I was dozing off every now and then. When I first woke up I was in Mason's car and I twisted around in the passenger seat to look at him. He still looked pretty beat up and his eyes were strictly on the road. My hand reached out for him and landed on his knee, which made his whole body tense. I drifted off to sleep after that, only to be on and off. Eventually Mason placed his hand on my head and messed with the tangled curls which I knew would be a bitch to get rid of. In any case I'd cut it and let it grow back.
Each time I noticed something different outside, newer. We were heading up the levels when something landed, rather loudly, over the car. Mason stepped a heavy foot on the breaks, sending me face first into the dashboard, and hurried out of his seat. It was a good thing my hands took most of the impact and Mason had grabbed me mere second before the dash met with my face. But now he was out pf the car and steps moved to the back along the roof, then landed on the trunk. I looked back to find black boots blocking my view of Mason, and then the boots stepped off the trunk and onto the ground. I knew enough to realize the person confronting Mason was Robin. Both men looked ready for a smack down and I scurried to get out of my seat belt.
There seemed to be a lot of tension between the two, but neither advanced. I could hear mumbling, but nothing stood out in the conversation. Normally I'd be more than happy to step in, but I was too tired to do anything. Instead I watched from my seat as Robin and Mason held a conversation with the most composed faces I've ever seen. If there was ever any real anger it was now a distant memory. Or at least it looked like both cooled down. So, I settled into my seat and worked on putting my seat belt back on, until I heard a loud bang against the back of the car. I twisted around and saw Mason strangled down against the trunk, his hands gripping Robin’s forearm so he wouldn't choke. I wrestled with the handle and kicked the door open.
"Hey! What the hell is wrong with you?" I wasn't sure what had gotten into Robin, but he looked slightly crazed.
"Stay the hell out of this, bitch. You're to blame as much as Mason."
"Excuse me?" I was fuming now. Every inch of me felt like it burned and the blood rushed to my ears, defining me.
"Two fuckers came after you. One was tall, black hair and when we attacked to defend ourselves his shirt tore up. He had two scars on his back as if someone cut through."
"Hobs..." It was only a whisper, but both Robin and Mason stared at me. One was with anger and the other with disappointment. "How did he even..."
"He came, and I quote, "to rescue Jinx" which only leads me to believe that you must have contacted him somehow. You told him where to find you and probably how to get in. Now Armani is in bad shape and no one knows just how long it will take for her to recover, or if she will even recover!" This time he lunged at me. I braced myself for the worst, but Mason took most of the impact while I fell back and caught myself on my hands.
"She is to blame! What kind of traitor are you? Armani is family," Robin was screaming and hysteria flashed across his face with a kind of anger that made me flinch. But what really puzzled me was the reason why Hobs risked going to the Dusk estate in the first place. He doesn't fool me. There is more to the rescue mission than saving me.
Next thing I knew Robin was out of Mason's hold and his whole body was charging towards me. He wasn't holding back even the slightest and I scurried back before hitting my shoulder against the car. Robin cracked a few knuckles and Mason was fighting to catch up. Like any sane person I closed my eyes and waited for the impact. I knew it would hurt and I knew I probably wouldn't survive it due to my face being bashed in, but he took too long. When I opened my eyes he was nowhere in sight and Mason was gone too. Everything around me was different.
"We should go. The alchemist can track you. He knows our magic already," I knew that voice. Karen was helping me to my feet and I looked at her and in her full brunette beauty. She was stunning as Kat was. Her eyes were much like a cat's and her face was shaped like a heart. She was actually the tallest among the sisters as well as the youngest. Her blue robes covered her legs and feet, giving away only a glimpse of the ankle boots she loved to wear. Her hair was tied back in a high pony take and her face was decorated with colorful makeup. She always had a thing for colors.
"What?" I was disoriented and when I was on my feet everything threatened to crumble back to the ground. Karen held on to me and wrapped an arm around my waist.
"It's good to see you, J 0.3." Her voice was so soft, so motherly. I was beginning to think that maybe I could forgive her and Kat too.
"It's Jinx now," I corrected and she smiled.
"Right. I'm sorry. We must get going. Kat is waiting," She hoisted me against her side and helped me walk. It wasn't until she was helping me into a car that I forced her to let me go. I prompt myself over the back door and faced her.
"Go? Go where?"
"Home. Kai is gone now. We can go back home without having to worry about her."
"But the Dusks."
"They are hardly a problem. Where we are going they will never find us."
"I can't. Mason-..."
"The alchemist will not be a problem either. He can track us, but once we pass the gates of King Ogui he cannot follow."
"No. Karen wait. I can't leave him. Robin will kill him."
Right then she understood. Her face softened and her hand reached towards me. Her fingers traced my cheek and her smile dropped. "You love him. You cannot fend for yourself against that family. The eldest has already taken the alchemist back to the estate."
"I don't need to fend for myself. I just need to show Mason I'm ok and I will convince him to come with us."
"He cannot. His kind are not allowed in our land."
"Take me to him," I said. "I will find a way."
"Are you sure? Once Katzune and I leave we cannot come back. Our land is dying, Jinx. Our people need us."
"Very well. Best of luck to both of you." Karen managed a hug and the second her hand touched my shoulder I was spiraling. I'm pretty sure my body was still, but in my head everything was spinning out of control. When I felt solid ground I struggled to stay on my feet and stumbled straight into a pair of arms.
"Where the hell did you go?" Mason's voice was filled with worriment, anger and maybe even fear. He looked left and right, probably trying to figure where I came from. When I tugged on his shirt he looked down at me and brushed a few strands away from my face.
"If Robin finds you," he began.
"The let's not give him a chance. Some with me. Let's go."
"I can't. He will find me. I have to stay, Jinx. You have to and find a place to hide. Somewhere far from the city."
"And you?" I asked.
"I'll hold Robin off."
He noticed the change in my expression. I wasn't a fan of this plan. How could he ask me to leave? I'm not capable of leaving him. Not now. Not when I'm finally ready to feel something. He must have read my mind because the next thing he did was hold my chin in his fingers and place a soft kiss over my lips. The kiss was gentle and slow. It felt like I was falling asleep, but the slow motion of his lips against mine kept pulling me out of that state between falling and not falling. When He pulled back it was like suddenly being nailed back to the ground. "I'll see you again," he said.
"How can you be so sure?"
Do you want the cliche answer, or the epic answer?"
Whichever is the truth."
"that would be the cliche."
He moved in closer and lowered his head until we shared the same air. His breath felt cool against my moist lips and as he spoke I hung on to each word. "I will see you again because I love you, Jinx. There isn't a force in the universe that can keep me from you. Not even Robin and the city's fully armed army."
"You're right. That really was a cliche," I giggled. It was stupid how his words could make my whole system run on overdrive. It was specially my chest what worried me. My heart was speeding. A little harder, faster and it would rip out of my chest.
"Your things are hidden up in the attic. Stick close to me."
Mason took one good look at me and frowned. I was still in pretty bad shape. Everything hurt but by now I could hold myself up. His fingers laced with mine and he proceeded to opening his bedroom door. We walked along the halls and up a few stairs. I could hear voices, but none were close. I heeded Mason's command and kept close to him, mimicking his footsteps as we climbed up even more stairs. Mason offered to carry me when I starting falling behind, but I refused.
"We are almost there," he said. I nodded. Minutes later we stopped under a door located at the ceiling. He pulled the rope attached to it and a latter came down slowly and quietly. Mason ushered me forward to go first and I grabbed hold and started climbing. I was slow and the latter was long. Mason was beneath me and it wasn't until we were half way up that I felt semiconscious of the fact that I was wearing a dress. My cheeks burned and surely they turned a bright red. Still, I kept going. When I finally reached the top I looked behind me to see Mason hand been looking down the whole time. I didn't know if I felt relieved or kinda disappointed.
"Ok. We need to hurry." Mason grabbed me and we both headed down the attic. It was like any other floor. It had rooms and the the walls were decorated with paintings. Morbid ones, but paintings. We went in to the second door to the right and inside my stuff was in a corner. My duffle bag and my violin. Mason grabbed both without a wasting a second and already turned to leave. I was still holding on to him. We were in the hall when we both heard footsteps.
"Run," He told me. He led the way and I felt like most of me was ready to crumble in pieces on the floor. I fought to keep my legs from giving out and the burning I felt on my cheeks earlier was now blazing on thighs. I couldn't keep this up for too long. Still, Mason urged me to keep moving. The steps weren't far. He was getting closer. How could I possibly have survived torture only to be killed by an egotistic, insane motherfucker?