Beep, beep, beep! My alarm clock screams.
I slam the snooze button and immediately hear a knock at the door.
I shoot up from my bed and run straight past Uncle Percy to training. I open up the door and see Jordan working with Zac and I can’t help but feeling bad for him, struggling so hard just to walk. As soon as the door closes they turn their heads to me and Zac falls back into his chair.
He’s fine, I try to convince myself, he’s going to be fine.
I walk over to them and Zac gets back up smiling at me. I bite my cheek. “What are we doing today?” I ask.
Jordan looks around the room, “I didn’t really have anything planed,” he picks up 2 swords, “round of spar?” he asks.
I nod and take one of the swords.
“Actually,” Zac turns to me, “My father is having a welcome home for me today, and I know how long it takes you to get ready,” he says.
I nod and give the sword back to Jordan running upstairs to get ready.
A welcome home, great. I hate welcome home parties, I hate any parties, but these are even worse. No doubt, the Guardians would be there, hell, Luke is throwing the party everyone will be there. I’ll have to put on my happy face, and after last night. I look in the mirror and start doing my makeup.
I hear a knock on the door as I’m getting ready, “come in,” I yell. It’s probably Uncle Percy telling me to hurry up.
“Sara?” Uncle Percy calls out.
I roll my eyes and get up to open the door, “What?” I ask irritated.
Uncle Percy looks at me surprised, “you’re going to the welcome home?” he asks.
“Yeah, of course I’m going,” I say.
Percy shakes his head and looks at me again confused. “That boy is outside for you again,” he says then glares at me, “get rid of him,” he warns.
I nod my head and run down the stairs. Jacob you can’t come here, I scream in my head, go away! I open the door and no one is there. I look around but its empty and silent outside. I close the door and go to the kitchen.
Percy is making coffee and eggs for Abraham, “Percy,” I say.
Uncle Percy jumps a little and turns around. When he sees me he relaxes, “god Sara, you gave me a heart attack, go easy on an old man won’t you?” he says.
“Sorry Uncle,” I laugh.
Percy rolls his eyes.
“What do you want I’m busy?” he says sounding irritated, “getting your father out of his room,” he grumbles, “not an easy task.”
I glare at him, he shouldn’t say those things about our fearless leader.
“Where’s Zac?” I ask not wanting to press the issue of Abraham or Jacob.
Uncle Percy sighs loudly, “I really wouldn’t know,” he says.
“Josh?” I ask.
Uncle Percy sighs again stressed out, “Sara, just look, open your eyes and look,” he growls.
Zac puts his hand on my back as he enters the room, “easy Perc you alright?” he asks.
Uncle Percy rolls his eyes and sighs, “Abraham is having another fit and refuses be, presentable,” he says.
Zac takes the tray from Uncle Percy, “I’ll take care of Abraham you go get yourself ready,” Zac says with his usual warm smile, comforting, he didn’t even have to speak his smile said it all, it said, I’ll take care of everything let your worry’s go, it was such a tempting smile part of me always wanted to just give in and let him take care of things when he gave me that smile. But a Knight shouldn’t let a hunter do a Knights job.
Percy sighs and nods.
“Wait Zac” I say, Zac looks wanting, wanting what? For me to say something special, something profound, confess my undying love for him, he’s been gone and must have forgot, I’m a Knight I don’t say things special or profound, and I don’t fall in love, “What are you wearing?” I ask.
Zac sighs running his hands through his hair, “something my father picked out,” he complains, “I believe its salmon,” he says and we both laugh. Luke had a taste for, fashion, it was a bit, feminine, and odd, but when you’ve killed as many monsters as those who lead the Protectors I guess you can do whatever you want,
“Okay, thanks,” I say then run up to my room to get ready.
All the leaders of the Protectors were incredibly odd. Luke was feminine, Abraham was isolated, and Gordon, the leader of the Guardians, was always telling bad jokes.
There’s a knock on my door as I am getting ready.
“Yes?” I ask.
Zac opens the door and falls on my bed dropping his crutches on the floor, “I’m tired,” he says.
“Probably because you keep climbing stairs in your crutches, that doesn’t look very fun,” I say.
“Can I take a nap?” he asks.
I laugh and nod.
Zac sighs in relief and relaxes on my bed ready to fall asleep.
After I am done doing my hair I take off my pajamas and hold up 2 dresses, “which one?” I ask.
Zac sits up his face turns red as he smiles, “I like the blue one,” he says, “but you should probably,” he gets up and walks over to the closet on his cast and pulls out an old pink dress, I hate that dress it is so, pink, “you should wear this one so well look,” Zac pauses and can’t help laughing, “coupley,” he bursts into laughter.
I laugh, “Alright I’ll wear this one,” I say and put it on.
“How does it look?” I ask.
Zac laughs, “girly, but cute, I’d risk cooties to get with you,” he flirts.
I smile, “then kiss him, “who told you to say that?” I ask.
“No one,” Zac says, taking credit for the immature line.
There’s a knock on my door and Zac groans then goes and opens it.
“There’s something I forgot to tell you.”
Matthew runs down the stairs and hugs me.
Instinct tells me to defend myself but I don’t want to hurt him so I stop myself.
“Thank god your back I was so bored!” he says, “I even thought ‘bout goin’ back to jail just to go outside and do something.”
“Matthew?” Zac says surprised.
Matthew looks up at Zac, “holy shit Mr. Perfect has returned, how the hell are you my old friend?” he asks hugging Zac quickly.
Zac looks down to his leg in a cast, “I’ve been better,” he says.
“Yeah I can see what happened, mishap on the mish?” Matthew asks.
Zac chuckles, “you can say that.”
“’ight man, wells it’s good to see you,” Matthew says, “did Sara tell you I was here?”
“No I wasn’t aware you had been released from jail,” Zac says.
“Then why you here?” Matthew asks, “or are you still tryn’ to get with my lil’ sis’?”
Zac laughs nervously.
Zac growls and try’s to slam the door shut but Matthew sticks his foot in the door to block it.
“That’s not very nice Zachery, you should be nice to your future brother,” he says.
“Y-” Zac starts.
“Zac!” I yell.
Zac locks his jaw intently and glares at Matthew, then goes and sits on my bed.
“Thanks for taking off your attack dog,” Matthew mocks.
“What do you want?” I ask Matthew.
“I got bored, what are you doing?” he asks, “are you to busy playing dress up with your boy toy or can we talk for a minute?” he asks.
“Zachery is having a welcome home today, I have to get ready and go to that, so I don’t think I can,” I say trying to get rid of him.
Matthew looks at Zac, “fine,” he says then leaves.
“Speaking of,” Zac says as soon as the door closes, “are you ready to go?” he asks.
“Sara!” Luke cheers as he hugs me and kisses my cheeks, let go before I break your arm.
Luke lets go and I smile at him, I’m happy to be here I’m happy to be here, “Pleasure,” I say. Good job Sara. I scold myself as I look down at my feet.
I walk into the grand ball room as Zac hobbles behind me on his crutches, sure it probably makes him look weak but doctors insist. Luke shouldn’t have done this, everyone is going to pity Zac, and he could become a target. Once the Guardians get their eyes on this hobbling fool they’ll never take us seriously. Where losing the war right now.
“I’m going to look like a fool,” Zac whispers, “good thing you’re here to make up for my lack of bad-ass-ed-ness,” he says.
I laugh, “Of course, why else would I be here?” I say.
These parties where always ridiculous, usually in the presence of all three of the Protectors head clans it would be more formal, but the Hunters where glad their future leader had returned, so they did what Hunters do, they made a mess.
Jane comes running up to me and hugs me.
I stiffen and gently push her away. I wish I could bite her, no reason for it really, she just annoys and so I want to bite her head off.
Jane smiles widely, “it’s so good to see you again,” she says. What did she think I was going to die?
“It is nice to see you again as well,” I say being cordial.
Zac laughs behind me, “I’m glad to see you two getting along,” he says.
I turn back to him and glare at him.
“I should go, converse,” he says then hobbles away.
I turn back to Jane and smile, she grabs my arm and drags me around with her introducing me to the entire Hunter family.
It’s weird, Zac and I had been engaged almost 5 years yet this was the first time I was really meeting his family. And his family was weird. Some of them were warm and touchy hugging me the moment they met me, others were cool and barely spoke out loud only gave a slight silent nod of acknowledgment.
Eventually I was able to break free of Jane and made my way over to someone I knew.
Adam Guardian, Son of Harvey Guardian, it was rumored he would take over the Guardians clan, and thereby also all of the Protectors since the Guardians were currently head clan, since Gordon, leader of the Guardians, never had children. He was tall and fit and he’s so classically handsome his code name is Prince Charming. But what the girls who fawn over him don’t know is, the only thing this lovely prince lusts for is blood. What I like are his eyes, he had really bright blue eyes, sometimes I fantasized about clawing them out. If I were to kill him, that’s where I would aim for sure, shoot him right in the eyes. Perfect.
“Hello Sara Knight, how are you?” he asks as I lean up against the wall with him, “and how’s your broken fiancé?” he asks.
“Well enough,” I say, I knew they would consider him weak after seeing Zac like this.
“No seriously, is he going to die?”
“Bummer,” he says, “and you, I haven’t seen you since I whooped your ass in spar.”
I laugh, “I beat you.”
Adam laughs, “If that’s what you need to tell yourself.”
“That’s what happened,” I say.
“Look we can go again just to clear the air,” he says.
“No, but come by sometime and we can go until you learn how to really fight like a man,” he says.
Gordon walks up behind Adam and clears his throat, “that is no way to speak to a woman,” Gordon says, “especially not one that could kick the life out of you.”
Adam laughs, “what I didn’t do anything.”
Gordon glares at Adam, “sure,” he says. Then he looks at me, “Sara dear it is good to see you, and of course the Guardians home is always open to you, but you will never find a fight with us, part of our charm, lord knows Adam need some charm,” Gordon says.
“I’m just trying to have a bit of fun,” Adam says.
“Sara!” my Uncle Percy calls, from across the room.
“Sara,” Luke says as he puts his hand behind my back, “Sorry, I’ve got to steal her away for a moment, if you don’t mind,” he says and starts leading me away.
Luke leads me to my Uncle Percy, “are you two timing me?” he asks.
“Of course not,” Percy calms.
“Then why are you talking to the Guardians?” Luke asks.
“Keep your enemies close,” Percy says exactly what I was thinking, “I’m sure Sara was just trying to stay cordial. Besides, her tests are coming up and she’s probably sucking up so they’ll let her be a Knight,” he says.
I look back to Gordon and Adam, Adam looks serious as Gordon whispers something in his ear then Gordon pulls away and says something else and then starts booming with laughter and Adam just rolls his eyes.
“Where’s Zac?” I ask completely disinterested, Luke is always asking if we’re going to betray him.
Luke sighs and relaxes, “I don’t know but you should go get him he has to make a speech soon,” he says.
I nod and run off to go do exactly that.
“I thought you said you were going to be right back,” Adam says walking up to me as I look for Zac.
“I did not.”
“You didn’t, well then must have been a wish I made,” he says then holds out his hand to me, “do you think I might have this dance?” he asks.
I look back to see if Uncle Percy is watching me.
“Sure,” I smile.
“So,” Adam says as he leads me across the dance floor, “your exams are coming up,” he says.
“Yes they are,” I say.
“You really should come by and practice with me sometime before they begin,” he says.
“I think I’m good,” I say.
Adam nods and looks around the room, “the first girl to become a Knight, it really is exciting isn’t it? But I mean its total bullshit, these tests they are making you do to prove yourself,” he says.
“I do what I must to protect innocent lives,” I say.
“You mean kill monsters,” he suggests, “it’s fine I like killing them too, far more exciting than these tests you are going to have to take, but I don’t know maybe there could be an interesting turn in events,” he says.
I smile, “I just want to help people.”
“It’s going to be hard to make you break isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I say.
“How is Matthew?” Adam asks, “We were great friends, before, you know, he went crazy, family trait I guess,” he rambles, “I wonder when you are going to crack?” he says.
I step on his foot, “oh sorry, I’m no good at dancing,” I say.
Adam clears his throat and the song ends, “yes well, hopefully you aren’t such a terrible fighter,” he says, “I have a lot invested in you,” he says then bows respectfully to me and walks away.
I walk to Zac’s room and open the door and see him lying on his bed.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
Zac shrugs then scoots over and pats the space next to him. I walk over and lie down next to him putting my head in his chest. Zac starts playing with my hair and I can’t help but feel tiered.
“Do you want me to tell you a story?” Zac asks.
I nod. Zac used to tell me stories every night before I went to bed.
“What one?” he asks.
“I don’t care,” I say.
“Okay,” he says continuing to run his fingers through my hair then starts to whisper an old fairy tale, one of the same ones he used to tell me every night before I went to bed.
I’m struggling to breathe as he holds his hands around my neck that he has just sliced open. I taste the iron as blood gurgles and pops in my mouth. He takes one of his hands from around my neck and puts it over my mouth and plugs my nose with his finger and his thumb. Suffocating me. Not to make me die faster but to make me suffer more as I do. I bite his hand and he punches my nose breaking it. Smiling he gets off me leaving me to choke on my blood.
“I’ll find you,” he says as he leaves the room, slamming the door, snapping me back awake