Elements by Nia Markos – Chapter Eleven
Aidan listened in sporadically on Alexa’s conversation with her mother. It amazed him how he was able to hear her, feel her. Her dislike of him was amusing. In all his six-hundred-and-forty-three years, it was not an emotion he ever evoked from a female. Whatever was happening to them, he was not going to share with his mother either. He felt his own anger at the way she spoke to Alexa rising again. For now, he needed to concentrate on what she was saying. He would deal with things as they came.
“The girl needs to accept to do things as I say.” Her words heated his already unstable emotions.
“My dear, maybe we need to be a little more understanding.” Asher interrupted her.
“Now is not the time for understanding. She must follow my instructions. Asher, you know what we have to lose.” Eliana’s own anger was rising. It was unacceptable that this girl would question her on what must be done.
“Mother.” Aidan said forcefully. “Alexa will do what must be done. You need to stop trying to order her around. It won’t work.”
Eliana stared at her son, seeing more than he knew. Around him, cords of multi-colored lights flickered, wrapping themselves around him. They stretched out of the room, towards the garden where Alexa was sitting with her mother. They wrapped around Alexa, returning to Aidan, completing a circle around them. Already the strings binding them were expanding, growing in strength. It was only a matter of time. She steeled herself not to feel remorse. This was something foreseen, that would take him away from her. They all had their own obstacles to face. For the first time she felt a sadness looking at him. If only he knew the sacrifices he would have to make. She had already borne so much. Forcing herself to feel nothing, she let her gaze fall away from him.
“Make sure she does.” Was all she said.
What was that look that flitted across her face for a moment? Aidan wondered. It made him want to reach out to her, to ease a burden he did not understand. The mental blocks she held against her thoughts made it impossible for him to delve deeper. Whatever it was, she was back to her usual self.
“I will do as I have to. We all have our parts to play.” Aidan reassured her.
Rider stood suddenly. He looked at Aidan before leaving the room. Rider’s stiff posture let him know he was not all right with how Alexa was being treated. For his part, Aidan understood that although Rider was one of them, his loyalties lay with Alexa and his wife. He could not fault him for that. Aidan felt trapped in a set of circumstances beyond his control. His feet wanted to leave as well, to join Alexa outside.
Dragging his hand through his hair in frustration, he noticed Bet staring at him, her expression puzzled at his emotions. Shaking his head at her, he returned to paying attention to what his mother was saying.
“There is still much that can go wrong. We need to keep her safe until the change.” Eliana worried aloud.
“Mother, we will keep her safe.” Bet reassured her.
“I wish it was that simple.” Eliana closed her eyes, trying to see into the future.
Aidan shook his head at her and walked over to join Elron by the fireplace. His friend was concerned for him, but knew now was not the time to discuss things. Even so, he still needed assurance that Aidan was fine.
“How are you holding up?” Elron asked him.
“I could be better.” Aidan answered back.
Bet had come up to them, wanting to know the answer as well. She was searching his face to understand what she was feeling from him. He shook his head to stop her from asking any questions.
“I’m going to need you both if things go sideways.” Aidan spoke to them quietly.
“You know we will support you in anything you decide.” Bet whispered back.
“I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but things are already sideways. I feel we are not being told critical information for this mission.” Elron voiced their reservations.
Aidan could only agree with Elron’s comment. He was fast approaching a decision to take matters into his own hands. The first thing they needed was the full story. There was only one place they could find that. The choice to go there was one he would have to make soon. Things were spiraling out of control. He had a nagging feeling they were being manipulated into this course. If that was the case, then they would have to chart their own course, away from his mother and her court.
“Be ready to leave if needed. I don’t think we will be here for long.” Aidan let them know.
“What about Alexa?” Bet asked, while searching his face for any reaction.
“Alexa is critical to this. She has to come with us. Bet, I need you to convince her. She will listen to you more than us.” Aidan kept his face neutral.
Bet accepted his answer by nodding at him. She looked at Elron, touched his arm lightly and moved away to return to her seat. Elron watched her as she walked away, making Aidan smile slightly at his friend.
“Stop grinning.” Elron admonished him.
“They’re coming back.” Aidan smiled and left Elron to take his position back where he had been.