Zendaya looked out through the little window in her room and saw Bellonella pick up a dagger from the weapons room and walk towards Baramore’s room. She fought the spirit’s control and managed to slow down the steps. But she couldn’t stop Bellonella. As she reached the door, Bellonella placed her hand on the door knob and began to turn it. But Zendaya finally nearly took full control. She froze her hand on the knob. She fought harder and managed to get the hand off the knob and even step back a few steps.
“Stop resisting!” Bellonella’s angry face appeared in Zendaya’s room.
Zendaya managed to back away a few more steps. But just then, the door opened and Baramore stepped out.
“Oh, Zendaya. Can I help you with something?” he asked.
Zendaya finally broke through completely. “B!” she cried. “I-I can’t…dagger!” Bellonella took control once again and leapt for Baramore with the dagger pointed at his chest. But he had received the warning and was ready. He dodged out of the way quick as lightning and before Bellonella could react, his arm flew out and grabbed her right wrist, causing her to drop the dagger.
“Berret!” he cried. Berret came flying out of his office and grabbed Zendaya’s temples with her hands. Her deep purple eyes stared deep into Bellonella’s blue ones.
“What are you doing?” the words came from Zendaya’s mouth, yet the voice was Bellonella’s. “Stop!” But it was too late and Zendaya could feel Bellonella’s hold on her soul release. She sagged to the floor and gasped in relief.
She saw a blue swirl go through the ceiling and disappear. The last remnant of Bellonella.
“Are you okay?” Baramore bent down beside her and hugged her to him. Zendaya nodded weakly.
“How long?” Berret demanded.
Zendaya recoiled from her harsh tone. “A few days,” she whispered.
“How long exactly, Zendaya?” Berret asked again.
“Three days.” Zendaya replied.
Berret stood looking down at her.
“What do you think?” Baramore asked.
“I have no idea. The Darkness must know everything she knows by now. I don’t know what the long term effects of Bellonella’s presence in her body will be, though.” Berret left them and walked toward her own office.
“What happened?” Baramore asked, looking at her, brown eyes full of love.
“I-I had gone out to watch Nevara…I didn’t want her to get hurt…”
Baramore’s jaw clenched. “Is she working for the Darkness?”
Zendaya didn’t reply, just looked away.
“I’m sorry, Z,” Baramore said quietly. He stood up and helped Zendaya to her feet. “I’m going to take you to Kaki. Maybe she can give you something that will help you feel better. You’ve been through a lot recently.” As Baramore led her to the nurse’s office on the second floor, Zendaya leaned heavily on him and thought over everything Bellonella had done while in charge of her body. The worst part had been the rudeness to her friends. She wondered if they would even believe her, let alone forgive her.
“Zendaya!” Baramore turned so Zendaya could see who was calling her name. It was Alexia, and she and Myst were running towards them.
“What happened?” Alexia asked, short of breath as she reached them. “You’re wings are purple again! Are you…?”
“I’m back,” Zendaya said with a weak smile. “Can you forgive me?”
“For what?” Myst asked, chocolate brown eyes twinkling in delight.
“For the way I treated you,” Zendaya hung her head.
“Don’t worry about it! We know about the intruder!” Alexia replied with a wide smile, golden eyes sparkling.
“If you’ll excuse us for a moment, girls, I was just going to take Zendaya to the nurse…” Baramore interrupted.
“Oh, sorry!” Alexia apologized. “We’ll meet up with you later, ‘kay?” Alexia and Myst turned and left them.
“Sorry about that,” Zendaya said to Baramore with a smile. But he was looking ahead and didn’t appear to have heard her. As they reached Kaki’s office, the large woman came out and helped Baramore assist Zendaya into the room. She felt very weak after the experience with Bellonella. Her initial sense of freedom had worn off and she was simply exhausted.
“What happened?” Kaki asked Baramore as Zendaya sat down in a chair and closed her eyes, trying to rest a bit and catch her breath again.
“She had an intruder,” Baramore whispered.
Zendaya heard Kaki gasp. “Did Berret get it out?”
“Yes, the spirit was weakened because Zendaya had already begun fighting it and forcing it out.”
Kaki gasped again. “But only onoraii can…” Zendaya opened her eyes as Kaki gasped again. The rotund women’s light pink eyes were wide, her small were-bear tail was wagging back and forth apprehensively and her large hands were covering her mouth in shock. “You mean she’s a…?” Kaki glanced at Zendaya and noticed that she was staring at the pair of them curiously.
Onoraii? Those were the beings Bellonella had spoken about… Was it possible that Berret and Baramore had called her into their office with Rhea and the Hunters because she was one of them…?
“Can you give her something to help her feel better?” Baramore cut Kaki off.
Kaki’s face relaxed and she nodded, walking away to get a potion. Baramore sat down in a chair beside Zendaya and placed a hand on hers.
“You feeling okay?” he asked, voice sweet and quiet.
Zendaya nodded. “I feel much better now.”
“You look much better, too. I have to say, icy blue just wasn’t working.” Baramore smiled.
Zendaya grinned. “Blue isn’t really my color.”
Kaki returned with a green oozing potion. “This will help her head clear and bring strength back into your body. Also, the spirit probably sapped your magic, so this will help empower you.”
Zendaya’s mind cleared as she took the potion. She instantly felt as though giant cotton balls had been removed from her head so she could think freely and hear clearly again.
“Better?” Kaki asked with a smile.
Zendaya nodded. “Definitely.”
“I’ll take you back to your room and you can rest for a while, okay?” Baramore helped her stand and she realized that even after the potion she had to lean on Baramore to get to her room. Araminta was nowhere to be seen as Baramore helped her onto her bed.
“Thanks for everything, B,” Zendaya said quietly.
Baramore smiled. “Anytime, dear.” He left her alone and closed the door behind him. Zendaya lied down on her stomach and fluttered her large wings. She closed her eyes and felt how nice it was to be in control of her fingers and feet and mind again.
Zendaya opened her eyes and turned onto her back and looked at her hands. She shot little purple sparkles in the air to test her magic reserve. She felt depleted, but less so than before she took the potion.
There was a knock at the door and Zendaya called for them to come in.
It was Araminta and she scowled as she entered. But her expression changed to astonishment when she saw Zendaya.
“Wait, are you…back to normal?” she asked incredulously.
Zendaya nodded with a smile. She sat up on her bed and looked at Araminta. “I’m really sorry about the way I treated you and your stuff…”
“You weren’t really in charge, though, right? I mean, I kind of figured there was an intruder, right?” Araminta sat down next to her.
Zendaya nodded. “But, it was like, I couldseewhat was happening, I just couldn’tdoanything about it.”
Araminta nodded. “My uncle once had an intruder in his body. They don’t usually take over vampires though…”
“It was weird. She was using my magic and my body and memories and it was just…weird.” Zendaya smiled.
Araminta smiled back. “Well, it’s nice to have you back. Especially since I just got my dresses cleaned and if you still weren’t you, then, well…” Araminta grinned and they both laughed.