Chapter 19

Ralf:

One minute my mother was greeting Angel and the next minute her eyes changed color and her oracle form came forward telling a prediction. Angel was so scared and crying out “oh my god.. Evelyn you are hurting my hands. Please”

Holding Angel from behind I said to her “Do not be afraid. She is not going to hurt you.” She calmed once I held her and looked with fearful eyes at me and back at my mother. My mother was silent for few seconds, which felt like a thousand hours before she said “Solange, you are the chosen one who will save the human race and Empyrean. You should accept your destiny. You cannot put it off anymore.”

“Ok Evelyn.”

“No dear. You shouldn’t say it for me, but tell it to your heart because you have a very hard road ahead of you and you need to be prepared as soon as possible. Time is less.” Once she uttered these words, my mother let go of Angel’s hands and fell backwards fainting. Father was right behind mother and he picked her up before she fell down and walked into the house straight to their room.

Angel turned in my arms and cried. Not knowing how to comfort her after mother’s prediction I held her and let her cry. We sat together on the stairs for over an hour. Finally she said “I am sorry. I was overwhelmed by everything that has been happening and I feel I am losing control of my life as I knew it.”

“I understand. Angel I want you to know one thing, no matter what happens I will be with you every step of the way.”

“Thank you Ralf.” Said Angel and looked at me with so much faith in her beautiful eyes I was scared if I could live up to her expectation. Feeling a little uncomfortable she looked away first and then said “I cried all over your shirt.”

“Ya. That’s right you did.” I said teasing her and stood up. I offered her my hand, praying she will take it. She looked at me, gave her genuine smile and took my hand. We walked into the house towards the east wing.

 

Solange:

Being with Ralf had calmed me and I was thankful for his presence at my side. We walked into the palace together towards the east wing. Ralf showed me to a room and suggested for me to freshen up before he could introduce me to rest of the family.

I entered in the room which was bigger than my flat in San Francisco.  The room was divided into sections with a four poster bed on one side facing a window reaching the ceiling. On the other side antique sofas were arranged facing a wall which had huge plasma TV. “TV in Empyrean? Who would have guessed?”  Walking further in I looked up to find the entire ceiling was covered with beautiful paintings of Angels flying up a mountain. I also found few Angels relaxing next to a lake talking to what looked like mermaids who were along the edge of the lake. The entire painting was very life like and it beckoned one to relax underneath it. I lay on the bed looking at the painting and didn’t know when I feel asleep. A loud knock on my door woke me up. Getting up I walked to open the door and found Caitlin waiting with a tray in her hand.

“Hello Solange, I hope you got good rest?”

“Thank you Caitlin, I did.”

“Call me Caity.”

“Then you should call me Angel.” I said and laughed.

“What?” asked Caity stunned at my sudden amusement.

“Look at the irony. I am called Angel, but I am not one.”

Smiling Caity said “Your name describes exactly who you are. You don’t have to have wings like the guys out there to be called Angel. Our personality defines who we are. The actual term for guys is ‘Guardians’.”

“Guardians?”

“Yes, they are the ones standing between us and the black-ones and rest of the evil forces here at Empyrean and Earth. From the time they are chosen to be  guardians, they are trained day-in and day-out in all defense styles and on using different weapons. It’s not just about learning to fight but rather to believe in the principle of always putting others life in front of theirs. Sometimes I worry for Gabriel so much. He has a choice to leave but he will never leave his brothers especially with a war coming.”

“Oh. They are very good at what they do and take their sense of responsibility very seriously isn’t it.”

“Yes they do. Anyway forget about the guys. I want to know about you? What do think of Empyrean?”

“Empyrean is the most beautiful place I have seen. I asked Ralf about it while we were travelling, but he is not big on words. Just says Hmm or ok or just walks away. I just do not get him.” I said frustrated.

Caity laughed and said “Well Ralf has that effect , but he will grow on you. He always does if decides to bring that person to his comfort circle.”

“Comfort Circle?”

“Well you see he is actually very shy. He may be a big and mean warrior when it comes to black-ones’ but talking to a girl is something gets his voice choked especially if he likes the girl very much.”

“Ya well all guys are stupid. They act all macho maniacs in danger and turn into shy cats when they need to talk to a girl.”

“Something like that. And if you know how to make the cat come out of its hiding they will play right into your hands.”

“I will remember that.” I said smiling.

“Ok. Let’s forget guys, you should eat your food and take shower before we go down to meet family.”

I looked at the plate of food, and my stomach rumbled telling it needed some nourishment. Sitting down with Caity I started eating food and we both gossiped like old busy bodies. My fear of making new friends had vanished and I didn’t miss Lolo, even though she is not here she will always be my good friend and I have to learn to move on and make new friends. Caity made me feel very comfortable and it was easy to talk to her as she knew all about guardians and could actually answer my curious questions.

Late in evening I was dressed in my only sun dress in blue I had managed to pack along with a white cardigan. Putting on light make up I walked out the room to find the dining hall, Caity told everyone would gather for dinner. Walking down the long hallway I wondered which way to go when I sensed I was being followed. Calming myself I turned around to find no one. Taking a slow and deep breadth I turned back on course and I heard people talking. Hoping the dining hall was near I walked faster but the hallway just wouldn’t end until I reached a turn where a grand stairway led to ground level. Remembering having climbed it with Ralf upon arrival, I took one step at a time carefully trying to compose myself. Then it hit me that if I was still upstairs and I couldn’t find anyone in sight then who did I hear talking. I tried to concentrate where the sound was coming from but couldn’t pinpoint a location. It didn’t feel like an echo but rather felt the voices were in my head. Panicking I ran down the stairs to come face to face with Evelyn.

“Oh poor dear you look so pale,”

“No I am fine Evelyn. I was wondering along the hallways finding the dining room.” I said getting my fear in control.

“Ralf didn’t come to get you? This boy has no common sense. Leaving you alone on the first day here in this huge house” Said Evelyn asking me to follow her.

I hesitated for a second, before I let her lead me to everyone. On entering the dining room I had ear-splitting pain and I could feel pain from all the sound of people talking to me and just like that my pain went away and I found Ralf looking at me worried. His nearness had a calming effect. Slowly I looked around the room to find everyone having conversation in groups and it was not loud as I had felt before. Thinking I must be going insane I walked further in with Ralf on one side and Evelyn on the other.

Ralf:

Putting on my formal dress I walked out the room to find Gwen waiting in her evening gown. She smiled at me and came towards me and took my hand in hers and said “Hello Ralf, I am so glad you returned. Empyrean was empty without you.”

“Hell Gwen. Good to see you too” saying I tried to  pry her hands away from mine, but she held onto my arm moving closer. Not knowing what to do I walk with her. She started talking about herself and her shopping trip. Praying for escape I looked around but couldn’t find until Gab came to my rescue at the dining hall. Thanking him I turned to leave only to find Angel standing at the entrance with mother. She had dressed up in a sun dress just like the first day in church, but the blue color suited her. Then I saw her face, she looked like in pain, I immediately walked to her and put my arm around her. She looked at me and her panic reduced. I and mother walked her to the table occupied by Caity, Gabriel and Melissa my sister. Unfortunately Gwen was there too but I couldn’t avoid letting her meet Angel. Caity greeted Angel like an old friend. Introducing everyone to Angel I sat next to her and just observed the way she tried to follow the conversation. Mother asked me to get some drinks for the girls and along with Gab we approached the bar. Picking up the drinks we walked back to find Gwen sitting in the chair I had occupied before and talking to Angel. I let my senses open and tried to listen to the conversation.

“I was studying at San Francisco University in my final year. I would have to go back to college next year to finish.” Angel was saying

“Why not this year?” asked Gwen

“Well, my semester ends in a month but I have not be able finish my thesis”

“Hmm, sad you are missing the semester. Maybe you should go back for next semester and finish it” Said Gwen.

“Yes, I would love to, but I don’t think it is possible. By the way it is beautiful gown.” Angel tried to change the topic but I could see Gwen opening her claws trying to provoke Angel into doing something. As I observed Angel’s face I noticed sweat on her forehead. I felt her fear building. Praying its nothing but Gwen I walked back to her. She looked up at me and took the punch I offered and visibly relaxed, but her hands were shaking and it looked as if she was spooked. Politely asking to be excused I took Angel out into the garden.

“Angel, something seems to be bothering you. What is it?”

She looked very scared and just looked at me for few seconds and then said “I think I can hear people’s thoughts.”

“Huh?”

She looked up at my confusion and said “Well, I thought I was going crazy when I was walking towards the dining hall. I followed the voices till the stairway. The minute I walked into the hall I thought everyone was talking too loudly and then it just stopped. But few minutes ago Gwen had too many things on her mind and I could hear all of them. It was getting uncomfortable. Thank you for bringing me out.”

I just looked at her trying to sort things out and then I realized her powers. Her powers were somehow getting unbind. Why and how I had no idea. When I didn’t say anything, she touched my hand and looked up with fear and hope of finding answers.

“Angel I am not sure, but may be your powers are getting unbound.”

“What do you mean?” Saying she paced along the walk.

“I am not sure, but it’s possible that you are infact able to listen to everyones thoughts.”

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