"Whatever happened to her last night, she was bitten three times in different places, whoever did this to her had to have really good control over themselves."
Lionel looked over Petra's wounds, where the blanket wasn't covering her she was full of bruises from being knocked around, most of which were hand mark shaped. Will then showed them a cut on her head, "She hit her head hard enough to cause a concussion as well." He explained, "However the damage was healed."
Lionel frowned, "She was healed? But why bother using that much energy just to leave her for dead anyway?"
Garth's fists tightened at his sides, "Because," He said darkly, "Whoever it was, wanted her to suffer. They linked with her, and used that link to heal the concussion. But only so she would feel more pain."
Will sighed and moved to the kitchen to wash his hands. "We must be careful." He said on his return, "When she's conscious, anything we say to her will be relayed to whoever she's linked with."
Garth looked over Petra and realised he could no longer feel her emotions like he was so used to. But even when he could feel them he couldn't help her, just what the hell had happened to her?
Lionel was staring at her shocked, completely unsure what to make of the situation. Will looked from one to the other and then to Petra. It was clear the two of them felt the same way about her, and it was different to his feelings. To him Petra was a younger sister. Whereas he was frustrated at the situation but happy for her to be alive, the other two looked like their worlds had been shaken.
"We're going to have to tell Alexander... and Dimitri." He said finally. The other two were brought out of their thoughts. Garth looked up at him, "But we don't know who it was yet." He said, "Especially with Dimitri's over the top reactions to everything-"
Will cut him off with the rise of his hand, "And what would you consider an over the top reaction to this Garth?" He asked seriously, "She's been claimed... despite all of Alexander, Dimitri and even Raphael's work to keep her safe from something like this it's happened right under our noses. Even with all of our work with the council and no matter how hard Alexander and Dimitri will try to keep her with us... the rules are the rules."
Lionel shook his head, "No... No..." He said quietly, "There's no way this was her choice... she was happy with us. What if the person who claimed her was from another order?" He visibly paled all of a sudden.
Garth glanced at him feeling the chill that went over Lionel, "What?" He asked. Lionel took in a deep breath, "W-When I was looking for her." He said realisation hitting him harder than a freight train, "For a moment I thought I saw... I thought I saw Dominic."
Garth stared at him in shock, "Dominic?" He looked back to Petra suddenly, "What business would he have here?"
Will leaned over the table where there were still little puddles of her blood, "Alexander said he took a great interest in her during the council meeting..."
Garth's blood ran cold, "This isn't a coincidence, she's been targeted. Dominic does nothing without Charlottes order."
Will paused, for a mere second a chill ran down his spine, if she really was targeted by Charlotte then she was in a lot of trouble. He reached out to touch her forehead, as though he'd be able to feel Dominic's presence through his fingertips. However he stopped short and turned away, "I'll ring Celeste. They should be on their way here anyway. Get her into her bedroom, we can't take any chances here."
Both Lionel and Garth moved to pick her up. When they bumped into each other they shared an irritated glance. "I can pick her up." Said Garth; however Lionel got there first and scooped her into his arms, "Its fine." He said, "I'll take her to her room. And I'll stay with her until she wakes up."
He walked away, the limp girl in his arms breathing lightly. Garth watched him go and wondered why he was so annoyed. He shook his head free of the thought and looked to the door that lay on the floor. He picked it up and leaned it against the wall. At least she didn't die. His hands tightened around the wood.
Will, having just hung up the phone in the kitchen, stepped over to Garth, "If it was Dominic," He said hiding his hatred for the Ancient a lot better than what Garth was, "Then that would mean he's been chasing her for a while."
Garth's hands tightened again as Will continued. "Dominic has never been known to harm his victims immediately."
The wood splintered between Garths fingers and he clenched his eyes shut, "He likes to play with his food. That's what he always used to say."
Will lightly patted a hand on Garth's shoulder, much like an elder brother would, "We'll figure this out Garth, we'll work out what's wrong and we'll fix it."
Garth nodded, immediately bringing back his composure, "I know we will… We'll keep her safe. She's under my protection after all."
Will retracted his hand, realising it was causing more embarrassment than comfort. "I'll make the call to Dimitri." He said heading back to the kitchen, "He should know as soon as possible and by the sounds of things Alexander and Celeste were getting their things together to travel here before he'd hung up the phone."
Garth nodded again. Being left alone in the dining room he closed his eyes and let some of his feelings slip. She'd nearly died. How could this happen? He watched over her so carefully. He'd brought her back from insanity and helped her become an accomplished young woman. Yet, something like this happened to her.
His fist clenched at his side. How long had Dominic been playing with her? How often had he frightened her? How often had he touched her and hurt her? His eyes moved to the table where the blood puddles were reflecting the lights with a red watery gleam. He'd hurt her at least once, and once was one time too many.
Was this to get back at him? Hadn't he been punished enough for not protecting Celeste from him? His fingertips moved to the centre of his chest where the broad sword had sliced through his rib cage and pinned him to the table. Not only had Dominic spoiled Celeste's mind, but he also wanted to take Petra away from him. That would explain why she read his diary. Dominic knew where he kept them all those years ago, and he knew how Garth would document everything to save his memory.
He kept his gaze steadily on the table, and despite what Dominic had already done to her, Garth himself had then nearly given into hunger. If Will hadn't been there then he might have destroyed the best thing to happen to his life since he created Cassidy.
He stared at the table a moment longer and took in a large gulp of air. As he exhaled shakily he let the frustration go. She was alive, that was the main thing. He looked away from the blood stains. His feet began leading him to the kitchen where he'd find a rag to clean up the mess.
However as he entered the kitchen he found that Cassidy was on the floor picking up the smashed dishes. Garth sighed and ran a hand through his hair, "Sorry." He said quietly, "I can pick that up."
As he knelt to help Cassidy shook her head, "Master Bishop, there's no need. This is my purpose after all." Garth paused on the ground and regarded her strangely, it was unusual for her to show this kind of emotion through her voice. She must have been worried as well. "Cassidy," He said, lightly reaching to touch her hand as she reached for a small piece of china. "She's ok. Are you worried about her?"
Cassidy didn't meet his gaze, "Yes." She replied, after all Cassidy couldn't lie to Garth even if she wanted to, he was her creator. "I was there when you were saving her, I tried to stay out of the way to avoid causing further accident." Her gaze travelled to her hand, the china was beginning to cut into her fingers, "These hands of mine are so clumsy after all. And I don't feel the pain that you do, so I would not be of any help." She took her hand from under Garths and gently placed the piece of china into her apron where all of the other pieces were collected in a pile.
Her gaze lingered on her apron for a few more moments, "You very rarely speak of Dominic, Master Bishop. However, I understand that he is the cause of much trauma for you. I worry that he is going to cause more. Since he understands how dearly you hold Miss Summers."
Garth sighed and pressed his hand to her shoulder. He squeezed it gently. Even though she wouldn't feel it he knew she registered what he was doing. He smiled ever so slightly and reached his other hand to hold hers. "Cassidy, you're one of the best friends I've ever had." He said as the small cut on her hand began to heal. "I trust you with my life… and also Petra's. Things will be dangerous from now on. The calm life we've had these past few years will probably go away now. And Dominic will try to break us. But we'll pull through this, with Petra and everyone else. There's been too many loses for us to allow there to be any more. And I won't be broken so easily. Nor will Petra. That's something we both have in common after all. We're stubborn as mules."
Cassidy looked him over and finally met his gaze, she reached up to the hand on his shoulder and squeezed it back. However she squeezed it so tightly that Garth felt one of the small bones in his hand snap. He flinched a little. Her eyes widened, "I'm so sorry, did I hurt you Master Bishop?"
He shook his head with a small smile and removed his hand, "It's fine, something like this will only take a few moments to heal." Cassidy stood up quickly, "I-I'll get you a bandage!" she called, however she forgot about the china and it all smashed to the floor at her feet.
"Ah, I'm so sorry Master Bishop, I'll clean it up again when I've got a bandage!" She called running from the room.
Garth sighed and shook his head with a small laugh. He stood up and watched as his slightly misshapen hand fixed itself. "It's healed Cassidy." He called, "I'll leave you to clean up." He heard her drop something else in her furious attempt to find a bandage in the first aid cupboard. He left the kitchen and stepped back through the dining room careful not to look at the bloodied table, he thought it better that Cassidy busied herself with cleaning and so abandoned his efforts of finding a rag.
He walked to his room. Although he wanted to check on Petra he knew Lionel would take offence to it and, being childish, probably wouldn't even let Garth through the door.
When he walked through the door he sat on his bed and leaned forwards. He rested his head in his hands. He'd just spoken so confidently to Cassidy but he didn't know what to do. Dominic was more powerful than him. Charlotte had the whole order practically in the palm of her hand to the point that Alexander's opinion was often overlooked. Despite the fact he was older than she was.
He could hear Lionel's muffled voice from Petra's room as he tried to comfort her despite her being unconscious. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples lightly. Alexander would be there soon. He'd figure something out.