[CW] Three’s the Charm

Asper POV~

‘Testing one, two, Dranix to Wizards. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill.’ 

‘What time is it?’ I mumbled through the mind link and realized I couldn’t open my eyes. ‘What is going on?’ I started to panic when I discovered my body wasn’t responding to me.

‘Woah there.’ I groaned at Marco’s laid back response. Someone could be mummifying me right this instant and I wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing. ‘Don’t be such a drama queen.’  I let out an outraged gasped and slammed the doors to my mind shut.

‘I think it would be better if we told her what’s happening, Marco. This isn’t the time to fool around.’ Dagon’s tone was authoritative and I sent a mental image of him in armor, with the imperial dragon’s flag waving in the background. ‘You too, Asper, this is very serious.’ What the? I’m so sure I have my walls up.

‘Dagon does that. For some reason, he’s got a mind prod far superior to other immortals. I call it the mind stab because he could tear your head up with just a-‘

‘Enough!’ Just as the words resounded in my head, what felt like a thousand needles attacked my head, piercing through my scalp and drilling through my skull towards my vulnerable grey matter. Inwardly, I screamed along with Marco. Marco, begging him to stop while I was just screaming my head off. After a few good minutes, Dagon’s attack creased, leaving me panting and with tears in my eyes.

‘Now, kids.’ Dagon started easily as if nothing happened. ‘I have rather… unpleasant news.’ 

After a heavy silence in the mind link, Dagon continued.

‘I have just found out that Asper rejected her mate.’ 

‘Oh come on. Not this again.’ I rolled my eyes. ‘What’s the big deal?’

‘Rejecting your mate could potentially kill you and the Prince, Asper.’ Dagon’s tone was disapproving, which pissed me off to no end. Was he going to turn into another Cobalt?

‘Hey, quit stressing her out.’ Marco butted in. ‘Look. Asper. It’s not that we’re trying to force you into doing what you don’t want. If breaking off from the Prince was so easy, I’d say go for it as well. He’s just mad because he stand a chance of having the same fate if his mate rejects him. ‘ Dagon tooted.

‘What do you mean same fate?’ I snapped. Marco sighed.

‘Being Royalty may mean stronger abilities, strength… well, everything. But it also means their bonds are stronger too. The last immortal that had rejected his mate was of  average hierarchical status and had quickly turned into an empty shell after the separation creed was completed.’

‘It’s his fault he rejected her.’ I interjected.

‘His mate was from Earth. They were literally worlds apart.’ Dagon ground out and I bit my tongue. So…that wasn’t a very smart move for myself.

‘The Gods had been cruel.’ we shared a moment of silence before Marco continued. ‘Anyway, look at what happened to that guy. He wasn’t even a duke or an imperial knight. He was just a regular guy and the separation creed hit him so hard. Imagine what would happen to royalty. You guys wouldn’t feel a thing, you’d just straight up die on impact. Again.’ 

I flinched at his last word.

‘How did you even find out about the separation creed in the first place, Asper?’ Dagon probed.

‘I managed to read up a little before my so-called mate threw me into the dungeons.’ I answered bitterly. ‘And can anyone please explain to me why I can’t move?’

‘It’s the effect of  the creed. It’s what happens when the creed’s magic forcefully tears apart bonds.’ Dagon sighed. ‘Doesn’t feel to good now, does it?’ 

‘You are a cruel man, you know that?’ I threw back at him. Immediately, I felt a pin poke threateningly at my temple. ‘Mercy.’ I squeaked. I felt Dagon roll his eyes.

‘Back to what we were talking about,’ Marco pulled us back to topic. ‘What do you intend to do now? Now that you’ve just set yourself up with an express pass to your death.’

‘I don’t know.’ I cried ‘The page was ripped out when I read it. I didn’t know I’d land myself in such a huge load of crap.’

‘I’ve an idea but you may or may be agreeable.’ Dagon spoke slowly and I instantly knew I wouldn’t like his plan one bit.

‘Go on…’ I spoke as slow as he had, holding my breath.

‘Spend time with him. Being close to your mate even as the creed is in place would minimize the pain of separation. I can’t guarantee that both your lives would be preserved but it’s worth a try.’ 

 ‘What are my chances?’ I whispered. Things were not looking good.

‘I’d say 30%. But it’s better than nothing.’ There was a pregnant silence between us. ‘C’mon, Marco. Where are you when we need someone to say something funny?’ 

‘What am I supposed to say?’ Marco sounded like he was close to tears. ‘Gee, sis. Go for it, at least now you only have a 70% chance of dying and leaving me,  a lone warlock, on Earth!’ 

Dagon gave an exasperated sigh while Marco sobbed.

‘Okay! Okay! I’ll try, alright?’ I paused for a reaction but got none ‘What would happen if I mated him?’ I had to throw the idea out there. The atmosphere was so bleak, I was possibly a hair away from slipping into depression.

‘Don’t get his hopes up, Asper.’ Dagon bit out. ‘It’ll only make things worst.’ 

I bit my lip, remembering the moments I had shared with Xavier just the day before. It was hot and passionate. We just clicked and knew exactly what to do with each other. Well of course, considering the fact that he was my mate. But the way I could get lost in his eyes and the way I felt just standing next to him… It was something that till now, I wasn’t sure I was able to give up. Or I didn’t have to give it up at all. I was stronger now, after all.

‘No, I’m serious. I’ll give him a chance.’ I assured. ‘ Three. I’ll have him three chances.’ I willed my eyes to open and this time I was able to open them a fraction. Encouraged, I attempted to stretch and rolled over. I winced as my bones and joints cracked and ached. Finally getting up, I looked around to find myself alone in my room. I frowned. Couldn’t say I wasn’t a tad bit disappointed.

‘Asper! You’re awake!’ I turned my head a little too quickly, causing it to crack painfully. My hand flew up to massage my neck, as I groaned. From the corner of my eye, Cobalt sprinted over to the edge of my bed and belly-flopped, resulting in me losing balance from my sitting position and whamming my head against a could-be-softer pillow. I whimpered.

‘Oh I’m so sorry!’ Cobalt grabbed my shoulders and yanked me up a little too fast, making the room spin even faster. I screwed my eyes shut and took a deep breath. He really wasn’t helping.

‘Amber’s coming over today after school. I’ll be doing your geography homework till you get better. Orion is out hunting. He’s frantic but he’ll be soon. You’re mom’s cooking chicken soup and-‘ I held a hand up to stop him.

‘Where’s Xavier?’ I croaked. Cobalt blinked.

‘Um… He’s in the next room. You want to… see him?’ Cobalt replied cautiously.

‘Please.’ I looked him straight in the eye and nodded. Cobalt’s expression was priceless. It was a mix of suspicious and joy but I couldn’t be sure.

‘I guess I could.’ Cobalt got up from the bed abruptly, shaking the bed and my world while he was at it. ‘C’mon.’ He held a hand out. I stared at it intently, willing my hand to take it. I moved it once, I could do it again. Right…?

I couldn’t.

Instead I stared at his hand to his face repeatedly for a good minute before he let out a heavy sigh.

‘What is it this time, Asper.’

‘Ican’tmove.’ I replied quickly.

‘What?’ Cobalt was an octave below a shout.

‘I can’t move my body.’ I grated out. ‘I’m too weak.’ I looked down, whispering the last sentence. Looking up at him through my lashes, I watched his expression soften. Cobalt moved to gather the thick blankets around me,covering my small frame from head to toe. Tucking his arms under my back and legs, he picked me up and cradled me towards his chest. Snuggling against him, I let my make shift ‘hood’ of a blanket fall over my face, shielding me from the morning sun.

I wished the walk too longer. It was literally next door. I enjoyed the few steady steps and rhythmic thumps as Cobalt walked, lulling me back to sleep. I heard Cobalt open the door and I peaked out from under my hood. What I saw turned my veins to ice.

There stood Bethany leaning over Xavier, giving him a lavish view of her breasts. Xavier on the other hand, were gazing at them. His eyes darkened with lust but snapped out of it when Cobalt cleared his throat.

‘I brought you blankets.’ Cobalt was trying to sound as carefree as possible. ‘Or are you good to go.’ He was doing a pretty good job, except he was crushing me in the process.

Xavier seemed to jump off his bed and stumbled over.

‘Is that…’ He whispered. I didn’t bother looking up at him.

‘I want to go see Orion.’ I projected to Cobalt who turned down to glare at me.

‘I thought you wanted to see him.’ Cobalt’s eyes narrowed.

‘I have.’ I shot him the coldest look I could possibly manage in my current state. ‘ Now take me back.’

I waited for him to turn us around but he broke eye contact and blocked me out instead. My eyes widened-I think- and I gaped. This guy was hot and cold! One minute he’s protective and the other he’s the best wingman to have!

‘I’ll take her from you.’ Xavier generously -insert eye roll- offered and Cobalt passed me over; like I was some object. ‘Beth, could you leave us.’

‘Sure, Hon!’ Her high pitched voice made my eye twitch with irritation. I was definitely not a morning person.

I heard the door close and listened for any more movement. My heartbeat sped up. We were alone.

‘Cobalt said you wanted to see me.’ Xavier started, his tone hopeful.

‘Don’t drop me.’ I turned away from his chest and changed the subject. Hopefully. His body went rigid and I brace myself to be kissing the ground or being knocked unconscious within the next five seconds. Instead, he took a deep breath and sat me down on his bed.

The bed that bitch most probably slept on. Beside him. While I was dying in my room with nobody-

‘You know, if you’re going to be so critical, I suggest you give your vemon an additional 10 chances or so. Dagon’s voice cut through my thoughts.

‘What the. I thought I blocked you guys out!

‘You can block Marco out, but I am a different story altogether. Dagon sniffed. ‘Just give him a chance, Asp.’

‘I was going to.’ I growled and I felt him shake his head.

‘Guys don’t get these things. You got to tell him you’re giving him a chance. Remember, to a guy, a fruit could be red, juicy, crunchy and start with the letter ‘a’, but if you don’t tell him it’s an apple, he’ll never know it’s an apple.’

Crap that actually made sense.

I know it did. I could feel his smirk from wherever he was. ‘Good luck.’ with that, the connection ended.

‘Asper? Love?’ Xavier’s velvety voice snapped me out of the mind link.’You’re spacing out again.’

‘I’m sorry, what?’ I blinked, trying to open my eyes a little wider but they stayed hooded and sleepy.

‘I was asking why you wanted to see me…’ Xavier looked around nervously. ‘But before you say anything I just wanted to apologize for my behavior towards you the past few days. I just don’t like seeming like a woman can boss me around. I’m not used to it. You should know well enough. I regret a lot of things, how I spoke to you and how rough I was with you. I don’t regret the marking though, never.’

I furrowed my brows and stared at him intently, partly to make him more squirmish because it made him look so cute, but also to digest the information. I hummed.

‘So you’re simply telling me you have a massive, royal ego and you’ll never regret marking me.’

‘And that I’m sorry.’ Xavier added quickly.

‘Of course. If there’s one piece of information I’d take to the grave, that would be it.’ I held a hand to my mouth to hide a giggle rather unsuccessfully, watching his cheeks colour. This Prince had a split personality and it was adorable.

‘So you aren’t mad?’ Xavier piped up and I noticed he was holding my left hand the whole time. Why that sneaky fox. That explains the tingles I’ve been feeling.

‘That’s all you want? My forgiveness?’ I sniffed and composed myself. Xavier tilted his head. By Allura, he had to stop being so damn adorable all the time.

‘I-I wouldn’t want to ask too much of you now. Since you’re probably still angry with me.’

‘So that’s all you really want from me? Just for me to forgive you and be friends. Is that it?’ I shot back, keeping my face as passive as possible.

‘No!’ Xavier grabbed my wrist and pulled me closer to him. Shots of electricity coursed through my body and I shivered. Both of us did. ‘You’re mine. No one can touch you but I. I want you to love me. Unconditionally, like I’ve loved you all these years.’ His arms wound tighter around my waist, forcing my legs to encircle around his waist. Our cores touched and I could feel him through his loose pants. The more I squirmed, the harder it seemed to get. I gulped. He was more demon than I thought.

Taking a deep breath, I placed two hands on his chest pushing hard enough to be able look up at him. His eyes were pitch black with lust as he struggled to hold himself back. I had to admit, I found it pretty hot.

‘Prove it to me, vemon.’ The words slipped from my lips before I could even stop myself. In a blink of an eye, his lips came crashing down on mine. Without his lips leaving mine, he laid me on my back and kiss me urgently. I was practically pressed into his bed as he skillfully shifted his weight around me. Enough to hold me down but not crush me.

His tongue licked and pushed at my lips, begging for entrance or a chance to prove himself to me. He growled when I playfully resisted and ran his member against my core roughly. I gasped at the intense pleasure and sparks that caught me off guard, allowing his tongue to slip past my defenses and explore my mouth.

My tongue fought his for dominance while his hands roamed my body freely, running up my inner thighs, shoulders and cupping my breasts.

Before I knew it, my arms were wrapped around his neck as I kissed him back, back arching towards his furious rubbing, with a leg hooked at his back for good measure.

I felt like a total slut.

‘You will never be. You’re my mate.’ Xavier growled through my bruised lips. I hummed, reveling in his magic signature. ‘Urgh. Mate, I don’t think I can hold it anymore.’

I was about ask ‘hold what?’ Then I felt it. A hot jet of sticky liquid exploded from his lower reigons and I immediately knew what it was. I started to kick and struggle but he held me down in an iron grip and continued his pulses of seed, effectively soaking my underwear and thighs.

When he was finally done, he sighed heavily and dropped his head at my neck.

‘I really don’t know what do to with you, mate.’ His voice rumbled from the crook of my neck while I lay there, eyes wide and speechless. If there was anyway to describe it, it would be that line from the song Mr Brightside, ‘it started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?’. But alright, it was partly my fault.

Suddenly I felt a sharp sting on the mark on my neck and flinch. He growled.

‘Our bond is getting stronger.’ His smug comment set me off and I furrowed my brows, trying to untangle myself from him but he held me tighter.

‘Angelo, you are being very gross right now.’ I bit out as I shoved harder. He repositioned himself and laughed my efforts off. Unable to control my temper, I sparked him on his neck causing him to jerk and loosen his hold on me.

‘Woah there, sweet cheeks. No need to get violent.’ He finally let go of my waist and rubbed his neck, strategically keeping our legs intertwined.

As I struggled against his ridiculously strong legs, I brushed against a blob of his… spunk. It was growing cold fast and the thought alone was so disgusting to me, I let out a whimper. I just woke up from an energy lapse and this was proving too much for me.

‘I want to change.’ My sentence came out chopped and jerky but I didn’t care. Psychologically, I felt like the room was stinking up, thanks to him.

‘Why?’ Xavier curled his arms around my waist once more. ‘I like my scent on you.’ This time he shifted his legs against mine, resulting in more of his horrible muck to taint me.

I couldn’t take it. This was one of the only times I’d let myself be a total girl. I screamed and pushed an energy surge through him, flinging him against the bedpost. The surge was just enough to kill a full grown man so I guess it’d hurt abit. Hell, I hope it did.

I scrambled off the bed. Being that close to Xavier had given me quite the storage of magic which I was very thankful for.

As I reached the door, I turned to see Xavier with a hand on his stomach and the other covering his face. He looked so carefree and innocent, I almost stopped to stare. My eyes wandered downwards, tailing the steadily thickening line of hair that disappeared into a pile of soft linen. I was almost disappointed, before I mentally slapped myself for trying to peek at his… man parts.

When did he even slip his pants off? A short snippet of what happened just five minutes ago flashed through my mind and I blushed. He must have caught it because he laughed harder.

I ducked out the door and ran straight into another one.

‘What the- Asper. Why are you running and why do you look like-‘ Cobalt paused. ‘What is that smell?’

I gave him a deadpan look. I was already getting used to the sexual harassment in this house.

‘Oh man did you and Xavier. Your hair. The smell. It’s still fresh, isn’t it? Oh my Oden, EW. XAVIER COOTIES.’ I left him to his hysterics and penguin walked over to the washroom.

‘That was a good start.’

‘Shut up, Dagon.’

Advertisements

[CW] Brother from another mother

Unknown POV~

‘Dagon, did you feel that?’ a hooded figure in a ‘Yale’ pullover turned towards a broad shouldered man.

‘The unmistakable flare of a goddess.’ Dagon bowed his head in respectfully, ‘She has finally appeared after a hundred years of earthly waiting.’

‘What more so fresh and… strong. She will make a lovely tower goddess now, won’t she?’

‘Only the very best.’ Dagon nodded. A strand of ivory hair fell against his peculiar lavender orbs and he flipped it away irritably, raking his hands through his rather excessively gelled hair.

‘Let’s pay her a visit tomorrow.’ the man paused and tapped his chin wistfully ‘Scratch that. I’m too excited. Let’s intercept her on her way to school.’

‘She is with mate. It is most unwise.’ the other man spoke with a heavy British accent, ‘To pick a fight with a mated demon would be courting death.’

‘Mated?’ whipping around, mismatched eyes flashed behind ask blonde curls. ‘Then we’ll just take him out.’

Dagon sniffed. ‘You don’t seriously expect a girl like her to be mated to just any demon, do you?’ Dagon’s partner harrumphed. ‘If you strike now, you’ll be going against a Prince. Just thought you’d like to know, Marco.’

‘That brown haired boy is a Prince? I don’t remember the demon King and Queen being being brunettes.’ Marco frowned. ‘Unless you’re talking about that energy signature from a few months back…’

Dagon nodded. ‘Well shiet.’ Marco sighed heavily ‘We aren’t getting past a mate like that, Dagon. And why do you still look so calm?’

‘Because knowledge is power.’

‘Cut the bullcrap’ Dagon chuckled.

‘She doesn’t like him very much.’ Dagon turned his back on Marco and stretched. ‘Naw, I’m pretty sure she hates him.’

‘And you know this much because…?’ Marco folded his arms. ‘We only just found her!’

‘No, you just found her.’

‘You never share.’ Marco huffed.

‘You just never asked.’ Dagon shrugged. ‘Besides, today was just confirmation. I had my eyes on her for a while. She was just too suspicious. Her archery was too precise. She never missed -even during practice- and she disappears entirely after school activities. Not to mention, she wears rosebud.’

‘Do you stalk every girl like this?’ Marco nudged. ‘I think you should be the one worrying about going up against the Prince.’

‘Shut it.’ Dagon shoved. ‘I just feel like she’s important somehow. Like she can help me.’

Marco eyed him curiously. ‘What problems would you have?’

‘She could start with how my partner hasn’t found his familiar yet.’

‘Touche.’ Dagon rolled his eyes and stormed towards their backpacks. ‘Where’re you going?’

‘Not just me, you too.’ Dagon threw Marco a bag. ‘We better hurry. We have to meet her half way.’

‘Halfway?’

‘That’s right, Marco. We’re going back to high school. A goddess shouldn’t be kept waiting.’

=/=

Asper POV~ 

‘What was that about?’ Cobalt finally caught up to me at my locker.

‘What was what about?’ I plugged one of my ear pieces in while I shoved around for my Biology textbook. I was not in the mood for any of this right now. Cobalt twisted me by the arm, pushing me against the lockers. Let’s just say I could have come up with a more romantic way of doing so.

‘The vines, your glassy eyes. Threatening a Prince?’ Cobalt stared intently at me, willing me to answer while I burned holes into his forehead. ‘Well?! What has your dreams been teaching you? You have to stop blindly following it!’

I swear a vein popped.

‘Gee sorry, Dad.’ I ground out. ‘I think my dreams are the only thing that actually understands me so I’ll be following it’s guidance thank you very much.’

‘You’re dreams have changed you. You weren’t always like this. The Asper I know gives everything a shot. ‘ staring up into his jet black orbs, I saw pain and concern. But I also saw a man who was in the midst of jumping fence.

‘And what about you? Whose side are you on?!’ I hissed. ‘One moment you’re swearing to protect me whatever happens and the next, you’re offering me up on a silver platter.’

‘This is different, Asper, this is fate. Can’t you see?’ Cobalt grabbed me by my shoulders and shook. ‘He’s finally coming for you and he isn’t trying to kill you!’

‘No. No, Cobalt. This is a test for me. I’m not about to fall for him again. Once he has me, he’ll throw me away for fae-bitch Bethany. Only this time I won’t be able to slip away!’ I wailed, not caring that we were right smack in the middle of the hall. ‘Please, Cobalt.’

‘Asp. Not every girl that gets close to Xavier is like Eliza. He’s only got eyes on you now.’

‘He’s just desperate, Cobalt.’ I probably spat on his shoe while I said it.

‘You really have to stop that.’ I shot him a questioning glance. ‘It reflect more on you than him, you know.’ By Allura. He wasn’t about to pull morals into this as well, is he?

‘Alright.’  I ducked under his arm, commanding a gush of wind to swerve me through my steep collision with a near by water fountain. ‘I’m a bitch. But I’m fine with that, you know?’ I stumbled a little but caught myself just in time.

‘The ‘Prince’ who wrecked my life waltzes in and says, I’ll take the Asper extra value meal with a busty whore on the side. Fries extra crispy.’ I made air-quotes with my fingers. ‘Oh horrible Asper, why are you tossing him on the ground and stepping on him? Oh right, I forgot I had to spit on him as well!’I was starting to ramble.

‘Asp. Come back.’

‘Shove off!’ I hissed at him when he reached out to pull me back, throwing my hands up and bumping into Amber who squealed.

‘Woah there. Sibling fight?’ Her eyes searched mine and I saw a look of concern on her pale face. She’d fallen very sick recently. The doctors said it was a combination of the common cold and stomach flu. Talk about winning combinations. I frowned and huffed, turning my back on the duo, I stalked off.

‘Ah! Asp, I bought your favourite cinnamon sugar doughnuts from Beverly Bakery!’ she called as she trotted after me, sniffing as she came. I felt guilty and slowed down for her to catch up. I could use the sugar right now.

‘Don’t mind her, Amber. She’s just being an unreasonable brat.’ Cobalt taunted. I paused mid stride, resisting the urge to turn and face my so-called cousin. He was just trying to get to me. So I’ll lose my temper and throw a fit just like what the general school population would now think I’d do.

You could turn around. Shred this school apart with just a scream. Then you can take him out…’ 

‘I could…’ I thought back to myself. ‘Wait. What the hell? What was that? Am I going crazy?’ I outwardly frowned, earning myself a few strange looks. A little crowd had gathered around us and Amber started glancing around nervously.

‘Asper…’ Amber touched my arm and yelped when she got shocked by the static radiating off my skin.

What are you waiting for?! Sike him!’ 

‘Shut up!’ I shouted at that voice in my head. I glanced around. People were staring. How long have I been in this spot? Clenching my fist and squaring my shoulders, I took a deep breath. I wasn’t about to tell Cobalt about this new skill (or curse) I had. I might as well skip class and figure things out.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I took my next step and walked away.

=/=

So here I am. Hiding under the benches of the school stadium. I still haven’t figured out what was wrong with myself. The voice had been telling me horrible things. Things about the Gods going to war with Allura knows whom. Things that didn’t make sense, like how I was made to fight them.

The voice even told me Xavier was going to bring me back and revert back to his old self again; that he’d brought trouble with him. Now that I believed. That woman -Bethany or whatever he’d called her- gave my tummy a funny feeling.

‘Hey.’ I felt a breath at my neck and jumped, whamming my head against a wall.

‘What the hell!’ I cursed, my eyes focusing on the figure before me as I blinked.

‘Tsk, tsk. Such words doesn’t suit a beauty such as yourself.’ The world stopped spinning and I squinted at him, but his deep voice seemed to shake my world even more. His hair was ash blonde; tossed tastefully for a few curls to cover his left eye. His eyes, were an intriguing mismatched emerald and sapphire. He looked surreal. I must have stared too long because a smirk started to form on his lips.

‘Like what you see?’ He smiled lazily, which was surprising. I was expecting him to go full jackass on me. Either that or Xavier had been hanging around me for too long.

‘Maybe.’ I angled my chin playfully, trying to imitate a sultry stripper I’d seen on MTV. He laughed, all deep and raspy. I watched him as he shook his head. He had dimples.

‘Well I like what I see.’ His eyes darkened a shade and I gulped. This wasn’t good. I couldn’t use my powers on human, I’d blow my cover. ‘How about you tell me your number?’

‘Ah my…’ I backed away a little and dished out my Russian accent. ‘If I told you, I’d have to kill you, boy.’ He was getting too close. I felt a pull and a loud thump on my mind. Immortal. Wide-eyed, I pushed him with all my might, sending him across the space and right into a basket of soccer balls.

‘Who are you?’ I scrambled to get up. This guy was tricky. I didn’t sense him at all. Was it rosebud as well? I wasn’t taking chances. ‘Answer me.’ Magic glowed from my finger tips while the clouds rolled restlessly above but I didn’t care.

‘You sure have grown, sister.’ He stumbled out of the basket, wiping bits of blood from the corners of his mouth. His shirt was ripped and his shoulders bore black charred marks where I’d shoved him. ‘Fire magic at such an early age. No wonder the Gods brought you back.’

‘Fire?’ I gaped at him. The last time I dreamt of fire, I used it to burn down houses, create infernos and incinerate armies of humans. It was more a nightmare than a lesson and I swore I’d never use fire magic. Not to mention, this guy was a complete nut job. ‘I don’t do fire. And who are you calling a sister?’

‘Ouch, sis. That hurt. Both ways.’ He pointed to his heart and now healing skin. ‘Of course you can use fire. What else burns? Your comebacks?’

I grimaced. He didn’t have to go for the ego.

‘Anyway, I’m glad I finally found you.’ He advanced towards me like he was coming in for a hug. Was he serious? ‘It’s not every century you find someone who’s family, you know.’

Family? I blinked. ‘I’m not your family, I have no family!’ I rebutted.

I must have let my guard down because I didn’t notice how close he’d managed to get, enveloping me in a massive bear hug.

‘I can prove it. Can you feel that?’ He hugged me tighter each time I struggled. ‘Doesn’t it feel familiar?’ I paused mid-strangle. I felt tingles on every part of my body. It wasn’t the kind I got around Xavier, no. His hugs felt like… home. Could it be?

‘You believe me!’ He let me go and set me down. ‘See? I didn’t mean to flirt with you know? That was gross for me as well.’

‘You were the kid mom was protecting when they kicked me out?’ I whispered, the memories flooding back. ‘How are they up there? How did you die?’

‘Wait, what?’ He frowned and stared at me for a moment. ‘Oh Oden, you got it all wrong.’ He sucked in a breath so fast it sounded like a whistle and sighed heavily.

‘Look. You’re my sister because we’re the same. I’m a warlock. Witch, warlock.’ He put two fingers together and wiggled them.

‘What?’ I snapped out of my pending emotional breakdown. ‘How is that possible? All the warlocks and witches are dead.’

‘I managed to survived thanks to Lady Furie. She saved me with a feather from her lynx. It transported me here to Earth to live like a normal boy.’ He seemed to hum everything, like he was this bouncing ball of happiness. Did he tell me something about a lynx’s feathers?  ‘I learnt about you about a hundred years ago. From then, I’ve been waiting for you to um, come down.’

‘That’s a nice way to put it.’ I mused.

‘Thanks.’

‘So you’ve been here for a hundred years, I’ve been here for three and you just found me?’ I crossed my arms. ‘Sorry, but that’s just really fishy to me.’

‘As expected of my sister, as sharp as ever.’ he clicked his tongue while I half expected him to drop the happy-go-lucky act and jump me. ‘You’re magic matured this morning.’

‘What?’ I blinked.

‘You like that word a lot. ‘What’ ‘ he pondered. ‘What, what, what, what, what. Now that word has no meaning.’ I rolled my eyes at him.

‘What do you mean by matured?’ I crossed my arms, mimicking his stance. ‘Did it turn into a teenager of something? And how do I know you really are a warlock, not some shady wannabe.’

‘Very funny, sis.’ he nodded ‘I’d like to show you my familiar but Oden hasn’t been as generous to me as he’s been to you.’ He glared at me, as if he were jealous. Or was that bitterness in his eyes.

‘Alright, then show me some earth magic.’ I tapped my foot on the ground. ‘Or whatever is easiest for you.’

Mr Mismatched chuckled and shook his head.

‘You’re clueless, aren’t you? Not all witches and warlocks are the same. We control different things. So if you control nature, no other witch or warlock will be able to control nature till you pass on and return your gifts to the Gods.’ I hated how he was purposefully talking slowly as if I were stupid.

‘Then what do you control?’ I cut in as soon as he finished his sentence. He smiled and shook his head again. I inwardly hoped it’ll roll off his neck one day.

‘It really isn’t much, but it comes in handy.’ Crouching down, he touched the ground like how I’d normally summon my vines. His hands started to glow a pale blue and something started to grow from the ground. He let what look like a hilt twist around his hand, before pumping more energy into the mysterious object and pulling it out swiftly. There in his hands, was a beatiful and elegant sword. It glistened in the little light that passed through the gaps from the benches above.

‘Neat, huh.’ I nodded. ‘Well it wasn’t as fun when I was learning the skill and ended up stabbing myself through the palm the first five times in a row.’ I scrunched my face up and tried to get that image out of my head.

‘Is it only swords that you do?’ I checked my hair in it’s reflection.

‘Oh I do many things.’ He gave up holding the sword and threw it to me. ‘As long as it’s any form of metal element from the ground, I can control it. Change it’s formation, so to speak. This means I am both defense and offence. I build walls, I make swords, hammers, even tanks if the ground is ‘fertile’ enough.’ He made inverted commas with his fingers.

A cough was heard from a few meters away. I jumped up and readied myself for a fight, body in stance; fists glowing with energy.

‘Woah, woah. Calm down, wild cat.’ He held his hands up. ‘Just someone I thought you should meet.’

A boy emerged from the shadows. His hair was snow white and he stared at me with piercing blue eyes.

‘This is Dagon. Asper, Dagon.’ For some reason, I felt it was necessary to reach out and shake his hand, so I did. Dagon raised an eyebrow but shook it anyway. Immediately, I felt a jolt of energy ripple through my veins. I jumped back.

I could feel his presence now, it wasn’t like anything I’d felt before. Confused, I frowned and tilted my head.

‘I’m a Dranix.’ Dagon seemed to read my mind, though his answer seemed to boggle me even more. ‘You do know what I am, right?’

‘Maybe.’ I dragged it out. ‘Maybe not.’

Before Dagon had a chance to speak, Mismatched grabbed him by the neck and twisted. A deafening crack echoed and I screamed. Dagon crumpled onto the ground with a thud and we stared at his body for a good five minutes. It would have been comical, if that wasn’t the corpse of my newly made acquaintance lying a few meters in front of me. His fair fell limp and his breathing had creased.

‘You killed him!’ My hands flew over mouth as I struggling not to wrench. ‘I just met him and you bleeding killed him!’

‘Just wait.’ said the murderer. He even had a smile on his face. We waited and sure enough, slowly I heard the bones crack back into place and the boy rose from the ground once again, his eyes flared as he touched his neck. With a final twist, he let out a groan and stretched, dusting himself off at the same time. ‘You were faster today, Dagon. You may not even need a brace this time.’

‘Don’t forget that I’m the one who doesn’t need sleep in our apartment.’ Dagon glared.

‘So… you’re a zombie or something?’ I blabbed.

Both men turned to stare at me. Dagon looked insulted while Mismatched gave me the ‘why are you so stupid’ face.

‘Oh man, you don’t know? You’re at least 300 years old, sis! Did you hit your head too hard on your way here, or something?’

‘Okay, one, I didn’t exactly get a chance to socialize and explore while I was up in Iroria so don’t blame me and two, don’t you know revealing a woman’s age is a huge no-no? Besides, a wall did fall on me, so I think I deserve a little leeway right?’ I huffed and placed my hands on my hips.

‘Feels like a harsh way to get out of that hell hole.’ Dagon mused as he continued to massage his neck.

‘Thank you. Finally someone understands me!’ I threw my hands up and huffed. ‘And if you aren’t a zombie, then what are you?’

‘I’m a Dranix, which is a mix between a dragon and a phoenix. Mixed breeds are rather rare in Iroria, mainly because everyone believed that mix-breeding would bring about weaker spawn. The other reason was because people simply couldn’t have mixed children, especially phoenixes whom everyone thought could only mate with their kind, you know, being on fire and everything.’ Dagon paused and waited for me to digest all the information. When I nodded, he continued.
‘But my father was a stone dragon, which basically gave him the right to stick his dick into just about anything. When my mom had me, she told me I was born with molten rock and lava, which probably explains my gift of fire and magma. As a cross, I had the wisdom and wit of a dragon and most importantly, my mother’s re-birthing ability as a phoenix.’

‘Doesn’t that make you more immortal than all of us?’ I pointed out and he nodded.

‘I couldn’t be killed, or at least no one knew how to take me down. Naturally, Kings and generals from different sectors came to recruit me into their councils and armies but I just didn’t want to be a soldier. So I declined all of them. Rumors soon spread that I was raising and army of my own in Iroria, and before I knew it, there was a bounty above my head. Then I met Marco over here and he got me into more trouble.’

I couldn’t help but grin.

‘So how was it over at your side? You mentioned a hellhole?’ Marco butted in as he knuckled Dagon’s skull.

‘Oh, hellhole would have been an understatement.’ I rolled my eyes while he nodded sympathetically.

‘What do you mean by understatement, though?’ he walked over, sat down and pat the spot beside him. ‘You could go take a break, Dagon, your work here is done.’

Dagon raised an eyebrow.

‘Real funny. But I’d leave obedience school to your familiar.’

‘Whatever.’ Marco rolled his eyes and threw dirt at Dagon’s white dress shirt. Dagon took a step back and frowned irritably.

Feeling more at ease, I took a seat beside Marco while Dagon flopped down easily beside me. His hair looked so light and bouncy, I felt a tinge of jealousy. Note to self, ask him what shampoo conditioner he uses.

‘It’s a funny tale, but I’ll break it down for ya.’ I stretched my legs out,  in the event of when I had to make a break for it. I didn’t want to risk the cramps, you know. ‘I met my mate. He was a jerk, threw me into the dungeon because I didn’t love him where I was then killed by a collapsing wall while I was trying to save a close friend.’

Marco looked slightly taken aback. ‘Harsh.’

‘Thanks. Best response so far.’ I stretched to my toes, picked a dandelion and passed it to him. ‘Here’s a prize.’ Dagon choked back a laugh unsuccessfully, earning an elbow to the ribs. I smiled. These people actually got my sense of humor.

‘Smart ass.’ He laughed as he tugged the plant from my fingers. ‘Just realized I haven’t properly introduced myself. I’m Marco.’ He sat up straight and extended his hand so formally, I almost laughed.

‘Alright, I’m Asper.’ I reached out to shake his hand. ‘But you can call me Asp.’

‘I didn’t ask.’ Marco flipped his hair, got up and dusted himself off, leaving me staring up at him, mouth hanging open at his sudden comeback.

‘Are all warlocks smart alecks or is it just you?’ I glared up at him.

‘Well, he tries very hard.’ Dagon nodded and this time Marco kicked him square in the head. I swear I heard a crack and he laid on the ground groaning as he willed his neck to snap back into place. Marco on the other hand, dusted his pants and looked proud of himself. I winced. If this was going to happen a lot, it would be something I’d have to get used to.

‘Now, now, sis.’ he held his hand out to pull me up and I took it hesitantly. The boy had violent tendencies. ‘Let’s not be sexist here. Honestly, I think it runs in the family.’

‘In that case, I am honored.’ I stumbled a little and dusted myself off.

‘My point exactly.’ Marco tapped me lightly on the nose and turned to leave. What? They’re leaving?

‘Wait! What if I want to know more about myself? How do I find you?’ I blurted out. Marco stopped in his tracks, looked up and seemed to ponder.

‘Are you asking for my number?’ He grinned and I dry-heaved. ‘I’ll give you something better. Come’er.’

Warily, I took a couple steps forward. ‘Can’t you just tell me your number from here?’ Marco sighed for the gazillion time that day and closed the distance between us in large strides. He leaned down and I turned my face, making his lips touch my temple instead. I felt a jolt of energy run through my body and all of a sudden, I was overwhelmed by his presence. The amount of magic seemed to hit me in the head like a flying brick.

‘That was my energy signature.’

‘Your magic signature is a flying brick to the face?’ I held my poor head, massaging my temples and waiting for the ground to stop shaking.

‘It’s worst when he does it on the lips.’ Dagon was lying on his side, watching us. ‘Take it from someone with experience.’

Marco rolled his eyes. ‘Sometimes you’re just asking for it aren’t you?’ swiveling on his heel, he lifted his leg to feign a kick to the gut. Embarrassingly, I squeaked and covered my face.

‘Taking advantage of someone when they are weak & hurting doesn’t make you stronger, it means you’re a bully!’ Dagon shouted the quote as if it were his last words. Though we all knew it would never apply to him. ‘Never take advantage of a young dragon, we hold grudges!’ He made a feeble attempt to roll away. The entire scene was comic and I burst out laughing.

‘Quit abusing the poor guy already!’ I choked out between laughs.

‘If it’s not enough that he’s a malfunctioning encyclopedia thanks to his Dragon gene, he’s got the arrogance of a Phoenix!’ Marco bent down to poke Dagon’s neck, causing him to scream out something in Italian. Or at least I thought it was. ‘You got to beat it out of him.’

Dagon stopped moving and whimpered. It must have really hurt. Marco looked over at him as if waiting for him to try something but softened when he realized his partner was indeed in pain. Sighing, he crouched down and touched the ground. Little tendrils of silver sprouted from the earth and Dagon reached for the wisps. Upon contact, it seemed to start getting absorbed into his body and he sighed.

‘Dragon thrive on silver.’ Marco explained when he caught the look of awe on my face. So that was why Xavier’s dragon was always clad in silver.

‘As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, this signature is how we witches and warlocks communicated in the past so that people couldn’t intercept our messages.’ I could only stare at him, still dizzy from the sudden rush of energy. ‘Creatures like your demon prince and right hand man wouldn’t be able to sense our conversation. Won’t even know about our messages. ‘

He looked at me and I eyed him to continue.

‘See it as exchanging phone numbers, except only us witches and warlocks have a special frequency. You know?’

‘But how do I give you mine?’ I quizzed.

‘Oh, I already have it. That’s how I found you. You see, the moment your magic matured, you’d sent out this huge magic signature to all witches and warlocks around the world. It’s like hitting the ‘import contacts’ button from Facebook to Instagram, expect you don’t get to know who you’re adding. It’s dangerous because people would come looking for you, both good and bad.’

‘So you’re saying there may be people coming after me right now?!’ My tone rose a little higher.

‘Naw, right now there aren’t anymore of us on Earth. Just the two of us. Convenient, isn’t it?’ I nodded, trying to calm my beating heart.

‘Do we learn just basic spells like healing? What are the few basic spells all witches and warlocks know? How many of us are there?’ I was talking too fast. Don’t blame me, my whole life I was raised to believe there was no one like me. This discovery was both overwhelming but extremely exciting. So exciting I had to stop my teeth from chattering.

‘Woah woah. Slow and steady.’ Marco held both his hands out. ‘I’m not the genius here. The genius is over there.’ He pointed over to Dagon, who seemed to be sound asleep.

‘He isn’t known as Iroria’s Arch General for nothing, you know?’ I cocked an eyebrow. I was seriously doubting that statement. ‘He’s weak now because he isn’t in the sun nor is he a full blown dragon. When he matures, he’ll have the best of both worlds. To be blessed during the day and to thrive under moonlight. Perks of being a Dranix, I guess.’

‘How would you be sure?’ I asked rather bluntly. ‘And what do you mean by general?’ Marco shifted uncomfortably.

‘You know about the vampire raid on the Demon’s castle?’ I nodded. ‘He was the one who planned it.’

My eyes widened. If I looked at it one way, he was the one who saved me.

‘He was the one that sniffed you out. After memorizing book after book on witches and warlocks while he had access to the imperial library, he noticed a pattern. A witch or warlock was born every Earthly solar eclipse, the eclipse that had happened roughly nineteen years ago back then.

When you’d fully matured into immortality, you’d sent out a powerful wave of energy, alerting the vampires. Those bloodsuckers have a thing for sound waves.’

Marco paused to watch my reaction. I nodded and egged him on to continue. This was brand new information.

‘The vampires understood that they could never overpower the vemon heir but they couldn’t simply allow him to hold a witch within his castle at his beck and call. What more one that had just matured. So they sought Dagon out. Dagon had been interested in witches and warlocks since forever so an opportunity like that was too tempting to let slip.

He planned an all out attack, even though I had rather violently objected. From the way I saw things then, you’d have probably get yourself killed in the massacre since none of the vampires knew how you looked like and your energy signature was still woozy. But he led them, knowing well that you had a protector.’

‘Cobalt.’ I whispered. Marco nodded.

‘He sent the vampires to a particular demon. The lightning princess Eliza. The Prince, being infatuated by her, sought to protect her with his life.’ I flinched. ‘I’m sorry to remind you.’

‘Don’t be.’ I muttered.

‘And this is where it gets interesting. Dagon didn’t know how the inside of the demon castle looked like. Hell, he didn’t even have a map.’

‘Then how…?’ I frowned.

‘Your friend, Cobalt knew.’ Marco grinned. My eyes widened and my lips formed an ‘O’.

‘That’s right. He knew Cobalt had been itching to steal you from the castle. He’d probably been planning it for a while then.’ Marco pushed his shoulders out, proud of his partner. ‘Dagon’d cleared the path for him to get your keys. The mission was to get you out, not to possess you. But he didn’t count on your magic maturing so quickly to perform such a risky spell. He didn’t think you’d want yourself dead either. So he never calculated.’

I huffed, a little hurt that someone had tried to calculate my death.

‘And how did you get here?’ I asked abruptly, changing the subject. Marco paled. If I could take my words back at that moment, I would have.

‘I was killed during the raid. By the Prince himself. I am part vampire.’ He whispered and I gasped. ‘But it doesn’t matter, I’m alive and kicking now.’

‘But… how?’ I asked carefully. Better not step on his tail.

‘Dagon. I owe everything to him.’ Marco’s eyes softened. ‘When he found me, he sensed my ancient blood and panicked over trying to save me. It was the only time I’ve ever seen him panic.’ He slumped again and I gave him a sympathetic pat on the back.

‘I was dying as the air was dry and it was broad daylight. There wasn’t a river for miles. If you were wondering, I’m part siren as well. Minus the tail, thank Oden.’ Marco let out an exaggerated sigh of relief and wiped imaginary sweat from his forehead. ‘That makes me a Vampen. Another rare mix. A vampire that can walk in the sun and breathe underwater.’

This time I put my hands up, trying to digest all these information.

‘So you died? But how does Dagon get here if he can’t die?’ Marco tsked me and continued.

‘I’m getting there.’ Marco bit his lip and looked around. ‘He let me drink from him. I started healing rapidly. In fact, till now he’s convinced I have some level of Dranix blood in me. I had re-birth thanks to him, but he reckons I’ll only manage to do so if I have enough Dranix blood in my system.’

‘That doesn’t explain much…’ I thought to myself.

Guard your thoughts. I can hear just about anything.‘ I heard Marco’s voice in my head and I snapped my head up to glare. But he had a point. I was so excited, I’d dropped my walls entirely.

‘Then we met Lady Furie.’ Marco stretched. ‘She told us the Gods weren’t happy about Dagon bringing me back and were coming down to literally smite us. So she presented us with two feathers from her lynx and basically told us to scam.’

I giggled. Lady Furie sounded like a cool person.

‘She did leave us with a word though.’ Marco’s tone was serious now. ‘She specifically said “Find the tower guardian. Iroria is falling.” ‘ I frowned.

‘Are you implying something?’

‘You know exactly what I’m talking about.’ Marco watched me carefully. I stared my hardest at him for a few moments, then crumbled and wailed. I have had enough of people trying to shove destiny up my butt.

‘But I’m not ready, okay?!’ I was tearing a little now. ‘I can’t stop a world from ending. I’m just one girl, witch or not!’

‘You have me. You have Dagon. You can ask us anything. You’re powerful, Asper. You’ll realize in time. And when you do, no one would be able to lock you up. Prince of not.’

‘Really?’ I sniffed and looked up at Marco with puppy dog eyes.

‘Yeah, we’ll protect you alright?’ Marco puffed up again. I smiled and lurched to hug him.

‘Last question, or maybe not.’ I looked up at him ‘How did Dagon get into the imperial library?’

‘Dagon? Oh I almost forgot.’ I watched as he turned and walked towards Dagon’s sleeping figure. ‘Dagon is the Crown Prince of the stone dragons.’

How could anyone forget to mention that?

‘If anything, just beep me.’ He tapped his head twice, grabbed Dagon and vanished with a too-coincidental gush of wind. Leaving me to wonder what the hell to do from here.

Snapping out of my daze, I pulled my phone out and dialed for Amber.

‘Hello?’

‘Hay, hay Ambs!’ I chimed over the phone.

‘Well, someone is cheery again. What’s up. Cobalt and emo boy here are going ballistic. Where are you?

‘I needed to get away. Oh. Angelo is there?’ I was well aware that my tone had gone sub zero.

‘Is that his name? I could have sworn he introduced himself as Xavier. “Asper’s boyfriend”‘ Amber deepened her voice at the last moment to mimic Xavier, making me chuckle.

‘Oh, he’s the farthest thing from boyfriend right now.’ I replied nonchalantly. ‘And I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you the past week.’

‘No worries. The doughnuts are in your mini fridge. Hurry home.’

Amber, who is it you’re talking to? It’s Asper, isn’t it? Gods, give me the sodding phone! I heard Cobalt wrestle the phone from Amber, Amber screaming at him to shove off and Xavier patiently repeating himself at the background as to what was going on.

I looked at my phone and hung up. Xavier may have done nothing but stroll into my life and attempt to charm me, and he’s already turned my life upside down.

Sighing, I walked out from under the shelter of the benches, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin. Suddenly, it felt like a really good day to try something funny.
=/=

Cobalt was waiting for me at the door, arms crossed and feet tapping. I would have been worried, but right then, it looked funny against the happy tune I was humming in my head.

‘Where have you been? I was looking all over school for you!’ Cobalt shook me but I flashed him a goofy smile. ‘Why are you in such a good mood? And why do you smell like… that. What have you been doing?’

I momentarily froze.

‘Crap.’ I thought. ‘I’ll smell like them.’

‘Walls, young one.’ Marco’s voice rang through my head. Testing one, two. Is this thing on?’

Of course it’s on. Dagon’s voice snapped in my head.

‘Guys! Thank goodness. So help me, he’s probably going to sniff you guys out.’ I projected it to them, hoping both of them would get the message. I had no idea how two of them could be communicating with each other in my head.

‘Dagon’s already got it covered. Changed our scents. What was mine again?

‘Lotus flower, lillypads, freshly clipped grass and chicken breast left out in the sun.’

There was a slight pause in the conversation while I tried to hold back my laughter.

‘Could you explain to me again why I smell like our backyard? And why chicken breast!’

Don’t be picky, Marco. You don’t interrupt me in the middle of a BBQ and expect to get away with it!’

‘Hey!’ I focused on Cobalt again, momentarily tuning out of the amusing conversation in my head. ‘I asked you why you smell funny.’

‘Oh I don’t know…’ I pushed past him lazily. ‘Must have been Calvin.’

I felt the bickering in my head quieten down as they listened in.

‘Calvin?’ Cobalt grated.

‘You know, your friend? Calvin Klein?’ I watched his face, waiting for reaction but he stayed passive, or should I say, pissed off. Not caring, I exploded with laughter.

‘I cannot believe he’s letting you get away with that.’ Marco gushed ‘Would you let me get away with that?

‘Get away with that? I’d be rolling on the floor with you!’

‘Careful. You might catch my scent.’

‘Naw you ate the chicken breast a while ago.’ Dagon’s remark sparked another wave of laughter. These guys were crazy.

‘What is all the ruckus about?’ Xavier appeared from a rather grim looking living room which I suppose he had moved into. ‘Oh hey, love, you’re home.’ He leaned down to kiss me and I instinctively turned my head, his lips landing exactly where Marcos’ initially was. He drew back in an instant and made a face like he’d tasted something bad.

‘What have you been doing in school?’ his voice was low and dangerous but I was so high on adrenaline, I couldn’t be bothered.

‘Oh, you can taste DNA now?’ I saw his eye twitch  and I grinned even wider. ‘Maybe you should ask my friend Ralph Lauren, or his girlfriend Kate Spade.’

Xavier’s fists clenched as he tried to control his temper.

‘I smell an immortal on you.’ Xavier was fuming. ‘Who is it?’

I heard Marco gulp at Xavier’s ferocity and felt Dagon tense up.

‘Nothing you’d have to worry about.’ I feigned innocence, praying he wouldn’t find out. It was too early to get busted. I had to throw him off somehow. Without a second thought, I slid up to his side and threaded my arm through his and pressed my lips against his neck. I felt his breath hitch and grinned.

‘I mean. He wasn’t as tall as you. Or as handsome or strong. And you know I’ll always love your hair best.’ I purred into his ear. His stance softened and his jaw grew slack. By Allura, it was actually working.

‘But I guess I’m not helping myself if I told you I really liked how he smelt, huh?’ I whispered into his ear.

‘And she just has to blow it.’ I heard Dagon sigh in my head. ‘You’re right, Marco. Stupidity does run in the family.’

Almost immediately, Xavier’s nostrils flared and I felt electricity in the air. I’d done it this time and it didn’t take someone like Dagon to tell me . Turning, I made a mad dash for the stairs.

‘Asper Emma Bellavista, you get back here RIGHT THIS INSTANT.’ I heard a tumble ‘Get off me Cobalt, I am not about to let some human charm the knickers off my mate!’ I wish I could die right now so that the phrase ‘rolling in my grave’ would have been deemed literal and humorously appropriate.

‘Xavier I will NOT allow you to get jealous over a damn perfume bottle!’ Cobalt was screaming now.

‘An extravagant floral oriental fragrance blended from warm golden amber, creamy sandalwood, orris root butter and its signature. The Bulgarian rose, the iconic symbol of love!’ I sang as I flew up the stairs three steps at a time.

‘Asper, are you drunk? Do you have a death wish?!’ Cobalt thundered from the stairwell.

‘What is up, bestie?’ Amber caught me at my door. ‘Why so happy? Your smile could outshine the sun. Scratch that-my hair- It’s outshining my hair. Now what’s up.’

Pulling her towards me, I whispered my improvised plan into her ears and she grinned so wide, she put the joker to shame.

Meanwhile, Marco and Dagon were screaming at me not to do it over mind link. But hey, if I didn’t go all the way when I’m doing something, I wouldn’t be called Asper. Turning to Amber, I nodded and braced myself. Amber took a deep breath and screamed.

‘OH MY GOD I KNOW WHEN YOU’RE LIKE THIS, ASPER.’ the scuffle downstairs seemed to quieten down. ‘You’re in love aren’t you?!’

‘Maybe.’ I said in the most convincing tone of voice I could manage. Xavier must have heard it because he started spewing curses in demonic.

I was laughing now, still high on adrenaline when suddenly, I felt a something snap from within my ribcage. Then came the excruciating pain that took over. I didn’t scream. I couldn’t. Instead, I let my legs give way under me as I watched Amber’s face turn from amusement to horror.

Everything seems to happen in slow motion. The Amber seemed to get further from my reach, the voices in my head turned into faint buzzing and I watched Amber scream for help. At least I think she was. The sound of heavy footsteps on the parquet flooring drummed into my ears and I realized I was already on the ground. Right before my vision give way, I saw Xavier stumble up the stairs, hand clenching his chest as he fought to reach of me.

He almost had me. That warmth of his being, so close. So comforting. But before I could enjoy it on my skin, everything went black.

[CW] It just gets more confusing

Asper POV

‘Well that escalated quickly.’ I saw Cobalt smile into his pasta. He had come home just minutes after Xavier’s and my little… exploration. He must have smelt Xavier’s arousal from a mile away, but had tried maintaining his calm facade anyway. Cobalt being Cobalt, never let me off. He grinned at me when Xavier wasn’t looking, raised his eyebrows suggestively whenever he spotted the words ‘big’ or ‘caution hot liquid’ on packaging and comments on every damn smell in the apartment.

‘So I heard North Korea had this missal launch recently. Didn’t go so well. The poor squirt didn’t make it off the launching pad. Exploded on site. Pity.’ Xavier shifted awkwardly, poking at his scrambled eggs.

‘Oh and Asper, I met Amber on the way back and she’s wondering if you like your eggs scrambled, over easy or… raw.’ Xavier choked while Cobalt hid his face in his hands, his laughter getting the better of him.

‘That’s it.’ I stood up, pushing my chair back noisily. ‘Cobalt, private conversation.’

‘About time.’ Cobalt eyed me playfully, took one more bite of his pasta and got up, heading towards the backyard.

‘What the hell are you doing?!’ I threw my hands up in the air, let them flap down, slapping the sides of my thighs with a whack.

‘I’m just joking around with my buddy, you know? He hasn’t seen me in three hundred years. He must miss me. Oh, and I love the tattoo, very hipster.’ Cobalt shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and rocked back on his heels. I glared. ‘As Amber would put it, ‘Details, sister’.’ He imitated a ghetto Z-snap formation and I couldn’t help but laugh. Allura help this man. He’ll never adjust back to Iroria.

‘There isn’t much to tell…’ I looked away and back into the house to check on Xavier. He was chewing slowly, still staring at his eggs in deep thought. Inwardly, I shrugged. ‘He just bit me.’

‘He just bit me.’ Cobalt made yapping motions with his hands and pitched his voice a little higher. Then he frowned. ‘Come on, you must have done something to him. Is he angry? At you? Me? You know how he is when he’s angry.’

‘Relax, he isn’t angry. If he was, you’d be dead or somewhere close to it by now.’

‘Then what did you do? He’s acting weird. All soft and not Xavier-like.’ Cobalt frowned and bit his lip. I always thought he may have swung the other way but Amber had remarked that it was totally okay with a boy being ‘a little softer than others’. ‘And what was that I smelt when I entered the house?’

I opened and closed my mouth several times, eyes wide. Cobalt’s grin widened, happy wrinkles creased around his eyes as he covered his mouth with his hand.

‘I was bored, he was being cute  and vulnerable. And he felt a little nice so I wanted to… I mean tried to-‘ I must have said something too fast or wrong because Cobalt doubled over and roared with laughter. Over in the kitchen, I saw Xavier, with his hand on his chin, look over. His face flushed and he dragged his hand over his face, looking away and back at his now empty plate. By Allura, he could hear everything, can he? Starting to feel my cheeks burn, I pulled a little of my hair over my shoulder to hide my face from him.

‘Xavier and cute do not go in the same sentence. Dude, he’s whipped. Did you say vulnerable too?’ I felt Xavier’s mood flicker from him embarrassment to borderline pissed off. Whoops. Cobalt must have sensed it too because he cleared his throat and squared his shoulders. ‘But it’s a good sign.’

‘What’s a good sign?’ I inquired, rather confused.

‘The re-mating may actually go through.’ Cobalt shrugged and I was pissed all over again.

‘Re-mating? Cobalt, who’s side are you on?!’ my eyes narrowed and I noticed a few thunder clouds circle above us. Good.

‘I’d be on the King’s side if all goes well.’ Cobalt challenged me. Challenged. Me. How dare he! No, Asper. Be mature about this. You aren’t exactly a teenage girl anymore. I took deep breaths, trying to ease the thunder clouds that had gathered above us, but I couldn’t stop my hands from clenching, making the wind pick up.

‘Well, the only side you’ll be on is your back side because your Prince will not be marrying anytime soon.’ I saw Cobalt’s eyes darken and I smirked, rather pleased with my comeback. ‘Now if you  don’t mind, I’m going to my garden before this impending thunderstorm gets anyone hurt or worst, killed.’ Oh yeah. I was on a roll.

‘Asper? I’m home! Come back inside! The weather looks horrid!’ And someone had to kick my ball in the opposite direction just when I was taking it home. I groaned and trudged back into the house. ‘Oh my, and who would you be?’

‘This is Angelo.’ I answered quickly. I felt Xavier’s mood flare at me calling him so formally but I didn’t care. I wasn’t about to give in to Cobalt’s and Xavier’s plan so easily. ‘He’s my-‘

‘Boyfriend.’ Xavier interjected before snaking an arm around my waist. ‘Asper, love. You don’t have to be so excited about things. I can introduce myself.’ He pressed a kiss into my hair before smiling charmingly at Nora who would have melted with or without his mind control. And isn’t that just great. He made me out to be a desperate girlfriend. I could slap him.

Slap me? That hurts.’ 

Why can’t you stay out of my head? Stop pounding on the door! It’s tiring keeping it shut tight.’ Xavier hasn’t stopped trying to talk to me mentally. Which was putting me at my wits end because he had no business poking my mind with his since everything between us was public. Or at least I hope most of it were. Like the fact that I hate him.

But I can’t.‘ He whined. ‘The mark is making it so damn hard. I dare you to tell me you don’t feel it either.’ I hate to admit but I did feel it. It was like I needed to be with him, close to him. Being without him made my bones ache while his voice would sooth my soul and his voice, oh, I wanted to marinate in it.

But my name wouldn’t be Asper if I wasn’t stubborn, now would it?

I don’t feel anything.’ I looked up at him defiantly and watched with utter contentment how his smirk was wiped clean from his face and replaced with a frown. Nora finally left the kitchen, not before she had attempted to subliminally drop hints of how many grandchildren she would like and what to name each of them. I pulled out of Xavier’s arms, much to my displeasure, and crossed my arms. The safety of his arms would be dearly missed. Crossing my arms, I stared him down. We were alone now, since Cobalt had graciously volunteered to accompany Nora while she collected the laundry out back.

‘It’s Xavier you know.’ Xavier crossed him arms as well, copying my pose.

‘What?’ I glared at the wall beside him. Looking into his eyes were too dangerous.

‘I said’ he took a step further ‘I want you to call me Xavier.’

‘Forget it, Angelo. Angelo. I quite like this name better. Don’t you like it?’ I tossed my hair and looked up at his dark hair, once again avoiding his eyes.

‘No. I don’t.’ He grated out. I noticed his fists clench by his side.

‘Good.’ I turned my head up and gave him the hardest stare I could. If I wanted to conquer my fears and grow up, I might as well start with my biggest one. Talking about conquering… No! Bad Asper! This was not the right time. Damn mark…

Xavier narrowed his eyes after a few tense seconds before pulling back and out of my personal bubble. I let go a breath I didn’t know I was even holding. He turned, raking his hands through his hair in frustration.

‘Dammit, Asper. You can’t deny you feel it. I know you do. I just don’t know how the hell you’re hiding it. Are you on some glamour? Some talisman of some sort? Because you better not be.’ The last point made me sigh in relief. This was the Xavier I knew. The bossy, unkind, impatient, slap-a-bitch-and-throw-her-into-the-cellar Xavier. The nice Xavier freaked me out. All mushy and sweet. I guess I simply wasn’t used to it.

‘Alright, maybe I do.’ I’d rather be honest with the real Xavier. ‘But it’s not like it’s going to change anything.’

‘What do you mean it’s not going to change anything? The sooner you feel something, the easier we mate, get our bonds retied and all of Iroria will rejoice. See love? You’re that important.’ I made a face.

‘Don’t do that.’

‘Don’t do what?’

‘Call me some affectionate name.’ I couldn’t even bring myself to say those words. I don’t know what got into me upstairs in my room two hours ago, because most of the time, I couldn’t even watch a make out scene in the movies.

‘Why’s that?’

‘I don’t like it.’

‘You don’t want me to show affection for you? That was all you ever wanted back at the palace.’ His mouth hung agape.

‘No.’

‘Gods Asper, are you masochistic or something?’ He started towards me again and I watched his purple eyes darken a shade. Not good. ‘Because I could easily fix that.’

‘No!’ I pushed him away with a burst of energy from my hands. ‘Enough, Angelo. Let’s just forget what happened. It was a mistake but it’ll be fine in a month or two. That’s not even sixty seconds of your eternity, so deal with it!’ I turned to leave but he caught me by my arm and slammed me back against the wall, knocking the breath out of me.

‘Forget what happened? You want me to forget what happened?’ He was seething, body pressed up onto mine and breathing heavily into my ear as I tried to concentrate on my fire engine red stand mixer on the counter. ‘I’m sure you can smell it; smell me. It’s what you did to me, Asper.’

He leaned down to kiss the mark on my neck and my breath hitched. ‘This mark means you’re mine. You belong to me, Asper. It’s not some cheap tattoo all those mortals have. I’m not about to let you go so easily. You think I’m going to wait around for the next month? Hell no. I’m going to make use of this mark and our current status as mates to court you. And love, the only thing you’ll be forgetting is your name once we’re done and mated. I don’t really care for the location, I guess it depends on where you piss me off the most.’

Practically tearing himself from me, he turned and stormed out of the kitchen, leaving me feeling cold and lonely on the floor.

But with just enough time to plan my next move.

=//=

‘Where are you two going?’ Xavier ground out from the sofa as I tumbled down the stairs and started out of the house with Cobalt behind me.

‘Away from you.’ I replied quickly as I slipped my socks on and bit onto a slice of butter toast, letting the bread square hang from my mouth.  ‘Cobalt, I told you finishing ‘Injustice’ on the Playstation was a bad idea.’

‘Relax, Asp. If anything happens, I’ll fly us over in 5 minutes tops. Oof!’ I heard Cobalt hit the ground with a thud. ‘Rude.’ He called out. I looked up between bites of my breakfast. Xavier loomed over me with a dark expression, making me gulp.

‘I asked. Where are you two going?’ He eyed our school bags. I inwardly grinned. This was going to be fun.

‘We’re running away from you. Not even 24hours with you and you’ve invaded my house, smitten my mother and sat in my spot!’ I threw my hands up dramatically and whipped my phone out from my back pocket. The tweet feed was buzzing with sightings of a ‘hot guy in town’, undoubtedly Xavier, whom had spent the last 20 hours (oh yeah, I counted) ruining my life.

‘This isn’t funny, Asper.’ I saw his hands clench at his sides and grinned too wide. If I could keep him as the Xavier I know, A.K.A Mr full-of-himself-arrogant-and-bad-tempered, I’d have an easier time and more reason to stay away from him.

‘We’re going to school.’ My phone buzzed and I broke eye contact with him, making sure I flipped my hair while I was at it. ‘Cobalt, we have 10 minutes.’

‘You don’t need to go to school.’ Xavier made a grab for my arm but I dodged and hopped closer to the front door, grabbing Cobalt’s and my own bagged lunches. I landed gracefully on my tip toes and turned to him as I waved a finger from him to side playfully.

‘No. You don’t need to go to school, of course, because you’ve been educated by but the best and the highest of scholars.’ I did a mini curtsie and a queenly wave. His eyes narrowed at my sarcasm and patriotism. ‘But I am just a humble creature that does not have such blessed circumstances. So I must um… go to school.’

Xavier said nothing but started towards me. Panicking, I turned the knob, flinging it open, only to come face to face with an extremely fake (but bright)  smile plastered onto a heart-shaped face. Almost immediately, I sensed her supernatural powers. She looked fae, but she wasn’t. She felt different but strangely familiar. I would have stopped to ponder, but I was literally inches away from kissing this clown of a girl. Now, you would think I’d be used to this by not, but no. I screamed and fell back on my butt.

Really, won’t Allura let me get away with one insult?

~FFA POV~

‘Xavier! I’ve been looking all over for you! It’s a good thing this town is so small.’ Bethany’s voice rang through the house and Cobalt cringed.

‘Bethany, good to see you. Would you please get Asper away from the door before I tie her to a flagpole?’ Xavier’s eyes were black with fury but with a hint of lust when the words ‘tie up’ and ‘flagpole’ rolled off his tongue.

‘Don’t touch me.’ Asper flicked her hands away from Bethany who had somehow gotten too close. ‘You know this guy? Boyfriend? Husband? I’m hoping for husband, there’s a law around here that a cheating husband should be,’ She shot Xavier a look. ‘Castrated.’ Xavier growled and lunged for her.

Asper ducked but not before she jumped on the chance of pushing Bethany from the door and making sure she landed on the ground with a thud and squeal. Good. Payback was a bitch. On the other hand, Xavier tripped her, almost causing her to face plant into a pumpkin patch. Pun intended.

Pushing off the ground just as her hands touched it, she bounced up from her prone position and swung a kick at Xavier’s head. He caught it and twisted, forcing her to twist in mid air to avoid joint dislocation, what more, so early in the morning. Finally getting her on her belly, he weighed over, pinning her to the ground and holding her head up by her neck, threatening to snap it.

‘You aren’t going to school, Asper. And that’s final. Now apologize to the poor girl and come upstairs so we can get back to bed.’ Xavier hissed into her ear, grounded his hips against her butt to make the word ‘bed’ have more meaning. Asper bristled. She hated being dominated especially by him.

‘Well, Angelo, you forget what I am.’ A devilish smirk tore across her face as her eyes grew glassy and dark. Taking the advantage of her ground element, she raised thorny vines from the ground, making it coil to suffocate and rip him off her. Getting up and dusting herself off, she strolled towards her bag that had had it’s contents spewed all over the lettuce patch. With just a glance, books and stationary sailed into the backpack. Much like Dora the Explorer, but with a sinister twist. Said bag levitated and she threaded her arms through the straps. Contented with her appearance, she nodded to no one in particular and walked back to Xavier who was now the one being pinned down with his face in the dirt.

‘Doesn’t feel so good with you’re the the one feeling the thorn up your ass, isn’t it?’ she chuckled and kicked the sand near his face just to piss him off even further. ‘Listen here and listen good. You aren’t doing yourself many favors by bossing me around in front of that squeaky little whore who just showed up at my door step and attempt to suffocate me with her breasts. When I come back, I want to see you gone. Not a trace, not a scent. Or next time, it’ll be worst.’ Her eyes were black now, making Xavier shiver.

Standing up, Asper took a step but swayed. Almost immediately, Cobalt was beside her, holding her up. Her hands were on her head and she shook, as if trying to get a hold of herself. When she removed her hands from her face, her eyes were green again but droopy and blank.

‘Dizzy. Need and asprin. What happened?’ She looked up and Cobalt and he shook his head.

‘No Asprin for you, Asp.’ Cobalt pulled the backpack from her shoulders. ‘I’ll get you a milkshake at iHop later.’

‘You said 5 minutes tops?’

‘What?’ Cobalt blinked while Asper glanced at her phone.

‘Well you have three minutes.’

[CW] Reunion

-Three Months Later-

Cobalt POV

‘Wow. How long has it been?’ Asper stretched on her couch and flicked the channel on the telly. ‘Ooooh look! Pretty little liars!’

‘Three months?’ I grimaced at the blondes fighting on the telly while Asper shot me a pointed look. ‘What?’

‘I meant in Iroria time.’ Asper played with her bracelet. It was an encased Rowan bud on a silver chain, complete with charms of her choice. I wore a similar one, but stuck with the option of having no charms at all. Asper always teased that I was no fun but I couldn’t help it, I’m a guy. It helped cover our magical traces and energy, making us seem like normal human beings. It works. The moment Asper slipped it on, it was as if I couldn’t see her at all.

‘Hello?’ Asper snapped her fingers in front of me. ‘Staring is rude.’

‘Uh. Um. Three years I guess.’ I mentally counted.

‘Why is he taking so long?!’ Asper grumbled.

‘I didn’t think you’d be so eager to see him.’ I joked and she glared. ‘Alright, alright. I’m just kidding.’

Asper took in a deep breath and sighed heavily. She was tired and I didn’t blame her. Everyday she’d put a glamour on the three of us; Orion, herself and I, and she’d have to hold it up till the school day ended. Our cover in school was that I was her long lost brother from Britain and since I didn’t quite look like her, she had my hair colour changed and my built a little smaller, against all my protests. We managed to pass Orion off as a Savannah cat, but she still had to keep a glamour on him since he was still far to humongous. Asper didn’t spare herself either. She changed her height so she could fit in nicely beside me, just at my shoulder. Her eyes were no more green, but a dull brown. She even wore a short-haired wig everyday, just so that she’d look plain. In short, she made sure we looked so different, we couldn’t even recognize ourselves the first time we glanced at ourselves in the mirror.

It was all fun and games at first, laughing at how Xavier would never be able to find us. Whether we should throw in bucked teeth as well. But all these glamours were taking a toll on Asper. Without being near nature, she couldn’t recover as quickly. I tried telling her that being near or with her mate would not only boost her magic recovery but her powers as well.

Asper being Asper had flat out refused, arguing that Orion was enough for her. It was true to an extent, since Orion was under her glamour almost 24/7 and never used his magical energy, she could draw magic from him like the huge magic reserve he was. There was only one flaw. She could only do so when he wasn’t under her glamour, which was practically never since she babied him so much.

Yet it showed me another thing about her. She was downright terrified. She didn’t want to be near Xavier at all. There was once a boy named, Xavier, who transferred over and she had jumped right out of her skin.

‘What’s going to happen when he comes?’ Asper whispered as she hugged Orion, who was in his original form. She must have been desperate.

‘We’ll have to face him I guess.’ I shuddered at the thought of seeing Xavier furious and crazed.

‘Can’t we run?’

‘We’ve been over this, Asper. If you leave him here on Earth, he’s going to screw it up big time.’

‘That’s a lot of pressure on just one little girl isn’t it?’

I laughed humorously.

‘Babe, I don’t care how you count your years here on Earth, but you belong to Iroria and Iroria says you’re ancient.’

~.~

Two months ago in Earth years.

‘Xavier, honey.’ Her hips swayed temptingly ‘Why are you frowning when we’re so close to our goal?’

‘Go away, Bethany. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now.’ Xavier clenched onto a snow-white feather and stepped into the rune circle.

‘I can’t believe you! After all the pains I went though just to get those feathers. I could have died you know.’ Bethany huffed an tapped her foot. ‘Do I need to remind you how I got those?’

Xavier squeezed his eyes shut and hissed under his breath. He met Bethany shortly after his rage-fit in the palace. She came to him as a palace maid, claiming to be one of Asper’s personal maids. He had his doubts at first, but when she had recounted about all the pranks mischievous Asper had pulled on all the servants, he’d thought twice. She told him Asper had been plotting to leave the very night Eliza had arrived but had no way to since she had no idea how to get anywhere from the palace. According to her, Asper had alerted the vampire horde to create a scene big enough to escape by herself. Being a rare Witch,  Lady Furie had appeared in her dreams and handed her one of the white feathers he had in his hand, helping her escape.

It was said that the feather was from Lady Furie’s Lynx’s wings itself; a one way ticket to Earth, not that he cared. He’d find his way back later. Bethany and him had gone through hell just to get those feathers, chasing the lynx over mountains and deserts. He had managed to yank just two from it’s wings before he fell straight into Siren’s Cove and proceeded to fight his way out of Sirens’ claws.  Bethany wanted to go as she wanted to return the necklace Asper had paid her with to keep her mouth shut. The girl was too sweet for her own good. Xavier on the other hand, wanted Cobalt dead and Asper wishing she’d never lived; again.

‘Well?’ Bethany’s hands were on her hips now.

‘I know, I know. Now can we just get a move on?’ Xavier managed to calm his nerves. Bethany nodded, stepped into the circle and finished drawing the circle. It started glowing, bright and brighter. Xavier felt as if he were dissolving. Slowly fading into nothingness.

~.~

 Present time

‘Are you sure they’re here?’ Xavier asked for the hundredth time.

‘I’m sure, silly!’ Bethany chimed as she came through the airport.

‘That’s what you said while we were touring the whole of… what was that place called again?’

‘Asia.’

‘Whatever.’

Time barely moved on Earth. ‘No wonder these humans didn’t seem to age at all.’ Xavier thought to himself.

‘Where are we going again?’ Xavier was irritated ‘I don’t want anymore pointless trips, servant.’

‘Walter town.’ Bethany turned, her sundress dipped low as she enjoyed the attention mortal males paid her. ‘It’s only been 2 months, sweets.’ Xavier growled.

‘Only 2 months? It felt like an eternity!’ Xavier thought to himself.

Bus rides were even worst for him, not because he had motion sickness, but because mortal girls felt like they had the right to stare at him. Some even asked for his number. Whatever that was, he didn’t want to know. Bethany had been a huge help though. She’d been much prettier than all of them, being an immortal and elven. She had them intimidated and away from him in seconds.

‘Are we taking the subway again?’ Xavier shuddered at the thought. When he was in Japan, the rushes had everyone packed tighter than sardines. He even got groped a few times. There were only a few things he could do with his powers, especially since Bethany was so hell bent on not hurting the humans for some reason.

‘No, this time we’re taking a taxi. Walter town is a little out of the city so the buses don’t go there.’

Xavier pulled a face. Apparently, going by a taxi was the best mode of transportation on Earth, besides planes. He never exactly had a good time in them though. They always smelt funny and the drivers talked too much. The traffic was horrible and the fares weren’t too fantastic either. If there was one thing Bethany would let him do, was his mind control. Humans had no shields up to his mind-play so they were too easy to take advantage of.

-//-

The ride seemed to take forever, though he managed to get some shut eye. He guessed the people here were different. They only wanted to talk money and nothing more, which was good enough for him. Getting out of the car, he noticed that Bethany had directed them to a school. With mortal teens. As if he hasn’t had enough of them in Asia.

‘You’ve got to be kidding me, servant.’ Xavier groaned. ‘Not this again. I know people don’t pay you a lot of attention back at the palace but you don’t have to let yourself go this much.’

‘Sir.’ Bethany turned. Her green eyes were on fire. They shone, but not as brightly as how Asper’s had. ‘I happened to have come here to help you. Not whore myself out!’ with that, she jabbed a finger right in his chest.

‘Don’t talk to me like that, servant.’ Xavier grabbed Bethany by her wrists and squeezed, hating how her eyes were the same colour as Asper’s ‘We may be on Earth, but I am still your Prince. Do you hear me?’ She sobbed and nodded. When he finally let go, her wrists bore his hand print and she rubbed them.

When he turned, a wisp of short black hair ran straight into him, knocking both of them off balance.

‘What the, watch there you’re going you little bi-‘ Xavier pushed himself off the ground, cursing but the words never left his lips when he saw her.

‘Sorry!’ she gathered herself and dusted her hair. A peculiar thing to do to one’s hair, Xavier noted. The clumsy girl looked up. She seemed to have been smiling before because he could still see traces of curved lips. Her eyes were a deep hazel as she tried to make eye contact for her apology. But once she focused on him, her beautiful smile faded immediately and she visibly paled. He looked at her in confusion, before he recognized that look. A look of betrayal, hurt, fear and panic all at the same time.

Where had he seen it before?

The girl panted and she seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

‘As..ther. Esther!’ A male voice called and Xavier heard footsteps galloping towards them. A boy with black hair dropped down beside her, checking her injuries. Xavier stood there awkwardly. The only time he had people on their knees for him was when he was holding court hearings and the palace. Even then, that was ages ago.

The boy had given up trying to comfort the girl and had scooped her up into his arms effortlessly. Xavier inwardly wonder how much she’d weigh as he stared at her shivering petite figure.

‘What’s wrong with her?’ Xavier lifted a hand to touch the girl. He felt a pull towards her and he didn’t know why. Before he could touch her, the boy sidestepped and Xavier missed, rather lamely.

‘I’m sorry. Esther here grew up without a father and she got bullied by boys a lot so she gets panic attacks.’ He said all too quickly. He seemed to be shaking a little as well. ‘I should get her home. She needs her um… medicine.’  Without another word, he brushed past Xavier cooing words of comfort into her. For some weird reason, Xavier felt jealous. Somehow, the fact that he couldn’t be the one comforting the girl was bothering him.

‘Don’t let it go, c’mon… Hold on to it.’ The boy was chanting it over and over to her as he jogged away. He was about a few yards away when Xavier heard him say. ‘Hush, I won’t let him get to you.’

Xavier whipped around to see the girl had calmed down a little. She was hugging him with her arms around his neck and strangely, staring at Xavier himself. He locked eyes with her and for a moment, he swore her eyes flashed that magnificent green. His eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat.

‘W-wait!’ He dropped his luggage, earning a squeal from Bethany whom he forgot was still there and gave chase. ‘You there! Wait!’

The boy who had obviously heard him, broke into a run and turned a corner into a busy street. Catching up, he all but swung himself around the corner, only to have lost them completely.

‘Cobalt to bastard!’ Xavier screamed into the crowd, earning himself a few weird looks. He look left and right, ran into a couple of stores but they were no where to be found. He ran his hand through his jet black hair in frustration and roared.

~.~

Asper POV

I was challenging Cobalt to a race back home as usual. It was one of the things we always looked forward too. I’d be able to take of the glamours and head to the gardens to relax. At least I had a proper reason to get home. Cobalt only had his ego. As usual, I was winning. Cobalt had taken a liking to Earth food and hasn’t stopped pigging out for the past three months. We could eat anywhere we want, since we were plain looking and mortals being shallow mortals, didn’t want anything to do with us. Which was more a blessing than a curse.

I turned to look behind, surprised to see Cobalt actually gaining on me. I guess all the track and field was finally starting to pay off. I sped up. Coming to Earth had allowed me to nurture my ego and I wasn’t about to let a boy win just because of his gender. Laughing, I turned back, just to slam right into a wall. Or so I thought.

I bounced off, pushing the wall away while I was at it, landing in a heap on the ground.

‘I’m sorry!’ I blurted without even looking up. I had a bad habit of apologizing to inanimate objects and Cobalt never let me off about it. But this time it was different. As I dusted my wig, I noticed how my wall was connected to a pair of shiny and expensive looking leather shoes, which connected to a pair of faded Levis’ that ended at deliciously sculpted hips. Said torso was covered by a basic black muscle tee and a blazer. Yum.

I looked up to apologize again, seeing that my wall was indeed human. I caught sight of tousled black hair, a perfect nose, kissable lips and purple eyes. Wait.

Purple eyes?

My eyes focused and my breath hitched. I felt all the blood drain from my face. Oh Allura, I knew my failed math test was a sign. He gave me a look of confusion which made me feel a little better, knowing that he didn’t recognize me. However, it wasn’t helping that he hasn’t bothered covering his aura, which was now seeping into me-as much as I hate to admit-because he was my mate. The aura of a royal was simply overwhelming, let alone a crown prince. I had felt it many a times in the palace and had reveled in it’s power. It made me feel warm and strong in an instant, making me crave being near him.

Strangely, this time was different. I felt sick -like I was about to boil over and die-. I felt the bonds for the glamours shake and worry stuck me. What if I broke them? Xavier would see who I am. Cobalt would be running over here any second to his death and oh Allura, what if Orion was sleeping in my room right now?

I dropped my head as the shivers got worst. Squeezing my eyes shut, I used whatever was left of my own magic to concentrate on keeping my glamours up. I heard Cobalt rushing over. Oh no, was he going to expose me with my name? Could he not feel the waves of energy Xavier was giving off?

‘As..ther! Esther!’ I sigh in relief through my sobs and he practically tumbled to my side. He cradled my face in his hands to check me for any injuries while I checked to see if his hair was jet black and not fading back to brown.

‘Exploding.’ I managed to choke out and thank Allura that my guardian here on Earth understood me so well. He gave me a nod, scooped me up and pressing my body against his, he started to absorb the waves of energy I was transferring to him. I noticed that he got significantly stronger. He used to be a little shaky when he carried me but now his grip was unwavering. However, I could feel how Xavier’s aura was too much for even the both of us. Neither of us had been training so we never had the chance to widen our energy storage and as dirty as it may sound, Xavier was really stretching us out. Cobalt was already starting to shake.

Just when I calmed down a little, Xavier spoke and I started shaking all over again.

‘Need to get home. I sent Cobalt a mental message and he nodded as he dodged Xavier’s hand.

‘I’m sorry. Esther here grew up without a father and she got bullied by boys a lot so she gets panic attacks. I should get her home. She needs her um… medicine.’ His reply came too soon and I mentally scolded him. Xavier looked like he was about to say something, but Cobalt had practically made a dash for it, jogging and switching my position so I didn’t hurt my back. I could feel Xavier’s stare on me and it burned. My teeth chattered and I whimpered.

‘Don’t let it go, c’mon… Hold on to it.’ Cobalt cooed into my hair. He was referring to the glamour on both of us. If it broke, we’d both probably be dead. All the energy we absorbed from Xavier would never let us close to out running him.

‘Don’t let him touch me. Don’t, please.’ I sent him another message mentally. He must have been overwhelmed with Xavier’s aura because he replied out loud and too loudly. I snapped my head up, arms coiled around his neck even tighter to show how much I wanted to strangle him right there and then. It was a mistake. The moment I looked up, Xavier’s eye’s locked on to mine and I felt my glamour cracking. Xavier’s eyes widened and I knew we were done for.

‘Wait!’ I broke eye contact when I heard the thud of his luggage on the ground and a yelp from that girl beside him. ‘You there! Wait!’

Oh Allura, I’m really going to die this time.

I didn’t have to look up to feel Xavier tearing towards us. His aura was just too strong and noticeable. It was like holding a candle towards yourself; it burned.

‘When I turn the corner, break our glamour.’ Cobalt’s voice interrupted my chain of thoughts.

‘Are you crazy?!’ I mentally screamed at him.

‘Look. Everyone here is either a blonde of brunette. Us being dark haired are only going to make us stick out like sore thumbs.’ How could he still be so calm about this?

Without another word or mind prod, I broke the glamour. It was just like a movie scene with special effects. We rushed past a lamp post. One moment Cobalt was a plain geeky boy, the other he was a dashing hunk of a Greek god. While I on the other hand, shrunk back down into his arms, blinked and my eyelids revealed my mysterious cat-eye green. My hair stayed short, thanks to my wig. We ducked into a book store and shot out from the back as I tore my wig and hair net off.

Pumped with royal aura, Cobalt practically flew toward our house but not before we heard him roar. It was a roar of frustration and somehow made my heart drop and eyes tear up.

‘He’s calling for you.’ Cobalt mused as he sat me down on my swing in the gardens. I nodded gingerly and hopped off the swing to call for Orion. The moment my foot touched the ground, all the flowers exploded, grew out again and exploded three times over. I would have thought it was a pretty sight of not for my gut that was killing me. I bent over and wrenched. Nothing came, but the more I did so, the more violently the flowers exploded.

‘I think we should take the bracelets off.’ Cobalt decided to rain on my pity parade.

‘Are you insane?!’ I screamed at him, not caring if I scared my little friends away. ‘This bracelet is the only thing keeping him from finding us and killing us!’

‘Think about it for a moment, Asper.’ Cobalt dug his ears. ‘You used to love being in his presence. Now you can hardly stand it. Neither can I. But that girl. She isn’t human, yet she can.’

‘Maybe she’s his new Queen coming back to help him exterminate us.’ I snapped back bitterly.

‘Asper, you aren’t being rational here.’ Cobalt grounded out as he inched closer to me.

‘I’d rather die than come into contact with him again!’ I waved whipped my hand towards him only intended to slap him or scratch him. Instead, a vine with menacing spikes tore through the ground, almost stabbing him. I paled.

Destructive magic.

‘I’m turning into a monster.’ I covered my mouth with my hands and I felt tears form. ‘I’m not a good witch. I’m a bad, horrible one.’

‘No, no. Listen to me!’ Cobalt was before me in seconds. ‘Tell me. What is a Rowan bud supposed to do?’

‘T-to compress our energy to one of a human so that we’re undetectable.’ I replied, having memorized the entire verse from the internet.

‘That’s why we’re like this, Asper!’ Cobalt almost cracked a smile. ‘The bud doesn’t cover our magic, it suppresses it, making it hard for us to keep energy in us or even use magic. We’re as good as human with these!’ He jingled the charm in my face before his hand started to fiddle with it.

‘W-what are you doing?!’ I whined and made a grab at him, stopping myself at the last minute in case I failed to control my powers again.

‘I’m taking this off to show you that my theory is right.’

‘But he’ll be able to sense you. Find you and talk to you through your mind link and..and…’  All other reason was lost when I saw the chain snap open. I stared at him for a long moment.

‘There, you see? I feel better alread-‘ Cobalt’s face scrunched up and he covered one of his ears. ‘Oh man. I forgot he could be really irritating over our mind link.’

‘What is he saying?’ I was curious.

‘Well, he says he’s going to kill me because of some affair we’re having.’ Cobalt seemed a little pale. ‘By Oden, he got my note completely wrong.’

‘Is he coming over now?’ I could feel my heart thundering in my chest.

‘I think you should really talk to him, Asper.’ Cobalt wasn’t pale any longer. In fact, he seemed furious and his eyes started to turn black. ‘All these false accusations are pissing me off.’

I gulped and stared down at my own bracelet. I really like it and customized it so nicely because I planned on wearing it for a long time.  Hesitantly, I felt for the clasps and popped it off. A few tense seconds, I waited. Cobalt’s stormy eyes lightened and he breathed a sigh of relief. He look over at me intently.

‘Wow. Maybe he forgot about m-‘

‘Ma fleur?’

[CW] Spell Bound

Asper POV

‘How dare he bring up Xavier?’ I thought to myself as I rocked Orion. ‘Going back to Iroria? Hah!’

Orion stirred in my arms and I pushed a milk bottle to his lips. He drank heartily. Taking care of him felt more like taking care of a baby. He wasn’t like a kitten, not one bit. He didn’t pounce around, break things or scratch furniture. Instead, he slept twelve hours a day, demanded attention every waking moment he had and if I’m not wrong, he was learning to understand what I meant and what I was saying.

Orion mewled loudly. I looked down and realized that he was done with his milk.

‘My, my. Aren’t you hungry today?’ I pulled the bottle from his lips and sat him up to burp him. Yeah, I had to burp him. ‘Off to bed you go.’

Orion mewled, hissed and squirmed, clawing at my shirt.

‘What’s wrong with you?’ I rocked him a little more but he struggled. ‘Still hungry?’ Then he bit me. I screamed.

~.~

‘Milady!’ Cobalt burst into the room to see Orion, his fangs sunk into Asper’s arm. Blood. Blood everywhere.

‘Get away from, her you little shit!’ Cobalt practically leaped towards her.

‘No!’ Asper hugged Orion closer to herself and turned her back to him.

‘Are you insane?!’ He exclaimed. ‘He’s freaking ripping you to shreds!’

‘Just… just get me some towels. And chicken.’ She paused and looked down at Orion. ‘A whole chicken. Now.’

Cobalt cursed under his breath, turned and set down the stairs to the kitchen. Asper looked down at Orion, scratching him behind the ears. Orion dislodged his fangs and licked the wound in apology.

‘It’s okay.’ Asper whispered and kissed his head  ‘its alright. I’ll be alright. ‘

‘Will you?’ Cobalt seethed from behind while Orion hid his head in guilt.

‘Look. He had an accident don’t just pick on him because of that.’ Asper snatched the raw chicken from him and nudged it at Orion who snatched it from her and started shreading it up so violently she had to let him out of her grasp.

‘That thing is turning into a beast.’ Cobalt hissed. ‘He bit you. Does he bite you all the time?’

‘Is that a trick question?’ Asper snapped as she dabbed at her wound. ‘This is the first time it happened.’

‘How would you know it won’t happen again?’

‘I don’t know okay? This is the first time I’m raising a familiar.’ A yellow glow seeped from her hand onto her wound. ‘I’m sure it’ll be fine.’

‘It won’t be fine!’ Cobalt’s voice grew.

Orion roared from the corner of the room. He turned in circles restlessly, grunted roughly and leaped through the window, shattering it and disappearing into the night.

‘ORION!’ Asper screamed bloody murder as she rushed to the window.

‘It’s good that he’s finally gone.’ Cobalt commented.

‘Look what you did!’ Asper turned. A force threw Cobalt across the room. ‘Look what you did!’ Tears were shinning in her eyes.

Cobalt got up unsteadily, dusting at his jeans.

‘I don’t understand why you’re so attached to him. Do you know what he is? He’s a shatter lynx. He will grow to kill demons, vampire and dragons mercilessly.’ Cobalt hissed.

‘Demons? Well that totally wins me over, now doesn’t it?’ Asper snapped.

Cobalt flew across the room with unholy speed and grabbed her by the neck.

‘Look here, witch.’ He spat the last word. ‘Don’t forget who I am, what I am and what I know. You only have one job, Asper.’

A tear rolled down her cheek. ‘His my only family, Cobalt.’

Seeing it, Cobalt’s eyes softened and he let her down. Asper curled up in a ball and sobbed.

‘I can be your family too…’ he whispered softly, grabbing her hands and kissing her knuckles.

‘I can’t be the family you want me to be.’ She pulled her fingers out of his hands. ‘You want me to marry Xavier. I don’t want that. I can’t do that.’

Closing his eyes, Cobalt sighed heavily.

‘Looking. I’ve been thinking and I guess…’ he scratched the back of his head, muscles flexing ‘That I’m with you.’

‘What was all that about having o-one job?’ Asper whispered between sobs.

‘I meant being safe.’

‘And being glad that Orion was gone?’

‘That thing is my species’ mortal enemy. Plus he acts like he owns you.’

‘He does.’

‘Don’t remind me!’

Asper tried to laugh but it came out as a whimper.

‘What am I going to do? When will he come back?’ She hugged her knees.

‘He’ll come back. He’s probably just hungry.’ Cobalt looked at Asper and caught a look of confusion on her face. ‘Mythical beasts eat a lot when they’re young. To think he’s been suviving on milk is laughable.’

‘How would you know all that?’ Asper frowned, trying to cover her embarrassment.

‘You know how we reared demons back at Salvator castle?’ Cobalt crouched down to Asper’s eye level. ‘Well, before they reach full immortality of a hundred years, they eat a hell lot.’

‘Oh.’

‘I thought your dreams would give you a heads up.’

‘Are you mocking me?’ Asper glared.

‘No no.’ Cobalt held his hands up in defence. ‘I wouldn’t dare, milady. Now go to bed. School tomorrow.’

‘What about you?’ Asper stared up at him.
‘Asper, I am three hundred and seventy two years old. I think I’ve seen enough of sleep.’

‘I feel sorry for you, I enjoy my sleep much.’ Asper tilted her head up wistfully.

‘Trust me, you’ll tire of it after the first century or so.’ Cobalt grinned. ‘Now, off you go.’

He shooed her, tucked her into bed and kissed her forehead.

‘You know, I might actually take you up on that family thing you have going on.’ She sighed as she turned on her side, hugging a stuffed bear.

‘Always happy to be of service, milady.’

‘Asper.’

‘My apologies.’

‘That’s the deal breaker, Cobalt.’

Cobalt laughed as he nodded at the terms of their agreement.

~.~

The sun peeked from over the horizon and the birds sang on the branches of a sturdy apple tree. The air was fresh, the breeze was pleasant. There was just one thing out of place.

‘COBALT!’ Asper shrieked, making the birds take flight.

‘Milday?! Are you alright? What’s-‘ Cobalt burst into the room in all his half naked and bed headed glory. ‘OH MY ODEN.’ he stumbled back and tripped on a rug.

Orion was back alright. Through the window he had runaway through, only that this time he left an even bigger hole in his return. He was huge, eyes no more doe eyed. His black strips were darker and his white fur seemed so white, it could melt away in the sun. He was also huge. A powerful beast, so sturdy.

Gone was the cub Asper could cuddle in her arms and jiggle in the faces of others. He was as big as two grizzly bears and as tall as Cobalt himself. One could only imagine the state of Asper’s wall when he was done squeezing in. What was left of it that is.

Orion’s eyes lit up when he saw that Asper was awake. He made a squeal of delight-which sounded more like a growl-and thundered after her.

‘Oh no, no no no no no’ Asper could only hope she had more time to say more ‘no’s’. In just a leap, he pounced on her, knocking her down. He enveloped her, covering her entire being and nuzzled her on her cheek.

Over at the other side of the room, Cobalt fought in vain to pry the beast from her. He may have been a demon of a distant but still royal bloodline, but his strength was simply no match.

‘Orion!’ Asper scolded and set her hands on each side of his face. A yellow glow seeped through her fingers and a burst of energy shot from her fingertips, shocking Orion. He pulled back in a whimper, stepping on his now even longer tail, yelping and finally fall back on Cobalt with an oof.

‘I think I broke something.’ Was all Cobalt could manage through Orion’s thick fur.

‘If it wasn’t your ego, I don’t care.’ Asper said coolly before turning to Orion. ‘Ollie! You’re back!’ She leaped and hugged the beast that was now as tall as her while sitting up.

Orion grumbled, unhappy with how she had called him by his pet name but snuggled onto her anyway.

‘Your ass is huge.’ Asper mumbled into his fur and Orion seemed to splutter as if insulted.

‘I hate to break it up,’ Cobalt had managed to get off the ground, wincing a little. ‘But we have a huge hole in your bedroom wall and I hear your mother stirring.’

Asper finally looked up. ‘Oh my Allura.’ She placed her hand on her carpet and the concrete strarted to rumble and piece back together, but very slowly. ‘This is going to take a while. Orion could you get any smaller?’

Orion peered at her as if confused and looked at himself. He seemed to gasp and jumped a little before folding his wings. His snout shortened, bones cracked as he morphed to be smaller. It took a full minute before he opened his eyes again.

Asper and Cobalt groaned. He hasn’t gotten much smaller. He was about half Asper’s height now, but it was still too unbelievable a size for a house cat, let alone a sudden growth spurt.

‘Could you put a glamour on him or something?’ Cobalt squished Orion’s faces in desperation. ‘He looks like we broke him out of the local zoo.’

‘I could. I think. Maybe.’ Asper was concentrating on her sorry state of a bedroom wall come balcony. ‘But I’m kind of busy right now.’

‘You think I could hide him in your closet?’

‘Are you insane? He smells like-‘

‘Asper! What is all this ruckus so early in the morning, honey?’

‘Get him in there. Now.’

Cobalt shoved Orion into Asper’s closet. It was a good thing she had little clothes. Plain dresses and basic tees were all she seemed to have. Orion huffed.

‘Enough with the attitude, big guy. You’ve caused enough trouble.’ Cobalt scolded and slammed the door on him.

Meanwhile, Asper was getting dizzy with the ‘healing’ of her room. The railing was still curling back and the windows were still shattered.

‘Asper! For the last time I ask, what is heaven’s name is going on-‘ Nora burst into the room. ‘Oh my. What happened here?’

Asper froze, mid spell. She blanked out. Did Nora see her hands glow or hear the metal squeak as she bent it back? What if she did? Will show throw her out? Scream? Faint?

‘Ollie escaped.’ Cobalt started.

‘Oh. Oh my…’ Nora’s hand flew to her mouth. ‘But that doesn’t make sense. Ollie loves Asper. Wouldn’t go anywhere without her.’

‘I guess he doesn’t like someone new around Asper.’ Cobalt actually managed to look guilty. ‘He bit her, toppled her bookshelf and hopped off the balcony.’ A growl was heard from the cupboards but Cobalt elbowed it and leaned on the doors hard.

‘I’ve been helping her clean up since dawn and I guess I’m getting a little hungry.’ He finished.

‘Oh mom!’ This time Asper burst out in tears. ‘Orion’s my only friend. Whatever would I do without him?’

‘There, there.’ Nora hushed her. ‘Cats aren’t very loyal creatures from the start, but I guess I could let you get another one. With your own money though. You could go down this noon with Cobalt.’

‘Really?’ Asper smiled softly through her crocodile tears. ‘But nothing would replace Ollie.’

‘I know, I know. But there’s nothing I can do, hun.’ Nora ruffled Asper’s hair. ‘Now if you would excuse me, this helpful young man here is famished. I’m sure you are to. So I better get on to breakfast.’

Nora got up and jogged towards the door. ‘And pick up some glass panels while you’re in town.’

The door closed and Cobalt let out a sigh of relief before being knocked aside by Orion who burst through the cupboard doors.

‘You’re quite the actress.’ Cobalt mused as Asper wiped her tears.

‘It comes in handy.’ Asper sniffed and leaned on Orion. She placed her hand on the railing and it bent back fully. ‘Now let’s get to town. I need glass panels.’

‘What about Orion. Don’t tell me…’ Asper gave Cobalt an innocent smile. ‘Asper, we’ll look like he robbed the zoo! And your mom would freak.’

Asper sighed. ‘I meant that I want to keep him looking like this. I’ll put a glamour on him for now before taking it off and telling people he grew up.’

Cobalt frowned. ‘That doesn’t sound that bad a plan.’

Asper grinned.

‘That’s because it isn’t. ‘