Graciela watched in curiosity as the pink haired woman knelt down by the fireplace with a lighter. She fumbled with it a few times before successfully setting the wood inside it ablaze. Noticing the vampire watching her, Briella looked up with a smile. “I know in a house this large we should not have to share rooms with one another, but such is the lot we were given.”
Graciela shrugged. “I don’t mind it too much. I rather not be alone. I don’t like it.”
“It gets louder that way, doesn’t it?” Briella questioned. “The darkness?” The pink haired female stood up and dusted off her short gown. With a warm smile, she turned to Graciela. “I lit the fire to keep it away. I know you prefer well lit places.”
Graciela’s breath caught in her throat, watching the woman stare at her as if they were close friends for centuries. Were they? She didn’t know. Instinctively, Graciela took a step back. “I…don’t know you,” was all she could muster.
Briella nodded. “I suppose you don’t in this state. But that wasn’t always the case. Everyone in this house is connected to you in one way or another. It’s more than just Caleb and Mason. We all know you, but for whatever reason, you can’t remember us.”
Graciela approached the fire pit with a hesitant glance. “Nobody said anything to me.”
“We didn’t have much time to do that, did we?” Briella mused. “We were all tossed into a room and told to start a new dimension. We are all shocked, a lot of it makes no sense to any of us. Just a few days ago, I thought it was the end of the world. So many bad things happened, and I just now find out that a place detrimental to our former dimension was destroyed. I wonder if there’s a link to the two phenomenons, but I also simply know that is how cruel the world is.”
Graciela understood little of the woman’s musing and instead played with the hem of her jean jacket. “How are we connected?”
“We are family,” Briella responded simply. “Maybe not y blood, but through other means.” She dropped her voice. “I don’t think it’s best we dredge up the past like this. It took you long to recover the first time. If you shut down again, the darkness will once again have a hold over you. Maybe that is why your memory was wiped.”
“What?” Graciela asked incredulously. “You can’t just say something like that and then leave it to simmer in the air. Do you know how frustrating this is to me? All I remember is my childhood! What happened in between then and now?”
“I do not wish to speak of it,” Briella replied solemnly. “For your sake and the sake of everyone here. I understand not knowing is torturous, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.”
“Ignorance is bliss?” Graciela demanded. “Not in a case like this. I can’t just pretend that I didn’t have a life before this.”
Briella twirled her braid in her hand. “Can you tell me what the darkness told you as a child? Do you still remember?”
Graciela furrowed her brows but responded. “It was inside of me, feeding off of my fear and insecurity. I made it stronger.”
“If I explain to you what transpired a few weeks ago, you would be upset beyond belief. What do you think that would do to the darkness?”
“Power it up,” Graciela mumbled. “But I’m an adult now, I can handle it all.”
“I promise, this you cannot.” Briella smiled sadly. “Please, you are the sister I had always dreamed of having. I would not lie to you, Gracie. Because of you, I got to see what my life was truly missing. for a short while, I felt as if the curse was lifted.”
“Sister?” Graciela murmured. Could they have really been that close? Graciela felt nothing looking at the elf. No sense of familiarity, not a warm sensation in her heart like in the movies. It was a blank, empty feeling.
“We are family,” Briella repeated. “Whether you believe that or not, it is true. And, I shall tell you what happened when I feel you are ready. I wouldn’t keep things from you if I didn’t think they’d hurt you.”
“It’s not fair,” Graciela almost growled. “My whole childhood was governed by the darkness, and now I can’t know about who I am because of it? It has literally taken my life.”
“It is not your fault,” Briella said forcefully. “None of this is, I want you to remember it. All of the blame falls on mine, Dionysus’ and Dragos’ shoulders. We all knew the curse we bore and still thought that it was possible to be happy. We hurt you all. I will never forgive myself for that.” Briella placed a hand on her heart. “If you want to never see or hear from me again, I understand. I will resurface if you need information, but I won’t treat you as if you’re the friend I deserve.”
“Calm down,” Graciela said, reaching for the woman’s arm. “You must know this is too much. I can’t simply take you at your words.” But she felt them, even if looking at Briella brought no emotions to the surface. Graciela walked to the other side of the room of the mansion that they’d all be staying in. “I want…my family. I want to be with them. Is that too much to ask?” She could feel the tears biting at the corner of her eyes. “If we are family like you say we are, I wouldn’t abandon you and I wouldn’t expect you to abandon me either.”
“You expect an honesty I can’t give you,” Briella responded. “It hurts me as much as it hurts you, and I know it is unfair. I wished it happened to anyone but you.” Briella pushed some baby hairs from her face. “We’ll reverse it all. I promise you, that’s my goal. To stop the same thing from happening again. Graciela, I am sorry. Truly, I am.” She leaned over to Graciela and planted a soft kiss on her cheek before walking out of the room with a heavy heart.
Caleb pretended he was watching the television program in front of him, but his mind was on the vision he had seen earlier. The fall of Lunar Lakes. He had been in several dimensions and had never had the power to see what had happened or what would happen. “Penny for your thoughts?” Mason asked. “Is it about being a contact seer?”
“I don’t understand how that could happen,” Caleb answered angrily. It was the first time he had felt so strongly in a while. “How can the place I called home for so long simply collapse?”
“What did you see?” Mason asked quietly. He didn’t want to think about the destruction of Lunar Lakes either. He and Caleb had spent a great deal there researching the whereabouts of Sierra Gray. Mason was particularly frazzled because he wanted to end the small town of Lunar Lakes on his terms. When he was ready to say goodbye to it. He wasn’t ready. Not yet. “Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems.”
“Dad, there was fire. So much fire, and people running from the debris that was falling. There were shots being fired into crowds and people yelling. Yelling, yelling…families blown apart by the impact and crying…” Mason reached over to grab Caleb’s hand. He squeezed it gingerly. Dad, he had called him dad. Mason would be there for his son now that he needed someone the most. “I know it’s what you’ve probably been witnessing forever, as a time traveler. I just don’t know how to cope,” Caleb continued. “I can’t unsee what I saw.”
Mason didn’t bother smiling at Caleb. That wasn’t what he needed. Kind words and fake sentiments helped no one. Mason dealt with what he knew worked on him, the cold and brutal truth. “You can’t change anything that happened. The dimension is far passed that.”
“There has to be something that we can do. Anything,” Caleb replied breathlessly. “I have this new power now for some reason. Can’t we do something with it? I can see things that others can’t.”
“That blue haired mongrel said something interesting to us. He claimed that you got your power from the person you were hanging around. I don’t believe it was me. I am a time traveler, not a seer.”
“But who was a seer that I was around?” Caleb asked. “Who had enough energy that I could sap some from them?” He held his head in his hands. “I don’t want this power, it feels much more like a burden than anything. It hurts me.”
“Maybe it is only temporary,” Mason replied, hoping for Caleb’s sake that it was. “If it isn’t, it could be useful.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Caleb muttered, eyes locking on his father’s. “Tell me things you think I want to hear. I’ve been through two full lifetimes. I know that things are bleak over there, but it doesn’t change the way I feel. I am hopeful that I can do something to help their situation out. Both in Lunar Lakes and the dimension as a whole. Maybe fixing this dimension is the key.”
“I don’t trust anything that man said,” Mason replied. “I’ve been in the business of conning people for generations. I can see his fraud from a mile away.”
“He’s not from the council?” Caleb asked.
Mason shook his head. “No, I believe that part. He has some kind of affiliation with them to get all of us here as he has. I know little of the whole dimension hierarchy if I’m being honest with you. I know of Audric, and you know of Quinn. But they were both pretty low on the food chain.”
“Quinn did some pretty powerful things,” Caleb replied. “So I can’t imagine someone having more power than her. If Cassius is from the council and created this dimension, then can we really go against him?”
“Of course we can,” Mason replied. “He needs us. I don’t for a second buy that he wants to help the other dimension out. He sees that it’s advantageous to end it just as well as I do. What makes you think that he didn’t gather us here to create new lives while he destroys the old dimension?”
“I thought about that,” Caleb muttered. “But isn’t bringing people form other dimensions one of the main ways to cause rifts? Is the council able to combat that? And passed that, why bring me, you and Graciela here. We’re all from different generations, there’s no way that we could all coexist at the same time without causing some kind of hole. I don’t know what all of that means.”
“It means that we’re in a hole that we can’t dig out of…yet. We will have to simply do as this man says until we are able to drag ourselves out. Keep your eye on him. I don’t trust Cassius.”
“We have to watch out for Graciela too,” Caleb replied. “I know that sometimes it’s us or them, but in this case….Gracie is with us, even if she hates you.”
“Of course,” Mason said. “She is family, whether she chooses to acknowledge that or not. Maybe not by blood but…” His voice trailed off. “The Grays are my family. Graciela will be protected if that’s what you wish.”
Briella is gorgeous, and seems a very kind-hearted soul. Like Gracie though I’m super curious about what happened in those intervening years that we can’t see. I hope the Grays are all right…
I think Mason is right to be suspicious, but I’ll always feel like he has his own agenda and I don’t trust him anyway! Hopefully he’s wrong about Cassius.
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thank you! I had fun making Briella. No one trusts Mason, so join the band wagon lol We’ll just have to wait and see how everything unfolds.
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Reading this chapter made me sad. I kept thinking of all the people that made up Gracie’s world and they’re all gone. Briella once was family but that link is gone. Knowing who that link was gives me great trepidation thinking of what might have happened to him. Maybe Briella is right and it’s better Gracie doesn’t know what happened to her loved ones.
Mason makes a valid point but I don’t trust him. I don’t trust him or Cassius, even if he is from the council. The council have proven they don’t really care about the dimensions or the people in them. This is just another experiment good or bad, right or wrong, life or death they don’t really care. Ugh poor Caleb he doesn’t deserve this. You’ll never give the poor boy a break will you? He should have stayed in my dimension. At least there he was happy even if he wasn’t with his first true love. I’m assuming he chooses Star. I’m assuming she’s the one who was the seer he spent so much time with. It’d make sense, if I’m right, why the guardians had her killed and not just because they didn’t want Caleb producing children.
I’m really not going to like what’s coming next!
Thanks for the comment! I think you may be jumping too far ahead, but you’ll see what happens to unfold 😉 Let’s see what I can say, based on these comments. So you definitely know about the link with Briella, but I assure you that the whole Gray family isn’t dead or anything like that. Right now what I can confirm is that prior to Gracie’s gen, everyone is still in the old dimension. Can’t get into specifics just yet though. It’s tough for people to trust Mason. He hasn’t exactly proven himself trustworthy, but Caleb trusts him. So maybe that means something? Also, did say I was revising some storylines so everything you think you know about gen 6 may have changed… 😉
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I don’t trust this situation one bit. Tossing them all into a new environment is the best way to make them confused and weakened. Graciela ought to be very careful.
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