inside." And he gestured her inside the house.

"You were a mute albino for a few years." She replied, going inside and eyeing him. For a moment Warren was stunned then, "Years? What year is it?" he demanded. He tried not to worry too much but when she responded he felt a wave of shock and remorse of the lost years hit him hard.

He ran a white hand through his hair and then eyed the pale arm that had the hand attached to it. "I thought I was looking kind of bleached." He admitted trying hard not to feel overwhelmed. Kendra's eyes were sympathetic and to distract himself he decided to tell her what he last remembered. "The last thing I remember I was something coming towards me in the grove. It could have been yesterday. I was overcome by a panic like I had never known and my mind withdrew to a dark place. I felt nothing there, hemmed in by pure terror, disconnected from my senses, retaining a groggy sense of awareness." He paused and tried not to blush as he remembered her from his dreams but her curious gaze prompted him to speak. "Near the end, I saw you wreathed in light. But it felt like hours lapsing not days, certainly not years."

Kendra smiled warmly which made his heart do funny things, "You've been catatonic. There's a revenant in the grove, and everybody who goes there ends up like you did." She said, Warren nodded trying desperately not to remember their kiss which kept popping up in his head.

"I haven't wasted away too terribly." He muttered patting himself and then added, "I feel a tad slimmer, but not withered like I should be after years in a coma." Kendra nodded, "You could move around, but always in a daze. Your brother Dale made sure you got exercise. He took good care of you." She finished earnestly. Warren perked up at the mention of Dale, "Is he here?" he asked trying hard not sound too eager.

Kendra frowned, "He's locked in the dungeon with my grandparents. The entire preserve is in danger. Member's of the Society of the Evening Star have taken over the house. One of them is a narcoblix, so I've been awake for a couple of days straight. They're trying to get the artifact." She finished. Realizing for the first time, the bags under her eyes and the strained look on her face Warren tried to lighten things up, ""You're saying that there isn't going to be a Welcome-Back-from-Your-Coma-Party?" he asked eyebrow's raised.

Kendra laughed, "Until we rescue the other's, I'm all you've got." At her words Warren felt a strange happiness and wished that he knew her better so he could say something a little more flirtatious back. He cleared his throat, "Sooner or later I want cake and ice-cream. You mentioned the artifact. Do they know where it is?"

She nodded, "They weren't sure what to do about the revenant. My brother went to fight it. Since you're suddenly awake….I think he must have defeated it." Her eyes were filled with worry and Warren had the strange desire to comfort her, ""Your brother?"he asked

At his question Kendra seemed to be a little proud, "He took off with the key to the tower and a crazy plan to use a courage potion to counteract the fear radiating from the revenant. I thought he was nut's, but it must have worked." She said this last desperately.

Warren was stunned, "He has the key to the inverted tower?" She nodded, "We stole it from Vanessa. She's the narcoblix." Warren barely batted an eye, although hearing Vanessa's name again was making his stomach twist in knots. "Your brother intends to enter the tower?" he asked, Kendra sighed. "He wants to get the artifact before they do." She muttered.

"How old is he?" Warren asked, genuinely curious Kendra smiled again, "Twelve." She said. Warren froze, "What kind of training does he have?" he demanded. Kendra bit her lip, "Not much, I'm worried about him." She admitted.

"You should be. If he goes into that tower alone, he will not emerge alive." At his words Kendra's face fell, "Can we go after him?" she asked desperately. Warren nodded and then decided to change the subject. "Sounds like we'd better." He glanced down at his hands and shook his head, "So now I'm an albino? Don't stand too close; my luck might rub off. I set out what seems like yesterday to retrieve the artifact. That was what led me to the grove. I knew a danger lurked there, but the overwhelming fear took me off guard. Now, after years of my life in a panic-induced trance. I get to pick up right where I left off."

Kendra raised an eyebrow, "Why were you after the artifact?" she asked bluntly Warren could hear the suspicion in her voice and really couldn't blame her. "It was a clandestine commission. We had reason to believe that the secret of Fablehaven might have been breached, so I was charged with removing and transferring the artifact."

Kendra nodded, "Who had you do that?" she asked. Warren sighed and pondered his options, he chose the vague route. "I'm a member of a covert organization that combats the Society of the Evening Star." She grinned as if she knew a secret, "The Knights of the Dawn?" she asked mock innocently.

Warren chuckled and threw his hands up in the air, "Nice. Who told you that?" Kendra laughed, "Dale." She admitted. Warren shook his head, "Telling that guy a secret is like writing it across the sky. Anyhow, yes, we had reason to suspect that Fablehaven had been discovered by the Society, and I was supposed to locate the artifact."

She nodded pleased with his answer, "Ready to finish what you started?" she asked. At her words Warren studied her for a second and realized that he wanted to protect her no matter what. He adopted an easy tone, "Why not? Looks like things fell apart here without me. Time to put Humpty back together again. None of my gear is where I left it, but ill-equipped or not, we'd better hurry if we hope to catch your brother before he enters the tower. I take it Hugo isn't around."

She shook her head, "Vanessa sent him to the farthest corner of Fablehaven with orders to stay put." He nodded setting that information aside for later, "The stables are far enough from here that getting a horse will save us no time. I know the way to the valley. You up for a night hike?" he asked.

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