Riley stared at the black liquid in his mug. He had the glass cup clutched in both hands desperate for the warmth. Around his shoulders was an old blanket Caleb dug out of the back closet. He was sitting in one of the chairs, across from him Jason was asleep on the couch.
He had actually waited until they got his brother asleep before going into shock. He frowned at the memory. His legs just gave out suddenly and the only thing keeping him from falling on his face was Vincent's strong arms.
He hasn't spoken since.
"Riley," Dylan asked appearing in front of him blocking his view of his brother, "Are you okay? You need to tell us what happened."
Riley didn't speak.
"Riley?" Mikey's worried voice asked, "Please say something. We're all really worried about you."
Riley remained silent but his grip on the mug tightened slightly. In his mind he kept replaying the siren's death. Someone had saved him but he wasn't sure who or why. It was obvious they knew about the prophecy. Plus, they weren't human. They had healed him.
"The first day we met them and we broke one and the other's hurt," he faintly heard Dylan hiss.
"Maybe he'll talk when his brother wakes up," Caleb offered half-heartedly but even Riley could sense that he didn't feel it.
"What was it?" he finally asked turning his gaze to the small circle of boys staring at him.
"We already told you," Mikey spoke first with a smile on his face, "A siren."
Riley shook his head before elaborating, "Not that. The thing that saved me, that healed me."
"Healed you?" Dylan asked suddenly concerned again, "Did the siren attack you?"
"After I hit her with the pillow and broke Jason from the spell she freaked," Riley explained, "She grew claws and fangs and completely shredded my arms. She had me pinned to the ground and everything. She was going to kill me."
"And he saved you?" Caleb finished with a neutral expression on his face. Riley nodded.
Nobody spoke for a long time as they thought about this. Riley returned his attention to the warmth in the cup and his brother.
Rise and fall
In and out
Jason was breathing and that's all that mattered. His brother was alive and still with him. That's all that mattered.
Eventually, he fell asleep because he was woken up briefly when a pair of strong arms lifted him from his spot on the chair. He struggled weakly before giving in and only cuddling further in the person's chest. When he was aware again he was in his bed. He sat up groaning before he realized he was late for class. Several feet away Jason was snoring lightly.
Smiling to himself, Riley crawled out of bed and tossed his pillow at his brother. Jason shot up straight before shooting his brother the evil glare. Riley just grinned at him innocently. When Jason looked away though, he couldn't help but swallow the lump gathered in his throat as he remembered the way he almost lost his brother.
"Are we still up with the club today or are you… hey, what's wrong?" Jason asked concerned in his voice snapping Riley back to reality.
Placing the smile back on his face he reassured, "It's nothing really, just me thinking. How about you? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, little brother," Jason teased, "You worry too much?"
Riley's smile brightened as he agreed, "Well yeah… you're the last family I've got. I'd hate to lose you."
"You won't lose me," Jason promised, "Now hurry up, we're late for class."
Riley nodded before quickly getting dressed and followed his brother to their class. The teacher gave them a hard glare but continued teaching. Mikey smiled at them. Riley offered him a grin before sitting down in front of him. Even Jason offered a wave as he sat down in the seat beside Riley.
Soon school was over and the club was gathered in their meeting room. Riley was beside Jason on the couch, Mikey and Vincent were sitting at a table, Caleb was standing in the corner writing something in his book, and Dylan was pacing back and forth.
"Will you stop pacing?" Jason finally snapped before rubbing his hands through his hair.
"Sorry," he apologized before sitting down. He was still for a couple seconds before he started jiggling his legs up and down. Jason chose to ignore it.
"I'm glad you two are feeling okay," Mikey finally said breaking the awkward silence.
"Never better," Jason growled leaning back causing Riley to look at him curiously and warningly.
"Be nice," he muttered before lying on his shoulder tiredly.
Jason huffed in his brother's hair but didn't say anything after that. Riley hid a sly smile as he glanced over at his friends.
"What do you guys think?" he asked curiously, "About the curse?"
Surprisingly, it was Caleb who answered. "It's definitely real," he explained setting his book down, "You've seen evidence of that. The only problem is that we can never tell what's going to happen. Most of the time he can track down creatures to fairy tales- legends and myths- but we've seen evidence of other creatures that hasn't been documented in stories."
"Like what?" he asked blinking curiously.
"Vampires, werewolves," Dylan jumped in rising to his feet, "You know, things we know about but there's no fairy tales about them."
"Great," Jason groaned leaning further back careful not to jerk Riley's head too much, "Now we've got to worry about those things too."
"And they haven't closed this school down because…" Riley asked gazing seriously at his friends.
Mikey shrugged gazing at him with an air of amusement, "Because nobody else knows about it. Headmaster keeps it a secret and nobody's ever told because it's not a problem as long as we stay inside our rooms after curfew."
Riley nodded in understandment. It made perfect sense. Either people don't care too much about the curse or those who do care don't last very long.
"Where do we come in?" he heard his brother ask and he looked up again because he's been wondering the same thing. Yeah, he knows twins are supposed to break the curse but why them?
"I have a theory;" Caleb spoke up staring everyone in the eyes seriously, "You two were chosen a long time ago to save everyone- maybe as long as when the curse was made. You two contain something nobody else here has so only you two can break it."
"Makes sense but what exactly is that?" Jason challenged.
Caleb smiled as if sharing a personal joke as he scoffed, "Are you kidding me? Each other."
And there you go. The secret for breaking the big bad curse is out. How will the twins handle it? Stay tune to find out.