Read Redefined Online

Authors: Jamie Magee

Redefined (page 3)

Advertising Download Read Online

We all glanced up to see August leaning in the frame. He pointed over his shoulder. “I happen to know a dinner table that is full of not only good food, but people who have the same goal,” he said with a wise smirk.

“Ring,” Madison mouthed.

I weakly shook my head no. She was going to have to figure out how to deal with Drake without Monroe’s magic to aid her. Her face hardened as she stood and pulled Aden up as if he were some kind of shield and pushed him past August.

“I can bring your dinner here,” August said as his old eyes appraised Draven and me.

“We’re good. Didn’t mean to be rude and hide out up here,” Draven said with the manners his father demanded his boys always have.

August stepped forward and held his hand out to help me up. Draven followed, gripping the box. I managed to slide the envelope into my back pocket without anyone noticing.

“Man of many languages, aren’t you?” Draven asked.

August nodded once, being ever so humble.

“Can you read this?” Draven asked, handing him the cedar box that had no way to open it.

August took the box carefully, glanced at the words, then let his concerned stare rise to meet ours.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

August let his aged hands move across the symbols of the box as his eyes moved between the two of us.

“Many have fallen, only to rise higher,” he finally said just as his eyes moved to the box again. “A path that all great deities must face,” he mumbled to himself.

“They fall?” I questioned.

“People do not follow souls that had everything handed to them. They follow souls who have lost their way more than once and found a way to rise higher - for they know those souls will lead them to do the same.”

“Can you open that?” Draven muttered as he reached for my hand.

“I doubt it.” August moved the box all around. “It’s sealed with divine magic - and this box knows I am not the one needed to open the gifts it has.”

“How do I open it?” I asked, knowing it was mine - well, all of ours.

He pursed his lips. “I’ll see if I can decode any of this symbolism for you, but honestly something this protected will not open until it is needed.”

“Perfect,” I muttered. So much for making battle plans.

Before we could ask another question, an older woman walked up behind August and nudged him. She was small, silver hair, wise eyes. With only a glance, I could see that she was his soul mate: Nyla, Landen’s grandmother.

“I send you to tell them it was time to eat, and I find you in a discussion of what will be? Let these children rest, August,” she said in a teasing but firm tone.

“Not his fault, Mrs. Nyla. We needed help,” Draven answered politely.

“Well, I may not have the insight my dear August has, but I know that all of you have been through a tremendous experience and that right now food and rest will make your path clear. Come,” she said as she turned and walked down the stairs to emphasize the point that it was time to eat.

August glanced at me. “May I keep this for a while, see what I can do to help you understand it? With what I already know, perhaps the scroll left behind by Willow and Landen may add to it. I admit, it may confuse it more, but at least I will feel as if I am doing all that I can.”

I nodded to tell him yes, still unable to look in his eyes for very long.

“Tell me,” he said quietly, “what else is troubling you? Why is it that your aura reflects grief when you glance into my eyes?”

My heart began to beat so fiercely that it hurt to breathe. I didn’t know how to answer him, and I surely didn’t know that my aura was reflecting grief for him, my family for sure. But his statement reminded me that I was sure that his granddaughter was now a Witness.

I wasn’t prepared to witness the agony I was sure to see in his eyes - not after the day I’d lived through.

Draven held August’s stare as his eyes turned to black. I was sure he was searching through August’s memories to find the best way to explain to him what we knew, at the same time trying to judge what response he may have, what response they would all have. Once his eyes were emerald green again, he tilted his head and said, “I’m interested in the auras all of you seem to see.”

“All can see them,” August answered with smiling eyes. “You just have to tell yourself to see what you already feel, the energy of others.”

I glanced nervously between them, wanting a way out of this room, a way out of having to tell August anything I knew or assumed.

Draven cleared his throat. “When you spoke to my brother and Charlie about older generations, about Witnesses, you seemed intrigued by them.”

“I am.”

“Can I assume that you are also open-minded about Witnesses, agree that they still exist, that they are guardians, especially to the ones they love?”

“You can,” August said as he stood up a little straighter.

Draven reached his arm around my waist. “This is hard to say.”

August nodded once as he pursed his lips just before he said, “Let me take your burden away...I noticed the passages that Perodine has been studying endlessly for the past day or so. I read into her concerns, and I’m aware that some members of this family will be given the divine fate of a Witness.”

“You know?” I uttered.

“I’m aware that there are only two members of this family not accounted for at the table set downstairs.”

“And you’re not sad?” I asked.

“I am concerned. I will not lie, I know that Witnesses are warriors and that for them to be called, the war we fight must need them.”

“Does everyone know?” Draven asked.

August’s eyes grew dim. “I’ve spoken to my son Ashten. He is aware, and so is Aubrey, his soul mate - but the children, Landen, Brady, the others...do not know.”

“Why are you waiting to tell them?” Draven asked as he looked all around August.

“They will not take this well. You see, each of my grandchildren strives to take the burden of the curse they feel this family has from each other. Willow and Landen stand at the forefront of that quest. After what they have been through they would feel the blame, find fault in random past decisions they’ve made, even seek to undo the path that Clarissa and Dane are on - but I know that would be dangerous, that the roles we are falling into, the expansion of how wide our net will cast, is a telling sign that the trial of Jupiter is in play.”

“I don’t understand how the planets play into whatever you are fighting,” I said quietly, too astounded to search for my answers in his thoughts.

“Honestly, we don’t either,” he said with a sad smile.

“Jupiter...is that a bad planet?” I asked in a whisper, knowing that more than likely, in some way we were now twisted into this.

August smiled slightly as his eyes moved between Draven and me. “No. None of them are bad. Jupiter usually represents luck, expansion. You being here, surfacing when you did, was nothing less than luck. The new doorways you open are an example of expansion. It seems that the trials are overlaying, leading us in new directions, giving us less time to prepare for them.”

“That doesn't sound so scary,” Draven said, glancing down at me. “So Willow and Landen are going to take this badly?”

“Very. We just want them to rest now. I admit that Ashten and Aubrey are not calm about this. They fear for their daughter, what her role will bring, but they are strong parents, and right now they are turning their attention to helping all of you - for if one falls, I fear you may all fall.”

The certainty in his voice sent chill bumps across my skin.

“Um...maybe you know this, too,” I uttered. “Madison...Madison thinks that maybe, somehow, that in The Realm a part of Drake may be in Landen, and vice versa. I don’t know what that means for all of you.”

“That is troubling,” August muttered, “and it is something that I feared may approach, a ploy by Donalt. All he has to do is have access to a vessel that Willow’s heart loves. When that happens, he will have the power of her heart instantly.”

“I don’t get that. What makes Willow’s heart so different?” I asked.

“There is nothing more powerful in Willow’s heart than any other. The reason it is plagued, targeted by Donalt, is that she has fought for over four million years to destroy him. Willpower and thoughts of redemption, for that amount of time are very powerful. Truth is, I have no idea why she is targeted. I simply know that Donalt is seeking her essence as if it is the one tool he needs to reach some demented plan of his.”

“Well, I guess we can’t let that happen, can we?” Draven stated, obviously vowing to join this army of souls.

“I hope not,” August said with a forced smile. “Dinner is ready, and rest is needed to unravel all that we know.”

He reached for us and we followed with little enthusiasm. I wanted to figure this out now, and honestly I feared rest. I feared my own mind.

Before we stepped outside, Draven pulled me closer to him. His lips rested on my temple before he pulled me to his chest.

“I’m not going to let anything happen to you, Charlie. You and me; this is our family.”

I felt my heart leap. I felt myself anchor to this reality, and that allowed me to breathe a little easier.

Knowing that we could not be rude any longer, we found our way outside to the massive porch where Willow and Landen’s family was surrounding an elegant dinner table with more food than I had ever seen. Everything seemed so fresh, so colorful and inviting.

Almost strategically, the seat Madison was given was near Drake, across from Willow and Landen, in the center of the table. Our seat was near the end of the table, where August sat at the head of it. I kept my eyes low as they offered thanks for the food and the random conversations began around us.

Madison had made every effort not to look at Drake. I knew why. Even though I was three seats away from him, I could feel the pull of his energy - the dominance that seemed to echo around him. God help my best friend. That boy needed a warning label attached to him. He could make you dizzy without even bothering to look you in the eyes.

I felt Monroe’s stare and found her on the other side of the porch with Preston and Libby. Though they were not speaking, they were most definitely communicating. They would glance at each other, then to Willow and Landen. I wanted to pull Monroe aside and ask her to show me everything she knew about her father, what was about to happen. I didn’t care that the planet of Jupiter was one of luck or expansion. I felt an ominous cloud approaching us all.

“So, Charlie, who taught you to play?” Nyla asked me curiously, trying to pull me into the casual conversation that Aden and Draven were creating, one that was avoiding what we’d been through, might go through.

“My...my father,” I said as I blushed and memories ignited in my mind of the ghostly image that guided my fingertips when I was barely five. “Draven’s dad helped, too.”

Nyla smiled kindly. “Sounds like a wonderful father. So music was his gift?”

“It was.” I glanced at Draven. “It was his escape from the darkness he battled within.”

“Music is that for everyone, is it not?” Nyla said as a warm smile came across her tenderly aged face. “Can I convince you to play after dinner? I’m sure we are all hungry for such an escape.”

I nodded shyly, not sure if she knew how literally I meant that music was an escape from darkness. Something told me she knew, that somehow my aura or the time she spent with Monroe and her brothers had led her to know more about me than I realized.

I noticed Grayson and Draven locked in a stare and I quickly asked where they were with a simple thought, wanting in on this private conversation. Instantly, I was gone from the table.

Where I was made no sense. It looked like I was standing over a blue ocean, but it was laced with flames, and those flames were fighting with the water, fighting to reach where I was, on a stone pedestal hundreds of feet in the air. I could see a spinning sky, one that looked as if it were trying to stop or at least focus on certain points, stars - seven of them maybe. I gasped when I saw a wall of water, one that looked entirely too much like the one I had seen my parents in front of before.

The most troubling thing of all was the blood I could see spilling down the steps. I pulled myself out, not wanting to see the source of that blood.

Sensing me tense, Draven’s stare was now on me. He tilted his head in the direction of Monroe, quietly telling me that it was her thoughts that we were in. I glanced at Grayson. He nodded once to confirm that that was where he found the thought. The confusion and fear in his eyes told me he had no idea what was about to happen to us, to his sister.

Nyla, along with several others whose names I could not remember, cleared away the dinner dishes and began to set an array of desserts before us all. Aden decided to slide down a seat, finding himself next to me. Draven glanced across me to him, then to August.

“I really am curious as to why you and Perodine insinuated that Charlie knew my brother before this life as well.”

Aden’s body instantly became rigid. The tension at our end of the table built in that instant.

Other books
a self made monster by steven vivian
reluctant consent by saorise roghan
the empty ones by robert brockway
mr. nice spy by jordan mccollum
fated by sarah alderson
the bloodless boy by robert j. lloyd
the squad by t. ryle dwyer
switchblade goddess by lucy a. snyder