by Nia Markos
Elements by Nia Markos- Chapter Four
Aidan’s thoughts were on his brother. Standing in front of the patio doors in the living room, his eyes were unfocused, staring out the window. Bet had finally drifted off to sleep, curled up on one of the sofas. Once in a while she would mumble something in her sleep, forcing his attention back to her. His mind would touch upon hers long enough to calm her back to sleep.
Liam had not been in contact with anyone. The longer he was missing, the more everyone thought he did not make it out of the smoldering apartment building. Aidan could not, would not, believe that. Surely he would have felt his brother’s life end. They were connected for a reason. My brother must have found a way to get out before the apartment building was destroyed. He was the most attuned to his environment of all of them.
Everything was falling apart. His belief they were running on someone else’s timeline was proving right. He had long suspected they had a mole, someone helping the other side. They needed to isolate themselves from whoever that was. His mother was no help. She had her own agenda, with her own motives. Not that she ever confided in him. Their last meeting ended as it usually did, with him frustrated with her inability to offer any details on what he needed to know.
Now, here they were, once again thrown off course. How am I to plan when I have no idea where the next threat could come from? Aidan thought. The woman upstairs was crucial to all their well-beings. He hoped she would be up to all that was expected of her. The fact she had no idea how important she was added to his dilemma. There was something about Alexa he did not understand. She affected him emotionally. He should have no feelings towards her. In the end, they would both have to go their own way. If they succeeded, his people would have their home back. Alexa would be with her people, where she belonged. Why does that thought wrap me up in knots? Why does the idea of never seeing her again matter to me?
He was captivated by her face, her eyes the first time he saw her. A longing he never experienced before had him offering to watch over her, when he should be doing something more productive. His brother questioned him about it once, but Aidan brushed it off. How to explain this pull I feel from her? He needed to focus on the matters in front of him. It was getting more difficult to concentrate on anything other than her. Now that she was close to him, his mind wandered, his focus was being consumed by her.
This would all be so much simpler if his mother would share all she knew. Everyone had their own interpretation of what was to happen. Besides his race, there were other beings that had much to lose if things did not work out. That was where the problems arose. He had no idea who else might be involved. He would need to look elsewhere if he was to get any answers. Ideas floated through his mind, thoughts on how to accomplish that.
Being the oldest son of the reigning queen, he was next in line to rule his people. Why do I feel as though my mother thinks I’m unworthy? Aidan wondered.As a young boy she never spent time with him, avoiding him as much as possible. There was always sadness in her whenever she looked at him. How did I hurt her? What can I do to make her realize I still need her approval?
Mulling in self-pity would not help him. He needed to be strong for what they would all have to face. Alexa’s mother may have some insight he was unaware of. When she arrived, he would make sure to speak to her alone. All their futures were tied together. There was so much being kept from him. If he did not get answers soon, he would take matters into his own hands.
He heard Rider entering the room, walking over to stand next to him. Rider placed a hand on his shoulder trying to comfort him. There was much to do, things needed to be planned for the coming days, but Aidan had no idea where to start. Alexa’s safety was more important to him than anything else. Thinking about her now brought back that puzzling sensation. Even with her out of sight, he felt her presence inside of him. She was asleep somewhere upstairs, dreaming he hoped peacefully. Her reaction to him surprised him. He smiled as he remembered her brief anger at him for studying her. She would be a challenge.
“How is she doing?” Aidan asked Rider, his eyes still staring outside.
“She’s scared. She has no idea what’s going on. Her mother should have prepared her.” Rider answered back, his emotions showing his frustration.
Aidan understood how Rider was feeling. He had more reason than anyone to question how Thalia, Alexa’s mom, handled things. They would be better prepared to protect her out in the open if she understood who and what she was. Sending them, clandestinely, to watch out for her made things difficult. When Thalia called to say Alexa took off, they scrambled to put Bet in place as her roommate. Bet was worried how Alexa would take finding out she was sent to watch out for her. Alexa had become her friend. She felt she was being dishonest with her.
“When will Thalia get here? The sooner we can move out to a safer location the better I will feel.” Aidan looked over at Rider as he spoke.
“She should be here by morning. Where do you think we can go that we won’t be found? We need to keep her safe till her next birthday.” Rider was referring to Alexa’s nineteenth birthday, which was about two months away.
“There are only a few places where we could be completely safe. My mother will also be here shortly. There are too many things that can go wrong.” Aidan was worried the person who was after Alexa was always one step behind them. It was too much of a coincidence.
Bet stirred on the sofa, waking slowly from her sleep. Aidan moved to her side instantly, sitting next to her as she sat up. He could tell the moment everything came back to her. As tears formed in her eyes, he scooped her up in his arms, comforting her.
“You need to sleep some more, Bet. Let me take you to one of the bedrooms. You’ll rest better there.” He whispered to her. Without waiting for a reply, he picked her up effortlessly, cradling her in his arms as he walked from the room. He glanced back at Rider before exiting.
“I’ll see you in the morning.” He told the other man.
Aidan took the stairs to one of the bedrooms on the second level, deposited Bet on the bed and sat down beside her. She lay curled on her side, holding on to Aidan’s hand.
“Go to sleep. I need to take care of something. If you need anything reach out to me.” He smoothed her hair out of her face. Bet held onto his hand, her eyes pleading with him not to leave her. Putting aside what he needed to do, he lay down next to her. She curled herself into his side, closing her eyes. Her breathing eventually slowed; finally she drifted off to sleep again. He waited to make sure she was really out, touching her mind gently with his, making sure her dreams would be peaceful. Easing slowly away from her, he stood, careful not to wake her. Glancing back one last time, he exited the room, closing the door softly behind him.
Aidan ran a hand over his face, standing outside the door, making a decision. Bet might resent it, but he knew she needed someone to lean on. There was only so much a brother could do. He walked down the hall stopping in front of Alexa’s door. His hand came to rest against it, feeling her inside, restlessly sleeping. It fascinated him how he could feel her presence so strongly. Until now he only had this ability with his close family. Taking his hand away, he continued to the door across the hall. He entered, walking to sit on the bed after pulling his phone out. Punching in the number, he waited for the person on the other end to answer.
“You need to get here. She needs you.” He told the person on the other end.
End of Elements by Nia Markos- Chapter Four