“I’m sorry that is all the help that I can give you.” Clotho apologized. She sat back in her chair and tapped the table top with her fingers. From the opposite sides of the room, the other four began to come walking back to the table in the middle of the room.
“I think it might be more than enough.” I told her, standing up from my seat. Atropos and Juni reached us first.
“Come talk to me again.” Atropos was telling Juni. Juni nodded and went in for a hug, squeezing my youngest aunt with a smile on her face. Atropos smiled and chuckled, embracing my best friend as if she were her new friend. From the other side of the room, Lachesis and Jax came over to where the four of us were standing. Atopos slid into her now vacant seat with a content smile on her face.
“If you would like to find your father, I will help.” Lachesis was saying to Jax. He held out a hand, and she shook it, her grip hard.
“I think I will never see him.” Jax declined the offer, even so she had a light smile on her face. Lachesis let go of Jax’s hand and walked over to her vacant seat, she sat down and looked at the three of us who were still standing. Clotho, her hands folded in her lap, smiled at me.
“Nephew, even if we do not have control of your life, we will try to help you wherever we can.”
“I will keep my promise.”
“Good luck.” The three of my aunts grinned at each other and sin songed together, “May the Fates be forever in your favor.” Then everything around us was gone and we were standing back in the library, the morning sun just beginning to shine through the windows.
One of the windows in the library opened without us going near it, from the table where I had sat the last few days, a breeze blew open one of the books until it landed on a certain page. I looked at Juni and Jax, they shrugged, when I walked over to the book. It had opened to a page with the story we had been looking for since Mr. Parker told us about it. We know had the story behind how my father, the God of Time had almost taken down Nergal, the God of the Sun.
My cell phone rang, the trill loud in the empty room. Curious, I picked it up and looked at the caller ID. Astonished by what I saw, I just stared at it, until, right before the last ring, I answered.
“Hello?” I whispered into the phone, grasping it with more force than was needed.
“Echo?” the soft female voice came from the other side.
“Poppy,” I whispered, shocked. Poppy’s voice was quiet over the sudden static. I held in my breath, afraid to say anymore. Why had she called me, I thought to myself, she hated my guts, this was not like her.
“It’s been awhile since you’ve been home,” she continued. I pulled the phone away from my ear and stared at it. No shit, you told me to never return. This was not the Poppy I knew. I put the phone back to my ear. “Asher and I have been wondering when you are going to come for a visit. We were thinking this weekend we could all have dinner together.” I held in a snort, putting my hand over my mouth. I waved my hand in the air, indicated to Jax, Juni and Sam to come over to me. I put the phone on mute, letting Poppy talk to herself.
“Nergal has the power to manipulate human minds, right?” The three of them nodded without answering, I pointed to my phone. “I do believe that I know where he is.”
“Is he stupid enough to reveal that?” Jax asked from where he sat on the deck.
“I don’t know, but that is my adoptive sister on the phone asking for me to go to dinner.”
“What?” Juni screeched, then more quietly, “Doesn’t she hate your guts?” I nodded and put my finger to my lips and I took my phone off of mute. Poppy was going on about food and how Asher missed me just as much as she did.
“When should I be over on Saturday, Poppy?” I asked this fake Poppy.
“You’re coming over?” She gave a very un Poppy like squeal. “I’ll have to tell Asher. Come over at noon, I think that should be fine.”
“I’ll see you then.” I said into the phone. I hung up and looked over at the three. Jax was shaking his head, obviously not pleased with the event.
“That is so obviously a trap.” He muttered, staring at me. I shrugged.
Juni slapped him, “No, duh, stupid.” He gave her an offended look.
“But we are going anyway.” Sam said, knowing that it was the right thing to do.
Jax sighed and shook his head. “We need to be prepared.”
“What can I do to help in this?” I asked, thinking that maybe I could be of assistance. They all three turned around.
“Don’t die,” they said in unison.
“I can honestly say that I will do my best to stay alive.” I told my three protectors. They all looked at me, their different types of love in their eyes and I realized how lucky I was to have them in my life. We had three days until the designated day to finally defeat Nergal. If my Aunt Clotho was correct about being able to erase all of his memories, then I needed to be able to lay my hand on his during the fight.
“We need to do some combat training.” I told them, they grinned at me. “Do not go easy on me. I need to stand on my own two feet.” Juni clapped excitedly, her silver eyes glowing brighter.
“I’ll go reserve the gym,” Sam said, ducking out of the library, purpose in his steps.
“I’ll ask Ethan and Holly for help.” Jax offered, before he set off himself. Juni stood beside me and gave me a sideways glace.
“You know we won’t make this easy, especially if there are five of us.” She told me, a smile on her face.
“Good,” I grinned at her and began to pull my hair into a ponytail. “I don’t want to drag any of you down.”
“You need to block faster, Echo!” Jax yelled at me from where he stood on the sidelines of the gym. Juni, Sam and Ethan were beside him, all in their gym uniforms, waiting for their turn to beat the crap out of me. I put my hand to my now swollen cheek. Holly hit hard, I could taste blood.
Holly stood a few feet away from me, a sword in her grasp, her long brown hair in a side braid. She tilted her head, her eyes fierce. “You’re trying too hard to avoid me.”
“Well, I don’t exactly like to be hit.” She strode towards me, raised her sword arm and paused it a foot from me.
“How would you block this in a real fight, Echo?” She asked, I pulled on my power and stopped it with my mind. “Yes,” she muttered. “That is one way, however,” she slid her left foot back, pivoted and swung around, breaking my hold until the blade was coming from my right towards my face. She held no indication that she was going to pause. On instinct, I ducked beneath the blade, dropping to the ground, my weight on my palms. From the corner of my eyes, I saw her shift direction and begin to aim downwards. I groaned and pushed the floor with my right hand, rolling away from the hit. Her sword slashed to the ground, the metal vibrating against the laminate. I jolted to my feet, backing up a step. She glanced over at me, took two quick steps of her own and stood in front of me, her sword at her side but still at the ready.
“How are you going to put your hand on me for the time you need if you cannot even come close enough to me to touch me?” I focused inward, and felt my powers that my aunt had patched slightly. I could feel a new element to my powers. It felt raw, unused and I didn’t know what would happen if I used it. I breathed in, and pulled at that raw energy.
Darkness weaved through my veins, the Tama felt like my father, old and unfathomable. I tightened my fists, and breathed out. Holly tightened her grip on her sword, hefted it up so it was pointed at me and she ran towards me. I took in another breath, she came closer still.
“Move, Echo!” Jax yelled from the bleachers, he was now standing up, worry etched into his features. I grinned, this new Tama trailing hot tendrils down my forearms as it made it’s way to my palms. I had a feeling I knew what this power would do, but I needed to test it out. Holly came close enough that she swung her sword toward me in a quick motion. Instead of backing away, I took a step forward, raising my right hand, a shield popped up, the sword clanged against it, stopped mere inches from my face. I slid to the right, ducking underneath the now stopped sword and grabbed the metal between my palms. My Tama flared to life, the metal burned a hot red, but I felt nothing. From the sight where my hands touched it, the metal began to rust, it eroded right in front of my eyes until the blade simply crumbled to dust at my feet.
“Impossible,” Holly breathed. She flung the hilt of the sword across the gym and threw up an arm to block the punch I aimed at her. She caught my punch solidly in one hand. She grinned at me, thinking that was all i had in me, but I had been training will three of the best combatants in the academy for weeks now. I shifted my weight onto my left leg and with my right leg, I knocked her feet out of beneath her. Will she was gasping for the breath I had knocked out of her, I put my hand to her forehead.
“I win,” I breathed. She grinned at me, her adrenaline high.
“You may have beaten me, but there are still four others waiting for their turns.” I pulled her up to her feet and looked at the boys and Juni who were now on their feet, standing in the bleachers. All four of them were grinning in anticipation.
“Who’s next?” I called out to them as Holly made her way back over, picking up her hilt as she went. Ethan grinned, and vaulted himself over the last couple rows of steps. He cracked his neck, his orange hair and orange eyes vibrant beneath the lights.
“I believe that would be me,” he chuckled, walking towards me. “Let’s see how you fare against my Tama.”
By the end of the first day, I was sore, but I had come out with two victories. I was still too new at this to defeat Jax, Juni and Sam, though. The way my Tama reacted now, it felt more like the ability to erode, or destroy than anything else. I could also now create barriers just as effective as my mothers. Once they were up, they were like unmovable walls that only I could pass through.
During the second day, the four of us tested out the ways I could move my barriers and what flaws they had. If I was not quick enough and someone got to me before the barrier was completely up, then I trapped myself and the other person within it as well. That meant that that person could not escape, but if I was not backed into a corner, I could and leave them in their own invisible prison.
On the third and last day before we would convene and raid my old house, I learned that if I touched my hand to someone for five seconds, skin to skin, I could push my power into them and make them fall asleep. The person under my power would then not wake up until I did the exact opposite telling them to wake up. On that day, also occurred something I would never forget for the rest of my life.
Jax and I were walking hand and hand through his forests, content with just being near each other. We were sitting in the bright sun, the grass beneath our legs cold to the touch.
“You better be safe tomorrow.” Jax whispered into the wind. I smiled, gripping his hand in mine, kissing the back of it.
“I’ll be as safe as I can.” I reached out my hands and brought his face near mine. We stared at each other, our eyes flickering over our facial features, as if memorizing them. Jax was the first one to lean in, to bridge that gap between us and lightly touch his lips to mine.
I hissed in a breath at the contact, and moaned as he swept his tongue across the bottom of my lip. Hesitantly, I parted my lips, allowing his entrance. His tongue swept through my mouth playing and teasing with my tongue, coaxing me to join him.
Jax’s hands wove their way beneath my shirt, pulling it up to bare my stomach. His fingertips slid along my skin, trailing to the edge of my pants before drawing teasing circles around my belly button. He pushed me lightly, and I let him until my back was flush against the ground, and he was towering over me, the sun glinting off of his tanned skin.
His knee was between my legs, gently pressing against my erection, making it more obvious that my pants were straining to their limit. Jax bent down, kissing the edge of my belly button and at the same time, he pushed his knee into my erection. I groaned, my hands reaching out to grasp the sleeves of his shirt. I wanted him to move back to my lips, but his hands moved deftly as they began to take off my pants. His kisses trailed along my stomach, following his hands as they made their way down my thigh all the way to my knee.
Tenderly, as if he was afraid of scaring me, Jax lightly touched my erection, his fingers barely a whisper across my skin. I almost bucked my hips at the response, but covered my moan with my hand. Jax’s eyes flickered to my face, and he grinned. His hands played with my hard shaft, bringing me closer and closer to release. Even as I came into his hand, I was astonished that we were doing this.
But, it didn’t stop there. Not like I wanted it to anyway. Using my cum as a lubricant, Jax lightly touched my entrance, pushing, probing. He teased and coaxed every reaction out of me, the grin on his face wide and every shudder that stripped my body bare a telltale sign of the effects of his fingers.
The fingers inside of me touched a ball of nerves and I moaned out loud, unable to keep it back.
“So it’s there?” Jax whispered to himself as he stroked that ball until my moans were creating a song within the woods. On the brink of release, Jax took off his own pants, baring his own erect shaft. I wanted to reach out to touch him, but he stopped me. “Don’t. I’ll come if you touch me.”
“Then come inside me.” I groaned out loud, my hands reaching for him so my release would arrive. Jax chuckled and he slowly, agonizingly slowly, entered me. His hands kept my hip still so I didn’t buck beneath him. And soon, his entire length filled me to the brim. I shuddered, and tried to buck my hips to move him in farther, but Jax’s hands kept me still.
“Give me a moment.” He muttered, his eyes tightly closed, his teeth bared and perspiration decorating his skin. Once his vibrant green eyes opened, I smiled up at him, reaching for him, squeezing down on him. His groan echoed mine and he growled as he pulled almost all the way out and took my lips in a long kiss, stifling my moan as he took only one thrust to fill me again.
Our moans became a crescendo within the forest. It was a song of our own, created just by us. Our very first, hot, lewd, bout of lovemaking.
Finally, Saturday came. I was up before the sun even rose in the sky. Jax found me in the gym, just as the sun was beginning to make it’s way to the peak. I was sitting criss crossed in the middle of the linoleum floor. I was concentrating my powers into my fingertips, focusing until I could resurrect a small barrier just around my palm.
He sat down beside me, silently watching me. When I was pleased with the way the barriers came out. I smiled at him, and breathed slowly.
“Why do I have a feeling that you are about to do something stupid?” He whispered to me, taking my hand in his. He put his thumb in the middle of my palm and massaged. I looked down at our hands,
“Most likely because I am about to do something stupid.” I admitted. He squeezed my hand lightly and sighed.
“Just don’t make this act of stupidity your last.”
I looked into his green eyes, holding them for a few seconds before I replied, “I told you I would try my best not to die.”
“Then don’t do anything stupid.” I smiled sadly at him, there were no guarantees what I would do once I was faced with Nergal. If it were the only way to save my friends, I could not promise anything. There was a knock on the door leading into the gym. Sam stood there, in a pair of jeans and a light t shirt.
His face was grave as he said, “It’s time.