"I... I wanted to talk to you," Crystal muttered, "But I-"
"Yeah, I surmised as much," I interrupted, rolling my eyes. I turned to Middy. "Here," I said to her and handed her my bag, "Go find our Floppy Eared friend. You know what to do." She nodded and left the room, giving Crystal a quick hug. When she was gone Crystal, hesitantly, stepped inside my room. She scanned it, noting the mess.
"Ah, sit down while I just..." my voice trailed away. I grabbed a load of my notebooks and put them away. I found a couple of folders for my loose sheets of paper.
"So, what's wrong?" I asked gently as I tidied.
"Everything!" Crystal burst out suddenly. I spun around to see tears falling down her cheeks. I instantly dropped everything and went to sit next to her, wrapping my arms around her shoulders.
"Sh, Crystal. Calm down and tell me," I said quietly. I whispered soothing words in an ancient tongue while waiting for her to regain some composure. Eventually, her tears subsided and she started telling me everything.
She told me about her father and how he'd never wanted her.
"He never loved me and never tried to spare my feelings. He openly showed his dislike for me and was glad to get rid of me. Now he's been imprisoned for being a vampire slayer and he's been sentenced to death. According to Lucas, he wants to see me and I don't know if I should or not. I hate him!" she growled, "I told Lucas that I wanted to be the one to kill him.
"Then there's Lucas himself! I... I think... Oh Zuri, I think he may be the one who attacked my mother and I've seen him with Corvina. She was feeding him and Sebastian at the same time."
"That doesn't surprise me, Corvina is twisted and sick. Maz... Maz told me what she did to you. That day," I told her. She knew which day I referred to, the one when Corvina cut the pentagram into her back. Crystal nodded but looked surprised.
"I should've known that you knew. Especially after you turned up in my room, uninvited might I add," Crystal smiled briefly then it faded, "Zuri, there was some sort of strange silver stuff in Corvina's blood. I saw it in my 'ghost' form, you know when I saw her and Maz." I nodded and tears sparkled in Crystal's eyes again.
"And then I feel weak about not helping Maz with Him. Shadow. I felt like I owed him for that day with Corvina..."
"Oh, Crystal," I sighed and squeezed her shoulders, "You're not weak. Learning to deal with all these problems only makes you stronger. We can deal with Corvina together. As to your human father... well, I've had to deal with an uncaring father in my life. Me, personally, I found it better to keep my distance from him because I said things that I regretted later on. You? You seem like the kind of person who faces problems head on. I think saying you wanted to kill him wasn't the best idea you've ever had but I can understand why you said it. If you think you can handle your emotions then go see him because as much as you hate him, he's still your father but don't do anything you'll regret. Don't go if it'll be too much for you.
"Now Lucas? Well, for all intents and purposes, he is a real father to you and he loves you. Just ask him about your mother and, if you'd like, I'll go with you and we can talk to him about Corvina.
"Finally, Maz... Well don't feel weak, Crystal. We all made choices and none of us could've stopped it. I tried helping Maz with Shadow before and it isn't easy. What you did was more than me when I first faced Shadow."
We sat in silence for a little while. Then Crystal breathed a sigh.
"Zuri... There's one more thing," she whispered. I gave her a questioning look.
"I keep having... visions. Of a little girl and... Damien. I don't quite understand them but... Damien looks... proud of the girl and happy but at the same time... sad and in pain. The girl... well she... she looks a little... like me."
"I see," I said slowly, "And I presume you don't want me to say anything to Damien or the others?" Crystal shook her head and I sighed.
"OK, fair enough but if you have anymore visions, you will tell me, won't you?" Crystal hesitated then nodded. I gave her a small smile. For what felt like a long time we just sat there, her head resting on my shoulder and my arm around hers. In that instant I realised that, like Middy, Crystal was a sister to me. Hence my connection with her through Nature. I'd been given an awful family as a child and now it seemed like Nature wanted to give me a little gift to make up for that.
"Thanks, Zuri," Crystal said pulling away. I smiled at her as someone knocked on the door. I opened it and saw Middy standing there.
"Little Moon, what it is it?" I asked. Crystal moved to stand behind me.
"I think you'd better come with me, Zuri," Middy said urgently, "It's Lapin - I mean Al'leako. Hurry!" I glanced at Crystal, alarmed and then the three of us ran to Edward's office.
Only to find Al'leako wasn't there.
But Corvina was.