The Protectors

Amela Robince, a once average 18 year old girl living in Spring Lake, Virginia. She has gone her whole life believing she was anything but interesting, and at the bottom of the list when it came to special. Suddenly, her life takes a dramatic turn when she discovers a mysterious ball of light in the woods near her house. She came in contact with this strange attraction, and since then, her new immortal life was anything but average. Sustaining new powers, with a new job to help defend the world against intimidating monsters with 7 other strangers, Amela has the world placed on her shoulders. Battling her way through the supernatural and attempting to resist the inevitable charms of fellow Protector Harry Styles, follow us on this incredible journey of love, loss, and crusade.

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5. Chapter 4

Swirls of dreary colors clouded Amela’s vision. She was almost afraid to open her eyes, nervous to see what her current surroundings consisted of. Her stomach felt like a butterfly cage, and she had this strange feeling that she was falling into a deep and bottomless pit. Slowly the colors that spun beneath her eyelids blended into a pitch black. She warily opened her eyes to find that she was in a dimly lit room with no windows, only a few torch lights that adorned the walls and a faded lamp at her bedside table.

The wallpaper was a depressing brown, and the room was almost bare apart from the bed Amela lay in, the table beside it, and a couch with a convenient coffee table near the corner of the room. She attempted to sit up from her laying position, only to have her head throb with an aching pain. Suddenly the door opened and a woman entered, her face displaying anxiety. She was African, with dark brown skin and a narrow oval-shaped face. The long African dress she wore flowed as she walked; it was orange and lightly tinted with patterns of brown and forest green, sported by a head wrap.

She was carrying a tray of what looked like medicine. The woman smiled at Amela, “I see you are finally up.” she said in a smooth Nigerian accent. “Here, drink this.” She handed Amela a small cup of dark liquid, not exactly something she would want to swallow.

“Where am I?” Amela asked before drinking the substance and almost choking on the bitter taste.

“You are at headquarters, we call it HQ for short.”

Amela tried to remember how she got to this location in the first place when a man walked in.  He was intimidatingly tall, with a built frame hidden under a black suit, his shoulder-length white hair and beard contrasted with the dark of his clothing.

He looked angry as he stalked over to stand beside the woman who had seated herself in a chair next to the bed. Amela had the sense of uneasiness around this man. She felt he could hear her thoughts, and with his cold glare he looked as if he was staring into her soul.

“Ms. Robince,” the woman addressed Amela softly, “I am Pam, and this is Mr. Hawthorne. We know you must feel very confused-”

"Why am I here?” Amela cut in, panic rising in her voice. The man, Mr. Hawthorne, had not yet said a word, but his look of grimness mixed with doubt, along with Pam’s careful and hesitant approach towards Amela told her a sign of bad news. “What happened-” Amela started before her memory flashed back to the previous events. The piercing migraines, the agony spreading throughout her whole body, constantly puking, hallucinations, the figures with long cloaked bodies and menacing red eyes-

“Ms. Robince,” It was Hawthorne this time, his British accent strong and firm, “Do you recall discovering a floating ball of light within the past few days?”

Amela thought back to the night of that painful explosion. She remembered having the sudden urge to get out of bed, going to her window seat and spotting it deep in the woods. She came in contact with the light, and then after she turned around all hell had broken loose.

“Yes, I remember.”

“You had felt a force, almost a gravitational pull as some may put it, towards this strange substance?” Hawthorne inquired.

“H-how do you know this?” Amela questioned him, shaking her head in confusion.

“You felt the light only to receive no response, then moments later the light had exploded and you fell unconscious, correct?”

All Amela could do was nod, for now she couldn’t form any sort of words. How did this strange man know all of this? And why was he asking these questions with such a confidence? It was as if he knew all the answers, as if he knew the reason this all had happened but he just needed her to confirm it.

Hawthorne began to pace, clutching his hands together behind his back. “Then the next day, which was precisely yesterday, you felt ill. You went through a painful process of convulsing muscles and agonizing migraines, vomiting and hallucinating absurd images you could only imagine in your worst nightmares.” He wasn’t asking Amela questions anymore, but telling her, reminding her of all that had happened as if she wanted to be reminded. “After this process you felt sick and on the brink of falling unconscious again. You had felt the same gravitational force then as you did the night when you saw the light. This force brought you into the woods, where you crashed to the ground, weak and tired.”

Amela glanced at Pam, who was looking at Hawthorne with unease. “How do you know all of this?” Amela repeated, doing her best to bring strength into her voice. Hawthorne stopped his pacing and held a determined expression. “Ms. Robince, the orb of light you saw was a sign, a gift from God, a blessing. That force that had pulled you towards the light was the force of destiny, bringing you to your fate. You have been chosen by Heaven and purpose to become a Protector of mankind, ridding the world of its evil monstrosities that live all around us. You will be trained to fight and use your chosen power the forces have granted you with, working alongside seven others who have the same perseverance.”

Amela looked at Hawthorne wide-eyed. “I’m a… a what?” Amela questioned, puzzled. All Hawthorne had explained to her sounded like an exerpt from a fairytale.

Hawthorne gave an exasperated sigh. “Please understand, Ms. Robince, that you play an unknown but significant part to this world now. You are a Protector. You will defeat monsters that have risen from Hell. You will channel your power through weapons, go on dangerous voyages to highly dangerous locations, protect those blinded souls we call humans. You are no longer a human being, but immortal. You will live forever. That sphere of light has transformed you into one of the most powerful individuals to roam this earth.”

“Powers? What powers? Why are you saying I’m not human anymore?  Immortality is impossible-”

“Immortality is your life now!” Hawthorne’s voice boomed, rage churning his already angry features. “Mr. Hawthorne, please. She is just a girl; she has no idea where she is or who she is now. You must be patient.” Pam told Hawthorne with an easing voice, causing him give an exasperated sigh. “Alright,” He finally said. “I will explain to you everything you need to know.”

***

Maxus sat before the fireplace, waving his hand over the flames and making them dance and flick in every direction. He heard the door open and glanced over his shoulder to find Cameron enter, slowly closing the door behind her. “What do you want?” Maxus said in a harsh tone. She strode across the room to where he sat, sitting in the large cushioned chair next to his. She held a smug look, an expression Cameron’s face never seemed to grow tired of.

“You sound like your pissed at me,” Cameron sat back in her chair, crossing her legs to which her short skirt didn’t do the best job of covering. The blaze of the fire reflected Cameron’s tan and smooth skin, causing Maxus to stare. “But when you’re pissed at me, I always find a way to make it up to you.” She said, displaying a seducing grin.

 “Cameron, stop.” He said firmly.

She reached over and placed her hand on his, slowly tracing her fingertips up his arm. “Now you and I both know you don’t really want me to stop-”

Maxus stood up abruptly before she could say any further. “Jesus Cameron!” He yelled, throwing his hands up in exasperation. “Don’t you ever get tired of playing me? I know who you’re true feelings are for, you’ve made that pretty fucking clear yet you still have the nerve to torture me like this-”

Cameron stood up, “Oh, we’re calling it torture now? Was it me who appeared in your doorway every night, begging like a sad little puppy for your attention? Was it me who kissed you first? Did I buy you flowers and all of those cheap chocolates and shitty gifts? No, you started this Maxus, right when you told me you loved me.” She was fuming, her fists clenched together in frustration at Maxus’s outburst.

He stared, not knowing the correct response. Deep down, he knew this mess was his fault. Some days he regretted ever telling Cameron he loved her, but in the end, it hadn’t really mattered whether he told her or kept his mouth shut. Cameron would never feel the same way for him, as far as Maxus knew. It was such a painful process for him, having to see the girl he loved walk down those halls day by day and never return the adoring gazes he would give her. She was a girl toxic to the heart, who used his unrequited love for her as an advantage. She held his heart in her hand, and she loved to crush it on a daily basis.

“I don’t know why I waste my time on you.” Maxus finally said in a tone bone-chillingly cold.

Cameron sighed. “You know,” she said as she moved closer to him, placing her hand on his chest, leaning in to whisper in his ear. “You’re British accent sounds even sexier when you’re mad.” She held a teasing smirk, slipping her hand lower, past his abs and towards his belt buckle, pulling on his waist band.

Maxus exhaled. “Why do you do this to me?” he whispered, his voice cracking with defeat; something only Cameron could do. When she didn’t reply, Maxus slid one arm around her waist to pull her against him, using the other to cradle her face with his hand. He brushed his lips softly on her jawline, gently leaving a trail of pecks down her neck, towards her chest. 

“Maxus,” she spoke in a quiet, almost shy tone.

“Hm?” he mumbled between kisses, leisurely sliding her shirt up her lower back from where his hand lay.

 “Why do you love me?” She asked in sad curiosity. It was maybe the first and only time Maxus has ever heard sorrow, or perhaps genuine sympathy, in her voice.

He paused, thinking of the unexplainable reasons why he had always felt so strongly for her. He tried to piece together a practical answer to her question, but no words came. Cameron never had asked him this once. Actually, she never seemed to care how strong his feelings for her were, as long as she could easily manipulate them. After a few moments of awkward silence with only the sound of the crackling fire, Cameron pulled away, leaving Maxus surprised. When it came to Cameron and sex, she was never the one to make a resistance. “I’m surrounded by people,” she said, her voice quiet and choked with sorrow, “but I have never felt more alone.”

He tried to reach for her, to pull her back into his embrace, but she had swiftly turned her back towards him as she hurriedly made her way to the door. Maxus thought he saw her wipe a tear before she slammed the door shut behind her, leaving him alone with his thoughts and the blazing fire that formed dancing shadows across the carpet.

***

 

After hours of confusion and shock with constant questions and impatient answers, Amela had stepped out of the brown room she awoke in and wandered aimlessly down one gigantic hallway after another, trying to wrap her mind around this knew information. Immortality, which Amela had once believed to be impossible and only existed in movies or fairytales, was what she lived with now. Apparently the light she had touched granted her with not only immortality but a power. A power. She hadn’t known whether to laugh or cry as Hawthorne explained everything to her; that she was chosen by God to become a Protector whose job was to guard and defend humanity, and the earth they stand on, from monstrous creatures that rose from Hell through the ground.

He explained the history of Protectors, and how they have been guarding the world from monsters since the beginning of time. Amela had abandoned the idea that monsters roamed the earth the same time she stopped believing in the tooth fairy. Now there was this old and bitter man telling her she was no longer a human, but an immortal with a power to defeat monsters that threatened to inhabit the world.

He had explained that it was unusual for her to be chosen, seeing as there was already seven Protectors, whom of which she hasn’t met one of them yet. None of the Protectors had broken the law by murdering a human, that of which would send them to Hell and a new Protector was brought forth. So, basically, Amela had no reason to be here in this mansion at all. She had no reason to become a so called ‘Protector’, and apparently the fact that she has been chosen and added to an already filled group means something dangerous; a bad sign.

I have never felt more special. Amela sarcastically thought as she walked down another one of what felt like a million hallways. She thought of her Mom and Chastity, the only two people she’s only really got in her life. They must be worried sick, and Amela didn’t have her phone, so she couldn’t call. She tried to set her mind at ease, telling herself she’ll explain everything once she’s out of this place, once she figured out where this place was.   

Amela turned around another corner, only to find, shocker, a new hallway. How many rooms did this place hold? The stone halls were wide with tall arched ceilings, the walls adorned with lit torches. Door after door stood on either side of the passage, and the floor was a bright red carpet, covering all but the edges that showed what lie beneath the carpet was stone floor. Amela was fascinated as she walked through the massive hallways, feeling as if she was venturing through an old medieval castle. 

She was tempted to open each and every door, but since she’s only been here for a few hours, she knew it wasn’t her place to be nosy. Amela walked soundlessly through the corridors, turning bends to discover more massive manors for her to walk down, until she passed a door labeled ‘Training Room’. Amela had always wanted to be able to fight with weapons, not because it may have been of importance in her lifetime, but because she wanted to look cool with a pair of nun chucks or something.

She placed her hand on the knob and slowly turned it, nudging the door open to poke her head in. With a drop of her jaw she swung the door fully open, her eyes scanning the rows upon rows of fighting weapons pinned to the walls. From swords and daggers, shields and axes and spears to heavy shotguns and bazookas, the wall was littered with objects you may have seen scattered around a medieval battlefield. Amela wasn’t exactly the one for weapons, but even she was taken aghast at the stunning collection of self-defense displayed on the walls of the vast teaching room. Training dummies that looked like knights stood at one corner of the room, some appearing badly damaged from past training practices. On the wall to Amela’s right stood a case displaying studded battle armor, but by the layer of dust that rested on the case, the armor clearly hadn’t been of use in a while.

Amela was observing an assortment of switchblades when she heard the noise of someone clearing their throat, the voice low and deep. Her heart leaped out of her chest as she swung around to find a tall mop of brown curls standing in the doorway, propped up against the door frame with his arms crossed. He wore white converse, dark jeans, and a slightly low-cut black shirt, the short sleeves rolled up to reveal toned biceps and tattoos on his upper left arm. A pair of necklaces dangled over his collarbones, highlighting his toned pecks underneath his shirt.

“You must be Amela?” He said in a slow and deep British accent, a smug grin spreading across his face.

“And you would be?” She replied, eyebrows fusing together inquisitively.

“Harry.” he answered as his eyes trailed her body up and down, suddenly making Amela feel very insecure.

Amela’s curious expression darkened. “I would appreciate it,” she said bitterly, “If you could wipe that smirk off your face and quite checking me out?”

Harry’s eyes snapped up, the smirk vanishing for a second, only to appear again. “That isn’t exactly a nice way to speak to your fellow Protector.”

His arrogant demeanor made Amela want to slap him. “You’re right.” she said, “I’m sorry, now if you will please close the door behind you and we’ll pretend this little chat never happened?”

“Well of course.” He said as he fully entered the room, closing the door behind him.

“No, I meant leave and shut the door behind you.”

“You should have clarified that earlier.” He said with another mocking smirk.

Amela huffed as he strode across the room to where she stood; his long strides smooth and confident. As he came closer, she observed his eyes were a dark forest green before quickly looking away when he flicked his eyes to hers. Harry noticed the display of switch blades and cutting knives Amela was looking at before he interrupted. “Why are you looking at the switch blades?” he asked, his tone judging. “Why, is that weird?” she responded.   

“I asked you the question first.”

“I don’t see why I have to answer it.” She wittily replied, crossing her arms. Amela knew she probably sounded difficult, but the way this guy talked, kind of with this bravado, as if he owned the place bugged the shit out of her.

Harry’s features darkened, rage forming in his green eyes. “You’re a piece of work, you know that?”

“You’ve only known me for two minutes.”

 “What are you doing in the training room anyway?” he asked impatiently.

“What? I’m not allowed to wander around?”

“It’s dangerous; you don’t even know where you’re going.”

“Well I found this room by myself, didn’t I?” Amela inquired.

“You’re being difficult.” He replied grudgingly.  

“If I’m being so difficult why haven’t you left already?” 

“Oh, I don’t give up that easily.” His smirk returned as he stepped closer to Amela, forcing her to step back towards a space in the wall that was clear of weapons. He rested his hand on the wall, leaning in close. “You have nice eyes.” He said in a low, husky voice. Harry leaned in even closer to her ear, his breath fanning her hair. Amela felt her pulse quicken, her heartbeat pounding. Shit.

“What room you staying in?” He whispered in her ear, his tone oozing charm. 

“What makes you think I would tell you?” She tried to sound harsh, but what came out was a nervous stutter.

“A lot of things,” He looked at her face now, catching her eye contact in a deadlock. “You’re pulse quickening, rapid heartbeat, goose bumps.” He placed his free hand on her waist, moving in closer until she was pressed against the wall. He rested his forehead on hers, his eyes lingering on her lips. “You’ve got nice lips too,” he whispered, hot, seducing breath fanning her face. Another smug grin spread his mouth as he was about to close the distance, knowing he had won the battle. But no, he hadn’t. Amela wouldn’t let him get the best of her, because she knew that’s exactly what he wanted.

She turned her face away just in time so his lips brushed her cheek. His eyebrows fused together into a frown, which quickly turned into annoyance. Before he could argue, Amela pushed his hand away from her waist, scooting around him and making her way hastily towards the exit. She slammed the door behind her, letting out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. “Holy shit.” She mumbled to herself as she walked quickly down the corridor and around the bend, never looking back.  

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