Running as fast as she could with two babies wrapped in a blanket, clutched close to her chest; her breathing becoming more erratic and her heart pumping wildly caused uncontrolled fear to seeped through her veins like poison making her feel frozen on the inside, almost dead with numbness.
No sound, no sound, she mentally reminded herself as she fought through the thick forest. Its punishing leaves and sharp branches whipped her face, cutting her cheeks and stinging her eyes. Stones on the ground sliced into her feet multiple times, leaving a trail of blood droplets ripe to trace.
With only a stolen blanket to protect her babies, the snapping branches were a risk to their delicate faces, but she knew that those scratches would heal, but their broken bodies would not.
She had to keep moving, she had to save them.
Guilt, so much guilt she had.
Her poor babies, what had she done and why had she done it?
Such a reckless choice she had made; one that now swamped her with discontent.
Sickness built in her stomach as she tried to forget about the past and concentrate on now, but it was hard with all the new truths that she now knew.
The forest’s thick dark blanket gave her little comfort as she surged ahead; there will never be enough darkness to hide them.
This only encouraged her desperate attempt to put as much distance between her, and the Organisation that intended to kill her and her babies.
Her entire body throbbed with pain but didn't slow her.
All around her she could hear movement and voices, clicking of safety catches. Panic doubled.
Must get away, must keep going.
It had not been indicated that she was to give her babies up for scientific research, the truth of what was really going to happen was leaked to her only a day after they were born.
The harsh reality that her babies were to be terminated, cut up and used as cellular base for cloning was too much for her to take. She could not let this happen; she loved them with all her heart and would do anything to keep them alive.
My babies damn it, not theirs! She mentally shouted. They were of her body and of her soul, and she didn’t care if they were different and so what if they could be the answer to the perfect army.
Her mind messy with grief for her babies’ lives, how they could be so. . . . There was not a single word nasty enough to describe what the Organisation was doing.
On the other hand, she was to blame for agreeing to carry them in the first place. She had not thought of the consequences, but to layer her pockets with money.
Greed had ruined not just her life, but two innocent lives as well.
The Organisation officials informed her that her babies, "as they developed", would be tested and observed for abilities, not destroyed, not eliminated, and not cut up!
They lied to her and she stupidly, foolishly, even naively assumed that she, the mother of her babies, would be the one to raise, nurture, and love them. Instead, the Organisation had fooled and deluded her and she signed their tiny lives away.
Regret, a bitter taste in her mouth that would not go away.
Stupid, stupid, stupid!
After days of crying, she decided that she would not let them use her babies as a tool to make an indestructible army.
She refused to add to the violence that was already rife in the world.
Quickening her pace, she stumbled onto a road.
Scanning the road; she could see a car's headlights in the distance. Slowly the light drew closer and the growl from the engine could be heard.
She closed her eyes and focused on the car, willing the driver to stop.
The car pulled to the curb, she let out a relieved breath and managed a small moment of hope but kept her mistrust keen.
Focussing her mind, she willed for the driver to acknowledge her.
To her utter relief, she watched as the glass descended, a man’s face appeared from the darkened interior with a mop of dark blonde shaggy hair. A day-old growth of stubble gave him the appearance of an older man but his eyes were young, sharp like blue ice. But what confused her was his calm aura which held a knowledge of great expanse.
She stifled a breath.
Trying to smile politely, managing to lift only one corner of her mouth, she leaned closer to the window.
Staring into his eyes, she focused on him and filled his mind with suggestion.
I need to get far away from here. My babies need food and we need shelter. You can provide this for me.
She had to force the thoughts into the man’s head. His mind terribly guarded the mental walls difficult to penetrate.
The man stared at her for a moment, his eyes narrowing at her like he was a judging her, trying to suss her out. Staring straight into her soul.
Fear pricked the back of her neck, the hairs there stood on end. Sending a chill down her spine.
She momentarily felt a hum of energy from this man or something but she could not place what.
She pushed it aside as nothing but her mind was going crazy with paranoia!
She concentrated on her unspoken words and smiled innocently at the man. Silently begging, she placed another suggestion into the man’s mind.
Please, please take my suggestion.
Terrified that any second armed men would burst from the trees and gun her and her babies down, irritability crept in and she wanted to run but kept her face masked with calmness, she hoped.
One of the infants gave a moan but went silent. Almost aware that its silence was needed.
Finally, the man nodded and a small smile spread on his face.
“You need a lift? Your babies, do they need food and . . .” he hesitated, rubbed his hand against his stubbly chin whilst he considered her for a moment.
Sympathy had spoken to him and her suggestions taken.
She almost bounced on the spot with impatience.
Then he let out a little hum and said, “Do you need somewhere to stay. . . I’m sure I can help you. At least for tonight.” He tilted his head towards the back, “Get in . . . My wife’s an excellent cook. She loves children too, I’m sure she won’t mind.”
She knew that anyone could be someone from the Organisation, she just prayed, hoped, this man was not one of them.
“Thank you,” she said almost breathless and quickly opened the back door. Careful not to drop her babies, she slid in with them still tucked at her sides and still, they slept.
Placing them on the back seat next to her, she adjusted their blanket, ensuring they shared body heat. Then shut the car door gently, so no sound echoed into the night.
Fastening her seatbelt with hands that shock, she realised that it wasn't just her hands that were shaking but her entire body.
From adrenaline or fear, it didn’t matter what made her shake but she needed it to stop before too many questions were asked, that she would not be able to answer.
And she hated to lie but feared this would be a must if she wanted to stay alive.
“What is your name?” The man said as he positioned the car off the curb, then glanced in the rear-view mirror, however he wasn't focusing on the road behind. His eyes, eerily intense, were looking directly at her. She glanced at her babies in and effort to avoid any more glances. Clearing her tight throat she answered the man.
“Leeshana,” she said then glanced behind her through the rear window fearful that she could have been spotted and followed.
It was so unnerving to be watched but she was a stranger after all and he had not chosen, as such, to pick her up or to offer her shelter and food.
Determined to stay calm and focused, she knew it would be no good her breaking down now. She didn’t want to show herself as too vulnerable.
Not until she was safe, only until she was then would she allow herself to release all the trauma she had gone through.
When will that be? Her brain asked, the answer...... Never.
“Just . . . Leeshana?” The man added after a length of uncomfortable silence.
“Yes,” Leeshana replied quietly as she fussed with her clothing, still avoiding those eyes of his.
She had to swallow the hard lump that was wedged in her throat. A ball of emotion that she was sure would suffocate her, was also a sign that her emotions were starting to slip out of control.
And it was not the time, was not the place, and it was not safe to lose herself to tears.
It will never be safe.
She knew this was just the starting point of a life full of danger with every turn, the thought sent a chill sliding down her spine, leaving painful spikes of remorse in its wake.
She shivered unexpectedly as the fear, the guilt and the stupidity of her choices seeped deeper into her body, settling into her bones. It was nauseating.
Mentally she despaired, but would abstain from crying real tears. She was already holding her emotions by the last thread of sanity she had.
From here on, Leeshana knew she would be hunted to the ends of the earth like a criminal on the run.
With nowhere safe, nowhere to stay for too long, and if caught, she would be killed and so would her babies.
She paled with the thought despite previously knowing that escape would lead to this possible bloody ending.
The Organisation would not stop until she was dead and her body along with her babies incinerated. Their ashes made to disappear, so not one single trace of their existence remained.
“Are you in trouble?” The man asked bringing her back to earth.
“My husband tried to kill me.” A lie, she hated to lie, “I decided it was time to leave him. But I don’t drive,” she gave a shrug and a weak smile, though the man didn’t see it. His eyes were fixated on the road, Leeshana noticed and relaxed a little.
“I figured this would be the best way, I’ve left everything behind. I don’t want him to find me. I think he’d definitely kill me,” she continued. Her voice was choked but that didn’t matter. The story was plausible as truth. "Thank you. . .for helping me."
The man nodded, eyes remaining on the road ahead. He said nothing more until he pulled left onto a graveled road.
“My home is somewhat secluded,” he said, the tone of his voice a confused message. Was he warning her, or reassuring her? Leeshana pushed aside the confusing connotations that his voice had delivered; she really didn’t need anything else messing with her mind right now.
What would be, will be. She sighed; this was not how she expected her life to turn out.
It must have been half hour or so before he stopped.
Through the thick bushy trees and gaps in the shadows cast by the fullest moon she had ever seen, Leeshana could just make out a beautiful cottage. Thatched with a wooden porch where a woman sat with a cat curled on her lap.
The woman’s hair was the colour of fire, very bright compared to the rest of her that remained consumed by the darkness. A contradiction that had beauty and dark secrets combined.
One of her babies moaned, Leeshana quickly scooped the bundle up and stroked its angelic face. Hunger was setting in and soon both her babies would be wailing loudly, which she feared would attract unwanted attention.
“Have you a room where I can feed them,” she asked anxiously, desperate to get her babies inside and out of view, and out of possible harm’s way.
The man must have got the hint; he quickly ducked out the car and opened her door, helped her out, even taking one of her babies as he did so.
“Yes . . . um, of course” he said leading her to the porch. The woman stood, letting the cat fall to the porch floor with an unimpressed hiss.
Leeshana gingerly approached, the woman smiled at her with bright hazel eyes that were all welcoming and warm. “Come,” the woman said turning her head towards the front door, making her hair shimmer as it moved softly on her shoulders. “I have been expecting you.”
Leeshana flicked a gaze to the man and gave a confused wide-eyed stare. The man just shrugged, “Meet my wife, Casie. She’s a Seer. I didn’t know anything, I swear. She’s always been knowing,” he said and held his hands up in the air giving them a wiggle. Clearly emphasising the 'all knowing' and gave Leeshana a toothy smile that brightened his face. His eyes even sparkled, and for a moment, Leeshana thought she saw them glow bright slightly but then she was tired and pushed the thought aside.
Again, she believed her mind was calling for a break, just how much more could she take of this tiring situation; if the Organisation didn’t kill her, insanity probably would.
“My name’s Jay.” The man suddenly said and Leeshana almost jumped, she must have phased out with thought.
“I didn’t introduce myself back there . . . wasn’t sure of you at first. My wife obviously is.” His smile was chaste, and Leeshana felt at ease, suddenly overcome by a sense of security, a tear slipped from her eye, dripped down her cheek and she rubbed her face on her shoulder quickly trying to get rid of the evidence.
“Come inside and get warm.” Jay's smile widened further, guilelessly he guided her into his home but when his hand rested gently on her shoulder, tingles shot through her body and she relaxed instantly, strangely a strong sense of calm settled in her heart.
Once inside, the warmth hit her. She felt herself relax further. The smell of cookies greeted her with mouth-watering consequences.
A smile appeared on her face, the first proper smile she had allowed herself for weeks. Her eyes closed as she savoured the taste of the smell.
“Mmm . . .” She just could not help but let a satisfied moan escape from her lips; the smell almost lifting her spirits completely, and she smiled even more without realising it.
“Take your babies into the lounge,” Cassie said, her voice soft and trusting.
Trusting? Really? Only hours ago she would have trusted no one.
Casie nodded to the room opposite. She oozed with a motherly kindness, soft and gently, and seemed to have complete understanding of her needs.
“I have prepared a cot for them, unfortunately I only have one. It was my sons; I couldn’t bear to let it go. So many memories . . .,” she paused and smiled, but her eyes were sad, a shadow of emotion flashed in her eyes for but a second and then it was gone. What the sadness meant, Leeshana wanted to ask but stopped herself from doing so. It was not her business and she didn’t want to upset the woman, definitely not when they had welcomed her into her home.
“Come,” the woman said putting an end to the silence and led her into the lounge where an open fire crackled softly, the glow nullifying yet more of Leeshannas' fear, and soon replacing it with the sense of home, inviting her to settle.
“Sit, we will leave you to tend to your baby’s needs, I will be back to bring you some tea.” Leeshana nodded and gave a weak smile. Though her eyes must have spoken volumes as the woman stopped in her tracks and she turned to face Leeshana.
“Do not worry,” the woman said, her eyes sparkled and for a second glowed, or so Leeshana thought.
Then, she had thought that about Jays’ eyes too.
There were secrets in their eyes. Surely, she could not have imagined that both their eyes had glowed.
Did the woman, Casie, and her husband, Jay, have secrets as she did?
Casie's Seer ability, common amongst the everyday humans, but did she also have abilities like hers? Did they both obtain abilities? Did their eyes really glow?
No, her fear was quite obviously starting to gain dominance over her and screw with her head.
I’m going insane!
“Thank you,” Leeshana said and started to unwrap one moaning baby. Her hands still shaking, she didn’t think the shaking would ever stop.
The woman nodded again, her expression still one of sadness, yet understanding, she silently left the room, closing the door with a gentle click and leaving Leeshana alone with the gentle hiss and crackles of burning wood.
She let out a heavy breath, not realizing she had been holding it then involuntarily another tear trickled down her cheek but the rest she forcibly held back. Still, she was fighting for control, fighting to stay strong, not to break down, and not fall to pieces.
“I promise,” she vowed, “your names will never, be forgotten, you will become powerful women. No one will ever walk all over you.” Giving a small wavered smile as she picked up the first baby and releasing it from the blanket, its tiny hands instantly reached out and wrapped desperately around her fingers; its mouth opened and closed with the desperate want of food.
A small cry erupted from its mouth and fangs shot from its gums. There was no surprise from Leeshana as she placed her wrist to the babies lips. Letting out a quiet cry as its tiny fangs pierced through her skin, the pain was brief.
At least only one of my babies needs this, she thought as it sucked as though it would be its last meal.
Troy waited until a gentle snore filled the air, a good sign Tarania was in a deep sleep. It only took one gentle touch to induce this and Troy had the power to do so much more.
Of course, he would never hurt a soul, there was simply no need. And why make war when making love was so much more delicious.
His entire existence relied on the ladies having fun, and he was more than happy to make it all happen......even if it was in the form of a dream.
Not controlling his urges, Troy touched her bare shoulder feeling the smoothness of her skin and relishing her individual feminine scent.
And then hunger came on like a bad drug addiction. Once again he prepared to feed off her emotions. Keeping contact with her skin, he focused on her face and disappeared into her mind.
Tarania lay on her side in her very own sanctuary that she had created to escape the world. Surrounded by giant white daisies, she carefully crafted chains, then wrapped them around her arms like jewelry. It was one hobby she had loved since little and reminded her of better times.
For some reason, the urge to look behind her prickled up her spine. As if there was someone or something else behind her. She wasn't scared, just curious as to how this extra presence could be there without her creating it so. She had learned a long time ago how to meditate and control her mental sleep activity. This was a first since her last nightmare at the age of eleven.
Suddenly making a choice, Tarania jumped up and looked behind her. There was the man from the beach, the one who had saved her from possible death. She hadn't noticed before, or maybe her head had just 'lushed' things up, but he was hot!
Not daring to move just yet, she studied him further. Noting his shirtless chest and tanned sexy toned skin,......every inch of perfection and it was then she realized he was holding her in his arms.