Sun Kissed (Guardian Angel #2) - Page 7
Choosing an outfit wasn’t hard. There was no way I was going to wear anything tight or short, and a pair of white joggers seemed the best kind of footwear on a day like today. They matched my cute black tracksuit perfectly.
The sun was high in the sky. It beamed upon my face and my gaze locked onto the cloudless sky, a shining blue. People forget how beautiful the world is, they don’t appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. We’re encircled by so many colors, so much life, and yet we spend most days inside, sulking about pointless material things, instead of making the most of a beautiful day. The air was warm, and the cool breeze that glided over my skin was refreshing. A clean sweat broke out along the bottom of my hair line, causing my hair to cling to my skin. I pulled it into a high ponytail and continued on my way to the dining hall. I had no purpose going there. Lunch wasn’t for another hour, but I just wanted to walk and bask in my own company.
I should have known it wasn’t as simple as that. A crowd was gathered by the front of the dining hall.
“Fight, fight, Fight!” they chanted.
I turned away from the commotion. The last thing I needed was to be associated with some fight.
“You did this! I know you did,” someone yelled.
“Don’t blame me because Ruby found out how much of a snake you are,” growled the other one.
Oh shit. I sprinted over and pushed through the crowd.
“Move!” I shouted as I went.
Hunter and Rylan were in attack stance, maneuvering around the circle.
Rylan would never stand a chance against Hunter. They were two completely different builds. Hunter was tall, lean and muscular, and even though Rylan was tall and lean, his body didn’t look like he worked out much. Hunter trained every day. I’ve seen him train, and it’s brutal.
I leapt in front of Hunter, protecting Rylan.
“Don’t blame other people for the mistakes you made!” I growled through clenched teeth.
Yet again I was angry at Hunter; you don’t fight people who are obviously weaker than you.
“He did this to you, not me.”
“You’re doing this to me!”
“Ruby, I —”
“If you’re going to say that you’re just trying to help, don’t. You’re not helping, you’re making things worse.”
I wasn’t aware the crowd was still around us. I looked at all the faces that burned with gossip, their ears stretched towards us as they waited for more. I grabbed Rylan by the arm and escorted him out of the circle, away from Hunter and his obsession to clear his name.
“I’m sorry you had to be dragged into this,” I apologized.
“It’s not your fault. Hunter is a mad man.”
“No, he’s not. He’s just having a hard time. After last night, I’m surprised he hasn’t tried to take down the whole school.” I exhaled dramatically as I sat down on a bench along the path way. I glanced back where the gathering of students once stood. Everyone was gone.
“It was brave of you to ask him about it.”
“I had no choice, I wanted answers … unfortunately, I need more.”
“What more do you need? He admitted it; you saw how he’s acting.”
“He admitted to writing a report, but he didn’t send it.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“I’m not. He could be acting up out of desperation to clear his name.”
“If it wasn’t him, who else would have done it?”
“Raina … maybe, I don’t know, and I have no idea where to start to find out.”
Rylan placed his hand on mine; I couldn’t decide whether it was a friendly gesture or if he meant more by it. Slowly I pulled my hand away, hoping I didn’t offend him.
“Ruby!” Eli came jogging down the path towards us.
Sweat beaded his forehead as he came to a stop in front of us. Although his perspiration made me think he’d been running all over the place to find me, his lack of shortness in breath made me wonder if he had run at all.
“Oh thank god, I was looking all over for you.”
“Rylan, could you —”
“No problem. Ruby, Mr De Luca.” He acknowledged us with a nod of his head and left.
“Eli, are you okay?”
Something didn’t feel right in my stomach; If Eli had run to find me, it had to be serious. I gestured for him to sit down next to me and he did.
“It’s the higher power.”
I gripped Eli’s arm. Please, no. I didn’t want them to take him away again.
“Mr Aleksandrov received a phone call, the higher power is coming to Sage. He’ll be here by nightfall and he wants to meet with you.”
My stomach sank; it was a feeling I had become terribly familiar with in the last year or so. I exhaled and fought back the urge to break down into a panicking cry.
“Wh- what? Why?”
Eli’s face reflected the my horror.
“I don’t know, but I know it’s about us. I thought I threw his suspicions off, but I mustn’t have. Ruby, I need you to tell him everything I did to you when he asks. Don’t protect me; it’ll be worse for you. You have to tell him I took advantage of you.”
“No, I won’t.”
“Don’t be stupid!” Eli snapped.
I flinched at his words, he exhaled and his urgently calm façade returned.
“Please, Ruby; I need you to do this. If you don’t, his minions will take whatever he wants by force. I’ve seen it, and believe me, it’s something you don’t want.”
I thought long and hard about his words. There was no way I was going to throw Eli in the deep end to save myself. It wasn’t his fault we ended up like this, it was mine.
I nodded in agreement to make him happy, but I wasn’t going to follow through with it. There was no way.
The Higher Power
Night was approaching quickly and Mila was pacing our room nervously.
“What if it’s because he knows you’re trying to help me and Gabriel?”
“I doubt it.”
She collapsed on the bed in defeat and looked down at me. I was lying on my back on the floor. The fluffy purple rug was ridiculously comfy, it made me feel safe. The fan pushed a warm breeze around the room, cooling my burning skin.
“What if —”
“Mila, stop stressing yourself out, it’s making me more nauseous. I’m sure it’s nothing, or at least it has nothing to do with you. Relax.”
My tone was a little harsh, I suppose. I didn’t mean to be frustrated with her, but I was trying to control my thoughts and emotions. If the higher power started questioning me, the last thing I needed was for my emotions to work against me.
“I can’t relax. The higher power doesn’t just leave his secret hiding place to visit a random school in the middle of nowhere. Something is wrong.”
I closed my eyes as I felt my nerves twisting around my stomach and making their way up my throat. My muscles tensed as I tried to swallow my throat-burning anxiety.
“Ruby, look!” Mila whispered urgently.
I opened my eyes. All around me, tiny balls of water from Mila’s glass of water floated above me. All the anger, nervousness, and love I had felt the last few months were sucked out of me and replaced with awe and pride. Finally, I had managed to conjure water balls. They were small, but I still did it.
I sat up abruptly to get a closer look; my thoughts were interrupted and the little balls of water fell onto me. My skin and clothes quickly absorbed them. I felt a proud smile spread across my face.
“Let’s try again.”
I stood up, grabbed Mila’s cup and ran to the bathroom. The cold clear water gushed into the cup and I grew more and more excited. It took my mind off the whole higher power thing.
When I entered the room, Mila had laid a waterproof table cloth on the fluffy rug to protect it from getting too wet. I glanced out the window. Only a portion of the sun was visible over the horizon. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me later, but for now I was content.
I raised my hand above the cup and thought about a calming, deep blue ocean and palm trees. A beach with no waves was a perfect beach.
I opened my eyes slowly, and underneath my hand floated a clear ball. I kept the calm, watery thoughts in my mind. I wanted to stare at it for as long as I could. I was doing it. The water ball collapsed with a splash over the cup, wetting our legs.
I repeated it again and again, each time needing less and less concentration.
I swept my eyes from the cup to the window; there was no light now, unless I counted the light from the foggy light posts outside. Mila let out a small squeal as a knock thundered on the door.
I stood up, straightening my track suit and tightening my ponytail.
“I’ll be back soon.”
“Ruby?” Mila mumbled.
I turned to face her and she leapt at me, pulling me into a tight embrace. Jeez, anyone would think she thought she’d never see me again.
I opened the door and met Eli’s face on the other side. His full lips were pursed into a straight line and his beautiful green eyes burnt into mine. He was wearing his guardian get-up, the big combat boots, and the baggy black cargo pants that were tucked into his shoes. The tight black t-shirt he was wearing was tucked into his pants, making it tight around his upper body, leaving nothing to the imagination. I swooned over every line of his muscle remembering last night, when he held it against me. I dropped my eyes to the floor rapidly, trying to keep my composure. I needed to act and believe it never happened. It was the only way to save our lives, if it came to that point.
“Let’s go, Ruby,” said Mr Aleksandrov, who was also standing in the hallway.
I stepped out into the corridor. The door to my room creaked loudly as I closed it. I couldn’t help but imagine being locked in a cell, big cast iron doors being slammed behind me as I rocked myself helplessly in the corner. The thought must have stopped me in my tracks because Eli and Mr Aleksandrov’s expressions reflected my worry.
“It will be okay,” Mr Aleksandrov assured me. “You’re a student of Sage Sanctum, my school. I won’t let any harm come to you.”
It meant a lot to hear Mr Aleksandrov say that. I had thought he didn’t actually care.
“Thank you,” I mumbled.
Grass cracked and rustled under my feet. He approached the border of the school. The ten foot stone wall surrounding the campus had a small cast iron gate in the middle of it. Mr Aleksandrov pulled a long stick from his robe, it was a wand. Mr Aleksandrov said he was a wizard, I thought it meant he could do spells and charms. I had no idea he could wield a wand. He whispered and flicked the wand slightly at the gate’s lock. The gate creaked open. Despite my nerves, I smiled, amazed by the world I was involved in. It was a dangerous and overwhelming world, but it was filled with so much opportunity for adventure and beauty.
“Where are we going?” I asked when the three of us were on the other side of the gate.
The trees were cloaked in shadows and they creaked slightly above us. I wrapped my arms around myself, hoping it would tone down the scariness of the bushes. It did help a little.
The trees’ thick bases and low hanging branches made me feel claustrophobic. All of these were scary, but the one thing that made it absolutely frightening was the silence. The sounds of any other living creatures were absent.
“In the middle is a clearing, he has set up camp there,” Mr Aleksandrov replied, pulling me from focusing on my fears of the bush.
“But that’s outside of the protection charm.”
“He didn’t want to share accommodation with students or our faculty members. The higher power is a very strong man, capable of fighting off a bunch of vampires without breaking a sweat,” Mr Aleksandrov explained.
“Have you ever met him?”
“Yes. Once, and it’s not something I want to repeat.”
“He usually sends his minions to do things for him. You might not even see him. I didn’t,” Eli added.
I felt a little better, it would be less intimidating if I was lying to a bunch of lowly servants than to the ruler of our kind himself.
We pushed through the bush unflinchingly as spider webs broke over our skin. It bothered me slightly, but in the scheme of things, being bitten by a spider and passing out or dying seems a lot less stressful then having my brain pried through or put under a spell which exposes all my deepest secrets.
When we reached the clearing, I couldn’t believe it. Right in the middle was a giant tent; it was at least two stories high and the same length wide. If I had a portable tent of this scale, I would have stayed in it, too, instead of being cramped up in a high school filled with smelly boys and high-pitched girls.
“This is Aalin. She’s here.”
I jumped and turned around; I felt Eli’s hand rest on my shoulder, easing my racing heart. Before us stood three very tall men with sniper rifles and night vision goggles. They wore a hard-out stealth army outfit. Every inch of their body was covered, not one section of skin was exposed to the cool night air.
“Send her in.” A woman’s voice came through the walkie talkie that was strapped to Aalin’s chest.
The stealth guys grabbed me, forcing me to stand between them.
“You aren’t coming?” I asked both Mr Aleksandrov and Eli.
“Ruby, we —”
“The higher power has requested only you, Ruby Moore,” the anonymous middle guy said.
They pushed past Eli and Mr Aleksandrov, pulling me closer and closer to the tent. I couldn’t help but look back at them as they stood watching, Eli’s eyes burning fiercely into mine. I think he had a plan if things went south for me. At least, I hope he does.