Drake paced the length of the magic room. CJ and Rae were playing quietly nearby but Chris kept a watch on the orb and on his Daddy checking to see if his message had worked. He wanted his Mom home more than anything and knew from Drake’s reaction that time was short. He was doing a great job keeping his baby sister distracted and for that Drake was grateful.
“Like this, RaeRae,” he smiled as he covered his eyes once more and waited for her to do the same. “Now say ‘peek-a-boo I see you’!”
“Peek-ah-broo!” she giggled and covered her eyes again.
Drake dropped onto the sofa and hung his head in his hands. The portal had closed from what Jade could see and there was no way of telling whether anyone had made it through before it had.
“I hate to leave like this,” Vincent said standing. “But I have to check on Jill and my baby. She has a doctor’s appointment today and I’d kick myself if I missed the chance to see my child for the first time.”
“Go,” Drake waved.
“Call me if you hear anything?” Jade nodded at him and he bit his lower lip as he started for his car.
“Why don’t you take off too?” Drake said looking towards her and Bastian. “If she comes home I’ll call.”
“I don’t want to just leave you here, Drake,” Jade said crouching on the cushion beside him and running a soothing hand along his shoulders. “It’s best if we stay and try and help.”
“No, there’s nothing more to do here. Just go on home.”
“Ok but we’re right up the street now. Bastian and I got a new place about a block from you on Valleyview.”
“Great. It’s nice to know a babysitter isn’t too far away,” he joked as he looked over towards his children. “I’ll see you later.”
Jade and Bastian headed for the house but stopped shortly after turning off the street. “We don’t really have any furniture yet Basti.”
“Shopping is a nice distraction,” she shrugged.
“Bon.” Bastian drove towards town and the mall. He smiled to himself watching her bounce merrily in her seat.
After a few hours of dragging Bastian to and fro Jade had settled on a nice antique living room set, one she knew Bastian loved, and a few other household items. The delivery was scheduled for later that afternoon and the smaller items she helped Bastian stuff into the trunk of his convertible before they started back to the house.
Bastian got the items inside and Jade went to check the trunk once more.
“Jade,” Karver said standing at the end of the drive.
She stopped in her tracks and turned towards the voice, an ice cold chill running up her spine. “K-K-Karver,” she said looking from her left to right and judging the distance from him to the door.
She made a move towards the stoop and Karver was on her in an instant. “Don’t do that,” he smirked. “I’m not in the mood for games; not now at least.” He pressed himself against her, taking in her scent and taking discomfort in her obvious fear. “Why are you so scared? Have you forgotten the great times we shared?”
“Missed me? Well, I’m going to make up for lost time, trust me. And once I get you home again, we’ll make everyone who broke us apart pay for what they did.” He brushed his lips against her neck, kissing her gently and sucking tenderly on the nape.
“Jade?” Bastian said stepping from inside the house. “Get away from her!”
Karver sighed and looked at Jade. “Give me a minute to snap his neck and then we can go.”
“NO!” Jade yelled pushing him away. She stepped behind Bastian and held his arm.
Karver sneered at him briefly realizing the connection between the two. “You think a few kind gestures and late night kisses will keep her away from me?”
“Jade,” Karver held out his hand with a smirk and his eyes locked on hers. Bastian tightened his grip on her arm as he watched her stare back at Karver, her pretty brown irises slowly turned blood red. “Come to me Jade.” He spoke again prompting her to take a step forward. “Jade!” Bastian pulled her back by her wrist planting his feet on the ground to keep her from moving.
Karver laughed watching the fire rage on in her eyes. “Jade?” he said once more. She turned to Bastian and with a quick flick of her wrist sent him flying towards the curb. She took Karver’s outstretched hand. “I’ve missed you,” she said planting a kiss on his lips.
“I know. And like I said, they’ll all pay, no worries, Beautiful,” he whispered against her neck as he ported her to the Pit.
Jill was gone when Vincent got back. She had told him about her doctor’s appointment but called to reschedule after she left the house. She took a cab to a wooded retreat a few miles outside of the town known as Whispering Pines. Once there she caught another ride to a cabin that appeared abandoned settled deep among four others in the area.
She looked around making sure she was alone before stepping towards the front door. Her silent knock went unanswered and she pushed the wooden barricade and listened to the hinges creak before stepping inside.
“Jilly Angel!” a woman said stepping from inside the kitchen covered in cooking batter and an equally stained apron. “Why didn’t you call? We could have come to pick you up! Reginald, your daughter’s home!”
A scruffy face entered behind the redhead and hurried towards Jill. He wrapped his arms around her tight and squeezed. “Welcome home Baby.” He guided her into the living room and the woman brought over some tea.
“So tell us, what’s life like in the big city? Have you met anyone interesting?”
“Mom there’s a lot I need to tell you,” she said looking down at her stomach. “And a lot you’re not going to like.”
Bastian rushed into the magic room and found Drake still pacing the small area. “What happened?” he asked not waiting for Bastian to utter a word.
“Karver! He came and she was like a robot! I couldn’t stop her from leaving it was as zhough he was controlling her!”
“Karver? Are you sure it was him?”
“Oui. He came and he just took her!”
“If he’s back then that means…”
“But how could he just…”
Bastian cussed in French not realizing Chris and Rae were just a few feet away. He apologized and Drake sent them inside to their rooms. “We’ll get her back Bastian, I promise.”
He rushed in after the children screaming to the top of his lungs. “Zoe!?”
He ran up to the bedroom and again screamed her name. Not finding her he checked the other rooms finally stopping in front of the art room. He heard crying and slowly pushed open the door. “Zoe…”
He immediately dropped to the floor and pulled me into his arms. “What happened here?” I asked calmly as he caressed a hand through my hair and placed kisses on my swollen eyes and tear stained cheeks.
“I lost my temper. Nothing was lost, don’t worry,” he pulled me to my feet and gripped me tighter in his arms. “I’m so glad you’re home.”
“I had a choice to make like you said at the portals and…”
“Karver’s back, I know. He’s taken Jade.”
“He won’t be able to keep her, he’s weakened and he doesn’t have the strength to sustain the evil he once did. I can go and bring her back.”
“No. You stay here; Raevynn and Christopher have missed you. Go see our kids and I’ll go and get Jade.”
He kissed me long and hard and the grip around my waist tightened as though he were afraid of letting go. “I love you Drake but you’re crushing me right now. I think my ribs are now in little pieces and I’m swallowing them.”
He laughed and pulled back. “I’m sorry, I just wasn’t sure if I’d see you again. And as much as I hate it right now, I have to go. I’ll get Jade back and then you and I need some alone time,” he winked.
“I can’t wait.”
Karver lit the last candle and turned towards Jade. She was resting against the wall taking in her surroundings and trying to get a vision from the items she came into contact with. There was no telling what Karver had planned for her but knowing him it could be anything and she wasn’t in the mood for more surprises.
“There’s no need for the worry,” he said without turning around. “I have no intentions of hurting you.”
He stepped closer and helped her sit on the bed. Slowly his hands worked down her legs and he kissed his way along them. His hands rubbed towards her feet as he unhooked the leather straps of her shoes and removed them gently.
“I know why you did what you did Jade, I’m not mad,” he smiled tenderly. “But understand I do intend on revenge.” He dropped her shoe to the foot of the bed and pushed her further onto the mattress. He sat beside her and pulled her into his arms. “Would you like to help?” he asked softly stroking his hands through her hair.
“I’m with Bastian now.”
“Bastian,” he scoffed. “He’ll die first, Love.” He kissed her cheek and rubbed his face against her neck. “He should have never touched you.”
“I can’t let you do that. I…”
“You’re confused right now Jade. It’s been over a year and that’s understandable. But know that I am serious and soon you’ll come around again. I’ll help you remember.” He positioned himself on top of her and looked down into her eyes. “You’re still just as beautiful as I remember.”
He inched his lips close enough to steal a kiss but stopped himself before their lips connected.
Jade closed her eyes and waited for him. She knew the game and knew that she wouldn’t leave without giving him what he wanted.
She was surprised when he pulled back and lifted her from the bed. His arms wrapped around her back and he turned on music as he moved with her around the room. “I’m not going to take it Jade. You’ll offer yourself to me once we’re good again. For now, I’ll let you go.” He kissed her hand and snapped his fingers porting her back to the surface.
Karver slowly made his way to the throne room; all of his minions and demons bowed before him as he navigated along the narrow corridor. He smiled seeing his throne pressed against the wall and everything as he once left it. With a few quick flicks of his wrist he’d rearranged the room creating a new haven; one that meant change for surely a change was coming.
“Karver we need to talk,” Drake said finding his way to the throne room. He looked around and noticed the place was much different than last he’d seen. The place itself was larger and there was more décor lined along the walls and ceilings, gold plated settings and silk curtains; enough to make even the wealthiest of kings happy.
“Drake; I was wondering when we’d get around to saying our hellos,” Karver sneered as he stepped down from his throne. “Tell me, how’s our boy? Still the curious little scamp he’s always been? I’ve been meaning to send him a little gift; I regret that I missed his birthday but, I was a little banished at the time.”
Drake’s eyes went red and he could feel the tattoo on his back burning into his flesh also turning flames no doubt. “I didn’t come here to listen to you make threats against me or my family. I’d much rather we not even waste time on them when we both know you’re powerless. I know about your throne and I know that right now you can’t get a foothold in our realm without a great deal of pain so cut the act and listen to what I have to say.”
Karver turned sharply; an angry scowl growing on his face. “Don’t presume to know ANYTHING about me Drake! One thing is certain, whether I have the power or not up there, I have MORE than enough down here to make your life a living hell! I can make sure that you NEVER leave here or see your precious little family again. If you don’t want to see me make good on that, you watch your tone!”
“My tone?” Drake reached for Karver, grabbing him around his neck and slamming him against the wall. “How about instead you watch yours and listen. You’ve placed my family in harm’s way too many times to think I owe you anything! Right now I am prepared to forget about the past because you and I both want the same thing, revenge.”
Karver pushed Drake back, slamming a fist into his jaw for good measure and watched him drop to the ground. “Revenge I can help with but don’t ever put your hands on me again!” Drake got to his feet and spit a mouthful of blood to the floor. “Talk!”
“Like I said,” Drake smirked. “I’m not here for you; no deals, Karver I just want to get revenge. I’ll help you get back on your feet but you have to make sure this hellfire is mine to keep, no manipulation. Those nymphs and sages are no better than the monsters you created down here and if for one second they think I’m going to let them get away with what they did to me, to my family, they’re wrong. I’m gonna make them all pay.”
“Then you and I Brother have much to discuss,” Karver said extending his hand.