Graciela closed the diary with an angry thud. She slid it across the table and crossed her arms over her chest. You don’t remember how much she hated you, do you?
“Stop talking,” Graciela sneered. Was it too much to ask for just a few hours without the voice pestering her?
“I didn’t say anything,” Dionysus replied, sliding a plasma pack across the table to the girl.
“It’s the darkness,” Graciela said. She took the plasma pack and walked over to the couch. “It’s reacting to what I read. According to my diary, I met a cute guy and my best friend basically blackmailed me afterwards. No big deal I guess.”
“Any correlation?” Dionysus mused, wearing a big grin. He sat beside her. “Jealousy over meeting said cute boy?”
“I think it was because she wanted to be accepted by the popular kids, Shae and Raina. I remember them when I was a young girl. They literally locked me in a closet. That’s my worst fear, you know? Complete and total darkness. I don’t know why Nerissa would want to be friends with them, but even then she didn’t stand up for me. I had Camilla though. She was always sticking up for me.”
“Camilla was always a protector. She would never admit it, but when we traveled together she was always on high alert. When injustice occurred, even if it didn’t happen to her, she was on it in a second. I miss her all the time.”
“I think she missed you too,” Graciela replied. “She would always talk bad about you, but I think it was more so out of anger than resentment. I think she missed you a lot and that was how she coped. I’m sure she’d like to see you again.”
“I’d like to see her too, and your parents and Pax. It’s just not always an option, you know?” Dionysus asked. “Sometimes things force you to leave and prevent you from coming back.”
“What made you leave?” Graciela asked. “Why didn’t you come with us to Audric’s haven? It was open to you just as much as it was to us. Were you afraid of facing Astra?”
“I’m not one to hang back because of my own fears,” Dionysus replied. “When I do that, people get hurt. So, I always push forward. I had to leave because I located a book in Damian’s castle. It’s one I was looking for, for centuries. Yet, there it was conveniently placed in a bookshelf. Not locked up. Not behind any closed doors…” Dionysus placed a warm palm on his head. “I’m getting off topic. I had to return the book to the person who hired me to find it. And before you ask, I don’t divulge my client’s identities.”
“Can I ask what you do then?” Gracie asked. “Are you a bounty hunter of some sort?”
Dio let out a laugh. “You can ask, but I won’t tell. It’s safer that way.” He leaned back into his chair. “Let’s go get a drink. It’s kind of stuffy on this boat, don’t you think?
“It’s dark out there,” Gracie said, shaking her head. The small boat was enough for her. “You can get a drink and I’ll wait here.”
“Absolutely not,” Dionysus said. “We’re on the hunt for your family, right? For all we know maybe one of them is going to be at the same bar we go to.”
“Can’t you just handle it?” Gracie groaned.
“I could, but it’s your memory on the line. Not mine.” Dionysus stood up. “Now, come on.”
“Fine, but I’m going to complain the entire time if the darkness pesters me,” Graciela warned.
“If it does, we leave. My traveling buddy comes first.”
Graciela tapped her fingers on the cool green liquid. “You said bar,” She accused, looking down at her fruit punch. She was actually thankful. She was in no mood for the bar crowd, or what would supposedly be the bar crowd. She didn’t remember if she had ever been to a bar, or if she had liked to drink at all.
“I did,” Dionysus replied. “But this place looked like more fun. Look at all the locals.” The place was packed with people talking, laughing and having an all around good time. The Golden Parrot was the place to be tonight. The mixologist slid a rainbow colored drink to Dionysus who winked at Gracie before taking a sip of it. “Would a bar give you a gummy worm in your drink? I think not!”
“Maybe not,” Graciela said. She looked down to the bottom of her fruit punch. She wasn’t actually even thirsty anymore. She just didn’t want to be out here, even if the area was well lit. Out in the sun, it was beautiful. But at night, Isla Paradiso, though bustling, was a different place. “Listen, I know I’m no fun to be around but I’m trying, okay?”
“Are you talking to the darkness again?” Dionysus asked. “Or are you justifying why you’re so quite?”
“Neither. I’m actually just apologizing for being a stick in the mud. You’ve been alive for years. I must be the worst guest you’ve taken out,” Graciela muttered.
“That would be your mom actually,” Dionysus teased. “She was out with me, but had her attention on someone else every single time.” He smiled widely. “I so love your mom. You remind me of her in a lot of ways.”
“Really? How so?”
“Always complaining for one.” Which earned him a glare from the vampiress. “But, you also know what you want and won’t let anyone stop you. Even some darkness. We all have our demons but you know when it’s time to listen to them, and when it’s time to vanquish them.”
“You give me too much credit…” She stopped talking when she noticed vibrant green wings. She felt a sense of nausea wash over her. She placed a hand on the table to steady herself. She felt like she had known this girl for a long time. Had she?
Dionysus looked over to the pair of women and his eyes widened. “I might be wrong since it’s been awhile, but didn’t your aunt Adeline have a daughter? Her husband was a fairy with green wings?”
“Lily!” Graciela exclaimed loudly, jumping from her seat. She looked at Dionysus. “Do you think that’s her? She’d be all grown up now, if I’m 31.”
Lily frowned as she heard someone shout her name. “Again, how many times are people going to single me out?” She muttered. “There are other supernaturals here.”
“Not from another dimension sweetheart,” Alexia said, grabbing onto her girlfriend’s hands. “They’re just a little starstruck.”
“Starstruck? Yeah right. I’m not a celebrity, just the butt of some jokes,” Lily muttered. She turned around to see the source of the ridicule. Her eyes widened and she nearly fell from her chair. “Oh my gosh.”
“So, you’re the starstruck one then?” Alexia teased.
“Lexi, that’s my cousin!” Lily stood up. “We all thought we wouldn’t see her again. She’s alright!”
Alexia stood up as well. “We have to go and talk to her then.”
It seemed as if the two recognized each other instantly. As Graciela walked over nervously, Lily couldn’t sit still. She was positively shaking with anticipation of seeing her older cousin. When she pulled Gracie into a hug, she wasn’t expecting the girl to stiffen. “I’m sorry,” Lily apologized quickly. Still, she couldn’t hold back her shock of her cousin not reciprocating her hug. She had thought it was an instant recognition between the two. “What’s wrong?”
“She doesn’t have her memory,” Dionysus intervened. “It’s nothing you did. She knows you’re her cousin, but the memories you two have shared together aren’t there.”
“Oh,” Lily whispered, placing a hand on her heart. “How did it happen?”
“I’m trying to figure it out,” Graciela sad with a frown. “I don’t mean anything by my actions.” She had wanted to lean into the hug and return the girl’s excitement. Even if she hadn’t remembered Lily much, she still should have been happy to be reunited with someone she had know from the past. There was just an overwhelming sense of dread and she didn’t know why.
“Still, I’m happy you’re safe,” Lily replied. “It means so much to me that you’re okay.”
“I’m with my girlfriend,” Lily said suddenly. She turned to usher Alexia forward, but the woman had already threw her arms around the fairy. “This is Alexia, she’s a vampire like you.”
“Hi,” Graciela said. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“I’m from this dimension,” Alexia said. “I’m sure you’re full of questions about that aspect, considering I’m a vampire in the sunniest place in the uh…world? World, I guess. Anyway, I met your cousin when I found her washed up on the beach. I took her to my place until she could explain what had happened and the rest is history.”
“Do you remember when we split up? You were there,” Lily replied. “Just like everyone else. Before everything went bad.”
“I was?” Graciela asked. “I…No, I don’t remember. Can you tell me about it?” She turned to Dio. “Or does that go against what Asher said?”
Dionysus shrugged. “I don’t think so. Just avoid telling her the really bad stuff,” He told Lily. “We fear that if she gets overwhelmed, the darkness will do something drastic.”
“We don’t want that,” Lily confirmed. “I mean, I don’t know much about what happened either. I just know that something bad was going to happen, or was happening and that we all had to leave. Come to think of it…well I promised not to speak about it. Maybe they should tell you.”
“And who are they?” Graciela asked.
Alexia lowered her voice but her words were kind and sincere. “The ones who brought Lily here. They’re not far off, they’ve set up base in this dimension but…”
“There are people after them,” Lily replied just as quietly. “Dimension police so you have to promise to keep their location a secret.”
“Are the dimension police bad?” Graciela pondered. She didn’t think that Agent McKay was a bad guy, but Dionysus hated him. She could see the distaste on his face now at the mention of the DP.
“We don’t know,” Alexia said. “But if the guys who saved Lily are saying that the DP are, then I’m saying that too. They protected Lily.”
“They helped me transition into my new life here. But…not you? Or, do you not remember that much?” Lily asked.
“I don’t know,” Graciela admitted. “I’m still trying to make sense of everything. But, maybe these guys can explain? Maybe they can offer some help? I want to make sure that the others are okay.”
“Me too, but they won’t tell me where the others are,” Lily replied. “Maybe seeing you will do the trick?”
Graciela looked at Dionysus who nodded. “It couldn’t hurt, kiddo,” He replied. “Let’s check it out.”