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Romance
Diamonds of the Past
Writer Opal Anne Rochel
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  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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Diamonds of the Past
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A - A - A
#4
AFTERMATH
Opal Anne Rochel
Nov 24, 2016
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45
13 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!1vfeJ4vxBu3rkUjZP8vDposted on PENANA

Lexi rushed inside the hospital room, the door slowly sliding to a close behind her. She approached the bed and the blonde sitting next to it. “How in hell did this happen?” She almost roared, eyes not leaving Amelia’s sleeping form lying on the hospital bed. She looked peaceful, but her neck was bandaged and an IV bag was dripping medicine at a steady rate. copyright protection45PENANA8n9JlIdCcG

Brown eyes turned to the blonde girl, concern and anger both twisting Lexi’s expression as she questioned Cats. “Shh, lower your voice, Lexi. She needs rest to recover.” The blonde spoke in hushed tones. Amelia had received a blood transfusion and was being hydrated and sedated at the same time, but the sedatives weren’t strong - as the doctor had explained - so the brunette could still wake up from too much noise.copyright protection45PENANAAebPsUUXsv

Lexi clenched her teeth and moved across the room to grab a chair. She sat on the opposite side of the hospital bed from where Cats was. Not having had time to change, she was still in her hunting clothes. Of course she had left her weapons at the entrance of the hospital, as was required. With those clothes yet without the weapons she almost felt naked and awkward. Her long, dark brown hair was  braided and tied in a bun. Having long hair during a hunt was not practical. She wore no makeup and neither did she need it. Her creole skin, testimony to her father’s African descent, was flawless, yet her beautiful features were distorted by a deep frown. “Well?...” She didn’t whisper, but kept her voice low and filled with latent anger.copyright protection45PENANArwXLqgLfoh

Cats’ eyes were big and a light blue in color. Her blond curls messy and her attire equally disheveled. She had been awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call and had thrown something on herself to replace her pajamas and then had rushed over to the hospital without further delay. copyright protection45PENANATxF2h0KuDX

“The attacker… it was a vampire.” It was stating the obvious because the bandage on her neck pretty much made that glaringly clear. “She lost a lot of blood, but they gave her a transfusion. At least they found her in time...” Cats was holding Amelia’s hand as she spoke. Lexi was doing the same on the other side. The blonde rubbed her tired eyes with her free hand, sighed and then looked over at her friend. “I’m afraid that’s all I know. It was an anonymous call and she was found in an alley near the hospital. It’s lucky she was so close and they gave her the blood transfusion immediately… otherwise… she wouldn’t have made it.” The last part got out as a choked whisper because those were words Cats didn’t dare usher at a normal volume.copyright protection45PENANAadbm2EhXBJ

Catherine Lambert - or Cats as her friends called her - was a photographer. She had majored in architecture, but  found photography to be much more to her liking, although she was a person who switched passions often enough anyway. One other minor detail - Catherine was also a witch. Quite capable according to her aunt, yet it was something that the blonde seemed intent on pushing into the background of her life. Plagued by the usual nightmares, haunted by the Watchers, or the Dayyani - as her aunt called them, Cats liked focusing on everything in her life that was unrelated to magic.copyright protection45PENANAs3fqPGGBV5

She lost control often when it came to using magic. Angela, her aunt, insisted that it was simply a matter of practicing and learning to control it, but it frightened Cats a lot more than she was saying. It had been that way ever since the signs had started, when she was just a child living next-door to Amelia. The two had befriended when they were both seven years old. Amelia moving to New York had meant a very sweet and long awaited reunion for the two. And then Cats introduced her to Lexi and the three became inseparable. Different characters, passions and even different natures, the three formed a whole.copyright protection45PENANATODyRUyCpc

Cats was the witch - kind, optimistic, forgetful and bubbly. Lexi was a Sharur - confident, strong, protective and short-tempered. Amelia was the human - great with computers and cakes, curious, loyal and smart.copyright protection45PENANAAApLWsqep2

Lexi’s jaws clenched and she closed her eyes against the rising anger. She hadn’t been there to help her friend. For all the good it did her to be and work as a Sharur, she couldn’t save everyone. Besides, the Sharur were severely understaffed for a city as overrun by the supernaturals as New York was.copyright protection45PENANAXS5diVTZxO

A Sharur was born as a human, often from Sharur parents. They were people trained in combat and weapons from a very young age, taught about weaknesses, their own and those of the other supernaturals. When they were considered ready, if ever, they underwent a ritual called the Alhalsu. It was performed by witches, usually three - sometimes more, sometimes just one sufficed. The spell for the ritual was a very well guarded secret and it also involved drinking vampire blood. Those undergoing the Alhalsu suffered unimaginable pain as their bodies transformed. If they survived the process and if their minds remained intact after that, they became Sharur. Survival didn’t depend solely on physical strength and no one knew what determined who died and who made it through. The mortality rate had decreased with time as the conditions for being considered apt to undergo the Alhalsu had become harsher. Those born from Sharur parents seemed to have better chances of survival so it was thought that genes played some part in it. copyright protection45PENANA5qDIYvDx82

Lexi had been born from Sharur parents. Her father was one of the Elders of New York, but she had been a twin. The Alhalsu had claimed her sister, Brianna, the stronger and more talented of the two, leaving Lexi scarred and changed - it wasn’t visible to those who didn’t know her well, yet blaring obvious to those who did. The scars seemed to have faded considerably ever since meeting Cats and then Amelia, but she remained forever changed for those who had known her before. Perhaps it was one of the many things she loved about Mills and Cats: they didn’t look at her like she was damaged, with that unspoken expectation for her to “get better” somehow. Some changes simply were permanent - like becoming a Sharur was.copyright protection45PENANAJID8uzBUO0

“Lexi, stop it.” Cats could read her like an open book. Not that it was a difficult thing to do in those moments. “She’s going to be fine… she is fine. It could have been much worse… fortunately it wasn’t.” She bit down on her bottom lip. Cats knew her friend hated feeling helpless or failing to protect someone. Failing in general, actually, since Lexi was a very competitive woman, but she imagined it was especially tough on her feeling, as absurd as unjustified as it was, that she had failed one of her best friends. Cats felt it too, to some degree. It wasn’t a witch’s job to protect humans and police the supernaturals, but she was a witch after all - a damn powerful one according to her aunt. What good had it ever done? The Watchers hadn’t alerted her to her friend being in danger, neither was there any spell that would protect her from all potential dangers. Not even healing with magic was a possibility.copyright protection45PENANAWLT2ZbYSav

“I know.” Lexi finally spoke, exhaling with resignation. Some of the anger was dissipating - she focused on the fact that Amelia was going to make a full recovery after all. “I’m still going to find the bastard who did this to her.” Cats nodded with a faint smile. She was still unable to care much about who had harmed Amelia or why. All she cared about was seeing Amelia recovered.copyright protection45PENANAHfVlYTRBqZ


It was a little after sunrise when Amelia’s eyes fluttered open. A soft moan escaped her lips as she tried to shift but found her body unusually stiff and felt a stab of pain coming from her  neck area. The hospital smell invaded her nose - she knew it well enough with all the time she had spent with Cats in one, keeping her company when her friend’s mother was battling cancer.copyright protection45PENANAE9HhibRT6F

There was white everywhere. She looked down at her right hand, pinned down by a sleeping Catherine and stabbed by the IV needle. Her head hurt, mostly behind the eyes and her face felt flushed for some reason. Looking to the left, Lexi was sleeping in a fetal position, all rolled up in an armchair in the corner. Her thoughts were hazy, but she remembered most of the events that had led to her being in a hospital room. copyright protection45PENANAU2rN5qZ3j9

Amelia shuddered, taking her free hand up to the bandages on her neck. A chill invaded her body, contrasting with the flush of heat she could still feel on her face. The realization hit her: she had nearly died. In fact, in those last moments before losing consciousness, she was certain she was to never wake up again. The memory of sharp fangs against her neck, the pain, the helplessness against the vampire’s stony grip… the smell of wet earth and trees. Then she thought about his cold fingers wrapped around her neck, probably wanting to strangle her. Why wasn’t she dead, after all? How had she ended up in a hospital, alive? She struggled to remember anything beyond that last memory of being a step away from having her neck snapped. There was something more that she couldn’t remember. Either it had really happened it or she had dreamed it - his hand had released its grip on her. Had he changed his mind or had someone else intervened? It proved futile trying to make the fog lift from her mind in those moments.copyright protection45PENANAz0pumnodZP

Soft moaning came from Cats, her face contorting while asleep. No doubt she’s having one of her nightmares. Amelia thought with the hint of a smile on her dry lips. Lexi shifted a little next and it drew Amelia’s attention her way. That can’t be too comfortable. Of course her friends hadn’t left her side at all. At least there was no sign of Angela, Cats’ aunt. She was a maternal figure and quite overprotective of the girls, even of Lexi. And if anyone could take care of herself, that was Lexi.copyright protection45PENANAcDZUVi5Mcc

A sudden and loud moan came from Cats. It startled Amelia who had been staring up at the ceiling and Lexi’s feet fell from the chair with a thud uncharacteristic of the grace and reflexes of a Sharur. No doubt the assault on her enhanced hearing had been bigger than on a human. Cats looked up, startled and half-confused from her nightmare. Lexi was on her feet and by Amelia’s side before she was able to blink.copyright protection45PENANAr6eTUkjUoC

“Oh no, did I drink too much again?” Amelia asked with a pleading grin, while looking from one girl to the other. Cats assaulted her with a hug, despite timid protests because of the pain in her arm caused by the IV needle and the one in her neck. Soon Lexi joined in, softer and more reserved. “I’m okay, you guys. Some oxygen would be good though… anytime now… no hurry” It felt good. It felt wonderful and she swallowed back the tears.copyright protection45PENANA3XDts0QRdP

The three talked. Amelia told them everything she remembered. They scolded her repeatedly, they ranted about the whole thing, they laughed and they even cried. Nurses came and went. The doctor saw her and promised she would be discharged soon and that she was perfectly okay. The police came too and took her statement. Amelia had no doubt about the location where the attack had taken place in, but they were saying she had been found in an alley very close to the hospital. And as the result of an anonymous phone call, no less.copyright protection45PENANAGqtFkoYqaa

Someone had carried her all the way there, for some reason. But who? Who other than the man who had attacked her in the first place? First he had tried to strangle her, then he had carried her closer to the hospital and made the anonymous phone call. Or maybe someone else had witnessed the attack and had stopped her aggressor, taking her to the hospital afterwards. Then again such a person would have no reason to make an anonymous call instead of taking her all the way to the hospital. They studied all the scenarios, but it was more a matter of passing the time than conviction that their theorizing would lead to anything concrete.copyright protection45PENANACChRvbcP6A

Amelia was finally discharged and her friends took her home. Of course a sleepover was a must so the three girls fell asleep on Amelia’s bed, while the host was left to stare up at the ceiling of her room, visible only because of the light coming in through the windows from the streetlamp just outside it.copyright protection45PENANAs9y6D06uRj

Sleep eluded her, understandably so. She kept going back to the attack, trying to remember more details about it. At least her attacker’s face. It had been dark and his face had been bloody. Besides she hadn’t even gotten a good look at him. Still she was certain she’d be able to recognize him should they meet again - something she truly hoped wouldn’t happen. This wasn’t a matter of justice or revenge for what she had been through, this was a matter of self-preservation. The vampire had been hurt and had lost a lot of blood… he had probably just given in to bloodlust. That didn’t justify his attempt to kill her after the attack. Perhaps he thought about leaving no witnesses. Why then had he changed his mind?copyright protection45PENANAjyKNe4bcvm

Amelia gently rolled off the bed, making her way to the window. Perhaps some fresh, cold, night would help clear her thoughts and help her sleep better.copyright protection45PENANAm8ZDZvPbkV


He saw her drawing the curtains away from the window. Her silhouette was softly lit by the streetlamp on the sidewalk, just outside, long black hair falling around her shoulders in soft curls. She opened her window, resting her palms against the windowsill. He stood hidden by the shadow of a tree across the street from her apartment building. Her colors were vibrant to his vampire sight, defying the limitations of the night. The memory of her vanilla scent flooded his nose. She was too far away from him to catch any scent coming from her.copyright protection45PENANAMN5kTIkZcc

Egil knew what she was, of course. She probably didn’t. He should have killed her when he had had her in his embrace, or later, when he had encircled her neck with his fingers. One sudden move was all it would have taken for her fragile human neck to snap. It still wasn’t too late for him to end her life. One human life - she didn’t matter.copyright protection45PENANAjwK3jY8vbD

Egil recoiled from the memory of how her blood tasted. It almost drove him into a trance just thinking about it. Such power. She was a beautiful, young woman, but that had played no part in his decision to allow her to live. No, Amelia was alive because of the treacherous beast inside of himself that longed for what she could bring forth - the potential in her blood. She was a means to an end. The last time he hadn’t hesitated in snapping the woman’s neck, but that had been more than five hundred years previously.copyright protection45PENANASxMRaLn0XH

A beautiful young woman - no older than sixteen - with flaming red hair and blue eyes like the summer sky. Milky white skin and a voice like honey - none of her assets had been enough to save her. As soon as her taste had registered, Egil had made his decision. He had drank her dry with no remorse, leaving behind only the beautiful carcass of a Shi. He knew the curse would simply jump into another unfortunate soul, but allowing her to live had been something beyond contemplation.copyright protection45PENANAVJv03oJooV

Now he was looking at a Shi again. The Shi, for only one was alive at any one time. The temptation to use her blood for what it was meant to do was dangerous. He hadn’t even been aware of it growing over the years until he had been faced with the choice again. She was the key to damnation - not just his, but possible the world as they knew it. Yet he turned around and left - she would live one more day.copyright protection45PENANABHrmKLlThw

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