Even though the sunlight streamed through the parting clouds, there was an ominous feeling in the atmosphere and everything around them. Like something was approaching them and the wings of Death were already in flight and the scythe ready to come down.
"Sanctuary? Sanctuary where?!"
Arianna had not been half as much annoying as she was being right now, and that got into Damian's head. He couldn't think straight for half a minute before she started asking those incessant questions and refusing to quicken her pace. His mind was full of Helena; her death was his responsibility. He tightened his jaw, the Seer was going to pay for the death of his father and his friend.
"Damian, if you don't tell me what's going on I will scream for help," Arianna threatened at last, writhing free of Damian's grasp.
Damian cursed, stopped, and spun around to face the agitated Arianna. She was startled by his sudden behaviour, but she held her ground and offered a defiant stare in return.
"Why can't you just shut up and let me do my job!" He shouted, angry. "What happened back there was my fault; I was careless and now my friend is dead. I don't want that to happen to anyone again. If you don't do what I tell you, we're going to be dead." He exhaled painfully, regretting those last words.
Arianna's eyes were swimming in tears. She bit the inside of her mouth to kept from crying.
"Enough Damian," Jayden interjected and took Arianna's hand, pulling her forward. She allowed Jayden to gently take her toward her car, whispering that everything will be okay.
Damian cursed again and followed them. He yanked the door opened while Jayden placed Arianna in the backseat and fastened her seat belt. Arianna was hurt, she couldn't hide that, but she was confused as well. She composed herself when Damian started the car.
"Where are we going?" She asked more firmly.
"Home," Damian said curtly. "We'll gather some things and we'll leave town."
Before Arianna could as much as replied, he had pulled out of the parking lot and sped toward the freeway. He never loosened his feet from the accelerator until Arianna's house was in view. Arianna was afraid, even more so than in school.
Damian got out of the car and opened Arianna's door.
"I don't want to leave..." Arianna saying, but Damian unfastened her seat belt and half-drag half-carried her out of the car and into the house. Arianna was fighting him; she had never seen him acting so savagely and so strangely.
"Get some warm clothes, we're leaving." Damian said tersely and he rummaged through the desks and belongings of the Lee's.
"Hey, you can't do that, that's my parents property." Arianna hit Damian from the back. "I am not going anywhere with you until I know what's happening."
"You want to know?" Damian took both her wrist and eyed her closely. "You're in great danger for magic you possess. I am trying to keep you alive before it's your time to die. Now, go pack little witch."
"I am not a witch!" said Arianna. "That is impossible."
"You are," said Jayden. "Look, if you don't trust or believe Damian, trust me." He had an earnest look of concern in his eyes. "Your premonitions are not normal because you're not normal. You're a witch left on Earth the moment you were born. Raised by human parents. But now, a great evil is upon you. We were sent to protect you and take you safe back to Aldara, our world."
Something in Jayden's words and manner made Arianna's spirit quiet. She listened attentively, processing every word of truth Jayden told her. The tears had started flowing again. Jayden took Arianna in his arms and comforted her.
"We'll protect you. Please go pack, we must leave before the Seer sends his trackers after us. I promise I will explain everything when we're long gone from here," said Jayden.
Arianna nodded in submission. "But what about my mother? I can't just leave her here. When she gets back from work she'll be worried that I didn't come home."
"She is not your mother," said Damian.
"Don't be unpleasant Damian," warned Jayden. Then he turned to Arianna and said, "don't worry, just leave her a note saying that you're out with some friends and Damian. She trusts him."
Arianna nodded and went upstairs with Jayden. Damian searched for spare cash and put some food in bags. By the time Arianna was back, she had a bag with her and was fully engaged in writing a note explaining to her "mother" why she would not come back tonight. She had signed it with "I love you" and a kiss.
"Let's move." Damian was already holding the door for them. Jayden took the bags and headed for the car. Arianna walked behind him. When Arianna was within earshot, Damian said in a low voice, "say goodbye to this life Arianna, because you'll never come back and you won't see her again."
Arianna shot him a spiteful and sorrowful look. "I hate you," she said.
Damian grinned. When all were in the car, he started the engine and pulled away.
Jayden had told her everything by the time they entered Las Vegas in the late evening. The city was sparkling in its usual light. Arianna was quite speechless for some time. She flexed her fingers and tiny sparks flew from the tip. She was both excited and apprehensive. She looked around her, she hadn't known where they headed to. She was expecting anything, but this.
"You drove us to Las Vegas?"
"You're tired," Damian said. "We're going to spend the night in a hotel before heading to the portal the next day. It's in the middle of the desert and the temperatures at night are severe."
Arianna did feel tired.
"This city is bustling with life, the Seer would not dare go after you with so many witnesses watching. Even he would think it twice before killing so many people, he has not the power to do so... yet."
They checked in a hotel with fake credentials and paid for the room with the money Damian could gather from the house. When they got into their room, Jayden offered to cook some thing. Damian and Arianna were left in the room. There was a very uncomfortable silence between them.
"When were you going to tell me?" Arianna accused. "I can't believe I was beginning to trust you and like you."
"I don't see why you shouldn't." Damian felt wearied. He didn't even want to tease Arianna.
"I'm just happy you aren't my real stepbrother. I don't want to be related to you."
Damian smiled. It was going to be a long night and an arduous day tomorrow.