I own nothing from the Black Jewels Trilogy. Set after "Queen of the Darkness".
Jaenelle Angelline scowled at Daemon and Lucivar before finally plopping down on her bed. "It's only been the first day. Graysfang needs my help. Surreal could be in trouble!" She huffed out a breath and started to feel a wash of hopelessness of ever getting out of the bedroom. Both brothers exchanged looks before Daemon finally cleared his throat.
"Sweetheart," he said, "Surreal is out today for another reason that she didn't even tell Graysfang about."
Jaenelle frowned and stood again, pacing a little. "Why?" she finally asked. "What could she be so afraid of telling me? We're sisters, right? She should have told me!" Jaenelle started to twirl the wedding band Daemon had given her on her finger with her thumb. It was a habit she had developed instead of fluffing her hair when she was thinking.
Lucivar finally sighed. "Cat, someone said they saw her coming out of a Red Moon house last weekend." Lucivar had even questioned her about it. The honest answer Yes had not only startled him, but it made him wonder what Surreal was really up to. All of the males in the house had at least a little bit of respect for her mainly because she make a living off of being an assassin. Still, after the blood had been purged, not many of the bad were left. Surreal was out of work.
Still, Surreal had sworn to never go back to a Red Moon house after signing the contract to be in Lucivar's court in Ebon Rhi. Jaenelle started to pace even faster.
The three of them hadn't told Saetan yet, and none of them were eager to. It was a difficult situation that, for once, none of them knew how to fix...
Surreal looked at Cassandra and winced. "Are you absolutely sure?" she asked. "Opening this new realm you think you saw in a web made by Tersa is... difficult to imagine. And why am I even a part of this, but not Jaenelle, Lucivar, Daemon, or Saetan?"
Cassandra blew out a breath. "For the last time," she snapped, "I don't even know how this may work out. All I know is that telling them before it's official is a waste of my time. If it turns out to be nothing, we don't have to get them involved." Surreal glared at Cassandra.
"In all reality," Surreal started, "You just want control over this discovery. You want to be the one to find it and form it yourself. You"-
"STOP!" Cassandra snapped again. A wash of dark power started to fill and thicken the air Surreal was breathing in. Cassandra, once again, was pissed that people could dissect her so easily.
"Whatever," Surreal finally said. "From where I'm standing, sugar, you just need me for protection." Cassandra nodded at that. That was something both of them could be honest about.
Cassandra started getting the altar ready, moving the candles in a certain pattern. She picked up a sharp edged knife meant for these rituals. Surreal hadn't seen this before, and, according to Cassandra, this was normally way off about how most of the other rituals are done.
There was a piece of parchment with the Old Tongue scribbled all over it. Surreal couldn't make heads or tails of it, but the web that Cassandra received from Tersa had shown a translation. It didn't matter what language, but what mattered was just opening this one portal...
There was a loud sound that sounded like protesting animals and children in one vicious scream. Power that came from Cassandra and some hidden reservoir that didn't belong to any of them pressed against both females long enough to make Surreal collapse onto her knees. Cassandra stood there, still chanting, her hands raised just enough to cover her face from any objects that may fly at them. A small point of intense light about the size of a pin shot through the stone of the altar. It slowly started to move and grow into a square of light. Then, as the sound and power died down, the square in the altar disappeared. Nothing was there anymore. Just a missing chunk of stone and a black depth.
Cassandra stopped and looked at the parchment. Nothing else could have been done.
"Now can I tell them?" Surreal asked, calling in her stiletto. "What if this is dangerous? What if we just unleashed some unknown curse onto the land!"
Cassandra snarled at her. "Don't you think I considered that! I think too, you know!" Both females glared at each other until Surreal finally moved to the square in the altar. It was just big enough for someone to fit through unless they were incredibly overweight. Surreal took hold of the sides.
"What are you doing?" Cassandra asked.
"What does it look like, sugar? I'll check to see if there's something I should kill..." A force pushed it's way through the square and blew Surreal back into the wall across from the altar. When Surreal looked up to see what could have shoved her back so far and she saw a fist. It was a small pale fist that looked scarred and damaged with white bandaging around the knuckles. Surreal stood and ran to grab the fist, yanking hard...
Malory Detters threw her backpack onto her bed and sobbed long and hard into her pillow. Today had been particularly rough, but this time it wasn't her fault. No one believed her. There were witnesses saying it wasn't her fault. No one believed her. Her parents and even her caseworker stood up for her. No. One. Fucking. Believed. Her. Malory let out another shriek and pounded another bandaged fist into the wall, watching as her fist went straight through it. This wasn't unusual. She punched quite a few holes in her walls when she was this upset.
She heard a bang on her door before her older brother barged in. Peter Detters wasn't handsome. He was gorgeous, and Malory envied his social abilities in life. She loved him to death, but it was heartbreaking to watch him make friends and find an amazing girlfriend who didn't mind her while Malory just fought her way through high school. Peter was also her twin brother, older by a mere hour.
Both of them had the same narrowed, bold eyes that were on their mother's side, and both of them had curly brown hair like their father. Both of them also had small noses, sharp features that made each seem mischievous, and incredibly short hair. Malory's was short for another reason, though. Getting her hair pulled during a fight was a painful experience.
"I heard," Peter said, grabbing his sister and wrapping his arms around her. Malory hugged him back and stopped crying. Pride kept her from crying in front of others.
"Whatever. I didn't even do anything. They can just hate me for a while and be done with it. If Lisa hadn't just kept her mouth shut then"-
"Then what?" Peter asked. "Lisa was never your friend. She had come up to you, got in your face, and you did nothing. When she hit you first, you still didn't do nothing. When she made that cheap shot... let me see your shoulder."
Malory was stabbed with a pencil. It wasn't so deep that the doctor was concerned, but he gave her a total of nine stitches and bandaged the small hole. Malory winced as Peter gently massaged it.
"I'm just hanging in my room for a while," Malory said. "I'm not in trouble with mom and dad, so I can close my door. Don't tell them about the hole?"
Peter grinned and pointed to it. "This is why your hands are so scarred, sis." He rubbed her bandaged knuckles gently. "Keep it careful, okay? You don't want to hit something too hard like last time and get more." Malory snorted before grinning and gently ushering him out of her room.
Yes, ever since Malory's little sister, Elaine, had died because some bastard had raped and beaten her to death, Malory had lost trust in everyone. When everyone said they were sorry, they were secretly muttering behind her back how mixed up Malory was. They were always looking at her like they were expecting her to explode into a juvenile delinquent. That was mainly because the bastard who raped and killed Elaine was Malory's and Peter's uncle, Rex.
Still, Malory and Peter were all for letting Elaine spend a summer with their uncle while their parents were settling their divorce. They couldn't understand the looks of accusation and fear Elaine had, so they just assumed she was unstable because of their parents. When they went to go get Elaine after the divorce was final, she was so broken up, the doctors discharged her and told the family to make her comfortable before she died. And that was how Elaine died. Comfortable. And Malory made sure of it.
Afterward, Malory lost all of her friends. She had become obsessed with blaming herself, but no one knew that. They just thought Malory needed attention after the death and the divorce. They didn't understand that Malory was punishing herself by becoming involved with so many street fights and school fights. Every hit was a hit Malory was taking as a debt to her sister.
And today wasn't even her fault.
She picked up her backpack and threw it into her open closet door, making sure it hit the wall as hard as possible. She didn't realize it was break through. When light filtered in through the hole, she assumed that it was because she had tossed it into another room or out of her house. She didn't know her own strength.
Malory stared at her bandaged and scarred knuckles and hands before running to look out the hole. Just as she stuck her head inside, it was utterly dark. It wasn't a normal dark, either, with light coming from somewhere else. It was pitch black. She heard a voice coming across from her, speaking a weird language. In a panic, Malory did the only thing she knew how to do. She jumped inside the hole in her wall and punched as hard as she could in the direction of the voice.
Her fist was in hair after making contact with a torso. Then, as she was about to retract her fist, she was yanked inside the black hole and out the other end.
Surreal looked at the terrified girl. She noted the strange outfit she had one. The dark blue material that looked like pants and the shirt that stopped the sleeves just after her shoulders. It was completely white. The girl's hair was even more fascinating to her. She kept her stiletto ready and squeezed the girl's fist gently.
"Who are you?" Cassandra asked. The girl stopped glaring for a minute to look completely confused. She said something, but neither of them could understand it. Cassandra took the girl's other wrist and both females started to drag her into Cassandra's sitting area. "Who are you?" Cassandra asked again.
Again the girl said something strange while her eyes narrowed. She seemed frustrated, and she finally started to struggle to get free. Surreal dangled her knife in front of the girl before holding it firm in her hands. The girl's eyes widened, and she stopped struggling. She knew that sooner or later Jaenelle could kick her ass for that.
Cassandra plopped the girl down in a kitchen chair. "Keep an eye on her," Cassandra said. "I'm going to get Tersa. Maybe she can"-
"Just get Jaenelle! Stalling is going to get me pissed enough to gut you." Both females glared at each other before Cassandra nodded.
Then she was gone. Surreal stared at the girl and kept her stiletto in her hand. She didn't bother to vanish it. Not yet. A howl in the distance made her yelp, though.
"Shit, Graysfang," she muttered as the gray wolf bounded through the door and skidded to a stop in front of the girl. The girl looked at the wolf curiously before extending her hand for him to sniff. Graysfang sniffed the girl's hand and started to wag his tail. He yelped happily as the girl scratched him behind his ears.
-She's nice to me,- he told Surreal. Surreal could have sworn that was a grin on Graysfang's face.
"Whatever," Surreal muttered. She kept her eyes on the girl before a very dark, irritated presence swamped the kitchen. Jaenelle, looking very irritated and in some pain, stood in the doorway. Lucivar was on one side of her, and Daemon was on the other. Surreal paled a little. "Shit," she muttered, catching the scent. "Moon's blood?"
Jaenelle looked at Surreal for a minute and sighed. "They've already fussed over me all day. Please, no more. I'm done with it." Judging by the cowed looks both males had, Surreal was sure they were beat by Jaenelle this time.
Now Jaenelle sat by this girl in a chair at the table. Cassandra came back into the kitchen to stand in a corner and observe.
"Who are you?" Jaenelle asked. The girl glared at her and started to sputter and mutter angrily.
"What the hell are you saying! For Christ's sake! Let me go back home before my caseworker comes and kills me because I'm already in deep shit! Who do you guys think you are anyway? Just trapping a little girl here who has"- Jaenelle cleared her throat to cut the girl off.
"I apologize," Jaenelle said in the Old Tongue. Cassandra, Surreal, and both males stared at her, eyes wide and jaws dropped. "I didn't realize you spoke the Old Tongue as a first language. I'm Jaenelle Angelline. Who are you?"
The girl gulped, feeling slightly awkward. "I'm Malory. Can I go home now?" she asked, feeling the panic and the need to fight rise up in her chest. "I just want to go home. I need to go home. Peter will freak out."
"Who is Peter?" Jaenelle asked. "Where do you come from?"
The girl looked completely baffled. "Peter's my brother. I'm from Kearney."
Now both girls looked at each other, confused and slightly curious. Still, something about this girl put Malory on edge in a completely defensive sort of way. She narrowed her eyes. "Are you sick?" Malory finally asked.
Jaenelle looked completely shocked. "I'm fine," she said.
"Then why do you seem sick to me? Like you should be resting or something..." Malory stood up and started to pace angrily across the room. "This is stupid. I need to get home."
"How did you get here?" Jaenelle asked. Malory cast a glance in the direction they'd come from. The dark square she was yanked through. Then a sudden thought flashed through her head that had her bolting through the room and back toward the altar. "My backpack!"
Jaenelle was up and following her, and, as if given a cue, the other males followed after. Surreal was after them, but Cassandra stayed behind, puzzling out how this little girl knew so much of the Old Tongue.
The group ended up by the square in the altar. Malory didn't hesitate to dive in and stumble around in the dark until she tripped over something. She let out a stream of curses before picking up her backpack. A small light ripped it's way through the darkness, coming from Jaenelle's hand. It was as if a small fire was stuck in a bubble and was crackling there out of nowhere.
"Did you find your... backpack?" Jaenelle ask. She'd never quite said that word before, and she enjoyed learning it so much. Malory nodded.
"Thank you. I came through here. I need to go back. Good-bye," Malory said, planning to never go back to this world.
Jaenelle left the dark square and stood calmly in front of Cassandra. "Were you planning to tell me about this?" She asked.
Cassandra shook her head no.
"Then, now that I know, I'm going to tell Papa so he can alert the guard. I need a door put on this. I'll lock it with locks myself so I know no one can get through. Daemon, would you also shield this entry until we can cover it?"
Daemon stepped forward to do just that. "Let's go home sweetheart," he said, grabbing her and taking the winds to their home. Lucivar looked at Surreal and Cassandra before shaking his head and taking off. Left with each other, the two females simply glared at each other.
"See what you did," Cassandra muttered. "You get them involved, and then I lose all hope of keeping this from becoming a problem."
"From where I'm standing, that's probably a good thing," Surreal stated simply before taking the winds to her own home.
Malory stood in her closet, covering the hole there with an old painting she'd made of Elaine. It was important to keep it there. She couldn't cover it up quiet yet. Maybe her brother would actually help with this... No. Peter would probably think she was crazy before he helped her. He would say they were both crazy. Malory flung her backpack into a corner in her closet, careful to keep her strength down on the swing. She watched it thump harmlessly to the floor.
Out of sheer curiosity, she nudged the painting aside again, looking at the hole. She covered it back up when she heard a thumping at her door.
"Honey," her mom said. "Maria's here. She wants to talk to you about the hearing!"
Malory winced and went to go deal with her caseworker.