Three Young Souls | Teen Ink

Three Young Souls

January 11, 2011
By Karma_Crow PLATINUM, Savannah, Georgia
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Karma_Crow PLATINUM, Savannah, Georgia
48 articles 1 photo 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Behold thy sorrow of the tears that streak down our cheek and made upon of what he is. Behold our sorrow that we hold within us. Show ye thee of the how we feel of each of us."- Lestat

Author's note: I've always been intrested in the medieval ages and I love it. I grown up in abuse with my brothers and luckly we escaped with our mother. Living alone with her and with each other is tough. It has placed us away from children out own age, being more mature. But we know how to surive.

She cried out in pain, hearing the metal clink behind her. She gripped the chains around her wrist, tugging hard against them. It was for no use. She kept her head between her arms, not wanting to look behind her. The chain struck her again, breaking the skin once more. Her cry could be heard within the small room. She heard the small whimpers beside her, hearing them struggle. She felt her skin break open, feeling the warm, sticky liquid ooze down her back. She had stopped crying in pain, knowing it would only make him whip her more. She hissed softly, knowing it was a signal for the others to hush. The others fell silent, except for the cling of metal upon stone. They heard the heavy breathing of the burly man behind them, smelling the smoke in the air. “You like this, don’t you, b**ch?” growled the man, snapping the metal whip behind them. She winced from the sound as the pain came with it. She made no response to his question, knowing it would only make him hurt her more. But no response would get the same outcome. “Yes, Father,” she muttered, feeling the pain of the whip again. She made no noise, trying to block the pain out. The man grunted as they all heard him drop the chain, it clanging to the floor. They didn’t relax, knowing the pain wasn’t over, the pain would never be over. They felt the heat of fire being lit and a soft sizzling sound. The three of them trembled, knowing what was coming, knowing what the words was, knowing what their reason was. “You three f**kin’ bastards will never escape. I have men all over who will know who you are by this!” whispered the man, his voice slurred. They knew it was because of the ale he always drank. They knew what was coming, they knew no amount of words, no amount of actions could stop him. She felt the painful tug of him pushing her to the floor, her knees slapping painfully against the stone floor. The chains rolled on the floor, the sound making them wince. She heard the soft sizzle of something behind her and she felt the heat of the item behind her and the cold air around her naked body. She shivered and a small whimper escaped her. The response from the man behind her was a hard blow on the back of her head, making her head spin. She heard the small hisses from the boys beside her, warning her. She needed no warning, she knew what was coming. She felt the guy shove her onto the floor, her face pressed against the stone. She couldn’t control it, she knew she shouldn’t have done it, she knew what more of the outcome was, but when the white-hot iron of the symbol pressed deeply into her back she let out a scream of pain. The man pressed deeper then before thumping her on the back of her head. She slumped even more to the floor, a sob rising in her chest. She knew the pain was almost over, that he would have to stop, that this was her limit. The man grunted and pulled the iron away and kicked her in the back, sending her completely to the floor, satisfied. She knew she couldn’t black out, she knew if she did the outcome of that would be even more painful. She knew she was forced to be watched or force to see them suffer even more and this was enough as it is. She watched the man did the same thing to them as he did to her, with tears in her eyes. She knew she was to control her emotions, never showing them what she felt. The man threw the boys to the ground, spitting on them and walking away. He slammed the door shut, leaving the three of them in complete darkness.

“Draco? Damien?” whispered the girl, using the names that Mark told her they were. She heard them look at her, their breathing raspy as hers. They couldn’t make much noise, he could be outside the door, waiting for another excuse to use to abuse them. She raised her arm, finding the pain was too much to even move and the chains restricted her. She only listened to the sounds of the boys breathing, trying to loosen the chains from her wrists, but the man made them so tight. She fell against the floor again, wincing from the pain. She heard the boys beside her, struggling with the chains and they only stopped when she hissed softly at them. She sighed heavily, as she painfully closed her hand and twisted her wrist until she felt the clamp around the middle of her hand. She painfully, but quickly pulled her hand out of it, catching it before it hit the floor. She lowered it gently, making no noise. She painfully pulled her other wrist out of the chain, whimpering in pain. She felt the boy’s eyes on her, though she couldn’t see them. She tried to work on the chains around her ankles, but couldn’t get out of it. She was working on the chains around Draco’s wrist when the door opened, letting faint light into the room. She quickly pulled away from Draco and got into the position she was in when the man left he, hoping she wasn’t too late for him to catch her. She heard the man’s grunt and felt pain on the back of her head where he slapped her again. She made no noise in pain, accepting the blow in silence. He silently undid the chains around her ankles and kicked her in the back, making her smash her head into the wall. She closed her eyes, knowing he did the same thing to the boys. He walked out of the room, leaving the door slightly open. She knew they had only seconds to escape and that was enough. She quickly pulled the chains off of her and heard the boys working on theirs. She quickly stood up, but was quickly brought to her knees by the wave of dizziness and pain. She pushed past it, standing up, groaning softly. She felt the boys stand up, hearing their groans in pain. She closed her eyes, hardly able to see, but she felt the boy’s grip her arms tightly. They quickly ran out of the dark room, stumbling and hurting, but otherwise ignoring the pain. They reached the wooden stairs, seeing the man standing there. They said nothing and didn’t meet his gaze as he blocked their way upstairs. “Go to bed, f***kers. I don’t want to see you until the morning! You’re dinner is up there! Eat and ask for no more! You are lucky…” he broke off in mid-sentence as he walked up stairs, a flask in his hands. The man shoved them roughly up the trap door, locking it, the many bolts behind them. They stumbled up the small, dark stairway until they saw their room. They saw on the small table in their room was three small loaves of stale bread and small mugs of water. She helped the boys towards their bed, making sure they rest well. She then limped her way to the table and broke the loaves up into even pieces, making sure she gave the boys most of hers knowing she only had a few bites. She poured more then half of her water into their mugs, knowing she had only a small swallow of her drink left. She handed them their bread and water, sitting down on her bed and eating her own. They made no noise, only looking at each other or outside. The sun had set outside and no moon was out, it was darker then usual. She looked at the boys, a smile on their face. The boys were slowly dozing off in their bed they had to share. She smiled at them and went to them, carefully caring for them. She sat beside them until she heard them whisper, “Goodnight, Lily.” She smiled even more, stroking their face, whispering, “Goodnight, brothers.”

Lily quickly pulled on a ragged tunic and hoses, pulling on a soft pair of leather shoes she had to steal. Despite the pain, she carefully fitted herself through the window and balanced her weak body on the uneven, weak roof. She jumped off of it, landing in a small bundle of hay with a whimper of pain. She heard someone close by gasp and she staid very still, hoping the hay covered her body. When she thought it was safe she quickly bolted out of the hay and into the stable, seeing a small dark brown horse. The horse wasn’t afraid, it looked at her with gently eyes. She knew it knew of her pain for she always bit or stomped on the man when he came by, but always was gentle with her. The horse gently licked and nuzzled her face. She gently pulled her weak body on top of the horse and clicked her tongue softly. The horse knew it’s command and it quickly trotted out of the stable and out of the fence lining area. She kept her face into the horse’s mane, her eyes closed. She began to feel herself fall asleep, she tried to catch herself, but she was too sore and too tired to bothered. She didn’t worry at all, she knew the horse would halt where it was needed to. The horse. Didn’t it have a name? Didn’t she name it? Star…yes she name it Star. It was her star, her north star. She felt the horse stop, but she couldn’t get up, she didn’t want to get up. “Lily? Oh no…not again,” she heard a gentle voice say. She felt warm hands around her torso and a cry of pain erupted from her lips. “Jon what are you doing?! Let her go!” cried a rough voice. The rough voice sent her heart in a frenzy and it made her feel safe. “Mark, she’s hurt. I-I had to get her-” “Well you’re hurting her more! Let-her-go!” The rough voice sounded closer to her and very fierce. She forced herself to open her eyes, despite she didn’t want to return to reality. She saw a muscular, but gentle man over her, the lantern’s light casting down on his shaved head while his black eyes showing worry. He knelt down beside her, his hands gently on Star. Star didn’t move, she staid still, trusting the man. “Lily. Hon, can you walk? Do you need me to carry you?” She lifted her head some and felt Mark place his warm hand under her head, looking deeply in her eyes. “I can walk Mark. Don’t touch me. He branded us…” Mark’s eyes showed pain as he helped her up and gently wrapped her arm around his waist. She glanced at Star and watched as she stood against the wall. She knew that Star would be safe, she would only let her, her brother and Mark touch her, if anyone else tried they would be wounded badly. She limped with Mark, ignoring the people’s stares and whispers as they entered the pub. “Ignore them, Lily-what are you staring at?!” He growled angrily at someone as she kept her gaze on the floor walking quickly. She looked up when she heard a door close behind her, muffling the sound of the drinkers behind her. The only item in the room was a rough made cot and Mark stood beside her, his eyes wary again. He helped her on the cot and pulled a black vial out of his pocket. “The usual Lily. Drink this and your body will relax as of your mind, knocking you instantly unconscious. Don’t ask what happened and don’t ask why. You’re body and mind needs to heal and with my help it will be quicker,” murmured Mark as he knelt down beside her. “Brothers?” she managed to mutter. “They will receive the same treatment as you by one of my men.” “But his people-” “Are out like a light. My men took care of it and him. He won’t be able to hurt you for the rest of the night.” Mark sighed softly and undid the cork in the vial. Lily took it from him and took a sip from the vial, before Mark quickly took it back. She smiled happily at Mark as he gently stroked her hair, trying not to hurt her. Her mind wouldn’t work, it was numb and her body didn’t hurt as much, it felt light. She closed her eyes and felt herself slowly fall asleep.

Lily forced her eyes open an hour later, feeling the pain of her body. She saw Mark leaning against the wall, his body wary once again. He was starring dead at the door, his arms crossed against his chest. The door opened slightly and Mark growled, the door shut again. Lily slowly sat up, feeling ill. Mark glanced at her and was by her side within a second. “Lily, are you all right? Do you feel okay?” “I will be all right. My body still hurts… But not nearly as worse as before. Thank you, Mark.” “You’re body is weak, little Lily. Let me give you something to eat.” Lily could only agree as she did feel weak and she was starving. Mark quickly left the room and came back with a large bowel of warm broth. She quickly drank the broth, still feeling hungry, but didn’t asking for more. Mark glanced at her and smiled softly saying, “Do you want more Lily? Don’t be ashamed to ask. You need it. I have a huge pot just for you. You can have as much as you want.” Lily nodded, but she thought of her brothers. She wanted them to eat too, the bread he gave them wasn’t enough. It wouldn’t fill them up, but keep them satisfied. When Mark came back with another bowel she knew that he spotted the look on her face. “You’re brothers? Is that what you are thinking of?-she nodded, choosing not to speak-“They are getting fed as much as much you. Don’t worry, Lily-why am I saying that? Of course you would worry!-I didn’t send my men over to your place unprepared.” He handed her the bowl and watched her as she continued to drink it. “When did you send-men?” Mark glanced at her and gently stroked her hair away from her face. She was leaning against the wall, her arms across her chest. “As soon as we all heard the silence of your three screams. We all can hear you screaming and yet none of us protect you. In truth we fear him, but you know that. It seems only the three of you have the courage to fight back. But I sent them as soon as I felt it was safe. They carried the supplies they needed. You three have the ability to fight back and maybe win or at least escape and yet…you don’t. Why?” He looked at her with stressful eyes. She sighed and laid her head in her hands, a sob in her chest. Mark was instantly by her side, holding her gently, being wary of her body. “Because…we hope…that Mother will come back. She will rescue us, I know she never left. She isn’t dead, Mark.” She felt Mark stroke her face, calming her. “Hope that can leave you to be dead, Lily! Do you think we would sit on our asses and listen to you scream then? I know the screams of death Lily and they aren’t pretty! I’m not sitting on my ass and listening to you do that! Do you think I would sit on my ass and wait for him to find new prey after he kills you? Do you think I would sit on my ass after he killed you, knowing he did it even if others disagreed? No! This hope can lead you to be dead!” He wasn’t angry, he was worried. She knew it in his voice and she felt it as he stroked her face. “But it’s hope! Mother would be back! He won’t kill us, Mark. We are his game. A fun thing to beat. He enjoys it. He wouldn’t kill what he enjoys!” She wiped her eyes, looking up at him. “I agree it is hope, Lily, but he will get bored of the three of you. He will kill you then. No remorse, no mercy. Straight, cold-blood murder! Don’t you see? He is keeping the three of you alive long enough to regain some power and until he is board! A game this is to him and if he doesn’t like the rebel he will kill with no remorse! I don’t want to see that happ-no! I won’t see that happen!” She could tell he was determined now, there was no way out of it. “I want out of the pain, Mark. I just don’t want to leave.” He growled under is breath. “You will. I swear upon my life you will! I want the three of you here at my pub by this sunset, do you hear me, Lily?”-she nodded-“You will do this, little one. I don’t want to have to come there. If I do…I’ll loose it.” Mark shook his head as Lily looked at the wall “I will, Mark, I will.”

Mark helped Lily upon Star and smiled at her. “Ride home, Lily. All will be fine. Just rest,” he said softly. Lily pushed her heels into Star’s sides and Star gently trotted on. They made it home before dawn. Lily placed Star in her stall and quickly climbed back on the roof. She was about to climb back into her window when a man wearing all black spotted her. “Richard! Your child escapes in the dead of the night!” he cried out. Lily looked at the man, her eyes wide. She quickly threw herself into her bed and laid there, her body trembling. She glanced at her brothers, seeing they slept still. She closed her eyes, but couldn’t relax. She heard him downstairs, pounding on the floorboard. With each step fear was in her heart and she felt her breath quicken. She heard the door slam open and could smell the reeking alcohol on his breath. “Get up! Get up, you three!” he cried, banging on the walls. She quickly sat up and glanced at her brothers She saw that they looked better, but still fear rested in their gaze. “We are up, Father,” she said as they all stood out of bed. He shut the door and they all still looked at him as he said, “One of my men says that they saw one of you outside of your room. Which one was it?” He glanced at them, anger in his gaze. They didn’t speak a word. “No one speaks? Shall I punish you all for this deed?” He grinned, this was what he wanted. “Was it you, b**ch?” He grabbed Lily by the throat and she flinched. He enjoys this game. “He could have been mistaken, Father.” He gripped her tighter as she winced. “So it was you, you b**ch!” He threw her against the wall and she grunted, sliding to the floor. He punched her in the face, nearly breaking her nose. She cried out as she kicked him in the stomach and he stumbled back. “Damien! Draco!” she cried out as she stood up, stumbling. Damien ran towards Richard and kicked him in the chest. He stumbled back as Draco slammed his fist into Richard’s face. Lily pulled herself off of the floor and shoved Draco and Damien away. They stumbled near the window as Lily kicked Richard in the chest. She turned to Draco and Damien and they walked towards the window, feeling the blood pour down her face. “How do we escape?” said Draco looking down the window. Lily shook her head, not knowing what to do. “I don’t know, brothers,” she whispered softly. Damien gripped the window frame and whispered, “He will awake soon. And I will not stand here and watch him beat us more!” They turned away from the window and glanced at Richard as they heard a soft padded noise on the window cell. They all glanced at the window and Lily shoved her brothers behind her. There was a boy on the window cell, looking at them. He was scrawny with blue eager filled eyes and deep blond hair. “Mark says come to him. Danger approaches. I have the man,” he said his voice high. He quickly jumped inside and landed on Richard. Damien and Draco glanced at Lily, but moved towards the window. Lily looked at the boy as he whispered, “Danger comes. Go to Mark, little Lily.” Lily sighed and quickly moved towards her brothers as they climbed outside the window. She didn’t glance back at the boy, confused on who he was. She had a feeling that they would see each other soon, but not on good terms. She jumped into the hay, seeing several men dressed in black on the ground, bleeding, but silent. They paid no mind to them as they moved towards Star. Star quickly stepped out of her stall and galloped to them, nuzzling them. She watched as Draco and Damien gently rubbed her nose. She pulled herself up on Star with Damien and Draco behind her. Star began to gallop at top speed down the hill and throughout the forest. She bent down low over Star as Damien gripped her waist. She could feel the two of them worry about her, but they didn’t speak of it. She closed her eyes and cleared her mind as she felt Star gallop on. She heard and smelt that they were in town and felt her brothers grip her tighter. She opened her eyes slightly and saw many people looking at them, whispering to one another. She realized they had a right to look since they were covered in blood and bruises. She saw Mark quickly come out of the pub as Star came to a stop and turned her neck to lick her cheek. Mark looked at them whispering, “Children?” He quickly ran to them as people moved away from them, afraid of Mark’s reaction. He looked at them as Lily said, “Mark, he tried-he would-he-he.” Mark looked at her and gently stroked her cheek saying, “Hush now. It is over. I will see to it he will never hurt you three again.”-he looked at Draco and Damien-“Draco? Damien?” They looked up at him with a smile. The three of them slowly slid off of Star and held on to each other. Mark stood behind them as they walked towards the pub.

Mark closed the door behind him, sighing. “You three made a quick escape. You are wounded and ill cared for. But that will change. I am your father now and I will not hurt you. You don’t have to worry about him anymore. I will take care of him,” he said, turning around. He saw the three children huddled together on the cot, blood covering them. “Mark?” said Damien as he slid off of the cot, limping to Mark. Mark caught him, kneeling down beside him. “Yes, Damien?” he said, looking Damien over. “Who was that boy? He spoke your name. He had blue eyes and blond hair.” “His name is Fang. I asked him to look over you.” Damien nodded and laid his head down on Mark’s shoulder, closing his eyes. Lily quickly slid off the cot and ran to Damien, as Mark looked at her saying, “Your time of serious protection is over Lily. I don’t mean to sound rude with that, but listen to me. They will be fine. If you trust me, trust me with your brother. He needs serious rest and food as much as the two of you. And I swear you will get it.” He laid Damien down on the cot while Lily sat down in the chair, sighing. “I know Mark,” she said softly, “But they are still my brothers.” She sighed softly and sat back down on the cot. Mark opened the door slightly saying, “I will be right back. I am clearing the pub out for a while. Just stay here.” He glanced at them and saw that the three of them were leaning against each other, near unconsciousness. He quickly slipped out the room and walked towards the pub, hearing the couples upstairs in their love fest. Such fun this is going to be, he thought with a sigh.

Lily held Draco and Damien in her arms. She listened to Mark’s voice in the pub. She closed her eyes, leaning her head against the wall. She was slowly falling asleep, she tried to fight against it, but she wasn’t willing enough. She wanted the sleep, but she wanted to stay awake to watch over her brothers. She did trust Mark with her life, but she didn’t trust the other people. She forced her eyes open, seeing Draco and Damien out like a light beside her. She smiled at them, wishing she could sleep like that. She jumped slightly when the door opened and Mark stepped in. He looked at them and softly said, “They fell asleep? I should let them sleep, but they look as if they are to starve to death.” He went over to Draco and Damien, shaking them gently. They woke with a start, but relaxed once they realized they were safe. Lily slid to her feet while Draco and Damien did so too. Mark opened the door widely and walked behind them. They saw the pub was empty and three huge bowels of chowder. Lily looked at Mark who nodded for them to go on. They quickly walked to the stools and sat down on them, eating the chowder. Mark filled their bowels over and over, making sure they had their fill.

Lily and her brothers ate their fill of the chowder, feeling full for once in their lives. She was having a hard time keep her eyes open and she knew Draco and Damien were also. She watched Mark and he was quickly cleaning the bowls, but he glanced at the children every now and then. “Children, you look terribly tired. I can finish these dishes once you three are asleep. I will reopen the pub tomorrow. I know it is bad for business, but you three are more important then it,” he said softly, turning around. Lily forced her body off the stool as Draco and Damien stood up beside them. Mark led them up stairs and they saw the pub/hotel had five rooms. “Which one do we go in, Mark?” said Lily, looking in one of the rooms. Mark smiled softly as she glanced at him. “You each get your own room.”-he looked at the troubled faces-“If that is what you prefer, of course.” They looked at each other and shook their heads as Mark only sighed. “We are used to staying in one room.” Mark only nodded as he gestured towards the nearest room. They entered and saw it simply had three beds. Mark tucked them in their own beds, smiling at them. He pulled the curtains over the window and blew the lanterns out. He looked at the near sleep children saying, “I will keep you children safe even if it takes the life out of me. You will stay here until the night and then I will bring you to my home. I will clean you up there and care for you. Do not worry, my children.”

The children slept for hours…

Lily forced her eyes open, yawning. She felt sore, but so much better after she slept for a while. She glanced out the window, seeing that it was dark outside. She looked at her brothers and despite the darkness she could see that they were wide awake. The three of them slowly stood up. The door opened and Mark stood in the doorway, watching them. “Your awake…I was just about to awake you three,” he said softly, his eyes reading their faces, “Lets get the three of you home.” They smiled at the thought, another warm meal, some fresh clothing, and everything else they need. He led them outside the pub and they saw that a man, hardly looking of a boy was behind the counter, washing dishes. “Jon lock up,” said Mark tossing him a brass key. Jon caught them and nodded to the children with a soft smile. He led them outside, feeling the cool air. He continue to lead them around the pub and around the pub was four horses leashed to a fancy carriage. He helped the children into a carriage and wrapped them in a blanket.

Mark quickly jumped in the front of the carriage. He whipped the horses, indicating for them to run. He whipped them over and over, forcing them to run faster and faster. He only stopped when he reached his house. He glanced at the children, seeing them doze softly. He smiled softly at them as a lantern flared to life in the windows. He watched two dark skinned, braided hair girl run to them. “Ayla and Rachel,” he said softly. “Mark, your home early,” said Rachel softly. The two girls were the same, but yet different. Ayla had dark black eyes while Rachel had blue eyes. “I hope that is not a problem, dear Rachel.” He jumped off of the carriage and undid the reins on the horses. “No, no of course not! I was just wondering why you are home early.” He glanced at her as he gently soothed the horses, whispering apologies in their ears. “The Gibbs children.” He glanced at her, seeing her distress. “T-the Gibbs children, sir? Why?” He sighed softly as Ayla took the reins from his hands. “I have my own reasons, Rachel. Now please go heat up some water for the children and Ayla prepare some food if you can. Three warm beds for them in different rooms, please.” They only nodded and walked away, tasks on their mind. Mark watched them walk away as he turned to the carriage. He pushed the curtains open and saw Lily holding her brothers in her arms. She is so protective over them. I hope she lightens a bit up when she is around us. I know this will be hard for them, but I will make it as easy as possible. “Children,” he said softly. He watch them slowly open their eyes and look at him. He smiled and softly said, “We are home.” They slowly crawled out of the carriage. He help them out of the carriage and into his house. He ushered them upstairs and into a bathing room. They saw three tubs full of hot water with soap on the edge. The children looked at him as he said, “I didn’t know if you wanted your own bathing room or together. I know you three don’t like to be separated.” The children hugged him as he smiled. “Thank you,” they said together.

Lily looked at tubs and smiled. She watched as the young beautiful African woman helped her undress. Mark helped the boys undress, his back to Lily. He was trying to give her some privacy since they didn’t want to be separated yet. Lily slowly got in the tub, relaxing instantly in the warm water. The African woman helped her wash and smiled at her whenever she met her eyes. She saw the women had a bruise under her eyes. Lily reached up and gently touched it. The women’s eyes moved from hers to Mark and shook her head. She is trying to tell me without speaking that it was not Mark. Lily gestured towards her brothers, not indicating it was them, but a boy…a man? The women nodded and avoided Lily’s gaze. “My name is Rachel,” she said in a thick African accent, “I know who you are. You are Lily Gibbs.” Lily blushed softly, looking back into Rachel’s eyes. Rachel helped Lily out of the tub and dry off. Mark and the boys were already gone. This annoyed Lily, but she sighed roughly and accepted the gentle soft clothing Rachel helped her put on. “Don’t worry, Miss Lily. Mark won’t hurt them. I thought you knew that. He is taking them to eat the fine beef stew my sister has made,” said Rachel gently placing a hand on Lily’s shoulder.

Rachel led Lily down a hall and into a large room with a large long table and chairs around it. There was a fire roaring in the fireplace with a large pot inside of it and a women identical to Rachel except for the eyes stood beside it. Draco and Damien sat at the table with Mark standing behind them. “Lily there you are,” he said softly, turning to them. He went to Lily and hugged her gently as she winced. He quickly let her go, but her hand. He led her to the table and helped her sit down between her brothers. Lily watched as Mark led Rachel towards the table, talking softly to her. She looked at Draco and Damien, smiling. This is a new chance for us, a new start… Draco smiled back at her as Damien remained quite, his eyes closed. He looked asleep, but Lily could tell some thing was wrong.

Dinner was served and the children slowly ate the stew. They were quickly filled, but as they ate Lily watched both her brothers, seeing that something was wrong. Damien was not even himself nor was Draco. Something is wrong. As soon as they were done eating she grabbed their hands and they raced out of the room. She heard Mark stand up saying, “Let them run. Be in private. They need to talk. They can’t get in trouble…I hope.” She heard him follow them, but she quickly turned into an empty room. She closed the door and turned to Damien, pushing him against the wall. “What is it?” she whispered as Draco watched them, his arms crossed. Damien opened his eyes, starring at them. He touched each of their faces saying, “He will be back.” As he said it, even if they could deny it, not wanting to believe it, they knew it was true. “When?” said Draco, his posture rigid. He is trying to take control of this situation, but he can’t. No one can. This is our fear and the truth we have always known thrown out there. It is out there for all of us to see. Is there anyway to stop it, cease his power? “I don’t know. I can’t tell. I can’t see. You two can see it, feel it, can’t you?” He wants us to believe him. He is straining. We can see it. He knows we do. We all know that this is true. There is no denying it. “Yes,” said Lily and Draco at the same time. Lily shook her head, watching her brother’s fear. They fear. We all do. But what can we do to stop this from coming? Mark does not need to know. He has enough to deal with. “Is there any way to stop his coming?” said Draco softly. He already knows the answer. We all do. “No,” said Lily, her voice rough. The door opened and the children turned around, seeing Mark starring at them. Lily let go of Damien and turned to Mark. He was starring at them, no emotion was expressed on his face. “What is going on?” he said softly. He stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. He looked at each of their faces, noticing their expressions. They only shook their heads, not responding. “Something is going on,” he said softly, trying to be gentle, “I know it is, children. You ran out of the dining room like mad. Tell me.” He knelt down beside them, trying to be careful. They backed away from him and his eyes met Lily’s. She stood in front of her brothers, her arms stretched out. “Nothing,” she said, her voice rough again. “Lily, you know me. I will not hurt you. I will not force this out of you. I just want to help.” He sighed softly, standing up. “You can’t. No one can. All we can do is bade in the time, just waiting. There is nothing we can do. Not even us. We can just bade, we can just wait.” Mark sighed heavily and gently took her hand in his own. “All right then. We will wait,” he said simply, “Now children. You must sleep. Please come with me.”

Mark led them out of the room they hid in and up the stairs. Lily walked behind them, her eyes on her brothers. They saw that three doors were open and Rachel and the other African girl stood outside two of the doors. The children looked up at Mark as he said, “You will get your own rooms. I know you might not like it, that it will be different. But it is for the best. It will be fine. You will be next to each other.” They gazed at the rooms and slowly, very slowly Draco walked away from them and walked to the room the other African girl stood by. He looked inside and nodded to Mark. Damien walked away next, choosing the room no one stood by, looking inside it. Lily with a heavy sigh she walked to the middle door where Rachel stood. Mark smiled at the children and walked down the stairs saying, “Rachel, Ayla please help the children get ready for bed. I will be up there in a short minutes. I need to get something out of the carriage.” Lily walked into her room, looking around. It had a bed in the middle of the East wall with a shelf above it and with a small bedside table beside it. On the South wall was only the door and a small table. On the West wall was a desk and two bookcases on either side of the desk. On the North wall were two large French doors. Lily looked up at Rachel as she said, “Your brothers’s rooms are the same. Let me show you what lays beyond these elegant French doors.” She smiled softly, taking Lily by the hand. She threw open the doors and Lily gapped, seeing that a balcony was made. “Mark made this just for you and your brothers. He worked so hard for weeks on it. He wouldn’t let us help. He was so proud once he was done.” Rachel said this, smiling. “I never knew. I mean he never spoke…he has done so much for us, Rachel and I don’t notice it,” said Lily looking around. Despite her guard of her emotions and because of everything that happened so quickly she felt the tears gather up in her eyes. Rachel gently took the young girl in her arms and held her tightly. Lily let the tears fall and with every tear there was a promise she made to herself that she would keep her new family safe. No matter what.

Lily walked out to the balcony as Rachel fixed her bed and laid fresh clothing out on the desk. She looked beside her, seeing Draco to her left and Damien to her right. She looked on the walls, seeing strong decorative vines growing. She glanced behind her, seeing Rachel sitting down on her bed, watching her. Lily sighed and shook her head, deciding not to push Mark’s stress. She walked away, closing the French doors behind her. She yawned and sat down beside Rachel. Rachel smiled saying, “You don’t seem to be…shamed of me.” She crawled on the bed behind Lily and took Lily’s long hair in her hand. She started to gently brush it with a comb, pulling at it gently. “Why should I be? Your skin color may be of difference from us, but you act no different from us. I see no reason to,” said Lily feeling Rachel comb through her hair. She enjoyed the feeling and a faint memory came up of her mother doing this for her. I’m starting to like Rachel. “No. It is just I am used to people being ashamed of me because of…well what I am.” Lily turned around and hugged Rachel gently. “Well I am not.” They looked at the door as Mark walked in, smiling. He looked at the girls saying, “Your brothers are asleep. They will sleep well past dawn. They need the sleep as well as you do, Lily.” He shut the door behind him, his eyes on Rachel. His body was relaxed and he seemed happy, satisfied. Rachel slowly stood up and gently patted Lily’s hand. “I think I will leave. It is late and I am tired,” she said walking towards the door. Mark gently touched her shoulder and she turned around. He noticed the bruise on her eye and he softly said, “We will speak later of that bruise. Get some rest, please.” She nodded and walked out of the room.

Lily looked at Mark as he sat down next to her saying, “I know this is a lot to take in, Lily. I know you aren’t used being separated from your brothers. But this is change, a change for the good. You and your brothers have been through hell. I am taking you out of that hell and taking you up to earth. I just want to make things easier for you. That man, Richard was only a donor of his sperm, he is not your real father. I will be your father. I am glad your mother showed you children, asked me to care for you. I really do owe your mother…” He smiled sadly as Lily watched him. “It is, but I am used to it. I just want Damien and Draco safe. Things won’t have to be easier for me. I can struggle. I know Mark. You always have been my real father. So you say she is alive? Your words!” said Lily, looking up at him. He gently cupped Lily’s face, stroking her cheek. “Such horrible things you have seen. You were never normal. I know it annoys you that many people who know you are by your looks, by your actions. He made it publicity when he abused you. He wanted that power and many people fear him. We never acted because we knew he would have killed you. You were never normal. You always protected your brothers. They looked up to you, but protected you too. He won’t come back, Lily, I swear. He is good as dead. Do not worry, please. You don’t have to struggle anymore. I will make things easier for you and your brothers. I will help you. I will become your real father. You three only have to trust me. I know you already do… And as of your mother? I hope she is alive…” Mark closed his eyes, sighing again. “Thank you, Mark,” was the only thing Lily could say. He silently helped her lay down in the bed and covered her up. He kissed her forehead and blew out the lantern on the bedside table, leaving only the bright moonlight as her light. He walked out of the door, smiling.

Lily tossed and turned in her bed, struggling to wake from the nightmare. They were at age 3 now. Her father was beating her mother over and over again. The children were forced to watch. He was hurting their mother and he wouldn’t stop. This evil fend! She was their light in this hellhole. Once her father had left the house, Lily staid cowering, but trying to protect her brothers. They watched as their mother stood up, the blood staining her best dress and her hair. She looked at the children, smiling softly. They knew their father would be gone for the rest of the day and that was more then enough time. She went to her children and took them in her arms, holding them close. She ran out of the house and into the town with them. The children did not know where they were, never being in town before. She took them to a rather clean pub. A man stood there, looking at them. The pub was silent, many people staring or whispering. ‘Mary? The children-you…’ said the man, looking at them with shock. ‘I will be fine, Mark. Take care of the children,’ she said, gently kissed his cheek as she placed the children in his arms. He took them in his arms, holding them tightly. ‘I will protect them with my life, but what about you? You can’t leave them-leave us.’ She looked him dead in the eye, sighing. ‘I have to. He will kill them in order to get to me. I must leave to protect them. I need you to care for the children. They know how to protect themselves from him, especially my little Lily. You should see-no I hope you never do.’ Mary shook his head, looking upset. ‘You can’t do this to them, Mary! They are young and they will be hurt by him!’ He started to plead now, begging. ‘I have to, Mark. You must see that. I need you to protect them. I love you and the children Mark, but if I stay here any longer it will be our bodies you see being brought up to the chapel. But we won’t be killed by the plaque, we will be killed by him and I know you know it.’ Mark sighed, his eyes on the children. ‘I know, Mary. It is just going to be rough. I-I love you Mary.’ He gently held the children in one arm as he reached up and stroked Mary’s cheek. ‘I know, Mark. I will always love you. I must leave. Please keep the children safe and protect them. Let them come to you, unless you know when you should go to them. Heal them, please.’ She reached up and kissed Mark’s lips and the children’s forehead. ‘I will try to, Mary. Be safe.’ He watched as she pulled a leather cord off of her neck and he realized with a jump that there were three of them. He watched as he placed the moon symbol around Lily’s neck, the sun symbol around Draco’s neck, and the star symbol around Damien’s neck. The children gripped the symbol as Mary looked at them saying in a soft, velvet voice, ‘I will be back, soon. I just have to make it safe for you three, my children.’ She ran out of the pub, the bloodstained cloak swirling around her ankles. Lily sat up with a gasp of air, her hand clenched around the cool symbol on her chest. She laid back in bed, trying to control her breathing. It was dark and yet she felt wide awake. I could have only slept for a few hours. Her breathing returned to normal and she was pushing her hair away from her face. She looked at the balcony and slowly climbed out of bed. She opened the doors and walked out on the balcony, breathing in the cool air. I feel safe here with Mark and yet calm once there is night. She looked over at the trees and saw a small, but recognizable figure sitting on one of the branches, watching her. She waved at it, but it disappeared. She realized with a shock that the person there was watching her. She shook it from her mind and quickly went back to bed. Her body trembled slightly, but she quickly tried to calm herself. She forced herself to relax and close her eyes. She slowly fell back asleep.

She heard a soft knock on the door and she slowly opened her eyes. The sun hit her face and she pulled her sheets over her eyes, blocking the sun out. It stung her eyes and winced against the sharp pain. She heard the door open and a soft chuckle from Mark. “The sun is hurting your eyes, little Lily?” he said softly. He sat down at the edge of her bed and tugged the sheet off of Lily’s head. Lily smiled at him, brushing the hair away from her face. He gently stroked her cheek as she said, “Yes, but I am fine.” He kissed her cheek gently. “Did you sleep well?” She smiled and he stroked her cheek again. “I guess. I had a memory reoccur. But after a breath of fresh air I was fine and able to fall asleep.” Mark’s gaze looked troubled. “You went outside? On the balcony?” Lily nodded, her eyes on the tree where she saw the figure. “Yes, I did. I saw a-a figure. He watched me and when I waved he left.” Mark shook his head, his eyes showing he was troubled. “That’s not good. But there is nothing to worry about. Just don’t travel deeply into the woods at night without any protection.” Lily smiled at him softly. “I won’t. I promise.” Mark stood up and looked outside, stretching. “Thank you, my little Lily. Now get dressed and come down to the Dining Hall. Your breakfast will be there as well as your brothers.” He stood up and walked out of the room. Lily looked out at the balcony, gripping her moon symbol tightly. She slowly stripped her clothing off and placed on the new ones. She heard her door open and Rachel walked inside, smiling. “Good morning, Miss Gibbs,” said Rachel as she started to make Lily’s bed. “Good morning, Rachel,” said Lily as she pulled her tunic over her head, “Oh no, Rachel don’t do that. I’ll do it.” Rachel smiled gently and brushed Lily’s help from the side. “I have it, Lily. Besides I owe Mark my life for what he has done for me and my sister. Now come here, little Lily.” She was smiling, being gentle as Lily sat down on the edge of her bed. She felt Rachel gently brush her hair, humming a soft song. She gently brushed Lily’s long blond hair, quietly. Once she was done she pulled it back into a long elegant bun. “There,” said Rachel quietly, “You look so much better.” Lily stood up saying, “Thank you, except for the bruises.” Rachel gently touched the bruise on Lily’s cheek, shaking her head. Lily hugged her gently, smiling. For the first time in a while…I feel happy.

Lily walked down to the Dining Hall while Rachel staid behind to straighten her room and wash the clothing. Once in the Dining Hall Lily saw her brothers sitting at the table, their long hair brushed away from their face and wearing new clothing. She saw Mark helping the other dark skinned girl pour porridge into large bowels. Lily sat down in between her brothers as she watched the other dark skinned girl. “Mark told me her name is Ayla,” said Draco as he glanced at the girl. “She doesn’t speak. Rachel told me she never has. Some birth defect,” said Damien as he took a sip of his strong herbal tea. “She only looks at us. She knows who we are. Rachel doesn’t speak much of her to me. But she seems all right. Rachel told me Mark saved their life,” said Lily as Draco poured her a glass of the herbal tea. “That’s what Rachel told us. Mark doesn’t speak of it.” Damien said this as Mark brought them their bowels of porridge. They hushed their talk of Ayla as they ate their meal. It filled them up and once again they silently thanked Mark for saving them. As they ate Lily noticed that her brothers kept their symbols were not tucked into their tunics. The leather cords were old and nearly broken, but they never wanted to change them. Lily began to finger hers watching it reflect in the sunlight. She knew Mark was watching her, his own hand clenched into a fist.

Once they were done they stood up, stretching. They silently walked towards the door, but Mark stood behind them. “You dreamt of the last time you saw your mother,” he said softly. She looked up at him, curious. He continued, “I know you were, all three of you. Your symbols. I watched them glow when you think of her. For in truth I miss her too. I loved her.” He looked somber, sighing. “We all miss her,” said Draco, his eyes on the birds outside. “But what can we do? We all love her,” said Damien, his eyes closed. “But just bide our time and wait for her to return,” said Lily, sighing softly. “I know, children, I know. Go outside and relax for a while. I will call you inside in a few,” said Mark, turning away. The children looked at each other, but quickly ran outside the house. The sun was bright and felt good on their cool skin. They didn’t recognize where they were, but it was nice to be away from that hell. They walked around the house, seeing a rather large nicely built stable in the back full of many color horses. They heard in the back was a quite whimper and a neigh. Lily motioned to her brothers to stay there as she slowly walked back in the stable. She saw in the back was a young boy-a stable boy-and a horse. The stable boy looked clean and well cared for and yet he looked upset. “Are you all right?” whispered Lily as she gently took the horses reins. The horse calmed at her touch and nuzzled her. The boy looked at her saying, “Yes, Miss I am fine. I am just having a hard time caring for this horse. She nearly knocked me unconscious. She’s a tough one she is.” He hid in the darkness, the little sunlight that escaped through the boards seemed to hurt him. “Do you live here? Here I got her.” He shook his head, wiping sweat off of his forehead. “No. I work for Mark for food and money to bring home to my sick mama.” She looked down at the boy, as she slowly took the reins off of the horse. “Oh, I’m sorry. I hope your mother gets better.” The horse nuzzled her again, wanting to be touched. “We all do, Miss Gibbs, we all do.” Lily let out a harsh sigh as she fed the horse some hay. “I really hate that. I understand, little boy.” The boy watched her as she gently calmed the horse down again. “Hate what, miss? Me calling you Miss Gibbs? I mean you are of the Gibbs children. It is no surprise to anyone that Mark brought you to his home. He has looked after you before I was born.” Lily smiled gently at the boy as she placed the reins back on the horse. “The sunlight. It hurts you?” The boy looked up at her, shocked. “I don’t like the sunlight. I am weak against it. It hurts my eyes and burns me easily.” Lily only watched the boy as she slowly lead the horse out of the stable. Once the light hit the horse’s brown coat Lily let out a gasp. Her brothers were instantly by her side, looking at the horse. “Star. So that is why you wouldn’t behave for the stable boy,” said Lily as Star gently nuzzled them. Lily smiled and looked at her brothers whom were gently nuzzling Star.

They led Star away from the house and into the large forest area. Star was able to hold all their weight and still trot around, happily. Star looked small, but yet she was still growing and rapidly too. About noon they heard Mark call their names, wanting them back inside. Lily smiled at Star and clicked her tongue three times. Star galloped at top speed towards Mark. She only managed to stop when they were only a few yards away from Mark. They knew Mark saw Star and he smiled at them. “I see you have found Star. I was able to go back to the pub and get her,” he said smiling at them. They slipped off of the horse as Mark gently rubbed her head. “We missed her,” said Draco, smiling at the sight. “Yes, I could tell. I will place Star inside the stable and have the stable boy care for her until you come back outside. You three must go to Rachel and she will lead you where you must go. And please no hassle.” His eyes were on Lily and she turned away from him.

They walked inside the building seeing Rachel standing before them wearing tunic and hoses. “Children,” she said, smiling at them, “Come with me please.” She started walking down a flight of stairs. They followed her, but Lily softly said, “Why are we going down here?” Rachel lit a torch with a flint and looked at them. “Several reasons.” Was all she said. “Which are?” She glanced at her brothers whom only shrugged. “Mark doesn’t want me to tell you three, but you shall know soon enough.” Lily let out a rough sigh as they continue to follow her, below the house. Her brothers shrugged as they walked down the stairs. Rachel stopped before a large, dark brown door and she knocked on it heavily. “Enter. Now or never,” said a deep rough voice. Rachel opened the door and quickly ushered the children inside. A tall, extremely thin man wearing only a cloak and hoses was in the room, his back towards them. He turned around and smiled at them. He had bright blue eyes with short grayish hair. “Gibbs children?” he said softly, turning his back to them, “I knew he would bring them here sooner or later.” He was starring at a very old book with only an old candle as light. The children looked at each other, choosing not to speak. The man continued, “Well thank you for bringing them down here Rachel. I have it from here.” Rachel nodded and walked out, but stopped when the man said, “Oh, Rachel. You might want to have your sister come down here for another treatment. It seems to be working.” Rachel’s gaze went hard as she said in a flat tone, “No thank you. She doesn’t need them. She’s fine on her own.” Rachel walked out as the children glanced at her, jumping when the door was slammed close. “Touchy little girl there,” he murmured softly as he turned back to the children, “So you three are the Gibbs children. What a surprise.” He was smiling at the children, leaning against his desk, the book now closed. The children gazed up at him, choosing not to speak to him. He watched them, his eyes burning into theirs.

Lily stood in front of her brothers, watching the strange man carefully. The man’s gaze went to the cord around their necks and to the silver symbols they had on them. “Signs of the moon. Power within them. The moon. The sun. The star. A each with a different meaning. Each with a different power. To harness. To protect. Signs of the universe. But how did you get them? I’ve been searching…” he said his eyes on the symbols. They still didn’t speak as the man reached for the one around Lily’s neck. They knew with one simple tug the cord would break, but he didn’t tug on it, he just let it rest on his palm. He pulled his hand away as he said, “Mary gave them to you. I know it. She found them, I know it. Yet…” He shook his head, stopping in his sentence. Lily only looked up at him, gripping her brother’s arms tightly. The man walked around them, looking at them. “And yet you don’t speak. None of you! You fear me…” Lily met his gaze, her breath caught in her throat. She felt her brother stiffen under her touch as she said, “Tell us then. Tell us why we are here!” Her throat hurt and felt dry. She let go of her brother’s arms and gripped her belt, but she didn’t feel any weapons. Damn. No weapons. I should have asked Mark if I can borrow something with a blade! The man watched her saying, “Weapons will have no effect on me.” She looked up at him, gasping. Her brothers stepped up, next to her, their body rigid. “Then tell us your name,” said Draco, gripping Lily’s arm tightly. “I am known by many. But call me Phoenix,” he said, his eyes on the children. Lily shoved her brothers behind her saying, “Why are we here?” Phoenix walked around them, his eyes only on Lily. “So protective,” he said softly, “And yet…refuse to give up.” Lily stepped up to him, pushing her brothers back. “You avoid our questions. You speak in riddles. Tell us why we are here,” she said, feeling the anger build up in her. Phoenix said nothing, his eyes on Lily. Lily felt weird, her body felt gone, light as a feather. Her mind wouldn’t work, it was stopped. She couldn’t think. She forced her arm up, gripping Phoenix’s cloak. It slid right through her fingers as he pulled it away, his eyes still on her. She suddenly pulled away from him saying, “You’re a mage!”

They all jumped and turned around as the door opened and quickly closed. Mark stood there, looking at them. “Yes, he is a mage,” said Mark walking towards Phoenix, “You should not fear him. He may look intimidating, but actually he’s not.” He clapped Phoenix’s arm as Phoenix grinned at Lily. “And yet they do,” he said, his eyes back on Mark. “Though I would appreciate that you would not use your magic on my children, Nix.” Phoenix looked confused, shaking his head. “I did no such thing. She was just looking at me, her mind was fixed with my own. I never used it.” Mark looked at Phoenix to Lily, his eyes wide. “Never? But how?” Phoenix sighed softly and leaned against the wall, the light from the candle casting a dark shadow on his pale chest. “I have seen it in young ones that posses…certain qualities…” He seemed so struggle to find the right word. “Are you saying that these children posses power?” Mark looked up at him, in shock. “It would seem so and it does not surprise me. I mean they are the Gibbs children!” He seemed to laugh now, but still uneasy. “What are you saying, Phoenix?” Lily looked at her brothers whom were gazing at her, unsure. “Calm down, Mark. I mean with a powerful, wonderful mage of a mother and a ruthless evil damn thing for a father then it only makes sense.” Mark seemed stunned as he rubbed his chin, thinking deeply. “It does, but…what kind of power to they posses? His ruthless power or her wonderful control?” Mark’s eyes went to the children, but it seemed he was looking past them. “Depends on how they use it. It is not ours to control.” Damien walked up to Mark, waving his hand before Mark’s face saying, “Are you just going to continue to talk about us before us or tell us what the hell is going on?!” Mark chuckled, rubbing his face as he looked at Phoenix. “I suppose we should tell them what is going on,” he said softly looking at Phoenix, “Well, children I asked Rachel to take you to Phoenix because I wanted him to heal you. Not from only your physical wounds, but also your mental. I don’t mean to sound as if you have some mental problems, but sooner or later you will have a mental breakdown from all the years of pain. I am not stalling it, but trying to prevent it.” Phoenix only nodded, a soft smile on his face. “We will obey,” said Lily, her eyes on her brothers. They only nodded, agreeing with her. Phoenix took his cloak off, throwing it to the floor. It disappeared instantly and they gazed at Phoenix, seeing he only wore his hoses. He was lanky, not muscular, but still looked strong. He motioned for one of the to step up to him as Mark made his way towards the door. “Leave, Mark. I can handle it here,” said Phoenix as Mark stepped outside of the room, nodding. He closed the door behind him, leaving the children in the same room as the mage.

Draco stepped up towards Phoenix, his eyes only on him. Phoenix smiled as he gripped the boy’s shoulders. “Remove your tunic and hoses, leave only on your tunics underneath,” he said, his eyes on the boy. Draco did as he was told, shivering in the cold air. Phoenix walked towards him and placed his glowing purple hands on the boy’s shoulders. “Concentrate on my voice. Concentrate. Do not let anything distract you. Don’t look at anyone else, only look at me, Draco Gibbs,” he said, his voice low. He started to chant as he moved his hands down the boy’s arms and stomach, the bruises and cuts disappearing. He continued to chant, the chanting only getting louder. None could make out the words, but yet it seemed to calm everyone down. Everyone, but Draco. Draco’s body was growing only paler and the scars were disappearing, but yet sweat began to form on his body and roll down his body. He was starting to tremble, his eyes only on Phoenix. Phoenix stepped away from Draco after minutes, the boy’s body was completely healed. His body held no scars, no wounds, no bruises, but yet he was more pale then usual. He was still sweating horrible. Phoenix was still chanting, his chanting the only sound in the room. He gently wrapped his hands around the boy’s head, his chanting only louder. His hands now glowed a burgundy color. His chanting was softer now and the boy’s body was relaxed. After minutes past and Phoenix stepped away, panting slightly, but yet he looked satisfied. “You’re healed,” he whispered, smiling. Draco looked weak as he stumbled towards the door. He seemed as if he knew what to do, where to go now.

Phoenix did the same thing to Damien and Lily, but yet the same effect that had happen to Draco happen to Damien. The effect that happen to Lily was she fainted, but only to be awoken minutes later in, Phoenix’s arms. He looked really weak as he whispered, “Go to Mark. Your brothers will be there.” He helped her stand up, but turned away when she stumbled towards the door. She managed to climb the stairs and collapsed in Mark’s arms, panting. “He did a numerous work on you children,” he said softly, “You need some rest.” He carried her up the wooden stairs and into her room. He laid her on his bed, quickly drawing the shades on her balcony doors. He smiled and kissed her forehead, walking outside her room, closing the door.

Lily woke up with a soft groan. She had a splitting headache and she relaxed slightly, realizing the sun was setting. Rachel was inside her room, banking the fire out. “Your awake, Lily,” she whispered, sitting down in the chair. “Yes,” said Lily as she sat up, yawning. Rachel stood up as Lily struggled to stand up out of bed. Rachel gripped Lily’s arm gently and led her outside her room. “Your brothers are in the Dining Hall. They suffer the same symptoms as you,” said Rachel as they walked down the stairs. She stopped to open the large doors to the Dining Hall. “Oh, thank you,” said Lily as she quickly entered the Dining Hall. She saw her brothers sitting at the table, drinking from steaming mugs and a plate of food in front of them. She continued to look around, seeing Ayla by the fire, but no Mark. “Where’s Mark?” she asked Rachel as she sat down in between by her brothers. She accept the mug and the plate of baked chicken and freshly baked bread from Ayla. “He had to go back to the pub. He requested that you three stay inside and away from any doors he keep locked. He wants us to look after you, but I can see that won’t be needed.” Rachel walked out of the door with a soft smile. Ayla stirred a large pot on the fire, her back to them.

Lily took a sip of the mug, tasting the heavily spiced tea. She looked at her brothers, seeing they held their head in their hands, drinking from the tea heavily. They said nothing, but continued to eat little and drink. When Ayla left the children quickly stood up, draining the rest of their tea. They felt better, but still weak. They opened the window in the Dining Hall and quickly climbed out of it, smiling. They ran outside into the cool air, feeling relaxed. They said nothing to each other, but understood what to do with simple hand signs. Lily motioned for her brothers to hide in the darkness as she quickly and stealthily moved through the darkness and into the stable. The stable boy was gone and left within his awake was a clean stable and the horses had plentiful food and water. She quickly moved towards the back of the stable and gripped an alert horse by the reins. “That’s it Star. Come on, girl. I’ve got you.” She led the horse out of the stable and Star calmed down seeing, Damien and Draco there. They gently patted her and mounted her. Lily gently clicked her tongue, and the horse took off into the forest. They gripped the horse tightly as it took off and finally slowed down when they were deep in the forest. It was eerie and they were wary. They had no weapons with them. Star refused to walk on, even though the children tried to get her to. They didn’t tether her for she followed them as they walked on. Being inside the eerie forest calmed them slightly.

After over in hour inside the forest they turned to go back inside the house, hearing several powerful horses running. “Mark is home and if he sees us inside the forest, he will be mad,” whispered Lily as they mounted Star. Fearing that Mark’s anger would be as great as their Father’s angry they sped towards home. They saw Mark pull his horse to stop on the side. They jumped off of Star and Star took off for the stable. “What the hell? Star? Now how’d you get out?” said Mark, chasing after the horse. He was gone, behind the house and the children took off. They climbed through the Dining Hall window, shutting it. Rachel and Ayla stood their, looking stern. “Where have the three of you been?” said Rachel with a stern look on her face. The children stood there, looking down at the floor. “Answer me!” snapped Rachel angrily. She’s angry. She was worried for we were outside for over an hour, in the forest that Mark warned us not to go into. “We were outside, in the forest. We just needed to calm down.”-the door opened and slammed close-“Please don’t tell Mark,” whispered Lily hurriedly. Rachel lost her stern look, but it was still held in her eyes. “Rachel, Ayla? Are the children still up?” said Mark walking into the Dining Hall. He saw the children standing together, near the corner with Rachel and Ayla looking down on them. “We are terrible sorry, Mark. But they wanted to stay up and talk. I hope it is not a problem,” said Rachel softly. Mark threw his bag down in the corner, undoing his belt. “It is fine. What happened?” He gazed at the children, his eyes soft. Ayla glanced at the children, motioning with her fingers to Rachel. “Oh…they got into a fight. But…things are good now.” Mark gazed at the children, sighing roughly. “Really now? Well then…up to your room children. Get some rest.” He motioned for them to walk up the stairs. The children smiled at Rachel and Ayla, hugging them. They walked up to their room, feeling extremely tired.

Lily instantly fell asleep, but woke up in the middle of the night, feeling as if someone was watching her. She looked around her room, seeing in the pale moonlight through her window that a shadow figure was in the corner. “Who are you?” she whispered, slightly frightened. “A mystery to you, but your pain soon…” said the deep voice. It was suddenly gone, leaving Lily shaken. She stood up, quickly crashing to her knees as she cried out. Mark ran in, holding a knife in his hands. “Lily…what’s wrong?” said Mark, running to her. He knelt down by her, holding her to him. She started to sob into his chest as he held her tightly. “What did you see? What happened?” Lily reached up, stroking Mark’s rough beard. “A man. A figure. He said he was….my pain… Mark, I’m scared. I don’t know who that is!” she whispered harshly as Mark stroke her hair. “Hush, Lily. Your safe now. That figure won’t bother you anymore. Do you want me to stay with you?” He picked her up, setting her down on the bed. “No. I’ll be fine…just-shock. Mark, you know who it is, don’t you?” He covered her with her covers, smiling at her. “I have a theory, but that is all.” She sighed, laying down. “Oh. You can leave Mark. I’ll be fine…” She turned away from him, closing her eyes. “Goodnight, my little Lily.” He kissed her head, walking out the door.

Minutes past and Lily still laid in bed, unable to fall asleep. She heard Mark check on her brothers and walk down the stairs again. She stood up, walking to the French Door. She looked at the corner, where that man once was. There was no sign he was ever there. She opened her French Doors, stepping outside. It was nice and cool, feeling good around her. She leaned against the banister, watching the dark forest before her. She had the slightest sensation she was being watched again and it chilled her. She looked out in the forest, seeing a small figure. She watched it, choosing not to move. She watched the figure, knowing it was watching her. “I know you watch me,” she whispered, “Let me know what you are.” The figure jumped from tree to tree, moving closer to her. Her French Doors shut as a light wind blew and she heard a brass door open. A sharp whistle blew and Lily clasped her hands over her ears. The figure was gone, but she felt a soft touch on her shoulder. Feeling sudden calmness she opened her French Door slightly and walked in. She felt like she could sleep now. She laid on her bed, her body out cold.

“Lily, wake up,” said Mark, shaking her gently. Lily slowly forced her eyes open, feeling she just fell asleep. She glanced out her window, seeing it was just dawn. “Mark, it’s just dawn. What’s the occasion?” she said, sitting up. The air was cold and she shivered. Mark closed her French Door, glaring at her. “Something that must be done. Did you go outside last night?” Rachel walked in, caring fresh clothes and a straight razor. Lily looked at the straight razor with curiosity. “Yes. I’m sorry. I couldn’t sleep after you left. I just sat outside in the cool air.” Mark smiled gently and walked towards the door. “It is all right, dear Lily. I must leave. I have to awaken your brothers. Rachel make sure she is up and looks proper. You know what she is up to do today.” Mark walked out of the door, glancing at Lily.

Rachel sat the items down on the desk, staring at Lily. “Come here, young Lily,” she said softly. Lily stood out of the bed, stretching. She felt gritty and really tired from last night. Rachel turned the chair around as Lily sat down in it. “Um…Rachel what is the straight razor for?” said Lily, glancing at the straight razor. There was a sharp knock on the door and Ayla walked, caring a steaming basin. She set it down on the desk and Rachel smiled at her. “Thank you, Ayla.” Ayla made quick motions with her fingers, leaving the room. “What did she say?” Lily said this as Rachel lifted Lily’s tunic off. “She was saying she just delivered your brother’s water basin and is now making your breakfast. Mark wants you down in minutes.” Rachel poured some hot water on Lily’s body. Lily shivered, feeling the warm water. “Why? I don’t get it. It is only dawn. Why must we be up so early?” Rachel pulled Lily’s hair back, cutting it with straight razor. Lily staid still, feeling the razor on her neck. “He has his own purpose.” She brushed the loose hair from Lily’s neck. Lily found it shorter, just to her neck, but out of her eyes. Rachel braided her hair back, keeping it tight. “And you won’t say, will you?” Rachel had Lily stand up, brushing the hair from her with a rag. “I hardly know myself, dear Lily.” Lily stripped completely of her clothing. “Are we done?” She placed on the tight breeches and her thin, tight tunic. She tucked in the tunic, smiling at Rachel. “Now we are. Oh, I think your brothers are ready.” Rachel helped her pull on her brown boots that went up to her knees. “How do I look?” Lily stood up, facing Rachel. Rachel smiled and patted Lily’s head. “Ready for anything.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Draco and Damien busted into the room. Lily had a few seconds to see they were the same outfits as them and their hair were short, hardly covering their head before they jumped on her. They wrestled for a few seconds while Rachel laughed saying, “Like, I said, ready for anything.” They stood up, straightening their clothes. The three of them ran down to the Dining Hall while Rachel straightened up the rooms.

Mark stood in the doorway, looking at them. “I’ll explain everything while we eat,” he said, reading the question in their eyes. He led them towards the dining table, where bowels and mugs set. The children made their way towards the table, quickly sitting down. “Eat up,” said Mark pouring them porridge from the pot on the table, “This is Ayla’s special porridge. She put her special spices in here. I’ll explain while you eat.” Lily tasted the porridge, tasting the sweet spices Minutes into the meal Mark looked up from his, looking at the children. He cleared his throat, gaining the children’s attention as he said saying, “I’ve woken the three of you up early for a reason. Last night I had a slight scare with one of you.”-he looked at Lily-“I need to know that you three can protect yourselves when I am away. For I will be away from the three of you more then I like, but it must be done. I will teach you how to use any and every weapon that I have with me. It will be tough. But I know it must be done.” Lily looked at Draco who shrugged as Damien spoke, “As in what weapons?” He seemed nervous, pushing his porridge around in the bowel. Mark watched him, a worried look in his eyes. “The majority of what I have. Swords, bows, whips, and so on and so on. We will start with the simplest.” Damien glanced at Lily as Draco pushed his bowel away. Lily glanced at him, seeing he placed his left hand on his right wrist, sighing. She knew a deep scar laid there where their father cut there, trying to kill him. Mark glanced at Draco, but only stood up roughly. “I’ll be outside finish preparing. Come when you are done, children,” he said, walking out the door.

“We must do it,” said Lily as she pushed her hardly touch porridge away. Draco nodded, standing up with Damien. “Yes, I see no reason why we can’t,” said Draco softly. “Better a time now then ever to meet our demise,” said Damien as Lily stood up and glanced at the door. They walked towards the door as Lily whispered, “I think you mean prevent it.” They walked out the door, seeing Rachel stand outside of it. “Mark says he is ready, but to heed caution,” she said, opening the front doors. The children walked out the door, looking around. The sun just rose over the trees, but yet a thin fog laid over the ground. “Children! I’m around here,” called Mark from around the corner. The children ran around the corner, seeing Mark. Against the wall was weapons of every type. Mark looked at them as he rubbed his chin saying, “You will train until a point I am satisfied in each weapon. I will teach you how to use every weapon. I know many, but have few. I am not a…knight per say, but greater value of one. I can teach you how to use your weapons, but power rests in everyone of you. You must harness that. I can teach you nothing of that, but Nix can. I will sit aside and watch. These next few days will be rough, but it must be done.” He threw a broad sword on the ground. Lily’s hand itched to hold a weapon, harness it. “What if we master them?” said Draco, keeping his hands clasped. Mark eyed him, chuckling. “Then I shall take you into town. We will visit the blacksmith and he shall make the weapon as your own. And know I expect just because you master that weapon does not mean you shall not practice with it.” Damien stepped up, his face damp from the fog. “Our powers? We must practice them as well, right?” He touched the star on his neck, fingering it. “I would prefer you practice your powers, your magic with Nix until I am satisfied you can harness them on your own or control them at the least.” Lily looked at Mark as she whispered, “What of…armor. Protection?” Mark laughed, loudly as he tossed the children brown-wrapped packages. “Do you think I would forget to protect my children?” They caught the children the package, looking at it. They slowly unwrapped it and inside of it was a gambeson. Mark helped the children slip the jacket on, straightening their tunic’s underneath. “Does it feel comfortable?” he said, looking at them, “I could make adjustments if you’d wish.” Lily looked at her brothers, feeling slightly bulky, but otherwise fine. “No, we are fine,” she said glancing at her brothers who nodded. Mark smirked, looking at the sun and back at the weapons. His expression changed, his face serious as he said, “It starts…now.”

Lily and her brothers walked to the weapons lining the wall. They stared at them, sudden memories rising. Every weapon along the wall was used at least once to hurt, to nearly kill the children. Lily pushed past the memories, stumbling and hitting the wall. Her hand wrapped around a whip, feeling it. She gazed at it, remembering the times her father choked her with it. Why did I pick my most torturous device? She didn’t let it go, she couldn’t let it go. She turned away from her brothers, looking at Mark. He read her eyes, nodding. “A whip, then? Very good,” he said softly, “Do the two you agree with this weapon? It is fine if you don’t.” Draco and Damien nodded, glaring at the whip. This is our torturous device. I’m sure Mark knows this, but we must use this. “We agree with it,” said Draco softly, “We’re ready, if you are.” Mark nodded as he took a look at Lily’s whip. “I have only two whips and they are worn. I shall order a new whip for each of you.” He pulled his own whip out of the his belt, uncoiling it. Lily shakily uncoiled it, watching Mark. “That’s it, Lily. Uncoil the weapon slightly, Do you think how to use it?” said Mark as he pulled his wrist out sharply, “Boys move back. against the wall if you can. I don’t want you to get hit.” The children winced, but Lily stepped up, her body trembling lightly. She hoped Mark didn’t notice as she cracked her whip. The tip of the whip cut Mark’s cheek, cutting the skin. He smirked, wiping the blood off with his fingers. “I think so…” she whispered softly. Mark smiled softly at her, seeing into her fears. “I would guess so! Don’t be afraid. I’m here to teach you, care for you not abuse you. These weapons, these devices were used to torture you, I know that. But you will now use them to protect you! Now give it all you got, Lily!” Mark snapped the whip at Lily, cutting her arm. Lily’s eyes were wide as she sucked in a sharp breath. She saw her father snapping the whip at her, wrapping it around her throat. He will not! No more! Mark wants it all. I will give him all I got! Lily snapped out of it, snapping her whip at Mark’s throat. Her eyes blazed, nearly growling. Mark caught it with his hand and Lily pulled on it. He snapped it at her, cutting her cheek. She smirked and lashed it at his chest, putting it in full force.. It cut through the tunic, cutting his skin. He hissed, smirking. “Good, good. I see we don’t need much practice here,” he said, smiling. He snapped the whip, catching her throat. Lily wrapped it in her hand, pulling on it. She heard her brothers hiss, knowing it was only tightening. Don’t worry, brothers. I know what I’m doing. She pulled sharply on her whip, catching Mark around his wrist. She jerked up, the whip flying from Mark’s hands. She caught it in her own, undoing the whip around her neck. She smirked, knowing she won this battle and over her memories.

Until the sun was high in the sky and the children was slightly worn out. Rachel came outside, caring several canteens and cloth wrapped items. “Mark, let the children rest and eat. Nix said he is coming out here soon,” said Rachel as she placed the items down. Lily collapsed on her knees with her brothers by her side. They were covered in welts from their neck to their arms. The gambeson only protected their chest and backside. “They can rest now,” he said, smiling, “Children you have done well. You fought well. I see there is no need for them to practice the whip. We will continue tomorrow morning.” He stood up, taking a cloth wrapped item and canteen. He walked away, around the house. Rachel knelt down in front of the children, helping them take the gambeson off. She gently touched the welt on Lily’s neck. Lily winced softly as Rachel removed her fingers. “I have some balm in my room for those welts. Come see me once this devilish training is over,” said Rachel softly as she placed the gambeson beside her. She handed each of them a cloth wrapped item and a canteen. “You don’t think we should do this training, then?” said Draco, accepting the items. They unwrapped the cloth, finding freshly baked bread in them. “Ayla just made them. You three hardly touched your porridge. And I do agree with the training. It just seems you don’t need all of it. But that’s Mark. He wants to make sure you all cover all corners in what he wants you to learn.” She watched as the children ate the bread and drunk their water. They heard the door open and slam shut as Rachel turned away. “Phoenix is coming. I must leave,” she said hurriedly, “Good luck children. You’ll need it.” She picked up the gambeson and held it to her chest, running around the house.

Mark tucked the napkin into his hoses, taking a swig from the canteen. He heard someone running, too light for a man. He caught Rachel by the tunic, tugging on her. Rachel was panting, looking slightly wild as Mark held her. “Don’t fear me, Rachel. Why are your running?” he said gently. He gently placed her on her feet, holding her in place gently. “I don’t, sir. Nix was coming and I wanted to get away before he saw me,” she whispered, hurriedly. Mark looked at her, curious. “He won’t hurt you. I’ll see to it, he won’t.” Rachel smiled, affected by his care. “I know he won’t, good sir. But his powers…they frighten me at times.” Mark nodded, understanding. “Is it because of what he did to Ayla?” He seemed sad, even upset. “Oh no! Mark don’t be upset, please. It is, but…it was for the better. I guess it was never meant to be.” Mark stroked her cheek, seeing the faded bruise. “I don’t think so, Rachel. I will look into it more, I promise.”-he gently stroked the bruise-“I want to know who did this, Rachel.” His voice was soft, but firm. Rachel only nodded, placing a hand on Mark’s wrist. “Thank you, Mark. His name was Jordan. He was…angered when I came into town. I wouldn’t give him my money. So he sought out to beat me. He bloody did. I couldn’t fight, but Ayla saved me. She only knocked him unconscious. He still remembers us, too. That’s why I haven’t been in town.” Mark gently stroked her hand, sighing. “Why didn’t you tell me, Rachel? I could have taken care of him. So this is the reason why you haven’t been in town?” Rachel nodded, looking down. “Yes. I just…didn’t want to seem weak.” Mark lifted her face, so she will look into his eyes. “You will never be weak.”

Lily fell to her knees, the pressure around her increasing. Phoenix had walked outside, telling the children to stand. He didn’t tell them of what to do, of what to be prepared for. He instantly bounded the children with his powers. He was testing them one by one. Fight against it. Fight against the pressure. Don’t let it control you, Lily, said Phoenix deep in her mind. Lily only glared at him, seeing her brother’s stricken look. How can I do that, Phoenix? You come to us and we know nothing! She could not speak for Phoenix bounded their voices, their lips. Phoenix grinned softly, smiling. Instinct! Use your instinct, child! Lily opened her mind, searching. She searched deep within her mind, for someway, for some reason to break this bound. She found a secluded place in her mind, in her body holding power. She opened it, letting it loose. She felt it fuse with the pressure, struggling. Phoenix raised his eyebrow, the sudden pressure increasing. She felt her own power increasing, resulting in her weakness. She struggled to even move now, feeling weaker. Mark appeared from around the corner, caring a canteen. He looked at Lily and her brothers, a harsh look in his eyes. “Phoenix stop! You are leaving her weak!” he cried sharply. The pressure around Lily was gone and she fell on her chest, panting. She felt her power still around her, still there. “Her power is great. Strong. I think I have worn her out for today. Now Draco and Damien I have not been able to test. I think you should know her power is limited, not able to do so much yet. She will have to practice with it,” said Phoenix simply as Mark pulled Lily up. Lily felt weaken, hardly able to stand. She pulled away from Mark, looking at her brothers. Phoenix turned to them, looking at them. “You-will-not,” she hissed between breathes. She stepped up to Phoenix, meaning to charge, but she was too weak. She fell to her knees, panting. Draco and Damien pulled away from Phoenix, free from the pressure. Mark bent over, pulling Lily up until Phoenix whispered, “No. Don’t touch her. Step away, all of you.” They did what he said, hearing the danger in his voice. Phoenix quickly knelt down beside Lily, smiling in a weird way. “Don’t-touch-them!” She was too weak, panting again. “You think you are strong, little Lily, but you are not.”-he turned her over, gripping her throat-“Don’t you dare try to meddle with what you don’t know.” He pushed her away, walking away.

Mark pulled Lily up while her brothers stared at her in terror. “Are you all right?” whispered Draco, gripping her arm. Damien pulled her towards them, hugging her. His power was strong, fulfilling him. “I will be fine,” she whispered softly, turning to Mark, “Mark, forgive me. I had to challenge him…” Mark gently laid a hand on Lily’s shoulder smiling. “Do not apologize to me. You have nothing to apologize for, dear Lily,” he said softly. Mark looked up at the sun, seeing it hardly over the trees. Lily let go of her brothers, drinking from her canteen. “Mark, may I go into the forest rather then come inside? I just…need to be alone.” Mark looked into her eyes and slowly undid his belt, taking a black dagger off of it. “Yes, you may. You will need this. Come in if you can before the sun sets. I don’t want you to see what is out there.” He handed her the dagger and she slipped it on her belt, nodding. She walked away from her brothers, going to the stables. She found the door to the stable closed and locked tightly. She opened her mind once more, prodding the lock on the door. She felt the puzzle in her mind, working through it until she heard a click. The door swung open, letting in the fading sunlight. She walked in, feeling the horse’s nervousness. She tried to hide her power, but it seemed to escape. She called Star forward and the horse came, calm as ever. She nuzzled Lily, feeling her misery. Lily mounted Star, riding out into the dark forest.

She only stopped when Star refuse to go any further. She jumped off of the young horse, leaving her there. She walked on, feeling the cold wind blow on her. She didn’t shiver, finding herself not cold. She just walked on, not knowing where to stop or why. She found a small lake in a small clearing, hidden behind the forest. A nice place to hide. The moon had risen an hour ago and now it reflected off of the lake, illuminating the area. Lily slid to the ground, leaning against the tree. She still felt her powers around her, wanting them gone. Why must I be the not normal one? Always an outcast even with my own family. If there so much I must be can I still just be me? The way I am?
Can I trust in my own heart? Or am I just one part of some big plan? She heard a rustle behind her, but ignored it. She wanted someone to find her, fight her. She wanted to show others that she wasn’t weak or the outcast anymore. Minutes still past, but she ignored it. She grew slightly anxious from hearing the rustles gain closer so she unsheathed her dagger.

Minutes still past and the rustles grew dead soon. She still felt uneasy, but didn’t dare sheath her dagger. She watched the lake, seeing the moon. She felt peaceful with the darkness, with the secluded areas now. She slowly stood up, walking to the lake. Only a drink. It can’t hurt much. I don’t see any evidence that anyone has been here recently. She knelt down beside it, dipping her hands into the cool water. She lifted the water to her lips, drinking it. It felt cool and nice to her body. All was silence as she drunk her fill. She felt a sudden force crash into her, nearly throwing her into the lake, but dislodging the dagger from her hand and flying into the lake. She rolled over, seeing someone on top of her. She snarled, ripping the boy’s clothing. “Who are you?” she snarled, throwing him off of her. The boy rolled off, standing up. His hair was a deep blond as his eyes were a deep blue. Fang. The boy Mark sent to us to save us. The boy looked into her eyes, smiling. “Don’t fear me. My name is name is Fang.” He stepped towards her, as she stepped away. “I remember you. You saved us from Richard, my father.” He gripped her arm, pulling her towards him. “Yes. I remember that… A tough kill, but a rigorous one.” Lily struggled and he let her go. “You look ill. Are you well?” She backed up to the tree, her back against it. He looked at her, a nervous look in his eyes. He stroked her cheek gently. “Great power rests within you. You fear it and yet you love it. You are the outcast. You want it gone. You want to be normal even within your family.” Lily stepped towards him, his words speaking the truth. Fang pulled her towards him sharply as she wrapped an arm around his neck. “How did you know?” I don’t even know what I am doing. “I just do, Lily.” He pushed his lips towards her neck and she stood there, frozen. “Fang…” she sighed softly. Fang suddenly pushed her away, a deep troubled look in his eyes. “I’m terrible sorry, little Lily. Forgive me,” he whispered. He quickly ran into the forest, gone.

Lily ran to Star, greatly confused. Mark is going to be worried. She mounted Star and they ran back to the house. No one was at the stables. Lily fed and watered Star in her stable and ran inside. Mark stood in the Dining Hall, facing the fire. Her brothers had already gone to bed. “Mark, I’m sorry,” she whispered, sitting down in one of the broad chairs. She didn’t know her body was shivering until she felt the heat from the fire warm her. Mark turned to her, looking at Lily. “It’s quite all right. Did you solve everything?” he said, ladling some stew for her. Lily dug in, not wanting to look into Mark’s eyes. She shook her head. “No. Not very much. I just had to clear my mind.” She finished the stew, keeping her eyes on the table. “Are you all right? You seem off. Did something happen?” Her mind was replaying Fang over and over again. Something seemed off about him. “No. I’m fine.” She stood up as Mark gripping her arm. She looked into her eyes, keeping her emotions under control. “Very well then. Oh, Lily? Where is my dagger?” Lily’s hand flew to her belt and she realized it was gone! “Oh, Mark! Forgive me! I lost it at the lake! I will go back tomorrow it get it, I swear.” Mark hugged her, smiling. “Don’t fret about it. We will get it tomorrow.” He let her go to bed after that.

Tiredly, Lily climbed the stairs to her room. She saw the warm bed, smiling. She didn’t go to it, instead opening her French Doors. She looked for the figure in vain, but it was nowhere to be seen. She sighed, shutting the door. She laid in bed and closed her eyes, feeling tired. She felt something drip on her and she sat up. She looked on the shelf above her, finding Mark’s dagger on it. Mark’s dagger. How did it end up here? Fang. With a smile on her lips, she laid down in the bed, falling asleep.

For the next several days Mark continued to woke them up early. He made sure they ate a good breakfast before practicing with their weapons. He had seen them make great progress and able to master with the sword, halberd, and the broadsword. By the end of their second week there, he was happily satisfied. He saw their progress mentally and physically grow. Nix still tested them and showed them how to harness their power under Mark’s watchful eyes. He could tell Nix had a special eye on Lily since she showed the most progress. Her brother Draco seemed to have trouble with harnessing it, inuring himself and often his siblings. After each lesson Lily would walk into the woods often with her brothers or alone and stay there until after nightfall. Mark stopped asking questions about their going about, trusting them. They rode Star every other day, caring for the young horse in turns. After their meals they would wonder the house, often with Rachel or Ayla or maybe even alone. They found Mark’s vast library full of many novels. They would sit there until the moon was at its peaks, reading. Mark would often find them deeply asleep, tucked into the couch together with their own novels or separate in the chair. He would tuck them into their own bed, happy the Gibbs children were finally safe.

Mark let the children sleep late on one day following the third week. He woke the children up once the sun had risen some, letting them bathe. He made their breakfast while Rachel and Ayla helped the children dress in the best clothing he had for them. Lily came down the stairs with her brothers behind her. She wore a red with an outline of gold tunic tucked into her deep black hoses and her knee-high boots. Her hair was braded down the middle of her back. Draco and Damien came down the stairs, wearing the same outfit. Mark fed them a filling breakfast, watching them. “Why the special outfit, Mark?” said Damien as they finished drinking their tea. Lily looked up, pushing her plate away. “I need to go into town and I wanted the three of you to come along. A break from your lessons,” said Mark, smiling. Lily looked at Damien and he shrugged. Draco was fingering his necklace, looking at the door. The children stood up, stretching. They felt sore, but well. Mark went outside, to saddle the horses. Lily and her brothers stood on the porch, watching the sun. Her mind was replaying Fang over and over. Several nights she would dream he was standing over her, badly wounded. She would wake up, looking around, but he was no where to be seen. She had told her brother’s about these dreams and keeping them in her mind. Mark came around with the cart and his horses saddled. He had Star saddled, a look in his eyes. Star galloped to the children, nuzzling them. Lily gently petted the horse, feeling her strength. “I’ll ride her,” said Lily softly. She felt her brother’s grip her shoulder and she felt a strange urge in her. She saw images of her father and her mother. She grunted, pulling away from them. She saw her brother’s concern looks now, but she didn’t answer even as they prodded her mind. She quickly mounted Star and watched as her brothers jump into the cart. They silently rode out to town. Lily sat high up on Star, looking at the town. She saw it as if she saw it through new eyes even though many people began to stare. Mark had them get off by his pub. He tethered the horses, leaving Star unattended. Star staid by the cart, looking at Lily. Lily only smiled at the young horse and turned to Mark. “You three will be able to wonder around the town alone soon enough, but you must come with me for now,” he said as he pulled a bundle from the cart and pulled it over his shoulder. The children quickly followed him, ignoring the people’s whispers and stares. Mark stopped by a large building, hearing clinging noises from the back. Mark quickly entered, having the children quickly enter. None was at the counter, but the noises seemed louder inside. “Jason, are you here?” called Mark as he laid the bundle on the counter. He laid a hand on it as the children crowded around him. “Mark? Is that you? Give me a moment!” yelled a sharp voice. They heard a huge crash and saw an older, but strong man come in. He had dark brown hair that fell to his shoulder, but he kept it back. He was muscular and roughly looking. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Mark shook Jason’s hand as Jason’s eyes fell on the children. “Are these the Gibbs children?” Surprise, but satisfaction cloaked his voice. “Yes, they are.” Jason only nodded as he smiled at them. “We can catch up any other time. Now what brings you here?” Mark patted the bundle, smiling. “This.” Mark slid the bundle to Jason and Jason smiled. Jason peeked inside of it, nodding. “Very well. What do you want me to do of it?” Mark only smirked, chuckling. “Make me replicas of them and if you can repair those. I want the replicas made so the children can use them.” Mark smiled at the children as they watched Jason. “Of course. I do not need any measurements. This will take all day. I am sure the children don’t want to stay here…unlike you.” Jason chuckled as Mark smirked. “Of course.”-he turned to the children-“Children come with me. I will be back in Jason. I will help you soon.” Mark walked the children out of the blacksmith place. He turned to them, handing them each a medium size leather bags. He helped them secure it in their belt saying, “Children these coins are for you to use. You can spend it any way you wish. I would like the three of you to stay together, but I just wish for you to be safe. I am sorry I have no weapons I can give you for protection, but I am sure you will be fine on your own. Use your powers only if you must.” He hugged them and watch as they walked away, returning to the shop.

Lily ran down the street way, her brothers not far behind her. They were laughing, smiling. They were carefree, Mark not holding them back anymore. She led her brothers to numerous shops, looking into them. They found nothing of interest, having everything they wanted from Mark. They wondered to a small booth an old traveler set up. Lily prodded the man with her mind, seeing he was full of greed. She smirked and a brightly colored object caught her eye. She walked to the booth, her brothers behind her. She looked at the object, seeing it was one bracelet highly decorated in silver of deeply detailed etchings of the sun, moon, and stars. Not one, but three. One of each. One of the sun, one of the moon, one of the stars. She turned to her brothers, the bracelet on her mind. They looked at her, glancing at the bracelet. “I’ve seen them before, but where?” she whispered to her brother. The traveler paid no mind to them, busy trying to con some other poor looking women out of money. Draco gazed at the bracelet, his hand automatically reaching up to his necklace. “Mom,” said Damien suddenly. Lily’s eyes flashed. It is nothing to play with when saying something of mom to me, she thought, gazing back at the traveler. He looked like nothing. He was greedy, but he looked like he was a thief. The traveler finally walked over to Lily, smiling his toothless smile. “You see something you like, my pretty,” he whispered. He moved his grimy hand to stroke her cheek. Draco suddenly slapped his hand away, saying nothing, but a growl. The traveler met his eyes, smirking. Draco has showed his protective rights. He seems he is to play with us. “Where did you get these? These bracelets?” Lily indicated to them, smiling innocently. The man reached for her wrist and with a push of her mind, she let her brothers know it was all right. She wanted answers and with her brothers protecting her she would get none! “Draco, Damien,” she said softly, but with force, “Go walk around. Ill be here for a while.” They stood there, looking at her for a minute before they left. She felt their mind brush her own for a minute.

Lily returned her attention to the man. “Surely someone of your style would not want these cheap pieces of silver,” he whispered. He still held her wrist in his own hands. She let him, ignoring the grimy feeling. “Oh but I do. They look familiar. Are there many like this?” she said softly, letting her hand fall over them. She gently brushed her hand over them, feeling the faint aroma and power of her mother’s. Her heartbeat increased and she tried to control herself. These belonged to mother! How did this grimy thief get them? “No, these are one of a kind. You must have been mistaken.” He placed his hand over them, pulling them away. He’s playing hard to get. “Maybe. How did you get hold of them?” She smiled sweetly and let the man stroke her cheek. She pressed his mind, seeing images of him on her. She gritted her teeth, nearly snarling. “I found them on a dirt road traveling to this town. I was lucky, I guess.” She only nodded and pulled her mind away from his. She knew some people could feel her inside of their mind. He could have been one of them. “I suppose. How much are they?” He only smiled and pulled them away completely. “You don’t want them. They’re fake, worthless.” She pulled her sack out, shaking it. She let him hear the jingle. I will bribe before I have to hurt him. His eyes fell to her sack. “Oh, but I do! Where did you get them, again? I’ll buy them.” He only shook his head. “A little girl and her sister sold them to me in the town over. Their mother made it for them.” With a sudden burst of energy she jumped over the booth and pressed her hand to his throat. She let the power build up, letting him feel it. “I said where did you get them?” He pulled a dagger out, pressing it to her thighs. “I aren’t telling you, girl.” Lily snatched the bracelets from him. He tugged at her clothing, ripping them, She felt the hoses tear open and she gritted her teeth as he pressed the blade to her skin. She shoved him back and let the power loose, letting it hit him. He fell over, blue flames engulfing him. She was trembling, feeling weak. “Lily Gibbs!” cried a sudden voice. She didn’t turn around even as a strong hand gripped her shoulder. Mark. He pulled her away from the man whom was still burning. The flames died out and he was completely fine. Mark’s eyes were blazing as he looked at her to the man and her ripped hoses. There was a trickle of blood coming down from where his blade pierced the skin. “How-” he began before he pulled Lily on his back and walked away.

Lily said nothing even as Mark said they were going to talk about this after dinner. She didn’t let Mark see that she had stolen the bracelets either. She wouldn’t even let him touch her after he placed her inside the wagon. She didn’t want anyone to touch her. She rode in the back of the wagon with Draco as Damien rode Star. They made it back to the house after dusk. Lily kept the bracelets in her pocket as she crawled from the back. She ran up to her room, hoping her weak body could make it. She reached the room and slammed the door close, letting whoever heard it known she didn’t want to be messed with. She tore the clothing off of her and inspected her body. She saw she was paler then before, a light sweat covering her body. She saw the slight cut was on her thigh, but nothing more. She placed on her worn clothing, collapsing on the bed. She laid the bracelets out on the bed, gazing at them. She felt her mother’s power on them. Where did he get these, Mother? Was I to have them? She heard Mark knock on the door and she didn’t answer. She gazed at the bracelets, stroking them. She heard Mark knock harder and the power raged in her again. “Leave me alone!” she cried. She heard Mark walk away. Tears blurred her vision and she didn’t bother to wipe them away. She wanted to cry, it was what she wanted. She needed comfort, it was what she wanted.

Hours later, Mark opened her door. Lily was sitting on the bed, staring at the bracelets. “Lily?” he whispered softly. She glanced at him, reading the stress in his eyes. She stood up, saying nothing. “Lily, we need to talk. Your brothers. They told me what happened. They were the ones that came and got me,” he quickly explained. Lily growled and gripped the bracelets hard. “I don’t need protection from anyone much less you! I am not that damn weak girl anymore! I can care for myself! I don’t need anyone! Mostly of you!” she yelled angrily. She threw open the French doors and threw the bracelets at Mark’s shock face. She jumped down and saw as he ran to the balcony, yelling at her. She didn’t care anymore. She wanted comfort, not a hard time. She ran to the forest, searching for peace and tranquility.

Lily ran, tears streaming down her face until she could run no more. She collapsed by the lake, sobbing. She missed her mother, but she wasn’t going to admit that anymore. She wanted comfort, but not from Mark much less her brothers. Within minutes, she felt warm arms around her, holding her to him. Fang. “Fang,” she whispered. She knew this was the comfort she wanted. He stroked her hair, letting her sob on him. “Calm down, Lily. You need to let your emotions out,” he whispered. She looked at him, not able to see his face. For some reason, she preferred this.

After a few hours of Lily sobbing, she fell into a light slumber. She didn’t argue as Fang picked her up and carried her to Mark’s home. Mark was the one on the doorstep, looking at them. Lily pretended to be asleep as Fang laid her in Mark’s arms. “Come inside, Whitefang. We must talk,” he whispered. Lily felt her body lay on her soft bed. She felt Fang’s cool lips on her forehead as she fell into sleep.

Lily forced her eyes to open as the sun hit her face. Strange, Mark didn’t wake me up. What happened last night after Fang kissed my forehead? She pulled the covers off of her, seeing her body returned to normal cover. She saw the blood and the cut was healed. But by who? She slowly stood up, feeling something was different. She saw a bundle of clothing laid near her bed. She changed clothes and slipped on her padded shoes. She slipped out of her room, slowly walking to the dining room. No one was in there, not even her brothers. Lily sighed and glanced out the window, seeing none were there. Where the hell is everyone? Lily slowly walked up to Mark’s office. The door was slightly open, a small light from a lantern falling on the floor. Lily opened it, seeing Mark inside. He sat down behind the desk, writing. He looked up as Lily shut the door. “Your brothers are riding around on Star and another horse,” was the only thing he said. He continued to write, the quill moving rapidly. Lily stood against the door, watching him. He said nothing more, just continued to write. He finally stopped and ran his hand over his face. He tucked the letter into a thick envelope and quickly wrote on the envelope. He sealed it, tucking it into his desk. He stood up, glancing at Lily. “Come with me. Let’s go somewhere…more private.” He only opened the door, letting Lily in front of him.

Mark took Lily down to a small room. It only held two small leather chairs and a fireplace. “Sit down. We need to talk,” he said, closing the door. He knelt down by the fire, starting one. The fire lit the room as Lily sat in the chair. Mark went out of the room and returned with a kettle and mugs. He placed the kettle over the fire, sitting down. “What do we have to talk about?” she manage to whisper. Her mind raged, Did I do something wrong? Could he be mad at me abut last night? Surely he would understand. Mark looked at her, trying to hide the stress in his eyes. “I’m not mad at you, Lily. I was worried. I thought…you must understand me! I have-as well as your brothers-a protective right over you when…I-they-think you can’t protective yourself. We don’t mean any offenses. Everyone needs protection, including you.” He spoke softly, leaning against his knees. Lily shook her head, taking in his words. “How often is this?” She had forced herself to speak softly, not wanting to hear the hurt in her own voice. Mark smiled softly, but it did not reach his eyes. “Not often, dear one. But…when I saw your hoses were torn as well as there was blood…I freaked. I thought he did something to you!” Lily smirked as the dark humor entered her mind. “You mean take advantage of me? The same way my father did to me?” Mark’s eyes opened up at once, staring at her. “Your-that bastard raped you?” His voice was soft, yet shock was in his voice. Lily nodded, her eyes falling on the fire. “Yes. I don’t want to talk about it.” Mark didn’t say anything else, even as he wrapped an arm around her.

Several minutes later Mark poured them a cup of hot tea. “Did you send Fang over to me last night?” she whispered. She didn’t drink the tea, placing it on the floor. Mark looked at he, worried. “No. Thank the gods he found you anyhow. You were in danger, but…Fang has always looked out for the three of you with my orders or not. He always looked out for mostly you,” he said this softly. Lily had to smile, knowing Fang has always protected them. “He is sweet.” That was all of what she could say…and yet it descried everything. “He is. He found these after he laid you to bed. Where did you get them?” He held up the silver moon bracelet and dangled it in front of Lily’s face. Lily had to clasp her hands tightly so she wouldn’t grab it. “Nowhere. Why are you questioning me?” She didn’t look into his eyes. “I need to know where you got them, Lily.” Lily shook her head and looked at the bracelet. “Why?” Mark gently, but forcefully grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Where did you get them, child?” The stress and worry was clear in his voice. “Damn you, Mark! Damn you to the most pitifully pit of Hell! I stole them, okay? That traveler you saw me with had them and his story was not making since, much less clear. He kept changing it over and over. I needed to know! I had to get them! They were Mothers!” Mark’s face slowly paled and he looked surprised. “How do you know?” Lily took a shaken gasping breath and sighed. “You can’t feel it? That have Mother’s aurora on it. It was her power. I’ve seen her with them. They looked familiar! You can not delude me! Those are my Mother’s bracelet!” Mark only nodded and looked at the bracelets. “Of course.” Lily’s eyes flashed suddenly and she growled softly. “Can I get them back?” Mark didn’t look at her, he was looking at the bracelets. “Not for quite a while, dear one.” With a huff of energy Lily stood up and stalked out of the room, dropping her glass of tea behind her.

She walked out to find her brothers. She went to the stables and mounted a horse, riding bareback. The horse was nervous, feeling her power, but she wasn’t in the mood to argue with it. She found her brothers riding around on an abandon path. She followed them, saying nothing. They only glanced at her, reading her feelings. They allowed her to be between them as she smiled. This was a way to relax. To be in the outdoors with her brothers. “Mark won’t allow us to have the bracelets back,” she whispered after an hour or so of silence, “For quite some time, too.” They dismounted, coming near a large lake. She noticed that it wasn’t the lake that she saw Fang at. Their lake. Fang’s lake. She smiled at the name and a chill ran through her. “I’m not sure he understands why you stole them. Did you try explaining to him?” said Draco as he gazed at the lake. Damien slipped his shoes off, plunging his feet into the water. “Yes. He just wouldn’t hear it! It deals with Mother, so he won’t bother.” Lily sighed roughly and sat by the lake, gazing at the gushing water. “He will,” whispered Damien, “Give him time. For now you must relax. Yours and Mother’s time will come.” Lily said nothing else, closing her eyes.

They sat by the river for hours until dusk showed. Damien was sitting at the lake’s bank. Draco was leaning against a tree, watching the sky. Damien and Draco suddenly jumped up, making Lily jump. Her mind was in another world, thinking of Mother and Fang. She opened her mind, feeling a sudden force. Dark. Evil. Her eyes widen as Damien sniffed the air. “Fire!” he suddenly yelled, grabbing Lily. Lily was pulled up and she found herself running to the horses. She noticed Star was wild, prancing around while the others stood still. Only Star knows something is wrong. She jumped on Star and turned the young horse towards her brothers. They were mounting the other horses, nodding at her. Leave, Lily. Get ahead of us, screamed Damien in her mind. “No,” she said calmly. They quickly rode out of the dangerous area as fast as they could. The older horses were worn out and wild by the time Mark’s house was in sight. Star was stiff, but she staid ahead of the other horses. Lily opened her mind, touching her with her brothers. How are we sure we didn’t lead them here? she thought as they quickly rode to the stable. How are we sure they were after us? scoffed Draco as they dismounted their horses. Lily opened the door, leading Star in. The stable boy was nowhere to be seen. Oh come on, Draco! There was the disturbance in the air and only around us! There was danger right where we where it has only followed us! said Damien, throwing him a black look. They placed the horses into the stable and ran out of there. Once outside, Damien swung at Draco with all his might. Before Damien’s fist could meet Draco’s face, Lily tackled him to the ground. Calm, she forced into his mind, We are all stressed as merely as much as you. We need to clear our minds and plan this carefully. First of all we need to find Mark. She shoved Damien back to the ground and got up, disgusted. Draco was just standing there, looking at them. “Sorry,” grunted Damien to Draco as he got up. They quickly ran into the house, seeing Mark standing by the doorway to the dining room. “What’s wrong?” he said, looking into their faces. He quickly shut the door as Lily noticed the silver bracelets dangling from his hip.

Damien told Mark what all happened as Lily just stared out of space. Her mind was racing, making no sense of much things. “Children, do as I say. I want no arguments, do you hear me?” he said, whispering harshly, “Come with me, all three of you.” He lead them towards the staircase that went down to the basement. He opened a door to a small room with a small bedside table and a large bed. “I’m sorry. If I had more time I would have had more precaution. I would have fixed it up. But this is the room where you can be safe, where I know they won’t find you. Please, stay here.” He hugged them and stroked Lily’s hair. He whispered, “Mostly you” before he handed her his dagger. He was gone before they can say anything else.

Lily sat on the edge of the bed, holding the knife. She had forced her brothers to lay down and try to sleep. They were as terrified as her, but she knew within her state she would not be able to sleep. I know I can fight. She watched her brothers fall into an uneasy sleep. She watched the door, being wary. Before she knew it she had slumped forward, dozing. She woke with a start as she heard a load bang, the sound of a door opening and slamming close. She had jumped up, when she heard the sound. The door opened and a large shadow over fell them. Her brothers woke up and stood beside her. Mark stood before them, a grin on my face. Stress was clear in his eyes and on his face. Sweat and blood covered his tunic. “You’re safe,” he whispered and fell to his knees. The next thing the Gibbs children knew was darkness…

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