EtherealMature

Tess had no trouble sleeping that night. The crumbling motel seemed like a four star hotel, after being in the run in the woods. She stretched out her legs, and slumber came quickly to her. She dreamed of her warm cozy apartment that she used to share with Nathan.

In the dream Tess, was warped in the warmth of his flannel shirt, fixing him breakfast, while he smiled teasingly at her, before disappearing behind the wall street journal. She hummed blissfully happy to have been returned to such mundane activities, that she normally would have taken for breakfast. Skirting around the small island, she placed a bowl of fruit in the center of the table, and piled pancakes on a plate for Nathan. She wouldn't have any herself, back in this life she was constantly counting counting her carbs.

She pulled out a chair for herself at the table. Nathan set the paper down, only it wasn't Nathan behind those pages. Tess screamed, as she faced an unfamiliar man at the table. He smiled knowingly at her.

“It's me Tess,” the familiar voice rang out.

Tess ransacked her memory to place the voice.

“Oh, no,” she muttered, before returning her gaze back to the stranger. He had pale blue eyes. His hair, was much too long. It fell in waves of black silk down his back. His face was far more masculine then his hair, she noted, eying the hard jawline and furrowed brow. Well define muscles were sculpted beneath a plain white T-shirt. Beautiful, didn't even begin to describe him. He was ethereal.

Tess's throat had gone dry. “William?” she squeaked.

William nodded encouragingly. Tess wasn't sure if this was part of the dream or something else. She suddenly became aware of her bare legs, as she was only wearing the flannel. William didn't seem to notice.

“Tess. What I have to tell you is important.”

Childishly, the Tess in the dream turned away from the man, holding her hands above her ears. “Your not real, your not real.”

“I'm afraid I am.” William's voice rose.

Tess let out a war cry of sorts, this was her dream. Her solstice of normalcy. How dare he take that away from her.

“Get out of my head!” Tess cried turning to face William.

His face remained placid. “Very well,” he said and just like that he winked himself out of the dream. Tess woke abruptly after that. Groggily she wiped the sleep from her eyes. Besides her Leila was sprawled out taking up most of the bed. She propped herself on her elbows. In front of the bed, stood William, all six feet of him. His arms were crossed and the slightest hint of a grin played at the corners of his mouth.

Tess gasped in surprise. She shook Leila awake, so she could confirm that Tess was in fact going crazy and having hallucinations.

Leila simply groaned at the sight of William. She pressed her palms to her eyes. “I know rent's late. I'll have it for you by next week. I promise please don't evict me.” she muttered.

Tess blinked in confusion, before she began to understood, Leila was still half asleep and dreaming herself. She reached out to pinch Leila. Immediately Leila jerked awake, and slapped Tess's hand away.

Tess pointed towards William. Leila's eyes went wide. “Everybody up!” Leila called towards the other two in her best drill sergeant imitation.

Xavier and Claude were far more alert then the women. Xavier's hand went for a switch blade he set on the nightstand.

“Stop!” Tess warned. “It's the man who was inside of me the other day.”

Claude and Leila threw Tess raised their eyebrows at her.

Defensively Tess put her hands up. “That came out wrong.”

Before Tess could dig herself into a deeper hole. William stepped forward. “I am William. Nephew of Merlin the Great.”

As if possible the room grew even more quiet,as everyone became fixated with William.

“I am here, to offer you protection from Bernard Kingsley, a scorned sorcerer who hunts you for your knowledge, and hunts me for what it is I possess.”

“And what exactly is that?” Claude asked.

William motioned towards his chest. “Power beyond your wildest imagination. Enough to give him a fair fight, should you retrieve the Grimoire for me.”

At William's last request the silence was broken. Everybody began to voice their opinions on how ludicrous that idea was, a suicide mission. An argument broke out as everyone tried talking over one another.

“Shut up!” Tess yelled above them.

She walked towards William. “Why can't you get the Grimoire yourself?”

William cleared his throat. “My powers are easily detected. As humans, you are harder for the immortals to track down. Please, if Kingsley figures out how to dispel the curses and powers of the book, the explosion on the bus is going to seem like a paper cut, compared to what he has planned for the rest of the earth.”

Tess glanced back at the other three, then back at William.

“Why us? Couldn't you go ask the FEDs or the CIA for help?” she asked.

William shook his head. “Merlin's Prophecy said it would be four survivors in the wake of Merlin's death. You are the ones gifted with Merlin's protection. The Grimoire would kill any other mortals should they touch it.”

Tess glanced back at the other three one more time. They appeared exasperated, but they wore the same looks of defeat. They knew this was their only option.

Tess returned her gaze to William before swearing under her breath.

“Fine. We'll do it.” She spoke on everyone's behalf.

William smiled appreciatively. “Good.” he produced a wad of cash and set it on the nightstand. “Fix yourselves up, buy some food, and get some rest. I will be back tomorrow with further instructions.” with that he suddenly disappeared from the room.

The End

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