Ivory woke up to her blaring alarm clock, the red lights flashing 6 am. She turned it off and got up to shower, putting her dark red hair into a ponytail so that it flowed down her back. She put on her favorite green shirt that accented her green eyes, along with a pair of dark colored jeans.
Upon glancing at her appearance in her bathroom mirror, she noticed dark bags under her eyes. Ivory put some cover-up on and she looked away. She looked back suddenly, seeing the familiar purple in her eyes.
She had that dream again. The one about the night her parents died, many years ago. She was just a little girl when she witnessed that horrid sight, that monster crushing her mother’s skull to a pulp. He had turned back, seeing Serena’s surprised face when she realized Ivory was right there.
Then he smiled, his eyes still striped with some red. He had kissed her wrist, leaving the awful rune behind. The center was red, then fades to black on the edges. Ivory did all she could to hide it, for some people knew what these marks mean.
“Ms. Loreli?” the call woke her from her morbid stupor. Bruce. Ivory smiled softly, turning away from the image in the mirror.
“Coming Bruce! Is the car ready?” her voice was musical, people told her, like bells chiming. She quickly grabbed a jacket and emerged from her bedroom, descending the staircase down the hall three steps at a time. It was like this every morning, rushing out of the house so she could get to LR. That was her organization, founded after…incident. It stood for Loreli Reborn, a place where people with the parasitic bonds gathered and hunted down the evil supernatural creatures. Others, however, when given the chance, joined the organization for various reasons. Not many, though, due to the more deadly outcomes.
The bond. She had never even known about it until it was too late. Her green eyes narrowed as Ivory glared at the mark on her wrist. The rune signified her connection to her parents killer, a constant reminder of her past, and future. Her look was one of confusion as she stared at the swirling design; beautiful but deadly. When one was bonded, it was purely for the purpose of either love or death. It strengthened one’s feelings for the other, connected your hearts so you could truly be one entity. But there was a reason it was called a Parasite Bond. Once connected the demon that had bound you could feed off of your life force. It was helpful in battles, giving your partner an extra boost, but deadly if your partner took too much of your energy. Ivory was confused as to why her binder hadn’t finished her off yet.
Sometimes the rune burned slightly and she would feel him take a small amount of power, barely anything, and then it wouldn’t happen again for weeks. Ivory couldn’t understand why the beast just didn’t kill her, get it over with. She had only one answer; he took pleasure in playing with her life. Letting her know he was there and still able to kill her, but prolonging her demise so he could watch her struggle. Sick bastard.
“Miss Loreli, we’re here. You have a meeting with Mr. Baltis in ten minutes. Shall I escort him to the garden or your office?” Bruce didn’t sound too happy about Mr. Baltis, he always got a bad feeling around the scientist.
“Please show him to the garden, it’s far too nice out to sit in my office,” Ivory smiled at Bruce before exiting the car, turning away to face the little stone path a few meters away. It wasn’t too long a walk to get to her garden, though it did take a good five minutes. It was located in the middle of the small woods outside of her organization; a place where she could go to be alone and relax. The only place where she could still feel close to her parents.
The first thing she smelled were the flowers; roses, irises, tulips. The small clearing was filled with flowers ranging from foxglove to orchids, a multitude of colors that always made Ivory smile. Set near the back was a large marble wall, white with gold chips and two black name plates that shone in the sun. Her parents ashes were inside the marble tomb; the gorgeous garden a gift to them.
Ivory sighed at the sight, a gentle smile on her lips. Close to the center of the garden a small patio had been made, a tiny fountain bubbling in its center with a set of wicker furniture around it. Ivory gratefully sank into a chair and closed her eyes, the fountain sounding like music in the peaceful silence.
The muted sounds of voices could soon be heard and Ivory sat up, straightening her shirt and smoothing her pants of wrinkles. A few seconds later Bruce entered the clearing, Mr. Baltis not far behind.
“Mr. Baltis! It’s a pleasure seeing you again. How are you?” Ivory sounded older than her years, voice rich with manners and respect. When you grew up alone you learned to speak with maturity beyond your age.
“How many times must I tell you, Ivory? Call me Dante.” Dante gently scolded Ivory, a gleam of mischief in his baby blue eyes. “And I am fine. How are you feeling, hmm? Your rune acting up at all?” his voice was gentle as he mentioned the mark, though curiosity played in his words.
“It hasn’t hurt at all the past month and, since you insist, I’ll call you Dante,” Ivory grinned at the man across from her, absently rubbing at her rune. She had known Dante for close to three years now and the man looked the same now as he had back then. Mid-twenties, twenty five to be exact, shaggy red hair and a beanpole figure. He could have pulled off 18 or 19 if he wanted, what with his young looks. Perched on the bridge of his nose were a pair of black metal glasses. His form was swamped in a large white lab coat spattered with unknown substances and chemicals. His usual get-up.
The messy organization made Ivory grin and laugh to herself, hand covering her goofy grin so she didn’t seem rude.
“Interesting, very much so…” Dante stared intently at her wrist, thumb nail running across his bottom lip from habit. “I can’t help but wonder…what he’s planning.” His baby blue eyes lifted to her green eyes as if asking her for answers to his questions.
Ivory shrugged in response. She didn’t know why the werewolf was leaving her alone, nor did she really care. As long as it stayed like that she would be happy. Dante interrupted her thoughts, voice no longer questioning, but excited.
“So we have a new subject?”
“No, you have a new volunteer. You really shouldn’t call them that; subjects. It makes them sound like they aren’t people.” Ivory chided Dante gently, noting the amused gleam in his eyes. “Ugh. You’re hopeless Dante.” She growled.
Dante smiled, showing perfect teeth. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Volunteer, not subjects. I get it.”
Ivory just rolled her eyes before standing up, motioning for Dante to do the same. She pulled a cell phone from her pocket and called Bruce, telling him they would be at the organization soon. With that done, she started to follow the little stone path back to the main building, Dante following eagerly.
“Her name is Sybil, and she was recently bonded by a necromancer; not on our side of course…” Ivory could picture the girl in her mind, Sybil, age seven, slim with waist-length ebony locks and silver eyes. The eyes of someone converting. It was rare that this happened in a bond, but when it did happen it usually left one of the bond-mates insane. In a nutshell it was when the human started transforming into a half-breed. Half human, half whatever evil being it was that had bonded you, and now poor little Sybil was going through it.
Ivory shook her head, continuing her briefing for Dante.
“Anyway, she’s only seven and now she’s starting to convert. She can see and hear spirits…and they can sometimes make contact.”
“What do you mean? Make contact?” Dante looked over at Ivory expectedly.
“You’ll see when we get there, try not to stare, ok?”
Dante nodded once, following Ivory the rest of the way in silence. They reached the building quickly, Ivory barely having emerged from the woods when the doors opened.
“Ivory!” A small form hurdled itself down the stone steps and straight into her arms, burying its face in her stomach and hugging her tightly.
“Hello Sybil!” Ivory laughed and hugged the girl back. She knelt down in front of Sybil and brushed gorgeous black curls out of the girls face.
Reflective silver eyes stared back at her, set in a porcelain toned face. Her beauty marred by a set of jagged black lines that stretched across her left eye. Ivory hadn’t seen these last time.
“Sybie,” she began, using her nickname for the girl,”when did this happen? They didn’t hurt too bad, right? Doc fixed you up?” Ivory gently brushed the marks, knowing more marked Sybil’s body in a similar fashion. Damn necromancer and his poltergeists!
Sybil smiled softly, sadly. “They don’t hurt anymore Ivory, Doc treated them like always and Thistle chased the ghost away.” Ivory could tell that when Sybil said they didn’t hurt anymore, she implied that they had burned before. Ivory remembered Sybil once describing the pain as ice so cold it burned away her flesh without numbing any of the pain. Ivory turned and stood to face Dante.
“Her bonder is a dark necromancer, one that raises malevolent spirits…” Ivory looked down at Sybil who was now playing in the grass a few yards away.
“So, basically poltergeists; dead murderers and stuff.” Dante summed it up.
“Yes, poltergeists. He calls them up but doesn’t send them back, he erases the protective circle and the ghosts, knowing they can’t harm him, follow the bond back to Sybil and take their anger out on her. It happens so often, and Thistle, a light necromancer, constantly has to chase them away and send them back,” Ivory rubbed at her temples, eyes narrowed angrily. “It’s exhausting for everyone involved.”
Dante nodded in understanding, giving Ivory a gentle pat on the arm. “Where is her mark? Do you know her bonder’s name?”
She smiled at Dante’s gentle comfort before answering his questions. “Her mark is right over her heart, it’s a bleeding eye with a pentagram in the pupil. It’s solid black with faint white and silver lines. As to the necromancer’s name, we don’t know. Sybil is too afraid to speak it.”
Dante’s eyes flared with anticipation and, briefly, with sadistic pleasure. Ivory stared at him but quickly looked away, she obviously had imagined it; Dante was a good guy, after all. Her friend for three years.
“I’ll take her to my facility now, so I can try to help her as soon as possible. Hopefully my research will help unearth who this dark raiser of the dead is.” Ivory smiled in thanks before calling over Sybil.
“Sybie, say hello to Mr. Baltis,” she motioned up to Dante who gave Ivory a playful glare.
“Hello Mr. Baltis, I’m Sybil,” She had shyly placed herself somewhat behind Ivory, periodically peeking out from behind her.
“Please, call me Dante, Sybil. Are you ready to go?”
Sybil looked up at Ivory, who nodded at her encouragingly.
“Y-yes…,” Sybil ran up the marble steps and into the building, emerging a few minutes later with a black trunk.
“Excellent! Time to go my dear,” Dante’s voice was warm and friendly, but once again, Ivory thought she saw a hidden coldness. Sybil flung herself onto Ivory, interrupting the red head’s thoughts.
“Bye Ivory! I’ll miss you!”
Ivory smiled down at the silver eyed child, knowing she would deeply miss her bubbly personality.
“Take care of her Dante, and take care of yourself too!” Ivory hugged Dante goodbye and gave Sybil a light kiss on her cheek. “I’ll visit the lab soon to check up on you, okay girly?”
Sybil nodded happily before following Dante who had already started to walk to his black Honda. Last minute he turned to Ivory and waved, a smile plastered on his face.
“Call me if your rune starts hurting again, okay?”
Ivory gave a smile in return and a nod in response, hand covering her rune without her realizing.