Memories (Completed)
Author: Jewel Heart

Chapter 11
11

Won’t you please stay,” James begged Molly. James and I were standing side by side with our backs to the hotel that James lived in.

Crystal Flower was even more exclusive than I had realized. It was meant for the Black Moon society and them only. The only time humans were allowed in was when they were invited by someone from Black Moon.

I had been stopped at the entrance until James finally cleared my name. I was put in as a vampire. That way, I could bring Brooke in when I needed to. Though, right now, Brooke was waiting in Molly’s red Mustang. She hadn't been too thrilled when I had told her to go home without me. When I had said that I would see her at school tomorrow, she had started begging. Molly had pulled her away just in time. I had almost cracked.

“No, James. I can't. You see, I am late for a very important meeting, but,” she flipped her red hair, snobbishly, “it’s good to be me.”

“Very well, then,” James said, using his Prince James of Britannia manners.

“Good-bye, Mother,” I said. “But you do realize that we will have our little chat sooner or later, do you not?” Ugh. Now I sound like Melody.

“It was bound to happen sooner or later,” she sighed. “Bye, baby,” she said, kissing my forehead.

“Bye-bye.”

We didn’t wait for her to disappear from sight. When she was a yard away, James turned around and led me inside. I let him drag me along. I was too happy to protest. I had found out the truth and most importantly, I had been able to spend time with my James. And prince or not, he’s still mine.

Vivian and everyone were waiting in the lobby. The place was classy. There was marble here and gold there. It looked like a Greek temple. A statue of Queen Isis, the goddess of life, was placed in the center of the room. Then, in the other corners were statues of Hecate, Hera, Zeus, and Demeter. Black Moon must take this god stuff pretty seriously. And strangely, I found that I worshiped them too.

“What’s with this whole Greek mythology theme?” I asked, pointedly eyeing the statue of Hera.

James followed my gaze. He smiled and looked down at me. “Aren't you enjoying the view of your beloved goddess, princess?”

“Ugh! Don’t go all prince charming on me!”

“Prince charming,” James repeated startled. “That’s an interesting way to put it.”

“Yes, you’re prince charming. You’re Prince James of Britannia, sure. All I ask is that you don’t go all Princess, and whatever else I was, on me,” I exclaimed annoyed.

James ignored my remark. Instead, he answered my question. “Black Moon believes in the Egyptian and Greek gods.”

“Is there a name to the religion?”

“No. We just worship them, I guess. But it’s not a religion,” he clarified. “These five gods you see, they created us. Hecate created witches. Hera made the shape-shifters. Zeus made the werewolves. Demeter created mermaids. Each god created one of the different species. And Isis was the one who gave us all life,” James explained.

“Who came up with vampires?”

“Hades,” James said, his voice darkening slightly.

“So it’s Hades and not Satan or Lucifer,” I said pensively.

“It’s either. I just call him Hades. Any name works really.”

“What about humans?” I asked. “They’re a specific specie. Shouldn’t they have a creator?”

James raised an eyebrow at me. “Interesting question,” he mumbled. “I don’t think anyone has bothered to research about it.”

“So the species that they depend on the most and still they don’t know where they came from. Everything else on the other hand…” I began babbling to myself.

James stopped me. “Why do you say that we depend of them the most?”

I glared at him, stunned. “Vampires need their blood to survive, on one hand. Witches, I’m guessing that their witchcraft comes from something in the human body. Werewolves on the other hand, if they ran out of animals, would they eat people from their society? And shape-shifters they—well, I don’t know.”

James started walking again and I followed. “You sure do have a strange way of looking at things, Lumex.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

James was quiet. His eyes rolled to look up at the ceiling. I imagined that he was thinking.  I waited. “Both.”

“Why?” I demanded. I wasn’t afraid of asking questions any longer.

“Because, you’ll end up realizing things that you don’t want to,” he said, after another moment of silence. “And if you go too deep, I might not be able to help you.” He looked down at me. “You might not let me help you. And yet it might work out to our advantage.”

I opened my mouth to say something then shut it. If James doesn’t want me to know what it is, then it must be bad. These things I would have to figure out on my own.

“You’re right,” James said, abruptly. “But don’t try to figure them out. It’s best if you don’t know.”

I frowned. “Get out of my head,” I growled.

“You said it out loud, Bloom,” Viv said, as we reached the couch where they were waiting. “It wasn’t any secret.” She smiled sweetly.

“Stop calling me Bloom,” I said. “Bloom blossomed into Lumex, okay?”

“Sorry,” she apologized. Her aquamarine blue eyes looked like they were moving. With those eyes, I bet she could get away with anything. “But that’s what Violet and everyone keep on calling you. I just picked it up.”

“Way to sell,” Max said. His voice was annoyed. He was still mad about the whole ‘Scruffy’ thing. I smiled to myself.

“Well, let’s go,” Jeff said, standing up with his hands in the pockets of his baggy jeans.

“Did you buy human food, James?” Scarlett asked. “I can't stand that takeout food!”

“You mean the hamburgers?” Viv clarified. Scarlett nodded sharply. “Then order room service.”

I watched silently as they all formed an argument of their own. I tried to search in my newly active memory for a moment like this. It felt like déjà vu again. I finally found the memory. We were all in James’s room in an Egyptian palace. He was a prince visiting and I worked as a servant for Cleopatra. My name had been Olufemi. I remember that it meant beloved of the gods. Everyone had been discussing food just like now. Only that James’s sisters were there.

“Where’s Giselle, Jenna, and Harmony,” I asked James, both mentally and out loud.

“They’re upstairs helping with dinner.”

“Now that I think of it, they weren’t in either of the cars,” I added. “How did they get here?”

“They ran.”

“Oh.” I remembered that vampires were supposed to have inhuman speed. They had probably arrived twenty minutes before us, considering we had to stop for gas and to load the flowers into the Mustang. “What are they making?”

“Lobster,” he said, exasperated by the noise. No wonder I liked him so much. I was getting a headache too. “I just hope they don’t burn it,” he sighed. When I stared startled, he said, “It’s their first time cooking.”

I pressed my lips together.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Well,” I blushed and looked at the carpeted floor, “I kind of wanted to see how blood would taste. Now that I know my heritage, I want to use it. I want to discover what I'm capable of doing.”

He scowled. Then he shook his head and said, “In the airplane, when you saw a drop of blood on my face, I could have sworn that you were going to vomit and then faint. Now you want to drink it? You’re strange in this lifetime.”

“I'm sorry,” I apologized.

He was right. I still didn’t like blood, but it would just be an experiment. And I had just begun to like blood a bit.

“Why?”

“Because you’re right,” I gave a short laugh. A picture was appearing in my mind. “I don’t like blood. I don’t like it one bit.”

“And that is hardly a reason to apologize.”

I shrugged. Then I turned to look at everyone else. I let go of James’s hand and walked towards them. My headache had gone far enough.

I walked towards the only two people that were fighting that I could get physical with and not feel bad about it. I got between them and they looked down at me, surprised. In one swift movement, I had their ears. Then, I turned and headed towards the elevator.

Bored, I said, “Thing one, Scruffy, time to go.”

Jeff cursed and Max looked like he was about to transform. I gave him a dangerous look that made him walk in silence with his tail between his legs. Jeff kept cursing and I pulled on his ear. He did not stop and so I just tried to ignore him. I let go of them next to the elevator. However, as soon as I let go, they turned on each other.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, getting their attention. They turned to look at me annoyed and frustrated. “Keep quiet! I have magic, fangs, and I have no clue how to use them! So it’s either you shut up, or the whole hotel might fall on us!” I threatened. They stared at me for a minute. Staring contest, I thought dully. How boring. Finally, Jeff rolled his eyes and Max crossed his arms over his chest. I pressed the elevator button.

I nodded once sharply, and headed back to deal with the rest of them. Viv and Scarlett had gone somehow from talking about food to arguing about clothes. Violet was sitting next to Andrew. They were watching, bored, as Viv and Scarlett argued. The good thing was that they were talking about clothes and fashion. I knew exactly how to handle that.

I got in between them. “If you stop fighting now, I’ll give you anything you want from my designer closet.”

They glared at me, then at each other, then at me again. “Deal,” they said in unison.

I scoffed. It was unbelievable. I had another pair of Brookes on my hands. They walked towards Max and Jeff. Andrew and Violet got up and followed. I watched them for a second, and then returned to James.

He was watching my every move. His head was tilted to the side and he looked humored.

“You really are quite different from all the other times I've known you,” he said when I reached him.

“Yeah, I'm violent.” I rolled my eyes. “It’s why people don’t mess with me.”

James chuckled. “Every time it’s different,” he said. He stroked my cheek. “This time it just happened to be violence. But I must admit that it suits the person you are. The vampire, witch, and what not person,” he clarified.

I remembered something that I was meaning to ask. “Jamie?” I asked.

“Yes?”

“What did Dr. Freeze mean by ‘The Animus Materia’?”

James’s lips hardened into a straight line and he seemed to freeze. “Not here,” he finally said in a hard tone. He put an arm around my waist and dragged me along with him to the waiting elevator. Every three seconds he would glance around the room, his eyes surveying the room as if there were some threat. The few seconds in between he spent by watching me.

The Animus Materia…. It’s so easy yet so hard. I knew the Latin translation, which was: Soul Mate. The definition is so easy. But the meaning is so difficult when it considers me. I think he called me The Animus Materia.  Soul Mate, Soul Mate, Soul Mate…what the hell does it mean?

I went over different options as the elevator rose. However, somehow I could never get it right. It never felt as if it was correct. But it did feel close. The only thing I couldn’t put together was me and soul mate. Those two words just didn’t match up.

James still watched me as we elevated. When we finally got out, James scanned the room. I realized now that this was top floor. I followed everyone with my eyes on the ground to room 423. James took a key from his pocket and unlocked the door. It was strange. I had always seen keys for hotels as cards. Yet these looked like simple house keys.

I barely looked up, but I noticed everything. The silk curtains, the complicated patterns on the pillows the solid colored night blue couches, the handmade wooden tables, the expensive bouquets, and the pure gold chandelier with complex designs on every piece of metal. It was all very classy. I remained staring at the wooden floors as we walked in.

Jeff and Max went into a different room which seemed to be the kitchen and began asking for food. Scarlett and Viv plopped down on the sofa next to a vase of lilies. Violet walked towards a window with a phone pressed to her ear. I think I heard her say something about a modeling job. James took me past Violet and into a dimly lit hallway.

I let him lead me until I caught a glimpse of something big. I stopped and looked over at a painting of an ocean. The colors were so light and so warm. There seemed to be a bit of a mist on the water and in the background where the ocean disappeared into a mess of cherry trees. In the very distance was a girl with curly red hair in a white dress that seemed to dance in the ocean breeze. There seemed to be a blue ribbon flowing away from the fiery mess of hair. There were blue flowers the color of the ocean coming up from the ground. The trunks of the trees seemed to be so realistic and the flowers looked so lifelike that I had an impulse to reach out and take one.

“Do you like it?” James asked in a voice like melting honey.

“Yes.” I forced myself to glance over my shoulder at James. “Where did you get it?”

James looked at the drawing. He was staring at the girl with the hair like fire. “I made it. Two lifetimes ago,” he said. His cheek brushed my hair.

“Knowing you, that must be me,” I said mockingly. I stared at the painting once more.

“You really are observant in this life,” he said dryly.

“I think we’ve got that topic completely covered,” I said in the same tone. “But I didn’t know that you could draw.”

“I'm sorry it’s such a surprise.”

“It’s not that. I just don’t remember you ever drawing in any of my lifetimes. So it’s strange that you drew this so perfect. Unless the case is that you memorized every detail, because that would be a completely different subject…”

“Maybe you didn’t have the time,” he cut me off. “Did you ever consider that you were dead before I could tell you who you were?”

“But then—” I frowned. “But then, who am I?”

“You’re Lumex Cockcrow, originally known as Bloom. Some people—very few—know you as The Animus Materia.”

He didn’t hesitate this time. He spoke loud and clear and he actually said it. It was just his grim expression that bothered me. “And what does that mean?” I demanded, shaking off the effects of his glare.

“It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a name.” He didn’t look very well. He looked paler than he should. Is that my fault? But he’s staring at the painting, at the girl—well, me. But he was staring hard. It also looked like anger was somewhere hidden under that sick façade.

“If it’s only a stupid name then people wouldn’t know me as that,” I said, trying to keep my voice under control. He was really beginning to annoy me with his way of seeming all mysterious.

“You are the one and only soul mate with a reason for rising from the grave.”

“Literally,” I added.

He ignored that. “You’re supposed to free the gods before they can be captured. You’re supposed to—”

“How can I free the gods if they aren’t captives? I mean, that is the most stupid thing that I’ve ever heard of!”

He looked away from the painting and at me. “How am I supposed to know?” He looked away from me again. “You’re supposed to kill this one vampire.”

“The one who keeps killing me,” I said. It wasn’t a question.

“Yes.” His voice cracked. “I killed him, but we doubt that it works that way. It wasn’t me who was supposed to kill him. No matter how much I love you.”

“‘We’ and ‘me,’” I repeated, startled. “We, is Viv and everyone, right? And you—you couldn’t—you didn’t—it’s my business!”

He took my face in his hands, turning me so that I was facing him and away from the painting. “You are my business. You dying—that is my business.”

“Wait,” I took his hands off my face, “I'm your soul mate?”

James pulled away. I noticed now that we’d been leaning against each other. He raised an eyebrow. “What was your first clue? The way it’s obvious how much I love you or that your heart is going about a hundred miles per hour?”

I listened to my heart. It was racing. Maybe because we’d never been so close or because I know I love him and because I know he loves me.

“You silly half-blood,” he snickered. “You really didn’t know.”

“Does it look like I did?” I added, my voice shaking slightly. We were moving closer once again.

“No.” That little move did it.

The kiss was warm and sweet. It made me dizzy. It was a good dizzy, though. I knew I was giving myself to him. That was bad. It was very bad. Showing my emotions and getting attached to one person in particular is very, very bad. If something were to happen to him, to him in particular, I couldn’t live anymore. Why did I, of all people, have to fall so hard in love? Why did I have to have a soul mate? Why did I have to be The Animus Materia? It’s not fair.

You’re strained, James’s mental voice appeared in my head. Just relax. I won’t let you fall. To enforce the thought, he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer to him.

Why am I letting him kiss me? This only makes the feeling stronger. If I keep letting him get close, I’ll just end up getting hurt again. But I want him close. I want us to be together like this forever. Is that so wrong?

Yes, I answered myself. Yes it is.

I don’t want this, I sent to him.

It was true. I didn’t want this. Because, in the end, we would all get hurt. It’s why my eyes are sad. It’s why his eyes are so sad. He’s seen me die so many times before. He should just leave me forever and let the chips fall where they may. He shouldn’t keep suffering just because I'm destined to.

My message confused him. Various different emotions had begun flowing into me. There was sadness, confusion, anger, frustration, betrayal. But it was all canceled because of the intensity of the kiss. Happiness, love and the feeling of our two souls merging into one cancelled out every other emotion. I didn’t know if he was sending it to me or if I was just feeling it.

The kiss became hungrier. As if even thinking that it would be over soon was what made it seem as if it would never happen again, this was probably correct.

You don’t understand why I can’t, James. You don’t know why I can't let you get close.

I want to know. I want to understand so I can help.

That’s exactly the thing. Nobody can help me. Either they’re my soul mate or not.

He sent me an image. James and I were sitting on a bench under the moonlight, our arms wrapped around each other. I was cradled by his arms as I slept and he was watching over me. It had never actually happened, but the message was obvious.

We belong together. We’ve always belonged together.

Something that I had been suppressing awakened. It felt good to release it. My fingers tangled in a mess of blond hair and I was the one who was pulling him towards me.

I have to stop this before it gets out of hand. It took all my efforts, but I managed to pull away. We were staring into each other’s eyes, sadness to even more sadness.

I'm sorry, I sent.

What happened? he asked, still absolutely puzzled.

I swallowed hard. We’re talking mentally and yet I can't say it. It’s hard to say with so many people with good hearing near.

Just tell me. Just like this. You don’t have to say a word.

Not now. I hoped that my mental tone would put an end to the conversation, but it was something else.

Both our heads snapped towards the door that connected the hallway to the living room. I hissed. Max was watching us, very comfortable and entertained.

“What was that?” Max asked in a tone that would get him killed again. “Ms. Stone and Mr. Energetic, and then, Ms. Energetic and Mr. Stone,” he said.

I'm going to kill him. I'm going to kill him so bad. Quickly I sent James an image of what I wanted to do as my permission.

His head turned so he was looking at me. I didn’t move my eyes from my prey. You won’t break anything? he asked, warily.

I can’t promise that.

Will you try not to?

Only with furniture and that, the puppy is other news.

He sighed. “Go ahead,” James said.

“You nosy little mutt,” I growled, taking a step forward. Max jumped. He knew that nothing good could come from my tone. “I would have been good at just calling you ‘Scruffy’ but no.” I took another step. Max moved an inch towards the living room. “You had to pull this little stunt.” I took another step towards the target. “Life number twenty,” I said, “huntress.”

Max ran. I was right behind him. I was even more dangerous now. I had grabbed the first hard object that I could find. Oh, how I hope its silver. It was thin and heavy on the other side. It might be a golf club. If it is, I’ll have to buy James a new one, because he won’t be able to play with a golf club the shape of Max’s head.

“Yeah, you better run you little good for nothing mutt!” I yelled as I chased him around the living room. “When I'm done with you, not even Zeus himself will be able to save you!” I jumped onto the table and tried to avalanche him. He moved just as I hit the ground. “You messed with the wrong person, Fido!” I jumped over the sofa and Max ran back to the dining table. I could see hair start to appear on his arms. He’s going to try and transform. “Don’t even try that, Cuddles! Remember that I'm part werewolf too!”

Max ignored me and transformed into a big wolf with hair the color of dark chocolate. He turned towards me on all four legs, all the time backing up. He hit a little table and the vase there fell and shattered.

“I promised I would try not to break anything you filthy mutt!” I yelled.

I neared him. Perfect, I had him cornered in between a wall and a metal bookcase. I took a step forward and he exposed his large teeth. I gave a short, humorless laugh. Then I took a step towards him and had him at the perfect angle. I lifted the golf club over my head and angled for Max’s big head. I brought it down with half of my force. The first blow would hurt the least. Then as I went on hitting it would hurt more. But Max stopped my attack with one paw.

Max’s paw wrapped around the thin, delicate metal of the golf club. I gave another short laugh. Max pressed forward. I had to take a step back or the attack would have knocked me off my feet. I clenched my teeth together. Max saw my uneasiness and tried to make an escape. But as soon as I saw an opening, I kicked him on his big animal stomach. The force knocked him against the wall and I began hitting him on the head. Max yelped. I ignored it and continued.

“I told you to that rule one was: don’t sneak up on me!” I yelled as I hit him repeatedly. “Yet I find you standing there, leaning against the door in full view while I'm busy!” I struck again. “Dammit, you better hope I don’t kill you right now!” I hit his leg. The good thing about being a hunter in my past life was that I knew how to control my force. I obviously wasn’t hitting him hard enough to kill him. But the idea was looking even better every time. “You’re just lucky I don’t want to stink up the place with your blood! The floor doesn’t deserve to have to absorb your disgusting blood!”

The golf club broke in half and hit Max in the stomach. He was still conscious. That was okay. I looked at the broken golf club and then turned my back on the recovering Max. I sighed and walked towards James and everyone. They had all been watching us, both amused and frightened.

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel satisfied,” I said to James. I plopped down on an armchair and examined the metal. “I’ll buy you a new one,” I added.

“She…did it…” Scarlett said, astonished. “She actually killed him.”

“Oh, I didn’t kill him,” I said. I looked up. “I just taught him a lesson.” I looked over at Max. He was back to his human form and he was struggling to stand up. “I hope for him that he doesn’t forget it.”

“Darling, I don’t think that anyone will forget it,” James said, patting my shoulder in a display of affection.

“Oh, don’t worry, Jamie,” I said, looking up at him. “You don’t have anything to worry about.”

“I'm surprised that you haven't killed your friend, Brooke, by now,” Violet said, shaking her head in disbelief.

“I know a lot. I have different methods for everyone.”

“What would you do at battle?” Andrew asked.

“That depends who I'm fighting,” I said, looking at him threateningly.

“I still love challenges,” he said.

“What a coincidence, so do I,” I said. I narrowed my eyes.

“No more, Lumex,” Max said, dizzily. I turned to look at him. He was on his feet, but obviously very dizzy. “I'm sorry. I won’t do it…again….”

I bit my thumb. “I might have hit him a bit too hard,” I mumbled, regretfully.

“Ya think?” Viv said, as she rushed to steady Max.

“I wonder if I should apologize…” I murmured to myself. “No, he’ll get over it."

I stood up and walked towards Max. He still looked unsteady. Viv was trying to hold him up and asking him how many fingers he saw. Viv was holding up three fingers, but Max responded twelve. I stopped in front of them and stared.

Viv looked at me and frowned. “I think you really messed up his head,” she said.

“He’s a werewolf. He’ll heal.” I rolled my eyes. I bent over so that I was leveled eye-to-eye with Max. “I hope you learned your lesson. And it wasn’t silver. It was a pity,” I said to him.

“My head hurts,” he responded.

“Time to eat,” Jenna called. She appeared from the door of the kitchen. Apparently this isn’t the dining room. “Lobster’s a bit burnt though.”

Figures, James sent to me.

Don’t be mean. I'm going to make you eat it if not, I responded.

This coming from the girl who just beat up a werewolf using only a golf club, James said, his voice mocking.

I pretended I didn’t hear that. Instead I followed behind Scarlett as she walked through the door next to the kitchen.

The dining room was colored crimson and the rug was a creamy white. In the center was a long table with chairs for fourteen. There was a fruit bowl in the center of the table on a white table cloth. There were five plates set up which had golden linings and lobsters that looked slightly grey. The silverware was wrapped in a napkin and there were clear glasses. A chandelier hung over the table. Every bulb looked to be carved in a different shape that made everything just sparkle. In front of a window was a large fish tank with barely any fish. On either side of the fish bowl were engine red armchairs and next to one was a bookcase. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and a whole stack of reference books were neatly organized on the shelves. Only that they weren’t regular reference books, I noticed. Those are Black Moon reference books. They must hold information that is thousands, even millions of years old. It could answer all of my unsolved questions about history. I could learn to like history. And they might hold something about my past lives.

“Hello,” a warm voice said from the kitchen doorway.

 

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