I woke up before the sun,
I had been plagued with dreams of faceless villains; they were chasing me, asking for the secret.
This I could surely thank Finn for, my imagination had taken flight from the moment he said I was in danger.
I grumbled to myself as I stepped into the shower. He had a lot to answer for.
Once I had washed the nightmares away I went to the closet to rifle through my clothes,I seriously had the wardrobe of an orphan.
At least I'm playing the part.
I decided on jeans and a blue long sleeved top,I put on a gray sweater vest and my comfortable boots.
Then I went back to the bathroom and brushed my teeth,
I brushed my shoulder length blond hair and left it down to curl around my face.
The last touches were mascara and lip gloss.
Now all I had left to do was wait.
I pulled out the book I had been reading, it was a murder mystery, but I couldn’t really get into it.
I was too distracted with my own mystery, secrets and lies seemed to be the M.O. for my life now.
It was hard to believe that a month ago I had been almost normal.
I threw the book onto the bed and shook my head.
Reading was useless.
I needed answers.
Maybe if I caught Finn before breakfast we could skip that whole fiasco and get out of the house before Tori decided to put us on lock down.
I thought of the possibility of a throw down, and it made me smile; she was taller than I was, but scrawny, and I thought I could probably take her, or at least I could take her down with me when I tripped over my own feet.
I laughed to myself, and decided to go to the study to wait for Finn.
I left the door open to see if anyone, mainly Finn, passed by, and I didn’t have to wait long.
I was sitting in the window, watching the tiny shops open their doors; the people on the street seemed to be happy to start another day. I was learning their faces very well; I thought it was pretty sad that I spent most of my days here watching other people live their lives.
I heard him walk into the room and when I looked up he was standing beside me.
"Good morning." I said smiling.
"You’re an early bird, were you afraid I would escape before you woke?" He asked with a small smile.
I decided right then that I liked the sound of his voice a little too much.
"Something like that."
I had never seen him really smile, and I loved the way it changed his face.
"Are you hungry?" he asked.
"I was hoping we could skip breakfast."
"Tori will be disappointed." he replied.
My jailer would probably be more then disappointed.
"Are you okay with that?" I asked as I turned away from the window and stood up.
" Sure, I was never a fan of breakfast." He said, his smile had dimmed a bit, but it was still there.
"Good, let’s get out of here." I resisted the urge to grab his hand and drag him out of the house because I wasn’t sure what he would think of my enthusiasm, so I followed him down the stairs, counting each step out of habit.
Once we were at the bottom of the stairs he stopped by the door to the sun room.
He held up a finger for me to wait, and then went inside.
I waited impatiently while I strained to hear the conversation on the other side of the door.
The voices were muffled,and I knew they were whispering so that I couldn’t hear.
I had the urge to press my ear against the door, but the embarrassment of getting caught was inescapable. I was sure to fall on my face when the door opened, from then on branded the shameless eavesdropper.
Better not take the chance, and hopefully I could get the answers I needed in a more honorable way.
I looked up when the door opened. I had once again been lost thought.
Finn shut the door behind him and there was a strained expression on his face.
"Shall we be off then?" He asked.
I nodded and followed him out of the house.
We walked in the opposite direction the yesterday, passing and apartment building and a book store before he spoke.
"Tori was less than pleased."
That's a shocker.
She was making it very difficult for me to like her.
"And I thought she would be happy not to have to divert the conversation all morning."I said, my voice was dripping with sarcasm.
It sent a shiver through me; it was deep and throaty, but light, as if it took very little effort at all.
"She did mention her aversion to being the epitome of endless distractions."
This made me smile, no doubt she had really been looking forward to thwarting our plans today.
I remembered the strained look on her face when I suggested an outing, I could see the wheels turning in her head, she had probably thought of a few ways to keep this excursion from taking place.
We walked for a few minutes in silence.
"Hey, so you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to, but I have been dying to ask you this." I said.
I watched as he frowned, "I'll answer if I can." he said sounding guarded.
I couldn’t resist smiling, “Why don't you guys have a single TV in the entire house?"
"Tori has a dislike for the Telly, she’s never wanted one, but Sam has one stashed in his room to watch sports....I suppose you could bunk with him if you want."
I couldn’t help but picture Sam's reaction to that suggestion.
"I don't know what its like here, but back home we had a TV in every room."
"I heard yanks we're odd." he said laughing
"Watch it," I said lightly pushing him, "You’re with a yank."
"Not really, you were born in London."
I stopped, and grabbed his shirt pulling him back.
"Who told you that?”He must have meant something else, I was born in LA, I had never stepped foot onto British soil until last week.
He looked around and then back at my face.
"I was born in LA." I said this aloud to reassure myself.
"Right, right." he said nodding.
I realized I had a death grip on his sleeve, so I let go and crossed my arms.
"Who told you I was born here?" I asked, he didn’t seem like he was very comfortable at the moment, and I had to admit that I was sorry our banter had to end so abruptly, but his comment had brought the last week and my hostage situation back into focus.
"No one." He replied shrugging
I could see the wheels turning behind his beautiful eyes.
"You should be coy, it’s unattractive." I told him as I watched him grasp for excuses.
"So you think I'm attractive?" He asked, his face relaxed and he was smirking.
I realized I had just given him a way to avoid the question.
"No, I mean, don’t try to change the subject." I said as I felt the blood start to rush to my face.
"So you think I'm unattractive then?" He asked as he grabbed my hand and pulled me forward.
The touch of our hands sent a little shock through me and threatened my ability to think.
"No you’re not horrible looking or anything." I said, he was still holding my hand as we walked.
"I'll take that as a compliment." He replied grinning, then he was pulling me into a small Cafe, the old sign above the door read, "Charlies".
It smelt a little like heaven when we walked through the door.
"This is the best place for breakfast." Finn said smiling down at me.
I smiled back, "I thought you weren't fond of breakfast."
"I'm not, but I've been listening to your bloody stomach growl for half an hour."
I laughed, as I heard my stomach growl, as if it were giving credit to his claim.
There was a small area with tables; he chose the one closest to the back. I was a little sad when he let go of my hand to sit down.
The shop was cozy, there was only one other person sitting, he had his back to us and was reading a book.
It reminded me of the coffee shop back in LA, Grace and I would always stop before school to have coffee. It made me miss her.
The waitress was a short round lady; she had curly red hair pulled back into a pony tail, and a friendly smile.
I ordered an apple pastry and coffee, Finn ordered Tea.
I felt as if I could still feel the warmth of his hand on mine and it made my stomach flutter.
"You should have ordered the raspberry tart, it’s a local favorite." He said as soon as the waitress had left.
"I’m not a fan of raspberry." I replied, I was trying not to stare at him, so I was looking at my hands instead.
Why couldn’t I think of a single question to ask him?
It was as if I lost complete brain function, it wasn’t fair.
The waitress came back then; I was relieved that I had a few moments to collect my thoughts.
She sat my apple pastry in front of me, poured my coffee and gave Finn his tea.
I looked down at my pastry, it was square, and the top was completely covered with white icing, when I bit into it was light and crispy, sweet with cinnamon and apples.
“Mm” I mumbled in approval.
I looked up at Finn; he was staring at me once again.
Suddenly self conscious I wiped my mouth with my napkin and smiled a little.
I poured cream and sugar into my coffee, I was still trying to think of all the questions I had thought of last night.
I was frustrated with the affect his gaze was having on me.
Finally I broke the silence, “So what questions can you answer? Should I even ask them? Or should we just skip to the part where you explain to me what’s going on?” I said it all in a rush, my words almost tumbling over each other.
I looked up and he was frowning, mulling over his options.
I took another bite of my pastry. I was trying to appear nonchalant.
The silence stretched out uncomfortably.
“There are a lot of questions that I am not allowed to answer.” He said this slowly, letting the words roll off his tongue bitterly.
I wondered if I was the source of this bitterness.
“I understand, and I’m sorry.” I said then I bit my lip to keep the disappointment from showing on my face.
“Tori will tell you the truth soon.” He stated.
“Sure, I just hope I’m here when she gets around to it.” I retorted, it was almost a threat.
They couldn't keep me here, there had to be a police station around here somewhere, I was sure that I would be able to find someone to help me if I truly wanted to escape.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked, his eyes were angry, but his face remained calm.
“You can’t expect me to stay here when you're all hiding things from me.”
I looked away, I stared at the man reading, trying to make out the name on the cover of his book.
“You cannot leave Liz…” He sounded serious.
Ha, try me.
“We’ll see.” I replied, I took another sip of my coffee, still not looking at him.
He looked torn, as if he were having an internal battle.
He was probably debating whether he should throw me over his shoulder and carry me back to the house now, or wait until we returned to the house tonight before locking me away.
I shook my head and looked away.
This was seriously annoying.
“If I guess, would you tell me if I was right?” I asked.
“I don’t think you’ll be able to guess.”
“Let’s assume that I could, then you wouldn’t feel responsible for revealing my families dirty laundry.”
I looked back into his face, into his eyes, and smiled when he nodded in agreement.
“Okay.” I agreed. It was a deal.
We left the shop and walked through the streets, I was silently contemplating everything that had been said, and what my next step should be.
I would have to go all Nancy Drew on these people.
We went to an office supply store; I still hadn’t exchanged my cash for British currency, so I gave Finn a twenty and told him not to rip me off as he gave me my money’s worth in pounds.
He smiled at my teasing.
I bought a note book and pen.
Then we walked back to the house in silence.
I was sad that all of the lighthearted conversation was over.
I rather liked that side of him. Now he was stoic.
When we entered the house it was quiet, I was surprised Tori wasn’t waiting for us at the door.
I had almost expected her to get out the chains as soon as we had arrived back.
I was walking behind Finn, thinking about what I should say to Tori the next time I saw her, when suddenly he stopped, and I ran into his back.
“What?” I mumbled trying to steady myself.
He stood completely motionless, and then he turned and pressed a finger to my lips to silence me.
His expression startled me, he looked furious.
I took a step back but he quicker then I was, he wrapped an arm around my waist and was suddenly pulling me back out the door we had just entered.
One of his large hands was over my mouth, keeping me silent.
Once outside of the house he removed his hand from my mouth but continued to drag me away from the house.
My head was spinning, I wasn’t sure what happened, but the look in his eyes promised my immediate demise.
“Finn Stop!” I began to struggle, but his arm seemed to be made of steel and my attempt to loosen his hold only made it tighter.
Finally he stopped once the house was out of sight. I could feel the tension in his body. I was pressed so tightly against his side I could hardly breathe.
I looked at his face, he looked as if he were listening for something.
“What are you doing? Are you nuts?” I asked once again trying to wiggle free of his iron hold.
“We have to leave, it’s not safe.” He said and then he began to drag me once again.
“Finn if you don’t let go of me I’m going to scream.” I said enraged as he pulled me down an alley that ran between a gift shop and a book store.
Too late, his hand clamped down over my mouth once again, as he pulled me further into the dark alley.
We stopped in front of an old metal door, it swung open and he pulled me inside.
The door closed leaving us in darkness.
He set me on my feet, and removed his hand from my mouth.
“What is your problem?” I demanded, I blinked into the darkness, where were we?
“Sorry,” he reached out and grabbed my hand, “Watch your step, we’re going to go up stairs.” Then he began to pull me forward.
I stumbled on the first step, but managed to keep my footing the rest of the way up.
I could see that there was a faint light coming from the top of the stairs.
Where was he taking me? Why had he suddenly gone crazy?
I didn’t think that he would really hurt me, but how was I supposed to know that he wasn’t about to chop me up into little pieces?
My heart was racing, as we finally walked into the little room above the stairs.
It looked abandoned, it was just one open room, there was no furniture, dust floated up in little puffs as we walked across the floor. The faint light was coming from the windows, they were boarded up, but some of the boards had fallen away in places.
I was relieved when I didn’t see anything sharp or saw like around the room.
He released my hand, and I watched as he reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a small black cell phone
“Tori?” He sounded relieved.
I watched as he listened to the conversation on the other line.
“Yes, we’re safe, for now.”
He looked up at me, and then back down at the floor.
I was glaring at him.
“We’ll be there…………yes………a couple of hours.”
I watched him hang up and then walk to look out through the crack of a window.
“What in the hell is going on!” I demanded, I stomped my foot, creating a large puff of dust.
I blinked; suddenly he was in front of me, a cloud of dust surrounding us.
I tried to back away from him, but he grabbed my hand to stop me.
“We will wait here for an hour, and then we will meet Sam.” His thumb was tracing little circles across the back of my hand.
“What’s going on?”
“We can’t go back to the house, they know you were there.” He said, his other hand reached up to smooth my hair.
“Finn, am I supposed to know who that is?” I asked in frustration, although I didn’t really expect an answer.
I stared into the deep blue of his eyes.
“Tori will explain.” He promised.
He let go of my hand and moved away from me.
I glared at the back of his head as he once again looked out of the boarded window.
I wasn’t sure if I should be angry, amused, or terrified.
He kept watch for an hour, when he said it was time to go, he grabbed my hand and we walked down the stairs, then out the metal door into the alley.
They had cornered us within seconds.
Three black dogs, the size of small ponies, with eyes that glowed yellow in the dark alley.
Finn shoved me behind him, and then he crouched in a very cat like position.
I watched as the black dogs stepped closer, their teeth bared.
I took a step back.
“Close your eyes.” He told me crouching even lower
What was he thinking? Did he not want me to see death as the dogs claimed my life?
“I don’t….understand…” I whispered.
“Just do it Liz!” He demanded, as the dogs closed in.
One of the dogs on the left growled menacingly.
I stepped closer to Finn, and closed my eyes.
There was a burst of wind on my face, and then I heard a startled yelp.
I kept my eyes closed tightly as I listened.
I heard a shuffling movement, another yelp, and something that sounded like a hiss.
I was shaking, expecting to feel the sharp teeth of the dogs ripping through my flesh at any moment.
When arms wrapped around me I let out a startled scream and opened my eyes.
Finn held me close for a moment then pulled away to look at my face.
“Their gone.” He said with a slight smile of victory on his lips.
I shook my head; I didn’t understand what had just happened.
“We should leave.” He said, and then he pulled me forward on my shaking legs.
I looked around; there was no sign of the dogs.
We walked quickly through the streets, it was late afternoon, but there weren’t many people on this side of the block.
I realized most of the buildings in this area looked old and abandoned.
We turned a corner, and I felt a since of relief when I saw Sam standing impatiently beside a familiar black car.
When he saw us he got into the car and waited.
Once safely inside the car I finally let out the breath I wasn’t aware I was holding.
“What took you so long?” Sam demanded speeding quickly through the abandoned street.
“Daver's.” Finn said making eye contact with Sam through the rear view mirror. I watched as Sam’s eyes suddenly turned cold.
“If someone doesn’t explain……” I let my sentence trail off; I didn’t know what I would threaten them with.
“Tori will explain.” Finn said, he was looking out of the window.
I crossed my arms over my chest, mainly to keep him from seeing my hands shaking, and glared.
I was getting tired of this being his excuse for everything.
We arrived in the country an hour later, Sam stopped in front of two very large iron gates.
I watched as the gates swung open, and then we were driving down a road that was barely larger than the car, I felt a little sick as I watched the large trees wiz by.
What was happening to my life? I was being chased by large black dogs with rabies?
How was that possible? And how was it possible that Finn hadn’t been torn to shreds?
I stared furiously at my hands; at least the shaking had subsided.
When we stopped I gazed up at the house, it looked a lot like a castle.
I didn’t know how long I had been waiting, I was sitting in an study of some kind- the walls were a rich olive, the furniture surprisingly up to current fashion.
They were making me wait for Tori.
I assumed that they were discussing the events that had taken place without me. How annoying.
I crossed my arms over my chest and slumped further into my chair.
I was furious, this was ridiculous, and as soon as I got the opportunity I was leaving England and all the nut cases in it.
I thought about the snarling black dogs, and the hairs on my arms stood up.
Creepy ass dogs sure weren’t on the brochure.
I looked up at the sound of the door opening, and I watched as Tori finally made her appearance.
I gritted my teeth, as I tried not to glare at her.
She walked gracefully over to the chair across from mine and sat down.
“I’m so sorry Elizabeth.”
I didn’t understand why she insisted on calling me Elizabeth; I couldn't remember how many times I had told her I preferred Liz. This made me angrier.
I didn’t say anything; I was waiting for the magical explanation that everyone claimed she possessed.
“We are at war.”
What was that supposed to mean? At war with each other? At war with dogs? If it were the dogs I was sure there had to be a pound in London somewhere.
“War?” I asked dubiously.
“Yes, our true family name is Truax, we have been fighting the Feuro’s for centuries.” She seemed to be studying my face, judging my reaction.
“I don’t see how you would think any of this would make sense to me.” I announced, I began to think of ways I could get Finn to take me to the airport.
“Your mother wasn’t Mya Bailey, you were adopted by the Bailey's, your real mother sent you away to protect you.”
I felt a stinging sensation behind my eyes, I closed them tightly, trying to breathe through the pain her words were causing.
“You have a lot of nerve Tori.” I whispered, my eyes still closed.
“I am speaking the truth.”
My eyes snapped open. “You haven't been honest with me from the moment I arrived, now you expect me to believe this...story? “
“Yes.” Her face was completely calm.
“Fine, I’ll play along, protecting me from what?”
“We aren’t sure exactly why the Feuros want you, but we know that Malakai, the elder of the Feuros, has a Seeker, it has been said that you are the key to destroying the Feuro’s and ending the war.”
What was she talking about? Were they some kind of British mafia? And what was a seeker? And who in their right mind would think that I could possibly be dangerous to anyone but myself?
“Sorry, but your going to have to dumb it down a bit for me.” I said bitterly.
“We are immortals, our people have lived centuries, we have fought to keep our secret, but the family of the Feuro’s seek power, and their greed threatens our entire existence”
She paused for a moment, taking in my incredulous expression, then continued.
“You mothers name was Sien, she was beautiful, an immortal, it is unheard of for an immortal to become pregnant after the transformation has taken place.
“Maybe I should demonstrate something for you” She decided.
I shook my head,
“Are you nuts? Did you forget to take your meds today Tori?”
She smiled at me and I watched in shock as a white mist started to float out around her feet, it swirled up until it completely surrounded her, it swirled faster, became denser, I could no longer make out her face, it expanded, then it shrunk and disappeared, leaving in its wake a large white owl.
The owl blinked up at me with its large brown eyes, then it shook out its ruffled feathers.