The Fae Worlds

Returning

As I stood on the doorstep, hoping I was only going to have to deal with one of the two brothers, I found myself wishing my life was simpler. When he answered the door I did my best not to show any of the emotions I was feeling. For far too long the two of us simply stared at each other. Fortunately Erik appeared behind Axel right when I was about to say the wrong thing. “Cassie?” He smiled at me. “I didn’t think we’d ever see you again.”
“I was asked to come by one of the covens. They knew I’d dealt with the two of you before, and it seemed like the logical thing to do.” I somehow managed to summon a smile in return. “Can I come in? This is something I don’t feel comfortable talking about on the doorstep.”
“Of course.” Erik pulled Axel out of the way, and I stepped into the house. “You know you’re always welcome in my home.”
Closing the door behind me was something I didn’t want to do, even though I had to. Having a conversation about what we’d Seen wasn’t going to be easy, but both of them needed to know what was coming if they were going to help to put a stop to it, which, sadly, meant returning to people I’d left in the past. “I won’t be here for long.” Biting hard on my lip I focused on what I had to do, because that was far simpler than anything else, and followed Erik down the hallway. “As I’m sure you both know the covens have been keeping an eye out for any problems, and there’s one coming your way.”
“What do you know about it?”
“Not enough, unfortunately, as it’s one of those things that will, if it comes to pass, have long lasting repercussions for the entire community.” We stepped into the living room, where Katya was sitting. She studied me, in the same way I studied her, wondering if she was going to be capable of dealing with what she’d found herself in the middle of. “That’s why I was sent. You needed to be warned. I’ve been given permission to show you what we know.”
Erik nodded slowly, putting his hand on Katya’s shoulder. I was glad to see he’d moved on. My hope Axel had done the same, no matter what we’d Seen, had been shattered. “Okay.” When our eyes met I knew he was wondering what could have been if I hadn’t made the decision I was better off far away from both him and Axel. “Cassie, this is my girlfriend, Katya. Katya, this is one of my oldest friends, Cassandra.”
“Named after the Seer?”
“Cassie is the Seer of Troy.” Axel’s voice was the same as it had been the day I left. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking back to it, to a decision that had hurt me as much as it had both Erik and Axel, but after a few seconds I managed to push those thoughts away. “That’s why she can still See, even though she’s a vampire.”
“There are some of us who have strong enough powers to keep them when we become immortal. It’s rare.” I could see the uncertainty in Katya’s face. “The myths are just that – myths. Troy existed, many centuries ago, but there are days when it feels like it happened yesterday. More often than not I wish I could forget it all.” I shrugged. “Unfortunately I can’t get rid of those memories. I will have to live with them for the rest of my life, which, sadly, is going to be far longer than those of the family I lost.”
“I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
“Life happens, Katya. You’ll learn that soon enough if you choose to stay with Erik.”
“Have you Seen what might happen to me?”
“Yes, and no. We all only See possibilities, not certainties, so your own decisions could easily change your fate. Talking about what we See is often frowned upon, unless there is a good reason for it. This time there is, which is why I was sent by the covens to talk with you about the future we have Seen, because this one is unlikely to change.”
“You said you’d been given permission to show us what you’d Seen.” Erik studied me. “Will we need to do anything to prepare?”
“With time, and practice, comes greater skill. I can show you what you need to know without you having to worry about going through the preparations we went through before.” I smiled. “The fact you remember is a good thing.”
“The time we spent together was a learning experience I will always be grateful for.”
“Good.” I turned to look at Axel. “You have the option. I can show you, or Erik can pass on the information you need.”
“Show me, Cassie.”
Before I could say it would be simpler for me to show Erik and Katya first Axel held his hand out. Katya was already uncomfortable with me, so, in an attempt to make things easier for her, I took Axel’s hand. He knew what would happen. His knowledge was the reason he managed to drag me into his mind, which was something that shouldn’t have happened. It wouldn’t have done if I’d thought for a moment he would be able to do it, but I hadn’t. “Why?”
“We need to talk, and I know what you’re like.”
“The past should be left where it is.”
“Maybe that’s what you believe, but I don’t.” He reached out to take my hand, but I pulled away. “Erik is with Katya now.”
“I had noticed.”
“You and I can make things work.”
“What could have been can’t happen now.”
“Of course it can.” The belief in his eyes was almost too much for me. I knew I could leave his mind whenever I wanted, but doing it would hurt him, and that was something I wanted to avoid if I could. “Please, Cassie, give me a chance.”
“Axel, it’s not about giving you a chance. This is a bad time for us to be thinking about anything personal. I am here for a reason. That’s what we need to be focusing on. Possibly, after that’s been dealt with, we might be able to talk about there being an us.”
“Possibly?” He shook his head. “You’re just looking for another reason to leave.”
“Both of us know why I left before. Getting between the two of you wasn’t something I was willing to do.”
“Katya means that won’t happen now.”
“Won’t it?” I shook my head. “How do you know Erik doesn’t feel the same way you do? I’d be furious with him if he did, but there’s every chance he could end things with Katya to be with me, because he believes we have a chance of being something.”
“Erik loves her.”
“Both of you loved me, once.”
“I still love you. I’m never going to stop loving you.”
“Don’t say stupid things like that. You have no idea what the future might hold.” I couldn’t help laughing at that. “Most of the time I have very little idea of what the future might hold, and I’m a Seer.”
“Give me a chance, Cassie.”
“Oh, for…” I shook my head. “After I show the three of you what’s coming I need to go elsewhere. There are other people who need to be warned. Surviving this is far more important than the two of us.”
“If you leave I know you won’t come back unless you have to.”
“The decision is out of my hands.”
Nodding, he did the last thing I expected, and shoved me out of his mind. When I found myself back in my body I glared at him, before turning to look at Erik and Katya, who looked even more uncertain than she had done before. “Sorry about that.” I smiled at her, doing my best to make it seem as natural as possible. “Someone decided we needed to have a private conversation.”
“Erik told me about you.”
“I would hope he had. Honesty is important in a relationship.”
“You’re truly here because of what you’ve Seen.”
“When I left I wasn’t planning on coming back. If I had another choice I wouldn’t have done. Coming back to this house…” I looked around, my mind travelling to different times, and I wondered if I could have stayed without destroying the relationship the brothers had with each other. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Knowing you were here made it a little less problematic than it would have been. I’m glad Erik moved on.” I looked at him. “It was what I wanted for both of them.”
“Sometimes you don’t get what you want.” Bitterness filled Axel’s voice. I hated myself for being the reason for it, but I couldn’t stay. That’s wasn’t a lie. “Erik, I think it would be best if you simply told me what was coming.”
My phone rang, stopping the conversation. I pulled it out of my pocket, telling myself it was a bad idea, as I was almost certain I knew who it was. When I saw the name on the screen I made a face at it. “Sorry, I’ve got to take this.” As I answered I stepped out into the hall, which I knew wouldn’t be enough to stop Axel and Eric overhearing the conversation. “What do you need, Hannah?”
“You’re going to have to stay there.”
“What’s changed?”
“See for yourself, Cassie. It will be far simpler than me trying to tell you. Just promise me you won’t leave.”
“I promise.” No matter what I wanted the survival of the community came first. “Call me if anything else changes.”
“Of course.”
Hannah hung up. I stood in the hallway to give myself a couple of seconds to come to terms with what I’d been told. With my emotions in such turmoil I knew better than to try to See anything. All I’d get was a mess of things I probably didn’t need to See. Finally, when I felt capable of dealing with Axel, I stepped back into the living room. When our eyes met I didn’t need to ask if he’d heard what had been said.
“Your bedroom is still the same room.” I glanced at Erik. “Whatever you didn’t take with you is still there.”
“Destroying it would have been the better choice.” At the same time I was grateful it was there, because everything I needed was miles away. “Why didn’t you?”
“Axel wouldn’t let me. I was tempted to, but he always believed you were going to come back to us. Obviously he was right about that.”
“Yeah, he was.” I brushed a hand through my hair. “I need some time. Is it okay if I show you what you need to know in a few hours?”
Nodding, he glanced at Axel. “Take your time. As you aren’t going to be leaving now it’s probably for the best that you let your emotions settle before you try to do something like that.”
“It would be.”
“Do you need anything?”
“No, thank you.”
“Cassie…” Erik shook his head. “You know where the blood is, if you need it.”
“I do.”
“If you haven’t got anything here that you need I can get it for you.” Katya stood. “How about we go and have a look now? That way I can pick it up on the way home tonight.”
Having her help was a relief. “Sounds like a plan.” Hopefully that would be enough to stop Axel from continuing a conversation I really wasn’t ready for. “To be honest with you I have no idea what might be up there, and I’m pretty certain most of it’s going to be very outdated.”
She laughed. “I wouldn’t be surprised.” She hooked her arm around mine. “Which room is it?”