Divine didn’t know you could alter a War Machine. With its knee-high wheels, ferocious face and thick steel body, the machine could roll through mountains. Why would anyone add more steel to it? Bel’s monster vehicle was encased in black painted bars. It had six extra lights on the hood and two more on the top. A tall rack with a cage over it also sat at the top. A ladder on the side allowed people to ride up there. Aliceanna and Blae headed straight for the rack.
This wasn’t just a convy. It was a big toy. Bel didn’t need those additions. He didn’t it because he could. Why was Bel so obsessed with machines? Divine couldn’t see any use for them in this crumbling world. How could this wide beast even navigate the thick forests of Middle Jael?
Divine had tried not to laugh when Bel took the shield down. The War Machine was already an imposing and impractical convy.
People called it a War Machine because it was a domestic cony modeled after the tanks used in war. On top of the extra steel, Bel woven some beastly Bria-filled defenses into the convy. Divine never saw a more pointless vehicle. No wonder Kaige and Mauve called it a monster. It was immaculate as if Bel cleaned the thing every day, which he probably did.
Divine walked around the convy. It had government identification. This was a vehicle used in war. Bel was insane. He must’ve stolen it from one of the abandoned military stations by the Wall. Years ago, scientist and armed forces set up stations around the Walls of Darkness to study them and throw bombs at them. The Wall poisoned those who lived in those camps. Those that weren’t infected fled their posts and refused to return.
Why would anyone alter a tank? How much did it cost to get this done? How much kroll did Bel have?
Behind the convy was enough fuel containers to run De’Ray for a year. Divine decided not to question the safely of having so much fuel in one place, especially behind Bel’s precious library.
Divine climbed in.
The War Machine smelled green. The humans of Sovereign took a portion of their crops and loaded them in two crates in the back of the Machine.
Bel made the humans carry their good to the convy instead of driving the convy closer to town.
Other humans bought Bel pottery, jewelry, clothing, candles and other small useless handmade items. A netted bag held wool and furs was also loading into the vehicle. One male wanted to load a rocking chair. Bel turn it down. He didn’t like tying things on his convy. More people had more handmade items they wanted to give Bel. He run out of room and promised to make another trip soon. Sovereign made their fortune by trading handmade items with other villages. They got most of the materials by trading food.
“Divine, get out here,” Aida called.
Aliceanna snickered as she and Blae climbed down from the rack. Divine jumped out the convy. He hoped to see Aida. From the way Bel talked this past week, Divine wasn’t sure they’d be returning to Sovereign.
“I didn’t think Bel would keep you here for long. Pity it didn’t work out. I enjoyed our chats,” Aide said.
Divine nodded. “So did I.”
He didn’t want to say goodbye to Aida. What if he never ran into another human who treated them with respect?
“Don’t worry, I’m not the only one who thinks the name non-normals is despicable. Besides, your family seems good at taking care of each other.”
Divine didn’t know about that. He kept his mouth shut.
“Before you leave, tell me your age. I know you’re older then you look.”
That was an order. If came from any other human, Divine would’ve ignored them. He turned to Bel who tipped his head.
“I just turned sixty.”
She clapped her hands and howled. “Still older then you.”
He enjoyed humans like Aida. They made life interesting.
A hand clamped on Divine shoulder. He turned.
Sev Hait beamed. “I thought you acted well beyond your years. Also, looks like you’ve gotten used to being touched.”
Sev kept his hand on Divine shoulder. Divine skin stung. It didn’t burn anymore. He didn’t feel the overwhelming need to attack Sev. Josephine’s doing.
“Take care of them. They seem to depended on you,” Sev said.
“Stop being so sentimental. You’re making my skin itch,” Divine said, sliding his shoulder from Sev’s grip.
Two children appeared from behind Aida. Michael and Terri both held out wristbands made of different colored threads braided together.
Aida ruffled their hair. “They spent the week making them for you.”
Divine’s mouth dropped open. Why would they do that? He spent some time with the children. Aida had him look after them while she worked. He didn’t have much time for them lately.
Divine held out his arm. They tied the bands around wrists.
Divine smiled. “Thank you.”
“So you can smile like that,” Aida said.
He received gifts before. Never something this precious. He understood now why Josephine never took off her jewelry and why said jewelry never burned off when she transformed.
“Bye Divine,” the children said together.
Divine tipped his head and turned before he did something stupid like hugged them.
He climbed in the convy. He, Josephine and Blae sat in the cargo area in the back. It didn’t have any seats. Divine head brushed the ceiling. The goods Sovereign residents wanted to trade made the space smaller. The different scents sticking to the items baked in the small area. It gave him a headache. Bars blocked the window. Divine couldn’t open it far enough to get some good air in.
He and Josephine sat on one side. Blae on the other.
Josephine slept most of the week. When she was awake, she treated Bel and Aliceanna with excessive coldness. After insulting them, she’d get sheepish and apologize. She was unpredictable when it came to Kaige. With Divine and Blae, nothing changed except she liked to call her brother Kahlil no matter how many times Blae corrected her. Her core was working to put Josephine right.
Aliceanna and Mauve took the seats behind the driver and front passenger.
“Where are we going?” Aliceanna asked as Bel climbed in behind the wheel. Kaige took the seat beside him.
Bel glanced at her through the rearview mirror and looked forward. Divine didn’t care where they were going.
Josephine winced and groaned.
“I told you, don’t force it,” Kaige said.
Josephine slouched. She pushed out her bottom lip.
Josephine got most of her present memories back. She was having trouble recalling her childhood and their life in Silhouette. When she pushed, she got headaches. Kaige told her that was her power telling her to stop.
They— himself and Blae— told her stories about her life and surroundings. Sometimes, she finished them. Most of the time, she waited until they finished then recited it back to them as though studying for an exam. He could tell her about their trips to Midnight Prysn’s courtyard. She couldn’t recall emotions about the visit.
Josephine lost anything she learned from those experiences. It hurt her more than the binding pain behind her eyes. Despite Kaige’s warning, she tried to push through the headache, which only made her head hurt worse. It often escalated the point where she was writhing on the bed and screaming the memory to the ceiling. His voice did nothing to stop her. All he could do was wait.
Josephine slid closer to Divine, touching her shoulder to his arm.
Divine didn’t like the feelings she brought out of him. He was happy she responded when he spoke even if it was with an irritated twitch or a smirk. After Kaige healed her, she slept for four days. She didn’t stir. Divine had to press his hand to her mouth to make sure she was alive. He talked to her the way she talked to him when he retreated into himself.
Divine hadn’t known what to say. Josephine always carried their conversations. He felt stupid—talking to Josephine about nonsense like how winter was only one month away and he was already sick of the cold. She was awake now. She responded to his voice. She moved when she slept.
The convy rumbled as Blae started it. Sovereign wasn’t a bad village but it held too many painful memories. The next place would be better. Maybe he could see Mom and Dad now.
Blae leaned his head against the window and leveled Josephine with a hard stare. Over the past week, he hovered around her like a worried little brother. The way he talked with her didn’t change, but Divine sense Blae put up walls around himself to keep Josephine from getting too close. Blae laughed it off whenever Divine questioned him about it.
When Blae forgot he wasn’t alone with his sister, Divine saw hatred in those blue eyes. Blae tried to keep it hidden. A piece of it escape when Blae relaxed. He wouldn’t talk to anyone about it.
The War Machine lurched forward. Aida, Sev and the children waved. Divine kept them in sight until his sharp eyes couldn’t see them anymore.
He blinked. His eyes stayed closed longer than he intended. He didn’t sleep at nights. He lost Josephine twice. Nightmares about waking up to find her space empty kept disturbing his peaceful nights. In his dreams, no one in the house remembered Josephine.
Bel drove like his convy was made of glass. Divine didn’t mind. He wasn’t in any hurry and the scenery was nice. Well, nice was a strong word. Humans wouldn’t find it so pleasant.
Darkness was taking over. They went almost a week without getting any real sunlight. It looked like a cloudy day except Divine couldn’t smell rain.
Nature learned to live without sun by feeding off Bria. The dark energy mutated plants into something contorted and gnarled. Some had a metallic tinge to it.
“We are in a big backyard,” Josephine said closing her eyes. “Bel and big brother were inside.”
Kaige’s aura glowed. Bel’s became dry and cracked. It turned red like it was bleeding.
“Bel thought he was better than us,” Josephine continued in her same dreamy voice, “Divine was using his power to throw stones at me. Rayne helped him even though I knew he didn’t want to. Rayne wanted to be like his big brother. He irritated me so much.”
She rested her head back. Everyone but Josephine stopped breathing. Being poisoned unlocked some of Josephine’s mind-rooms holding memories of their first childhood, with their real parents.
“The yard was unattractive. Not like the one at home. Mom cared for the one at home. She’d rather us play in the house than the yard. This one looked like it was torn apart. I liked this place anyway. When Nocturne said she was visiting her dad, I’d beg to go along even though I knew it would end up being a war of me against Rayne and Divine.” She smirked. “I won a lot. Even together, you guys were no match for me and my fire.”
She stopped. Divine needed her to continue. He couldn’t see those memories. He felt them. He had been irritated because Josephine bested him again and annoyed because he knew his little brother saw Josephine as his big sister. The name Nocturne made him feel safe.
Kaige told them to let her remember at her own pace. Never rush or interrupt her, never ask any questions. He encouraged Josephine to talk whenever a new memory came to the front of her mind. They were once again in uncharted territory. Why was there so much about their power they didn’t know?
“Though Nocturne’s Rayne’s mom, she was always on my side. You, Divine, were too afraid of her to go against her often. When she was angry, she was frightening. You tried to be sneaky. She always caught you.”
She said Nocturne was Rayne’s mom. According to Aliceanna, he and Rayne shared the same dad. Why did his mind connect Nocturne with mommy?
Josephine stopped. She fell asleep with her head on his shoulder.
“This isn’t the first time she remembered things from her first childhood,” Kaige said.
He didn’t have to whisper. Josephine was a heavy sleeper.
Walking shadows followed them. From the smell of, twenty were stalking the convy. They reeked of blood, flesh and negative human emotions. He’d seen them before. A pack of them lived beneath Midnight Prysn the first time they lived there.
They weren’t Brielle. They smelled nastier but not as threatening. Divine inhaled. What where they? A small piece of them smelled similar to Shade, Vayle and Niah. How could the monsters following them and those three be Del’Praeli? Maybe there were different kinds of Del’Praeli.
When he lived as a human, he used to see these walking shadow. They never did anything except watch.
Their numbers were great. Their power wasn’t. They didn’t pose a threat to his family. Soon, they stopped following.
“How many do think there are now?” Mauve asked.
Bel and Kaige exchanged glances.
Kaige turned in his chair. “According to Vayle, they’ve stopped breeding as often. But still, Vayle, like all the Del’Praeli, believe the numbers have reached over a thousand and growing slowly.”
“If you don’t speak clearly, I’m throwing my foot through your hollowed head.” Aliceanna put her boot on the back of Bel’s chair.
Bel glanced at her through the rearview mirror. “That was uncalled for. Put your foot down before I break it off.”
“Then don’t have secret conversations around me.” Aliceanna dropped her foot.
She was being bratty. She only that did when she was in a foul mood. Divine tried to ride their connection to see her mind. She put up a block. She turned to him and glared.
“What’s your problem?” Divine asked.
Being angry turned her features and aura ugly.
“We could’ve had a brilliant childhood. We had parents who loved us. We all grew up together and played together. Unlike you, mine and Blae guardians were trash. Doesn’t it irritate you the light of a wonderful childhood was taken from us and we don’t know why.”
Kaige cleared his throat. “I know why. I think my parents monitored your connection and learned to fabricate it with me. I can feel them even now. They took you from your parents to hurt them. My parents seem to have low self-worth. They don’t like people who are more powerful than they are. They took you away to prove their superiority and kept you for experiments and observations. They know more about our power then we do.”
Kaige faced forward.
Aliceanna’s aura seesawed between sympathy and anger. Anger was winning.
“Aliceanna keep your mouth closed,” Divine said, knowing she was about to say something to hurt Kaige.
Kaige’s usually calm aura plunged into chaos and gloomy colors.
Strong colors in an aura infected those around them. Neutral colors were stagnant. If someone was ecstatic, enraged or grieving, the aura touched everyone.
Kaige’s grief made Divine feel like he was drowning. Bel stopped by a stream.
“Everyone get some air,” he said.
Divine tried not to throw himself out of that suffocating convy.
Kaige was out of first. Wings sprung from his back, ripping his shirt.
“Damn the Darkness,” Kaige said
Divine never saw wings like those. The feathers were silver outlined in bright blue—similar color to Josephine and Blae’s eyes.
Bel climbed out and walked to the stream. His grey scaly patches cover his pale skin. When Bel looked back at Kaige, his eyes were black and gold cat’s eyes.
“What happened to you?” Aliceanna asked plucking one of Kaige’s feathers.
“The new masters of Darkness tainted the Bria and the air,” Bel said.” Your core can clean out the toxins as long as you don’t pull in too much Bria. As Miners, Kaige and I don’t have a core. Our power transformed our bodies to adapt to the poison. We look normal enough under a shield when the soiled Bria isn’t touching us. Out here, we need to let the power work or we die.”
Josephine walked close to Bel. She stood on her toes so she was eye to eye with him.
“So, is this what you really look like?”
Bel shoved her back.
She beamed. “You’re even prettier. Who knew?”
She turned so she didn’t see Bel’s aura become luminescent. Everyone else did though. Divine looked away so Bel wouldn’t catch him staring.
Josephine sat crossed leg at the edge the water and stared.
“Put a shield up, Bel,” Mauve said. “Unless you want the Brielle to find us.”
“Damn, this is going to be a pain,” Bel said.
Sharp power spread over them.
Mauve believed the Brielle remained a threat despite their year of silence. Kaige and Bel trusted her. Divine trusted their judgment. Would they have to spend the rest of their lives under shields?
At least this Brielle was making herself useful. Divine didn’t know all the details but apparently, Mauve was a failed Brielle. The Prysns created different generations of those creatures. Each generation was stronger than the last. The weaker Brielle were used as practice partners for the stronger ones. Most died. Mauve didn’t. She was the only one. She didn’t know why she survived the years of torture. Divine didn’t either. She wasn’t special or powerful.
Divine didn’t like the Brielle, but he trusted her. Josephine gave her a name. Mauve would never put Josephine in danger.
They talked of finding where the Brielle lived and killing them all. Mauve shot down that idea every time. The Brielle had a collection of abilities that made fighting them troublesome. Even Vayle and Niah mentioned how much of a pain they were. Brielle could raise their power level temporality to match their opponents’. The new Darkness favored them. They could easily collect more Bria and were skilled at mental attacks. They managed to overwhelm and capture Shade. As the Prysns’ children, the Brielle knew far too much about how Lifeblood worked in Sciell and Miners. They knew how to overwhelm their opponents with their excessive numbers.
If they Brielle were so formidable, why didn’t they empty their home and attack? If hundreds of those things showed up now, they’d win.
Mauve said her people were more interested in breaking the mind through clever planning not capture and torture.
Giving Brielle more time to plan was a bad idea.
What should they do?
At times like these, he forgot how young Mauve was. She didn’t know her age. Since she was born after the Brielle attacked his birth home, she was younger than Blae and Aliceanna. Her aura was a steady stream of purple. She didn’t have an age line. Mauve helped them out at great risk to herself, all for Josephine. Divine couldn’t remember why he hated her.
Divine didn’t want to fight the Brielle if he didn’t have to. What other option did that have? He also didn’t want to spend the rest of his life hiding. Mauve, Bel and Kaige talked about this extensively. They knew the Brielle weren’t going to give up. They also knew storming their home wasn’t a smart move. They were waiting, observing and thinking. They believe one day, the right plan would present itself. Divine didn’t like it. He also couldn’t think of a better plan.
Icy wind blew through the trees and Divine bones. This was the best time to go on the road.
He didn’t smell anything living nearby.
Animals developed ways to hide their scents.
Humans might’ve picked this place clean.
They traveled half a day. They were far outside Sovereign.
The hunting party was often gone for days. The villagers weren’t starving so Bel must be getting food from somewhere. He didn’t go hunting often. Usually, he went to other villages and brought food back.
“What a beauty.”
Aliceanna’s shouting sounded louder and more abrasive out here.
An animal eyed them from across the water. Divine never liked when Blae snuck up on them. He liked it even less coming from something with a stronger bite.
From the oversized antlers, Divine assumed it had been a deer at some point. He didn’t pretend to know about animals outside of the ones he saw in the zoo, but he suspected deer never looked like this one. Its bulging muscles made it unnecessarily wide. The branches of his antlers ended at sharp points.
Aliceanna crouched at the water’s edge.
“What a magnificent beast.”
She stepped forward. She never touched the water. She put small boards of Darkness under her hands and feet.
“It has the antlers of a Tsyian mountain goat and the broad body of a gold tiger found deep in the Pallos forest.”
She crept towards the beast on all fours, never disturbing he water.
“Damn Stelwarts, you make it look so easy. You’re worse than the Del’Praeli who say sceaduing is simple,” Bel grumbled.
Sceaduing, collapsing your body into darkness, was easy. Divine, Josephine and Aliceanna did it all the time.
Bel got into the habit of calling them by their birth family names even though Divine and Josephine used the names of their guardians. Divine was tired of correcting him. Just because Blae and Aliceanna went by their birth family names of Stelwart and Vanguard didn’t mean Divine and Josephine were ready to abandon their guardian’s heritage.
Blae and Aliceanna were raised by Brielle disguised as humans. Those monster took over their guardian’s bodies when those two were about seven. Their new guardians abused them. The Brielle wanted to damage their minds at an early age to make breaking their core easier once it matured. Blae and Aliceanna had good reason to want to drop the name Carlton.
“Pallos forest as in the Tycho Hole. How in the name of Darkness did you get access to that area?” Josephine screeched.
She was sometimes late to join conversations.
Aliceanna turned and grinned. “How can anyone say no to me?”
Aliceanna, like Josephine, had a career that required her to travel. She went to remote areas of the world to investigate sightings of undiscovered animals. She made connections through universities and other investigators. When someone heard about an animal that couldn’t possibly exist, they contacted Aliceanna. She was allowed to do this only because those remote places often held plants perfect for medical purposes or stone and bones that could be turned into weapons. Since she visited Sorin often, she probably brought back useful machine parts. She traveled until she angered every one of her overseas contacts by playing around with men or saying something so thoroughly offensive, her contacts wanted nothing to do with her.
The animal disappeared into the woods, hiding its scent once again.
Kaige stretched his wings and headed for the water.
“They attack humans on sight. Animals simply make their presence known to us Lifeblood beings. I’d rather not have to fight things like that deer if I could avoid it. They are better at it than we are,” Kaige said.
“All you needed to say was leave them alone.” Aliceanna sat back on top of the water.
The grass rustled. The small head of baby wolf peered over the edge and lapped at the water. Its fur matched Aliceanna’s hair. An open wound slices across its neck. From the smell of it, the animal lost a lot of blood.
Aliceanna got on all fours again and crept toward the little wolf.
“Leave that alone. Animals become vicious when it concerns their children,” Bel said.
“Its parents shouldn’t have left it alone seeing how hurt it is,” Aliceanna said.
“It’s capable of taking care of itself. Leave it alone.”
Aliceanna stopped in the middle of the stream. The wolf lifted its head and regarded her with striking golden eyes.
“Well, aren’t you beautiful.”
Aliceanna lowered herself until she was at eye level with the animal. She slowly lifted her fist and dropped a piece of dry meat in front of her.
“How in the name of Darkness did she get that?” Bel screeched. “Does she know how much meat cost?”
Bel stepped forward. Blae grabbed his arm and held him back. Divine understood Bel’s annoyance. But, Divine wanted to watch Aliceanna work. She talked about making friends with wild animals big enough to eat her in one bite. Divine always assumed she was exaggerating.
The wolf pulled it large ears back and snarled. Silver liquid dripped from its fangs. Its fur turned into black and ice blue flowing silk.
Bel stopped fighting Blae.
“I didn’t know they could do that,” Bel whispered.
Aliceanna didn’t react. She pushed the meat across the water’s surface.
Aliceanna pushed herself on her back leg while keeping her body low to the water. She bowed her head to the little demon. His sister was as insane as Josephine. She was making herself vulnerable to a little animal that could kill her.
The forest roared. Branches snapped, trees moved behind the little wolf. Aliceanna peaked up. She kept still.
A black bear the size of a house rolled out of the forest. The little wolf turned and growled. That sound was nothing compared to the vicious noise spewing out that monster. Those eyes stayed on the wolf. What did the little animal do to it?
Divine moved forward. She needed to save his sister. Blae pulled him back.
“She’s been in this situation before,” he said.
Divine knew that.
He hadn’t been there to protect her. Divine couldn’t sit back and watch while his sister was in danger.
Aliceanna leapt across the stream putting herself between the beast and the wolf. The meat remained on a floor of Darkness over the water.
The bear shot up on its back legs and roared.
Aliceanna winked at the snarling wolf.
“Did you eat her child?”
The wolf’s fire burned away the grass. Its tail was a collection of long flaming feathers. It was a ball of fire that barely reached Aliceanna knee. The wolf didn’t seem to notice its unimpressive size. It bared its fangs at the bear. Remained Divine of Josephine.
“Shall we take care of it?” Aliceanna said to the icy wolf.
The bear swiped a massive paw at Aliceanna. She jumped back. The wolf raced around the animals tree trunk legs. It sank its teeth into its heel. The bear roared. It kicked the wolf off. The little animal spun in the air to land on its feet. The bear charge after it. Aliceanna jumped in its path. She jabbed her palm into its chest. The bear stumbled backwards. She rushed forward. She hit it again. Aliceanna was only playing with it. She could have that thing on its back if she wanted to.
The bear swiped a paw at her as it stumbled backwards. Aliceanna ducked and kicked its legs from under it. The bear fell on it back. It rolled and climbed on all fours. This thing was agile for something so big.
The wolf raced behind it. The bear lifted its foot and slammed it into the ground. The wolf jumped out of the way. These animals were amazing. They fought like humans.
The bear walked on only three legs now. The silver liquid dripped from the wolf’s fangs didn’t have a scent. What was it?
The bear charge forward as if it still had the use of all four legs. It snapped its sharp teeth at Aliceanna. The wolf jumped in front of her. The ice blue and black smoke that was its body grew to cover them both. The bear tore through it only to fall back with a roar.
“I knew you had it in you,” Aliceanna said.
She walked through the smoke to the cowering bear. It lost the use of two paws. It struggled to stand. It couldn’t.
Aliceanna stood over it. The beast was down. Those eyes said it was willing to fight.
She crouched in front of the struggling animal and cocked her head.
“Would you show me what it took from you?”
The bear lunged forward. Aliceanna leapt back.
“Stop all this. All I smell is a wounded pride.” She stood. “Now, show me what it took from you.”
The beast glared at her. It actually glared.
Another bear raced out of the forest. It headed for Aliceanna. The wolf ran between her and it. Aliceanna didn’t turn away from the sitting bear. She lifted her hand to the charging one. She knew was she was doing, didn’t she? Divine didn’t need to interfere. Why wasn’t she moving? She wasn’t going to let that beast sink its teeth in her to prove a point.
Aliceanna whipped her head to the charging bear. It stopped. Whatever it saw in Aliceanna’s eyes frightened it. Her aura was a deep red. Brown, black and green flowed through.
The wolf growled.
Aliceanna looked down at it. “You are a little monster aren’t you? What did you steal?”
The new bear walked around Aliceanna and pushed its head into the injured bear’s side.
Aliceanna turned to them. “Must be your mate. I didn’t hurt her, much.”
The injured bear got to its feet. They walked to the forest edge then turned to Aliceanna.
She jabbed her finger to the wolf. “You’re coming to.”
The wolf dropped its ears.
With a wave, she followed the bears. The meat sitting on the water vanished.
Bel turned to his convy. “If she steals anymore of my food, I’m killing her.”
“You going to let her go on off on her own. The Brielle will find her,” Mauve said.
She was their constant Brielle reminder. She was getting annoying.
Bel waved his hand. “I put a wide shield over the area. It knows our scent. It’ll expand as Aliceanna moves farther away from camp. It’ll also discourage strangers from entering this area.”
“That type of shield uses a lot of power,” Mauve said.
“It doesn’t. I knew someone would wonder off. I started weaving the shield as soon as you reminded me. It uses Bria from the air not my Lifeblood to sustain itself.”
Mauve shook her head. “The shield has to make Bria help it.”
“How is that different from any other time?”
Divine never knew how Bel created his shields. Divine’s barrier were simple. They provided protection from attacks. They always fed off of his Lifeblood. He didn’t know you could create a shield that fed off of Bria.
Divine leaned on a nearby tree. His sister was amazing. Josephine had a brilliant stubborn streak. Blae had an unbelievably sharp mind. Bel was a master at creating shields. Kaige took less than a day to figure out the cure for a deadly infection. Mauve knew everything about the Brielle.
What did Divine bring to this family? Why did they always listen to him? Divine pressed his head against the tree. He wasn’t the type to feel down on himself. Being with them brought out the worst in him. He didn’t know if he liked what they were turning him in to. The alternative was unthinkable. He wouldn’t abandon or torment them just because they were changing him.
Blae joined Josephine at the water’s edge. He didn’t play with Aliceanna as much as he used to. He didn’t speak often. Blae wasn’t himself. It must have something to do with the strength of his connection with his sister. Divine felt Josephine all the time. He could stop her emotions from contaminating him. Blae couldn’t.
Divine had moments when he wished Aliceanna was his full blood sister. Then, there were times like now where he was glad they were half siblings.
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