I walked back to my room, secretly hugging my pleasure to myself. Cobalt seemed a little out of sorts when I stepped into his room unannounced. How had I not noticed this before, I thought to myself as I closed my eyes out of habit as soon as I opened the door to my room. "I gotta talk to Cobalt about painting this room a more inhabitable colour", I mumbled as I opened my eyes and allowed them to get used to the glaring red on the walls.
I glided towards my bathroom and took off the jeans and shirt that I had fallen asleep wearing from the day before. Feeling momentary disgust with my lack of attention to myself, I threw the offending clothes into the blinding red hamper in the corner. Splashing cold water on my face, I glanced into the mirror and gave myself a tiny smile, thinking of what Cobalt must be doing at this very second. Mentally shaking my head, I patted the moisture from my face and then tied my wild hair on top of my head. Checking out my reflection from various angles, I decided to let my hair loose and shook out the tangles with my fingers.
Donning a deep rose pink negligee, I rubbed some lotion into my arms and legs and then shrugged into a matching gown. Satisfied with how I looked, I shook my mane of hair again as I looked for a pair of slippers that were stashed in my elaborate closet. Finding one that matched, which wasn't particularly difficult to do, I slipped my feet into them and swirled once in front of the full-length mirror in the closet.
As I made my way out of my room, I tried concentrating on the feelings surrounding my head. Sensing a majority of vague emotions, I concluded that most of my house mates were still asleep. However, I was puzzled when I didn't sense anything distinctly Cobalt-like. No brooding silences, no sadness enveloping his aura, and not even the tingle of uneasiness that I had detected earlier. A little confused, I climbed down the flight of stairs and walked into the living room, thinking that he must be waiting for me there. Finding it surrounded in a gloom of darkness, I turned my gaze towards a light shining in the direction of the kitchen.
As I walked into the kitchen, I saw a pan sitting on the stove and the door of the refrigerator standing ajar. I went over to the corner of the kitchen and closed the door when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Just as I opened my mouth to scream the house down, a palm covered my lips lightly. "Shhh...Carmine, it's me. Cobalt. Don't scream please."
As he removed his hand from my lips, I turned towards him and punched his shoulder. "What did you think you were doing? Do you have a death wish or something?" I glared at him for a moment before his infectious smile reflected in the curved up corners of my own lips. "Okay, I admit that it was a little spooky but I just wanted to surprise you." Chuckling at his prank, he took the pan off the heat and poured the milk into a cup beside the stove. "You want some?"
"No, thanks Cobalt. I'm not a fan of milk. Especially in the middle of the night." As he joined me at the kitchen table, I glanced over at his finger-combed hair and resisted the urge to put it in place. Wondering at my own emotions, I hurriedly looked away from him and down at my clasped hands.
"So, are we here to discuss Azurite or what?", Cobalt said, taking a sip from his steaming cup.
"Yes, yes. That's what we are here for. So what do you think Cobalt? We were out looking for him the whole day but could not trace him anywhere. And the place that I saw in my dream today looked quite close to the mansion. I mean I am really confused. How come we didn't see any sort of base camp near the mansion?"
"Well, I think they must have hidden it too well for our naked sight to see. I mean they knew more about us than we knew ourselves, so they must obviously have something going for themselves. No wonder we had such a tiring day. They must have known that we were out there looking for Azur and laughing at us all the while. But thankfully you know where the camp is, right?"
"Yeah, I do. I guess it shouldn't take me more than a couple of minutes to trace my way back to the camp. It was very vivid on my way out and I think it will be very easy to get there. But we have to prepare to counter the guards posted at the entry and the countless people who I'm sure must be inside the building. I didn't sense their presence but that could be more to do with me dreaming about the whole thing and not being there myself."
"Okay okay okay. You gotta stop for a second there, Carmine. How do you sense these things? I mean I was there when you ran scared back in the forest, but I didn't really understand what you meant by the whole 'sense' thing.
"I don't know how or why I can sense these emotions or vibes, Cobalt. It's just something I have been able to feel for the longest time. Even when I was a kid, I always knew when my Mum was pissed at me and when I could ask Daddy for a trip to the movies. I never thought much about it until last night when I was surrounded by all these weirdly talented kids, and you, and I felt so powerless. Literally. And when I felt all these thoughts and feelings around me, I said to myself, Wait a minute, Carmine. You are special and you do have powers. Just not ones that can be exhibited physically like most of these guys, but still they are powers."
"And you didn't think to tell me?"
"I didn't realize until late last night, while I was in bed, that sensing other people's emotions and being able to manipulate them is a gift. And then I had that dream. But I am telling you now, right?"
"Yeah. I guess you are right. Pretty awesome gift you have there Carmine. I mean I can't even imagine what you can do with it in time of peril. Maybe change Watson's mind about attacking us, huh?" Seeing Cobalt laugh in that manner made my heart skip a beat and my lungs contract for a second.
"Hmmm....guess I could do that", I mumbled as I looked past Cobalt's head, not meeting his gaze when I knew my face would be flushed like the walls of my room. I got up then, not wanting to be embarrassed in front of him. As I slid the stool back into place and turned to get out of the kitchen, I suddenly jolted to a stop.
Thinking it was Cobalt again, I did not look back as I said angrily, "Come on Cobalt. Act your age. You know I'm not going to fall for this prank twice in one night. Leave me be." Tugging my gown, I tried to free myself from Cobalt's grasp, but he continued to hold on.
Furious and more than a little flushed, I swirled around and raised my hand to thwack him on his head, when, hand raised mid-air, I saw him standing near the table, smugly smiling at me.
One look at Cobalt's grinning face and another at the stool's leg that had trapped my gown underneath itself, and I could barely hide my ashamed face from the man standing across from me. Tugging my gown from under the heavy wooden stool, I nearly lost my balance. As my arms flailed about in the air, I tried to hang onto the back of the stool for support. And just then, I felt myself safely landing in a strong pair of arms.
Cobalt had come to my rescue.