The group drove in silence to their next location. Once the situation had been explained to an anxious Dryden he had pulled Fay into his arms where she stayed, eyes closed. They were headed to a high powered vampire house to bang some heads around and hopefully get some useful information.
“ Kellen shouldn’t be trusted anyway,” Brian said breaking the silent air. “ He’s a con. He was a selfish bastard when he was human and hasn’t changed.” He gripped the steering wheel so hard that his knuckles were white.
Suddenly the air grew hot, a rush of air blowing at the crew. Fay’s eyes glowed silver and her mouth was moving in silent words. Brian pulled the car over to the shoulder and whipped behind to see what was happening. Dryden had to let go of Fay as she had become very hot.
“Fay?” Brian whispered. Her eyes darted to him and she smiled.
“ I know where they are”.
The van pulled up to where Asher and Tasha sat with a girl in between them. They were in an open field next to a cave that had a large wooden door blocking its opening.
“ Fay!” Tasha cried jumping up to hug her sister. The two embraced and yet another rush of warm air billowed around them. The rest of them crowded around Asher and the sleeping girl who’s head was resting on his lap.
“ Man you move fast,” Orin laughed, causing Asher to give him a cold look. “ I mean, where’d she come from?”
“ She was in the cage next to us.” Tasha said coming up behind Orin. “ And she’s certainly not human. See for yourself Fay,” she told her sister lifting the girls hand. Fay bent on one knee before the girl and interlaced their fingers.
“ Holy crap!” she cried jumping back and putting her hand on her chest. “ Usara needs to see her too.”
“ Lets get her to the van. We really should find out who these guys are, but we need to get you all safe,” Brian said indicating the cave.
“ We’ll come back with reinforcements later,” Dryden said, his fists clenched. Fay went to him and took his hand, nuzzling in his arm fur.
Asher scooped the girl up and brought her to the van.
Usara sat at her kitchen table, remembering. She was old for a human, but being a witch had kept father time from wreaking havoc on her body. She looked her age certainly, her red hair streaked with silver, or rather her silver hair streaked with red. Wrinkles were painted all over her face and neck, age spots splattered here and there. It was her mind that remained young. At 120 years of age she wasn’t lucky enough to remain looking forever young like a vampire, Dryden or even Orin, but her mind was sharp and full of knowledge. She had brought everyone of her group together. Yes, members had recruited people on her behalf, but they had to pass under her scrutiny first before they became part of her family. Usara was unable to bear children of her own, no matter how hard she had tried. She had raised Tasha and Fay from infancy when their mother was killed just days after giving birth to them. They were the closest to being her daughters. She had helped raise the scores of humans that lived with her, but she had helped the twins develop their gifts which bonded them.
Orin was older than she. They had met when she was in her twenties and had been lovers for a short while. Luckily no awkwardness came from that time, only an intense friendship. He met up with her again years after she had formed her group and never left.
Usara looked up, sensing a presence. Smiling she saw that Daria stood in the doorway. Shy Daria with her long black hair and intense green eyes had a bit of plant magic, but Usara could feel that the girl had great potential.
“ They’ll be back soon,” Usara said trying to comfort the worrying girl. She pulled out a chair for Daria and indicated she sit. “ How bout I make us some tea?” The girl nodded as she slid into the available chair. Usara had found Daria in the woods when she was just a toddler. She wasn’t a full fledged witch like the twins or Usara but she had a gift of sorts, her speciality being plants. If a plant was on its last legs due to a neglectful keeper, Daria could infuse it with life. Once, when she was very angry at the loss of a friend green fire had shot from her finger tips causing the girl to retreat into herself even more.
Usara busied herself with tea making, grabbing a third mug when she sensed Kassina join Daria at the table. Kassina was a water mage found by Usara when she was ten years old. Kassina was up for sale to the highest bidder on the black market. She was born in China but was taken from her home in infancy when it was apparent what she was. Kassina had been all over the world in ten short years, entertaining the underground royalty, such as vampires, and evil witches. Kassina could control and manipulate water making her a dangerous and sneaky enemy as she could also become water and go anywhere. Kassina and Daria were very close, Kassina like an older and fiercely protective sister.
Her blue eyes watched Usara bring tea to the table. “ Have you heard anything?” She asked blowing on her mug.
Usara shook her head behind Daria. “ It’s been a long time,” Daria whispered. Kassina put her hand on Daria’s arm.
All three ladies looked up when Jody, a human ran into the room. “ They have returned,” she panted, leaning against the wall. Usara stormed out of the room as Kassina handed Jody a glass of water.
The headquarters for Usara’s group was quite large. It was located in the outskirts of town and partially underground. Usara had her own suite complete with the kitchen she had just left. It housed almost two hundred people, most of them human. They were left with no where to go, having been negatively affected by the supernatural community in some way. There were two medical treatment areas, one for humans and one for the rest of them. Usara knew where they’d be and was relieved when she saw that all of her group, including Tasha and Asher stood on their own accord.
“ What happened?” she asked embracing Tasha first, then Asher.
“ We were taken by vampires, Mother,” Tasha said, then indicated their charge that they had laid on an available bed. “ We found her in the cage next to us and decided to bring her along. I’m not sure what she is though, so be careful.”
Usara took in the girl with her eyes, examining her condition. Like the others she saw the marks on her skin that announced her ownership. The girls eyes were open but she was so weak that she did’t try to to escape or even move.
“ Where do you come from?” Usara asked softly as she would have to a young child. The girl looked around at the people that had gathered, as if searching for something.
“ I….” she said after a moment, her voice hoarse. “ I don’t know.” Her eyes welled with tears, her lip quivered. Usara took the girls hand. Unlike the twins, she had expected a strange reaction. She sat in the chair next to the bed and closed her eyes. Reaching out with her mind, Usara felt a barrier that kept her from seeing the girls memories. The girl was very afraid, but relieved. She didn’t quite fully trust them yet, but they hadn’t tried to harm her. Usara sent a rush of good feeling to the girl to calm her mind.
“ Celeste,” the girl sighed. “ My name, is Celeste.” Her eyes fluttered and then closed, a peaceful smile on her face.
“ Get Marcus, “ Usara said, not letting the girls hand go. “She needs medical attention. And then I want to speak to you all.” Brian left to grab the doctor.
Usara sat back in her chair, still holding Celeste’s hand. “ Tell me everything,”.