Bloodlines, p.53Trisha Lynn
“Where the heck have you been?” Marissa was sitting at a table for two in the local diner. Their habitual birthday spot where both of them gorged on burgers and milk shakes to celebrate birthdays and most other celebratory events.
“Ah, I was eating dinner with my family.” Adeila had tried to come up with a better story the entire drive here, but it was no use. She was just a terrible liar. This story was at least the truth. She considered all of those people she'd been with, extended family at this point.
Marissa arched a brow at her. “And how did that go?”
Adeila shrugged. “I guess I'm just trying to spend a little time with them because I'm graduating soon and will be off to college. From there... Well, you never know what may happen.”
Marissa scrutinized her further. They'd been friends for many years and it wasn't difficult for Marissa to pick up on Adeila's double meaning.
“You’re thinking of your real parent's, right? Of possibly having a relationship with them?”
Adeila was thankful for their closeness when Marissa was able to pull things like this up; it was times when she was really trying to hide something from the girl that their closeness could be found annoying. In this instance, she just wanted Marissa to be swayed from the truth of where she'd been for the entire afternoon, but it did also help that this conversation may help her in saying good bye when the time came. Adeila really needed to start laying the ground work to saying a real good bye. One that was very possible to be sooner rather than later.
“Yes, I am. They seem like amazing people. I would love to get to know them further.”
“So why'd they give you up, if you don't mind me asking?”
Oh, shit! Her mind tried to think double time. “Ah, they were planning on having me, but some crazy issues arose with family stuff, and financial reasons. They had to move and they had some other responsibilities. They didn't have any support. It was one of those things that were a spiral effect, plus they were really young. Only teenagers. At the time they thought it was best for me.”
Adeila gave her every non sinister reason she herself could think of as to why people would give up a child. Marissa narrowed her eyes, but nodded.
They talked about adoption and foster homes and children less lucky then her. It was clear both of them were trying to stay away from the topic of Erik. Adeila was thankful; she didn't think she could handle it quite yet.
She hadn't wanted to tell Loki or Marissa but she had several missed calls and texts from Erik. Each of them she'd deleted before even listening or reading.
She allowed Marissa's insistent chatter about the club the next night to cascade around her, as she was lost in her own thoughts. Thoughts of home. An entire portal trip away.
Finally just before leaving, Marissa said, “I'm really sorry such a shitty ass thing happened to you. I never thought Erik was like that.”
Adeila only nodded. Honestly, it was just that, a shitty ass thing, but she'd survive. She wasn't even that mad about it anymore. Just felt the onslaught of betrayal and she felt tired. So tired. Like she'd been in a car crash or something.
They walked to their cars and talked for a few more minutes. Exhaustion dulled her senses as a skitter of energy pulsed across her arms and up her spine. She looked up and across the roadway in time to see a dark, obscured, ominous figure. The lights just barely touching upon a tall, aphotic silhouette. She almost yelped, but instead began ushering Marissa into her car with a hurried good bye.
“I'm so tired. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?”
Marissa scrunched her eyes up just a bit, and it was clear that the girl knew something was up. Had known for a while that there was something going on with Adeila, but Adeila didn't have time to deal with that. The ominous figure was coming closer.
When each was in their own vehicle, she waved good bye, but waited for Marissa to get ahead of her. There was absolutely no way she'd allow Marissa to get caught up in anything from the Faerie world, if it was even from the Faerie world. She sincerely hoped that she was just being overly paranoid.
She kept glancing in the rear view as they both made their ways home. After only a mile, a black BMW came up behind her. She stepped on the gas a little, but with Marissa ahead of her, oblivious to the danger, there was no chance to make any kind of getaway. Instead the trio followed along its route, but when Marissa turned off to her street, Adeila watched and waited and if the car followed her friend, she would be calling her, and then the cops, and then probably Loki. But it did not turn towards Marissa's road.
When Adeila turned onto her own street, the car followed, when she turned into her drive, the car drove passed. She was tempted to call on Loki, but decided against it. What if it was all just a coincidence? What if it was nothing? Or what if it was Sorryn? She knew for a fact, he had checked in on her at some point while she'd been in the restaurant, she could sense him. His bright, mischievous energy. It was hard to miss. But the dark figure across the road from the restaurant had given off no real energy other than that of shadow. Of darkness.
She should probably tell Loki. She began steeling herself for it. Should she alert him via mirror or just touch the ring to her wrist? Should she even tell him? She was probably being a crazily paranoid person.
She jumped when she heard a sharp chup...chup...chup and she looked up to the trees to find a large Gyrfalcon sitting among the branches of a tall Jeffrey pine that sat to the right of her driveway. She breathed a sigh of relief at seeing him. Hopefully he didn't sense her panic, and she tried to slow her beating heart. Maybe she was just completely over tired, stressed and upset, and it was making her edgy?
Sighing, she made her way inside and after changing and brushing her teeth, fell into her bed. Exhaustion taking over.
It wasn't long before the nightmares of dark figures and a blonde man with a leather jacket had her waking with a thin sheen of sweat and a racing heart. She looked to her digital alarm clock, the red lights flashing 6:00 a.m. She'd slept almost a solid seven hours. That never happened anymore. Typically, her Fae blood had her up and ready to go in just a few hours of sleep. It was evident she had needed the sleep. She slipped from bed and decided a shower and some tea would chase away the menacing dream.
Adeila felt fine. She wasn't even angry anymore, just a little hurt over the betrayal. It was messed up and she wasn't about to forget that, but the situation wouldn't get anymore tears from her. She had way different and more pressing issues then a silly bet and a stupid boy. Even if she had fancied herself falling in love with him, she knew it was never going to work out anyway and had planned on breaking off things with him, regardless. Well, now he looked like an ass and she was done with him for good. It stung. The whole situation certainly stung, but she was sure that she would get over it. She even hoped that she and Erik could be civil, as long as he gave up the ridiculous thoughts that he could ever win her back.
She'd dared to read one of his texts last night and it pretty much said that he had true feelings for her and he was an idiot not to tell his friends to call off the bet and be done with it.
Yup, you should have, you asshole was what she'd wanted to reply but instead she'd just deleted every single message he sent, and didn't reply at all.
She had no idea what to do with her day. She usually spent it with Marissa, but since they'd be seeing each other that night at the club would she want to do something that day? Just as she was about to text her, something vibrated on her night stand. She jumped at the sound, and was completely confused, because her phone sat in her hands. Then her mind cleared – the mirror. She scrambled up and grabbed the small silver, strangely shaped mirror. As soon as she touched it, it grew to its normal size, and Sorryn's lopsided grin filled its surface. She couldn't help but return the smile, and tap the glass.
His stunning blue/purple/lavender eyes swirled and his full lips were still upturned into a silly smile. “Hey, Princess! Thought you might be looking for somethi
She couldn't help but laugh. “I guess I kind of was...”
“Well, good! Get your butt over here! It's not your birthday today, young lady, and no excuse not to whip your butt into shape.” He winked. “Not that it's not in perfect shape as is.”
Her mouth hung open as he cackled with laughter. She would punch him as soon as she saw him in person.
When she arrived at the house, Sorryn was outside in the backyard, under the huge sycamore tree, a large glinting sword in his hands. His lithe body arched and pivoted as he thrust the blade. She feverishly hoped that he was not planning on that kind of training today, she wasn't quite sure she could handle it.
When his eyes lit on her, he stopped and wiped his brow, a smirk firmly in place. “Princess.” He made a little bow motion and she just shook her head, a smile on her lips.
“I thought we'd do a bit of training today, my lady.”
She eyed the sword again and he laughed. “We'll start with something a bit smaller than this.”
With a sweep of his hand over his sword, it disappeared into thin air, replaced by two large daggers. They had glinting, straight edges, and the handles were made from deer antlers. They were beautiful, the workmanship in them impressive, but she'd never handled such a thing in her life.
He told her that once she got comfortable with the daggers, then they'd move on to swords, and bows. She couldn't help but feel a little daunted at the prospect, but also incredibly excited as well.
A tiny knot formed in her stomach as she step closer to Sorryn. He picked one up, balanced it on his hand, and then whirled it at the large tree in front of them. She let out a small gasp at the quick movement, her mind barely registering what he'd done.
Adeila gulped and looked at the other dagger. He smiled. “You want to try?”
She slowly took the dagger from his hand; she held it in her palm, much like he had. She stroked the handle, briefly, with her finger.
He chuckled. “Here let me show you. So this is a handle-heavy knife, so you need to throw it by the blade. I'll show you the technique so you don't cut yourself.”
He demonstrated for her, while speaking. “So, you hold your palm out in front you and move your thumb to create a crease between the largest part of your thumb and the rest of your palm. With the handle pointing away from you, place the blunt edge of the knife blade into the crease you created, so that the tip lines up with the bottom of your thumb crease. Place your thumb along one side of the blade and all your fingers except the pinky along the other side, pinching the blade without pressing against the point or the sharpened edge.”
Her heart beat a little fast, but Sorryn demonstrated twice, very slowly, and also moved her fingers into the motion for her. Ensuring that she would understand. Once she got the grip down, he gestured for them to move closer to the tree.
“You see holding a knife by the blade means it needs to rotate in the air. This particular knife needs to turn at least one and half times, in order for its point to hit the target. Throwing daggers are pretty common in the Fae realm, and although not the most effective plan of attack – since, you potentially lose your weapon once it's thrown – it does hold merit for a long distance or quick attack, when you lack a bow or spear. If you want to learn to defend yourself, getting comfortable with a dagger is key, especially for a first time female defense. Once you know how to throw it, you will learn how to respect and use it better. I'm kind of teaching you the hardest part first, instead of the easiest.”
She scoffed. “That sounds ridiculous, why?”
He plastered a cocky grin on his face. “Because, Princes, I believe in my teaching abilities.” He took the dagger he'd already thrown out of the tree. “And I believe in your learning abilities.” He gestured to the tree, the fresh mark where his daggers point had gone into its bark. “Like this tree. Once we are finished here, you will heal it.”
Her eyes widened. “I... What?”
Sorryn laughed. “But first we need to learn how to throw, so here goes. I'm going to show you the technique and get you comfortable with holding the knife, and the motion it takes to throw, then we'll get into the stance and the actual motion.”
He came back and stood beside her, getting her confident in holding the knife.
“Now, bend your wrist back toward your forearm. This will allow the knife to turn over in the air more quickly, which is necessary because there is so little distance between you and the tree.”
After displaying this to his liking numerous times, he smiled.
“Well, done. Now place your weight on your dominant leg, rest your non-dominant leg in front of you. Raise your dominant arm in front of you so that it is perpendicular to the ground, and bend at the elbow so that the knife is raised alongside your pretty head. Keep the knife a comfortable distance from your head so that you do not cut yourself when you swing to throw it.”
He demonstrated, and then ensured that she had the correct posture. “Good, see you are a quick study.”
He insisted she go from the beginning to this point, twice, so she knew the process.
His learning style was drawn out, but effective. She knew she would retain this, and be able to pick up a dagger in the future and throw it without having to stress about the process.
“Now the thing to remember is, to resist the urge to throw the knife like a baseball. In knife-throwing, the goal is to swing your arm straight up and down so that the knife doesn't hit at an angle. More like chopping wood, then throwing a baseball.”
She wasn't sure if she should tell him she'd never chopped wood, but decided he'd show her the proper technique anyway.
“Shift your weight from your dominant to your non-dominant leg to create the forward momentum. At the same time, swing your forearm forward from the elbow so that your arm is straight out in front of you, this is the point at which you will release the knife.”
After practicing this numerous times, he deemed her ready. “Adeila, now, take all of those steps and simply allow the knife to slip from your hand once your arm is pointing toward the tree and your wrist is perfectly straight. Your entire body will end up angled slightly forward due to your weight shifting. Your arm will continue swinging downwards. Knife-throwing is much more about finesse than strength.”
She blew out a breath, and did everything he told her. Her knife connected with the grass at the base of a tree, and she pursed her lips. Sorryn laughed.
“I can see what you’re doing wrong. Just relax more. Ease into it in a fluid motion. Alright, again.”
After three times, she was able to get it in the bark of the tree. Low, but at least it was hitting the tree. He'd placed a strip of his t-shirt on the tree as a target. After about ten times, she hit the mark and threw her hands into the air. Sorryn laughed, and hit her hands with a double high five. She felt so empowered, and she let out a laugh matching his.
Just then a darkly clad figure stepped into their practice area, and Adeila's eyes met ones golden and green with faint swirls of the darkest of silver.
His clothing was dark and nondescript; he looked ready for some kind of modern battle, only missing his sword. Which, goodness knows was most likely magically on his person somewhere, since she'd watched Sorryn make his disappear and turn into daggers a few hours prior.
He had on a plain black t-shirt that looked very soft to the touch, and nicely fitting black jeans, completing the entire ensemble with black motorcycle boots. Typically, Loki always dressed for comfort and slightly outdoorsy. Wearing simple shirts, simple jeans or cargo pants and hiking boots. This was a completely different and dangerous look. She couldn't help that her pulse jumped as she looked him over. It certainly contrasted the dark hair, golden eyes, tanned skin, and tattoos. It made him look like quite the bad ass she knew he could be.
“I see knife-throwing is going well.” His tone was rough, and dark. On the edge of
Adeila sobered and let her eyes drift to Sorryn's. She saw pride in them, and knew that no matter what Loki said, he would not take away this small triumph.
“Yeah, you said teach the Princess some easy defensive paths, since I taught her some self-defense moves already, I decided this was a good step in the right direction. It would build her confidence, see what she's made of, and allow her to gain more precision and control from her own strength and balance. I'll get to some advanced self-defense moves when Saibol gets back, but I thought I'd get her comfortable with weapons.”
Loki nodded, and his eyes flitted to the tree and the daggers stuck there. She still couldn't decipher his mood. “Very well, then. I shall return shortly.” With that, he headed to his pickup.
Adeila bit her lip as she watched him go. The mood had, officially, shifted for the time being. Sorryn picked up on it.
“Let's break for lunch, shall we?”
Bloodlines by Trisha Lynn / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on16 votes