Author's note: I wrote this a while ago. It's not completely revised and the spelling and grammar may be... Show full author's note »
Chapter NineteenWe met in the pasture once more. I had retrieved Vladamera from the hallow tree and practiced swinging her around with both arms. I was ready for this. I so desperately wanted to get it over with. Especially for Ava. Most woman weren’t fighting so they hugged and kissed their mates ado for now and wished them the best of luck.
I turned around and the small Sangardian Gertrude that had been so kind to me, fed me, and washed my clothes was standing there, looking up to me. I smiled, "Hello
She beckoned me to bend down. When I did, she placed both of her small hands on either side of my face. Her eyes were watery when she said. "You watch after my Inklin, okay?" I was taken back by her words. "Of course." I nodded. And she kissed me on my cheek before letting me go and turning to Inklin. They wrapped their short arms around each other. Gertrude cried while Inklin smiled, reassuring her they would soon see each other again. I raised back up and turned around, seeing Ava.
My Inklin, Gertrude has always said. My Inklin.
Was Ava my Ava? Would she always be? And she saw me looking at her. She walked up to me placed her hands on my chest. "We can do this." She smiled. Of course she would be. They can't keep us apart. Ava traced her hand from my chest to my hip where Vladamera now rested.
“Take her out.” She whispered and I did as I was told. I held it up to her, letting her examine the blade. She carefully ran two fingers over the steel and while she did a small light shone from her fingertips. “Now you will be protected from magic.” She said when she dropped her hand to her side. I put Vladamera away and quickly brought Ava close, dragging my hands across the indentions in her body. “Thank you.” I whispered in her ear.
Ava, myself and the others stood on the far right of the east wing of the castle while Demontritus, the twins, and all other evils were on the far left. We stood only a few feet apart, a fine line between the two distributes. We all stood still but, ready for battle. All with weapons in hand. Demontritus smiled. "The human hasn't left yet, hmm? The warnings weren’t enough, I suppose?" He laughed at our silence. "Maybe this will change your mind." He looked behind him to a young warlock and nodded. The warlock stepped up and behind him came five of Cardinairs creatures. An Ontarion, a Gemfry, a Goldanther, a female Queto and a Sangardian. I recognized the Ontarion- it was Elexin. And the Sangardian was Gertrude. They dragged their feet as they walked to form a straight line facing us, their expressions pleading and plastered on me. Dark magic bound their wrists tightly together and it was magic that didn't allow flight for the creatures with wings. Ava gasped beside me and I lay a hand on her arm.
Demontritus stepped up beside his victims. "The Cardinarians that you see here, " He said walking slowly in front of them, "Will all die a slow and painful death. Not by magic..." He pulled out a short but deathly sharp red dagger from his cape. "But by a wound from this." I looked to Ava and pulled her closer to me. "You can't stop me and you can't heal them. I will hold you down with magic, of course." He looked at the crowd behind him. "We all will!" He turned back to me. "There's only one that can free them... Leave. Never come back. And I will let them go."
I didn't know what to think. I wasn't thinking because I just stood there looking helplessly at the victims in front of me. The innocent victims!
"This is your final warning." he waved the dagger around nonchalantly. "You can leave now or let them all suffer."
I couldn't move , I couldn't even breath for fear for the others- and for Ava. This would be the death of her as well.
Demontritus stopped and smiled, only waiting a few seconds more for a response. I didn't have one, I couldn't come up with one.
"Very well, then." He said stepping behind Elexin. "Suite yourself." And he plunged the dagger in Elexin’s back. She shrieked and dropped to her knees, blood seeping quickly through the open and deep wound. Ava tried to run to her, to heal her, but magic held her back. She fought it but never got past the invisible wall to help her beloved friend. Demontritus moved to the Queto and plunged the dagger in the females back. She roared out a beastly cry and fell to the ground face first. "No! No!" Ava cried helpless tears while she pushed at the magic wall. Others behind me were yelling and screaming, begging me to do something. But, what? What was I supposed to do? It was like everything was set to slow motion as tragedy took place. Demontritus stood by Gertrude now… Gertrude! I spun around to see Inklin in the crowd. He was completely broken with tear streaked cheeks. He pushed people out of his way only to get front row seats of his loves death. When I met Demontritus’s eyes he smiled, preparing to sink the dagger in the small, hospitable Sangardians back. "Enough!" Came a voice out of the chaos. All was quiet and everyone stood still, staring in my direction. "I'll go!" My eyes were pleading while I still stared at Demontritus and his wicked disgusting self. "I'll go." I repeated in a whisper.
Everything stood still for a half a second more until Demontritus put away the dagger in his cape and said, "You’re a wise human." And he disappeared along with the other evils that were against us, they took their magic wall with them. Ava stood, staring at me, pain written in her eyes. Pain and understanding. Then she ran to her injured friends to heal them.
I stood there, feeling nothing while the creatures around me began to walk away, towards the safety of their homes. I couldn't find Ava in the commotion so I walked home as well. I got used to Barnes house that I often found myself calling it home. But, it wasn't my home. I suppose it never was. The thought saddened me terribly. On my slow and miserable walk I met the eyes of a creature I’ve never seen before until this day. He nodded at me, bowing his head with respect. I just turned away. Before I entered Barnes house I placed Vladamera back in the same hallow tree. I had no use of her back in my world. No use at all.
Barnes gave me one of his infamous bear hugs/ head locks. "I'm proud of you." It almost looked like he was crying when he said, "I'm really going to miss you." And that's when Ava ran through the door. Barnes scooted out of her way and outside.
She ran up to me, embracing me, holding me up because I didn't have the strength to do it myself. We stood like this for several minutes until I gained my strength back. I pulled away from her, looking into her lavender eyes that produced small, but excruciatingly painful tears. One salty tear spilled over and ran down her rosy cheek. I caught it and wiped it away. I placed both hands on either side of her perfect face. I made sure she was looking at me and only me, her eyes on mine before saying, "Ava. I love you." Her eyes shut, more tears falling over my fingers. "Look at me." She did with tear filled eyes. "I will always love you." My voice cracked. She looked up at me but, I knew she was blinded by the continuous tears. "Always." I could barely say, my eyes producing tears of their own.
"And I love you." She cried, placing her hands on either side of my face as well. "Always and forever."
We both acted at the same time, leaning towards each other and locked our lips together. It felt as if powerful bolts of electricity ran through every limb of my body; shocking me. There was only one word to describe this kiss. Magical.
Our lips continued to move as one. There was something else about this kiss. The determination, the way we lingered on it...In the back of our minds we knew that this was our first kiss...and it would be our last. It was a goodbye.
She forced herself to pull away and when I opened my eyes, we were on the highest tower in all of Cardinair. She dropped her hands and sat down on the smooth, concrete floor. I slowly sank down beside her. I looked up, admiring the trees and unusual foliage this place had, one last time. Then, I looked at her.
Wet streaks covered her beautiful face. It hurt me to see her like this, her pain added onto mine. My heart was already, slowly breaking. I dried her face with my hands and she looked up to me. The effort was useless because more tears began to fall, soaking her dried cheeks yet again. I wish it didn't have to be like this. If there was some way that we could be together and escape death...
"Come with me." I whispered.
She just stared up at me.
"Ava, you have to come with me." I sat up on my knees and held her face in my hands. "In my world. We could start a life there together, Ava." Her tears still fell, one by one. "We-we could look at the stars, the same stars you have here..." I began to cry. My words slurring. "I love you, Ava, I need you. You have to come with me. No one will hurt you there, we just have to hide what you really are and ..and we could make it. All we nee-"
"No, Larson." She whispered, dropping her head.
It felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach, knocking the breath out of me..."What?"
She took my hands and dropped them to her lap. "I have to stay here."
"No. No you don't. You could come with me-"
"My people need me." She cried. "I won't leave them."
I nodded. She wouldn't. She had too big of a heart to leave the ones she loved in danger. If she were to leave, Demontritus had promised to slaughter all things good...Ava would never let that happen.
She dropped back, her back laying against the rooftop. I followed, intertwine our fingers as I lay beside her. We looked up at the stars. I would usually be captivated by the stars and skies beauty. But, tonight...All I saw was dimly lit stars placed on a dull sky.
There was no beauty or perfection. Just the night sky that never held me until I visited Cardinair. I suppose it was because I knew I would lose Ava very, very soon. Too soon. And with her, everything else will follow. Including my new sight for beauty that she had given me...Including my heart that would only belong to her.
She moved closer, and then lifted her head, only to set it back down on my chest. I let go of her hand and put my arm around her, holding her close. So very, very close. Her skin was flawless, the exact same bronze color all over. And so smooth. I placed a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Her perfect skin, her perfect hair, her perfect face... She was absolutely perfect and a hundred percent real. Yet, I had to leave her forever...The girl of my dreams would no longer be mine.
I looked back at her face and felt the long, even breaths that rocked her body gently against mine. She was asleep. I leaned down and softly kissed her cheek, her eyelids... Anytime now the portal would take me, carrying me back to my world. Back to where I belonged. It would take me back swiftly...Away from Ava. Away from the love of my life forever.
I lay my head back down against the cold rooftop and shut my eyes. I was tired. I thought about Cardinair and what all I was leaving behind. Audrina, Sapphire, Barnes, and most importantly Ava... I was leaving them all and never coming back.
I woke up to the sound of police sirens and car horns. I raised up, my eyes dragging from sleep and my back aching from lying on the hard concrete rooftop to the clock tower. I stood up to stretch. I looked down to where I had been laying and saw nothing. I had fallen asleep with Ava in my arms and woke up without her. Without her for good. I winced from the literal pain that ripped through me then, held my chest as my heart split. I could almost hear it shattering. I could definitely feel it.
Tears fell from my eyes. I didn't know I had started to cry. I paced back and forth, not knowing what else to do.
"No, no, no, no." I repeated, my hands over my head that which was shaking back and forth with the words. I cried, rubbing my face roughly. Dragging my nails into my skin. It hurt but, I needed it. Anything that would help the other pain, the pain in the middle of my chest subside the least bit. I dropped to my knees, not fighting it anymore. A life without Ava would be like this. I accepted that and then, welcomed the pain. The endless pain that would never subside. I screamed and watched through my tears as birds from the roof darted away from me, protesting the noise.