Chapter Seventeen

Tessa and I waited outside on the cold pavement. Winery had evacuated us out right away and grumbled us about we had made such a huge mess. Again, I didn't want to point out that it had already been extremely messy from the moment we walked in, but I thought it as she lectured us. She'd told us that since we got what we wanted, to never come back. Then she shoved us out from the building and slammed the door in our faces.

"She was such a nice lady." Tessa said fondly after the door slammed. I gave her a look and sighed. Of course, Tessa thought everyone was delightful. I rubbed my temples as the curb began to make my butt cold.

"How long are they going to take?" I groaned to Tessa. She picked lightly at her dress, fluffing it up to look more fuller.

"They'll be along soon. We've only been out here for 10 minutes, Melanie." She told me consolingly. I sighed in irritation and put my head into my curled up knees. Tessa also had the book and wouldn't let me read it. When I asked her if I could take a look earlier, she'd gripped it tighter and held it closer to her chest.

"Not yet. I have a feeling you are meant to read this later." She told me seriously. It had caught me so off guard that I hadn't pushed the issue. But now I regretted it. I seriously wanted to look inside of that book. I wanted to read it more then I wanted a large bottle of water (which I was also seriously wanting). It was alluring. The temptation to learn everything, to know.

Why was I chosen? What did my future hold? What did the prophecy really foretell? Everything, was in that one little book. It was no accident that I had a vision about it, there was no coincidence that Sean's grandfather had also felt that the book was a key to his destiny. Everything was connected, and I wanted to see how the connection worked. I thought back to the Shadow Demon, how they'd almost gotten me but how that lady of light had saved me. How the bow and arrow had magically appeared before me and allowed me to save my parents and Reine. I wanted to know why? I closed my eyes and imagined what sort of secret would be revealed. But I simply couldn't. I peeked over at Tessa again, her calm face a mask.

She hadn't shown any excitement since she pulled the book out from the space under the floor boards. Afterwards she went back into her calm and serene mask, not showing any sort of emotion anymore. I wondered what she thought, if she too was as curious as I was about the book. Maybe it was just me? I mean, I clearly was obsessing over a simple book. I'd always been a freak, could be just me. But I didn't question her. If she didn't want to tell me anything, she didn't have to. I wouldn't force her to. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down. I would read the book eventually. I couldn't only think of myself right now, I had to think of everyone around me as well. The book held more secrets about the others then me. I wasn't really so special anyways.

Just some random girl who was thrust into all of this mess. Wether that was determined a long time ago is regardless. It was still new to me and therefore I was thrown into this unexpectedly. I felt the beating of my heart, pounding rhythmically to its precise beat. I could hear my breathing, the light breaths coming lightly out of my mouth and back in. My diaphragm going up and down along with it. It only took a few moments before I calmed down enough to be able to stop myself from thinking about all of the endless possibilities that the book could tell us about. When I opened my eyes, instantly my phone began to vibrate and then stop.

I pulled it out and saw that I had a text message. I unlocked my phone and pressed on the little message icon.

Hey there! U bin away from school for awhile, u doin ok? I mean, I know that thing w/ ur parents was pre bad...but u can't mope home forever! Come back and I'll brighten ur day! ;P Seriously though, come tmmrw or I'll hunt u down. Luv ya!

I smiled and sighed as I began to text Jess back. I was actually surprised she hadn't hounded me sooner. If only she knew the real reason I was skipping school lately.

Ya, ya. I'll be there tmmrw.

I put my phone back in my pocket, not really caring about the response afterwards. Honestly, I hadn't given much thought about Jess for awhile now. I'd only been focussing on the hero stuff. School completely slipped my mind. Although, now that I thought about it I really should go. My parents would be mad otherwise. I thought of my moms hardened face at that thought and tried to clog the sob that wanted to break out along with a flood of tears. Tessa touched my shoulder lightly and I looked up surprised. She gave me a gentle smile.

"It's okay to think of them sometimes and cry. They are your parents after all and it's expected that you should. Don't try and hold everything in." She said.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded.

"Thank you, Tessa." She smiled and went back to mindlessly looking at the sky. I wondered about Tessa sometimes. There was times like that, were she would look so serious and kind, and then times like now where she appeared to have no connection with the world around her at all. I smiled in spite of my crappy mood. She was a complicated person, Tessa was. Suddenly, a car pulled up in front of us and I blinked in surprise. The doors opened and I was suddenly enveloped in a huge embrace. My eyes widened in surprise and I looked around. When I saw that Sean was still sitting in the car, looking red faced and flabbergasted I looked down and saw that it was Cam who was hugging me. I blushed a brilliant red and pushed him away, my heart beating furiously inside of my chest.

He gave me a devious smile and stuck out his tongue at me.

"Did that set your heart into a flutter?" He asked cockily. I simply stared at him, not sure how to react. In truth, it had made my heart beat uncontrollably, but I wasn't sure if that was because of Cam himself or if that was because he'd scared the living daylight out of me. I gritted my teeth and played it off as if I'd felt nothing.

"You only wish, weirdo." I said and passed him, touching his shoulder briefly. It was the only thing I could do. I was in love with someone else. I did like Cam, but it didn't amount to how much I loved Sean. I looked into Sean's eyes and saw the world in them. My world. The world that I felt I would forever reside inside of. I smiled warmly at him.

"Hi there." I said. He gave me a slight grin.

" You aren't one for conversation are you?" I laughed and climbed into the car beside him, snuggling into his chest. He put his arms around me, making me feel safe and comfortable.

"Where's the book?" Mark snapped from the front. I saw Tessa climb onto the other side of him, the book sitting in her lap.

"Right here. You can read it once we are back at my house." She said serenely. Mark glanced at the book with longing. I knew too well how he felt. Cam got in beside me and Mark pulled his eyes (unwillingly) away from the book and put the car into drive.

Once Mark put the car into the side walk (where Tessa's drivers took it and put it into some fancy parking garage) Mark raced over to Tessa and held out his hands for the book.

"Tessa?" He asked like an excited school boy. She gave him a wistful smile, but held onto it firmly. Freya came hopping out from some bushes and Tessa picked her up and cradled her in one arm. Freya looked at her unblinkingly and Tessa looked back. Mark understood what was happening, but he was standing there looking as if he had to pee very badly. Finally, they broke eye contact and she sighed.

"It would seem, I am to enlighten you all on the rules on how this book must be read." She said. I glanced at Freya curiously. But she didn't give me any notice, she just looked around, her little nose twitching.

"Rules?" Cam asked. "Since when are there rules to reading a book?" She looked over in his direction, but she didn't really look at him. It was like her gaze was a millimetre short of looking at him.

"This book is not an ordinary book, if you will remember from Melanie's vision. This book isn't to be so lightly read. We must only read the passages that are for eyes only." When I heard Tessa speak, I realized something. As she was talking, she voice had taken on a more calm and stronger tone. As if it wasn't her voice talking to us, but someone else. It made me wonder for a brief moment if perhaps Tessa was a prophet.

"Alright...well, Tessa. How do we read it?" Sean asked unsure. She looked directly at me, her eyes unwavering.

"Mark can only read from pages 1-20. Melanie is only to read pages 55-70. That is all for now." Everyone went silent for a moment. So only certain pages were given to us. But why? It seemed odd to me that we had been assigned pages, as if this was some homework assignment.

"Only the first 20 pages!" Mark exclaimed unhappily. "Why only that little! And why does Melanie get to read her own section?!" To me, he sounded like a whining little boy. Little book worm Mark wasn't happy with 20 pages. In that moment, I felt he was being very selfish. I mean at least he had 20 pages, I had only 15.

"Mark, "I suddenly said. "Don't question it. Freya has a gift and Tessa was the one she chose to give this information. Wether we like it or not we have to deal with it. For all we know, knowing what else is in the book could be bad for all of us."

He slunk his head downwards, not wanting to meet anyone's eyes. I understood how he felt, I wanted to read the whole thing myself. But I understood that we were dealing with forces that we shouldn't push with. Take what we get, accept it, be happy and move along. It's all we could do for now.

"...Fine. Can you hand it over to me now? I'll only read the first 20. I'll tell everyone what it contains in a moment." He said. Tessa gave him a stare, a stare I don't think I've ever seen Tessa give someone.

"Mark. I beg you. Do not even think of going passed page 20. It could be bad if you do." Mark looked up into her face and flinched. I suppose he'd been secretly thinking of reading passed.

"I'll go with him and make sure it's only 20." Cam suddenly said from behind me. Mark didn't look up, but he nodded. I watched Cam go beside Mark and take the book out of Tessa's hands.

This time, she gave it up willingly. She sighed with relief and smiled.

"Once you're finished, meet the rest of us in the study and then we'll all we will know what those pages contained." My gaze zeroed in on her. The way she was talking was as if she already knew herself what they contained. The other's didn't think anything of it and began to walk into the house first. Sean held my hand firmly and I pulled him along, following Tessa's figure.

"Do you know what they say?" I asked bluntly. She gave me a look and shook her head.

"No. Freya didn't show me that. She only showed me numbers and then possibly scenarios of things that could happen if those directions were not followed." Her eyes became serious as she looked at me. Almost as if she was accusing me of something.

"What?" I asked beginning to get pissed at this new attitude of hers. Sean was quiet behind me, clearly seeing that I was getting mad and didn't want to push me further. She stopped outside of the door to her house and turned around to face me. I dropped Sean's hand and glared at her, wanting to know her deal and to go back to ditzy Tessa.

"I'm only going to say this once," She began. "When it is your turn to read that book, you must not look further either. And you must not react with your emotions. You have to take it in as a serious and understanding responsibility. Don't ask me if I know if I know anything, because I don't. It's just...the warning I got. The message I had to tell you, like I told Mark." I held myself back from wanting to hit her. She sounded way too damn high and mighty to give me warnings.

The reason I didn't hit her though was because I at least appreciated what she was saying. Although she said it in a bitchy manner, she was trying to help me. I knew my emotions were a weakness. And this message only proved further that I wasn't going to like what I read. Having a warning on that, made me feel more secure and ready about reading it after Mark. I bit the inside of my cheek and nodded.

"I'll take that in mind. Thanks." She nodded back and opened the door, not looking back at me or Sean.

We waited in the study with Tessa. Tessa, it seemed, had gone back to being normal. Somehow, the link with Freya must have triggered something in her to behave that way. Or maybe, it was the only way to get through to me and Mark the importance of the book. I sighed and leaned into Sean, who I was sitting on. He smiled and brushed his face into my hair.

"Don't worry so much about it." He said. I didn't say anything. I was too absorbed in my own thoughts to answer back. Besides, he couldn't say anything that wouldn't make me still worry. I was reassured and forewarned, but I was still worried. Clearly what I would read in that book had more of an effect then if Mark went over his pages. Tessa's face and warning had told me that much.

There was no way that I couldn't worry. The room to the study opened and in came Mark and Cam, looking very star struck. I jumped out of Sean's lap and raced down the stairs to meet them.

"What? What is it?" I asked in a rush. Sean followed behind me and Tessa glided down the stairs, taking her time. Mark swallowed and breathed out heavily.

"For one thing, there's some war with the dark and light side of the Spirit Realm. It's been going on for centuries." I nodded, not seeing how this was relevant to us.

"Gotcha. And?"

"For some reason, this book tells past, present and future," Cam said slowly. "The passage we read was a mix between past and future. Mostly past but still. Anyways, in the future part, it said that the dark side would someday rise against the light side and have a serious chance of destroying the light side." Sean, Tessa and I's eyes all widened.

I couldn't believe it. But at the same time...It made sense. The Shadow Demons weren't usually (according to Tessa) walk around this realm normally. I'd faced them twice, that seemed like a rise to the light to me. But then, what did that mean for us?

"...So are you saying that we've got to go against the darkness somehow?" Sean asked awed. Mark and Cam glanced at each other.

"I guess. All it said about us was the prophecy which we all heard. Then another weird passage about us having powers inside of us that'll be unlocked from our star." My body went into shock and I began to see stars hovering over my head.

The star, the shooting star. The dreams. Me touching the star and gaining weird power. It was all truly connected.

"In my dreams...," I began slowly, all eyes turning to me. "I would see a shooting star. In one of them, I touched it and got powers that enhanced everything. My sight, strength, skill you name it. That must have been some sign. But then it begs the question. Where is the star?" I asked a bit breathlessly after I was finished. We all looked at each other, neither of us having the answer. Mark sighed.

"I wonder if because there is one of us missing, that the star has appeared or something like that." I felt a pang in my stomach. Instantly, I had some feeling that it had something to do with that. The remaining hero.

"Yes..I think your right Mark. But how can we find her? She could be anywhere?" Tessa asked worriedly. Flashes of those clues came to mind. That girl. It killed me because she still seemed so familiar. Who was she? I shook my head and sighed. Sitting here and thinking about it too much wouldn't help. It would come to me, when it came. Everyone was stuck in this awkward silence until Mark handed me the book.

"Here, I suppose it's your turn. Am I right in assuming this is only for Melanie's eyes?" he asked Tessa. Tessa nodded calmly.

"Correct. Which means we all have to leave her alone now." Sean grabbed my hand and gave it a warm, reassuring squeeze.

"I'll be right beside you as soon as your done. I wont let you go through an emotional roller coaster alone." I smiled at him, never having loved him so much as I did in that moment.

"Thanks." Then he, and everyone else walked out and left me alone. I looked around for a moment at all the books in the study. the shelves were stacked so high and everything looked so neat and tidy. I sighed and walked back up the stairs and sat myself at a table with a window, overlooking the back yard. The sun was beginning to set, signalling the end to a long day. I looked a the marvellous and solid book in my hands. It was a shame that, at least for me, the setting of the sun meant the new beginning for me.