Discovered (The Shalean Moon) (8 page)

BOOK: Discovered (The Shalean Moon)
6.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

‘He’s been sent away. I don’t know much, but it’s all to do with his powers and … oh shoot—gotta go.’

‘Leira? Leira?’

Rach stood in her bedroom and frowned. One minute she’d been having a mind conversation with her friend, and the next minute—nothing. Worried, and not knowing what to do about it she looked in the mirror and plaited her hair. As she tied an elastic hair-bobble around the end of her long braid, she was relieved to be out of her uniform and into jeans and a hoodie. One last check in the mirror and…

Rach opened her mouth to scream but, only a croak came out. She swallowed, grabbed the glass of water from beside the bed and took a big mouthful.


It wasn’t her own reflection she saw in the full-length mirror—it was Brios, and he was blindfolded.

She pressed her hands to the glass and then saw only herself; her shocked white face, and her trembling mouth. She could see where her hands had laid, their imprint still visible on the reflective surface; her room, its curtains blowing in the breeze from the open window; her bed, and its purple and silver striped duvet rumpled and creased where she’d laid on it in a huff. That was it—no shadowed room, no Brios, no blindfold; just herself.

There was no way she could blame her dad’s cooking; she’d been in such a strop, she had said she hadn’t wanted any dinner. Then, there had been Leira infiltrating her mind and then buzzing off. She had to find Brios and see what was happening. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done.

“Rachael, come down for dinner,” her dad didn’t sound too happy. “Now! You tell me you aren’t a child; that you’re an adult, so prove it and behave like one.”


“Okay, coming.” With a sigh, she moved slowly away from the mirror giving it one last lingering glance. Her reflection mocked her; nothing else. Now, she just had to decide how she was going to find Brios.


The word slipped into her mind and then out again.

Sheesh, am I going crazy here? ‘Home’ what?

She was sure that was Brios’ voice. She recognized that spine tingling soft burr. Was he telling her to go home, or to go to


Argh! Okay, but whose home? For that matter home what … A house, a home game in football?

She wasn’t even entirely sure it was ‘home’ she’d heard; it was so faint and so quickly spoken; it could have been phone, or moan.

‘Home! Listen … home.’

Ok … definitely, home then.

She waited, but there was nothing else. She resolved to go and be nice to her dad before she sorted this mess out.

Rach sat next to her dad at the kitchen table, the remains of their dinner in the casserole dish in front of them.

“Why did you ask me if I remembered mum’s family? Bri … er … someone asked me something similar, why? Tell me. We both know I’m not a kid. Even if I do behave like one sometimes, I’m an adult. You know getting …” she stopped. They talked about everything, but it still felt strange talking about breasts and periods to her dad; not that it bothered him or her really; but, lots of her friends had said they’d never talk about that sort of stuff to their mum, let alone their dad. Rach didn’t know why. After all mums had been there, done that … well all of ‘that’ and got the T-shirts, and dads had to be involved for some things or how did the kids get there? No one believed in the stork anymore. “… er, grown up.” she finished.

Duh Rach, is that lame or what.

She hoped she hadn’t gone red, or anything dumb like that.

“I’m not discussing anything like that now.” Her dad stood up to clear away the dishes. “I just wondered how much you knew. We’ll talk about it some other time.” He had that note in his voice that meant the discussion was over. “It might be a good idea if you started packing. The flight is at ten on Thursday morning and I know you; you’ll need until then to decide what to take.”

Starting to pack was a good idea, not for a flight on a plane though. Rach had ideas about a very different sort of flight.

‘Watch out. Wh …’

‘Brios? Watch out for what?

It didn’t matter how long she waited, nothing else came into her mind.

In the end it was surprisingly easy. After dinner, she’d told her dad she was going to pack, and she had—just not in the way her dad would have expected. A rucksack held what she thought she would need, and a half-full suitcase was left very ostentatiously at the end of her bed. She’d said goodnight, kissed her dad, given him a silent ‘sorry’ and then waited for him to go to bed himself. By midnight the house was quiet. Try as she might, and she did keep trying, she couldn’t pick up any more messages.

Okay then, time to turn into Rach, the super sleuth.
She giggled to herself as she quietly went out of the door.

First, she knew she needed to try to speak to Leira. She thought as hard as she could about Leira, but nothing happened.

Did I imagine it all? Did they put something in the water instead of fluoride, and now it’s worn off?
She chuckled.
Careful Rach, or you’ll have Hogwarts or something on the next corner.

She walked along the lawn at the side of the drive so her footsteps were muffled. It was only a few miles from her house to the Parde’s, and she thought she could get there easily. Brios had told her it was quicker if she went through the forest, but she wasn’t that brave.

As she turned onto the road an owl flew low over her head. She jumped and her phone flew out of her hand. The moon kept hiding behind the clouds making it hard for her to see where the phone had fallen. The night seemed menacing without its friendly glow, and she shivered. No moonlight and no phone light meant no comforting light to show her where she was going.

She suddenly wasn’t sure if she was doing the right thing.

Oh Brios, what on earth is going on?

Of course, there was no answer.

Well you didn’t really expect one did you?
She muttered as she resigned herself to carrying on phone-less. This whole thing was seriously screwy, and whatever was happening was so not normal. Her foot kicked something and she nearly jumped in the air. It was her phone. Better still, it wasn’t broken; probably a bit scratched, but as long as she could get a signal and text she’d be fine.

Feeling a lot better with its comforting shape in her hand she carried on along the road. She’d never realized just how eerie things looked at night; especially the headstones in the old graveyard, their long shadows reaching out to her. The church, its roof removed by some long dead laird, had creepers waving up its walls. The trees had turned into monsters; their branches waving at her, beckoning her to go closer and be touched by their rustling leaves. She was sure they were talking, or whispering to her.

‘Bitch, spoiled kid. I’ll show you who’s boss. Watch out. Watch out. Watch …’

She knew she was seeing and hearing things.

Trees don’t talk. That bush is a bush, not a dragon. That boulder thingy isn’t a leopard waiting to pounce—though it does look awfully like it the way the moon flickers over it … there’s even a bit that looks like eyes!

Stop it Rach,
she told herself,
or you’ll scare yourself to death. You don’t get leopards in Scotland.

A growl was the first sign of danger.

The second was a paw on her shoulder.

She didn’t find out what the third was—she fainted.


“Brios Parde.”

The voice didn’t belong to his dad. Brios though it was an elder from another Chapter of the Sept. He knew one would be invited as an impartial observer. Although there were some Chapters that his own Shalean Sept would not interact with, like the Rogues—who only chose to do harm to Shalea—and even some Septs whom he knew felt the same animosity towards the Shaleans. Others over the centuries had become close friends despite the rigid hierarchy. If he had to take a guess at who had spoken he would say it was someone from the Talian Chapter, followers of Talia, a daughter of Shalea. They also shifted into leopards. The Shalean Sept therefore, was still their overall head.

He had taken his oath, and once more had been blindfolded before being left alone. He knew a good few hours had passed since his dad had told him ‘it was time.’ Having spent most of those hours in this room he knew his senses would be heightened, and his reasoning super sharp. He could recognize everyone in their Sept by their voices and the way their speech flowed. It made sense that his dad was not the one speaking, because his mentor needed to be someone impartial. He bowed his head in acknowledgement.

‘Our Gods and Us—Bri, can you hear me? If you can don’t acknowledge, just listen. Please listen.’


It had to be important for her to push through the block. He did as she asked, but unfortunately the elder spoke to him at that moment.

“Brios Parde, are you ready for your responsibility?

‘She’s missing; Rach is missing. I sensed it, but was too late to stop it.’


“Yes, I am ready.”

‘Where the hell is she?’

“Then we will proceed.”

‘Nobody knows. You need to help us Bri.’

“Hold out your hand”

‘My projecting has been suppressed. I’ve no idea how you got through to me; but, thank our God’s you did. I hope you’re getting this.’

‘I’m getting you. Oh shit! What do we do?’

“Brios Parde, open your mind and listen well. You are now ready to take the next step on your road to Patriarch.”

‘Leira, can you sense her? Do you know why she’s missing?’

“Repeat your oath.”

‘Her dad heard rumors about you. I followed her because I sensed she was going to try and find you. She’s running away and I think that little shit Struan has been … Aarrghh—’

‘Lei? Leira?’


There was no way he could concentrate on his training now. Rach was missing and it was in some way connected to him, he knew it. Impatient, he lifted his hands to his blindfold. He felt the astonishment of the others in the room as he uncovered his eyes. If they wanted him to be a Patriarch and give orders they’d have to get used to this—starting now.

“Members of the council.” He looked at each of the eleven men and women in turn. He noticed the proud look on both his mum and dad’s faces; they didn’t seem upset by what he’d done.

“I, Brios Parde, beg your leave to seek out a friend, and also my sister, who may be in danger.”

The unknown elder stared at him; his gaze steely.

“This …” his voice was incredulous, “this is more important that your next level of training?”

Brios nodded. “Yes, I believe Rach is my future, and Leira is my family.”

There were disbelieving looks and indrawn breaths from all in the room; but, he received a look of quiet satisfaction from his parents.

“Do you understand what you are saying?” His dad had taken over. “You are willing to put a human over and above your patriarchal training? I don’t mean Leira, she will help herself.”

He agreed that Leira might well do that, but she was in danger because she was helping Rach, who as his dad knew, wasn’t totally human.

Surely dad realizes how much I need a friend?

‘Of course, remember, I am on your side.’

“I have no option, she will be my soul. For now, she is in danger. Moreover, she is being put in danger by one of our Sept members. I do not mean Leira, I believe Leira is also in danger for helping Rach—and me.”

There were skeptical looks, and a few heads shaken. He noticed a couple of people didn’t meet his eyes. One in particular was fidgeting, his eyes on his hands.

Now that’s interesting.

He saw his dad’s faint grin.

‘Over to you son, I’m with you all the way. Take charge. Take charge.’

He looked towards the one man still attempting to avoid his eyes, and he bet that Struan had been trying to cause trouble. He’d known that mess would have to be sorted out at some point.

“Ruaridh Scott, where is your son?”

The man looked uncomfortable. He wouldn’t look at him; instead he looked toward Brios’s dad. Brios knew Struan’s dad would get no help there.

“Look to Brios and answer him.” His dad’s voice was even. “He is the one chosen to follow me, you must answer him. In this case, as it involves someone who may become important to him and to Shalea, I transfer my power to him.”

, Brios thought. He decided not to challenge the ‘may become’ at the moment. He knew that was his dad’s way of getting the council on his side.


The man looked scared; his eyes darted around the room. It seemed no one was prepared to support him. Finally, he spoke.

BOOK: Discovered (The Shalean Moon)
6.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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