'Do you think she'll ever wake up again?' She heard Mark's voice ask
'I don't know.' Allison replied, 'she's been out for two days at this point there's no telling if she'll wake up.' Silence.
'What about the human?' Aaron asked
'He'll pull through I think,' Allison said, 'he gave up a lot of blood but he did eat all those cakes so I think he'll be just fine. Probably wake up in like an hour or two.' Allison replied
I must wake up, Lucy thought, I must!
Lucy finally opened her eyes again.
'You sure like to sleep in,' Dominic said sitting in the same chair by her bed a wide grin on his face. Lucy smiled and turned her head. It hurt. Jason was still lying in the bed next to her. His eyes opened.
'Thank god, you're alive,' he said and smiled a crooked smile.
'Thank you,' Lucy said
'Thank you for not dying,' Jason said, 'I would have seriously been mad at you. I would have died gone up to heaven and killed you again,' Lucy laughed but then stopped. 'What's wrong?' He asked
'It hurts to laugh,' she said
'Of course it does,' Dominic said, 'Allison had to break your ribs and mend then again.'
'Whoa,' Lucy said surprised, 'why?'
'We don't heal like humans,' he replied, 'it has to get worse for us before it can get better. Lucy tried to reach for the glass of water next to her bed but it was to far away. Dominic picked it up and handed it to her, 'what's that?' He asked pointing to one of the rings Lucy was wearing. It was the golden ring with a sunset on she had found at her apartment.
'Oh, this, it's my mothers, she lost it when they came to take her.' Lucy said and pulled it off and handed it to Dominic. 'She never wore it. She just took it out sometimes when she thought I was sleeping and cried-' Dominic dropped the ring like it had burnt him. 'What's wrong?' Lucy asked confused
'This ring,' he said, 'this ring is a Ravager ring. But this ring doesn't represent just any ring. It represents a leader ring. There were only two leaders. Micros and...' Dominic took a deep breath, 'Abigail Branwright. The one Allison thinks is your mother.'
'Ha! I told you so! I told you so!' Allison said jumping happily through the door holding a tray with soup. Aaron came in after her with another tray. He gave it to Jason and Allison gave it to Lucy.
'Who cooked?' Dominic asked
'I did,' Allison said
'Lucy, don't eat it it's poison,' he quickly said to Lucy who was about to shove a spoon full into her mouth,
'No, I did, I'm not completely insane,' Aaron said
'Oh ok, Lucy you're free to go,' Dominic said.
Allison scoffed. 'Anyway Lu, before you lost consciousness you said something about a "Ben", who's Ben?' She asked curiously
'He was in my memories,' said Lucy picturing the man with the chestnut hair and impossibly blue eyes. 'I was fourteen. My mom was dragging me down an alley and was knocking crazily on a wooden door. Some guy opened it, with chestnut hair and impossibly blue eyes. She called him Ben and asked him to hide us. She said the he'd found us.'
'Who's he?' Jason asked
'I think she meant Micros,' Lucy said her breath trembling slightly.
'Alright, so now all we have to do is find this Ben guy and find out who he is for sure, and then find the Light of Day, get your mother back, and kill Micros.' Dominic said, 'sounds easy enough,' he added with a grin, 'just how are we going to find this Ben guy?'
'I don't know,'
Lucy had been taking a nap that afternoon and now woke from the sound of a piano. She recognised the song immediately. It was Hurts Like Hell by Fleurie. She climbed out of bed and followed the sound. Lucy stopped in front of a door from which the music came. She pushed the door open soundlessly when the melody restarted, 'how can I say this without breaking?' She sang
'How can I say this without taking over?' Dominic sang. His voice soft but rough at the same time.
'How can I put it down into words, when it's almost too much for my soul alone?' Lucy came back. Dominic stood up but the melody kept playing and came toward her, 'I loved and I loved and I lost you,' they sang at the same time. 'I loved and I loved and I lost you,' Lucy sang
'I loved and I loved and I lost you,' Dominic said and spun her around in his arms again, and again. 'And it hurts like hell,' they sang at the same time as Lucy stood across from him looking into his eyes. 'Yeah it hurts like hell,' Dominic began to dance with her again, 'I don't want them to know the secrets, I don't want them to know the way I loved you,'
'I don't think they'd understand it, no,' Lucy sang, 'I don't think they would accept me, no,'
'I loved and I loved and I lost you,' Dominic sang
'I loved and I loved and I lost you.' Dominic joined in, 'I loved and I loved and I lost you, and it hurts like hell. Yeah it hurts like hell. Dreams fight with machines. Inside my head like adversaries. Come wrestle me free, clean from the war.' Lucy fell out and Dominic kept singing, 'your heart fits like a key, into the lock on the wall.'
'I turn it over, I turn it over,' Lucy sang
'But I can't escape,'
I turn it over, I turn it over,' Dominic spun Lucy around and then her back was pressed against his chest and she was looking at him over her shoulder and he was looking down at her. Their foreheads touched and they were close enough to kiss, 'I loved and I loved and I lost you, I loved and I loved and I lost you, I loved and I loved and I lost you, and it hurts like hell,' someone cleared their throat and Dominic immediately released Lucy and the piano stopped playing.
Aaron was standing in the door. 'Have you given it anymore thought to how we should locate this Ben guy?' He asked like they had been standing that far apart the whole time.
' I know how,' Lucy said remembering the hair stick, 'or at least I have an idea.' She ran to her room and dug through the drawer in the nightstand by her bed. Eventually she found it and held it up satisfied. She ran back to room and sat down on a sofa standing by the wall. She closed her eyes firmly and concentrated on the man with the chestnut hair. She saw the image clearly in her mind. She felt the same weird thing, like her soul was leaving her body and she was standing outside the wooden door again. Number 63. She ran up the alley looking for a street sign. Stonydale Road. Now how was she going to get back. The wooden door opened and the man with the chestnut hair stepped out. She pressed her back against the brick wall. It was soft and squishy. She turned and stuck a finger through the wall. She was sucked through and landed back in her body by Dominic and Aaron. Allison was there now too. 'I have an address,' she gasped
'Perfect,' Allison said and smiled a satisfied smile. Allison disappeared through the door and came back a few moments later holding a tight navy blue tank top, a pair of hot pants and black high heeled boots. 'Go change and take a shower, you stink like old fish and blood.' Lucy did as she was told and groaned at the sight of the clothes but put them on anyway. At least it was pants and not another skirt.
'What happened to my clothes anyway?' She asked as they walked into the city to get a cab,
'I burnt it,' Allison said as if it were nothing,
'You what?' Lucy asked unbelievably
'I burnt them. They were terribly ugly and if it helps they were full of demon venom.' She added
'Couldn't you just have washed the venom out?'Lucy asked
'Yes, but I assumed saying they were full of demon venom would be a more satisfying answer.' Allison said and caught a cab. Aaron sat at the front and the other three at the back.
'Stonydale Road 63,' Lucy said to the cab driver.
The road was empty and dark. Lucy walked down looking for the dark brown wooden door. She found it on the left side of the road. She hesitated then stepped up to the door, knocked and stepped back down. The door opened outward and the man with the chestnut hair and scarily blue eyes opened the door.
'Ben?' Lucy asked
The man looked at her almost as if she were his long lost sister or daughter. He looked like he was in the middle of his twenties 'Benjamin or Mr. Stark if you please. Wait never mind Mr. makes me feel old. ' he corrected, 'what can I help you with?'
'I'm Lucy. Lucy Brown. I think you knew my mother. Abby Brown.' Lucy said.
His expression turned serious. He looked around as to see if anyone was coming. 'We had better talk inside,' he said and stepped aside. Lucy looked at Dominic, 'well come on, we haven't got all night,' he said impatiently. Lucy turned around and walked inside. Behaving Stark led them up a staircase and into a room, which seemed to be the living area. 'If you will please wait outside, I will only talk to her,' he pointed to Lucy.
'Wait a second-' Dominic tried
'Her or no one,' Benjamin said ice cold. Dominic sighed and they went outside. 'Have a seat,' he said to Lucy and sat down in an armchair. He snapped his fingers and the
'I do know your mother,' he said, 'and I feel inclined to say that your style has changed a great deal since I saw you last,' he studied her clothes.
'Oh, it's not mine, they burnt mine so I had to borrow Allison's' she said
'Here take this,' he said and snapped his fingers and a sketch pad and a pencil appeared.
'How did you-'
'When you were younger I'd watch you sketch.' He said and snapped his fingers again. A margarita appeared in his hand. Lucy started drawing her mother hugging her. 'It is true, I am the one who set up the defensive wards in your mind. A ward so powerful that not even you can reach beyond. It was perfect. Flawless. Just like your mother wanted it. The Demn think they can retrieve your memories but at the cost of your life. They are wrong. They cannot. If they attempted to retrieve the wards they are correct you would die. But they would not however, be able to retrieve your memories. If you die, your memories die with you. I know what you think. I know what you feel. Why? Because I know you. I know you better than your friend Jason, I know you better than those people out there. The only person who knows you better than I is your mother. She made you. From scrap. And now you are wondering "why would my mother do this to me?" The answer is simple: she wanted to protect you. She wanted to protect you more than anything. She wanted to protect you so much that she risked her own life multiple times, and came to me. Your mother truly is a kind being, so of course I helped her. I created a ward on myself to help protect you and your mother. It was the least I could do for your mother after she helped me multiple times and saved my life, not for favours but out of the goodness of her heart. She risked her life for me who in the eyes of your kind isn't worth saving unless I have or know something you want. The ward I created on myself is so powerful that not even I can retrieve it. I blocked some of my memories from your history and location so no matter what anyone did to me I couldn't tell them anything that was important to them. But I know you so I know that you have a ton of questions, and I shall answer them as good as I can.' He put down the margarita on the little stand in the middle of the two armchairs and folded his hands in his lap. 'Ask away,'
Lucy took a deep breath, 'you answered many of my questions and I appreciate that, but I do still have a few. When we went to the Demn and they tried retrieve my memories they got out a few. I have two questions for this one. You said they couldn't retrieve them without me dying, but then how did they retrieve them?' She asked
'Ah, that cupcake is because the protection is on different levels, since even I have a limited amount of magic to use, so the memories of less importance have less protection but retrieving these memories almost killed you didn't it cupcake?' He asked
'Cupcakes are my favourite,' Lucy said looking down.
'I know,' he replied, 'chocolate with caramel frosting. I used to make them every time you came here.' He said smiling lightly.
'Is my mother really Abigail Branwright?' Lucy asked looking at him
'Yes,' he said shortly, 'she is,'
A memory formed at the back of Lucy's head, 'I saw you,' she said, 'on my birthday at the club, you were there. You were looking at me. Why didn't you come over? Say hi? You knew who I was right? You must've, you watched me grow up. You can't not have known who I was.'
'You are right. You were the whole reason I was there. It was your birthday. I had to see you. I didn't come over because I was a total stranger to you, meanwhile you are like my daughter. I watched you grow up. You were the only child I ever adored cupcake. Normally I don't really like children. You never noticed me, but I was there every time on your birthday cupcake,' he said
'Every time?' Lucy asked.
Benjamin nodded, 'it hurt every time I saw you. Knowing I was a complete stranger to you. You and your mother where the only people I ever cared about like family you know.' He said and Lucy thought she saw a glint of pain in his eyes. She felt a twitch of guilt and she felt like she could feel the relationship they had established over the years. She felt it pumping through her veins like he was her second father. 'Anyway you said you had two questions to the topic?'
'Yeah, uumm, I saw you in one of the memories my mother was dragging me down the road and she was knocking feverishly at your door, something about hiding us, said he had found us,' Benjamin's expression turned dead serious, she could see the dread in his eyes of the next question. But she had to ask it. 'Who's he?' She asked she hesitated but then added, 'is... is he Micros?' Benjamin nodded slowly. 'Did... did Micros find us? Here?' Lucy asked.
Benjamin nodded slowly again. 'Yes, cupcake.' He said. 'You and your mother managed to flee. They captured me and tortured me.' He rolled up his sleeves and opened his shirt showing scars from wounds which were once deep.
Lucy gasped, 'my mom... did she... did she hide the Light of Day? Does she have it?' Lucy asked
'Yes.' Benjamin answered dryly. 'She does have it. She hid it were no one could find it.'
'Why? I mean why didn't she just give it to the Imperium?' Lucy asked confused
'She didn't trust the Imperium. She believed that if either of them got the Light of Day, it would be in the wrong hands.' Benjamin explained
'Why didn't she trust them?' Said Lucy
'They hadn't given her any reason too cupcake. And I believe she was right. The Imperium is almost just as bad as Micros. You have to remember Lucy, when your mother fled from this world it wasn't the world she was fleeing from, it was them.' He looked bitterly at the door.
'Is that why you wouldn't let them come in here?' Lucy asked
'Yes, cupcake,' he said and his attention returned to Lucy, 'also I don't like having more than one underdressed or overdressed person in my living area. I know the clothes weren't your choice but still.' He snapped his fingers and a pile of clothes appeared next to her. 'These should be your size, and your choice of clothes.' He added and gestured to a hall. 'You can go change in there now if you like cupcake.' He said
'Thank you so much!' Lucy said gratefully, took the clothes and disappeared in the hallway. She opened the first door which led into a bathroom. She slid through the door and took the first set of clothes. It was a pair of military green jeans, a black shirt that said "Don't talk to me before I have had my morning coffee" written in grey, and a maroon leather jacket. There was also a pair of black boots with a little bit of heel but not as much as the ones Allison had given her. She sighed gratefully and put it on. She went back outside
'Better?' Benjamin asked looking up,
'Much,' she said holding the other clothes to her chest.
'I'm sorry but I am afraid I cannot reverse the spell at the moment, cupcake,' Benjamin said, 'and not here.' He said, 'but when I do. Be careful what you share with them,' he glanced at the door, 'don't forget what I told you about who your mother was hiding from. She risked everything. Don't throw that straight out the window,' he stood up and walked her to the door. 'I'll call you when I know when I can reverse the spell and where.' He opened the door and let them downstairs,
'I have some questions too.' Dominic said, 'I still don't know the answer to them,'
'Yeah, well no one cares what you know,' Benjamin said with a twitch of sass in his voice. Lucy fought to hold back a laugh. Benjamin pulled Lucy into a tight hug, 'I still have a birthday present for you,' he said, 'usually your mother would give it to you, but seeing the circumstances...' He pulled out a small box wrapped in green paper with a white bow on the top. 'Happy Birthday,' he said, smiled, and pulled her into a hug. 'Take care,' he said softly,
'You too, and I'm sorry I didn't recognise you,' she said and smiled apologetically at him,
'It's not your fault cupcake. I did it after all. Always remember, you are stronger than you think.' He said and pecked her on the cheek. 'Bye,' he said and waved
'Bye,' Lucy said as Dominic dragged her impatiently out and they walked back up to the more crowded streets.
'What are you two like best friends now or something,' Dominic asked
'No,' Lucy said, 'we just have a close and personal relationship,'
'Since when? Lucy you met this guy a three hours ago during which you seem to also have been shopping. He studied the clothes in her arms and the ones she was wearing.
'No, he created them for me, with magic. Oh and Ally, here are your clothes.' Lucy handed Allison the boots, the tank-top, and the hot pants.
'I don't like this Benjamin guy,' Dominic said, 'I really don't like him. Did you even get any answers or anything?' He asked
'Oh come on!' Lucy said smiling, 'you're just mad that you got burned!'
'She's got a point,' Mark said, by which he earned himself a murderous glare.