My eyes widened, sending two needles in the Master’s direction. “What did you just say?” I sighed, the only method of suppressing my anger.
“We do not allow non-Guardians to inhabit the premises. In fact, he is lucky he even stepped foot in this castle in the first place,” explained the Master.
I took a few deep breaths, then Solana spoke in my stead, “But Master—”
“But nothing. Under any circumstance may an outsider live within these walls. You remember what happened the last time, right Solana?”
Solana fell silent. Her sapphire eyes glimmered as she withheld tears.
I finally simmered down, enough to gamble with the Master, “If he can’t stay, then we’re both leaving. Sorry, but Wyatt is more important than this ‘White Essence.’”
“We have had too many incidents of people acting under the twilight’s influence. Our hospitality has been taken advantage of far too many times for us to open our doors once again. Nothing you say can convince me otherwise.”
“Fine,” I shrugged with nonchalance, “Suit yourself. The Order can operate without me. Come on Wyatt. We’re leav—”
Wyatt snatched my arm and squeezed it hard. Not hard enough to be hostile, but enough for me to read what he was thinking. I turned to him, and his head drooped. His short dreads were sprawled over his face, shrouding the miserable expression I knew he was hiding.
“Elijah, stay,” he mumbled.
“No! I’m not staying here without you!”
“Are you kidding me? You’re willing to give up the only lead you have about your parents, for me?”
“Yes! Mrs. Sands sent you to me because we have to stick together!”
“Elijah, you don’t need me to protect you. Your Essence—whatever it’s called—is enough. And the Order can teach you, t-teach you to be s-strong,” Wyatt was so distraught he began fumbling over syllables.
“I don’t need the Essence! I need—”
“Elijah, that’s enough,” A female voice interrupted. Solana, who was on the verge of tears for the two kids she met today. No, that wasn’t it at all. Those tears she held back were not directed to us.
I took a deep breath, and sighed, “Are you sure, Wyatt?”
“You need to find your parents. You still have hope to get yours back.”
Wyatt. I had almost forgotten. Blinded by my own emptiness, it slipped my mind that he lost his parents too. He, however, does not have a second chance like I do. He is haunted by the constant memory of his parents being murdered in a home invasion. A home invasion...led by a pack of Dwellers.
That’s what the world calls a group of them: packs. Dwellers are not considered human enough to garner a human word. A team, or group, but no. Pack, like a pack of wolves, caught by the twilight and forced by their instinct alone.
And those are what robbed a five year-old of his parents.