ISBN 9789899734890-27

2002 Words
Diarmuid's smile helped her to feel better. Although maybe that was down to the long delicious kiss he planted on her lips when she'd finally stopped complaining. When they finally pulled apart, she asked, 'What was that for?' 'Just because.' She laughed as they plonked themselves down on one of the large beanbags. Emma leant back and closed her eyes while he traced his finger down the side of her face and across her lips. She giggled, 'That tickles.' He stopped and leant forward to kiss them instead. So caught up in the moment were they that they didn't even notice they were no longer alone. But after a couple of minutes, Emma had the distinct feeling someone was watching them so she opened one eye and nearly fell to the floor. 'Jimble?' The pixie troll was standing right beside them, watching their every move. 'What are you doing?' she asked as she straightened her hair with her fingers. 'Just watching watching.' Emma's face turned every shade of red as Diarmuid started to laugh. 'Why?' she said. Jimble shrugged, 'I've never, never seen the human human mating process process before before.' With her eyes wide open, Emma jumped up. 'Jimble, we weren't mating,' Diarmuid laughed. 'We were just kissing, that's all.' 'If you say so, say so.' 'Was there something you wanted, Jimble?' asked Diarmuid. The pixie troll waddled away and nodded his head. 'What?' Emma sighed. 'Eleanor Eleanor wants to see you, you in her office office.' Emma held out her hand and pulled her boyfriend up before he casually placed his arm across her shoulder. He was still sniggering. They followed the pixie troll across the hall and down the corridor. 'Hey, you two,' Eleanor said as Jimble tapped on the door and they walked in. 'Hi Eleanor. You wanted to see us?' She nodded while she thanked Jimble and ushered him back out the door. 'Yes. Come in and sit down,' she motioned towards the two chairs at the other side of her desk. 'I'd like you to join us when we go and try and find Sthenelaus and the Krakor.' Emma's and Diarmuid's eyes lit up, 'You do?' 'I don't want to, of course. I hate to put any of my students in danger, but this is a life or death situation for all Watchers throughout the country. Which means I need to ask for everyone's help.' 'We understand,' Emma said. 'What can we do?' 'From the vision Lana had before, I believe Sthenelaus has taken up residence in some of the tunnels on the other side of the city. Tunnels that Watchers never use. I do believe that some of these tunnels go further underground than ours do. And, unlike ours, it is unlikely they have their own illuminations. We will need you to be our lights, so to speak.' 'Oh, okay,' Emma sighed. 'I know it's a strange request but we want to avoid the use of artificial lights if possible. We want everybody's hands to be free of torches and so on. This Skull is incredibly dangerous and we need everyone to concentrate on their tasks, not on whether they can see or not.' 'That makes sense,' said Diarmuid. 'We also might need the use of fire and I understand that both of you now have that ability?' They both nodded. 'Good, Elliott will be joining us for the same thing.' 'Eleanor?' 'Yes, Emma?' 'Why did you say this was a life or death situation?' Eleanor stood up and walked around to the front of her desk, perching on it as she spoke slowly, 'I have a theory. I think that Sthenelaus wanted the three stones to freeze time so that he could bring the Krakor into England.' 'But why would he do that?' asked Diarmuid. 'Because he wants us dead, that's why.' Emma gasped and gripped Diarmuid's hand. 'Which is why we need to track him down and stop him, before he has the chance to start this ridiculous campaign.' 'Why does he want to kill us?' whispered Emma. 'Because the Watchers have been putting a stop to the Skulls’ savagery for centuries. If he succeeds, the world will become a very different place for the humans. And it won't be very pleasant.' Emma immediately thought of her adoptive parents and young brother and sister. 'We've got to stop him,' she said. 'My thoughts exactly,' Eleanor said. 'But before we can do anything at all, we need to narrow down our search area, which is why we need Lana's visions.' A tap on the door interrupted them as Declan peered round. 'Come in, Declan. I was just explaining everything to Emma and Diarmuid.' Declan pushed open the door and stood with his arms crossed, nodding. 'Have you any news?' she asked. 'As you requested, I sent the other Mentors out to track down the supernaturals to get word out about what we think is going down.' 'Good, let's just hope that some of them will be willing to help. And the helicopter?' Declan nodded, 'Jimble's on board as we speak.' 'Jimble?' Emma said in surprise. 'Yes, we needed him to speak to his leader so he's headed back to Somerset.' 'What, he's gone to Ethelle?' Eleanor nodded. 'But why? Won't he be in danger down there?' 'We're all currently in danger, Emma.' 'Yes, I guess,' she muttered, 'But Jimble? He's so... little and innocent.' 'Don't worry about him. He's stronger than he looks. Besides, he wanted to help. He understands the importance of getting help from all sources and he thinks he knows a way to communicate with all pixie trolls using Ethelle. If it works, it may give us an advantage the Skulls won't be expecting.' Emma nodded, her brow creased. 'Until everyone has returned, there's little you can do. I suggest you go and support Lana... and Barber,' she added. Emma and Diarmuid stood up and turned to walk out the room. 'And Emma?' 'Yes, Eleanor?' 'Don't worry about your sister. Barber is a good guy, I just know it.' Emma looked surprised before she smiled and followed Diarmuid out into the corridor. CHAPTER 34 Praxos HQ was filling up with people they'd never seen before. Emma recognised the Basajaun from the rooftops, but that was about it. Six beautiful women, with long white hair and intense blue eyes, walked around smiling at everyone, introducing themselves as elves. A large group of miniature men wandered in and out of the crowds scowling and chuckling, saying hello and goodbye. As they approached Emma, she smiled nervously and one grabbed her hand. 'Hello, my dear,' he said with a cheeky grin. 'We're the leprechauns of London. Nice to meet you.' 'Erm, nice to meet you, too.' 'And who might you be?' 'Erm, I'm Emma.' 'Nice to meet you, Emma,' he said before dropping her hand and disappearing back into the crowd. 'Weird,' she muttered under her breath as she tried to squeeze through in an attempt to get to the living room, where Lana and Barber were. There were so many creatures distracting her, she almost gave up. As she bumped into one, she turned and gulped; the head of a horse on a man's body greeted her with what sounded like a cough before he said, 'Oh sorry, love. Didn't see you there.' 'Oh, that's okay,' she replied as she noticed he was wearing a thick cloak that tied around his neck and wrapped around his body. 'Sorry if I frightened you but Eleanor said we were safe to just be ourselves down here. It makes a change anyway,' he said grinning. Emma had never seen a horse grin before and it kind of freaked her out. 'Oh please don't be scared. I come from a long line of Tikbalang. We're not dangerous creatures by any means, although we might look it,' he grinned again. 'The name's Dave,' he said holding out his hand. 'Dave?' she said trying not to laugh. 'I know, I get that a lot. I don't really look like a Dave.' 'I'm Emma. Nice to meet you, Dave. How do you... erm... get around without the humans seeing you?' 'I'm also a shape shifter, I can make my whole body into a horse. Like this...' Dave made a few strange movements and asked the people around him to move backwards and then he shivered for what seemed like ages and before Emma knew it, she was looking directly at a large horse. The thick cloak looked more natural covering his long lean back. 'Neat, huh?' he asked before he shivered again until he returned back to normal, wrapping the cloak back around his body. Emma's mouth dropped open and she nodded. 'Hey, that was so cool,' said a voice approaching them. 'Hi Rupert. This is Dave,' she introduced. 'Good to meet you, mate,' he said as they shook hands and began chatting. Emma made her excuses and disappeared into the crowd. 'This is really cool,' said Imran, who stood by the living room door, eye-balling everyone around him. 'Hey, I haven't seen you for a while,' she said as she leant against the wall with him. 'I've been on the computer doing research for Eleanor. Hey, check him out,' he said as a one-eyed man with a rather large head wandered past them. 'Is that a... Cyclops?' she breathed. 'Looks like it.' 'This is getting creepy.' Imran laughed. 'What about them?' he said pointing to the other side of the room, where a group of extremely tall men and women were deep in conversation. 'I've no idea who they are, but I've never seen anyone so tall. I'm going to see how Lana's getting on. I'll leave you to it. Oh, you might want to go and find Rupert. I've just introduced him to a really cool guy called Dave. I think you'll be intrigued,' she smiled. Imran raised his eyebrows, 'Cool,' he said before he wandered into the crowd. Opening the door, she stepped inside and very quietly closed it behind her. Seeing that Lana was having one of her visions, she tiptoed over to where she sat with Barber and sat down. 'Hey,' she whispered. 'Hi Emma.' 'How's it going?' 'Good, I think she's getting closer. What's going on out there?' he asked. 'Chaos,' she answered with a smile as she watched her sister for a moment. When she noticed Barber's eyebrows raised questioningly, she smiled. 'Sorry. Eleanor has invited as many supernaturals as possible to come and help us fight this guy. They're all assembling in the hall. It's total chaos. There are some seriously weird people out there...' 'As weird as vampires?' he asked with a cheeky smile. Emma blushed. 'Look, about that... 'I wanted to...' They both spoke at exactly the same time and they laughed quietly. 'You go first,' Barber offered. 'I just wanted to say I'm sorry for being so, you know, anti-you and Lana. I can see there's some sort of connection between you both. I just worry about her, you know?' 'Of course you do. She's your sister and you love her. I just want you to know that I wouldn't hurt her. I couldn't hurt her. It's so weird. I've never had this connection with anyone before and I know most people think that us vampires can put some kind of spell over people to make them fall for us, but that's not true, not for me anyway. You can trust me, Emma. I promise you, I'll never hurt her.' Emma blushed, grinned and then nodded. 'Thank y...' she was about to say when Lana suddenly screamed and sat bolt upright. Barber tightened his grip on her and stroked her cheek as tears streamed down her face. Her eyes were still closed. 'What's happening?' asked Emma. 'It's happened a few times. I tried to wake her up but she wasn't ready to come out. I guess we just have to wait.' Emma nodded and took Lana's other hand in hers and, as her sister relaxed back into the sofa, so did she. oOo Lana was feeling tired. She'd been hopping from vision to vision for what seemed like hours but she couldn't stop. Determined to find out exactly where Sthenelaus was hiding, she wouldn't give up until she did. Taking a deep breath, she found herself in the deep recesses of what looked like a museum. She was surrounded by wooden boxes and items trapped behind glass frames.
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