Chapter Twenty One: Mending
Marley came rushing in to the EMERGENCY room in a streak of red and white. She glared venomously at Jonathon who was still holding my hand under his - now bandaged and looked like they were dressed in gauzy gloves. I swear I heard Marley hiss at him, but I ignored her, even if Jonathon blew her a kiss and winked. Obviously in the century he'd been alive, he and my Mother had been something other than enemies.
Marley sat in a chair next to the bed they had me propped up in and cleared her throat, demanding my attention. With a heavy sigh I turned my whole body to her and met her hateful gaze. "What happened?" Marley hissed.
"It was a car accident -"
"Next lie." Marley snarled. "Jonathon's a demon, there's no such thing as black ice in his vocabulary."
I heard Jonathon snort from where he was now sitting across the room. I shot him a look that was meant to say, please don't make this worse than it is, so he sat back and closed his eyes. I cleared my throat, hoping that she would accept half the truth, and leave my love life alone. "We left the school, Jonathon wanted me to do something for him," I paused to looked up at my Mother, her lips were set in a thin line but she watched me assuredly. "We parked in a small clearing, off a gravel road just outside town, and he pulled out this dagger. Mom, he just wanted me to make it all stop, but I couldn't. As we were sitting there these ... things attacked the car, it was awful. One of them got me, even after I shot at it."
"You shot at it? Where did you get a gun from?" Marley's eyes wandered over to Jonathon, who had his face averted, casting his glance out the window.
"It was in the trunk, but that's not the point. Jonathon didn't hurt me, that thing did." I let out the breath I'd been holding, and rubbed the stitches on my neck, knowing full well they were already healing.
Marley looked from me to Jonathon and then rolled her eyes and pulled out her car keys from her jacket. Purposefully she leaned in as close to me as possible, pulled back the bandage a little bit and took a peak at my wound. She seemed assured enough that I was fine, and gave me her best mother-like-smile and kissed my cheek. She left the room for a moment to talk to my doctor, leaving Jonathon and I alone in the small room.
He crossed the distance between us smoothly, sitting next to me and wrapping his hand around mine. "I should have been watching that other thing, but I thought you'd knocked it back enough that it wouldn't move."
"Hey, no worries. I'll be fine in a couple of hours, just a little stiff and I'll probably have nightmares." I gave him a warm smile, fighting back the burning feeling of tears behind my eyes.
"I know, Hunters heal pretty quick, but still ..." Jonathon trailed and we both looked up when my Mother came back to the room, her cheeks flushed and a disapproving look set in her jaw.
My face instantly lit on fire when her eyes trailed down to where my hand was linked with Jonathon's, but I never moved. She wagged her finger for Jonathon and I to follow her out of the hospital to the truck.
Marley opened the passenger door of her truck and shoved me in first and Jonathon followed in behind me, the two of us squished on to the bench seat out of the driver's area. He pulled me closer to him in a protective manner as Marley got in the driver's seat with a glare and a lead foot. The back end of the truck fishtailed all over the road.
"Mom, chill out with the NASCAR driving."
"Olivia... right now you should just stay quiet." Marley sighed.
My head twisted to Marley's contorted expression back to Jonathon's huge eyes and my stomach knotted. He just gave me a passive grin, and pulled me closer to him, letting his warmth sink in through my ripped clothes.
"Where's the blade Jonathon?" Marley's voiced sizzled in stuffy air of the cab.
"Not a clue." Jonathon shrugged. "We didn't really have a whole lot of time to grab it after those things attacked."
I looked up at him, remembering specifically that he had tucked it in to his jacket after digging it out of the back seat. What is so special about that dumb thing? I thought it was just a parlor trick.
"I told you Olivia, Jonathon had the ability to make you do anything, and now it's missing." Marley sneered. "And, do you honestly think this is the best way to go around acting after a classmate has died? Really Olivia?"
"Excuse me?" I stared at her, eyes cold and full of irritation. "A classmate didn't die... she was murdered!"
"Yes, by the same kind of creature whom has you held up against him." The edge in her voice grew, whipping at me in a manner that only made me more irritated. "You can do better."
I couldn't think of anything else to say, my body had gone numb and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Jonathon had cast his eyes out the window, without even once letting his hold on me slack. He felt more guilty about Sarah's death than any one of the Hunters had, he had felt responsible for getting her all mixed up in a life that she wasn't meant for. Was I his rebound? Did I even care?
As we rolled in to Morden the tension in the small truck cab was almost suffocating, or at least demanding one to hold their breath. Marley continued her hateful glare from the corner of the rear-view mirror and Jonathon pressed his forehead against the cold, passenger side window. Nothing but silence filled the air.
"They aren't the same..." I said breathlessly, keeping my eyes aimed at my knees. "He feels guilt for what happened and Lexie could probably care less. They aren't the same."
Instantly, two sets of eyes were on me, one was cold with disgust while the other held the image of my face with a sweet smile spreading over his features. Looking up I could see Marley giving me a look of disgust while Jonathon mouthed a ‘thank you' to me, giving me a tight squeeze. I turned my body towards him and leaned against his shoulder, kissing his cheek softly.
Marley cleared her throat as she pulled in to the Teague's driveway where Alex and Kat stood on the porch. Kat's eyes were far too big for her head as she smiled at me.
"OLLIE!" She screeched and in a ball of fur greeted me with a graceful leap in to my arms, the very moment I got out of the truck.
"Hey Kat, your coat looks amazing."
Kat just purred against me, her head nuzzled in to my chest. She was so cute, only slightly larger than a kitten, and had a healthy orange coat. Even though I had several pairs of eyes on me, I focused on giving Kat all the attention she deserved since my neglectful state and that night with Michael.
"I'm sorry Kat." I pressed my face against her soft fur and felt warm tears fall down my cheeks, which she lapped up from the tip of my nose just before Alex cleared his throat.
"Jonathon, this stunt was the last straw. If Celone hadn't told Kat about you heading to the school with the car, I never would've thought you would-"
"Shut up Alex." I snapped.
Jonathon moved in to me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders as he led me in to the house past Vivian and Alex. Vivian was glaring the entire time, her nymph features were darker and her skin was almost an oak color.
Everyone followed us in to the house in silence and progressed down in to the den and took up a seat. Shockingly: Sabrine, Celone, Skylar and AJ were all seated and waiting for us. I blinked a few times at the unusual gathering I had stumbled into and was suddenly wishing for my camera.
"Olivia, what did you do to your hair?!" Sabrine shrieked.
"I dyed it."
"It was time for a change."
"That hardly seems like a reason to dye it that color." Sabrine frowned.
"I like it." Jonathon played his fingers through the knots of red falling over my shoulders.
"Well, we're dying it back tonight." Sabrine folded her arms and looked away from me, ending the conversation.
I shrugged and sat down next to AJ and Jonathon sat right next to me while Celone instantly snuggled in to her protector.
"First item of business -"
"Alex, shut up." Vivian snarled. "Gabriel wants the little brat in his custody."
"I'm not an item, and I'm not going. I have other plans-"
"No you don't. I returned your plane tickets." Marley stated bluntly.
"Excuse me! I paid for those!"
"The money is on your dresser. You don't need to go back to Vancouver, it isn't safe. Wasn't today a good enough example of how vulnerable you are?" She shot a glare at Jonathon, who barely flinched.
"MARLEY! How could you-"
"Relax Olivia." Sabrine cut in. "Jonathon, the blade please."
"I don't have it." Jonathon tensed.
"Excuse me?" Sabrine's eyebrows shot up under her bangs. "It belongs to my family, I can feel its energy coming from you. Now hand it over."
Jonathon sighed, his jaw squaring before he reached in to his jacket and pulled out the red cloth that he had wound the dagger in. I could see just a piece of it gleaming where it wasn't wrapped properly, but before he could hand it to Sabrine I forced his hand down.
"What does it do?" I locked my eyes with Sabrine's.
"It strips ..." she stopped, glancing over at Marley who wasn't watching and continued. "The blade itself is harmless unless the incantation is read over it, it was meant to take the supernatural out of the blood stream. Demons, nymphs, angels, vampires ... in most respects it kills them."
I bit my bottom lip, glancing from the dagger to Jonathon, a feeling of unease settling in the pit of my stomach. I took the dagger from him, pulling it against my chest and looking back up at Sabrine. "I think I'll hold on to it, I may need it in the future."
"Young lady, you will give that back to Sabrine right now, so help me god."
"No!" My voice was strong, echoing in the room.
"STOP! Holy shit, would everyone just shut up." AJ snarled and the whole room went silent. "Okay, better. Now, what we came here for: Gabriel has foreseen something?"
"Yes." Alex answered slowly. "He has foreseen that Lucien will approach Olivia and make her an offer."
"But don't visions work in the premise that you'd have to be there to witness it?" I stuttered.
"Yes," Alex continued, "he's going to approach you at a ball or something, before your Father. He didn't say what it was about. Gabriel only mentioned that if Lucien gets to you, then your chances of survival might be increased."
"Increased?" Marley's eyes went huge.
"If Lucien sees her and Olivia can, identify him, there will be no more games and no more wondering. Olivia will be able to see everything that Lucien does from that point, including Lexie's movements."
My mouth was dry and I knew that my face was painted with confusion, but in the back of my mind my recent vision was floating about, bumping its way through all the others. Michael's face washed over me long before the smell of blood choked me. The room seemed to shift a small amount, sending my vision sideways and wobbling around. There was a pain that shot through me, a blade slashing through my mind, sending me in to a dark pit where there was no sound, no light, no life.
I had forced my way from the darkness, only to find myself standing on jagged rocks looking over a great mass of gray water. The grass beneath my feet was stained red and black, while the air was filled with the scent of salt and what seemed like rotting flesh. I feared for what I would find when I turned around, but I forced my body to move, to just look. I instantly regretted it.
Over on a hill I watched as a swarm of disfigured creatures tore what appeared to be humans, limb from limb, their blood spraying through the air. Screams fell silent on their dead lips, while more emerged from hiding places. Other species filed on to the battlefield, their war cries drifting to me on the wind that I had not noticed. No one stood next to me, there was no weapon within my reach, only a hollowness that filled my chest, and I couldn't breath.
The image slipped away only to reform to Jonathon's face hovering above mine, his expression worried and ragged. I couldn't have been out for very long, because nothing in the room had changed, not even the sun filtering through the small windows.
"I can't go to Ireland."
"Why?" Kat purred.
"There will be a battle and people will die."
"Great! Just what I wanted to hear." Vivian snarled.
"But, that means you had a vision!" Skylar cheered.
"Really?" Alex eyed me.
"Yes. All I could see was the landscape and a wave of warriors from all classifications."
"Maybe..." Celone whispered and instantly everyone's eyes were on her. She pressed her body against Jonathon and into the couch. "Maybe Father is going to attack Gabriel, whether you're there or not. I mean, you say you won't go and yet they are attacking as you watch. Maybe... it's a sign that he's preparing for war."
When she was finished, the room remained silent as everyone contemplated the idea. I just sat there numbly trying to put my thoughts in order. Everything that Celone was saying could very well be true, but at the same time there was a large possibility that she was wrong. Michael's words trickled in to my thoughts as I pictured two, tiny children calling me "mom".
Maybe, I would die and maybe I wouldn't, but either way I knew what I had to do. "Regardless, maybe we should go to Ireland, but not yet, not too soon." I stood up and walked as quickly out of the room as possible, checking out the clock in the hall as I brushed passed. I fished my cell out of my pocket and found the number I was looking for, quickly jotted it down with some paper and a pen I found in the kitchen.
I spun around to see Jonathon standing a foot from me in complete composure. "Yes."
"Are you really keeping the blade?"
I nodded. "I can't tell you why, but I have this feeling I'm going to need it."
"Keep it. I have no use for it anymore." Closing the distance between us, he smiled at me, pushing me up against the island and kissed me.
I had to remember to breath, and relax. "Good." I played with the collar of his torn shirt, casting a glance over the bloodstains, both green and red. It looked like a bad shirt someone gave you at Christmas time.
"I guess I should change, hm?"
I looked down at my own clothing that were in much the similar state, and rolled my shoulders back in a shrug. "Why? We match." I winked.
His hand slid down my arm and threaded his fingers through mine, pulling me through the house to where Alex had set up his room. It wasn't anything special, just a double bed with a quilt tossed over it and a small dresser propped up in the corner of a perfectly square room. There were no posters on the walls, no rugs on the hardwood floor; even the window had no curtains or coverings. I shut the heavy door behind me, glancing over the white walls and the plain furniture. The room was very cold and lonely, for a moment my heart gave a little squeeze, and then fluttered in to life as Jonathon began undressing in front of me.
"Just give me a second to change, then we can find you something else to wear." He dug through his lower drawers and pulled out a button up shirt and a pair of Wranglers, very ordinary clothing if you asked me.
Without any hesitation I propped myself up on his bed and stared at the ceiling. "You realize I could just go home and change, right?"
He stopped buttoning up his shirt briefly, his eyes going far away and then came over to the bed, with a motion that was much like a panther leaping up in to a tree, he pounced on to the bed. He was leaning over me, his nose a few inches from mine, but he just hovered there.
"What?" I blinked, reaching up and winding my hands around his neck.
"It's so strange how you aren't shy around me." The words dropped from his mouth without a second thought, and kissed my nose. "And ... you look tired. Should I take you home? Or will Marley exorcise me?"
A giggled bubbling up in my throat and slipped between my lips, and my cheeks flushed. "Maybe. I should probably go back downstairs, although I'm pretty sure she knows what happened." I glanced down at his bandaged hands and lifted one to my face and kissed it. "It really isn't your fault either, Jonathon. Lexie is just an evil bitch, being manipulated by a conniving bastard. I don't blame you for anything, I snapped because I couldn't take it anymore, I wasn't cut out to be a Hunter from the begin-"
He stole his hand back and pressed a finger to my lips, silencing my pity rally. "No, you are a great Hunter. You shot a gun for the first time and hit your target without aiming, Olivia. Alex doesn't need to train you because your instincts already know how to use your Hunter blood. You just need to let go, get out of your head and let it work its magic."
I couldn't help it, a smile spread across my face and I pulled him down to me and kissed him. He fell on to his side and lay next to me, his shoulders almost broad enough to take up most of the bed. I had always thought demons to be hideous creatures, their skin crawling with dead things with forked tongues and leathery skin, but Jonathon was handsome. He had a strong jaw, olive skin and large, roan colored eyes that gave him a younger appearance. His lips had a sensual curve to them, no matter what emotion was painted on his face, and it was probably that which had drawn me to him, like he could never lie or hurt me. A demon, who had been around long enough to know the world inside and out, and how to make a girl swoon, but I wasn't just any girl and he knew it.
"Olivia? Where are you? I'm leaving!" Marley's voice boomed up on the second level and I bit back a slew of curses and booked it from Jonathon's room. Marley gave me a death stare, before practically pushing me out the front door towards the truck.
Once inside the cab, she gunned the engine and drove home, there was only silence once more, not even the radio was playing. We pulled in to our driveway, but she never turned the truck off, just sat there staring out the windshield. "Olivia," she began, casting a sad glance in my direction. "I love you. I just want to see that you're safe, and Jonathon is bad news, all demons are."
"Mom, please. Save it." I rolled my eyes, feeling the urge to get out of the truck but I stayed, some other need forcing me still. "I love you too, and I think this is a good thing. Jonathon can keep me safe, he knows how this world works and he can protect himself, unlike Michael could. It's not like a love him, and I probably never will, but right now I need him."
The look on Marley's face caught me off guard, she was grinning, her eyes filling with silent laughter. "You mean ... you're just using him?"
"NO!" I snapped, horrified at the thought. But she's right ... that's exactly what you're doing, isn't it?
"It is Olivia." She snorted. "I think I could handle it if I knew that he wasn't going to be messing with your head, instead you would be messing with his. Just be careful, there could be back-lash if he doesn't like it."
"Mom! I'm not using him!"
She shook her head, and reached out and grabbed my hand and gave it a slight squeeze. "Maybe not, you wouldn't be the first though, but Olivia you are right about one thing. He can keep himself safe, but not from Lexie, so as much as you ‘aren't' using him, he ‘isn't' using you." With that she killed the engine and left me sitting in the truck's cab by myself.
She's absolutely right and you know it, and even though it should bother you, it really doesn't. This is good, this is perfect, and mom even sounds proud!
I slipped out of the truck, with a new sense of pride that I had never felt before and made my way in to the house. Marley was busying herself with something in the kitchen, probably mending supper or doing paperwork, she didn't even look up as I walked down the few steps to my room. It was completely empty, only the weight of that last night with Michael weighed down on me, but after today there was no more guilt, no more hatred, and no more fear. I had changed, I was fixing myself and it was causing me to become less of the old, ignorant girl I had once been. I was thinking clearly, even as I walked in to the bathroom and caught my red hair gleaming in the light. I was going to keep it that way, at least for a little while, no matter how hard Sabrine fought against me to dye it back to blonde. Right now this hair color suited me best, and that was just fine with me.