Author: Andramion PM
Nula Kaele has grown up as the exception in her supernatural community. When things start getting messy at home, she decides to track down her father's side of the family. What she finds doesn't only raise new questions.. it could even mean the end of her species. Please read & review, story is better than the summary!Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 13,409 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 12-06-12 - Published: 11-18-12 - id: 3075336
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It's been a while since the last chapter, I've been so busy with school, it's crazy. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter, in which Nula gets to explore her "blackout" a little more.
I found myself at the lake. My shoes were by my bike on the grass, my bare feet were being lapped at by the waves the wind made on the water.
I had refused to cry in front of Lenid, but here, there was no one to see the tears roll down my cheeks. My eyes had already run dry, though, and apart from a couple of weird hiccups from time to time, I was done crying.
As I always did when I felt like this, I imagined what it was like to have grown up with a father. In my mind, my father was a loving and strong man. Dark auburn hair like me, the same light brown, almost yellow-y eyes. He took me on trips when I was a kid. We once went to the zoo and when the lions scared me, he picked me up and sat me down on his shoulder. He smiled at the drawings I brought home from school and he quizzed me to prepare me for tests.
Thinking like this had helped me through so many situations in the past. Having an uncaring mother, my imaginary father had always been the best dad anyone could ever have.
I pulled the amulet out of my sweater and studied it again. The metal had warmed up from the contact with my skin. The insides didn't give me any new clues. I wished I knew where the place depicted on the faded paper was. Maybe I'd find answers there.
I sighed and closed the locket again. It was no use. Not here at least. I laid down on the sand, the locket clutched in my fist.
Dad, I thought, I wish you were here. I pressed my fist down on my chest, almost hugging the only thing I had of him. I wish you could tell me why I am this way.
I laid there for a long time after, letting myself wallow in pity before gathering the pieces of me and shoving them into a shape that roughly looked like me. When I got up, the blood rushed from my head and I fainted for the second time that week.
The sound of running footsteps woke me up. I was lying on something soft – a bed maybe – and there was a blanket draped over me. As my eyes fluttered open, I realised I was in a dimly lit room without windows. The walls were covered in artwork.
\"Hey," a voice softly said. I followed the noise to a person sitting on a chair next to the bed I was on. "Don't worry, you're fine. I'm not gonna hurt you." He moved a bit closer and I recognised him from my last dream.
"You said that last time." My voice seemed fine this time. He seemed surprised that I was talking.
"Because I mean it. I'm glad to hear you can speak. I wasn't so sure before." He got up from the chair and tucked it under the table a little further away. "I'm going to get Darrell. Will you wait here?"
"Where is here?" I asked him. "And who's Darrell?" I wondered where I'd seen this guy before – in real life – since I remembered reading that you can only dream people you've actually seen. Your brain can't make up strangers. Maybe I'd passed his real-world equivalent on the street or something.
He paused by the only opening in the room – a doorframe without door that led to more darkness. I could see a faint light further away and realized it was a tunnel.
"I promise we'll explain in a bit, alright? Darrell asked me to get him if you woke up." He was about to walk away again when I suddenly felt panicked at the idea of being alone in this place. I shot up from the bed and grabbed his arm to ask him to stay and then found myself on the floor, pinned down by someone much heavier than me.
"I told him it was a bad idea to leave you alone with her," the weight on top of me told the dark-haired guy. "I knew this meant trouble."
"Quinn, she wasn't-"
"Don't use my fucking name around her! Who knows what she's capable of!" When he said that, Quinn slightly shifted his weight – my guess was he looked up at his companion – which gave me the opportunity I needed. With the agility I'd gained through my own vigorous training, I used his own momentum to throw him off and get to my feet. He didn't even realise what was happening until I was well away from him, backing into the wall.
"Look," I said, holding my hands up at the man with the physique of a bear, "I'm not looking for trouble, okay?" Quinn got up, obviously angry at what I'd done. He was breathing heavily, trying to get it under control.
"Yeah, well, you should have thought of that before attacking L- " He stopped and seemed to reconsider. He nodded to nice guy behind him. "Him."
"Attacking? You think that was attacking?" I immediately disliked this man and looked at the other one. "I wanted to..." My voice died down. I didn't want to let on that I'd been scared. Weird, I thought, that I still have such a self-protective instinct, even in a dream.
"You wanted what?" When I kept my mouth tightly shut, bear-dude took a step closer to me and I cringed back into the wall. "You somehow manage no sneak in here without us detecting you, you attack-"
"I said I wasn't attacking him!" I shouted.
"Quinn," dark-hair told the man in front of him, reaching for his shoulder, but the larger man sidestepped faster than I had thought he could.
"Keep you paws off me, you hear? She's a threat and she needs to be dealt with."
"Actually, Quinn," a third voice came from the tunnel. "We found her unconscious in the labyrinth and she hasn't really caused any trouble, has she?" I recognised the older, blond man as the leader I'd met last time. "So how about we ask her the questions nicely, without tackling her to the ground for asking someone to stay?"
I had been watching the big guy with a grin on my face, because he was being put in place, but at the mention of my motives, my eyes shot to the man the others called Darrell.
"How do you know I wanted to ask him to stay?" I asked him, suspiciously. Even though his accuracy made me slightly nervous, I did feel safe enough to step back into the middle of the room, closer to the men. The friendly guy came closer to me again, putting himself between Quinn and me.
"I'm intuitive like that. It's one of my talents," Darrell gave me an explanation, though in my eyes, it didn't explain a whole lot. He left it at that and gestured for me to sit down. I looked behind me and sat down on the bed again. Darrell sat down on the chair. "Now, shall I start with an introduction? That's Liam." He nodded his head at the guy that took a place next to me on the bed. "And I believe you've already met Quinn, too."
"And you're Darrell," I stated. He nodded. Slowly, the feeling that this was not a dream started to crawl into my head. "I'm not telling you who I am until you tell me what I'm doing here."
A smile appeared on Darrell's face. "Smart girl." He leaned back and crossed his legs, his ankle on his knee. "But that was exactly what we were going to try and find out."
I frowned. What was that supposed to mean?
"See," Liam started and I turned my head to him, watching his shaded eyes intently while he spoke. "I found you a couple of hours ago, lying unconscious a little further up the tunnel."
"And you're gonna tell us how you got by us," Quinn added. Darrel had put his hand up halfway through his sentence.
"The security is quite tight around here," Darrell told me. "We only spotted you when you were already inside. We really are wondering how a girl like you got into our home."
"I didn't..." I looked around, confused. They hadn't brought me here? "I don't know." I focused back on the leader. "I don't know how I got here. I was at the lake and then I woke up here." My chest suddenly felt constricted and I started breathing faster. I was more scared now than I had been when Quinn attacked me. "I don't know how I got here," I repeated.
"Shhh, calm down." Liam put his hand down on my shoulder and I immediately felt better. "Now tell us all that happened."
"I..." I didn't really want to tell them, but my lips seemed to be moving on their own accord. "I had a fight with my friend, so I took off. I sat by the lake, but I wasn't crying anymore." I I supposed to let these strangers know all this? "I fainted." I remembered that all too well. It was unusual for me.
"And then you woke up here?" I turned my head and saw a man sitting across from me. I shook my head hard and pushed Liam's hand off me. Why did I forget there were other people here?
"Yes." I moved a little further away from Liam. He seemed nice enough, but I was sure that he had something to do with how quick I had been to speak to them.
"Liam, you're making her nervous," Darrell noted. I was surprised that he knew what I was feeling again, but then realised it must have been on my face.
"He's making her nervous?" Quinn's patronizing laugh was deep and rumbling. "If Liam here is making her nervous, what's she thinking of me?" His question was directed at Darrell, not me, but I answered anyway.
"I'm not scared of you." He turned his head to me slowly, still having that smirk plastered on his face.
"And why is that, princess?" My eyes narrowed at the nickname.
"I can take you easily," I told him, getting up and walking towards him. I poked my finger at his chest. "You're only-" I stopped myself. I had been about to say 'human'.
"Only what?" he asked, pushing his chest out, towering over me. He moved his hand to grab my arm, but I moved long before he was even close and moved around him. Even though he was much taller than me, his hair was quite long, which allowed me to grab it and jerk his head back. With a swift kick to the back of his knees, I brought him to the ground and placed the index finger of my free hand on his throat.
"You're not as good of fighter as you think you are," I told him. "If I'd had a knife, you'd have been dead now." I let him go and stepped away from him. "Now, I want answers. I don't mean to make trouble." I put my hands on my hips.
"I know you don't." Darrell got up from the chair too and gestured Quinn – who was still kneeling, his hands around his throat – to get up. He was grinning at me and shaking his head.
How about we talk while we get some food? You seem hungry."
I was led to a much brighter room, one with a skylight, filled with a couple of tables and benches. Darrell sat me down and served us all a bowl of hot, steaming soup of which I couldn't see where he got it from. Liam sat down next to me once more, but Quinn took a seat on the other side of the table, as far from me as possible.
While I blew the steam off my spoon, I took my strange company in. Darrell, right in front of me, looked to be in his forties, though he still looked good. Blond hair, greyish blue eyes. He seemed very laid-back in his white linen shirt and loose beige slacks.
Quinn seemed less on edge with food in front of him. I could feel him keep an eye on me all the time, though. I didn't like him much, but I knew he surely wasn't a threat to me.
Liam on the other hand... I didn't really know how I felt about him. I was weirdly calm, even though I never would have been if I was in my right mind. Something was going on, he was causing it and I didn't like it.
"She knows what you're doing, Liam," Darrell mentioned halfway through our silent meal. He had a smile on his face again, the same as when I'd worked Quinn to the floor. When I turned to Liam, I saw he was watching me curiously with his blue eyes wide open.
"It's not working?"
"It's not working?" Quinn repeated after Liam, slightly stressed. "Why didn't you say so? Shit, Darrell." He was about to get up when Darrell put a hand on his arm to keep him down.
"It's working," he assured the big guy who seemed more and more like a big baby. "She's just... aware of it. It's quite wondrous if you could see how it pieces together. Remarkable."
"What's working?" I asked him, lost in all this talk. When Darrell didn't answer, I turned back to Liam to see if he would.
"I... ah..." He seemed lost for words.
"Well, Nula, I think it's time we gave you a couple of answers, isn't it?"
"How do you know my name, Darrell?" I felt threatened for a second, but it subsided immediately. Something is really wrong with me, I thought. Why am I not more worked up about this?
"We'll get to that a little later." He picked my spoon from the table and put it back in my bowl. "Keep eating and I'll talk, alright?"
Hesitating slightly, I scooped up another spoonful of the delicious tomato soup and put it in my mouth.
"Good girl. Now. First of all, I can't answer your question as to how you got here. But I can tell you where you are and who we are."
"Darrell." Quinn obviously didn't want me to know these things.
"It's fine Quinn, she doesn't have anything bad on her mind. She knows less of the situation than we do." He patted Quinn's hand and the bear backed down. "You're underground, in our home. We live here with a total of thirty-three others. We are all... let's say talented people."
I nodded, knowing he'd stop talking as soon as I started to.
"I picked your name up out of your own mind. You're harder to read than others, though, I usually get more than just suggestions. Quinn here, he's one of our best guards. Usually," he added with a grin. "And Liam can control another's state of mind."
"I knew something was wrong with me," I said, trying to take all this information in. I bet that I wouldn't have believed what he was saying if I'd been a regular old human. But having grown up in the midst of mythical creatures, I was a little more open to the thought of other supernatural abilities. "Can you stop it?"
"I'm just keeping you calm," Liam said. "I'm surprised you noticed. Most people can't even tell."
"You're just putting a layer over her, Liam," Darrell remarked. "I can clearly see what's her and what's of your making. It's like you're not really influencing her, but more... the way her feelings present themselves. Fascinating."
"Yeah, yeah, she's a real entertaining gal." Quinn got up and moved around to table until he was close to me. "You better tell us what you know, Nula." He spat my name out like it was poison.
"Stay away from me," I warned him. "I can do that again, you know."
"You just got lucky." He tried to step closer, but Liam put his arm out so he bumped into it. "What, Liam?"
"Don't," Liam simply said. "And calm down." Quinn stepped back immediately and I realised that this was what Darrell had meant by 'controlling someone's state of mind'. I cocked my head.
"If you can do that, why didn't you stop me from kicking Quinn's ass earlier?" I wondered out loud. Darrell raised his eyebrows in question too.
"I did," Liam stated. "It didn't work, though." He seemed distressed about it, but Darrell only nodded, still relaxed. I wondered if it was Liam's influence or if he felt in control of the situation, enough to lean back and do hardly anything.
"She has strong shields. Almost as strong as yours, Darrell." Liam put a hand on my arm again and before I could pull away, I was fine with it being there. Was I? I frowned again, looking at his long fingers wrapped around my wrist.
"Can you cut it out?" I asked him quietly. "I can't think straight if you do that. It's all foggy." He did as I asked and within an instant, my brain processed my submissiveness as a compulsion coming from Liam. I pushed the remains of it away from me and got up from the table.
"I don't like it when you do that." I turned to Darrell. "And you need to stop poking around my brain." Darrell simply shrugged his shoulders and showed me his enigmatic smile.
"I can't poke around your brain. I can only pull out faint ideas and even that costs me a lot of trouble. It seems you are an exception, Nula." He got up and his smile disappeared as he came closer to me. I backed up, not trusting the situation completely.
"I don't know why," I started, trying to convince them that I really was the one who knew the least about everything that was happening. "I honestly don't know anything." As I walked backwards, I bumped into one of the benches and before I even felt myself hit the ground, everything went black again.
So what did you think? I know, I know, I am begging for reviews. I'm not the most confident person, sorry :(