I was standing there and watching people trying to pull Seth away from the door. They were struggling to do just that. I would have offered my help but I knew when Seth wanted to get something, that you couldn’t stop him.
And right now he wanted to go after… I swallowed past the lump in my throat. He had called after her, Tory, but she was dead. Was he seeing her ghost?
But her being alive would make that dream have more sense, since she did look a little like Tory. Then she was the one we saw that night, that would make sense as well. Since she knew how to handle a gun, to fight and how to lose us, but then that didn’t explain the ‘no life forces’ bit. Wait… She was the new girl Seth had ‘found’, and he said she had a power.
My eyes widened at that train of thought. It really didn’t make that much sense but that didn’t matter at the moment. The fact that she was alive, my Tory was alive.
I gritted my teeth, no, she wasn’t my Tory anymore, and she never truly was mine to start with. She was always distant and kept to herself, the way she always was after her parents died. She was never the same girl after they were gone.
“Er… Sir?” someone coughed out.
I turned to see Lucas Blaze standing behind me. “Yeah?”
“I have the status on people you wanted,” he said with a serious face.
It went silent for a minute. “And?”
“Oh, um. Everyone is out besides two people, Charlotte Luke, a level eight psychometry and…” He went silent again.
“And who else, Lucas?” I demanded.
“She’s meant to dead,” he murmured.
“Who?” I put steel into my voice.
“Tory Jordan, a non-power, was classified as dead seven years ago from a –” I cut off him short with a growl.
“I know,” I growled deeply.
I looked at the building, the eves were falling down, the roof had caved in where the fire had burnt it and the walls looked as if they would collapse any minute.
“They won’t come out alive…” I whispered half to myself, lowering my head.
They were doomed, the building would surely fall any minute now with them in it. I thought of Charlotte, little Charlotte. Shaun would be so depressed when he found out she had died, his little sister was all he had left. I would be sad too; she was like a little sister to me as well but not as much as Shaun.
What I really wanted was to see if Tory had changed much in seven years, if she was the same girl I knew all those years ago.
“Sir!” Lucas yelped in worried panic.
I looked up as two people burst out of the burning building, just as the walls and roof caved in, sending a cloud of ash and embers into the air. They were coughing their guts up and gasping for clean, fresh air. But what I was interested in was the woman next to her; it was that woman from the last night. It was Tory.
I gasped for air; my field had pulled down on me during the last minute we were in there. My energy was depleted because I hadn’t eaten or slept in the past few hours, even the fire was quiet for once. We were out of there though, that was the main thing.
I looked across to Charlotte; she was kneeling on the ground in the same way as me. “You ‘kay, Char?”
She looked up from the ground to me with a happy smile on her face. “Yes, I’m alright thanks to you.”
I smiled slowly at her because she was smiling at me, she didn’t know how close we came to not making it out of there and dying. Maybe that was a good thing, after all.
“Tor!” Seth yelled from somewhere in front of me.
I looked up to see Seth break away from the guys that were holding him back by the arms, most probably to stop him from running back into the burning building after me.
He slid to his knees in front of me and pulled me into the circle of his arms, the smallest hint of smoke was in his clothes. I almost gagged at the smell, he had to be dying as well since I had a stronger scent on me than he had, and his head was buried against my neck.
“Jesus, Tory, don’t do that again,” he murmured.
“I’m sorry, Seth, but I had to,” I murmured back, stroking his shoulder to let him know I was here.
He pulled back and looked at me with dead-set eyes. “You will not do that again, hear me?”
My mouth almost dropped at this demand he was making. He was ordering me not to help someone again, ordering me around now? When he knew that I could look after myself perfectly well? That stubborn son of a b***h!
Anger coursed through me, the fire was instantly ignited and awake that I could feel it rise to my eyes. I cut it off with a single thought.
“You don’t control me,” I whispered.
“Now look, Tory, just because I said that doesn’t mean–” I cut Seth’s little rant off.
“You. Don’t. Control. Me.” I said louder.
He looked stunned; his mouth dropped just that tiny faction. “Excuse me?”
“Did you not hear me the first two times? You don’t ******** control me!” I gritted out as I pushed away from him and stood up.
About to help Charlotte and get her off the ground, I realised that all the sets of eyes that had been watching Seth and I were closing in. I stared around at the men and women that started to crowd me. Crap, this was not good. The fact that I didn’t like to be crowded wasn’t the reason that this wasn’t good, it was the angry and murderous looks on their faces that had me more worried.
“What the hell! What are you doing there, girl?” An old looking man said from the front lines.
He looked about my height with grey-white hair; no doubt that he could hurt me if he wanted. His dark brown eyes had the edge of hatred in them as they stared, unblinking, at me, which compelled me to snap back.
“None of your business, old man,” I sneered at him.
Surprised gasps from the woman echoed around the group, growls of protest went up from the men as the old guy stepped forward and I came face to face with him.
“You want to repeat that, girl?” he spat through gritted teeth.
I opened my mouth but Seth stepped in front of me. “Leave it, Theo, I ordered this.”
His gaze turned to Seth in surprise. “You? You let her in there? Good God, why?”
“She’s my daughter-” Seth started.
“She isn’t your daughter, Seth. You have no rights over this traitorous b–”
“She is standing right here,” I pointed out lazily.
“I have questions, Seth,” Theo said while crossing his arms.
“So do I,” someone else chimed.
“Calm down, everything will be answered in time,” Seth said, trying to control the group.
A chorus of people wanting to have answers to question I really didn’t want to answer went up.
“Whoa, whoa, back up people,” Seth tried to tell them, putting his hands out to warn them.
I started to back up as they came forward; the one thing I had a fear of was crowds. The anger I had felt towards Seth died suddenly and was replaced with the most fear I had. I absolutely hated crowds.
I kept backing up; I finally bumped into something that was firm yet warm and cosy. An arm, a male arm, came around my waist and locked me in place against him. I knew it was male because the arm was heavily muscled and thick.
Another shadow came up in front of me as I tried to turn my head to look up at the man; the shadow took all my attention as I caught sight of him out the corner of my eye.
“Okay people, back up,” Noah’s voice came from the shadow in front of me. Everyone stopped but didn’t move away. When they didn’t move, he growled, “Now.”
They all backed up, some still had those murderous looks on their faces and the others just neutral, un-emotional faces. The old guy glared at Noah in a way that if looks could kill, he would be dead. But he backed up and went on his way, not without a glare towards me, of course.
“Damn, Drake, you just have total control,” the man holding me snickered.
“Yeah, people just don’t want to get on the wrong side of me,” he murmured.
I snickered without thinking. Even he knew that they were just sucking up to him.
I looked away as Noah turned to stare at me. Not wanting to stay this close in fear that I couldn’t control my anger and therefore the fire, I ripped myself away from the man and turned quickly to where I last saw Charlotte.
Tory didn’t seem to want to stay around Shaun and myself; she practically threw herself off and out of Shaun’s grip into the other direction. I couldn’t really blame her for wanting to get away; we didn’t have the best track record in history.
“You think Theo will tell your dad?” Shaun asked, taking a look over my shoulder.
“Most probably, he is his right hand,” I answered then thought more about it. “And he was there when Tory went missing.”
I watched Tory as she helped Charlotte off the ground and onto her feet, brushing off the ash and soot as they both went up. Funny, I never saw Tory as a motherly type before but just watching her now changed my mind.
Seth came up to us after giving his strict orders to everyone else; his eyes instantly went to Tory where she was standing with worry and concern. Jealousy roared through me. I knew it was only a father-daughter bond but my emotions went haywire.
I raised my eyebrow at him in question as his eyes came back to me. He knew what it meant: And how long did you know about this? Or something along those lines.
“So, now you know,” he murmured half to himself, half to us.
“You think you could have kept it from me for long?” I snapped at him, letting my jealously turn to rage instead.
“I wasn’t the one who didn’t want to tell you,” he snapped back without the rage I showed but with the calm Seth tone.
I wasn’t surprised at that. Of course she would have asked him to be quiet about her being there, or even her being alive. I expected Seth to say yes to anything she asked him to do. Just like I would.
“Guys, back up for a second. Who is she?” Shaun asked almost stupidly.
We both turned and stared at him like he was a total idiot. He had seriously missed something about her, although he had come to the base years after Tory had ‘died’. There wasn’t much talk going on about it.
We both looked at each other for an answer when we realised that he wouldn’t know what we were talking about.
“She’s…” I started and stopped.
“She is, well…” Seth started and stopped like me.
“She happened to live here once before, long before you came here,” Tory pitched in, sliding up to Shaun with Charlotte by her side.
Shaun looked at her and she stared back at him, his eyes glazed over and a flare of psychic energy twirled around us. I knew that Shaun was scoping out Tory’s past and that he couldn’t help it but my eyes burned and my teeth were clenched so tight that they may have broken.
Shaun had the power of psychometry. It was the ability to see details of the past and/or future of an object, place or person. At level nine, Shaun could see peoples past and future without touching them, just being near them would trigger it.
His eyes went back to normal before I had to intervene, luckily, and he pursed his lips with a slightly narrowed look at her.
“You have a powerful power there, Tory,” he murmured.
“I had powerful parents,” she said back, her head held high in pride.
He inclined his head to her. “That you did.”
She smiled a true smile at him and put her hand out in front of her. “Tory Jordan, notorious b***h and traitor, ex-girlfriend to d**k and adoptive daughter to bossy here.”
Oh, she was pissed. I’ve never seen her angry or mad before.
Shaun laughed. “I like you, not many people can get away with saying things like that to these two.”
“Trust me, Shaun, she gets away with a lot more than she’s supposed to,” I griped at the two of them.
“Well, look who plays favourites,” she mocked, arms crossed in defence.
“I don’t play favourites,” I said through gritted teeth, knowing full well that I did.
“Oh yeah, sure…” she murmured, rolling her eyes at me.
“The perfect little princess you are can’t stand to be wrong,” I growled, getting angry that she was suggesting it.
Her lip curled. “I’m not a princess and I’m far from perfect.”
“Oh, really? What bullshit are you –” I almost said.
“Okay! Jesus,” Seth interrupted.
We glared at each other from where we both stood, Seth being the only one that could even break up childish fights. Since that’s what we were having.
“Look, just calm down. It’s been a long day and everyone just needs to take a breather.” Shaun brought in his calm and cool self.
“Just have to get everyone looked at in the infirmary,” Seth said, looking over his shoulder.
My gaze turned to whatever was happening over his shoulder. The last of the people that were here were getting into black four-wheel drives. One was still left empty and, I presume, that was for the five of us.
Somehow I thought that the four-wheel drive wouldn’t be strong enough to get Tory anywhere with us. Like trying to get a lioness into its cage with nothing but a raw meat suit.
“I’m not getting in that car,” she hissed right on queue. I was right.
I turned my eyes back onto her. Her eyes held locked emotions of hurt, desperation and fear. They were the only emotions that I had been seeing from her since she had turned up. But fear was the only one that I couldn’t understand properly.
“Tory, we have to get you checked out like everybody else,” Seth almost ordered but there was worry in his voice.
“I’m fine; I had my shield for cover. I don’t nee –” She went into a coughing fit, bent over with her hands on her knees while Charlotte patted her back.
I almost couldn’t hold back my smile; she couldn’t say she didn’t need it now. Seth wouldn’t let her go.
“Don’t need help, hey?” Seth said with a mocking, disbelieving voice.
“…Fine…” was all I could make out in her string of words and hard breathing.
“You’re coming whether you like it or not,” Seth ordered this time.
Her eyes lifted to him, yet her head stayed where it was. Determination and the slightest bit of anger were in them.
Seth saw it as well. “Even if I have to put you over my shoulder.”
That was a threat if I ever heard one. Tory didn’t like it at all. You could see her jaw set and eyes flame with fiery anger that just added to her previous anger. She really didn’t like the idea.
“I’ll go,” she spat, “with you.”
Disappointment ran through me, I really wanted to see Seth try to get her in the car. That and seeing her over his shoulder would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wouldn’t mind helping either.
“Damn, I really wanted to see someone manhandle you,” I joked with a cocky grin.
She glared at me as she straightened, not happy at my comment. Actually, she was not happy with me in general, but that feeling was mutual. Yet I just had to tease her. Charlotte, on the other hand, was jumping for joy that Tory was coming with us.
“Oh, Tory, you can share my room! We’ll have lots of girl time; it’ll be so much fun!” Charlotte exclaimed happily.
That finally got the glare that was glued on Tory’s face off. Her face lit up with the Tory I knew seven years ago. The Tory I missed. Yet that was short lived with her next comment.
“Of course, Charlotte,” she said gently, patting Charlotte’s arm in comfort.
The voice of hers was almost like Tory was saying sorry and goodbye. If it was sorry she was trying to say, then it meant she wouldn’t be saying long. That she would most likely disappear soon after getting looked at.
“Come on, come on!” Charlotte eagerly said, pulling on Tory’s hand.
“Alright, alright, hold your horses, girl,” Tory laughed, letting Charlotte pull her towards the car.
They went off with Seth trailing after them and piled into the back while Seth got into the driver’s side. He said something that I couldn’t hear, but I saw Tory and Charlotte smile at the comment.
Shaun stood next to me and watched them all, just like I was. I knew he had stayed back because he wanted to talk and ask me something; he was just giving off this vibe. So I waited.
“Tory seems… Nice. Not your type but nice,” he started off slow.
I said nothing, just waited for him to get to his point.
“I saw her with you, when you were in high school,” he mentioned, I stiffened.
I waited even more, not saying anything to him.
“You still love her?” he finally asked.
That question shocked me; I let my mouth drop as my head snapped towards him in surprise. He was looking at me, totally serious. I’d never seen him this serious.
“Do you?” he pushed when I didn’t say anything.
“Wha– No, of course not. I’m with Maddie now,” I stumbled out, walking away from him as fast as I could.
He still loved her, or liked her that way at least. If he ever did love her, it showed in the way he treated her every now and then.
I watched him, as I always watched everyone else, as he got in the passenger side, saying some smart assed comment because I heard a girly giggle from the car.
I could understand why he still did; she was a beautiful and charming woman even if she was cold hearted. But what I didn’t get was why he didn’t –wouldn’t– get back with her despite Madison. Some underlying history was there that I couldn’t see from Tory or Noah. Someone else had to have known.
I now knew why he had decided to date her. The story behind those two was clearing , it explained why he had been so angry and sad over the years. It had started right after Tory had ‘died’. He really did love her despite what he was saying.
A huge smile crossed my face.
“Shaun, you coming or what?” Noah yelled from the car, sick of waiting.
“I’m coming.” And thinking.
I jogged to the car, smiling slightly as my thoughts turned to how I would find out what happened seven years ago. And what happened to my best man to make him like this and what turned a beautiful woman into a cold hearted one.
- I hardly thought that things could have got worse. But they did. I hated him.
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