Chrysalis: The Emergence of Emery (The Gifted Series Book 1) (10 page)

BOOK: Chrysalis: The Emergence of Emery (The Gifted Series Book 1)
11.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Why can the head female take the power without consent?” The question fills the sudden awkwardness that started to saturate the room.

“Legend says that as the female would carry on the line, they needed to be protected, and historically the head houses always had females who were the other halves to very strong men. We don’t know if this was somehow created many centuries ago or if it has something to do with magic, which I’ve never seen by the way, so have no idea if it actually exists.” He sighs.

“We just don’t know enough to have definite answers, but as the head female of a Laird, you can take my powers at will. But I can’t take yours, not unless you freely give them. The only problem with that is, unlike the rest, if you freely gave me your powers for as long as I use them, you would have nothing to protect you. The other couples find their powers slightly weakened, and unless they’re stolen by a dark partner, they will never lose them completely. But with us… we’re different. There is a lot about us that’s different, Emery, that’s why I think it would be good for us to spend some time together. Elijah hated school in every capacity, so he never really took too much notice when we were being taught about our history. I used to be like that. Then the day I realized you were my other half everything changed. I knew I would need to protect you in the future. I knew how special you were and that if you ever came into your powers, you could be hurt. From then on I never missed a class, I learned everything I could and took extra tuition on our kind. Even so, our understanding only goes so far.”

I sit stunned that he’s told me so much. “I’d like to learn more, I’d like to spend time with you… as a friend,” I tell him quietly.

“Okay. Elijah should be back soon, then I’ll be going, but I will call tomorrow and we can start our arrangement.”

He stands up and walks over to the kitchen area to grab another beer, I glance at the time and am stunned to see it’s nearly three am.

Elijah must love his middle of the night jaunts!

“Kade, I’m going to bed, if that’s okay?” I ask, and he raises his bottle and nods. I stop and turn back. “Oh, Kade… I meant to ask you… does anyone other than you, me, and Elijah know that we’re each other’s partners?”

A frown crosses his face. “Only Katarina.”

I’m surprised at his answer. “Katarina?”

“Yeah, my sister.”

Oh, joy.

Chapter Eleven



Staring at myself in the mirror, I take a long hard look. My blue eyes are bloodshot, and my bright blonde hair looks like straw, poking out in different directions.

“Em, come on, we need to practice,” Elijah shouts through the door. I sigh, grab some tissues and wipe my face. He’s been on my case since I woke up this morning.

I apologized, he did too. We decided to drop the issue, and he asked me not to run away again. He said if I needed space he would give it to me, but until I was capable of looking after myself he wanted to know I was safe. I agreed. After everything that’s happened, and realizing how much Elijah has been there for me over the years—protecting me and I never knew it—the least I can do is let him continue now I do know about him. He just wants to be a brother, so I need to start acting like a sister.

I walk out of the bathroom as Elijah is standing looking out over the city. “Elijah, are you okay?” I ask coming to a stop. He looks like he’s in his own world and fear whips and zings in my stomach when I realize he’s not moving. I run over and knock him completely off his feet, forgetting the speed and strength I now possess lands us both on the floor. “Elijah!” I screech and turn to him. He shakes his head as the door to the hotel room swings open, and Kade stands snapping his head around taking in the room.

“It’s okay,” Elijah rasps and I get up pulling him to his feet. He looks toward Kade. “It was Zed, he trapped me for a moment, I wasn’t on my guard and he managed to pull me in.” Elijah turns back to me. “You broke it, Em.”

“What exactly did I break?” I ask taking a seat and watching Kade stalk fully into the room, shutting the door behind him and moving over to the window.

He’s perfect.
I jolt as the thought pops into my head and I hear Elijah chuckle.

“Elijah,” I hiss and he smirks at me. I sneak a glance at Kade and see his eyebrows are pulled together, he catches my eyes and I can
the heat in them before he breaks the stare.

“It’s a gift Zed has, that our mother had.” I feel my stomach pitch and know that these feelings are all me, the guilt is festering, I haven’t told Elijah about the conversation with Zeit yesterday and I feel awful. “You okay?” Elijah asks softly.

“Yeah, I’m fine. You were saying…” I control my emotions. Pulling my stomach in and mentally telling my brain to stop. I have no idea how this stuff works, I just know that the feeling in my stomach quells and breathing comes easier again.

Watching as Elijah shakes his head, obviously trying to work out what’s going on, I know he felt me, for that one moment before I could muster up my control.

Sighing he continues to explain. “The gift is called Entrance. You used it on Tess the other day remember?” I nod my head, remembering Tess was not happy and will probably still be annoyed when I face her again. “We don’t always get all the gifts our parents had, I don’t have that power, and I assume you don’t either. I figured you’d pulled that from Kade, right?” He asks, and I shrug, still having no real idea of what I’m capable of.

“No,” Kade says, and I can feel his warmth as he sits on the arm of the sofa behind my back. “I don’t have that power,” he continues, and Elijah looks from him to me.

“So you do have Entrance.” He rubs his chin. “Usually, we’d get the same powers from our parents. Strange, although not entirely unheard of.”

“Elijah, I have to tell you something.” The words are out before I have a chance to really think, and Kade places his hand on my shoulder squeezing it to give me comfort. “When I went out yesterday, Zeit came to see me.” I feel Elijah tense. “It’s okay, he didn’t hurt me.” Looking up at Kade, he meets my eyes and I see a swirl of emotion filter through them. Turning back to Elijah I continue, “He told me… please don’t be cross.” I swallow not wanting to let the next words out.

“Emery, what is it?” he whispers.

“Zeit, he told me that my mother Zarina, she’s not… I mean she wasn’t… Elijah, she’s not your mom.” I drop my eyes and feel Elijah, he lets everything hang out in that moment.

It’s a mixture of shock, denial, pain, sadness and anger.


Suddenly, I feel like my stomach is shrinking and my lungs seize as I struggle to breathe.

“Elijah. Control yourself,” Kade snaps from behind me and instantly the pain stops.

“Sorry,” Elijah says grabbing my hand and pulling it to him. “I’m just… I don’t know what to say. Although what Zeit says can’t be trusted, Em.”

“He was telling the truth,” I state. “My head says he wasn’t lying. There’s no explanation, it’s just something that I know.”

Elijah nods. “Yeah, being able to read feelings, it gives us a lot of extra abilities, I’m not sure I’ve worked them all out myself yet. Knowing things we can’t explain, like when people are being honest can be one of them. But don’t mistake that for something else, Emery. When we know, we just know. Don’t let your brain get jumbled into thinking something is true or false when your gut doesn’t feel one hundred percent certain. Never try and work out what something is when you feel conflicted because you’ll probably get the wrong answer.” I stare at him, confusion whirling. Understanding my new life is going to take time. Elijah smiles. “Don’t worry, Em, just trust your instincts. I think that your powers are stronger than you realize and somehow, they’re protecting you.”

“What does
mean?” I quiz. If it’s possible I’m now even more confused.

“Emery,” Kade says my name low from behind and I turn to face him, causing his hand to drop from my shoulder. I feel cold all over at the loss and a burning sensation where his hand was. As always his eyes capture mine, and I have to internally remind myself—while not thinking it aloud so Elijah hears—that he isn’t it for me. He doesn’t want to be mine.

A frown crosses his face, then it clears and he explains, “We have been trained from when we were young. All the people with gifts that we know have come into their powers earlier than you, so we can’t be certain, but there are theories. We believe that to a certain degree, your powers take care of you. Like an automatic defense that happens naturally if we don’t command it. Now as adults, because we have grown with our powers we know how to use them, but as you’re inexperienced, it’s possible that your powers may work without your command, like a natural sixth sense which keeps you safe.” He stops talking and I widen my eyes.

“Wow.” I breathe out. Amazed that my powers might be looking after me when I’m unable to.

I stare at Kade and he stares right back, neither of us wanting to blink first. I love his eyes. I want to submerge myself into their depths.

Elijah breaks the moment. “Em, I hate to say it but with Zed and Zeit continuing to find us, we could really do with being back at the house. I know you don’t—”

I cut him off. “Elijah, it’s fine, we can go back. I need to make some apologies anyway.”

“Apologize to who?” Kade interrupts.

“Well Tess for using Entrance on her, and Sicily for not telling her it was okay. She felt so bad about Zeit’s attack, I just walked away from her,” I explain.

Kade’s eyes narrow on me. “Tess will deal, we all know you’re just learning, you can’t be held responsible. Sicily was stupid. She knows it. You don’t need to apologize to anyone.”

“Kade, Sicily didn’t mean any of it.” Elijah injects his thoughts, but his feelings spasm in my stomach and I realize he’s torn. He wants to be angry at Sicily because he worries about my safety, but he cares about her too much.

“You love her,” I whisper and watch as Elijah grinds his teeth.

“I hate that you know what I’m feeling,” he states, cutting his eyes to me.

“Sorry,” I mumble.

“No.” He sighs. “It’s not your fault, Em. It’s just, I’m usually the one who feels others… I’m not used to someone seeing inside me. You knowing what’s going on inside my head. It’s unnerving.”

Laughing I cock my eyebrow. “You don’t say.” My sarcastic tone makes him smile, and he reaches over catching me around the neck and scraping his knuckles back and forth over my scalp.

“Ugh! Elijah!” I complain in mock annoyance.

He chuckles, releasing me. “Just doing my big brother duty.”

Right then something clicks inside me, it’s like a blind that’s been lifted and I can see outside for the first time. I stare at Elijah as thoughts and feelings ripple throughout me.

He’s my brother, he loves me.

I finally have family.

Now I’m realizing this is something I need, something I’ve craved and by opening up and dropping my guard, I can allow my heart—that is filled with love for my brother—to expand, showing him what he means to me. Reaching forward with my hand and placing my palm on his chest, I open my mouth, but stop as he smiles, wide and dazzling.

“I know,” he whispers, and I feel the emotion gather in my throat. Wrapping his arms around me, I’m pulled forward as he holds me, protects me, loves me. Just like he has always done.

We sit there just clinging to each other for so long. When we pull apart I look behind me, but Kade’s gone.

“We’ll go home. To my home… it will feel like your home soon, I promise. If nothing else, Em… he’ll be there.”

I nod and smile, but I have to wonder whether I’m just setting myself up to be hurt over and over again by being so close to Kade and agreeing to be his friend. I know what tradition says I should feel for him. I know what my body automatically tells me whenever he’s around. What I’m finding hard to get past is the feelings that are growing in my head and heart—the ones that have nothing to do with our natural connection.

Chapter Twelve



“I need a minute.” As soon as the words are out, Elijah looks at me with worry. “It’s okay, I’m not going to change my mind or run, I promise. I just… need a minute.”

His shoulders drop and he looks beyond me into the darkness frowning, but he nods then turns and walks to the door. Stopping before he enters the house, Elijah doesn’t turn around and with his back still facing me he says, “Just, keep your senses open if you’re staying out here, and don’t be long, Em. Please.” Then he disappears inside.

Taking a few deep breaths, I keep my emotions on lockdown. I don’t want anyone knowing what I’m feeling, at least not before I’m able to work it out myself. I’m not sure how long I stand in the darkness for, but when I hear the clicking of the door signaling someone is joining me, I realize it might be time to move inside.

“Emery, I’m sorry to interrupt your... contemplation, I just wanted to talk to you.” The whispered words come from Sicily. I close my eyes. Hearing her pain is hard, I feel so much confliction inside her and I wonder if Elijah feels it too. The overwhelming emotions make my insides feel tight and I take a couple more breaths before turning to face her.

“Sicily, hi,” I reply smiling. Immediately something lightens within her and she reflects my appearance with her own smile.

“I wanted to speak to you before you went inside. I needed to apologize... for before, with Zeit. I was stupid and you could have been hurt because of it.” Her stilted chatter is just one indication of how worried she is, but if I didn’t feel it inside me then I would still know how hard this is for her. It’s very obvious that she’s nervous and worrying that I blame her. Whether it’s because she wants my friendship and likes me, or because she thinks she’ll lose Elijah, I have yet to determine.

“Hey Sicily, it’s okay. You weren’t acting maliciously, it was just careless. I don’t blame you and you shouldn’t feel bad. As far as I can tell, this world, the new one I’m still learning about… it’s hard and confusing, complicated and scary. Worst of all is that to me it seems no matter how long you’ve lived in it, there are still lots of unanswered questions.” I sigh and turn back around, looking into the darkness. “There’s a whole world of unknown.”

“I just wanted you to know I was sorry, I want us to be friends.”

“We are,” I reply.

She says nothing else, I know when she leaves because the emotions inside recede.

Letting my head drop backward I look up at the dark sky and mutter to myself, “No stars tonight. Even in the heavens the outlook is bleak. How am I ever going to survive this?” I ask nobody and everybody all at once. Solid arms slide around me, the warmth engulfs me and my muscles relax into him, and I wonder what he really wants when he’s telling me one thing, but his body is telling me another.

“I told you. I’ll keep you safe. As long as I’m breathing. That’s my vow,” Kade rumbles at my ear. “Come, let’s get you inside, you’re freezing.”

As with everything Kade related, my body just follows him, blindly.



It’s been nearly a week and all I’ve done is either stay in this house and train or go to school. Elijah taking me and picking me up every day has made the popular girls want to hang. They don’t like that I’m not interested, I guess they thought I’d be clutching at any little crumb they sent my way. It shows that in all the years they’ve picked on me, not once have they paid any real attention to me. If they had then they would have realized long ago that with or without Elijah and the others, I will never be their friend, I will never suck up to them. In fact, the further away from them I get the happier I am.

Rubbing my hands together I hop from one foot to the other. Kade hasn’t spent any time with me since the night I came back here. After holding me and saying he’d always protect me, he dragged me inside, clasping my hand tight. When we got through the door Miles was standing there, arms crossed, his eyebrow arched. Kade dropped my hand like a hot potato and since then it’s like he’s vanished.

I feel so lonely despite having people around me. I’ve spent time with Sicily and have spoken to Tess, although I think she’s wary of me and I haven’t found time to apologize to her yet. She’s warming up… slowly. Tristan, I’ve come to realize, is your typical arrogant guy, he’d fit in well with the jocks at school. But to me he has a softer side. He rarely shows it, opting instead to make jokes or flirt. I think he flirts to upset Kade, who did drag Tristan off one night after some particularly explicit comments. Usually, though he growls or leaves when the comments start. Kade has also been hiding his emotions from me, it seems he’s gotten better at it. I feel stupid because knowing what he was feeling was something that only I had, not even Elijah could get a read on Kade, so I felt special. Without it… I’m more disconnected from Kade than ever.

Katarina I haven’t seen. After seeing Miles that night, I went back to my room to get settled. Elijah since told me that Katarina and Miles had gone somewhere for five days. They’re due back tonight, and I have no idea where they’ve been.

“Hey, you okay?” Twisting my head and shoulders around I find Tristan looking at me with concern. Everyone in the house knows I can feel them, just like Elijah, and for the most part they’re pretty good at keeping themselves hidden. It helps that I don’t want to get a read on them, if I tried I probably still could, that’s what Elijah tells me anyway. But as I don’t want to my days are much more blissful. It’s only Kade that I’ve actually tried reading, but I can feel his walls shoot up and that’s as much as he lets me feel.

“Yeah, I’m kind of bored actually.” I grin, but it’s fake, and he can see it.

“Did you go to school today?” he asks, and I nod.

“Why don’t any of you go to school or college? I mean you’re around my age so could still be studying.”

“Well, my little Emmy.” He calls me the nickname he’s blessed me with and comes to sit down. I’ve taken to sitting in the back garden and watching the stars at night. I find it calming, and it lets me have the space I need. “We all studied, but in the homeschool sense. Kids with powers can’t study with regular kids… you know… in case we fry them or something,” he explains, and I giggle. “Well I didn’t say it was pretty, Emmy, but there you have it. Plus, I’m so smart that they would have noticed I was different. You know… the whole mastermind kid. I would have been on television and everything, zapping people left, right and center.” He winks at me and I shake my head, grinning like a crazy person.

“You always manage to cheer me up, Tristan. Even when I feel really down or vulnerable. It’s like you have the power of feeling and can read me.”

“Naa, I’m just super smart… didn’t we just go over that, Emmy?” he asks tapping my temple and smiling. I shiver and realize it’s getting too cold to be out here, but as always, I’m reluctant to go inside. “Here, come closer,” he says pulling me into him and wrapping half his jacket around me until we’re tucked up together on the bench. I lay my head on his shoulder.

“What’s really bothering you, Emmy?” he asks quietly.

“I’m falling in love with him,” I blurt, and my body goes solid.

“It’s okay, I know.” His reply startles me.

“You know? How?”

“Well, it’s kind of obvious. For those of us who know Kade… he’s never been like this with anyone.
I can’t explain what’s different, except to say
he is different
, only with you. He’s tender. Even with Katarina, who he loves dearly, he isn’t tender. I just don’t understand why he pulls away from you? I’ve seen it. He’s so strange, it’s like he’s fighting an internal battle. I guess we’ll just have to see what part wins,” Tristan says giving me a squeeze.

“The only problem is he doesn’t want to feel that way about me. It’s only our natural connection that’s making him feel like this. My feelings, though… they’re more. I know it, I can’t explain it but I know it’s real. If I spend much more time with him Tristan I won’t be falling for him, I’ll be
. Everything is so new, I’m still learning all this stuff.” I sigh. “I’m scared and not of the people trying to kill me.” Letting my words hang in the air, Tristan pulls me tighter and we both gaze at the stars, caught within our own minds.

“When you’ve both finished whatever the hell you’re doing out here, Katarina and Miles have come back, so you’re needed for de-brief. Don’t want to stop this moment, though, so take your time.” The growl of words are like knives stabbing into my body, for that single moment Kade dropped his walls, and the pain hits me everywhere. Then just like that it’s gone and so is he.

“He doesn’t have good thoughts about us,” I whisper to Tristan, who chuckles.

“Maybe he’ll get his head out of his ass then. Come on
Emmy, let’s get inside.”

With quite a bit of reluctance I follow him into the house, through to the kitchen and take a seat, Tristan moves to stand at my back and I watch as people filter in. Kade must have been collecting everyone up when he came outside as he’s the last person to come in and he leans his long taut body against the kitchen counter opposite where I’m sitting. I look over, willing him to meet my eyes. But he doesn’t. He looks everywhere but at me.

“So Miles and I went to Ruston, we had heard on the grapevine that the Alonso’s were hiding there. Every place we hit up was a bust though. Iric and Isobel must have moved before we got there. We will have to be quicker next time,” Katarina states looking at us all one by one.

“Erm, can I ask who these people are?” Although my voice is strong, I’m aware that they may ignore me. But I’m sick of the not knowing, so I’ve decided I’m going to ask anyway. They brought me here, so they’ll have to suck it up and answer my questions at some point, even if they’re stupid questions.

Katarina’s eyes cut to me. “Iric and Isobel are siblings. They’re some of the oldest people we know that have powers. We need answers and they could help. But for years they have been hiding, one of their specialist powers is the gift of Veil. They make it as hard as possible to contact them. The last time we did was just under two years ago now,” she explains, and although her tone is cold, I don’t get the feeling that she hates me.

“Okay, and why are you looking for them?” I throw out another question.

“Because of you!” Miles spits out. “We’re out there risking our lives because of you. Kade won’t come with us like he usually does, offering his protection. He chooses you over his own sister now!” Miles gets louder, and at his words my eyes cut across to Katarina, and I watch her wincing. “You have been nothing but trouble since you came here, and I for one, wish that you’d stayed where you were. If it weren’t for Elijah…” he stops, letting those words hang in the air.

“Don’t speak. You’ve said enough,” Elijah hisses, glaring at Miles.

“I’m sorry, Elijah,” Miles replies casually like he’s anything but sorry for his words.

I look around the room and note that most of the people are looking at the floor, or out the window. They obviously feel the same way as Miles, they just don’t want to say it. Looking back to Kade, his eyes are now on the back of his sister’s head, his brows pulled in, making little lines appear across his forehead. I drop my head down, staring at my lap and my shoulders sag.

“It’s okay,” I hear the whisper from Tristan and he starts rubbing my shoulders, trying to ease the tension.

My head whips up when
loud smash echoes around the room and I manage to catch Kade’s back retreating out of the door, while remnants of a glass are shattered in the wash basin.

BOOK: Chrysalis: The Emergence of Emery (The Gifted Series Book 1)
11.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Sunny's Kitchen by Sunny Anderson
The Memoirs of Catherine the Great by Catherine the Great
Deep Water by Nicola Cameron
A Change of Pace by JM Cartwright
South by Ernest Shackleton
Amethyst by Lauraine Snelling
Secret of the Wolf by Susan Krinard