Psychic Ex Issues
The bliss of sun-kissed skin awakened her. Twitching fingers in velvety sand as a heavenly breeze tickled her spine, Kayn peered up, grinning. Somebody gave her an immortal time out. Even with unlimited free passes to the in-between, a surprise trip was jarring until she recalled why she died. Who killed her this time? Cross-legged in pristine desert with silky granules trickling through fingers, her memory kicked in, clarifying why she was deceased. Lexy knocked on her door and took her out of the equation. Their Oracle must have caught Kevin telepathically asking her to warn him before Ankh stole the girl he had a thing for. Her attachment to him was always getting her in trouble. She shouldn’t be having conversations with an ex-boyfriend while in bed with her new one. Frost’s patience had to be wearing thin. They’d just been separated as punishment for killing Kevin at a banquet. She tossed her ex off a balcony for giving her a clover. It was still funny. Sensing a presence, Kayn got up, squinting in luminescence.
Ankh’s Guardian Azariah sighed, “I’m beginning to think you enjoy being punished.”
She didn’t know what to say, she kind of did.
“Being part Guardian doesn’t mean you can bend rules to your will,” the angelic entity reprimanded.
Brushing the sand off her short ivory in-between attire, Kayn responded, “I wasn’t going to say anything.”
With divine angelic light attaching Clan Ankh’s Guardian to the sky, Azariah wandered off, explaining, “That’s just it, if he can tap into your mind, you have no say over what he knows.”
Keeping pace, strolling the clean slate desert with warm silken sand underfoot, beneath an azure sky, Kayn thought of a monarch butterfly. An orange and black distraction flitted by as proof she wasn’t focusing on what the Guardian was saying.
The angelic entity trailing radiant light, scolded, “I’m not talking to hear myself speak, child.”
She wasn’t a child. Now, a variety of vibrant butterflies were fluttering around. She couldn’t shut her feral imagination down. Wincing, Kayn apologised, “I’m listening, I swear.”
With a clap of her hands, distractions vanished. Smiling, Azariah carried on, “Here is the issue, Ankh needs a Venom before Immortal Testing. As you know, the Third -Tier sped up the timeline in response to the glitch your group used to get out. Currently, Triad is the only Clan with one. Your ex’s crush means nothing. Residual mortal sentiment is clouding your judgement.”
It was, she couldn’t deny it.
Back in the land of the living, Ankh’s Oracle voluntarily stayed with Zach to make sure Kayn remained deceased until their compromised job was finished. Relaxing on the queen-sized bed by Kayn’s corpse, Jenna mindlessly flicked channels.
With Kayn’s head on his lap, Zach gently stroked her hair, asking, “Do we have to keep killing her? Can’t we lock her in a tomb?”
“The bracelet to block Kevin’s connection isn’t working. I need to tweak it. He’s psychic, they’re linked. Taking her out when we’re dealing with Triad may be our only option.”
“We all have ties to other Clans, I used to be Triad,” Zach implored, meeting Jenna’s eyes.
“Aren’t you glad we stole you?” Jenna baited as Kayn’s chest rose and fell. “Heads up, Handler. She’s back.”
“Can’t we just keep her occupied? She doesn’t know where they went,” Zach bartered.
“Azariah needs time with her, a Guardian’s word is law, take her out,” Jenna instructed.
Looping an arm around her neck, he released his grasp as she went limp, muttering, “You’re doing it next time.”
“Suck it up Zach, you’re immortal.” Jenna teased with a smile.
Everything was uncomfortably white as Kayn opened her eyes with a brief flash of waking up in the hospital after her Sweet Sleep. This time, it wasn’t Kevin by her side as she clued into where she was. She remembered this place. She’d been here before.
Radiance encompassed Ankh’s Guardian Azariah as she helped Kayn up, praising, “Impressive regeneration time.”
“I’ve been healing faster,” Kayn admitted, grimacing as she took in where she was. A blank white cell. The word nothing described this destination. She had concentration issues. Funny, well played Azariah, bravo. It felt like their Guardian was working up to an epic punishment reveal.
Grinning, Azariah explained, “Time runs faster in a blank cell. Your soul can’t escape or think up distractions. We’ll stay here, so your Handler doesn’t have to keep killing you each time you rise.”
An immortal penalty box, so she couldn’t think up butterflies or heal herself to escape the boredom, clever. Kayn had to ask. “Am I going to be punished?”
“Do you need to be punished?” Azariah probed with a knowing twinkle in her eye.
Damn it, she did. There was a lingering silence as it sunk in. It felt like she could stop Kevin from having access to her mind if she wanted him gone. There it was…her truth. She wanted a way to keep their friendship alive, even if they were supposed to be enemies. Even if they always would be. He was her last attachment to a mortal simplicity that was no longer. She was going to lose the trust of her Clan. It felt like she was in the Testing again, being forced to see past mortal bonds engrained in her being.
“Calm down, we don’t want to sever the connection. The Clans join forces on occasion. We need to control the flow of information. Having two Guardian offspring in the same Clan, Ankh may require assistance as you did when Abaddon tried to force you to send a group through the Hall of Souls. My brother jumped the gun when he took the cap off your abilities. You are a spiritual anomaly, a Conduit who is part Guardian. The Third-Tier will be looking for a way to take you out of the equation to hold off the Daughters of Seth Prophecy.”
It would be helpful if someone explained what the Daughters of Seth Prophecy was.
Grinning, Ankh’s Guardian, replied, “Prophecies have a loose narrative. New moves come into play. It couldn’t be worse timing to train a new group for Testing, with survivors in the middle of the evolution process. Believing they’ve set us up for failure by giving us an unbeatable scenario, reveals the Third-Tier’s weakness. They underestimate us. We thrive in impossible situations. Knowing a Venom can put trapped souls into hibernation in a sleep chamber to await freedom with the next continent in gives us a way. When all is lost, all one needs is a faint glimmer of hope and courage to fight. If we find a Venom for the next Testing group, we have an insurance clause. It’s that simple.”
Sure, they’ll just find a rare immortal being in a North American population of 346.3 million. “Do Guardian magic and point one out, I’m on it,” Kayn saucily replied.
“Being confined to this spiritual plain has limitations. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to have another look at the basis of your connection to the Triad,” Azariah asked in shimmering light with open arms.
As Kayn stepped into the Guardian’s divine embrace, the predatory Conduit was subdued by tranquillity in the root of her being. Beautiful memories floated through her stream of consciousness with easy smiles and magical healing kisses on wounded knees. She drifted off to sleep each night snuggling stuffed animals, feeling safe. She recalled easy laughter in carefree moments, racing siblings in the upstairs hallway to see who’d be first to slide on their tummy down carpeted stairs. Family days on the beach building sandcastles by the sea, turning over rocks to capture fleeing crabs. Salty ocean air through an open car window on the drive home and grape soda stains on her sleeping brother’s face. Childhood sleepovers using hairbrushes as microphones, jumping on beds. Snuggling under blankets watching movies devouring bowls of pink elephant popcorn on the couch. Climbing to the highest branch of the apple tree where they’d perch to eat while viewing their entire world. In every scenario, Kevin was present or referenced to tug her heart back.
Maturing in visions, she reached the age of Correction. Blissfully unaware of her demise, she sprinted across a finish line as a track champion with Kevin overzealously cheering. Each moment, every action, forging an unbreakable bond, maturing into love, solidifying a link created by thousands of unforgettable moments.
Caressing her hair, Azariah summoned her out of the visions, whispering, “We can leave the connection open. I’m secure, he won’t violate your trust.”
Part of her wanted to remain in the beautiful lucid dream with only light in her soul, void of the darkness she often found herself lost in. “I wish I could go back,” Kayn confessed, in her arms, pining for the simple bliss of childhood.
Knowing she wasn’t ready to let go, Azariah assured, “Those memories will always be wherever you are.”
“I’m not good at being immortal,” Kayn mumbled.
“Who is?” Azariah taunted, stepping away to meet her eyes, lovingly tucking curls behind her ear.
“You kept Jenna for decades,” Kayn sparred, smiling.
Intrigued by her choice, the Guardian disclosed, “Jenna sacrificed herself for someone else’s misdeeds.”
She hadn’t heard this story.
Her luminescent relation explained, “We accepted an ill-advised deal believing Haley’s Testing group was destined to survive. Alas, Oracle’s predictions rarely come with a time stamp. Haley did survive twenty years later when intuition led her to you. Fortunately, Jenna was powerful enough to maintain duties through psychic connections.”
Their Clan was soap opera. Curious, Kayn enquired, “Whose punishment did Jenna take?”
Azariah teased, “You’ll figure it out.”
Why aren’t we using Haley?
“She’s a talented intuitionist but decades lost in a Venom-induced dream state stunted Haley’s Enlightening process. She isn’t a viable Oracle yet,” the angelic being responded to her thought.
Psychics advertise, they can’t be that difficult to find. Fascinated, Kayn suggested, “Can’t we just make an appointment with a psychic and snag one?”
“There are varying degrees of Clairvoyant. Only top tier has a shot at surviving Testing. The new girl Emma is top tier, but if her group can’t connect, it won’t matter,” Azariah clarified with a genuine smile.
Standing in a blank slate room having a casual chat, Kayn forgot she was speaking to a heavenly being. Her Aunt. That was still weird. If they stole the girl, Kevin would think she didn’t care. She wasn’t supposed to. She needed to get back to Frost so she could explain. Feeling a tickle, Kayn looked at her hand as it began disintegrating into sand. Well, this isn’t supposed to happen.
Unamused by her niece’s ability to override commands, Azariah loudly clapped her hands, scowling. Kayn solidified, the miffed majestic being, reprimanded, “I haven’t granted you permission to leave.”
“I can’t control this shit,” Kayn lipped like an insolent teen.
“Are you insane? Have you forgotten who you’re with?” Azariah fired back.
What was wrong with her? Kayn said, “I’m not doing it on purpose.”
Furious, Azariah paced back and forth, towing a beam of sparkling light in the room of nothing, muttering, “Seth, you ignorant ass. Idiot.”
Oh, shit. She broke a Guardian. Kayn nervously, apologised, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that.”
“I guess there’s no point in staying here. We might as well enjoy the scenery,” the luminescent being, sighed, half-assed waving her hand.
In a flash of blinding light, the pair was in a meadow of flowers, ankle-deep in lush, fragrant grass under a splotchy blue sky. It always looked like someone tossed buckets of paint up there. They wandered in silence. With each step into the bliss-inducing experience, fragrant flowers, gentle humming of bees and whispering butterfly’s wings, reminded her of how blessed she was to be granted access to this magical world.
Out of nowhere, Azariah coyly asked, “What powers do you have?”
Her horrible excuse for a parental figure cautioned her about disclosing certain things.
Stopping, Azariah laughed, “You know I can hear your thoughts, just tell me what we’re up against so we can find a way to hide it.” Making herself comfortable in the grass, she prompted, “Sit, confess all, I vow to find a way to help you.”
Guess there was no point in attempting to hide anything. Kayn sat by her, disclosing, “I’ve created orbs of light. Blue orbs blow things up, and white ones get me in trouble, you know about that incident.”
“Yes, accidentally sending forty demons through the hall of souls doesn’t go unnoticed. Tri-Clan will be cleaning up that mess for years, and now, you have a target on your back. You are the magical ticket to mortality for every demon out there,” Azariah chuckled, picking grass and tossed it.
Kevin always did that. Kayn’s heart clenched as her thoughts travelled back to her mortal life. Steering her mind away, she confessed, “Conduit, Siren and I may have stopped a bullet or two.”
“Next time, you’re here we’ll talk about that. I’m sensing our time is up,” Azariah answered. Plucking a pink flower, the Guardian tucked it behind Kayn’s ear and whispered, “Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.”
White light blinded her. As the glare ceased, Kayn saw Kevin’s Granny in youthful form, with freckles and flowing red hair. Winnie announced, “The job is done. Kayn is free to leave.”
A part of her always wanted to run into Kevin’s grandmother’s arms. She’d loved Granny Winnie and missed her but knew they weren’t the same people. They weren’t even people at all, only pawns in an immortal game. It was time to go back and deal with the fallout from her secret conversation with Kevin. If the situation were reversed, and Frost was chatting with an ex next to her in bed, she’d be hurt. Her Mother’s words, sprang to mind, ‘Omitting part of the truth to protect someone’s feelings never works out how you think it will.’ She was right. She may never have the chance to say those words, but she could honour her memory by listening to her advice.
Smiling at her inner dialogue, young Granny suggested, “Tell the truth, and let chips fall where they may. It’s a long afterlife, you have nothing but time.”
With that telltale glint in her eyes, she’d always know it was her, no matter what age Winnie appeared. Unable to help it, Kayn asked, “Did Ankh take the girl?” Laughing, Azariah vanished.
Used to her one-track mind, Winnie disclosed, “She was stolen by Trinity while Ankh and Triad were fighting. Kevin knows it was Trinity,” Winnie replied as the scenery flashed and they were strolling through the warm, inviting desert.
This timeout was for nothing. Feeling strange, Kayn looked at her hand as she disintegrated into a cloud of golden dust and floated away on a gentle breeze.
Opening her eyes, with her head on Zach’s lap in the land of the living. There was panic in his eyes. Here we go.
“Trinity may already be here. Small talk later. Get your jacket, grab your bag, we need to run,” her Handler urged.
“What’s going on?” Kayn said, scrambling into her boots. They sprinted down the hall, took the stairs and dashed out into the frigid Alaskan air. Oh, sweet lord, it was cold. The RV was gone. They got left behind.
Going back inside, Zach gave her the rundown, “Trinity snuck in and stole the Venom while Ankh and Triad were fighting at the other job. Jenna had a vision and took off. Mel came in and gave me an Aries group card, saying, if the RV is gone, don’t panic, join the distractions at the pub.”
Walking down the hall, Kayn vowed, “I wasn’t going to tell him anything.”
“I know,” her Handler affirmed as they entered the pub and took off their jackets. “Game face, Brighton,” he teased, as they strolled up to the counter of local riffraff. Chuckling, Zach patted down her bedhead, whispering, “You’re looking recently resurrected feral this evening.”
She’d been hoping it was Frost and Lily with Mel as distractions. She didn’t see anyone she recognised.
Nudging her, Zach whispered, “Ten o’clock.”
She glanced to her upper left and giggled. Ten o’clock. In an unexpected plot twist, their backup was Killian from the other continent with his massive muscular frame and wavy mane, sitting by a curvaceous black goddess so breathtaking, everyone was enamoured. With those two alluring unicorns, Mel seamlessly blended in with locals, downing shots like it was the end of the world.
Leaning in, Zach whispered in her ear, “She is insanely hot, I’m going in.”
That seductive being was way out of Zach’s league. He was in the minors, destined to strike out so fast, all you’d see is a blur of her blowing him off. Owing her Handler for blindly believing in her innocence, Kayn said, “Go Zach.” Snickering, as they picked up their drinks and strolled over.
Killian raised his glass in greeting, “Guess we’re diversion buddies, our plan to be newbie protection backup was foiled by a five-minute bathroom break. Drink up, you two. Jenna says, acting like nobody is showing up until tomorrow and looking unprepared is how we’re going to buy the others enough time to get away.”
“Emery,” the hot stranger introduced herself, extending her perfectly manicured hand to Zach.
Awestruck, Zach shook her hand, flirting, “Your British accent is amazing.”
Grinning, Amar’s continent’s vixen, cheekily reciprocated, “Your everything is amazing.”
Wow. Zach didn’t usually have girls come on this strong.
A tray of shots was placed on their table. Killian raised one, saluting, “Go hard or go home.”
The table of immortals slammed three in a row, throwing caution to the wind. Emery seemed familiar. “Have we met?” Kayn enquired, shaking her hand.
“I was blitzed at our last banquet, it’s possible. Either way, it’s nice to meet you coherent,” Emery toyed.
The way Mel was slamming drinks back, their play was obvious. They were expecting Thorne. Mel was the bait.
“Slow down, love. I don’t want to hold your hair later while you’re parking the tiger,” Emery commented, coyly sipping wine, adjusting her seductively crossed legs.
Parking the tiger?
“Hurling, upchucking, technicolour yawn, ralph,” Killian deciphered British slang.
“Praying to the porcelain god, barfing, boot and rally, blowing chunks, tossing your cookies,” Zach commentated.
“Chilling my anxiety, it’ll sting less when he ignores me. The girl Thorne was seeing made it out of Testing with the other continent. He may be over me,” Mel disclosed, doing another shot.
“You’re not that easy to get over, Mel,” Zach affirmed, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze.
Where did she know Emery from? It was driving her crazy. All eyes darted to the door as Trinity wandered in.
Zach whispered, “Heads up.”
Raking a hand through his sexy mane, Killian whispered, “Immortal lie detector in the house, get ready to pull out the big guns, Mel.”