Inwardly, I was fuming. I hated it when the guys got all macho and forced us girls to go home. We were just as capable and I had two lives to protect. There was no way I was going to take stupid risks or let myself get defeated. But I could tell Jay was set on it and it had been a long night so I said nothing as he eventually put me down in th e hallway of the Mansion. He had his arms around me slightly longer than was necessary before most of us headed upstairs, chatting amongst ourselves. A few of us were calling to Xavior and Harmony, wondering where they had got to.
I pushed open the door to Harmony's room and stopped short. It looked as though her wardrobe had exploded and Xavior was unconcious on one of the sofas.
Jay and a couple of the others came running in. We gathered around Xavior. All of a sudden an anxious babble rose up.
"Xavior! He's......he's passed out! Pure bloods dont do that? Do they?"
"Xavior? Can you hear us?"
"Asha, try your mind thing!"
Xavior? Can you hear us? Are you okay? I sighed in relief as his thoughts came back to me, slightly hazy but sounding okay.
I cant see anything Asha, I can hear you all and smell but I can do no more, is Harmony there?
Sara's checking now, Xavior, were you attacked?
No, of that I'm sure
What do you remember last?
Harmony and I were on the sofa...then she gave me some wine, it smelt of spices and fruit.....
A though occured to me.
"Jay? Uncork the wine on the table and smell it"
"Just do it"
The room wfilled with a spicy, fruity aroma that was stronger than wine. It was vaguel familiar.
Is that the smell?
"Jay, how do you feel?"
"Woozy, my sight is a little blurry"
I made sure the wine was corked tightly again. The memory of corking a similar bottle decades ago hit me in a wave of deja vu and I realised there was a sedative in the wine.
Xavior the wine Harmony gave you put you in some sort of sleep, knowing Harmony it wont be permanent
Why did she give it to me?
I don't know Xavior
Sara came back in, looking upset and carrying a sheet of paper and a small bottle.
"Guys, Harmony..she..she left a note and something else too"
"What else did she leave?"
"A bottle of purple liquid...."
"It must be the antidote"
"Thats what the bottle says"
"Pass it to me"
I took the bottle from Sara and moving as gently as I could, opened Xavior's mouth and tipped the contents of the bottle into it. After a few moments, his eyes flickered open. Everyone in the room noticeably relaxed. Reluctantly, Sara handed him the note.
Over his shoulder, a few of us read what she had written.
My dearest Xavior
It breaks my heart to leave you like this and I truly wish I could have parted in a better way, by now I will be near my destination, if my memory serves me correctly that is. I am deeply sorry for doing this my love but I must protect my familly, my dear sisters and brothers at vampire mansion, my true love and my half-brother. I am going to confront the elder of the council, crazy as it may be, but I will not fail you, I will come back victorious or die trying. I love you more than anything in the world and it is cruel of me to do this to you but I have no choice. I wont let the council breath one more breath or corrupt another life. I will not stand by anymore. My dearest, my love, you have my heart and soul, ever since the first day, I have loved you. I will be with you forever and always.
If I do not return I wish only that you forget me and move on for my sake.
A cry tore out from Xavior "No!"
My head span with what I had just read. Confronting the Elder was madness.
What have you done Harmony? We had a plan.. the fledglings, the months I spent working on Zelthar- for what? I really hope I know what you are doing..
"Xavior!" I grabbed his shoulder as he sprang up, apparently ready to run after Harmony. He knocked my hand away and carried on towards the door, until he was brought up short by Sara, Jay and I blocking his path. I put both hands on his shoulders.
"Xavior, please think about what you are doing," I met his eyes steadily. "Charging in there won't-"
Xavior didn't stop, instead shoving past, knocking both Sara and me to the floor and running down the hall.
"Asha!" Jay yelled, diving to the floor next to me.
"Jay...make sure Xavior doesn't do anything stupid, please." I said, getting up painfully, helping Sara to her feet as well.
Jay nodded, giving me a worried look as he went out of the door.
"Are you alright?"
Sara nodded at me, her eyes wide.
"We're going after them aren't we?"
"I can't let Jay go, Sara, but stay here with Imira if you want. No one will think any less of you." I smiled at her before running after Jay.