"Why, what a cute little Fox Demon you are. I think I might just have to make you mine" Ice tapped Mazany's nose then stepped back. She began to dance around in the snow, hands raised above her head. I had to admit she looked utterly gorgeous and graceful. Suddenly she stopped and frowned at Mazany, pouting.
"Oh no! I can't have you thinking that! Oh no no no! She owes me for this, and guess what I want you!" Ice informed Mazany. I saw Mazany's confusion. He hadn't understood her but I did. I growled and called her every name I could think of. Maz finally opened his eyes and stared at me.
I watched Ice step forward and tilt Maz's head back so he would look at her. She breathed softly on his face, a mist forming just in front of his nose. I gritted my teeth in anger. I'd been taught about this magic but it was forbidden.
"Don't breathe," I whispered. Of course, I knew that he must have.
"I tried not to..." Maz told me in a choked voice, "But if you've ever tried to hold your breath you'll know it's slightly uncomfortable," he finished dryly. My lips twitched, I couldn't help it. Trust Maz to make a sarcastic comment at a time like this.
I saw the past Maz try to turn his face away but Ice grabbed his face firmly and Maz had no choice but to breathe the mist in. He had shuddered and Ice clapped.
"Oh Yes! This is perfect! I can't wait to use you!" She went behind him and stroked his tail once more. I felt a stab of anger; Maz had never allowed me to touch his tails and knew he'd never have let Ice touch them willingly.
Ice whispered something in Maz's ear and left in her typical dramatic fashion.
"Bitch!" I growled. I spun around to face Maz. He looked alarmed at the intensity in my eyes.
"Let me guess," I hissed, furious, "She said something about your kanik?" Maz nodded wordlessly. He cleared his throat.
"Goodbye, my Little Fox Demon, our kanik is set and so now you belong to me," Maz said, repeating her words, softly. He was eyeing me warily now, I saw hints of suspicion in the depths of his eyes.
"Oh no! Do not start thinking I was helping her!" I pleaded, "You saw my conversation with her! You know what happened now!" Maz blinked in shock.
"Sorry," he muttered, "I still don't know everything that happened. How all this started for one."
Al'Tijd was watching silently. I remembered his offer to forget all that had happened. He was waiting for my answer. I held up a hand, telling him to wait a little longer. Al'Tijd nodded but started to speak, "Be quick, Time is of the Essence... Corre-" I gave him a dark, murderous glare.
"Never mind," Al'Tijd said hastily, "Corr-" He froze and glanced at me, "Dammit!" My lips twitched again and I turned to Maz.
"I think I've worked it out," I told him, "Do you remember that day we first met?" Maz nodded and smiled slightly.
"You were being attacked by the wolves for a second time and I came to help you. I don't know how much you remember but Darren - the head wolf - turned on me. You used Kistune-Bi to save me but it weakened you. You fell unconscious. You had a fever so bad that it burned my hand when I touched your skin." I took a deep breath and continued, "I couldn't help you, I didn't have that power... But my, darling, half-sister possesses that... skill. I owed her for saving your life."
"She owes me for this and, guess what, I want you," Maz quoted softly. I nodded and turned to Al'Tijd.
"I choose to remember. I'd rather feel it all now - the anger, the pain - than have it come back later with a vengeance," I said. Al'Tijd nodded, slowly.
"What happens now?" Mazany asked, choosing to ignore mine and Al'Tijd's exchange.
"Ask Zuri... Correct?" Al'Tijd said. I was too surprised to even glare at him for saying 'correct' yet again.
"Me? What do you..?" Then I got it and shook my head, "Each Phoenix... gives me - us - something then we have to use it in some master puzzle of life," I snorted then looked at Mazany with sad eyes, "We have to go back and use the... knowledge we've been given."
"No!" Maz yelled, "I don't want to go back where... where... where He is. I don't want to go back to blood and death and pain and emptiness. Please!" I walked over to him and, hesitantly, put a hand to his cheek then withdrew quickly.
"I know, I know it's hard but you know the truth now. You need to hold onto some hope. Plus these phoenixes just have to get their way. As soon as I can I will come and find you. I will free you from Ice, I promise. I need to learn everything I possibly can first and... tie up loose ends," I held his eyes and then nodded to Al'Tijd. "Send me back," I whispered. I kissed Maz's cheek quickly. "Give my regards to Ice," I smiled without humour.
I blinked several times. I had returned as quickly as I had left. I watched Midnight for a while longer, knowing it was unlikely I'd see her again. I hoped I would see the girl who I loved like a sister. Impossible but true.
I sighed wishing my real sister was as innocent and kind as Midnight.
She had killed Thalpius and it was down to me to seek revenge.
The best part?
She knew I was coming, whether it was hours, days, weeks or years, she knew I would come.