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Chapter 4

Ari had taken Liora back to their room, ahem, cabin, and had her sleeping cub curled up on her lap, fast asleep when Victor came back in. The blood and the quick flash of gold was enough to let her know he wasn't in control yet. He stepped into their bathroom, and soon after she heard the shower. She felt Liora shift, and merely adjusted her arms, so Liora wouldn't be too restricted, but secure.

When Victor stepped out, he had nothing but a towel around his waist. "She still out?"

"Like a light." Ari replied softly.

Victor nodded, and quickly got dressed. He then sat down on the bed and wrapped his arms round them both. "How did it go?" Ari asked.

"The frail knew who was behind her disappearance. A woman called Stryker."

Ari looked up sharply. "What?" She hissed, her ears going flat against her head, her tail twitching agitatedly.

"Mort is getting more information from the frail, but has promised to leave him alive, so you can have a go at him."

"Good." Ari said. "I take it that was why you weren't in control when you came back?"

"Exactly." Victor said. He ran a hand down Liora's cheek. Her eyes fluttered, but she didn't wake up. "I'm determined to remove this threat to her. No matter who this woman is. Or her connection to Stryker."

Just then, the door burst open. Liora's eyes snapped open, and she tensed, while Ari and Victor sprang to their feet, growling, their claws extending. But it was only Luce. She was breathing heavily.

"It's Paddy. He's lost it!"

"Luce, what are you talking about?" Ari asked.

"Back at the museum, he got hit with a dart, but nothing seemed to happen. We thought we'd just get someone to check him over when we got to Genosia, but now he's gone berserk! He's attacking everyone!"

"Luce, stay here, watch Liora. We'll stop Paddy before he hurts anyone, or himself." Ari said, before looking at Liora. "Auntie Luce is going to watch you for a while. Someone's made Uncle Paddy go a bit more mad than he normally is, we're going to help him get better, ok?"

"Ok mamma." Liora said, nodding.

Victor ruffled her hair, and ears, and Ari kissed her forehead. They both left, and followed their noses to Paddy, who had a knife.

"Paddy!" Ari called.

He wheeled round, and they saw that his eyes were blood shot. He snarled, and stalked towards them.

"Leave me do this, Vic." Ari said. She charged at her friend, before jumping onto the wall, and pushing off, so she sailed over him. She landed behind him, spun, and hit him over the back of the head. He collapsed, completely out of it.

"We'd better get him tied up. At least, until he can be treated." Victor said. He walked over, and picked Paddy up, placing him over his shoulder, and carrying him to a cabin. Mystique, who had witnessed Ari knock her friend out had gone to fetch rope. Paddy was placed on a chair, and tied up securely. "Let's hope that we'll be able to get that drug out of his system soon." Ari said.

"Shouldn't be too hard to find someone who can." Victor said. "Now, let's get back to Liora."


Back in the cabin, Pyro had just entered. "Hey, I heard about Paddy." He said.
The moment Liora noticed him, she 'eep'd' and dived off the edge of the bed furthest from him, and hid on the floor there.

Pyro raised an eyebrow at Luce, and she just shot him a 'what the hell did you do?' look. He smiled wryly, and walked to the bed. He got down on his hands and knees, and looked under the bed, to see Liora crouched on the other side. Her eyes widened when she saw him.

"Hey Liora. I'm sorry Toad and I had to drug you back at the museum. I did try and tell you I was trying to help. Don't you remember your Uncle Johnny?" He held back a grimace at the name, and instead pulled out his lighter, and flicked it, catching the flame in his hand, and holding it for her to see. She shied towards him, under the bed, before suddenly pouncing on the flame, and catching it in her palms. Pyro jumped back, startled, and ended up dragging Liora back with him. He ended up on his back, with the small child on his chest, throwing a small ball of flame back and forth between her hands quite happily. She had, it seemed, inherited her mothers fire ability.

"Looks like Liora likes you Pyro." An amused voice said.

They all looked up to see Victor enter, followed by Ari.

"Daddy! Mamma! Look what Uncle Johnny helped me discover what I can do!" She continued to throw the ball of flame back and forth, obviously delighted with herself.

"That's wonderful sweetheart! You get that from me." Ari said, picking her daughter up, who immediately extinguished her flame, and grabbed her mamma's coat. "Is Uncle Paddy going to be alright?"

"We'll get someone to help him when we get home." Ari promised. "But he's not in the position to harm anyone or himself."

Liora nodded, but at that moment, sneezed, and turned into a tiger cub. Everyone in the room laughed at the disgruntled look that she had. Ari crouched own, and placed her on the floor, before changing into a tiger herself. She nudged Liora with her nose, and knocked her cub over playfully.

"How is Paddy exactly?" Luce asked, noticing Liora was distracted.

"Knocked out, and tied up." Victor said. "Mystique's watching him. But, we'll get him treatment for those drugs. Whatever they are. Don't worry."

Luce nodded, and they all watched as Liora started climbing all over Ari, and tugging at her ears with her tiny, but sharp, teeth. It was an amusing sight.


A/N: So, what do you think? Please review!