MY COMPUTER IS FIXED!!!!!
AND YEAR ELEVEN IS ALMOST FINISHED!!!!
I'm baack people and here's a kick to the story. This chapter is mainly flashbacks so all of you can understand how Leo fits into this whole story… thank you to my gorgeous reviewers and fans who hung in there and thanks to the new ones (.writing) :)
"Ezra!" Iggy knocked on the door to his sisters room. It was the next night and Iggy hadn't seen her all day. "Come on. Cut me some slack. I didn't even mean it." There was silence on the other side of the door. "Aren't you even going to let Lys in? She's going to have to get in there and you're going to have to open the door." More silence. "Esmeralda, I swear, I didn't mean it. You know I'm sorry."
"Go away Ignatius." Ezra yelled. "Seriously, just go."
"Ez, I didn't mean to say it like that… You know I wouldn't ever say something like that to you."
"But you said it." her disembodied voice echoed. "And I'm really not in the mood to forgive you."
Iggy growled. "Fine! Stay mad! I apologised hundred times and nothings good enough for you. I didn't even mean it. See if I care if you never talk to me again." He waited a minute for a response then growled, kicked the door and walked off, uttering under his breath words that sounded like 'stupid', 'sister' and 'didn't mean it'.
Poking his head out, Jayden snuck down from his room and closed the drop down door behind him. He walked over to Ezra's room and tapped the door lightly. "Go away Ig!" Ezra shouted.
"Ig's not here. It's just me." Jayden whispered. Within a few seconds the door swung open Ezra tackled him into a hug. Jayden walked inside with her and shut the door behind them. "Forgive him." Jayden said simply.
"What?" Ezra staggered back a little shocked.
"Did I stutter?" Jayden raised his eyebrows. Ezra narrowed her eyes and let go of Jayden, feeling somewhat colder and even lonelier.
"Screw you Jayden." Ezra got onto her bed and curled up into a ball. "I thought you were here to make me feel better, but I see I've been tricked."
Jayden went and sat behind her, wrapping his arms around her. "Esmeralda…"
"No." she tried to get rid of him but she couldn't. "Jay, don't. If you're just here to get me talking to Iggy again, I don't want to hear it. He said, he'd rather me dating a Rephaim or my cousin. My cousin being both, and… and…" Ezra shook involuntarily and Jayden pulled her in closer. Ezra couldn't help but breakdown into tears.
"I told you, I wouldn't let Leo hurt you ever again. Not after last time."
"Even you failed last time." Ezra cried.
Jayden sucked in a breath and held Ezra closer. She'd never said that to him before, even though he knew it was true.
"It was his fault." Leo growled to Ari. "It was Jayden's fault."
"Jayden's fault for what?" Ari asked tiredly.
"Jayden's fault I turned Rephaim." Leo muttered. "It was all his fault."
Ari raised his eyebrow. "Are you finally going to explain to me why you hate the Prince so much?"
Quirking the one eyebrow he still had movement in, Leo gave a small nod.
Sixteen year old Leo knocked on his little cousins door, looking for a pencil. He had to do homework but he'd chewed his last pencil back again. It was a bad habit but he liked the taste of led. His mum said he'd kill himself if he kept on with chewing his pens, but he never took her seriously.
"Just a minute!" Esmeralda called from inside. "I-I'm just pulling on my clothes."
Leo sighed and leaned against the doorway. Isabella and Esmeralda shared the room, Isabella thirteen and Esmeralda only eleven. Gabriel and himself shared a room down the hall, Iggy fourteen shared with Jayden, and Nate and Zale, both twelve, shared a room together. They had eight in their house, the perfect number.
He could hear someone shuffling around behind the door and frowned. He heard Esmeralda whisper something hurriedly and then slam the closet door closed. Before Leo could think about it more, the door swung open and Esmeralda was standing there with a wide grin on her face. She was small and was a scrawny little eleven year old with not much meat on her. "Hey, what do you need?"
Leo held up his chewed and broken pencil as if further explanation wasn't needed. Esmeralda rolled her eyes and went to her desk, plucking out a pink pencil. "Last one I've got. Aunty Sylvia says chewing pencils are really bad for you."
"I don't care." he shrugged. "Can't be worse than what Gabby's doing to himself."
"Well maybe you should talk to him about it." Esmeralda poked his chest. "Now go. I'm busy."
"Busy with what?"
"None of your beeswax." she slammed the door on his face and Leo rolled his eyes. But instead of walking away, he kneeled down next to keyhole and pushed his eye inside, a power he'd picked up where he could stretch his body out like rubber.
"All clear." Esmeralda said, opening the door to her closet. Out of it flopped Jayden. He was gangly and had hardly any muscle. His hair was a mop around his head and he wore shirts with quotes on them and extremely baggy jeans. This one had, I can only compensate so much for others stupidity.
He frowned as he saw Jayden slouch on the bed next to Esmeralda and bow his head. "He's gone." Esmeralda said, placing her tiny hand on Jayden's lap. "What's wrong?"
Jayden shrugged. "Everything."
Esmeralda moved so she was on her knees and facing him. "Seriously. What's wrong? You don't cry."
He let out a big sigh and shrugged again. "I always cry. This was just the first time you saw it."
"I don't know."
"Well that's stupid."
Jayden gave a small laugh and looked up at Esmeralda, smiling. "Not completely."
"Yeah it is." Esmeralda crossed her arms and stuck her nose up stubbornly. "It's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Crying for no reason."
"Not when you're me." Jayden fell back so he was lying down. "I don't want to be King."
"Then don't." Esmeralda said simply. She climbed over him and then lied down on his stomach so she could fit. She lied down flat and smiled. "Be an astronaut."
Jayden laughed. "Yeah, my parents are really going to let me."
"Why wouldn't they?"
"Because I'm a Prince." He spat the word. "I hate being a prince. I hate being me. I wish I was someone else."
Esmeralda darted up and then leaned over him, an angry look on her face. "Don't say that!"
"Because." she fell on top of him and hugged him tightly. "You're the best."
Jayden rolled under Esmeralda so he was out of her grasps. "No I'm not. I'm horrible. I'm a monster."
"You are not."
"Ezra. I want to eat you. All the time. I want to eat everyone. Like suck their blood through a straw." Jayden sat up and Esmeralda got back onto her knees. "That's what monsters do."
She frowned and reached over Jayden to her bedside table. She took a hair tie and did her hair up in a tall ponytail so her little neck was exposed. "Eat me then."
Jayden froze in pure shock and then shook it off with a shaky laugh. "You're crazy."
"Am not." Esmeralda wrapped her arms around his shoulder and her neck was right in front of his mouth. "You would just never do it. Not willingly anyway. You want to, but you won't."
"Because I can't."
"Because you won't." Esmeralda sat on his lap. "You're not evil Jay. You just misunderstand yourself."
"Well it's my parents fault." he muttered and fresh tears sprung to his eyes.
"So we hit the source of the problem." Esmeralda laid back down on the bed and pulled him down with her. "What happened with your parents?"
"In class today we learnt about… you know… sex."
"Is this why you're mad at your parents?" she asked. "Because Iggy told me about sex and I looked it up, because I didn't believe him when he said it was some sort of torture method that the gods invented to make our life like a living hell, but…"
"No…" Jayden shook his head. "We learnt about how to calculate how much Nephilim your kids will be."
"Yeah… well… not really. We just found out that you if two people come together and have more than one hundred percent Nephilim blood between them, they're children will become uncontrollable and dangerous to society. They've never ever seen anyone over ninety-five percent who isn't bad. And they haven't seen anyone over ninety-percent who isn't deadly and who hasn't gone crazy and killed themselves or others. Then the teacher gave me a look and I realised it's my parents fault. They knew they shouldn't have had me. They knew they should never have been married but because my dad wanted the 'strongest' son to be his. And I've got to pay the price."
Esmeralda frowned and little tears sprang into her own eyes. "Would you ever marry a girl with more of a percentage than five?"
"No." he deadpanned. "It would be dangerous and bad and I don't want to hurt any kid."
She sniffed and Jayden stopped and looked up at her realising what he said. "Not that I don't want to. Seriously, I'd love to be able to marry anyone. But I can't… Oh Ezra, don't cry." he pulled her to his chest and sighed. "I didn't mean it like I don't want to. I just can't."
"I know." she muttered wiping her eyes. "It doesn't matter."
"No it does…" he seemed to be begging her. "You know Esmeralda, I don't like being me, but knowing you kinda makes it better."
"Kinda?" she sniffled.
Jayden somehow ended up leaning over her, one hand behind her neck. "More than kinda…"
"Hey!" Leo slammed through the door and Jayden fell, literally, through the bed. Esmeralda scuttled up, her eyes opened wide. Leo leaned under the bed where Jayden had fallen, and dragged him out. "What were you doing?!"
"Nothing Leo… hey get off!" Jayden pulled himself out of Leo's hold and Esmeralda stepped in front of him.
"Leo, I was just crying. He was making me feel better." she defended. "Nothing happened."
"I heard the whole thing." Leo growled. "All of it. Don't lie to me."
"Fine." she said. "You heard the whole thing. Then you know we were just talking and he was just trying to make me feel better."
Leo narrowed his eyes. "Yeah. Fine. Whatever. But if I see you in this room again Prince Jayden I will kill you." and with that Leo stormed out of the room, growling under his breath.
Jayden held onto Ezra, remembering the first time Leo had caught them in the same room together. It was intrusive but Jayden was guiltily glad Leo had caught them because if he hadn't, their hearts would be a lot more broken then they already were.
"I was really… young last time." Jayden whispered into her ear. "I wasn't ready for him. This time Ezra… I will be."
Ezra shook her head, tears brimming in her eyes. "I love him, you know? I don't want to, but I do."
Jayden nodded, lying both of them down and pulling the covers over her.
Gabriel came inside the house, looking worse the wear and fixing his messed up shirt. Leo was seventeen now, Gabriel, Ignatius and Jayden were fifteen, Izzy was fourteen, Nate and Zale thirteen and Esmeralda only twelve years old. "What the hell are you doing home so late?" Leo growled. He had been in the living room, anxiously trying to make sense of his head. Things were overlapping and he was hearing voices again. His brother made a great distraction.
Gabriel froze in the doorway and wiped the lipstick off his cheeks. There were a few different colours and a few different lip sizes. Gabriel may have been only sixteen but he'd had more sex than most adults in their prime. "I was just…just…"
"I know what you were just doing." Leo rolled his eyes. "And not just with the girls."
"You're not going to tell mum and dad are you?"
"Why? So Dad can go more crazy knowing his youngest son is a bisexual nymphomaniac?" he laughed darkly and shook his head. "No, I'm going to leave that one alone."
"Shut up Leo." Gabriel narrowed his eyes. "Just because I have girlfriends while you still don't have one."
"You've got boyfriends too." Leo muttered.
"Still." Gabriel sat on the couch next to Leo. "More lovers than you."
"Shut the fuck up Gabriella. Seriously. I don't need your shit."
"Fine." Gabriel stood up. "I might act like a chick with my dating habits but you've got permanent PMS."
Leo watched Gabriel go upstairs and shook his head angrily. The conversation hadn't been a distraction. It had just made everything worse. His brother had no idea what he was talking about. Leo never told anyone that like his father, he had problems in his head sometimes. And right now he couldn't stop. He felt like the walls were closing in slowly around him but he didn't quite understand why. He got up and turned around, seeing a photo on the table of himself and the others. In the photo he was giving a side glance to Esmeralda who was being hugged by Jayden.
Paranoia swept over his and he felt his legs carrying him up the stairs and to Ezra's room. Since two years previous, sleeping arrangements had changed because they'd discovered the attic and moved two beds up there. Leo slept in the attic sharing a room with Gabriel, Ignatius shared a room with Izzy, the two going out, Nate and Jayden shared one room and Zale and Ezra got their own room each, both being the youngest and both being girls.
Leo didn't even bother knocking on Esmeralda's door. He flung right in and saw her lying on her double bed in only her bra and a pair of short shorts. She looked up, shocked, and yanked out her headphones. "Leo! Knock much?"
But Leo didn't reply. He was frozen, his head still not thinking straight. Ezra slowly realised that there was something wrong with him. "Leo?" she got out of her sitting position and sat on her knees. "Leo, are you okay?"
He groaned and Ezra got out of bed totally and went over to him. Her arms wrapped around his waist and he pressed his head against hers, taking in a deep scent. "Leo, what's wrong? Please tell me."
Leo shook his head and Ezra sighed. She walked over to the door and closed it gently. She turned around and rested against the door and Leo felt his stomach churn even more. "Oh god…" he muttered.
Ezra pushed herself off the door and walked over to him. "What's wrong Leo?" her voice was soft and gentle.
He couldn't handle anything anymore so instead, he took it. He took exactly what he wanted. He walked up to Ezra and lifted her up, crushing his lips against hers. Ezra looked shocked at first and squealed, shoving Leo back but it was like fighting a brick wall.
"Why did you never tell me that?" Jayden demanded.
Ezra pulled herself away from Jayden and moved down to the end of her bed. "I didn't tell anyone. I saw no reason to."
"You were twelve." Jayden said. "He was eighteen, he should've known better."
"He was seventeen, and I didn't want to tell anyone my first kiss was with my cousin." Ezra swallowed hard and concentrated on a spot on the floor. "But it did get worse from there. He did do more than kiss me… sometimes."
"Sometimes?" Jayden slid forward and rubbed her back gently. "What else did he do?"
"I felt bad…" she muttered. "I saw Uncle Damien slowly falling and I didn't want the same happening to Leo. Whenever he came to me, he'd always be so confused, but he left looking better. I thought, if I make him feel better, it was fine."
Jayden frowned. "How are you such a happy person when such bad things have happened to you?"
"Because…" she said. "I have my mum and dad, six amazing friends, I get whatever I want and I survive everything because my friends could heal me of it. I've gotten so much good that the bad weighs it out."
Jayden watched Ezra justify it and shook his head. "Ezra, life doesn't work like that."
"You want me to be depressed?"
He shook his head again and waited for her to go on. "I never… I didn't like it. But I let him. And then one day things were going too far and I… I freaked out."
"Is that when…"
Jayden was fifteen, a head shorter than his eighteen-year-old self but just as well built. He flicked back his shaggy hair, pulling it out of the topknot for the holidays. There wasn't much to be said. Himself, Nate, Zale, Izzy, Ezra and Iggy were staying at Iggy and Ezra's house for the end of summer holidays. They'd been switching houses between Iggy and Ezra's, Nate and Zale's and Izzy's during the holidays.
Jayden never let his friends stay over at his palace. Only because when he stayed at the palace, things had to always be official. He never felt comfortable there, always in suits or polo's. He liked his baggy shirts and jeans combination. It was comfortable and made him feel… Normal. And the reason no one could stay at Gabriel and Leo's house was because their dad was really sick.
He walked down to open hallway, away from the bedroom he shared with Nate. Ezra and Iggy's home had six bedrooms. One for Iggy, one for Ezra, one for Lord and Lady Darkmoon, one for Gabriel and Leo, one for Zale and Izzy and one for Nate and himself. Jayden was pretty glad it worked out that way and it was the same at everyone's house. There were always enough rooms for everyone to be comfortable. It was just the way they were since they were little.
With a rare smile lighting his features he walked to Ezra's room to ask her if she wanted to play the game of soccer they were putting together. He walked up to the dark wooden door and went to knock when he heard something on the other side.
"Leo… Leo, stop that!" he heard Ezra. Her voice was strained and he frowned, his stomach clenching. "Leo, seriously stop…" her voice became a little more serious. "Stop… Leo, that's too far. Stop!" her voice was demanding but apparently it was to no avail.
Things on the other side of the door were quiet. Dead quiet, and it unnerved Jayden. He leaned closer to the door, pressing his ear against the wood. "Leo…" Ezra groaned. "Please stop…"
"I've waited for…" but he didn't finish the sentence, the room turning quiet again. He heard some stifle cries and shook his head, realising what was happening on the other side. He opened the door and saw Leo lying on top of Ezra, kissing her full on the mouth. Ezra had her shirt ripped off, her skirt lifted up and her stockings half way down. However, she looked scared and angry, tears streaming down her face. Leo broke off the kiss as he heard the door open and Ezra took the chance to scream. "Jay!"
"What the hell?" Jayden stormed over to them and Leo growled, knocking him back with his power. Jayden toppled over then stood back up. "Get off of her!"
"Get out of here Prince." Leo shouted. "This has nothing to do with you."
"Leo, please let me go." Ezra whimpered.
"Shut up!" he yelled at her and Jayden took the lapse in concentration to jump forward and tackle him off the bed and onto the pink carpet floor. Leo was eighteen and huge. Esmeralda was only thirteen but small for her age. She had no chance against him, and that made Jayden angrier.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" growled Jayden as he punched Leo in the face.
Leo pushed Jayden off of him but then proceeded to kick out his leg and trip him. Jayden collided into the desk, cracking his head on the corner. He saw black spots in his vision as Leo decked him. "You'd like that wouldn't you? So you can have Esmeralda all to yourself?"
"Leo!" Ezra had stood on top of the bed and jumped onto her cousins back to pull him off of Jayden who was on his knees, dazed and confused. Things were spinning and he knew he became convinced little birds were flying around his head.
Leo threw Ezra off his back and back onto the bed. "No! It was fine… perfect before he walked in."
Ezra whimpered as Leo watched Jayden try to put the room back the right way. He punched the Prince of Nephilim and had no idea what to do. If he got caught he could be sent to prison or killed. But he knew he could runaway.
Leo leaned down next to Jayden and stared into his baffled eyes. "You're not going to tell anyone I decked you, okay? You're going to say Ezra and I have runaway together because we're in love and we're not coming back and she hurt you because you were trying to stop us."
"No!" Ezra stumbled off the bed and tried to shift Leo out of the way. Jayden reached out and tried to grab Ezra's hand but Leo knocked him back.
"Ezra, don't be scared." Jayden said, his head spinning wildly. "I'll come for you."
Jayden felt himself fall under the power of Leo's mind control and cursed the heavens for whoever gave him that power. "You're not going to get us."
Ezra sobbed and struggled to get up. Leo was holding her down with his powers.
"Yeah… I will." Jayden muttered, not able to fight the darkness anymore. "I'm not letting you take Ezra…"
"You've got no choice." Leo grinned. "Any last words?"
Jayden looked up at Ezra and reassured her. "I promise I'll find you."
Leo dragged his fist back and slammed it into Jayden's face, the lights turning out.
"So exactly what did you do next?" Ari asked.
Leo sighed. "My entire family lived in Raphael forest, somewhere on the edges of Turkey. It was snowing, I knew I couldn't get far before Jayden woke up and told everyone. I had to knock Ezra out too because she went hysterical when Jayden fell. So I took her to the cabin that laid between my house and her house."
Leo paced the cabin, his heart pounding as he waited for Esmeralda to wake up. He had no plan, no idea. This was all out on a whim. The cabin itself was one room with a small bed in the corner, an armchair, a kitchenette and a little dining table. There was a fireplace which he'd lit up and it kept the entire room toasty with a golden glow.
"Jayden?" he turned and saw Esmeralda turn over and look around confused. "Jayden?" she darted up and saw Leo standing there, looking somewhat lost. "Leo, what have you done? What did you do to Jayden?"
"Jayden's fine." Leo said. "I just knocked him out. We're at the cabin."
Ezra nodded, pulling her knees up to her chest. "Leo, I want to go home."
Leo went and sat next to her. "We can't Ez. Because… we just can't. No one would understand. Can't you see that?"
"Leo, I don't understand." she whispered to him. "I love you, but not the way you see to love me."
Leo was floored and had no idea what to say. "What-What do you mean? You and I… the passed year…"
"I just did it…" she said playing with her shoe. "Because I was… scared. I don't love you like that Leo."
"What do you know about love?" he scoffed, pushing himself off the bed. "You think you love Jayden!"
"That's because I do." she said. "I love Jayden. And Iggy, and Gabby, and Zale, and Nate and Izzy. I need to be with them. I need to be with my mum and dad." Ezra sniffed. "I want my mum…" she buried her head on her knees and started sobbing.
Leo shook his head. "No you don't. You're with me. You'll be fine. Just you and me. No one else. You'll love me just the way I love you."
"But Leo you can't force me…"
"I can prove it to you!" he said sitting next to her on the bed. "I'll prove it to you right now."
Ezra shook her head and backed away on the bed. "Leo, don't…" but she was muffled by Leo's lips and like a year before when he first kissed her, she couldn't move out from underneath him. He tore her shirt off and Ezra was waiting for Jayden to storm through the door again. He slipped his hand up her thigh and under her stockings and Ezra started screaming, hoping someone would hear her. She screamed out Jayden's name but it was right into Leo's mouth so no one could hear her. She remembered as her stocking were ripped away and her underwear taken off that he promised he'd find her. She only wished he'd get there sooner.
"I swear!" Jayden said, showing Penelope and David Darkmoon Ezra's room. "Leo took her! Hours ago. We've got to go find them!"
"Jayden, they've most likely gone for a walk…" David said. Iggy was standing at the door with Gabriel, Zale, Izzy and Nate.
"They aren't going for a walk Uncle Dave." Jayden begged them. "Leo was trying to… He was…" Jayden just couldn't bring himself to say it. "He was… hurting Ezra."
"Leo wouldn't hurt Ezra." Gabriel said. "He loves her."
Jayden looked down at the ground ashamed. "That's the way he was hurting her."
David's face fell and he looked at Jayden seriously. "What are you talking about?"
Jayden shook his head. He couldn't say it. Penelope saw that in his face and leaned down to his level. "Jayden, it's very important you tell us what happened."
"Leo can control minds." Jayden said. "And he said, him and Ezra have runaway together because they are in love and they're not coming back. Also, Ezra hurt me because I was trying to stop them. Which is why I couldn't come earlier. I was out."
"He was." Iggy said. "I came in and found him on the floor. Unconscious."
"But Leo…" Gabriel frowned. "Leo really loves Ezra and cares about her. He wouldn't hurt her. It makes no sense."
"Penelope, take the children outside then call Sylvia and call Elzar."
"He has tracker dogs." David looked back over his shoulder. "We're going to find them."
"But Leo's done nothing wrong… right?" Gabriel tried to look for some reassurance.
David looked at Gabriel sympathetically. "Gabby… Let's just find them first."
"Come on kids." Penelope said, ushering them all out of the room.
David watched the others leave the room so it was just him and Jayden. He got down onto one knee and looked Jayden right in the eye. "Jayden, I know this is going to seem hard but… you're going to have to tell me exactly what happened."
Jayden sniffed back tears, and shook his head.
"Are you not telling because you won't, or because you can't?"
He shivered all over and shook his head. "I don't know how." he admitted. "Leo's… Leo's my friends but Esmeralda's my best friend."
David took Jayden's shoulders. "Please tell me what happened, Prince Jayden."
Jayden's eyes widened and his knees fell out. David caught the young Prince and listened as he told exactly what happened, somehow breaking through the spell Leo had cast along with wracking sobs and tears.
Elzar had come with his hounds and a search team had been made up. Jayden, Iggy and Gabriel were just old enough in the Nephilim world, to join them, and the three fifteen year olds were ready to take on anything, their swords in their scabbards, their bags packed.
"You three boys are going to be together." Elzar explained to them. "Make sure you don't split up. Gabriel, you're in charge and, I know you're going to hate me Jayden but, Jayden is the Prince. The next in line to the throne. This is the hardest thing I'm ever going to have to tell any of you, but if something happens, get Jayden out of there first. Make sure he survives before… before you."
Jayden looked appalled. "No way. Forget that."
But Iggy and Gabriel nodded in determination. "Even if you weren't Prince." Iggy tried to assure him later. "You're still the youngest and we still would get you out first."
"Oh." Jayden muttered. "Make me feel bad for my blood line and my age, the two things I can't control. Thanks Ig."
"No problem." Ignatius patted his back and trudged on ahead.
"Hey." Gabriel pointed in front of him as the hound went nuts. "I think I know where they are."
Jayden instantly became alert and pulled his sword out. "Where?"
"The cabin." Gabriel started jogging, the large hound tugging on its lead. "No one thought they'd stay on the property but it's the only place they know. Of course they'd stay." the three boys all looked excited and chased after the dog and deep into the forest that surrounded Iggy's home.
"Ezra!" Iggy yelled out. "Ezra!"
"Shut up or he'll know we're coming." Jayden shoved him, even though they were still running fast. "At the bottom of the cliff." Gabriel yelled out from in front of them as he came skidding to a stop.. "We have to go down the trail."
"Serious?" Iggy looked flabbergasted, stumbling along just behind his cousin. Jayden was the last to reach the snow covered cliff and looked just as shocked at the others. "That could take hours."
"Wish Nate was here." Gabriel muttered.
"Right here." The three boys stopped and turned to see Nate standing there with Zale and Izzy. "Invisibility, gotta love it."
"Nate!" Izzy smacked him. "You said you wouldn't do that until after we found the cabin."
"Are you guys serious?" Jayden scoffed. "You tagged along?"
"Cool." Gabriel smiled. "Who's idea?"
"Mine." Zale blushed. "I thought you might need help."
"Very cool." Gabriel nodded and Zale's blush turned deeper red.
Iggy and Jayden both slapped Gabriel in the stomach. "Are you guys serious? You're under age." Jayden said.
"I'm only six months from being fifteen." Izzy defended.
"Well there's not much we can do." Iggy sighed. "Okay, come on Nate. Teach us how to fly."
In a few seconds they were all jumping off the cliff with ease, Nate controlling the winds to give them a safe landing. The hound was reluctant but Gabriel carried him down. They ran through some more wood until a small cabin was seen up ahead. The hound was going crazy, barking like a mad dog, so Gabriel calmed him down by giving him a command to sit. He withdrew a small treat from his bag and tossed it at the dog before tying him up to a tree.
They then snuck up around the cabin to a window. "Hey, I think I should look first." Izzy said.
"What? Why?" Iggy frowned.
"Because if something bad is happening in there, you guys will just bombarded inside without thinking. I, on the other hand will probably just cry." Izzy raised her eyebrow to see if there were any arguments. There weren't. So she slowly looked up into the cabin and gave a small gasp and quickly fell back down. "Oh my…"
"What?" Iggy asked. "What'd you see?"
"I saw it was better for me to look than you guys." Izzy looked at Zale. "I think she's going to need us and not them." Zale looked very saddened by that as if she instantly knew what Izzy saw.
"Why?" Gabriel whispered. "Was Leo in there?"
"Yes." Izzy answered. "But I don't think you're going to like it…"
"Tell us what you saw!" Jayden was going to go crazy.
Izzy sighed. "Ezra's on the bed crying and Leo's asleep next to her. That sums it up."
Nate looked confused, scratching his thirteen year old head. "If she ran away with him, why would she be crying?"
"Regret." Iggy said, understanding in detail what his girlfriend was saying, but he couldn't bring himself to tell his friend. "You four stay out here. If Leo's sleeping, we can sneak in and grab her."
Gabriel shook his head. "I-I can't go in there."
Zale slipped her hand into his and smiled. "It's okay. You don't have to Gabby. Does he?" she looked to Ignatius with her big blue eyes.
With a small shake of his head Iggy declined. "It'll just be Jayden and me then. It's okay Gabs. I get it."
"May I ask?" Ari said, twiddling his thumbs together. "Does your death have anything to do with this or is it all about your stupidity?"
"It has everything to do with this." Leo unknowingly touched his charred face, but he couldn't feel his hands so it made no difference.
Ari rolled his eyes, one of them only rolling half way before falling into place. "Well while we're young."
Ezra kept her arms wrapped around her small naked body, too scared to move. She had covers wrapped around her to keep her warm, but also to hide herself. She never wanted it to happen, especially not like that. She didn't want any of that to happen. Her eyes shut tight, she cried so hard she didn't hear the door open.
"Ezra…" a small whisper came from behind her. She jumped up in fright and was about to scream when a familiar hand muffled her mouth. "I told you I'd find you Ez."
Ezra's eyes opened wide and she lifted her head up to see Jayden smiling at her. She tried to smile back but all that came out were more tears. She turned her head and saw Ignatius standing there with a sword under Leo's throat, her cousin still asleep. "It's just a precaution." Jayden explained. "Nothing major. Just in case he does wake up."
Ezra nodded, Jayden's hand still covering her mouth. She reached up and removed his hand and found herself whispering. "I didn't want to. I really didn't. And I didn't want to like it but I did. I didn't…" she gasped as Leo shifted slightly. Jayden and Iggy didn't think, but lifted Ezra out of the bed, leaving her naked but standing on the ground. Leo didn't notice anything different and kept on sleeping. The three were staring at him for a few minutes, but then Jayden realised Ezra was naked and there was blood but he had no idea where from. "Oh crap…" he muttered. "We'll get Zale to heal this, okay?"
Ezra nodded stiffly as Iggy took his jacket off and put it around his sister. He then pulled her into a hug. "Let's go…" he muttered. Ezra gladly obliged and the turned around to start leaving. None of them noticed her foot was caught in the blanket though and when they did it was too late. She had totally ripped the covers off the bed and in doing so, Leo fell. Jayden looked to Iggy. "Run!" he ordered and he didn't need telling twice.
As Leo stood up, dazed, it became apparent he was at least wearing shorts, putting Jayden's mind at some ease. "Prince Jayden…" Leo growled. "How'd you find us?"
"You're not that powerful it seems." Jayden had his sword drawn and pointed it at Leo. "Plus we had Lord Vladimir's hounds helping us."
"They sent fifteen year olds to find us? Jeez, they really must not care."
"No, they just didn't think you were stupid enough to stay in Darkmoon Forest. They thought you'd get off the property. They actually gave you credit." Jayden trembled as he said his next words. "Now sit down on the bed or I'll kill you."
"You wouldn't dare." Leo chuckled.
"Don't test me Leo."
Leo rolled his eyes and faked to move forward. Jayden flinched and swiped his sword out, however he aimed to miss. "Sit still!"
Without a second care, Leo dove for the fire place and picked up one of the iron stokes, lifted it up and smacked Jayden in the leg with it. Jayden's eyes bulged as he felt the bone break, and he fell to the ground. "Just to make sure you don't get away that easily." Leo used the stoke to stab Jayden in his other leg. Jayden screamed as it went straight through and into the ground. Leo brought his foot down on Jayden's stomach, winding him. They were close to the fire place, too close for Jayden's comfort.
"You made a mistake coming here Prince." Leo grabbed the stoke and Jayden felt his stomach clench, preparing himself. But instead of being merciful and just pulling it out, Leo twisted the stoke and rammed it in further. He picked up the second stoke and smiled. He put it within the flames and twisted it gleefully, watching it heat up. "You should've just left us alone, Ezra and I. We were going to be happy."
"She'd never be happy with you." Jayden said, both hands on his bleeding leg. "And you know it."
Leo chuckled and went to lift the poker from the flames when a flying table knocked him back. At the same time the poker swung out of the fire, causing a burning log to fly across the room and land on the bed which caught fire immediately. The bed was right under the window and the curtains, which also lit up.
Jayden turned his head and saw Nate standing at the door with Gabriel, Ignatius and Zale. The fire was full blazing and in a cabin entirely made from wood, it wasn't that good. Leo was trapped under the table on the ground just behind Jayden and Jayden couldn't get up because of his broken leg.
"Leo!" Gabriel shouted out but then he saw Jayden and his face scrunched up.
"Gabby!" Leo yelled out. "Bro, use your powers. Help me."
Gabriel swallowed and looked behind him where Ezra was weeping in Izzy's arms. "Leo, why'd you do that bro? Why'd you hurt Ez?"
"I didn't hurt her." Leo yelled. "He did. Jayden did."
Gabriel looked at Jayden who was still clutching his leg and wouldn't say a word. "Gabs," Ignatius said, the fire grew more and grew wilder, some of the roof fell. Ignatius yelled, as it seemed the roof fell onto Jayden. "Gabby, you've got to go in there." Ignatius shoved him. "You're the only one."
Gabriel nodded and ran straight into the fire. He had three powers that could help him. Oxygen was useless to Gabriel. He could hold his breath for up to three weeks and he'd be fine. He was also super strong able to pick up a truck with ease. His last power was that fire and heat didn't seem to affect him. He could get cold, which the doctors told him was extremely bad for him, because once he got cold, it would be extremely difficult for him to get warm again. For some reason he couldn't burn or ever feel and absorb heat. He didn't understand his powers, but they came in use in the desert and underwater. And in the rare case of a collapsing flaming building.
Gabriel walked through the flames, his clothes catching on fire but himself remaining perfectly fine, and grabbed the collapsed piece of roof and threw it out of the way. He saw Jayden and his brother, both lying side by side. Jayden was totally unconscious but Leo was alert. "Gabs! Help me." Leo begged. "Please!" He saw the absolute fear in his brothers and shook his head.
"Why?" Gabriel begged. "Why'd you hurt Ezra? Why her? She's like our sister for god's sake."
Leo shook his head. "I love more than a sister. More than a cousin. I love her Gabs."
"This isn't how you show love!"
More of the roof fell and it fell between Jayden and Leo. Gabriel had to duck and covered his body of Jayden's out of instinct. He felt a piece of wood hit his back and when he looked up, it was on fire, his clothes burning but his body was fine. While he was down, Gabriel reached out and felt Jayden's pulse. It was fast. He looked down and saw the stoke sticking out from his friends blood soaked jeans. He closed his eyes, firmly holding the burning hot iron rod. With a hard tug, he ripped the stoke from Jayden's leg and threw it into the flames.
"Leo." Gabriel yelled out. "I'll be back for you."
"What?" Leo shouted. "You're leaving me?" Gabriel couldn't see his brother through the smoke and the flames. He buried his head down and coughed as he felt the ashes creep into his system.
"I can't get to you without killing Jayden. Just hang on."
He took his shirt off and saw a bucket of water which usually sat by the fireplace. He dunked his shirt into it and wrapped it around Jayden's face, something he'd been taught by his Uncle when they were younger. Gabriel then lifted Jayden up, careful not to injure either of his legs further.
"Don't leave me Gabby! Don't choose him over me! I'm your brother. Don't betray me!" Gabriel ignored the shouts and saw the cabin crumble some more. He exited the cabin where Ezra shook from the cold and from fear in Isabella's arms.
Gabriel lightly placed Jayden on the ground and Zale went to healing whatever she could. Gabby looked at Iggy and swallowed. "I've got to go back for Leo." he whispered.
Iggy nodded understandingly and went and sat on Ezra's other side. Gabriel ran back towards the house when the piercing scream of his own name made him turn around. He looked at Esmeralda who's eyes were plain white. "The house!" she screamed. Gabriel turned around to face the cabin and saw it totally collapse.
"Leo!" Gabriel shouted but Iggy and Izzy ran up after Gabriel and stopped him from risking himself further. "Leo's in there!" Gabriel tried to run further forward but Izzy had her powers under control and was holding him back.
"He's gone Gabby. He's gone…"
Jayden's eyes fluttered open as his lungs were healed. He looked up to Zale who was leaning above him. "Thanks." he coughed out. Ezra jumped onto him and hugged Jayden tightly, crying into his burnt shirt. Jayden simply lifted a hand and stroked her hair, trying to forget how bad his legs were. Zale and Nate slipped their hands together and held tightly, while Izzy and Iggy tried to lift Gabriel out of the snow so he wouldn't freeze.
To them, Leo had died.
"How come they never realised you rose?" Ari asked. "They didn't find your body, did they?"
"They thought I was crisped over to ashes." Leo explained. "I died before the entire cabin collapsed. I was hit with a stick in my stomach when the roof fell between myself and his royal highness. Then my face caught on fire and well, I died. I came back a few moments later and found my heart no longer beating unless I forced it too, which I had to because as you know, we can't function properly without blood pumping."
Ari rolled his eyes and stared at his blackened nails. "So you hate the Prince of Nephilim."
"Isn't it obvious?"
Ari smiled and looked up at Leo. "What if I said, I will give you your cousin as your bride, so long as you make sure the Prince of Nephilim becomes an Emim."
"My boy, Emim's are full Angels and all powerful. They cope with the change into Rephaim much more easily than Nephilim. If you successfully transform Jayden into an Emim, I can arrange for your cousin to become Rephaim, and then you may make what you wish of her."
Leo, still wrapped in the same eighteen-year-old body from the day he first had his way with Esmeralda, smiled at the thought. "Ezra would be mine forever?"
"If you do as I ask, I can put the wheels in motion." Ari smiled. "I promise."
Ezra frowned. "He's back Jay. I've been trying not to think about it but… he's really back."
Jayden played with her hair and leaned forward to kiss the back of her head. "He's not hurting you ever again Ezra. He's not going to be able to. I'll stop him."
"He doesn't have to physically inflict pain to hurt me Jay." Ezra turned her head around to face him. "He just has to try and hurt you guys and I'll get hurt too."
Jayden breathed out into her hair and kissed her forehead, pressing his lips against her skin for a second too long. Her whole body shivered but they both pretended like they didn't feel it.
"Can you apologise to Ignatius now?" Jayden asked softly playing with her hair ever so carefully. "He really is sorry and he really didn't mean it. You know he cares about you but he just sometimes has a case of foot in mouth syndrome."
"Yeah." Ezra looked down at the little space between them. "I know."
Jayden smirked. "Chocolate milkshake?"
"Is there any other way to make it?"
Ezra chuckled and shook her head. "No." She pursed her lips then looked up at Jayden. "You never failed me Jay. It wasn't your fault what happened, happened. It was all Leo's. No one else."
They stared at each other for a few seconds and an odd feeling stirred in both their stomachs. Ezra breathed out and glanced down at the few centimetres between their lips. Jayden did the same before meeting her eyes. One of their hands was already intertwined. The other crept up her shoulder slowly and Ezra leaned forward. At the last minute, before their lips touched, Jayden looked away and shook his head. "Milkshakes…" he swallowed, letting go of her completely. "Let's go make milkshakes."
Ezra nodded and leaned backwards awkwardly, the rest of their evening spent in absolute silence.