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Born of Magic's Fire by Tasha

 

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Part 20

The witch was beautiful and she filled Nick's senses. The human part of him was just enough to instil real human desire, but he had no sense of the morality which would have prevented what happened next. With untamed demonic force he reached out and took what he wanted.

Their joining was not gentle, as demon met nymph, but it fullfilled it's purpose. As it came to it's completeion, Holland screamed for the third time that day, as a new creature was born. A bright light burst from her body, just above her navel and it blinded Nick.

As the power left her she slowly relaxed back onto the bed, and then she finally opened her green eyes and looked up at her lover. Holland reached up and touched his face that was slowly forming into a horrified expression. Then she smiled and quite gracefully passed out. The ex-SEAL had just enough time to push himself off her onto the bed, glance over at what appeared to be a shapeless blob of white and blue light, before his body also decided it had had quite enough and shut down.


Something came back at Philip through his contact with the sigil. He had lost any sense of time, or reality soon after Jas had joined him. His eyes were open, but they didn't see, and his mind had been acting on pure instinct for quite some time. There was what would have been a blinding flash, if he'd noticed it, and a force that bodily threw him backwards, along with his lover. The pair landed in an untidy pile at the foot of the stairs, neither stirring from grateful blackness.


In the library there was a tense waiting game going on. They had all heard the scream, and they all expected something to happen. The problem was it had been a good few minutes and there were no signs that anything had broken free from anywhere. This was making James nervous, and his monologue had degenerated into a fitful silence. Rachel was beginning to wish that hell would turn up and save them all the anxiety, when there was yet another scream, even more piercing than the first. Their captor saw this as the final victory, and his attention was thankfully drawn away from his victims. His waiting was over when the doorway filled with a subdued bluish glow.

Derek and the psychiatrist looked at each other in confusion, it was definitely not what they expected of a demon. It was tall, over six feet, and appeared to be broad to go with it. There was, however, an air about it which defied anyone to define it's sex. It was large like a man, but somehow there was a feminine curve to it's body, and yet no definite shapes to confirm the gender. It glowed a gentle blue, and yet it looked on the world with deep black slits. At last, Rachel began to hope.

James on the other hand did not seem to quite know what to do. He sharp mind had come to the conclusion that something had definitely gone wrong, but he had no rationale to cope with this, especially when the creature turned and looked at him. He fired wildly, suddenly afraid and it just stood there. Then, slowly it walked towards him.

The terror was written all over his body, and yet the insane witch could not move. Rachel just watched as the entity gently reached out and put it's arms around the voiceless man. It was almost a loving embrace and James looked up into that dark gaze, relaxing into the hold like a lost child. Slowly a look of realisation seemed to dawn on his features and he laid his head on the creature's shoulder. Without a sound he dissolved, almost as if he'd never existed before.

All the psychiatrist could do was let out a disbelieving gasp, and hold tightly to the weakening grip of Derek's hand. Maybe they were saved, but she could not push aside the terror as the entity turned towards them both. Tears appeared in her eyes once again, and she could say nothing as the beautiful being walked towards them. Was this just some huge joke, that such grace could house evil. There was no understanding the black depths of it's eyes, and it's facelessness gave it an alien, terrifying quality.

Derek for his part gazed on it with calm, half closed eyes. The precept was beyond wondering what it was, or how this would end, his fevered mind was just captivated by it's beauty. The saviour had come too late, he was dying, and he knew it.

A trembling took hold of Rachel's body as the entity reached out to her, but all it did was brush away one of her tears. It crouched down slowly, always looking at her face, turning it's head from one side to the other, watching her. She didn't know what to do faced with such a being. Eventually it turned it's seemingly all seeing eyes away from her and down towards Derek, who was still gazing, captivated by an angel. It put one of it's hands on his cheek, and remained frozen like that for a moment. Rachel would have said that something was passing between the two, but she could not say what. Then the hand moved downwards and calmly removed her hand where it was still clamped to the Precept's side. It placed it's own fingers over the wound and they glowed brighter for a moment. When it withdrew it's touch the bullet hole was gone, there was not even the slightest trace of it left at all.

Derek looked up at the being with a much stronger gaze. He could not remember what he had seen in those dark depths, but he would remember that face for ever. It stood with it's habitual elegance, stepped away from them slightly, and vanished. Rachel couldn't help it, she began to cry uncontrollably as the man she loved slowly sat up.


The boathouse was quiet except for the loud breathing of two people trying to be silent, but failing because they were so afraid. Kat cried silently in Alex's arms where they huddled behind a door. They had run for the launch, but it was floating over one hundred yards out to see. Someone had set it adrift and there was no other way off the island except the helicopter. Without Nick, the bird was useless, and the fugitives had hidden themselves as best they could. The screams from the house had been loud enough to reach them through the many open windows, and they could only imagine what was going on inside.

Alex Moreau was not a woman who could ever be accused of cowardice, but she could not bring herself to try anything else. She and Kat were safe where they were and the future would bring whatever it saw fit. They would stay here until something came for them, or help arrived, either way, she had made up her mind they were not going anywhere. Even the day was overcast as the sun hid herself from the terrible work below. For all Alex knew everyone inside was dead, all her friends, her surrogate family. Dreadful thoughts of macabre deaths and lonely ends filled her mind. Just the atmosphere of the island was enough to send her almost mad. Then suddenly, as if someone had just lifted a veil, the sun came out and the oppression left her. It was like a light entering a darkened room, and easing the fear of a frightened child, like a knight in shining armour slaying the dragon and rescuing the damsel.

Kat felt it as well, because her silent sobs stopped almost instantly, and her head turned from where it was buried in Alex's shoulder. They glanced at each other as if they both wanted reassurance, and then slowly, of one accord, they crawled out of their hiding place. The house stood as they had left it, no fire, no broken windows, nothing to indicate that Armageddon had occurred. A figure appeared on the doorstep, and there was no holding Kat.

"Mom!" she cried, and ran towards Rachel as if her life depended upon it.

Alex just stood in the doorway of the boathouse, unable to believe it as she saw Derek's tall frame standing behind the psychiatrist. They were looking at the world, as amazed as she to still be alive. Slowly she began to walk towards them, gradually speeding up as she began to comprehend that they had survived. Soon she was running faster than Kat and made it to the group just behind the girl.


When they found Philip he had managed to turn himself onto his front and he was trying to stand up, barely making it as far as his knees. He mumbled something about the sigil when Derek went to help him, but he was not even remotely coherent enough to be understood. The Precept himself, quite surprisingly, had never felt better in his life, and he had no problem helping his friend up the stairs as Rachel and Alex each took one of Jasmine's arms.

They'd soon discovered that every phone, including all the mobiles were out of action. The main lines were down for some unfathomable reason, and every battery on the island was flat, there was no way off until the public ferry arrived. Since it was still only seven o'clock in the morning, the three conscious adults put there less than compus mentis colleagues to bed. It didn't take long, and given the opportunity, Philip was sound asleep in his own bed in seconds. Alex and Derek, left Rachel to make sure that the young couple were of sound body, and went to find Nick and Holland.

The pair of psychics went from room to room systematically, glancing inside and then moving on to the next. It was Alex who first looked into her room and saw the devastation, at the centre of which lay the two for whom they were searching. The pair looked like the babes in the wood, curled together with Alex's top sheet roughly pulled over them. The searchers looked at each other as they surveyed the area, and gradually made their way in, stepping over pieces of what had been the researcher's furniture. She bent down and picked up one half of Holland's blouse from where it had fallen. The expression on her face said she didn't quite know what to make of it.

Derek, meanwhile, had reached the side of the bed and gazed down at his associate and companion. There was a bruise beginning to appear on Holland's cheek, where she had hit the wall, and the scratches on both individuals could be seen in various places. The pair looked like they'd been dragged through a very vicious hedge and come off worse. Nick's arms were wound protectively around his sleeping partner, and she was snuggled closely to his side, which belied the fact that there was blood under both sets of fingernails.

"Looks like they had an interesting encounter," was Alex's comment as she joined her mentor next to the bed.

"Interesting *and* violent," Derek pointed out. "It may be better if they weren't both still here when they regain their senses."

His companion had to admit that the current scene could make for an awkward situation when the heat of battle had completely worn off.

"Well if we can get Nick back to his own room, Holland can stay here, and I'll try to move some of this mess so it doesn't look quite such chaos," she suggested helpfully.

Neither one was expecting much sense out of their friends as Derek accepted the plan of action, but it was worth a try. The Precept gently shook his young colleague by the shoulder.

"Nick," he said quietly, "time to move."

At first the only response visible was the ex-SEAL shifting his shoulder out of the grip. He was in no real state to wake up, so his superior tried again.

"Nick," he started, "you can't sleep here."

With a slightly more insistent shake there was finally some indication of consciousness. The young man turned his head slightly and after a few seconds actually opened his eyes. How much of what he saw he comprehended seemed to be very little, but at least he was half sentient.

"We have to get you to your own bed," Derek continued to talk, hoping that some of his words would get through.

He attempted to pry Nick's hand from the grip it maintained on Holland's arm, and he received a very disgruntled noise for his trouble.

"She'll be fine," the soothing tones of Alex's voice seemed to have some effect and the young man slowly allowed himself to be extracted from the bed.

There wasn't much doubt as to what had been going on between the couple, but the compus mentis Legacy members chose not to trouble themselves with that just yet. What was important was to make sure their friends were safe and comfortable. Derek half walked, half carried Nick to his room whilst Alex saw to Holland. The young woman seemed to be about as unhappy to have lost her companion as he had been to leave, but she did not wake for more than a second. It was as the Legacy operative was gentle moving the young witch fully under the covers that she discovered the beer bottle bottom, sized mark just above her navel. It was pale, only just below Holland's normal skin tone, and it was an exact copy of the sigil they had tried so hard to understand. The woman covered her charge quickly and then went to find Derek.

The Precept had just removed Nick's shoes and decided that he'd never be able to get the jeans off, when Alex walked in.

"Holland's sound asleep again," she said evenly, and went to help her superior move their friend into his own bed. "Um, I found something when I covered her up."

It was as Derek removed what was left of the ex-SEAL's shirt that the woman stopped talking. There, just to the right of Nick's chest flanked by the pale scars caused by his previous brush with death, was the exact same mark she had found on the witch.

"Something like that," Derek concluded as he saw the look on his companion's face.

She just nodded and continued to manoeuvre her friend under the covers. The ex-SEAL had long since abandoned himself to oblivion, and his colleagues finished what they were doing in silence.

End of Part 20