"Hurry Claire!" I hear my mom say as I am coming down the stairs. "You don't want to be late for school again do you?" Of course not I think to myself sarcastically. I just look at her as we rush out the door. I am old enough to drive myself but ever since the incident of last month my mom no longer lets me. I look down at my arms, at the scratches that are healing from a month ago. I was out with some friends that night and the next thing I remember is waking up at a hospital. Not sure what happened or how I even got to the hospital. Needless to say my mom freaked out and doesn't let me out of her sight very much anymore.
I jump out of my mom's car relieved to escape the ongoing silence between us. I race into the school just as the bell rings for class. I make it to class just a few minutes late. Nothing compared to a couple weeks ago when I kept coming into class right before it ended. I've gotten away with it for one reason and one reason only. I didn't know what happened to him. Not at first. No one was telling me anything. But...then the truth came out and people became more lenient.
After school was over my mom pick me up and we headed to the hospital in silence. This has been our routine for the pass couple of week, once I found out where he was. No one knows what happen to him, he was with me that night. I walk into his hospital room and I see him there with tubes attached to the machines next to his bed. He has been in a coma since that night. "Mason," I say weakly as I grab his hand. I squeeze it tight as if it will wake him up from the coma and I can finally have him back. My best friend.
Nothing happens. The machines don't change. There's no response from him. I should have expected this by now. However, I can't find the wave of depression that washes over me. Is he ever going to come back to me? Why can't I remember anything about that night after the first hour with my friend? Who was driving? It could have been anyone of us. Why am I just scraped an bruised while he's stuck there lying in bed unable to live on his own? I hate these stupid machines. I hate the smell in here. I miss his smell. I miss his voice. I just want him to call me Claire Bear one more time. Just one more time. I can't stop the tears as the escape from my eyes.
"Claire we need to go honey." I hear my mom behind me. "Okay," I say as I lean into Mason and give him a light kiss on his forehead." See you soon my Mason." I whisper to him as I leave. In the car, I start playing over that night again as I have been since I found out what happen to Mason. I want to know how this could have happened. I get to the same spot every time, Mason and I with a few of our other friends, Chris, Juile, and Sara all had an idea of going to the Cursed Lake.Mysterious thing are said to go on at that lake.
There are tales of the Cursed Lake being haunted by two young lovers that drowned in the lake. It is said that they were running away together when one of them fall into the water and the other jumped in to save the one who fall in. The story always changes on whether if the girl or guy fall in first. We've all been to Cursed Lake during the day with our families. Never at night when it's said the two lovers come out to attempt their rescues again and again every night forever. The road to Cursed Lake is a winding one. I remember we made it to the Cursed Lake safely but everything else after getting out of the car and running to the edge of the lake is blank. Gone. When I try to remember what I saw after the moonlight on the water all I see in black.
I am snapped back into reality when my mom touches my shoulder. "Are you getting hungry?" she looks at me as if she is pleading me to say yes. It been hard to eat more then a few bites lately. I just don't have an appetite like I use to. It's as if food taste bland now. I look at my mom and say "yes" just to please her knowing full well that I will probably only take two or three bites. Finally home, I think to myself as my mom parks the car in the garage.
I race to my room shutting my door behind me. I sit down on my bed pulling out the scrapbook I hide safely under my mattress. I look through the photos wondering why I can remember all those moments in my life perfectly but I can't remember the most recent and most tragic moment to ever happen to me. There's a knock on my bedroom door. I quickly place the book back under my mattress so my mom wouldn't see that I was still trying to get my memory of that night back. I feel as if I remember everything else that happened in my life I can remember that night too. My mom doesn't want me to try to remember. The doctor said that if I want to remember I will in time. I want to remember what happened now though because I need to understand how Mason is hurt to the point he's not waking up.
I see my mom's head appear from behind my door " Julie is here to see you."
"No, Buts Missy. You have been avoiding her calls since you came home from the hospital. She is one of your friends and has been wanting to know how you are doing. So, you need to pull yourself together and go downstairs.Oh and dinner will be done in ten minutes."
"Okay mom" I say grudgingly. As I walk down the stairs, I see Julie. She looks unharmed nothing like me. Once Julie see me she in braces me in a hug. "I have been worried about you" she says as she looks over my body to see my healing injuries. I must be looking shocked to see her because she ask "What is it, Claire?" "You are unharmed, no scratches, bruises or anything." She looks at me concerned "You really don't remember anything about that night, do you?" I shake my head no as my answer. "We left you and Mason alone that night as a prank, we weren't gone for more than an hour or so but when we came back we found you two and called 911. I am so sorry Claire it was meant to be funny. I didn't think anything would have happened to you guys the way it did."
"What are you talking about?" I ask her not really getting anything that she was saying. Julie says she, Sara and Chris weren't with us when we got hurt. How is that even possible.
"We found you two at the edge of the water. There was blood all over you. You were shouting for Mason to wake up. No one knows what had happened the hour that we left you two there at Cursed Lake all alone. I was wonder if you could tell me. I don't get how you could have so many scars and Mason could be in a coma." Julie says pleading for me to say something that made this all make sense.
"I don't remember anything after we all made it to the lake that night. The first thing I remember after that is waking up in the hospital with the bandages on my arms." I say ashamed that I couldn't give her what she wanted. I try and try but nothing has come back to me. It's already been a month and I'm afraid I will never remember what happened out there on Cursed Lake.
"Claire, it's time of dinner. Julie, you're welcome to join us." My mom says walking into the entry way where Julie and I are still standing. I have a feeling like she doesn't want to come anything further into my house.
"Sorry, Mom, Julie was just leaving" I say with a hint of anger in my voice.
"Yes, Mrs.Woods I was just leaving. I will see you soon I hope." She says as I almost slam the door on her face. How can my friends do that to Mason and me? Just leave us out there as a prank like it's funny to scare someone to death. As I am lost in my thoughts, I hear my mom say something but didn't quite hear what she said "Huh?" I say looking clueless.
"I asked if it helped seeing Julie tonight?" she calmly says again. I wanted to scream NO and tell her how much I am hurting inside knowing we were stuck in a place that we couldn't leave and now have no memory of what happened because our friends decided ditched us!
"Yeah, very helpful" I reply trying to make it sound truthful. I don't want to tell my mom, she has already been worrying a lot about me lately.
We sit at the dinner table quietly. I can feel my mother's eyes on me as I stare at the untouched food on my plate.Why did she make this for dinner? Has she already forgotten that this is Mason's favorite meal? She's even has it down to the same mix of vegetable he always insisted are the best he's ever had. How can she expect me to eat this? "Claire, eat please."
"Mom, don't you see what you want me to do? I can't eat this. Not without Mason here with me." I say pushing the plate away from be refusing to touch it again.
"You say that every time. You say it when I make soup." My mom says a little irritated.
"You make Mason's favorite kind." I say about to cry. I miss him. I miss him sneaking out of his house to have dinner over here. I miss his laugh as he gets the call from his parents that ask him where he's at. What happened to us. I look down at the scars on my arm. How did I get these? I think as I leave the room to go to bed not saying anything more to my mom.
I walk into my room being tired and half afraid to fall asleep. I am afraid if I close my eyes I won't wake up. I walk to my dresser pulling out a shirt, Mason left here at one of our sleepovers. I have never thought him more than my best friend so my mom allowed him to stay the night sometimes in our guest room. As I slip his shirt on, it goes passed my butt. It still smells like him. As I lay on my bed, flash backs start flooding my mind of all the memories we had before that night. My eyes tear up as I drift off to sleep.
I wake up with a start. I look around me realizing I'm not in my bedroom. The smell of the hospital fills my nostrils as I begin to wonder what I'm doing here. I push myself off the hard tile floor. It takes me a second longer to understand where I am. I get to his bed in with a zigzag walk from not seeing straight from dizziness. I collapse on the chair next to Mason's bed taking his hand in mine resting my head on the bed next to him. How did I even get here?
My mom walks in frantically, "Honey, why aren't you in your room?" she says as she touches my head. "How?" is all I can say to her. "I brought you here yesterday morning, when you didn't wake up. I thought maybe you were in a coma too." she says looking very sad at the thought of me not waking up. "The doctors said that you haven't been eating or drinking what you are supposed to be so they said they want to keep you here until you get your strength back." I don't say anything to her I just go back to resting my head on Mason's hospital bed. I quietly plead to Mason to not leave me "Please wake up Mason, I miss you."
I turn to my mom suddenly, "I don't want to stay here. The doctors need to fix Mason, not me. Mason is the one that needs help." I say at to her furiously. How can anyone even being worry about me when Mason is still not awake. I can't worry about myself right now. I have to worry about him.
"Claire, the only thing we can do now is wait for Mason to wake up. He's the only one that can do that. He has to want to wake up." My mom says placing her hand on my shoulder trying to comfort me. I shake her hand off of me.
"He has to want to wake up? Mom, he wants to wake! He wants to wake up as much as I want to remember what happened that night. I can't remember anything and he's not waking up. It's not about want it's about the doctors not doing their jobs!" I say angrily again trying to remember what happened that night. The only thing I know now is that Mason and I were alone during the accident and were found near the water.
"They aren't miracle workers, Claire. They're doing the only thing they can. Keeping him alive."
I get up and walk pass my mom as if she isn't even there. I need fresh air. I need to get out of this hospital. I finally find an exit and step thought it. " Ah, fresh air" I say to myself. "It is nice isn't it?" I hear a voice next to me. It is an elderly man sitting on a bench. " Fresh air, It is nice isn't it?" He repeats himself.
"Yeah" I say faintly. I feel bad after a while for not starting a conversation with him. "So, Why are you visiting the hospital?" I smile weakly trying to be friendlier.
"I wouldn't call my stay here a visit." The old man says lightheartedly on a sour subject. I don't want to be rude and pry.
"I'm here visiting my friend." I say trying to turn the conversation a different way.
"You were admitted yesterday morning." The man says telling me that he knows I'm not being fully honest on the subject. "There rumors flowing around that something terrible happened with you and a patient in the ICU. Could you tell me about that?" He asks leaning towards me waiting for my reply.
"Who are you?" I ask keep a great distance between us.
"You don't remember me from yesterday?" He chuckles as I look at him with a daze trying to remember yesterday. "Your mom came rushing into the hospital, pulling a doctor to her car saying 'there is something wrong with my daughter'. As they brought you in on a stretcher, I was standing in the doorway of my room. You had woke up and said something to me.Then passed out again."
"What is it? What did I say?" I ask very curious to what he is going to say next. "You said a name. I think it was something like Dyson, Tyson..."
"Mason!" I almost yell. "Mason, I must have said Mason." I state a little more calmer.I have a feeling that I have met the man somewhere else besides here. It's as if I might know him from another place than this stinky hospital. Still wondering to who he is I ask again " So, that didn't really answer my question. Who are you?"
"My name is Hank Gavel." He replies weakly as if he didn't want to tell me. Hank Gavel? That name sounds familiar to me. Then I remember the story in the newspaper. Hank Gavel was the subject of the headliner on all the major newspapers just last month. I read the story right after I regain consciousness. He was in a mine explosion at Wounded Mountain the same night Mason and I were at Cursed Lake. Wounded Mountain was just a few miles away from Cursed Lake.
"I thought you were dead." I say clearly remembering that the article referred Hank Gavel as deceased.
He chuckles, "A lot of people did, which would explain the false newspaper story. I am clearly alive and well. Well, I guess I am not as well as I was. I was near the explosion but not in it thankfully.That is why I am here I did suffer some effects of the explosion." I look at him in wondering why people thought he was dead. We continued to talk for a little while and I explained who Mason was and why he was in the hospital. I see sympathy on Hank's face for Mason and for me.I stray way from looking at his face, it was making me uncomfortable having a stranger look at me that way. "Well, it's time for me to go take my medication and go to sleep." He says.
"Okay, Thank you for talking to me. It was nice having someone to talk to." I say as he stands up. As he is walking away he puts his hands on my shoulders, well I guess he is real if he can touch me.
He leans in a whispers into my ear, "Mason is trying to wake up, he is trying but something is holding him in a coma. Something like a Curse."I stand stunned at what I just heard. I turn to look at him to ask him about what he just said but he was already gone.
What does he mean curse? How could Mason be Curse? What happened that night at the lake? If I'm ever going to help Mason I have to find out what happen at the lake that night. And the only way to find out is to go to Cursed Lake and learn the most I can about that night from Chris, Sara and Julie. How am I going to get there? My mom would never let me go and now that I'm under doctor observation there is no way I could leave the hospital to get to Cursed Lake. The door that I came out of opens and I hear someone shout back inside the building, "I found her!" I look over seeing an orderly coming out to bring me back in. "Claire, I'm going to take you back to your room." He approaches me slowly as if afraid of something.Why is he afraid of me? I wonder as he takes me back to my room.
I have been resting here at the hospital for several days now. Regaining my strength and trying to make my mom happy by eating what they give me. I have been visiting Mason every night, still trying to remember anything I can about that night. As I sit up in my hospital bed, I hear a knock at the door. " Come in" I say to who is ever there. A middle aged woman walks in, " Claire?" she questions me. I nod my head as she comes in closer to me, making me feel like she has some important information. "My name is Monica."
I stare at her not knowing what to say to Monica. Her olive skin and her green eyes seem to jump out to me in this lighting. She has something I can only describe as a woman's workplace outfit, a navy pinstripe pattern. She must have finally gotten that I had no clue who she is because she continues to explain who she is to me."I'm your new doctor. I wanted to discuss your current condition. How are you feeling today?"
"I feel good." I say trying to figure out what she means by current condition. I wasn't aware there is anything wrong with me besides not eating. " Are you aware of what day it is?" She questions me. I look at her confused. "Of course I know what day it is."
"Okay, can you tell me please?"
"Yes, it is December 10th" I see her smile at my answer. "Very Good. Now I need to ask you a few more questions so I can better understand your mental state."
"Okay" I say. My mental state? Do they think I am crazy or something? As she goes through the other questions I quickly ace them all but one. This one question stumps me and continues to ring in my head "What happen that night of October 31 at Cursed Lake?"
I know we started the night at a friend's Halloween party. I was dressed as Alice and Mason was dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. We were all hanging out in the living room. There was no room on the couch so I was perched on Mason's lap. I kept taking his hat and placing it on my head. We were talking about the story of the young lovers at the Cursed Lake and decided it would be fun to go, seeing as it was Halloween night. The night when the veil between two worlds is the thinnest. I was still wearing Mason's top hat when we got out of the car at the lake. I can remember the start of our journey to the lake I just can't remember the rest of it...I need to go to the Lake tonight.
I wait until the nurse came in for her last nightly run through of my charts.My mom had left to go eat dinner in the cafeteria about an hour ago, I am expecting her back soon. I slide out my bed once the door has closed fully. I quickly find my clothes that my mom brought for me so I could have a outfit to wear once I was released from my hospital stay. I stumble as I try to put my shoes on. This is a smaller hospital and the floor I am located on is the first floor.Thankfully the windows open easy here, the bigger hospital windows don't even open.As I open the window quietly I stick my head out and look around to make sure no one is there. Before I leave I turn back to look at a table in my room. Mom left her keys I think to myself as I reach for the keys to her car. It would be a lot faster to drive then to walk. Once I have the keys I quickly jump out of the window just as my hospital room door opened.
I make a run for the parking lot ignoring my mom's shouts from the open window of my hospital room. It takes me a couple minutes to find the car in the dimly lit parking lot but I'm hoping that I still have enough time to make it out of the parking lot before my mother follows me with back up. The wheels squeal as the rubbing burns against the pavement as I make my hasty getaway. I turn my direction towards Cursed Lake. Maybe, if I walk around the area they say they found us I could find something that would explain everything. I have to slow down for winding roads around Cursed Lake not fully trusting my driving skill after no use of it for little over a month now. I park in the sandy parking lot just surround by a small wooden fence. I get out of the car slowly making my way down a set of stairs leading me to Cursed Lake.
Once I reached the water I bent down to grab a rock hoping it would jog my memory of what happened to me but most importantly to Mason. As I hold the rock nothing happens. I look in a daze out in the water being almost memorized by the moon light on the lake. All of the sudden I break away from the water and turn. I am now staring into her green eyes. "Monica?" I questioned make sure I am seeing the right person. "Yes, Please come with me." she says as I start to back away. " I am not going back to the hospital until I find out what happened that night." I say firmly. " I wasn't going to take you back...." she paused for a moment. "I was there that night."
"You see, Claire, I live just with in those trees. I saw everything that happened that night. I don't work at the hospital. I was only there posing as your doctor to see how much you were affected by what happened that night. I needed to see if you need as much help as your friend, Mason does." Monica says coming closer to me trying to calm me down before I made a run for it. The adrenaline I feel in my veins are screaming for me to run. Despite this I could not move my feet from the spot they were in the sand and the water sweep over them causing me to sink deeper in the sand restricting my feet even more.
"Why does Mason need your help?" I say carrying more about his life than my own in spite of my own fear coursing though me now.
"Well, You see I am a protector..." "A protector of what?" I say harshly "A protector of the magic in the lake. I am a witch that has been protecting the lake for over 100 years." she says as I stand there with my mouth open. what is she talking about Magic for there is no such thing... is there? " There is a balance of good and evil in the lake and there are many evil witches out to release the bad. That night you were here. Halloween night. It is the one night that the evil power in the lake is the strongest." "Wait what evil powers? what? I think you are just a crazy lady! I am out of here." As I say this I look down remembering that the water created a sink hole of sand around my feet. I look at Monica and point to my feet " did you do this?"
"Yes, I knew you would probably think me crazy but I have to explain so you can get your memory back and save Mason." I nod since there is no other way out. I guess it wont hurt to listen. "Come with me. Its not safe to talk out here and I sense your mother coming to collect you. Hurry, we need to go this way" she points to where she says she lives. Once we get to the trees I see a huge oak tree with a door. She waves her hand over the door and it opens making it seem a lot bigger inside then it looks on the outside.
I walk through the door admiring the house interior that looks to have a lot more square than I would have expected with the round base of the tree we just entered. For such a scary feeling from Monica this house fills me with such warmth I wonder why I was ever scared at all. I feel at peace here. "My house has this kind of effect on people like you. If you're goodhearted it will fill you with joy. And the opposite is true for people with bad hearts."
I shook my head trying to remember why we were even in this wonderful place. "Mason?" I get out wanting her to tell me everything she knows about Mason.
"He's been cursed by a witch that was drowned in the lake nearly a hundred years ago. The witch was trying to take over your body but somehow Mason was able to defect her magic. Leaning me to believe that he is something different from you."
"Who is he?" I ask not believing that Mason could be anything but like me. We've been best friends forever. I would have noticed that there was something different about Mason.
"I haven't figured out that part yet. I was hoping for your help on that but it seems you don't know yourself." "Well, is there any way you can help him out of the curse?" I ask with pleading eyes. " Yes, but I am going to need to know what he is first. The spell affects everyone differently. If he truly isn't like you, then doing the spell might put the curse into full affect and could kill him" I cover my mouth as I gasp at the thought of Mason dying.
"How I am suppose to find out who he is if he is in a coma?"
His parents, is she even more crazy than I thought. We don't talk about his parents to much, Mason usually would change the subject quickly. I have met them a couple of time and they seemed a little strange. Mason is always at my house, so there is never need to go to his house.
I gulp at the thought of going to Mason's house to see his parents alone. The mere thought of it filled me with fear that even this house with the extraordinary power to make me feel so at peace. I knew that I was going to go even though I was scared to my depth of my soul of what I would find at Mason's house. "You'll have to leave now if you don't want your mom to find you here." Monica warns me. I start for the door before she can say anything else. I don't know how my mom knew I was here but I know if she finds me it will be harder to get out of the hospital if I try again. I need to get to Mason's before that happens. I race to the car getting in making my fast get away with a spray of sand making traction for my wheels heading to Mason's to talk to his parents.
I pull up to the west end, the Richie Rich neighborhood is what it is mostly known as. Most of the kids in this neighborhood go to a private school. Not Mason though he would always tell me how lame the kids are at private school. "There are much more interesting people in public school...like you, Claire Bear." He told me when I asked him why he likes public schools more. I look at the house number trying to remember from memory which house is his. Then I see it, remembering it instantly. I see that the lights are on so that means they must be home and not at the hospital. I drive into the circle drive and park my car. I sit a while taking a deep breath trying to figure out what I am going to say. How am I going to ask what is Mason? What are you guys? It seems simple of a task in my mind as I think more of how to ask my questions I hear a tap on the window. "Ahhh" I scream as I jump in my seat.
I quickly get out of the car attacking the person with the tightest hug known to man. "What are you doing here? How did you get here?" I still with my arms firmly around him. I don't think I'll ever let him go ever again.
"I've been waiting for you to come here for more than a month now. What took you so long?" He asks not loosening his grip around my body either.
"What are you talking about? I've been by you almost every day for the past month." I tell him not getting what he means by his questions to me.
"Claire Bear, I have to tell you something. Promise me you won't get mad or scared. Please just stay calm and listen to me." He says stepping back from still keeping me firmly in his arms. I look up into his face straight into his big golden eyes feeling as safe as can be.
"Mason, you know you can tell me anything?" I with a smile.
"Ha, I know." He says with a laugh. How can he be taking all this so lightly. How am I be seeing him right now? I just saw him at the hospital with tubes everywhere. I look at him still not believing he is here but with all that has happened tonight is it so hard to believe in the supernatural? "What... how are you here? I saw a witch tonight." I say frantically. "I know, shh it's okay. I promise you are okay. I will protect you no matter what." He says brushing my hair behind my ear to calm me down. I let out a little snort "How? You are in a coma and I still don't know what you are right now but I have missed you so much that I am looking passed the fact of that something crazy is going on." "Claire Bear, let me explain." "Okay," I say softly. "That night at the lake, I knew we shouldn't have gone that night. I have been taught not to go to cursed places on Halloween." I look at him not understanding what he is telling me. He sees the way I look and explains more. " Ever since I was little my parents would teach me not to go to cursed places before I had my full power." "Full Power?" I say confused. " Yes, I am an enchanter."
I look at him with disbelief. What is he talking about? How can he be an enchanter? And again how can he be here with me now while he is still lying in a hospital bed in coma having not responded to anything in the past month. What even is an enchanter? "What? You're enchanter? What's an enchanter?" I question trying to understand all of this.
"Nah, I'm just messing with you. I'm not really an enchanter." Mason says with wide eyes as if he was surprised I even believed that. "What I am is harder to explain in simple terms."
"If your not an enchanter then how did you know about the witch?" I ask even more confused now. Why would he tell me he's an enchanter when that's not what he is. Maybe he's preparing me for something bigger.
"I've been following your thoughts waiting for you to think about this house and come here." Mason explains point to the house taking my hand walking me towards the front door.
"Why did you want me to come here?" I question feeling safe with him near but growing in fear as we approached the house.
"I was hoping my house would help me explain things better." He smiles sweetly. My heart melts when he smiles.Through all of this I have come to realize I want to be more then friends with Mason. I hope he can't read that in my thoughts. I bite my lip as I ask "You can really read my thoughts?" He lets out a little laugh as he explains to me "I can, yes, at least some of them. I don't have my full ability or powers yet like I told you earlier. I try not to read your thought unless I need to like I did to see when you would be coming here. I do have to say that you are very good at blocking me out of your head some how. It took me a while to even get the information that you were coming here." Sigh a sound of relief when I hear him tell me he can't read all my thoughts. I am glad he won't know how I really feel about him. We are at the front door and all I can do it stare at it unsure it I should enter. "Are you ready, Claire Bear?" As he says my name I look at him and start to feel better about entering. "As ready as I'll ever be." I say flatly trying to hid the shake sound in my voice.He opens the door and I instantly know what he and his family are.
I'm not really sure how to say what they are but I know what they are. They've had many different names throughout time. It's difficult to understand how they can even be what they are. It was hard to swallow the witches and enchanters I've seemingly accepted with no objection so far but this, what they really are is so beyond beyond I don't even know how to say the words forming inside my mind at that very second. "Mason, you are--" My explanation was cut short as his mom walks in. I've never seen anyone so beautiful in my life. I don't remember her being this beautiful but maybe no that I know the truth maybe I can see the truth. I look over to Mason for the first time since we came into the house. The sight of him was unlike anything I've ever seen before. As my eyes take the complete version of him my body completely gives out as I faint.
As I start to wake up I realize I am on a couch. So it wasn't a dream I must have really fainted and I must have really saw "Mason." I say finishing my thought out loud. I look around but Mason isn't here. Where did he go? As I get up I hear talking in the other room, it must be Mason's parents, I knock over a picture that was sitting on the table next to the couch. The talking has stopped. I bend down to pick up the picture as I come back up there are people in the room. Mason is back with his parents. I still wonder how he is here and at the hospital in a coma. "Claire, are you okay?" Sarah, Mason's mother asks me with a sweet voice. I never really was able to get to know his parents. I was always scared to come here but the way she speaks to me so sweetly make me wonder why I was so scared in the first place. I nod my head to her question. I look at Mason "You are a god?" I have heard of gods only in fairy tale and mythology I can't believe they actually exist. "Actually, we are Demigods." Pete, Mason's father corrects me with a smile on his face. I look at him thinking what is the difference is and I think Mason is reading my mind again because he starts to explain, "We aren't immortal like gods. We are human. We age and die just like everyone else."
"Yeah, but everyone else doesn't have powers." I laugh.
"Well, yeah. That is why we are known as Demigods." He smiles.
"Okay." I say still a little confused on how or why he didn't tell me he is a Demigod. "So, how are you here and still at the hospital in a coma?" I ask Mason hoping to finally understand something.
Mason takes my hands walking me back over to the couch I was just on sitting me down as he sits down himself. He takes a deep breath before explaining what it that has been driving me crazy since he knocked on my window. "One of my abilities is to split myself in two. You see whenever I was at your house I was also where my parents needed to me to be. My other abilities now are weakened because half of me is weakened. I'm not able to combine myself back together because if I try I won't just be weakened by my other self but I will be in a coma with no way out. I have to find out what happened to me. I blacked out when we heard the screaming coming from the water." Mason says. My mind is having a hard time processing everything he said. Maybe that's why he sat us down first. I think about what I sure ask first.
"So, you're like a twin?" I ask hoping this question will help me understand the whole two halves thing.
"No, they're both me. I have all the memories from whenever I'm in two places but that night I knew something was wrong when my mind went completely blank. Part of my mind is still blank which might explain why it's so hard to work my other abilities.
"There was screaming from the water that night?" I ask moving on to another question before my mind exploded from first one.
"What do you remember about that night?"
"I don't remember very much. Thanks to Julie, I found out that they left us there alone as a prank." I say clenching my teeth. "How could they do something like that to us?" I look down sad that I am not sure who I can trust anymore. Mason puts his hand on mine as I look up he sighs. "What is it, Mason?"
"Uh, how do I put this in a way that won't make you mad?"
"Just say it my mind is already racing with different feelings I don't thinking adding one more thing to the pot will change it." I look at him letting him know I am listening.
"Okay, I made them leave us there."
"Wait, what?" I say bewildered. He starts to explain further "Well, you see I could see the water already calling you in. I knew something wasn't right. I wanted to make sure no one else got hurt so I put the thoughts into Julie's mind. Then made Chris and Sara agree. I couldn't risk them finding out about me and then getting hurt by the witches." I can't believe what I am hearing. He made them do it but how? I am not sure how I feel right now. He said witches like there is more than one. What does he mean?
"Witches?" I ask wanting to understand how many witches there actually are.
"There was a coven of seven witches there that night on top of Wounded Mountain peaks." Mason explains to me calming even though his eyes betray him with the angry as he remembers parts of that night that I can't. "They were hoping to still your life force. I heard the chanting and watched as you were almost pulled towards the water by an invisible force. I ran over to you trying to get you away from the water. My strength though great was no match for the witches' spell. As we got to the edge of the water a hand reached out grabbing your arms. I yanked your arm away. That's how you got the scars." Mason's hand gently trails over my scars before taking my hand in his.
"Why would the witches want my life source or whatever you said?" I ask with a very dry mouth that I got from the realization that Mason might have saved my life that night.
"Do you know who your father is?" Mason's dad questions me walking a little closer as if he's about to break so very important news to me.
"No." I answer truthfully. The only person I have ever told that I actually never meet my dad was Mason. Everyone else just believes that he die before I was born and that's why my mom never talks about him before of grief. I know that wasn't true because there was never a single picture of my parents together.
Pete has a concerned look on his face. He leans over to Sarah and I hear him whispers softly into her ear, "She doesn't know." How did I just hear him whisper? It was like he was leaning against my ear and not Sarah's. I look around the room trying to search every face for answers as I do Pete starts to speak, "Claire, have you heard in the god Poseidon?"
"Are you telling me Poseidon is my father?"
Pete lets out a light laugh. "No, My dear he would be more of like your grandfather in this scenario. Poseidon and Aphrodite goddess of beauty had a child together and they named him Athos. You see unlike our family who just are a long line of demigods that can be traced back to a god, you are..." He pauses for a moment. I am screaming inside what am I? What are you trying to say? I hear a little snort come out of Mason. He must be reading my thoughts again "Stop it" I think hoping he will get the message. I lean forward as Pete continues, "Well, you are a direct decedent of a god. Which makes you what we like to call first born demigod." My mouth drop wide opened in shock. How could I not know this about myself? Athos? My fathers name is Athos? I have never heard of a god named Athos.
"I am not a demigod. There's no way that is true. You guys, you are total demigods but not me. I can't be. I'm just an ordinary human. There's nothing special about me at all. I don't have any powers. I would've notice if I had any powers." I say pulling my hands any from Mason heading for the living room door. I have to get out of here. This can't really be happening. I swallowed everything else like a spoon of sugar but this is way too much for me to even comprehend. Sure, I don't actually know anything about my father but I can't believe he's a god. Wait, shouldn't it be easier now to believe that after seen three demigods standing in front of me. It can't be much of a leap to believe in actual gods that could be people's fathers.
"Claire, there are many things that you can do that an ordinary human could not. The only reason you don't think so is because you believe that everything you could do everyone else can do because I did everything alongside you." Mason says also raising from the couch following me to the door.
Then, there's a loud knock at the front door. I look over to Mason. I haven't really been thinking about my mother since I got here but now I'm afraid it's her at the door.
To my surprise as Pete opens the door it was not my mother. Isn't she looking for me? I was kind of hoping it was her so she can take me away from here. Instead, a tall man who looks like he never missed a day at the gym in his whole life came in. I stare at him tracing his face, as I get to his eyes they look familiar they look like...My eyes. I start to get a little dizzy again. "Athos, good to see you." I heard Pete say before I passed out.
Everything is black. I am stuck in my own mind. I start to think about what just happened. It couldn't be Athos who I just saw could it? Why is he here now? I start to come to and I hear a whisper in my ear. It's Mason. "Claire Bear. I l..." I open my eyes and he stops whispering. "Are you okay?"
"I think I will be fine I just need some air." Mason must have already known I was going to say that because just as I finished saying the word "air" we were already outside. I take in a deep breath and let it out. I look as I stand on a balcony out looking Mason's backyard. I fade into the beauty of the garden with twinkle lights. The smell of roses surrounds me. I am not sure what to say right now so I just keep staring down at the garden. Mason breaks the silence, "I know this is a lot to take in but we had to keep it a secret from you because there are so many people who want to take your powers because you are a first born demigod. Your father has collected some enemies over the years. My family was assigned to you to protect you. I am glad we were too because you are the best thing that has happened to me and
"Um...and you should talk to your father." He says clearing his throat. I turn and look out again. He didn't say it. Maybe, he only thinks of me as a friend nothing more.
I inhale as a say, "Where is he?"
I sit down at the table across from the guy who's supposed to be my father. I haven't said anything to him yet but either has he but I can tell it's not from fear or lack of knowing. He wants me to speak first. He wants me to talk to first step in whatever is going to happen between. I don't know what to say though. So you're my dad? Doesn't seem all that appropriate to me. It's obvious he's my father and the more time we sit here quietly the more similarities I notice. I used to think I took after my mom but know I know that it's true at all. I clear my throat knowing I need to say something soon or I'll add up crazy. "What's going to happen to Mason?" I ask once again worrying about Mason far more than myself. Athos doesn't seem surprised by my question as if he knew I care a lot for Mason even in the short time we've been near each other.
"One of two things. I've already hired a good witch I've known for centuries to try to find a cure for him. If her quest success he will be able to combine back to his other self and be completely whole again. If for some reason he's forced back into his other self before he's cured he will die." I notice how Athos tried to tell me that gentle as he knows hearing that the possibility for Mason to dying would hurt me. I inhale sharply still having a hard time with that idea.
"Who's the witch? We need to see if she has made any progress." I ask frantically wanting to get to her and make her work harder at finding a cure for Mason before it's too late.
"The witch is your mother, Claire." Athos say knowing that he was blowing another bombshell on me.
"Are you telling me I am not even human? Not even a little? My Mom? Are you sure?" The questions just came tumbling out with one breath. I am start to feel light headed. My mom? why hadn't she told me. I need to know whats really going on here. I look at my newly found father " So if you are who you say you are and if my mother is a witch then where are my magnificent powers that I should have?" I say with a harsh tone not really believing my own mother is a witch. "My dear, I know this is a lot to take in. I know I haven't been the best father but I was doing what I thought was best to protect you and your mother. I am sorry you had to find out this way but I am glad you know now." Okay, that really didn't answer my question but I can see he feels bad for the way I found out about all of this. Wanting to know about my powers I ask again " So will I ever get powers?" He looks at me trying to think on how to explain. "You already have most of them, but they aren't strong yet. Just like Mason, you don't fully get your powers until your seventeenth birthday." Oh no! That is next week. I think to myself as I look at Mason walking into the room.
"So, next week, I'll be some sort of all powerful Witch Goddess?" I ask my father trying to fully understand this. Mason seems surprised by this news. "What you didn't know my mom was a witch? I thought you knew everything about me." I ask turning to Mason hoping that my father would still answer my other question.
"We're not really sure what will happen. You're the first and only of your kind. You might just have the powers of the Gods and lose all your mother's powers. Or might gain the powers of your mother and lose all the Gods' powers you currently have. We'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out next week. We'll get through it together as a family. You're going to need all the help you can get." My father finishes explaining to me. He take my hand and squeeze it. I pull away from him looking over to Mason. I've had enough of this for one day. I need to sleep. I need to be alone for awhile to think this over.
"I think I'm going to go home." I say getting up from the table.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible." Mason tells me sheepishly like he knows I'm not going to take it lightly.
"Why not?" I ask with an attitude that showed I was upset.
"You had three places you were completely safe from harm. Now you only have two." Mason explains slowly trying not to overwhelm me.
"What do you mean?" I ask frantically now.
"There was a protective spell over your house until earlier tonight. I just found out that one of the witches from that night burned it to the ground. And since you weren't inside it didn't need to protect you. I don't think the witches know about the hospital being only for the demigods so I think that place is safe. And I don't think they know about here."
"I know of one witch besides my mother that knows about the hospital. She kept asking me questions about you." I say already panicking about the half of Mason lying helplessly in that hospital room. It was easy to forget about with Mason standing in front of me. If protection spell of the hospital is like that of my house I need to be inside to save it. I need to go to the hospital to save Mason.
I start to rush to the door as I do I feel Mason grab my arm "Wait," he says. "What did she ask you?"
"She asked if I knew what you were. She said it would be the only way to save you. She told me to come find out what you are. That's why I came here in the first place. To talk to your parents. I didn't know you would be here too." I start panic. "What are we going to do? Is she going to hurt you?" I look at Mason for the answers but it's not him who starts to answer.
It's Athos, my father. I am really going to have a hard time getting use to that. I can't believe my father is here. "We need to hurry and find your mother right away." He says as he pulls me towards the door.
I look at Mason hoping he could come with me but again he must of read my thoughts or saw the expression on my face even so he still looked at me and said. "I'm sorry, Claire. I can't go I have to stay here. If I go out and the witch sees my other half she will know what I am ." My eyes start to fill up with tears. I rush to him and hug him tightly. "Be safe." He whispers to me as he brushes my hair behind my ear.
"Okay, you be safe, too." I lean up and kiss him on the cheek. Before I could even see if he blushed at the touch of my lips.
My father grab my arm and ushers me out of the house. "Where did you see your mom last?"
"I think she followed me to the lake.The other witch, Monica was there when I left. I hope nothing happens to her." I say as the tears start coming down. First, I had to leave Mason, well a part of Mason. I still don't want to be apart from him, either part. Now, I'm worried that something may have happened to my mother. As if Athos can sense my worry he placed his hand on mine and in a calm voice says, "Your mother is fine. She is a very smart and powerful witch." Thanks, but that's what is worrying me. I think to myself instead of saying it to him. I don't want to talk right now. I know if I do I'll cry more. We start to head back towards the lake in my mom's car. I hope you are okay, Mom.
It was kind of weird being in the car alone with my dad. I never really thought about it before but do gods even need to drive? Will I need to drive once I get all of my powers? Is it weird to be thinking that I will be flying around on a broomstick? I'm stereotyping witches now. I never imagined I would be having this conflict in my head. I know I'm just trying to keep my mind away from the fact that my mother and Mason are both in danger because of so evil witches. Do they fly on broomsticks? I really want to watch Hocus Pocus now. I don't want to be a witch. I much rather watch fake witches on TV. Like Sabina. Wait, what if those actress are really witches? I mean I know witches are real now so why not them? Okay, now this whole keeping my mind off my mom and Mason is making me crazy. I'm wondering if actors have powers! I look up out the window to see where we are. We're going up the winding hill to get to Cursed Lake. "What are we going to do if we don't find Mom?" I ask Athos quietly afraid of any answer that would come out of his mouth.
"We'll find her." He says as if he's reassuring himself more than me. I wonder if he loves her. If he does why was he never around growing up? Would life really work between an immortal and a witch. I wonder how old my mother really is. She doesn't look older than forty though. "We're here." Athos says as he turns into the sandy parking lot I just left hours before.
It seems a lot more creepier here now knowing what I have learned about this lake and the witches. I don't see her. I don't see her anywhere. Where are you mom? I need you. I start thinking this thought over and over again. I really need you mom. All of the sudden, I started to get flashes of a vision. I was looking through my mother's eyes. I see the hospital. I know where she is and I can feel her. She feels scared. Then another flash crosses in my mind. "Monica." I whisper to myself. "Athos...I mean dad. um, I know where mom is at and I think she is in trouble and so is Mason's other half."
As if he can read my thoughts he simply says, "Hospital." I nod in agreement.
Athos and I jumped back into the car racing to the hospital as fast as we could. I knew something horrible was happening and I knew that my mom was there protecting Mason's other half from Monica. As we reached the hospital a feeling of horror kept raising inside me. The feeling made me feel as if a wouldn't like what I find at the hospital. As we turn the corner on to the street of the hospital I see the flames raising up to the sky. I open the car door running toward the building even before Athos slowed the car down to park. What does this mean? Is Mason's half all right? Is my mother? Did Monica do this to them? Did she burn them within the building? If so, she's going to pay for it if it's the last thing I ever do. "Claire!" I hear my name but as I turn to see who yelled it everything goes black.
Something hit me. What was it? I don't feel so good. My head hurts. I start to come to but I can't see. Everything around me is spinning. I start to see someone's silhouette sitting by me shaking me gently. I can hear them but I can't make out what they are trying to say. Then it start to come in a little clearer. It's Mason. Am I dreaming? "Claire Bear. Wake up. Are you okay?" I hear him now as my surroundings come into focus. I thought I was still outside by the hospital but I am not. I'm in Mason's back yard. How did I get here? I sit up quickly and just as fast regretted it. My head is throbbing. I look at Mason "What happened? Is your other half okay? Where is my mom? I am freaking out. What is going on here?" I say in a panic. He leans in gently brushing my hair from my face and he starts to explain.
"Your mom is fine she's with my other half inside the house right now. Just before Monica and a couple other witches burnt down the hospital your mom got me out of there. If everything happened like your dad said it did, Monica was waiting for you at the hospital. She hit you over the head in an attempt to kidnap you. Athos says she was talking to the other witches about using you as leverage for me. Before they could even move you, Athos rescued you. Unfortunately, we all think they know who you are now. They have a kin sense of smell. They could tell you and Athos were related and since he used his powers to save you they know he's a god. They know you're a first born. I don't think they'll be coming after me anymore. They still don't know what I am but they understand what you are. Claire, if they get to you before your power fully come in you'll have no way of protecting yourself from them." Mason's eyes look heavy. He looks so sad that it makes me hurt more than I feel scared even though now my own life is in danger.
"Claire." I hear a woman behind me and I know exactly who it is.
"Mom!" I call back. I try to get up but I am still a little dizzy. She rushes to my side easing me back down on the lawn sofa.
"Shh, Honey. It's okay. I am here." She says wiping tears from my eyes. I didn't even noticed I started crying. I am happy and terrified all at the same time. I am happy to see my mom but terrified that I will die from what Mason just told me. "What are we going to do, Mom? Can you lift the curse for Mason?" I look at Mason who was moving towards the house to give me and my mom some privacy. I didn't want that, I need him by me. I feel a lot safer with him by me. Even if it is only part of him. I reach my hand for him to stop. He quickly came back to my side.
"Stay, please." I whisper to him as he nods and takes a seat next to my feet. I instantly relax more as his warmth seeps through to my feet. I look back at my mom.
"I believe I can do it. I need a few things. Hopefully, Athos can get for me. Honey, I am deeply sorry you had to find out about all this the way you did." She brushes my hair from my eyes. "I thought I was protecting you by not telling you. I am truly sorry."
"Mom, it's okay. I may not understand a lot of what is going on but I do understand that you wanted to keep me safe. I love you, Mom." I reach up and give her a hug. "Now, please, go do what you have to do to break the curse on Mason's other half." She nods and kisses my forehead softly.
"I love you, Claire bear." I hear her say as she leaves towards the house. I lay back and close my eyes taking in the warmth that is radiating off of Mason's body. I feel him scoot up closer to me. It feel so good to have him near me. I never realized how much I really need him. I always needed him.
The next morning I'm awaken by voices just outside of Mason's room. I roll over looking for Mason, who had been asleep on the couch that he has in his very large room. He's not there anymore. I shoot out of the covers running to the door opening it to find Mason and my mom. "How are you feeling, Claire?" My mom asks be cautiously.
"I'm fine, Mom. Did Athos get the stuff you needed to help Mason?" I want him to already be back to normal. I want to forget that he was ever split in two.
"Claire..." Mason breathes my name.
"What's wrong?" I question having a feeling that something really bad has happened since last night. Mason looks uncomfortable before he inhales to tell me what's going on.
"Claire, come sit with me on the couch." I nod and follow him back into his room to sit on his couch. "I'm not sure how to explain this. I'm going to try my best to make it easy for you to understand." He sighs as he continues, "Your mom, she has tried everything to remove the curse from my other half. Nothing seems to be working. We think that it was more than one of the witches that curse me. That day I thought it was only one but they must have combined their magic together to curse me." I look at him as my eyes fill up with tears. "What is going to happen? I don't think I can live a day without you. Is there anything I can do? I know I don't have my full powers yet but maybe, just maybe--" I drift off into a thoughtless state. I just sit there trying to think of something, anything that will save Mason. As I sit there I realize I'm no longer worried if I live or die. I am going to do what ever I can to save Mason. I really love him more then I ever knew I could love someone. I just don't know how to tell him but maybe I can show him by saving his life. I stand up and look down at Mason "I have something to do. I will be back." I lean down and give him a kiss on his forehead. "Please stay here. Stay safe."
"Wait, what are you doing, Claire?"
"Just stay here, Please." I make a deep wish within myself for him to stay and wait here. I start to feel a tingling feeling coursing through my body. As I wish harder something lights up the room as I look down I see it's coming from me. I ran out the door before I could see Mason's reaction. I looked for the spell book my mom used to help with the curse. I find the book and pick it up as I do I feel more power coursing through my veins. I take the book and exit the house unsure exactly what I am going to do but I know I must do something. I just pray I can do something before anyone finds out I am gone.
As I finally walk down the sandy beach I feel like this was a very bad idea. I shouldn't have come here especially with my mom's spell book. I know that the evil witches are after me now but I'm not going to have anyone else get hurt and I think the only way I could save Mason's life would to find out what exactly what the witches did to him that night. It has to be a very powerful spell to wipe my memory of that night here and putting part of a Demigod in a coma. The only way to do that is to give myself up to the witches and while they think they've won I'll just use one of my mom's spells that I found on my way here to find out everything I need to know from them. I walk up to the house inside of a tree knocking on the door waiting for Monica to answer.
As I wait outside of the rich brown oak tree someone grabs me from behind and place a hand on my mouth to silence my scream. I am not sure who it is but their hands feel very familiar. They take me behind a tree and turn me around." Mason!" I say very shocked to see him.
"What are you doing here?"
"Shh..." He says to quite me. I stop talking but I start to wonder why he is here. I should have remembered that gods and demigods can just poof up where ever they want to. He peeks around the tree just as Monica opens her door. I stay still as Mason leans against me shielding me as he waits for Monica to close the bark of the tree making it appear whole again. Once she is back inside Mason looks back at me. "What exactly do you think you are doing Claire?" He asked with a hint of pain in his voice.
"I just thought I could save you by turning myself over to the witches."
"Please don't do that again. Promise me." He said almost sounding upset at me. "Okay, Okay I'm sorry. I promise." As I finish talking he wraps his arms around me and holds me in a tight embrace. I can feel him trembling. Is he scared? I know he cares for me but I never would have thought this would scare him. "Come with me I have something to show you." He says taking my hand leading me away from the trees and the lake.
The next thing I know we're back in Mason's room. "What?" I say surprised by the transport. I knew it was possible but that was my first time. It almost felt like nothing we were just in one place one second and another another second.
"Take a sit." Mason says pointing to the couch where he was sleeping this morning. I want to help him so badly. I want to find out what needs to be done to save him and he wanted me to sit. It's just insane.
"No." I say crossing my arms around my chest. "I'm going back to Monica's and I'm going to find out how to put you back together again." I say stubbornly walking towards his bedroom's door. Mason grabs my arm spinning me around to face him.
"Claire Bear, you don't have to. I may not be at my full strength but I'm happy now. You know the truth finally." I look at him right in the eyes feeling nervous at out closeness. Mason raising his hand to my face brushing the hair out of my eyes. He leaves his hand on the side of my face holding my gaze. "The only thing that matters now is keeping you safe because I--"
"You what?" I look into his golden eyes, just as they begin to put me into a mesmerizing trace he finishes what he was saying.
"Oh yeah, I just know how much your mom cares about you. She wants you to stay safe." He rubs the back of his neck nervously like that was not what he meant to say but that's what came out. As if my mom knows we are talking about her she pops her head through the white french double doors in Mason's room. "Honey, have you seen my spell book?"
"Yes, I have it." I look at the black leather book with gold word etched into the cover. As I hand her the spell book she looks at me confuse as to why I have it.
"Why do you have it?" She asked as she take the spell book from my hands.
"I thought I could save Mason."
"You what? I can't believe you would go behind my back like that, Claire. You don't have your full powers yet. It could have been really dangerous if you--"
She was cut off by Mason, "Nora, I understand you are upset, I just explained to her that she needs to stay safe. She was just promising me that she won't do anything like this again." He looks at me.
I nod. "Yes, I promise I won't to this again. However, I do not promise not to try and find a way to save Mason." I say looking at my mom.
She looks at me with her caring eyes. "I understand. I will be asking for your help very soon.You might be what I need to break this curse." She leaves Mason's room. What does she mean? I might be what she needs? My powers she means right?
I turn back to Mason. "I am feeling tried."
He take my hand and leads me to his bed. "You have had a long day. Rest now." I lay down on the black satin sheet and sink my head against a big fluffy black cased pillow. Mason tugs off my shoes and carefully pulls the blanket over me. I start to drift into a deep sleep as Mason leans over and kisses my forehead. "Sweet Dreams, My Claire Bear." He leaves the room. Did he just call me his?
I wake up with a start. I look around Mason's dark room. I don't know why I awoke so quickly. I slowly get out of bed walking over to the couch Mason should be sleeping on but when I got over to it he wasn't there. Then, I hear a loud noise downstairs as if something made of glass was just thrown to the ground. I quickly put my shoes on before running down the stairs to see what was happening. As I start down the stairs the lights begin to flicker. The floor at the base of the stairs is covered in glass from the windows and vases with the flowers scattered everywhere. I hear a scream coming from the living room. I race down the rest of the stairs wanting to get to the living to make sure that no one is hurt. What is happening here? Why are all the windows down here broken? As i get to the base of the stairs a strong wind comes in through the open windows throwing me against the wall. I try to inch my way to the living while still pushed up against the wall by the supernatural strong wind. I get a foot closer before the wind gets stronger holding me in place. The screaming from the living room starts again getting loud and loud even over the sound of the wind.
"Claire, get on the floor!" I hear Mason's voice as barely a whisper. I move my eyes around trying to find him. As our eyes meet I slowly start to move my body down to the floor. Once on my stomach the winds strength is no longer holding me down. I move over to where Mason is.
"What's happening?" I ask as the screaming continues.
"Claire!" I start to hear my name in the wind, like someone is calling me. It starts to get louder almost louder than the screams. "Claire, wake up!" I hear Mason's voice now. I open my eyes. It was just a dream. No, it felt so real. I jolt up at the touch of Mason's hands gently shaking me out of my sleep trance. Sweat beating down my face. I realize my heart is pounding really hard and my breathes are shallow. I am not sure what just happen. "Claire, are you okay? I heard you screaming." I lean into him as he wraps his arms around me and gently rocks me, trying to calm me.
"I don't know. I had a nightmare. Except it felt so real."
"I heard screams coming from downstairs. As I went downstairs glass was broken everywhere and the wind blow through the windows very hard trapping me against the wall. You were there and you told me to get down on the floor away from the wind. I was just asking you what was happening before you woke me."
"That was no dream." I move to face him.
"What do you mean?"
"It was a vision of what is to come."
"How is that possible?" I say almost disbelieving. I don't understand how I could have a vision. This is all happening so fast.
"It's possible. Especially for you. Your powers are getting stronger and are starting to reveal to you.We can figure this out together. I am here for you, Claire Bear." I lean back into him as he hugs me tightly.
"We have to stop it from happening. I don't know who was screaming but there was so much pain in the screams." I say into his ear softly but urgently.
"Claire..." I know what he's going to say. He going to tell me that it's impossible to change the event from happening. Everything we do from this moment on will lead to that night. All we can to is be prepared for it. "We can't stop it from happening. Your visions will always come true. It's a true gift and a cruse. I'll help you prepare for that night but we can't prevent the pain that was causing the screaming."
"Mason, we have to save them. We'll have to get to the living room."
"We will. You'll have to get prepared to defend yourself."
"What do I need to do?"
"Right now, you need your rest. Sleep." I lay back obey but holding to his arms tightly.
"Stay with me until I fall asleep." I ask him quietly wanting him to stay longer.
I open my eyes and see the sun streaming in through the blinds. It fills the room up with its warmth. I try to move but I am stuck. I look down at my chest and see an arm slugged over me pinning me down. I follow the arm with my eyes tracing it with my vision all the way up until I see Mason's face snugged right next to mine. He is asleep. He must have drifted off to sleep trying to keep me company last night. He looks so peaceful, like he doesn't have a care in the world. I wish this was true. I wish we didn't have a care in the world, that we don't have to worry about anything to do with witches or anything supernatural. I move my free hand towards his face. I move my fingers across his perfectly golden skin memorizing every detail, every line and curve. I trace the very light scar above his eyebrow, if you didn't know it was there you wouldn't see it. I was there when he got that scar. It was kind of my fault, even though he doesn't blame me for it. We were twelve and back then we didn't have to care about witches or anything. It was a simpler time. I use to be a big tomboy, maybe that's why Mason and I got along so well. I used to wear baseball caps and tennis shoes everywhere, even when we would go to church. We only went to church on special occasions but still I never dressed up in pretty dresses, like all the other girls. I was never into the whole make up thing. Although, this one day my mom decided it was time that I start giving up my boyish habit and become a Lady. I tried to fight it but the day Mason got his scar is the day I became a lady. I smile now at the thought that it took Mason getting a scar for me start seeing myself differently and becoming more like I am today. I am the complete opposite of that boyish girl I was five years ago. I can still hear the conversation we had that day when he came over to play. "What happened to you, Claire Bear?" He said looking me up and down eyeing my new lavender sundress. I slug him hard.
"Shut up. My mom says its time for me to be a lady."
"Well, you're not doing so well. Don't you know ladies are not suppose to hit?" I roll my eyes at him.
"What are you afraid of being beat up by a girl?"
"Ha, You can't beat me up."
"Yeah." He says with a teasing tone in his voice. I push him out the door and we make our way to a big brown maple tree. Trailing up the side of the tree was a latter made of rope. It swayed back and forth as we climb up to a flat platform in the tree. Our tree fort. Once we get up there he looks at me and says " I can't fight you, you're in a dress!"
"Ha, what a lame excuse." I give him a light push and his face grazed a sharp branch of the maple tree. The next thing I know Mason is lying on his back on the platform of the tree house holding his eye. I knelt down by him and started to cry. I was never the same boyish girl after that. I hear Mason laugh beside me. Bringing back from my memory.
"Hey, where are you?" Mason asks moving his arm for me as his hand smooths my hair. I wish he hadn't moved. I feel cold all of the sudden. I shiver.
"I was just remember when you got your scar."
"Are you still feeling sorry for that? I know you cheated and all..."
"I didn't cheat! It was an accident. I didn't mean to hurt you."
"Sure you didn't. I just happen to hit the right part of the tree to forfeit the fight. You know I would've won that fight right."
"There was no chance of you winning."
"You know you change after that day." Mason says thoughtfully.
"What because I haven't challenged you to a fight since then?" I ask rolling over to my side to fully face him now.
"Something like that." Mason says looking me straight in the eyes. "We should probably start preparing for what's coming."
"I think we should let our parents know."
"We'll start with that." Mason says getting out of his bed pulling me with him.
I look down at my clothes. I have been in the same midnight blue shirt and washed denim jeans for a couple days now. "I smell." I say as I come to a stop from being pulled of the bed. Still holding my hand Mason turns around and looks deeply into my eyes saying "I know. I just didn't want to tell you." I punch his arm as he starts to laugh.
"Ha ha, very funny."
"I thought it was."
"Well, I'm going to take a shower. Maybe I can have one normal thing happen to me today before we have to kick some supernatural butt!" I start to walk to Mason's bathroom in his massive bedroom. I try to walk but I am glue to my spot as I see Mason is still holding my hand. I look at him questionably, as to say is that okay? "Wait, I have to tell you this before you take a shower."
"Okay, what is it?" I move in closer.
"Claire Bear, I would do anything for you. I am always here for you." He says looking down at our linked hands as he move in closer to me. He remove his hand from mine. Slowly leaning in more closer. I am frozen in my spot, desperately wanting him to say the three little words I have been dying to tell him. He move a piece of my hair that fell across my face, tucking it neatly behind my ear. He cups his hands on my face gently tilting my head up to look into his golden eyes. He is so beautiful. Even more so this close up. "Mason, I--" As I try to say the words Mason presses his lips softly to mine. I close my eyes basking in the glow of his body.
It takes me a couple seconds to hear the clearing of the throat that was trying to get our a attention. Finally, when I notice it I pull away from Mason. Athos was standing there with his arms crossed. "I think it's time for you two to have separate rooms." He says looking from me to Mason.
"Athos, I apologizes." Mason says quietly.
"We don't need any little demigods running around any time soon." Athos says as if he was serious about that being a possibility from a kiss.
"Athos--Dad, that wasn't going to happen we were just kissing." I say blushing at talking about this with my dad. A dad I barely know at that.
"One of the downsides of being a god is being unable to control oneself. To be honest I'm surprised Mason held out for so long." My blush grows deeper as I look at Mason who has taken a couple steps away from me now.
"It was hard, Sir. I just needed to kiss her once." Mason says as if kissing me once will stop from any further action.
"One kiss can lead down a long road." Athos says about to turn to leave. As if just remembering why he came he stops. "We all need to talk. Come downstairs when you're ready Claire. Mason, would you be so kind and join me now."
Mason looks at Athos "Wait, Sir I understand that one kiss can lead down a long road and I am willing to go down that road with Claire. The truth is, Sir, I love her. I need you to know that." He says as he turns away from facing Athos to face me. "Claire Bear, through all this I want you to know that. I want you to know I love you. I have loved you the first day we met when we were five. You make my heart speed up and slow down at the same time." I feel a tear roll down my cheek before I could respond to tell him I love him too Athos says "I do understand but this will have to wait. Please, Mason, come with me downstairs so we can talk. Claire, you can go get into the shower and I'll have your mother bring you some new clothes to wear."
Mason leaves the room and Athos follows behind him. I am left alone in Mason's room. I start the shower and within seconds the bathroom is filled with steam. I step into the stoned tiled shower as the water strolls down my body I start to think about Mason. I think about his lips pressed softy to mine. I wish Athos, I mean, Dad didn't come in. I needed to be in Mason's embrace a little longer. I have wanted Mason for a very long time and then the moment was ruined by my newly found father. Will I ever be able to be with Mason? I wonder if we are together now? I hope we can find the answers to break the curse on Mason.
I hear I noise outside of the shower. "Mom?" I call expecting it to be her with my clothes. However, it's not my mom who replies it's Mason's mom that answers my inquiry.
"Claire, we need to talk. If you'd hurry up with the shower I'll be in Mason's room on the couch waiting for you.
"Okay, I'm almost done." I quickly finish my shower finding a warm white thick soft robe on a hook just outside of the shower. I wrap it around me heading out into Mason's room to see what his mom needs to talk to me about. She hands me some clothes first telling me to get ready before she begins what she has to say. I go back into the bathroom getting dressed, brushing my hair and teeth and making sure that I look more presentable for Mason than I was before I took the shower. I think it shows that he loves me a lot when he isn't repulsed by my grossness of all the things I've gone through these past few days. He already knows me at my worst and that makes us prefect for each other, I think. I head back into Mason's room sitting down next to Mason's mom as I place my hair into a ponytail to make sure that it stays out of my face.
"Claire, we need to talk about Mason." His mom starts off cautiously.
"What about Mason?" I ask wondering what this could possibly be about. I guess I'll find out soon.
"Sweetie, you know I am very fond of you and I think of you apart of the family. I am sorry you have to hear this from me but Mason is betrothed to someone. It was an arrangement that happened before he was born but you see this is one of the reason why you and Mason can never be together. I am so sorry." She explains to me in a very sweet voice. I just sit there in silence as she leaves the room. Okay, so Mason is betrothed. Why had he never told me before? I start to think about these few crazy days that I have been experiencing. Then I feel it like a hit right into my stomach. He did try to tell me. He just couldn't bring himself to do it. He always changed the subject or got cut off. What am I suppose to do now? I love him so much it hurts but I can't ever have him. I will have to distance myself from him. It's the only way I can stay strong and not mess anything up between him and his betrothed. I hear a knock at the door.
"Come in" I say. Mason walks in with his head hung low. I quickly stand up. "Something wrong?" Just like that I turn off my emotions.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you Claire. I tried. I really do want to be with you and not this random stranger." I stand as still as I can even though I am screaming inside. "Claire, please say something." he takes a step closer.
"We should probably go downstairs now." I say walking around him heading for the door.
"Claire..." Mason says trying to get me to stop but I won't stop. If I even allow myself to look at him I will not be able to contain these feelings roaring inside of me. I race down the stairs not wanting to be left alone with Mason anymore. Why did he kiss me and say he wanted to be with me when he knew he couldn't be? Doesn't he know this would hurt me more than just turning me down? Now I know he wants to be with me but we can't be together. It's a lot harder to get over someone you know who loves you as much as you love them.
"Honey, I'm sorry you had to find out this way." My mom says hugging me tightly.
"You knew? Why did you warn me?" I ask pulling away from her.
"Would you have listened to me about not falling in love with your best friend?"
"No." I say understanding her point of view. If she told me not to I would've fall in love faster. "Can you explain the whole betrothed thing to me?"
"Well, Demigods need to keep the lines going so choosing a demigod from another god they betroth their children before birth to ensure the survival of all demigods."
"Well, aren't I a demigod too? Why can't Mason and I be together?" I ask not fully understanding why they don't allow the demigods to choose their own match.
"You could have been with him if you were his betroth. But you not, Sweetie. I'm so sorry. Right now, we need to focus on saving Mason's other half and take care of the witches." I nod as she leave me standing at the stairway. I am so deep in thought about saving Mason and trying to figure out how not to love him anymore that I didn't hear him come down the stairs.
He clears his throat, "Claire?" He puts his hand on my shoulder and all my feeling just sink in at once. Tears start to stream down my cheeks. I still have my back facing Mason but I can feel the heat radiating off his body. He is so close to me. Why can't I leave? Move your feet, I think trying to will myself to move. It didn't help I just stand there. Mason slips his arms around me. I lose it.
I push his arms off as I turn around and say, "Don't Mason, Please." I step back." I hate this but we cant be together. I'm going to help save you because you have been such a good friend to me but after that you won't be seeing me again." I start to back away as he grabs my hand.
"I'm sorry Mason it's for the best. If there was anyway for us to be together you know I would love to be with you but there is no other way."
"Well, that's according to our parents but I feel like they are hiding so much from us." I must looked puzzled because he starts to explain. "For starters I have no clue who I am betrothed too just that I am betrothed to another demigod. I have tried to ask about her but they won't answer my questions. Then with your mom I asked her some questions about how to break the curse on my body and she told me I shouldn't worry about the spells she casts. I'm not sure what to think anymore." I look at him. It's hard to stay mad at him. I have notice what he is saying about not knowing everything. My mom isn't telling me the full truth about the situation. It might be best if Mason and me team up together. We need to find out what is really going on. We can't have them know we are onto them. I stand there trying to think of a plan and how to tell Mason. I feel my eyes widen as I remember our secret language. The language quite simple they are anagrams that we say out loud making it sound like a word. We haven't used it in a while but I think he still remembers "Yo-ka." Our word for 'okay' just glides out of my mouth like I have been speaking this made-up language all this time and not any other. He looks deeper into my eyes and I can tell he remembers. "The steepest slicker." He nods in agreement to let's keep this secret. "The pawn halts?" What's the plan. This is easy to understand, I just hope our parents don't figure it out. Thankfully, we only need to use the language when they are around to throw them off on our plan. But there is one problem. What is our plan?
No time to think up one now. My mom is calling for Mason and me to join her in the living room. I wonder why? Are they finally going to be fore-coming(FORTHCOMING?) about everything even though Mason and I just agreed that they were hiding all the important information from us? We walk into the living room where my parents and Mason's were sitting waiting for us. They do look like they have something important to tell us. How many times do they have to tell us something important? Shouldn't they just get everything else out all at once? So, there will be no need to have talks like these where one minute you're in love with you best friend and the next you find out he's practically engaged not to mention that was left out when I actually found out the truth about me, then my mom, then my dad. All these surprises just keep happening! None of them are good so far. I just want them to STOP!
All the light bulbs in the room bursts at once. Candle lights appear at the snap of my mom's fingers. "Now, I know we're making the right decision." She says looking at my dad and Mason's parents ignoring Mason and I.
"What are you talking about?" I question looking around at all of the grownups.
"You'll be leaving with your father. It's not safe for you here. And if I was being truly honest no one is safe with you here." My mom explains to me.
"Wet gems to hotpot!" I say yell at Mason. We got to stop them.
"Bulk coy able. Mire vehement biros." You'll be back. Remember the vision. Mason reaches out for me just as I'm pulled away by my dad.
"What are you two say?" Mason's mom demands getting in between Mason and me.
"Athos, you two should leave now." My mom says not looking at me at all. What happened to make her want to send me away. This is so unlike her. I just don't understand.
"Cow draft head-hunting!" Find out what changed. I say to Mason as I unwilling am taken away from the house.
I wake up in a room that is not my own. Everything is white with hints of gold. Through the window the rays of the sun glistens off the gold making the room appear to glow. Rubbing my eyes I shuffle out of bed towards the window. I wonder where I'm at. The last thing I remember was Athos taking me away from Mason. After that everything is a blur. First thing I notice as I inch my way to the gold encrusted window is white pillars but before I could take a closer look I hear a noise and whip my head around to see a boy about my age. He has short brown hair that is nicely combed. He is wear black pants with some kind of white tunic shirt that is threaded with gold string making designs that swirl around his shoulders and down across his chest. Just by looking I can tell that he has a lot of muscles.Which I cant stop starting at. He has his head lowered so I cant really see his face its almost like he is bowing to me. I clear my throat and he lifts his head. Oh my. He is beautiful. I never though any guy could be beautiful just handsome or cute but he is really beautiful. His eyes. Oh, I love his eyes. They are the clearest color of blue with a sliver ring edging his pupil. I feel my mouth start to drop. Just as quickly I gather my thoughts. Come on, Claire, pull yourself together. I pull my eyes away from his and say, "Who are you?"
"Drew. Who are you and what are you doing in Athos' room?"
"I'm Claire. Athos is my father." as I say the word father Athos appears out of thin air. I look confused and not sure what to say next as Athos claps his hand and says, "Oh, good, you two have met. That takes care of one thing on my list."
"Why did we need to meet?" I ask my dad not understanding why my meeting Drew was so important to him.
"Well, Claire, Drew will be the one to show you around the place and teach you the ropes. I can't stay long. So, if you need anything Drew will get it for you. As you may have guessed this is my room. You'll be using it while your quarters are being prepared. Drew will tell you when it's time to move in." Athos says looking as if he's about to leave just after that short explains of my room and Drew.
"I don't want to stay here though. Why are you doing this? Why are you keeping me away from Mason?"
"Claire, you won't be seeing Mason ever again." Athos tells me unemotionally. I know he's wrong though. My premonition still hasn't come true and it happened at Mason's with Mason. I know I'll see him again. I hope it's sooner rather than later. "I must go now. Drew, show Claire the dining area. There will be food waiting for you both." Athos disappears the same way he appeared out of thin air.
"Let's go then." Drew says opening the bedroom door waiting for me to exit the room so he could follow. He leads me to the dining room. As Athos said there would be two plates of food with silver covers were waiting for us. I wondering if there's anyone else here besides Drew and I. I sure hope so.
"Xeraphina." A hiss came from Drew. "What are you doing here, Sister?"
"Sister? Wait, What is going on?" I say as a look up from the doorway to see a golden blonde girl who looks to be around my age smiling cheerfully at me.
"I'm Xeraphina. Most just call me Xera." She says as she strides over to greet me.
I extend my hand. "I'm Claire."
"Oh, I know silly." She says as she by passes my hand and goes for a hug. "I have heard so much about you."
"Funny,I haven't heard a thing about you." I mumble quietly to myself.
"What did you say?"
"Anyhow, I'm also Drew's twin sister if you haven't guess already." Okay and this means something to me because? I thought to myself. A moment later Xera says, "I'm sorry to have imposed. I just wanted to meet you. I'm sorry to have bothered you." A frown forms on her face as she leaves the room through the doors we just entered.
"Um, Okay, did I do something?"
"She can read minds." That was all I had to hear to know I must have hurt her feeling. Great, now she probably hates me. Which she probably should for what I thought.
"I'm sorry." I say so softly that I barely hear myself. But all demigods must have good hearing because he heard me and knew I must have thought something that hurt his sister.
"It's okay. She will get over it. I know this has to be a tough for you and you didn't mean anything by what you thought. Now, let's eat before the food gets cold." I nod as he pulls out a seat for me at the long dark oak table.
I follow Drew down the hallway again after we finished eating. I want to go find his sister and apologize for what I was thinking before. I have no right to be mean to anyone even if it is only in my mind. People that think about something are automatically guilty. Even if I'm upset about being dragged here I shouldn't take it out on Xera. She was just trying to be nice to me. I should have Drew take me to her so I can be nice to her too. "Drew..." I start to say but he stops me before I could get out anything else.
"We're already here. Just go on in and talk to her yourself." Drew tells me as we stop in front of a door.
"Can you read minds too?" I question wanting to know how he knew I wanted to go talk to Xera without me saying so. It has to be mind-reading they are twins after all.
"No, I can't read minds. However, I do have my own talents and one is reading body language. Your body was shouting remorse and their is only one thing for you to be remorseful about right now." He can read body language? Does that me he was checking out my body to understand what I was thinking? Or can he do his body language reading in one glance? "Now, you're nervous. Don't be. Xera will be perfectly friendly to you, okay?" Good thing he can't read my mind I rather have him thinking apologizing to his sister makes me nervous not him having checked me out.
"Thank you for taking me to her." I say reaching for the door about to enter.
"Have her walk you back to Athos' room. I'm sure by time you're done talking to her you'll be best friend. I'll be in the library hall if you need me."
"Thanks." I say pushing open the door and entering Xera's room. This room looked more like an apartment minus the kitchen than my room. Every room was open and spacious.
"I was hoping you would come." Xera says gracefully standing up from a couch where she was reading a book.
"So, you read minds?" I question wanting to get that out of the way. She nods. "I better pay attention of what I think about in front of you."
"Soon there will be no secrets between us. Don't worry about me knowing it now."
"Okay," I say slowly drawing out the O.
"So, Claire, what do you think of my brother?" Whoa don't beat around the bush do we now? I think and see the smile that beams across her face. Okay, how do I answer this. I mean I just met him and he is cute but the whole body language thing kind of freaks me out. Like really was he checking me out to know how I was feeling? How could that possibly be a talent?
I decide to go with, "He's nice." at the same time Xera starts to laugh really hard.
"Claire, you are aware what 'reading minds' means right?"
Oh, crap. Stop thinking, Claire.
"So you're wigged out by brother's talent of body reading?"
"Yeah, you can say that." I mutter as I glace down feeling my face turn red.
"You shouldn't be. We call it body language but it's kind of like Aura reading."
"Aura reading? So he isn't really checking me out?"
"Well, knowing my brother he was probably checking you out." She laughs as she continues, "Anyhow, we all have certain shades and colors that surround our bodies. Which it is like it's own kind of language."
"So, it's a body language." I say now that I finally understand. She nods. Now that I have no judgement clouding my mind I really look at her and she isn't that bad. I mean she is actually nice and very beautiful. She smiles as she reads my thoughts. I frown. "What is it?" She asks with a little smile.
"Not like you don't know you can read my mind. How do I turn it off?"
"Turn what off?"
"My thoughts. I want to make it so you can't hear my every thought."
"I've heard a rumor, okay, I heard it from Athos' thoughts, you're half witch."
"Yes, but what does that have to do with my question."
"Everything, my darling. I can't read witches' minds. Somehow, they are able to block my wandering ears. Meaning that a part of you is able to block me if you want to. Why would you though? You would just end up telling me everything in the end because I know we're going to be best friends."
"Are you telling me you can now see the future too?" I ask disbelieving what I'm hearing. Everyone seem to have these awesome powers when they are only immortal gods but I'm an immortal goddess and a witch where are my awesome powers. I only had one premonition that doesn't look like it will ever happen if I'm not going to see Mason again.
"You'll be the most powerful being in time, trust me. There's never been anyone quite like you before. And no, I can't see the future. I just have a good feeling about us and about you. But, tell me, who's Mason?"
"What's not to tell? He's.." at the same moment I try to say prefect a knock sounds from the door scaring me a little. I jump around to face the door as Drew lets himself in. "Sorry to interrupt but Athos wasn't very happy with me leaving your side. Would it be alright if I join you lovely ladies?" He says with a lustrous smile.
"Of course." Xera says before I could say a word.
"Wonderful. Now what are we talking about?"
"Oh about Ma--."
"Nothing. We were talking about nothing." I say with a blush cutting Xera off. Why do I care if Drew knows about Mason? I don't like Drew, we just met. I don't like him. Right? Oh great by the look on Xera's face she knows what I'm thinking. I bit my lower lip hoping she won't say anything to Drew. I'm not sure if I really like him. I just think he is really hot. I need to work on my witch side of my mind to cover my thoughts. Xera laughs.
"What?" Drew asks.
Xera looks at me and laughs as she say, "Nothing. I'm just glad I have a new friend." I sigh out a breath I didn't know I was holding. Oh I think we shall be great friends you and I. I purposely think so she can hear me.
"You said Athos was upset you left my side? Why?" I ask changing the subject wondering if my father wants me to spend ever second with Drew. That would prove difficult especially if my current thoughts about him escalate any further.
"Well, I guess I wasn't clear on my rule before. I'm what we like to call a guardian to you."
"A guardian? Why would I need someone watching me?"
"Guardians are only assigned to newcomers to the property. We are supposed to be your guides here and according to Athos you're somewhat of flight risk."
"He's afraid I will run." I state knowing that Drew is technically my babysitter and Athos want to prevent me from going back to Mason's. Why are my parents going to so much trouble to keep me away from Mason?
"I have a way for us to find out." Xera says with a smile to me knowing that Drew isn't in on the question.
"Have a way to find out what?" I question her.
"You know." she says pointing to her head.
"Oh yeah. The mind read thing. I forgot about that for a second."
"No biggy. You'll learn soon enough." she smiles.
"Okay, what are we talking about? I'm very lost in the conversation right now." Drew says with a very confused look on his face.
"I think you need to tell him, Claire. He can help us. Besides, it would be a lot easier not to hide it from him."
Can I really tell him about Mason? I'm not sure I really want them knowing anything about Mason. He still in an out of body experience the last time I saw him. What if telling them about him makes it easier for someone to hurt him.
"It's okay, Claire. You can tell me anything. I promise I'm on your side the whole way." Drew states. He probably was reading my body language again. I sigh and begin to explain all that has happened. Even the part of me finding out what I am and what happened to Mason.