Chapter 30

I staggered back, a rush running through my system, unable to grasp the newfound information. All that was running through my head was, “Calimo’s her son. Calimo’s her son.” I found something to lean against and once again Reanski was in my face, laughing at me.
“Oh, I’m sure that’s not what you expected to hear from me, was it?” She scrunched up her face in fake sympathy, her bottom lip quivering. “The love of your life is the son of the ruler of the Eternal Knights. Oh how sweet, like Romeo and Juliet. But remember,” she paused, willing me to look up at her, “both of them ended up dead.”
My face was graced with a look of horror, “You’d kill your own son, just to kill me?”
Reanski was picking at her fingernails, and a chair appeared underneath her that she collapsed on, “Well, I wouldn’t like it that way, no. But here,” she once again focused her attention on me, “I’ll make you a deal. So Calimo won’t die.”
“I’m listening.”
“Give me your key, and I’ll let the both of you live,” She smiled at me sweetly, but I felt there was a hidden agenda.
“You will control me if I do that,” I defensively placed a hand on my pocket, and she caught the gesture, her eyes flicking around like a snake eyeing its prey.
“I guess you don’t know much about who you are, do you?” Reanski looked at me with amusement. “Well, how about it, you give me your key and Calimo doesn’t die,” She stood up once again, with her pale hand stretched out to me.
“N…no,” I stuttered, backing away from her. “There’s something else going on I don’t know about. So, no.”
She closed her hand into a fist and growled, and began to transform into something not human. She brought up and cloud of black smoke and once the smoke cleared, before me stood the largest tiger I had ever seen. This tiger wasn’t orange or white; it was black with white stripes. It was quite beautiful, and I felt willed to pet it. It slowly began to approach me, stalking me like cats do. It braced to pounce, and then leaped into the air, heading right towards me. I crouched down in terror, not believing I would die again within 24 hours, when a blast of white light reached my tightly closed eyes. I slowly opened one, then the other and gasped at was I saw.

Before me stood Calimo, engulfed in white light looking down at the black tiger in hatred. The tiger slowly rose on its hind feet, black smoke covered the scene, and once again before me stood Reanski.
“Darling!” She reached her arms wide open at Calimo. He turned his back in disgust and came to me.
“Hey, princess,” He smiled slightly and reached out a hand to help me up. As our fingers first brushed, I nearly jumped as I had felt the same sparks as every other time I touched him. He pulled me up, and into his arms; I hadn’t realized I had been shaking until I stood against him. I hoped he didn’t think of me as weak. He held me out at arms’ length and gave me a once over. Reanski stood off to the side tapping her foot, until he turned to her with loathing, and pulled me behind his back.
“Don’t you touch her,” Calimo stated, soothing the anger I knew he felt. One of his hands was behind his back, tightly wrapped around mine, his thumb lightly brushing the side of my hand. It was a small gesture, but I felt safer.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, dear,” Reanski faked another smile. She stepped toward him and placed a hand on his cheek. Calimo pushed me all the way behind him, and because of his height, I couldn’t see what she was doing, just what she said. Calimo slowly pulled his hand away from mine and I resisted the urge to grab it back.

“Oh Calimo, you’re so strong and handsome. You could get any girl you want, yet you chose her?” Her voice dripped with distain, and I was slightly crestfallen. I always wanted my boyfriend’s parents to like me, yet his parents both hated me. One actually killed me.
“Don’t talk about Amberlin that way, Mother,” Calimo’s voice snapped back at her. I heard her gasp and a staggering of feet. I peered from behind Calimo and stared at the sight in front of me. Reanski had fallen to her knees, with her head down, long blonde hair covering her face. She looked up, tears frozen on her face, but then her whole body became engulfed in the reds, oranges, and yellows of a roaring fire.
“You’re choosing her over me!” she screamed and I felt the world around me shake. I fell away from Calimo, but he didn’t turn around, his entire focus was keeping the flame in front of him away from me. I tried to yell his name, but before I could open my mouth, a crevice opened beneath me. I yelled as I began to fall, and as I was swallowed up in the black nothingness, I heard Reanski laugh. The sound echoed all around me, penetrating my head. I could hear nothing but the laugh, getting louder, and louder.

“Stop it!” I shouted, squeezing my eyes shut and covering my ears, doing everything to make the laugh disappear. “Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!”
“Stop what?” Iolis’ voice asked me. I opened my eyes, just noticing the tears stuck to my eyelashes and Raliki and Iolis looking at me, concerned. I looked around, surprised to be back in the secret library. I took a shaky breath, putting the book down on a table that wasn’t there before. I grabbed a pillow, and hugged it to my chest, and told my story.
Raliki’s face became grave when I told him Reanski just seemed to jump out of her place in the book, and began to talk to me. Iolis huffed in annoyance, but not surprise. Considering she was a psychic, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
I finished and Raliki sat back and stared into space, obviously thinking hard, since his forehead kept twitching. Iolis and I giggled at the sight, and Iolis took me away, leaving Raliki to his thoughts.
“Why haven’t you healed your leg?” Iolis asked and I giggled again.
“Don’t know how. Raliki asked that too,” I replied as I followed her down a hallway that hadn’t been there before. The walls started out bare, but the further we got, little sparkling jewels began to show, randomly scattered across the walls and floor. I began to have to maneuver around the ones of the floor, because they had become increasingly larger. “Are these all real?”

“Indeed they are,” Iolis stopped at a wooden door, which seemed oddly out of place with all the bright jewels. “Okay, this is where I wanted to take you. This is a special place, and only the Key’d can enter. Iolis swiped her hand across the door, and then led my hand to a diamond shaped piece that protruded from the door. She nodded and turned away, leaving me at the old wooden door at the end of a jewel infested hallway. I waited until I couldn’t hear her steps anymore, and then I pushed the diamond into the door.
I heard cogs and wheels turning within the door, and then all became quiet. The door swung inward and I stepped in. All it seemed to be at first was darkness, but then the door swung shut behind me. As soon as I heard the click of the lock on the door, it seems a light switch was flipped on.
“Woah.” I had stepped into a forest, complete with tall beautiful trees, colorful flowers, and soft moss under my feet. I began to crutch around, amazed at the scene, but wondered if there were any animals, considering I hadn’t even seen a fly. Then there was a rustle in the bushes to my right. I jumped in fright, but just then a little rabbit can out. I laughed at my own silliness, and sat down on the moss, lying the crutches down beside me. I held out my hand to the rabbit, willing it to approach so I wouldn’t be alone in the forest that seemed to go on forever. It willingly approached, and once it sniffed my hand, it snuggled right under it. I cuddled it toward me and it warmed my side.

Its black eyes turned up toward my face, catching my eyes. I smiled at it, and I could’ve sworn it smiled back at me. It hopped all around me causing me to laugh at its antics. My laugh sounded different, and I stopped, startled. The rabbit paused and came to sit in front of me, its little eyes watching my reaction.
“My laugh is different,” I said to the rabbit and to my surprise it replied.
“Sounds different huh?” A quiet girly voice came from the rabbit.
“Oh so you’re a girl!” I smiled happily and she scratched her nose with her paw.
She nodded and placed a dainty paw on my knee, “May I see your key?” I hesitated, but I figured if this place was only for the Key’d, she must be one of the good ones. I pulled the key from my pocket and handed it to her. She turned it around in her paws, nodding. She soon gave it back and I nearly snatched it from her, the pain was less, but it still hurt a considerable amount. I placed it back in my pocket, and before I could ask any more questions, the rabbit began to hop away.

“Wait don’t go!” I pleaded, afraid to be alone again. I hurried up, wincing with my bad ankle, grabbing my crutches, and hurrying in the direction I saw her take. “Oh, why did she have to hop so fast!”

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