Story I – Chapter II [Part III]

Continued from here
For all previous chapters and parts, go here

 

 

Will stood between two protruding pillars of the library and out of sight from the ground as he turned to check his watch again. It had been ten minutes already since he’d left Elijah back there and he’d yet to see Elijah come back. Under normal circumstances and for anyone else, he wouldn’t have to worry and stand guard like this but things were different with Elijah. Circumstances surrounding Elijah had always been different. His and the others assigned to Elijah had their duties and loyalties far extended from simple services. When he heard the thud, his first instinct was to head back there himself but he knew Elijah too well. He’d said to stay away; hence he had to stay away. Hoping it wasn’t Elijah who’d caused the commotion, he lightly started beating his closed fist on his thigh as he waited impatiently.

Minutes later he heard the oncoming students and teachers commotion. When they’d finally passed him and headed towards the back area, Will came out from where he’d been standing and looked around but saw no trace of Elijah anywhere. It only took him a moment to think of where he might be. A minute later, he burst into the storage area where he and Elijah had met the previous morning. Quickly scanning the room, he saw Elijah sitting on the ground in a corner, panting and breathing rapidly, his color a pale white, as if in pain as he clutched the amulet he wore around his neck.

“Did you use magic?” Will asked him incredulously as he approached him and put a hand to his forehead. His skin was dead cold. “You did, didn’t you? Don’t you know how dangerous that is for you! That one would’ve handled it himself. Why did you get involved?”

Elijah was shivering too badly to be able to reply. Will saw his eyes roll as if unable to focus on anything.

“How strong a spell did you use?” Will’s voice was reproaching. “There’s a limit to being careless Elijah!”

Elijah smiled weakly in response to Will’s words even as he was semi conscious.

“Oh, I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your humor!” Will was angry now as he took Elijah’s wrists in his hands. “How do you think any of us will be able to explain this to him? Yesterday was bad enough as it was! Take it!” He urged Elijah as he held onto his wrists but Elijah ignored him, still semi conscious but unwilling. “Come on Elijah, don’t be stubborn and just take some! You’re in pain!” No matter how Will pleaded, Elijah simply shook his head and Will could see some life and awareness return to his eyes but knew it was Elijah being stubborn more than anything else.

“Daniel!” he shouted out the name in desperation. The other person appeared out of thin air in a flash and like Will, one look at Elijah sent him into a panic too.

“What happened?” Daniel asked as he came forward and knelt beside Elijah.

“Elijah happened! Help him! He won’t take any from me.” Will explained.

Daniel put a hand to Elijah’s forehead as Elijah spoke up.

“Chill out ladies, it’s not like I’m dying!” his voice had a usual tinge of amusement underneath the wasp whisper. He closed his eyes as the world seemed to swim in front of his eyes. Pain was wrecking through every part of his body and he felt the stabs and bit his lip to keep in focus.

“You’re a little too retarded for your own good, you know that right?” Daniel told him. “Why do you always have to do whatever you want?”

“Being retarded is fun Daniel! Try it sometime!” Elijah eyes were still closed as he replied with a wistful smile and Daniel’s eyes fell on Elijah’s hands that were pale and shaking hard. He could tell Elijah was in pain but knew better than to try and offer help once he’d already rejected it.

“Forget it!” Arguments or coaxing would get them nowhere, Will read Daniel’s look as Daniel spoke up. There was a limit to how much they could help Elijah anyway. “Get your energy back and then we’ll talk!”

“Aren’t you due somewhere in a bit?” Elijah turned to look at Will as he opened his eyes.

“That can wait!” Will told him but Daniel cut him off.

“It’s alright!” Daniel told him. “You go. I’m here with him.”

Before he could argue, Elijah also added.

“Yeah, go ahead. Don’t keep the kids waiting!”

“I’m calling to let him know!” Will told him as he got up. “He’ll find out anyway. Better do it ourselves.”

“Ah, it’s such a bother!” was all Elijah said but didn’t try to dissuade Will from making the call. “Go ahead, class is waiting!”

After a short formal bow to Elijah, Will left. He saw the empty ground as he passed by there again. The teachers and students had long returned back to their work. As soon as Will closed the storage room door behind him, Daniel walked up to one of the walls and put his hand-palm up on it as he closed his eyes and muttered a spell. Wasps of energy seemed to travel all over the four walls of the room as he continued the spell. By the time he finished and turned back, Elijah was on his knees and in pain as he clutched the amulet. Daniel could see the veins in his neck as his color paled even more.

“It’s done!” Daniel told him. “It’s sealed; no sound in or out.”

Releasing the amulet, Elijah grabbed his head in both hands just as he fell on the ground and shouted out loud from the pain as Daniel stood powerless to do more.

By the time lesson ended, Su Ae was agitated and worried. Although it had only been forty minutes yet it shouldn’t have taken so long for Ian to get back to her. Doodling on her notebook, she checked her phone every two minutes until Annie took the cell phone from her hand and passed her another written note as their professor walked out the door.

“What’s wrong? You look like you received a death sentence!”

Looking up, Annie and Uther both were looking at her with a puzzled expression and she inwardly cringed at being caught. She flashed a short smile to Uther who then looked away.

“Are you alright?” Annie whispered to her as she took her sweaty palm into her own hands. “You look really anxious.”

“It’s nothing; just a bit of a headache.” Su Ae lied.

“I got aspirin!” Annie told her. “Or we could skip the next lesson and head to the infirmary.”

“We already did that yesterday!”

“Yeah well, you already did that yesterday! I had to sit through all the classes.” Annie had always been a bit of a fun lover and studying wasn’t much of her forte. She always got good grades, among the top of her class but she hated studying and didn’t touch it until absolutely necessary.

“We can skip later!” Su Ae told her. “We have to get to know things around here first!”

“Ah, you’re boring again!”Annie joked with a dramatic sigh but ended it with a smile. “Borings what you live for! Next up is English Lit! Bet hearing that chased the headache away and you’re all well now!”

“Oh I’m feeling super thanks!” Su Ae smiled back at her. Before she could say anymore, she heard the buzzing of her phone vibrating in Annie’s hand just as their next professor walked in. “Hey, show me that!”

“Sun’s still shining dandy!” The text reply from Ian read.

With a relieved smile, Su Ae closed her phone and put it in her pocket just as the teacher spoke up.

“Hello class! Let’s start off where we left yesterday.” Will called out. Seeing him made Su Ae think back to Elijah’s behavior this morning and she wondered where he was and what he was up to. Taking Annie’s note, she flipped it over to write and passed it back to her friend.

“Let’s check out those cakes after classes today!”

Annie passed her a smile and made a victory sign at her, mouthing the word “Yes” before turning back to the Will seriously as lesson started.

The second encounter Su Ae had with Uther was during lunch break that day though if it had been up to her, she would have rather not had another encounter so soon, at least not until she knew a little more about him and could make an impression. Although she knew the basic bit about Uther and his being from a hunter lineage, she had no idea about his talents and his sensibilities which made him all the more dangerous in her eyes. She and Annie had just gotten lunch and sat at a table in the cafeteria when Elijah came to her.

“Hey princess!” The trademark arrogant smile was still there. Annie stared with interest as Su Ae simply looked at him and noted he looked a lot paler than when she had seen him this morning. Bending over, he looked over their lunch trays before turning back to her. “You eat a lot! How come you’re not fatter?”

“Does this even have a point?”

“Nah, just messing around! Met your knight this morning! He’s quite a charmer!”

“How did you -? Where?” The words were out of her mouth before she even thought them. Elijah was always bringing more questions to her mind than answers.

“Seemed to be on an errand regarding you!” He seemed to be enjoying her anxious reaction as he sat down on the bench across from them and crossed his arms in front of him on the table. “Got to say, he’s got damn good skills! And is quite sentimental; enough to the point of almost being foolish!”

Su Ae caught Annie’s perplexed expression and almost chuckled despite herself.

“Elijah, Annie! Annie, this is Elijah! I think he’s a student here! And he’s referring to Ian.” She introduced the two before turning her attention back to Elijah completely. “What makes you say that?”

“Hey! I am a student here.” Elijah greeted Annie with a hand up and without any of his usual attitude which actually surprised Su Ae before he also answered her question with yet another shrug. “Just saying. It’s fun actually! How are you going to drink that?”

Su Ae looked down at her tray to see the soup he’d pointed at. It was frozen cold and her spoon was stuck in it. She drew a slow breath in as she looked back up at his chuckling expression. He really was having fun.

“Hey, how did that happen?” Annie’s voice was puzzled. “Wasn’t it okay when we got it?”

“Seems the lunch lady made a mistake!” She said slowly for Annie’s benefit and started to get up to take it back to the counter when he spoke up again.

“Ooh, I wouldn’t eat that rice either if I were you! Looks like it’ll be hard as a rock!”

Su Ae didn’t have to touch the normal looking rice on her plate to make sure. Annie took a bite of the rice on her own plate.

“Hey, it’s fine! Cooked well actually!” She told Su Ae.

“Oh don’t worry!” Elijah told her. “She knows what I mean!”

“I’ll be back!” Su Ae told them both as she picked her tray up and turned away but had barely taken two steps when Uther approached the table from her side.

“Can I join you guys?” He asked with a pleasant smile. Su Ae could feel Elijah turn stiff behind her and she herself didn’t know how to respond.

“Catch ya later princess!” Elijah got up before any of them could answer and Su Ae turned back to see him walking away.

“Yeah, sure!” Annie told Uther.

“Yeah sure, sit down, I’ll be right back!” Su Ae told him and hurried away with her tray.

By the time she dumped her food in to the bin and returned to the counter, she’d lost her appetite. Dumping the tray on the counter, she headed back to the table where Annie and Uther were now in a full fledged conversation and she was telling him about her family. As she sat back down with them, Annie turned the discussion to Su Ae.

“Hey, how cool is this!” She addressed Su Ae. “This is Uther’s hometown and his family owns most of the town around here. He hasn’t lived here since he was a kid, went away to boarding school and only just decided to come back.”

Before Su Ae could make any comments, and not that she could think of any, Uther turned to her.

“What about you?”

“She doesn’t really have a hometown!” Annie replied for Su Ae. “She lives with her cousin and they’ve never really been settled in one place for too long.”

“She’s right!” Su Ae added as Uther looked on at them. “We’ve not stayed at a place more than a year.”

“That’s an unusual habit!” He remarked.

“We kind of like it that way! It’s been a family tradition.” She said it simply with a smile. It was half the truth anyway.

Uther nodded his head as he turned back to Annie and they started talking about the town. As she looked at him now, Su Ae finally got the chance to see and study him clearly. His facial features were well balanced and gave him a handsome look. His small eyes were prominent even behind the slim glasses he wore and his nose line blended with his cheek. His Adam’s apple was slightly visible when he sat still or during conversation but became prominent when he smiled, leaving his cheekbones accented and a slight elevation of the muscles under his eyes. For all looks and purposes, he seemed his age, an innocent and naïve nineteen year old but Su Ae could read the depth in his eyes even as he made jokes or slightly chatted. Here was a boy who had complete awareness of everything around him-a person of the same world as her, even if he never let it on.

When bell finally rang, Su Ae had to remind the two engrossed in discussion that it was time to head back to classes. Still very much into their discussion, the two got up on her reminder and all three of them were heading towards the door when Su Ae suddenly stumbled hard on something and fell head on. Sharp pain flooded her head. As Annie helped her back up and drew in a sharp breath at her bleeding nose, she turned around to see she had stumbled over nothing.

“It’s okay! I’m fine!” She told the two as she stood back up with Annie’s help.

“Elijah!” She muttered to herself as she wiped the slow trail of blood oozing from her nose with the back of her hand. But that didn’t bother her as much as what she saw in Uther’s eyes. Although she could see he was genuinely concerned for her, she also saw in his eyes that he knew exactly what had happened. This was certainly not going to turn out easy, she thought. It also didn’t help that she met many more frequent accidents that day and each time Uther was present. She walked thrice into a mud puddle in the grounds that appeared out of nowhere, had her hand caught in a door and a cabinet twice, fell inside the corridors thrice skinning her right knee during the day and from the front steps on her way out after school ended. Even Annie was alarmed at her continued bad luck and carelessness today and offered to reschedule their after school outing to some other day even though Su Ae insisted to go. Who knows what’ll happen tomorrow? Su Ae thought to herself and meant the thought in more than one sense as they decided to stick to the original plan and spend the evening out. Thankfully, Elijah’s playful curse didn’t seem to follow her off grounds and she and Annie managed to have quite a fun time before they parted around dusk, having spent more than four hours roaming cafes and streets window shopping and eating to their hearts content.

 

To be continued in Chapter III…

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About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on January 5, 2012, in Potpourri, Stories, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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