The Comic Book: Carmillia: Pt. 11

Carmillia’s POV
I’m bored out of my mind. The chains rattle as I draw seemingly random lines and curves on a piece of paper one of the guards was kind enough to slip into my cell. A song runs through my mind, one I begin to hum out loud. I hear footsteps and look up.
“Hello, little one.”
I roll my eyes and go back to drawing. A hand gathers my hair and yanks my head up.
“I said hello, Carmillia.”
I stare deep into her eyes, so dark I can see myself reflected in them. I look away.
She grins and releases my locks from her claws.
“We’ll work on that. Now,” she peers over my shoulder, “what are you drawing?”
I shrug, flipping the paper over. I don’t trust her, at all. I know that she is feigning interest in my personal pastimes, in order to get on my good side. My mind drifts to Aidan. The witch must have sensed my sudden shift in mood because her nails are on me, once again, as she raises my chin so that our eyes meet. Her other hand shoots out and snatches up my paper. Still holding my face firmly, she narrows her eyes and assesses my work. (Of course, I’m not looking for her approval, so her next words are in one ear and out the other.)
“You insist on torturing yourself by drawing the eyes of a man forbidden to you?”
I don’t say anything, but lie there as the witch continues to verbally pick me apart.
“I don’t understand. He isn’t yours- he never will be. Why not just let go of him, now, instead of hurting yourself by hanging on to him?”
“Everything that leaves your mouth really is bullshit,” I growl with a chuckle.
The witch laughs softly, shaking her head and loosening her grip on my chin.
“I knew you were the right one. From the second I looked into those defiant little eyes of yours, I knew you were going to be a challenge.” She shakes her head, again. “Well, you have certainly lived up to my expectations, Carmillia, dear.”
I watch with slitted eyes as her fist closes around my paper, crunching and molding it into nothing but a useless ball. When she opens her hand, white, pulpy shavings float peacefully out of her hand, coating the already filthy floor of my cell. For some reason, I can’t take my eyes off of the paper as it drifts to the floor in shreds and mounds of powder.
“It would be best for both of you to let go. You can never have Aidan,” she casts a menacing glance at me, “and I will never allow Aidan to have you.”
With that final thought, the witch swirls her long cloak around her and, in a graceful flurry of black silk, exits the room. The clank! of the heavy metal door closing echoes through the tiny room and I curl up around myself, eyes fixed on the little white piles of paper forming around me. The same song from before picks up in my mind and I resume humming as if I was never interrupted.

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Part 10

It has been quite a while!!! I’ve been traveling a lot without my phone and am just now trying to catch up! Enjoy Part 10, beginning with the perspective of our newest enemy…

I watch the girl go. Her screams mean nothing to me. I turn my attention to a sound that pullsbat my heart: the screams of my child. He isn’t just screaming, no. He is screaming for her. It disgusts me how easily he let his guard down and fell into her trap. Women are dangerous creatures, no matter what species they belong to.
I sniff, walking in his direction and eventually arriving at a cell. I enter it and stand silently by the door. Aidan doesn’t move, but I know he knows I am here. I approach him, letting my cloak fall from my shoulders, and lift up his chin.
“Poor boy. Draining your power to contact a girl who doesn’t even love you.” He lets out a small whimper. I trail my sharp nail over his jaw.
Pathetic,” I spit.
“Only because…” He stops and inhales deeply, wheezing. “Because you l-loved F-Father and look…where it…got…you…” I smile at him stroking his hair.
“Oh, my son. We were not made for love. We were made for seduction. Seduction to feed, to live! Not to throw away our hearts to useless worms.” He clenches his fists.
“‘Father‘ was a worm. Carmillia is not.”
“That’s what she wants you to think, my child. If that is what you truly believe, then I am afraid to say that is too late.” Through all of this, I can see him subtly removing the amulet from where it is hanging loosely around his neck. I am talking to make him think I haven’t noticed and to see how far he thinks he can get. I must admit, he us good. Just not as good as me.
“I love her. No one can…change that. Not…even…you…” I smile sweetly.
“Oh, baby,” I coo, grabbing the gem. His breath catches in his throat as the chain gets tighter around his neck, forcing the amulet up against his skin.
“I thought you were above this. I thought I taught you well enough.” I sigh, looking down at him with mock pity, then flash my fangs in a grin.
“It seems you are just as fragile as your father. I didn’t love him. I made love to him. There is a difference. I needed a child and he was able to give one to me.” I stand and begin pacing the length of the small room.
“You see, at first, I wanted to kill him as soon as you were born. As you know, the female receives nutrients from the male during her pregnancy, so he served no purpose to me after it. Not to me, at least. I knew our child would have to have a father to lead them until the appropriate age. Then, he was truly useless. So, on then night of your seventh birthday, Daddy had to go bye-bye.” I giggle, gazing down at my son.
“You have lowered yourself, Aidan. You are to lead us, but now, you are incapable of such a task. You must be reconditioned.” I turn to the door and put my hand on the nob.
“Your reconditioning starts tomorrow at dawn. I will decide what to do you with your friends. Especially Carmillia.” I tap my chin thoughtfully, a wicked idea forming in my head. “I do believe she will make a good Apprentice to me. As for that Gemma girl, she will be sentenced to death. She annoys me.” I was never one to beat around the bush. “Jackal would be a good Warrior and a good Healer. Perhaps, he will be both. Jude…” I trail off. “He is toy-material and a distraction for Jackal.” Aidan struggles to cry out in protest and I have my hand around his throat in two seconds.
You led them into this mess. You associated yourself with them. This is your fault. Now, you will watch them suffer and change in ways you never thought possible. And it is all…” I put my lips to his ear. “…Your…fault.” With that, I get up and storm out of the room, sweeping up my cloak on the way out.
Let him be alone with his guilt, I think. Let him recognize he is the one at fault, not I. Let him pay. And maybe…just maybe…I will get my son back.

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Part 9

Unfortunately, my little nap doesn’t last very long, because, two seconds later, I find myself awake and in a stupor of sorts. I stand there, shocked, as Aidan is dragged into a car.
“Move.” I stumble forward, arms held tight behind my back. The woman, Aidan’s mother, has her back to me. A guard rushes to her side.
“What now, Madam?” Without moving, she answers in a small, beautiful voice.
“Make sure my son is secured. His power will be limited, for a while, but he will get stronger.” My eyes narrow, hearing how casually she referred to Aidan as her son when she was the one who put him in so much pain only seconds before.
“How could you?” She turns around. I stifle a gasp. Aidan resembles her so much. The dark eyebrows, plump red lips, deep violet orbs that stare into you and pick you apart piece by piece.
“Ah, Carmillia.” Her voice comes out as a sensual purr. A smirk coats her lips and she steps forward.
“Madam-” the guard growls in warning. She waves him away and peers at me.
“Beautiful,” she whispers, eyes roaming wonderingly over my face. I see her tongue flick over her fangs and lean back slightly, only to be pushed roughly back into place. She smiles.
“You are very special, my dear.”
“Don’t touch me,” I grind out. She laughs, gripping my chin suddenly.
“Don’t command me to do anything, girl.” I spit in her face, watching the clear liquid land on her flawless skin. Disgust flickers in her eyes and she shoves me back.
“Take her to Building E. Away from him.” My heart speeds up.
“What? Where is he?” She starts walking away, hips swaying suggestively. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HIM? WHERE IS HE?”
“Enough,” she says simply, waving her hand. “Silence the child.” I scream in anger as a hand is pushed over my mouth and I am dragged in the opposite direction, the one opposite of where they dragged Aidan. The ground streams by beneath me. I’m a small person and they’re holding me somewhat high up in the air, so I’m not really able to get a foothold, at the moment.
“Fight back and your friends will be hurt,” a husky voice growls in my ear. His hand travels to my chest and I hiss at him, sending him a message. The hand twitches, then freezes, falling back to its previous position grasping my arm in a deathlock. Still, his threat lingers in the air. I can’t let anyone get hurt because of me. Demitri calls it the Aventi Curse. Our selflessness. For generations it has held us back, forcing us all to make crucial decisions for the sakes of our loved ones and those who are innocent.
“Jude…” I whisper.
I am here.
Are you…?
Okay? No, not exactly. I am currently chained to a cold brick wall that is stained with the blood of God-knows-how-many others.
I will get to you-
No. His answer startles me. You will stay put. Anger and stubbornness runs through me.
What? I am not some damsel-in-distress, Jude. I can-
Carmillia, please. Just wait for me. Please. I roll my eyes, feeling my body slam into a hard surface. I was so caught up in our little convo, I totally missed the fact that I was being dragged into a dungeon-style room, complete with a table of torture devices (none of which scare me terribly, I have seen much worse in Faen’s laboratory at home) and the tangible, almost intoxicating smell of desperation. The smell of failure. The smell of fear. And death. And a number of other things that I could name that linger in this room.  The door slams shut and I pull slightly at the chains, testing their durability. I raise an eyebrow. Strong. A sigh leaves my lips, bubbling up and spilling over. Already, I can feel my scent mixing with those of the dungeon, transforming and changing to fit its dark and desperate environment.
Another sigh leaves my lips. As a last resort, I reach out with my mind and try to contact Aidan.
Aidan? Silence. Aidan? I can feel my heart begin to quicken, but it is all stopped with one word.
Carmillia? I nearly scream with relief.
Aidan! Are you alright?
I understand. Hold on for me, okay?
Mother…jewel…Carmillia… He’s fading and fast.
Aidan? Aidan, stay with me, I’ll find you. I will. I hear him chuckle weakly in my head.
Will…wait…lifetimes… Then the connection goes dead.

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Part 8

Sorry for the slow update!!! I’ve been having writer’s block. It sucks. Plus, there’s school and all that nonsense. Here’s Part 8!!!

My eyelids flutter open and both Asura and I groan.
Honestly, who’s chest is this? I think, frustrated and groggy.
Turn around. Aidan is holding me gently to his chest, sleeping peacefully. I can’t help but smile, watching him rest.
Do not wake him. Look how peaceful he is! He’s so perfect…and he’s ours. Asura’s purring, again. I agree with her, though. He looks adorable. I kiss his cheek lightly, then pull back. I yawn and survey the plane, not bothering to get up. If I even try, Aidan will be up in an instant, snarling and ready to kill. Jude stirs from where he’s tucked against Jackal’s chest, snoring lightly.
“Carmilli, you okay?” I nod.
“Yeah, I’m fine. How’s Jackal?” Jude wipes his eyes and props himself up on his elbow.
“He’s good. I think he’s hungry, though. His tummy keeps making noises.” I laugh. Jude has always maintained a certain level of childishness and I love him for it. Jackal groans and sits up fully, pulling Jude with him.
“We’re not down yet?” I shake my head and lean back into Aidan’s chest.
“Nope. We are still 30,000 feet up in the air.” A guard is watching us closely, hands on his gun. Gemma looks up at him, muttering angrily.
“This is what I wake up to? Come on! What kind of hospitality is this, then?” The guard looks at all of us.
“I apologize if I am making you hostile. I am only doing my job.” A stunned silence falls over our section of the aircraft.
“You…apologize?” Jude asks, standing up. The guard nods.
“Especially after you all are just waking up. You should wake up feeling safe, but I believe that is something you will not feel for a long, long time.” I study him curiously, standing slowly from my seat. Aidan yanks me back down, but I still stare.
“Why do you seem so gentle?”
Why are you interrogating him? I shush her. Do not shush me, or I will come out to play! Do you want that, Carmillia?
No, thank you, I reply quietly. Asura hums in satisfaction.
Why would you want to get up, when you have a seat as comfortable as this?
I was…curious, I say back, crossing my arms.
Oh, Carmillia, curiosity killed the teenage mutant! My claws dig into the seat and I let out an audible growl, causing everyone to turn and look at me.
I. Am not. A mutant. She laughs.
Of course not. I’ll stop, now. ‘Wouldn’t want you murdering anyone on her and messing up this nice leather and suede, would we? I groan and sink into Aidan. He growls contentedly and nuzzles into my neck, taking a big whiff of my scent. He exhales slowly, humming in satisfaction and pulling me closer to him. I sigh.
“Hey, Aidan?”
“Would you consider yourself a…a…mutant?” He raises an eyebrow.
“No and if Asura is the root of this question, I do kindly ask her to stop.” His tone darkens and he stares deep into my eyes, into my soul, into Asura. She squeaks in something between fear and intense excitement.
“Thanks,” I whisper, cuddling up with him once again. Jackal grumbles.
“What does a guy have to do to get some food on this thing? I’m starving!” The Friendly Guard smiles slightly.
“I apologize for your hunger. It has been a long flight. We will be landing in approximately fifteen minutes. You will get some food, then.” Jude rubs Jackal’s stomach.
“Hold on just a little while longer.” I turn and look at the window. Not out the window. No. At the window. The windows are totally black. I can’t see anything. An irritated growl leaves my mouth. Aidan shifts suddenly, arms tightening around me. His eyes are a deep purple, swirling around mysteriously. Asura is getting extremely excited, and I know exactly why.
“Feed me.” His voice is a low, husky growl, deep and seductive.
“Don’t fight. Let me do this.” Asura rises to the surface and I find myself kissing his lips deeply. His hands hold me firmly in place and I feel my life-force transferring to him. He moans and pulls away. I gasp as my eyes turn back to normal and Asura recedes.
“Thanks,” he murmurs, kissing my forehead. The rumble beneath the aircraft alerts me that we are landing. Aidan sits up. In the next fifteen minutes, we are landed, scanned, and ushered off of the plane.
Suddenly, shots ring out and the gathered group of children begins to scatter and cry out in confusion. Guards rush in and separate us. Aidan grabs desperately onto me and holds on, but other hands latch onto me and drag me away from him.
“Aidan!” I scream.
“Be silent, demon.” A hand claps harshly over my mouth. “You have no right to speak. You are now and will forever be a prisoner.” Aidan reaches out to me, but a woman in a black cloak walks up to him, holding up a purple pendant. His eyes widen.
“No! No, please!” I watch tears stream down his cheeks. One word slips out of his mouth, visibly shaking him to the core.
“Mother…” My heart shatters. His mother is here? Doing this to him? The jewel touches his forehead and he screams in pain, thrashing. The hands tighten on my arms and pull me farther away. Aidan’s screams haunt me, echoing in my head over and over, his pain multiplying in my body. I see that cliché black around the edges of my vision and pass out.

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Pt. 7

      I let out one last cry, then curl up in a ball, wrapping my wings around me. My sobs shake my body, sounding ten times louder in the little cocoon I’ve created for myself.
      It’s so good to be back, Carmillia. I’ve missed being with you.
      “Okay,” I whisper back, knowing she can hear me because she is me and my ears are her ears. Right now, you might be wondering whether I’m sane, or not. Truth is, I lost my sanity a long, long time ago, and that voice, the one in italics, is really there. And it belongs to me. Well, a different Me. Her name is Asura. She’s dark and cunning and me. All me. She’s the darker side. Still me, just worse.
      A few years ago Asura was still with me, until she got out of hand, and Demitri, the Family Elder (don’t let that title deceive you, he’s stuck with the appearance of a thirty year-old man, even though he’s hundreds of years old) and his wife Deshedina (also the Family Elder, also extremely young-looking) had to place a spell on me to cut Asura off, but it was only temporary. Now, she’s back, and I don’t think she has any intentions of leaving.
      I don’t. See? She’s a horrible person. She likes blood and death and just…everything cruel and morbid. I hate her.
      Aww, so you hate yourself? Self-hate is not okay, Carmilli. You should love yourself.
      I groan, sitting up. Jude is on the floor and so is Aidan. My eyes narrow at him. I stand up, wobbling and tipping. A hand grabs my arm. Aidan looks down at me.
      “Careful, there, princess.” I jerk away from him.
      “Get the hell away from me! You’ve lost my trust! Don’t touch me, Aidan.” I kneel next to Jude.
      “Jude?” He looks up at me.
      “Are you okay?” he whisper. I nod, helping him up and brushing a piece of my long hair behind my ear. Jackal tips my chin up. You wouldn’t guess it, but he’s a Woodland Elf and one of the best Healers of his kind. His eyes sparkle green, then go back to brown.
      “You need rest.” I nod, sinking into the plush seat and avoiding Aidan’s gaze. Everyone else sits down and the jet goes silent, except for the hum of the engines and the chatter of other kids in the other parts of the aircraft. I press my face up against the window, smiling briefly at all the clouds. A hand touches my shoulder. I shrug it off.
      “Please, don’t touch me.” Asura purrs, excited.
      What will we do if he does?
      Ask him politely, again, I answer, irritated. Aidan drops his hand.
      “I’m sorry.”
      “Okay.” Now, some background on Aidan Caratio. He is the son of a Siren and an Incubus. Not a good mix. You get a kid with two-times the sex appeal and two-times the lust. When we were little, girls and boys would leave him little gifts in hopes of earning his affection, but he wasn’t interested.
      It escalated as we got older to party invitations, flirting, and dirty-talk. Aidan just brushed them all off. The only thing he wanted: Carmillia Aventi-Derun. I always knew. I was resistant to his powers and he got that message. I did like him, though, and overtime, we became something else. Something in between. So yeah, that’s us.
      I turn to face him.
      “Why? Why would you do that?” He opens his mouth.
      “I-” My fist connects with his face and his head whips to the side. Anger burns in my eyes and I breathe deeply.
      “Why, Aidan?” I growl. He sighs.
      “I was getting weird vibes from you. Almost like the ones I get when you’re on your period.” I raise an eyebrow. He looks away. “Anyway, you felt weak, to me, so I needed to test my theory. I had to see if you would really resist me. At first you did, but then you go weaker and weaker.” He lowers his head.
      “I didn’t know it would wake her up. I’m sorry.” His voice is barely a whisper, now. I lean forward and hug him.
      “You didn’t. It was just bad timing.” He exhales, warming me and hugs me tighter.
      “Okay. Did I really break your trust?” I shake my head.
      “No, not really. We’re good. ‘Kay?” He nods. I lean forward and peck his lips, then turn back to the window and continue to gaze at the clouds. His arms slip around my waist and I smile faintly.
      “Thank you,” he whispers. I smile.
      “No problem.”
      Aawww, how cute. You forgive so easily, Carmillia. But, he is ours. Asura is literally purring. Mmm, I miss the sweet taste of his blood. Tell me, is it still as good as it used to be? I cringe.
      I only drink from him if I absolutely need to. I can feel her pouting.
      You mean…no more ‘just for fun?’
      No, Asura. No more ‘just for fun’. Anger shoots through me, along with a sliver of pain.
      I want to taste him!
      No. I chuckle. She can be hilarious at times.
      Now that I’m back, things will change. Aidan was meant to serve us. He belongs to us and that includes his delicious crimson. I miss feeling it run down our throat, tasting him on our tongue… I moan, banging my head against the window. She chuckles. From the sound of it, you do, too.
      Leave me alone.
      Fine. Everything goes silent. I cheer. Aidan wakes up with a start, pulling me closer to him.
      “What? What happened?” I smile.
      “Oh, nothing. I just got The Wicked Witch of the West to shut up.” He smirks.
      “What was she talking about?” I tap his nose.
      “Nothing.” He nuzzles into my neck.
      “Does Asura still yearn for me?” he purrs into my ear.
      Oh, God, yes. I groan.
      “Don’t tempt us- her.” I correct myself quickly. “Don’t tempt her.” He smirks.
      “I’m sorry,” he whispers, kissing my neck. I giggle.
      “Stop, you’re turning us on.”
      “Am I, now?” I turn to face him, wrapping my arms around his neck. He kisses my lips, laughing.
      “You are such a distraction.” Asura suddenly gets really pissed off. I twitch, hissing in pain.
      “Asura…” He sits up.
      “What? What’s happening?” I shrug.
      “Why don’t you ask her?” I laugh.
      “You mean: have a conversation with my homicidal, bloodthirsty inner-self?” He shrugs.
      “Well, yeah, she is you, technically.” I throw my hands up in the air.
      “So, you want me to have a conversation with myself?”
      “Talk to Asura, Caramel.” I roll my eyes.
      What? she snaps. I blink.
      What’s wrong?
      Oh, so now you care how I feel? What about when you were just saying how much you hated me? Did you care about my feelings? Now, I’m forced to sit here and watch you have fun and be happy? No.
      I’m sorry. More pain shoots up.
      NO! I gasp.
      “Asura, please!” My eyes blur and I black out.

      Her eyes shift to silver.
      “Asura,” I breathe. She smiles.
      “Aidan, darling, it’s been too long!” I sigh.
      “What are you doing to Carmillia?” She smirks and places her hands on my shoulders, pulling herself into my lap.
      “She’s been…temporarily silenced.” Asura drags a finger down my chest, biting her lip. I growl. She smirks.
      “It’s been a while since I’ve tasted your delicious blood. Let’s have us a taste, shall we?” She leans in to my neck and I’m momentarily still, breathing shallowly. Then, I snap out of it.
      “No.” Her eyes flick up to mine and she sneers, fangs glistening.
      “But, why?”
      “Carmillia wouldn’t want us to.” I hold her hands, kissing them both.
      “Bring her back.” She smiles, pulling back and her voice loses its silky, seductive quality.
      “I am glad to see that you are just as strong as I remember you to be.” She turns her gaze to Jude.
      “And how are you, angel?” He smiles.
      “Fine, you?” She tilts her head.
      “Okay. You’ve gotten stronger, angel. Has my father been helping you?” He shrugs.
      “A bit. I have training every night, so that helps.” She nods and hugs him. When she pulls back, her eyes are back to gold.
      “What the hell did she do?” I shake my head.
      “Nothing, really.” I pull Carmillia back into my arms, holding her very tight.
      “I’m sorry.”
      “Bringing her back. I-”
      “You didn’t do it.” She places her face in the crook of my neck, exhaling. “Besides, it was time for her to come out, anyway. You can only keep your demons locked away for so long before they become you, again.”

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Pt. 6

Just a short chapter! The beginning will be from Jude, then I’ll go back to Carmillia!!! Enjoy!!

      I glare at Aidan, who is relaxing in his seat. Another cry from Carmillia makes me shake my head and close my eyes.
      “Carmillia? Can you hear me?” My mind is immediately met with a brick wall surrounding her mind completely. I try again, but this time pain comes through me. I cry out, staring down at the locket on my chest. It’s fiery hot. My eyes widen. The pain escalates, but I know I can’t take it off. That would cut me off from Carmillia and that’s exactly what this thing inside of her wants.
      I cry out again, falling to my knees. Hissing fills my head and I fall back onto the floor. Jackal is holding me. That much I can tell. Aidan screams in agony. Serves him right. He triggered this mess. I want so badly to believe that, but I know it’s not true. This was bound to happen, sooner or later. The spell couldn’t hold her back forever.

      No. No. This can’t be happening. Please tell me this isn’t happening. The voice laughs coldly.
      “Oh, it’s happening, alright. Awaken, Carmillia.” More pain burns through me. I arch up, screaming. Jude can’t get through to me, no one can. I’m in my own little bubble of torture.
      It’s times like these when I realize how fragile I am and the thing that always breaks me is my own body. That makes me sad. Really sad. I wish Gerald were here. He would have something to say that would make me feel better. Maybe I could get him to give me some sap-
      My thoughts are interrupted by a stabbing pain in my chest. I claw at my shirt, desperate to make it stop, but hands pin my arms down. I open my eyes which are, surprisingly, blurred with tears. They pour down my cheeks, over my face, even into my mouth, which is quite gross, considering what my tears are made out of. Blood. I cry blood. Always have, always will. When I was little and I cried in public, my parents would have to take me home immediately. They didn’t need anymore publicity.
      Ooo, now that I’m back, we can have so much fun! Wouldn’t you like that, Carmillia? Just you, me, and a tasty victim! Sounds good, doesn’t it? The bad thing is: it does. My stomach growls against my will and I moan in response. No, I think. That’s bad. Hurting people is bad. But you want to so badly, Carmillia! You know you do! I start to fight it, my own body. The voice hisses. No, Carmillia. Stop it. Let me in, Carmillia. You can’t stop me, now, I’m too far into you.
      I sob miserably as the entity the voice belongs to becomes a part of me. Just like old times. I shake my head, crying. I begin to beg, plead, anything.
      “Please, don’t do this! I don’t want this! Please! Stop! Stop it!” A silky laugh resounds in my head, and the voice begins to evolve.
      I’m here now, Carmillia. Too bad, so sad. Suck it up. Boo hoo hoo. If you want somebody to cry on, go find Jude. I’m here. We can finally be together, again.
      I sob. I know that voice. The one that urged me on when I was younger, made me do horrible things, whispered death into my ear. I know that voice. It’s me.

The Comic Book: Carmillia: Pt. 5

      “Jackal!” Jude runs to him, checking him over for any sign of harm. Jackal groans, pulling the cigarette from his lips and grabbing Jude’s wrists, tugging him close to his body.
      “I’m fine, Mom. God.” Jude sticks out his bottom lip. Jackal places his fingers over Jude’s lips. Jude kisses them lightly, then buries his face in Jackal’s neck. Jackal looks up at me, stroking Jude’s hair.
      “Well, well, well. Haven’t soon you in a while, now, have I? How are you, Carmillia?” I smile a little, sitting down next to him.
      “Same old, same old. You?” He shrugs.
      “I got a new tattoo.” Jude shoots up.
      “You did?” Jackal pushes up his sleeve, exposing his arm. Inked onto his skin is the image of two wings, and in between them is a name. Jude. Jude’s eyes widen and he looks in wonder at Jackal.
      “For me?” he whispers, running his fingers over Jackal’s skin. He nods.
      “You like it, my little cherry?” Jude blushes, making him look, very much so, like a cherry. Jude nods, biting his lip. Jackal smirks.
      “Kiss it.” Jude glances nervously at us. Aidan rolls his eyes, pulling me into his lap. I squirm around, trying to get free, but he just locks his arms around my waist and shoots me a look. I glare back at him. He raises an eyebrow and leans in to my ear.
      “They get to have their moment, we get to have ours. That’s just the way things work around here.” I squinch up my face.
      “Says who?” His eyes narrow to dangerous slits.
      “Says me,” he growls. I suck my teeth and push angrily off of his lap. It’s times like these when I just wanna stab Aidan in the eye with a rusty nail. Jude, meanwhile, leans in and kisses Jackal’s arm lightly. Jackal smiles.
      “Thanks.” Jude taps his nose.
      “Sure.” Then, a girl is forced onto the aircraft, swearing up and down.
      “Let me go, you-” They throw her roughly to the floor. I run to her.
      “Jemma!” She glares up at me.
      “Get off! Get off! Bloody hell, Milli!” I pull back.
      “You okay?” She brushes herself off and stands up.
      “Yes and- what the hell is he doing here?” Jackal sneers at her, holding Jude tighter.
      “It wasn’t my choice to be here, you little-” Jude silences him with a kiss.
      “Please, no yelling.” Jackal snarls at him.
      “No-” Jude gets quickly off his lap and turns away. I can see the tears brimming in his eyes. He hates it when Jackal’s upset.
      “Don’t yell at me. Don’t yell at me.” He whips around.
      “Listen to me! I don’t want you to yell! Everything is imbalanced and mixed up and I can’t do anything-” Jackal stands up with his hands in the air.
      “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Jude, I didn’t mean to yell at you. Please don’t be upset with me, baby, I’m so sorry. I know you hate it when I yell and it makes your head hurt. I know and I’m sorry.” My heart breaks. Jackal hates begging, especially for forgiveness, but for Jude he’ll do anything. Jude hasn’t moved at all. Jackal walks around so that he’s in front of him.
      “Come here.” The tone of his voice chills my skin. Cold and dominant. Jackal drops his head and walks into Jude’s open arms. A guard growls, eyeing them suspiciously.
      “Just give us a moment,” Jude hisses. The guard grumbles in consent.
      “Jackal…” Jackal nods.
      “I know, I know. I’m sorry. My temper. It’s my temper.”
      “Alright.” Jackal kisses his lips.
      “I’ll do better. I promise.” Jude smiles.
      “I know you will.” Aidan slides his arms sneakily around me, exhaling onto my neck.
      “Don’t move.” I sigh, tilting my head.
      “Let go.” He moans.
      “Let me just hold you, at least for a second.” I bite onto his arm, growling.
      “Let go!” A guard walks over and grabs Aidan.
      “Watch it, kid.”
      “You watch it,” Aidan growls. “Try and take her away from me, and I will snap your neck.” The guard takes a half-step back. I beg him with my eyes to help. He only shrugs and lifts his hands as if to say, “hey, kid, what can Ido?” Aidan hugs me tighter, pulling me into his lap. He starts to nuzzle into my neck, breathing soothingly over my skin, whispering to me. He’s using his gifts, I know, so I’ll fight him with everything I’ve got. I start to squirm and wiggle, desperate to get away from him.
      “Oh no you don’t, princess,” he purrs into my ear. He grabs my cheeks and forces me to look at him. I keep my eyes directed anywhere but towards his. He leans forward and kisses my neck, my cheeks, my nose, then lowers his eyes to mine.
      “Look at me, Carmillia.” I whimper.
      “Aidan, stop-” My hands are pressed firmly against his chest. He smirks.
      “No.” His sickly-sweet voice echoes in my head and I cover my ears. He pries my hands away from my head.
      “Come on, Caramel. Please. I need you to look at me.” Why is he begging me? I squeeze my eyes shut, but they pop back open when I feel his lips on mine. We make eye contact and I feel myself still. In the next instant, Aidan is on the floor. Jemma spits on him.
      “Good for nothing pretty boy, trying to use your gifts on a woman. What in hell is wrong with you?” He busts out laughing. Jemma rolls her eyes and storms over to me.
      “Milli? Milli, love, are you alright?” I nod, swallowing.
      “Fine,” I whisper. She frowns.
      “No, you’re not.” I feel my body tingling with energy and I barely hear what she’s saying because I’m too focused on trying to push it down. Jemma whips back to Aidan.
      “If you want her, treat her right! You know what kind of an effect your powers have on her, Aidan! Again, I ask: what in hell is wrong with you?” He sits back in a seat.
    I squeeze my eyes shut again, feeling queezy.
      “Aidan!” Jemma yells, smacking him hard. I press my hands over my ears and bring my knees up to my chest, rocking slowly back and forth.
      “Jude…it’s happening, again. I can’t do this.” I can feel him at my side.
     “Try to relax. Steady your breathing and focus on positive thoughts.” I shake my head as a searing pain blazes through my skull and a scream tears from my mouth. My body shudders, taking away all of my control. I can’t breathe right. Everything is shaking and turning and twisting. Then, I hear something that I haven’t heard in a long time and never wanted to hear again.
      “It’s been a while, Carmillia. Did you miss me? No need for that anymore. I’m back and I’m never leaving you again. No amount of magic, no spell can keep me away. I’m back and I’m here to stay.”