I had told Eoin about my power. I felt ... a certain kinship with him. Despite what he said about me having connections, the fact couldn't be ignored that neither of us had been on a mission with our fellow descendants of the Atlanteans.
Eoin's talent show idea was fantastic: it would be a great way to bond with at least one of the original team and thus feel integrated into the group. Even if I wasn't going to fight.
Zoey. She was lovely. I would have asked for her if we had chosen our partners. I liked to think that her and I would be sisters-in-law one day. This was a particularly attainable wish since Jade and Jake were engaged, were they not?
We went up to her room after we bumped into each other in the hallway (strangely there was a piano there), and sat upon her bed.
"So what d'you want to do?" she asked.
I shrugged. "I'm not very good with ideas. Maybe we could do something musical?"
Zoey shook her head.
"Oh," I said disappointed. "Are there no instruments you can play?"
Zoey blushed and looked away. "Well, I can play the piano..." Her voice trailed off. "But not very well," she added hastily.
"It's better than nothing. I mean, I sing and I don't think I'm amazing, but it's only a talent show. No one's going to laugh at us. And even if they were, you could beat them up."
Zoey grinned. "That's true. So, you got any ideas on what to play?"
"Hm, not yet. But we'll think of something. At least we've got a basic idea."
I was sitting in my room, relaxing but mainly thinking about Rory. His touch, his kiss, his glorious eyes, the wondrous feel of his beautiful mind, his amazingly pleasant voice... I sighed dejectedly.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I sat up, startled out of my reverie.
"Come in," I called.
The door opened and in walked Alexander.
"Hiya Charley," he murmured.
He walked up to me. "May I sit?" he asked.
My heart beat a little faster. What did he want?
"Sure," I replied. I gazed into his blue, blue eyes and saw ancient wisdom, tranquil serenity and a desire to help people. No, I didn't fancy him, I just loved his personality. He was someone you could trust completely, confide in without fear of him revealing your secret; who would understand and try to empathise every time something was wrong. He was ... like Rory. I felt a pang in my chest, sharp and deep. I was drawn in by Alexander because he was like the only other person who had made me feel this way before.
"There's a way you can communicate with Rory," he murmured.
"What?" I asked, surprised but still keeping my voice low. I didn't want any of the others to hear, especially with what they thought because of the vampire attack.
"I know a way. It involves meditation and connecting minds. If you want to talk to Rory, I need your permission to access your thoughts."
"Can't you already do that?" I asked, remembering Alexander's request that Marc call him Alexander rather than Alex when he hadn't called him that aloud.
"I need to access your deeper thoughts: at the moment, I can only read the surface ones."
"Okay," I whispered, knowing I would do anything to talk to Rory again.
"Close your eyes."
I closed them.
"Clear your mind."
I imagined a white sheet across the whole of my mind.
"Breathe slowly and deeply."
I waited for my heart rate to calm down from the excitement that I would be talking to my favourite guy in the universe and then counted how long each breath I took was, inhaling and exhaling for longer until I felt calm and a bit floaty.
I felt a warm touch in the centre of my forehead and suddenly I was rushing into a golden field which made me feel incredibly relaxed and content.
'Welcome to my mind.' Alexander's voice echoed around me and I saw him in front of me, smiling.
'Are we going to communicate with Rory now?' I asked, feeling oddly small as my voice reverberated around Alexander's mind.
'Yes,' Alexander replied. 'I shall call him and then, when he enters the zone, you two can talk.'
'Thank you for doing this,' I thought.
'It is no problem,' Alexander thought back.
Suddenly, Alexander disappeared. I found myself feeling quite sleepy. I sat down in the field and waited.
A few minutes later, Alexander reappeared, smiling. 'Rory is delighted at the prospect of talking to you. He shall join us shortly.'
And, as promised, Rory did appear. He looked a bit blurry first, as if I had tears in my eyes and couldn't see him properly but the the image sharpened and he approached me looking as wonderful as he always did.
'Oh Charley,' he murmured. He ran the last few metres between us, picked me up and swung me in a circle. I was surprised. I hadn't thought that such a thing could be done in the mind. But then again, I hadn't realised I could communicate with him at all.
Rory sat down, with me still in his arms, and began stroking my hair and kissing my cheeks. I was surprised when warm drops of wetness spilled onto my skin.
'What's wrong, my darling?' I asked.
'Well, you're dead, aren't you? That other guy's an angel. What other explanation is there? I'm so glad you got to Heaven, darling. But I'm so sorry... What will I say to your mother.'
'I'm not dead,' I told him, moved by his love but confused by his interpretation of the scene. 'I'm with the other descendants of the Atlanteans in Luxternia. Aleaxander is an angel, but he's not in Heaven, right now.'
Rory looked surprised. 'Really?
I nodded, smiling.
Rory looked elated. 'Oh wow! That's brilliant. I can't believe it. I was so convinced you were gone - that I'd never see you again.'
'Doubtless you'd go to Heaven too,' I told Rory.
Rory's brow furrowed. 'Well, I'm not too sure about that. But this is wonderful news. Oh I love you, I love you!'
And Rory started kissing me again.
Alexander's voice echoed around us, this time sounding slightly strained. 'I can't keep this up for much longer. We can certainly do this again though.'
'Oh yes, definitely,' I said. 'Thank you so much Alexander. I don't know how to repay you.'
'Your happiness is enough for me, child.'
'Goodbye Rory,' I thought as he started to fade.
And with that he disappeared. I opened my eyes in distant reality and beamed at Alexander. He smiled back, though looking weary.
But I looked around and saw, to my horror, Marc standing in the doorway looking enraged.
"Who is Rory?!" he shouted.