Chapter Eight: Leianna
“The truth is a very dangerous thing.” That is something I barely even remember hearing.
I don’t feel like the dangerous thing that I thought I was meant to be. The thing that bent or broke all rules that existed in this strange world. I failed breaking her sway, he was angry, I could tell. Petrova somehow missed her ambush. The problem is, that in even trying to break her sway, even unsuccessfully, I just secured mine. Just as hers is secure. I failed and now we are both trapped. I just get the feeling I am the only one who knows that I am pretty much a pawn. The brothers will get their way. So much for making my parents proud. If they even knew what I was thinking now. If they knew the truth. What if they do know the truth?
Bound by magic unable to move, but I can feel the movement of air around me, I know I am being moved, but somehow my body is asleep, barely but just enough and my mind is so completely awake, it is a torture of its own. There is an angel trapped in the underworld. Maybe not trapped, but tethered to at the very least. Whether what he said about the devil himself is true or not. It won’t make a difference. If I do it, if I follow Rax’s plan… When did I start calling him that? Doesn’t matter. If I follow his plan, hell on earth is a literal translation. If I don’t, the secret I carry, if I do nothing, what devil am I?
Going through the gates feels different now, the weight on my shoulders, the pressure. I can hear the people around me. It takes a moment. I can hear Monty, at least I think it is Monty. There is a warlock here, I can feel the magic, but it’s not the familiar feel of Henry’s magic, but it doesn’t feel completely different.
I have to protect Petrova, I realise it now, if I taint her, this mortal world is doomed, hell will rage. I can’t do it; I can’t follow Rax’s plan. If I do, there is no going back. But I can’t leave him there either. I have to make sure she keeps her sway completely intact. I have to let war wage on the mortal world, to protect the mortal world. It makes so little sense, but I have to go against what I have been told. I have to change the path. I have to do something. So if I change just this one important thing, if I can perform the ritual and keep Petrova’s bond, then I can bring a heavenly war to rid hell from earth, once I brought it to earth. God it sounds ridiculous. It could be the only way to pull Rax away. Even if he has lied to me. He managed to walk through the realm with me beside him, a defenceless floating body unconscious, one that destroyed demons not long before. I could feel them turning their backs, refusing to look, refusing to stare, I could feel them doing everything to not look at us. There is power, then there is that. Creatures that should have been desperate to destroy me in return, refusing to even see my existence.
That feeling you’ve been lied to. That. Right now. My whole fucking life. My mother, my father, my blood bearer. The lot of them. Henry was right.
When Henry said this might be my undoing. Unleashing those demons created a doorway. That is after all how I ended up down there, handed my own personal to do list by my blood bearer. Without Henry, I would never have ended up here, I would never know that the underworld had the softest satin sheets in the most gorgeous shade of emerald that I have ever seen. I would never have felt so alone in all my life. I would never have found this secret. This thing that I shouldn’t know.
I can feel the magic lift and my eyes shot open and it feels like coming out of water after holding your breath. I am gasping for air. My hand reaches out and I grab the shirt of the nearest person. The first word out of my mouth, the person I have to protect now, “Petrova”.
A face appears next to me, my face, her face, It’s her, she helps me sit up slowly. She is safe. I can feel regret twisting my stomach, I made us both generals in a war that is not ours.
“Petrova, what was the cost?” I ask, knowing the writing on the wall was a message.
“My brother” the words came from a handsome middle aged man beginning to stand.
“You’re Orion.” The words left my lips. Life is complicated but so are families. “You are Orion aren’t you?”
“Yes.” He looked uncomfortable, the way his eyes left mine.
“He took Henry in my place?” I try to swallow a lump in my throat. I can feel eyes on me, I bet there are questions about how I know the warlock who went in my place.
“Yes, he refused to listen to reason. I have tried to keep him from going to that place his whole life, and thanks to you, he walked straight through.” I can see a familiar look in his eyes, I’ve seen it on Henry, concern.
“You know who is waiting for him? What is waiting for him?” I ask wondering how much I can trust him and how much I can say.
“We need to talk. Alone.” I say bluntly. Orion nods. I am breaking rules. Too many. Orion helps me to stand and Orla is leading the protests, saying that I need to be checked.
“She is fine, and as far as I am concerned she owes me to know what happened there, it is my brother that took her place. I get dibs on hearing all about it first.” With that he shot them a warning look before he opened a portal right in front of everyone.
Stepping onto the ground on the other side I discovered he had transported us right into the heart of London. Somewhere I was familiar with. I still couldn’t help but ask where we were.
“Her Majesty’s” he answered. I looked out there was an empty unlit theatre, I couldn’t help but take a steadying breath, I needed it. We were after all on the top walk way. Where the angel descends from on the rooftops scene.
“Why here?” I ask not that he is looking at me now.
“This is where you should be, playing them all. I know who you are.”
“You made me who I am, you made Petrova.” He looked surprised, but I continued, “I know who you are, and if Henry is your brother that means that Raxaorie is his father too.” I hated the words coming out of my mouth. They didn’t feel like mine. At least I didn’t want them to be real. I don’t even want to think about what it means.
“Yes.” Now he is watching me. Closely.
“Is that why you did it, Petrova and me?”
“Partly. Do you know what he is?” I shake my head no. There are some things that I won’t discuss. “That is sweet of you to lie, but it is written all over your face.”
“Are you trying to make it hell on earth?”
“It is already hell on earth. Look at those in power. Hell has already arrived, but the gates are locked. We need to un lock them to stand any chance.”
“Chance of what?”
“There is something coming, and you and Petrova, you’re the key. You change it, you can do what Henry and I can’t. We’ve tried. But it didn’t work. It has to be you.”
“You’re telling me to follow Raxaorie’s plan and open the gates to hell?”
“Yes, and then stop following his plan. Don’t do what he tells you to do, don’t let him change your destiny like that, you may be his blood bearer but you don’t need to be a complete extension of him. You are your own person and we are running out of time.”
“We need to get Henry back.” I sound so certain, but he might hate me when he comes back. Him sacrificing himself, heaven knows what he will be like coming back. I sure as hell don’t feel like the person I was following that shadowy figure. I know too much and I want to run away. I don’t want to be responsible I don’t want to have to do all of this. It’s too much. I can feel the panic beginning to rise. It must have been written on my face, it’s the first time I’d seen Orion soften even slightly. His expression wasn’t harsh or steely, it was softer.
“You can’t tell them what happened, not a word. Do you understand?”