Wyatt stormed out of his home in a flurry of anger and fear. He wrapped his grandmother tightly around her waist as they limped past the sweltering streets of Old Tenebris. Sweat slid down the sides of his face and stuck to his palms. His breathing grew rapidly, and the sudden shortage of oxygen forced him to cough up all of the noxious fumes in the air.
It all happened so fast. One minute, he was preparing to write Elijah a letter, and the next thing he knew that Guardian tore through the front door and held him hostage. Wyatt thought all of the Guardians were kindhearted, just as Solana and Keith were. They were so nice to him for the brief time he spent at the Castle. How could someone so sinister be involved in such a benevolent organization?
Wyatt could no longer dwell on it. He focused on Elijah’s commands, much to his disdain. Solana was somewhere nearby evacuating civilians. She would help get them out safely.
But Wyatt didn’t care for that, not while Elijah was still there. He only caught a glimpse of what that other Guardian was capable of. Her Essence didn’t wobble in her hands the way Elijah’s did. She was much more stable and adept.
“Grandma, do you think Elijah will be alright?”
His grandmother sighed, “We just have to hope for the best, Wyatt.”
“He’s going to die if we don’t help him!”
“Wyatt, Elijah is a strong kid. He’s been through so much. For so long, he harbored his pain from us. We never knew just how much he was suffering until it was time for him to go. He found the strength to search for the happiness he would never have if he stayed with us. When he wants something desperately, nothing can stop him.”
“Grandma, please,” he objected. “You saw what that Guardian can do. Elijah isn’t ready to take on someone that powerful. Aren’t you the least bit worried?”
“Of course I am. But after ten years of raising that boy, I know he has the courage to face any obstacle in his way.”
Wyatt was stunned that his grandmother would give him that much credit. Of course, he wanted to be hopeful. He wanted to believe that Elijah was going to get the job done, no matter what. But he saw something in the house that she didn’t. Wyatt saw the slightest moisture drip from Elijah’s eye. A tiny speck that evaporated into the air, but for just a moment, it was visible.
He knew Elijah better than anyone. Whenever something was bothering him, Wyatt was always the first person to react. He was always able to point out the smallest gestures, the cracks in his voice, the slight twitches in his eyes. It was a skill he picked up after all those years of living beneath the same roof.
Elijah’s terror, although masked from his grandmother, was evident to his best friend. He wasn’t just worried about Wyatt’s family. He was fearing his own safety.
It was then that Wyatt knew what needed to be done. He picked up his pace as he scoured Old Tenebris for Solana. If he couldn’t save his friend, maybe she could.
The Sands approached a wide road, and to their left, Solana was leading civilians out of an enkindled apartment complex. Solana turned, seeing the damaged family coming towards her.
“Wyatt!” she called out to him. “Elijah’s been looking for you!”
“I know. He found us at our house. He told us to come find you.”
“What? Why would he do that? He’s supposed to be helping evacuate the city too. Elijah specifically said he had to go search for you first, and that afterwards he would help with get the rest of Old Tenebris out safely.”
“Listen, there’s not much time to explain. Elijah’s in trouble, big trouble. This Guardian came to our house, threatening to kill us—”
“Wait. A Guardian?” Solana’s face filled with anxiety, “Did she hurt either one of you?”
“Nothing that won’t heal in a few days. But what’s more important is that Elijah is there with her right now!”
Wyatt watched as Solana’s pupils dilated in horror, “Elijah confronted her? Oh no...Wyatt, you need to take me to them right now.”
“Grandma,” he turned to Mrs. Sands. “Will you be alright on your own?”
“Oh please Wyatt,” she rolled her eyes. “You have more important things to worry about than my safety. I didn’t live this long out of pure luck, you know.”
“Just follow the crowd of people. They’re heading for the eastern outskirts. You two will be able to catch up later.”
“Stay safe, Grandma.”
“I should be telling you the same thing,” Mrs. Sands ambled off towards the crowd of refugees.