I walked out into the night the moon high over my head. My locket was open in front of me the compass spinning and shimmering directing me to next destination. I hurried along until I reached the old water tower so I would not be overseen by any pondering eyes. I must have walked a few acres behind the house because the boarding house had appeared to have shrunken in size.
I willed my locket to open a time warp. There was no way I could go on foot, it'd be much more sensible to go through a time warp and return on foot. I only hoped I wasn't too late. I heard the familiar tare and the hollowness of the time warp. It was a few feet in front of me.
I stepped through quickly before the time warp stitched itself back together. I soared into the nothingness moving fluidly. I soared higher and higher as if I had suddenly grown wings. I looked deep into the darkness searching for the correct time and place I was looking for. It took great skill to see past the encoded darkness but for me it was nearly second nature. I could see the images they were hiding.
The darkness was only to mask and confuse travelers and Snatchers from finding the Past, Present or Future. Even forces beyond our control were doing their best to protect Charlie and Daniel. The whole stream of time was much larger this was just a small faction. Time warps surrounded a specific time that's why I used it to travel from one place to another with only a few hours of loss or otherwise the time it would've taken me to travel.
Time warps are extremely difficult to get out of and navigate through. A time key is required for entry and for exit. If someone happened to not have one he or she are most likely to be doomed floating in a time warp until someone else opened the time warp at precisely the right moment.
My compass was going wild the needle going clockwise then counterclockwise. It was no use to me here but that didn't matter. I found what I was looking for anyway. I made a grab for a dark patch and the image behind it flashed enlarging itself. I quickly stepped through looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't followed. I stumbled onto the dark road in the middle of nowhere.
It was so cold I could see my breath. I pulled the sleeves over my palms and checked my locket. It was nearly four in the morning. My heart jumped a little worried at how much time had passed. I rechecked my compass. Luckily, the needle twitched north meaning I was close. I had landed in the right area. I continued on foot.
Cars rolled past nearly knocking me aside with their large gusts of wind. Drivers have become so careless now a days it was surprising how many times I nearly got myself killed. I checked my phone to see I had gotten a few calls from Charlie and Daniel. My stomach turned when I saw one of Charlie's text messages.
Daniel is pissed.
I wasn't in any mood to deal with Daniel especially not when I was hundreds of miles from home. I pocketed my phone and trudged along. I lifted my hood over my head to shield me as much as it possible could. Further along I spotted a light floating in the darkness. I only hoped it was a gas station or a rest stop anything that would keep me warm. I measured it to be about an hour away in walking distance through a series of calculations.
Nobody stopped or slowed down thankfully. I looked around wondering where I was. Perhaps hitch hikers were common in this area. I pulled out my phone to quickly locate myself on the GPS. No signal. I looked around to indicate something to me where I was. I could see water down to my right. I could smell the salty ocean breeze as blew in my face. I started to worry as to where I landed; I hoped it wasn't too far from Echo Valley but something told me I was.
My phone vibrated in my pocket. I checked it to see Daniel's name. I didn't want to answer but I knew he was as persistent as I was. I sent him straight to voicemail hopefully he'd take the hint. Twenty minutes later I was much closer to the light. It was a neon sign at a lonely diner on the side of the road. Many truckers were stationed there blocking half the building from sight.
I hurried over happily. I stopped looking left then right then left again. Once it was clear that it was free to cross, I made a dash across the street to the diner. My skin tingled when I felt the warmth and the familiar scent of coffee.
I made my way to the front looking around. It was busy at this time as the truckers were getting to continue on with their routes. I found a booth and took a seat. A middle aged woman came by offering me coffee and the menu.
"Anything to drink?" she asked.
"Hot chocolate please." She nodded writing it down on her note pad and walking away.
The front read I was in Thorne Bay, Alaska! That explained the salt water smell and the abrupt change in temperature. Where was Gabriela coming from? The woman came back with my hot chocolate and asked if I was ready to order. I just ordered a plate of pancakes.
I took a sip letting the warm liquid heat me up. My phone rang out. It was Daniel again. I sent him a text message.
Quit calling me. We'll talk when I return.
He sent back a message right away. Where are you?
"Uh, excuse me, do you have take out?" I looked up. That voice was terribly familiar, I knew exactly who it belonged to. I looked around trying to find the face with that voice. I shifted anxiously searching one face at a time.
Then I saw him. He was up front near the cashier. I could only see the back of his head. He pulled out his wallet from his back pocket looking around the place nervously. The woman came back to drop off my pancakes and strode off. It had to be him. My heart started going crazy I couldn't get him to leave right away.
They must have answered yes because he ordered and took a seat on one of the stools. He surveyed the place carefully. I ate my pancakes quickly as I examined him thoroughly. He was tall, muscular and tan as if he had been out in the sun all day. He had raven black short hair and eyes that permitted me to see his soul.
That was him, it was bound to be. I'd recognize him anywhere not only by his voice but because I was able to recognize his soul just like Charlie's and Daniel's. I don't know why I was able to automatically or hardwired to recognize them but I was. I thought it was strange that Gabriela wasn't with him. She always stuck to the rules and never left his side.
His food was brought up and I finished mine. I pulled out a ten dollar bill from my pocket. I would be ready to follow him out of here. He paid and darted out the door. A left the money on the table and followed.
I trotted after him. By now the truckers had cleared and I followed him across the empty parking lot. I kept as much distance as I could. He went to the passenger's seat to set the food down. I jumped back alarmed he might see me and pretended I was tying my shoes. He went around to the driver's seat. He stopped his hands on his car.
"Are you following me?" he asked not looking over to me.
"Uh, no," I lied standing up straight. "I was just on my way out." I slightly gestured to the restaurant behind us.
"You've been watching me," he scowled coming forward. "What do you want?"
"Nothing." I said holding up my hands that I meant no harm.
"Are you a Snatcher?" he asked. "Did you know I was going to be here?"
"Snatcher?" I asked shocked. At least I was right, he was the Future. His eyes were intense and prying for information. He slammed me onto his car making me yelp out. He had me by the lower neck and my wrists pressed to my chest. I was amazed, I knew that move. Gabriela must have trained him already.
"Liar!" he hissed. "Tell me who you are."
I wiggled from my restraint but he held me down. I glared up at him. I pretended to not be able to talk from his arm on my neck. This gave me a chance to slip away with a quick shove and a hard punch across his face. He grabbed his jaw before coming at me.
"No, wait!" I shouted. He aimed left then right and sent a punch right at my stomach. Third one was the charm I guess. I felt the wind knocked out of me but I managed to compose myself. I grabbed his arm and twisted it and shoved him toward the car.
"Stop!" I shouted. He shoved me back with his elbow. He came at me viciously trying to strike me down but I dodged him. "I'm a protector! I'm friends with Gabriela."
It caught him off guard for a moment and I relaxed a little but he wasn't through surprising me yet. He managed to whip out a blade and slice right through my hair tie my hair tumbling free. Distracted, he came at me pinning me back to the car again. I caught my breath.
"How do I know you're not lying to me?" he asked.
"My time key, it's around my neck. It marks me as a protector." His eyes narrowed trying to decipher if I was telling the truth or not. He loosened up a bit but not completely. His cold hand reached beneath my sweater pulling out my locket. It popped open revealing my two in one clock and compass.
"I don't believe you."
How would I prove to him that I am who I say I am? All I had was my locket but anyone could be a carrier of a time key. It was like Charlie who could remember me, I had to make him know I was a friend to him not the enemy.
"I know Gabriela, she's my friend," I pleaded with him. "We've been protecting the Past, Present and Future since the beginning of time. I've protected you dozens of times in the past. We ran into each other once in Paris. You were her horse care taker and drove her carriage. You were even the one that picked me up when I arrived into the country. I was coming from Germany, my name was Luz then."
I don't know what did it but he let me go completely now storing the blade. He helped me stand straight and I felt a little relieved. I waited for him to do something rash but he never did. Instead, he headed back to his car door. He stopped by his door.
"Are you coming or not?" he asked.
Anxiously, I hurried over to the other door and jumped inside setting the breakfast in the back seat. His car hummed to life and we got onto the main road then shooting up north.