Secret Meetings Are Best Had in the Dead of Night
Thomas had Klaus’s threads on him. So did Neil and Ezekiel, and Samantha and Darla, and Isaac wasn’t done checking all the girls yet because he didn’t share a dorm with them. It was harder to check apprentices and faculty, but Isaac had found strings on one apprentice he didn’t know well named Rita, as well as on Elijah, Audry and two other faculty.
He was everywhere, even more than Isaac had thought he would be. Doing this spell had been a huge mistake. How was Isaac supposed to live his life knowing this about so many people? How was he supposed to spend time with his friends knowing that Klaus could be controlling them, watching him?
He didn’t want to think like that. It had been one thing when he’d known it was Nicholas, because Nicholas was one person. He didn’t want to spend all his time worrying about everyone he met. But he didn’t know how to make himself not think about it now that he knew. Klaus was everywhere.
He wasn’t on this floor, though. Isaac was alone in the room at the moment, but Peter and Spencer and Skip and Jacob were all clear of his strings, so Klaus could only see him in here if Isaac invited him in. And so Isaac sat on his bed, not sure what else he could do.
He wanted to tell them, starting with Jacob and Peter. Yancy had said that was okay as long as he could trust them not to repeat it. Isaac could trust them, he knew that. And Spencer and Skip too. They’d all kept secrets before. He couldn’t tell Nicholas, though, and that hurt. Maybe that was why Isaac was nervous to tell everyone else. Because then it would be a whole thing that everyone knew that they were all keeping from Nicholas. It was different than Isaac being the only one who knew. It was…
He wished he wasn’t alone in the dorm room. But Spencer and Skip were out on a date tonight, Jacob had work and Peter wasn’t here, so he was alone in the only room that felt safe, holding his knees. Even Baker had somewhere better to be.
Maybe he didn’t have to be alone. “Seth?” he called. “Are you around?”
Nobody answered, and Isaac sighed. That was fine. It wasn’t like it was Seth’s job—or anyone’s job—to be available for him whenever he needed it. The world didn’t revolve around Isaac. He could be alone for an hour, it really wasn’t that big a deal.
Isaac looked up at the knock on his door, heart skipping. “Hello?”
That was Garrett’s voice. Isaac looked down, making sure he didn’t have food on his shirt or something. “Uh, come in.”
The door opened, and Garrett came in, and so did Baker, bounding beside him. He jumped on Isaac’s bed, heedless of the snow still clinging in clumps to his paws. “Hey, there you are,” Isaac said, petting his head and not even chiding him for not asking up onto the bed. “Were you outside?”
“Yeah, I’m not sure who let him out,” Garrett said with a shrug. He looked around the room. “You okay? You look a little down.”
“Oh, uh.” Isaac gave a shrug. “I’m fine. Just, I guess a bit lonely. Spencer and Skip went out to see a play. Jacob’s at work. I don’t know where Peter is.”
“So what, you’re just sitting here by yourself?” Garret made a face. “Don’t be dumb. Come hang out with us; we’re going to eat cake and play Dead Boy.”
Isaac sucked at Dead Boy, but it would probably still be fun. He told himself that so he wouldn’t remember that “we” was probably Garrett’s roommates, one of whom was Thomas. Thomas was still his friend, just like Nicholas, and he couldn’t just never see his friends again because of this. “Sure,” Isaac said, getting off the bed. “Can Baker come?”
“Of course he can. Here, Baker,” Garrett said, and Baker immediately darted over, wagging his tail as if this was the first time he’d seen Garrett in days.
Isaac smiled, came over and took Garrett’s hand. “He likes you more than he likes me.”
“That’s very much not true,” Garrett assured Isaac. “Come on. Seriously, why were you in here by yourself?”
Isaac shrugged. “I don’t know. Just…because, I guess.”
“Yeah, I’m super convinced by that. If you’re lonely, come find someone. You know we all love you.”
Isaac smiled, walking a little closer to Garrett. It felt different hearing something like that from Garrett. “I know. I love you too.” He squeezed Garrett’s hand. “You know, we never got to go on that date.”
“No, we should do that,” Garrett agreed. “Where do you want to go? Somewhere outside the academy, right?”
“Definitely,” Isaac agreed. “What kind of stuff do you like? We could get food or go see something.”
“Might be cool to hear some music somewhere or something. There’s this minstrel in town who I hear is really good. I’ll find out where he’s playing and we’ll figure it out in a few days. We’re all ready for Peter’s party, right?”
“Yeah,” Isaac said. “It’s going to be really…oh, fuck.” He stopped walking. “That’s tomorrow, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Garrett looked at him funny. “What’s going on? I know there’s no way you forgot Peter’s birthday.”
“No, I forgot…” It was the winter solstice tonight, the full moon. He’d reminded himself of it like a hundred times and still forgotten. Fuck, he was such an idiot. “I have to go to the library.”
“What, at this time of night?” Garrett asked. “Why?”
“Because…I…” Isaac faltered. He had to say something. “I can’t tell you, I’m sorry.”
“Okay,” Garrett said, nodding. “Let’s go.”
Isaac blinked. “Uh…what?”
“I said let’s go. I’ll come with you.”
“No. You shouldn’t.”
“Because it might be…” Isaac trailed off. Fuck.
“Dangerous? Then you’re definitely not going alone. I’m either coming or once you leave I’m telling everyone you went somewhere dangerous by yourself and we’re all coming, your choice. Come on,” Garrett said, pulling Isaac to the stairs.
Isaac sighed, thinking of the letter. I ask you to go alone, though I know you will not. Fucking Giles really did know everything, didn’t he? “Okay,” he said. “Just…be careful.”
“Might make it easier to be careful if you tell me what we’re being careful of,” Garrett said. They went down the stairs, Baker following.
“I don’t know,” Isaac told him. “I really don’t. I got told to go to the library tonight by someone who promised I wouldn’t get hurt. But he made it sound really important.”
“So it might not be dangerous,” Garrett suggested.
“Yeah,” Isaac admitted. “I just…think it might be. Because practically everything is dangerous.”
Garrett squeezed his hand. “Sometime we’ll talk about the fact that you were going to do it alone when you have dozens of people who’d go with you without even asking why.”
Isaac felt himself warm, looked down. “I know. Thanks.”
They got coats and boots from the big closet by the front door and trudged out into the snow, Baker following, bouncing around as if he hadn’t just been outside. There was nobody around, and the library looked like it always did.
It didn’t feel like it always did, though. It was always oppressively quiet inside, but tonight it was…even more so. Like the darkness itself was heavy. The doors were unlocked because the library was open late, but it felt like it shouldn’t be open, and nobody was around on the first floor. “What are we looking for?” Garrett asked.
“I don’t know.” Isaac looked around. “Something feels weird.”
“Like…weird weird, or magic weird?”
Baker was sniffing everything, heading for the stairs. “Definitely magic weird,” he said, following Baker. “I’m betting demon weird.”
“Demon?” Garrett asked, voice tense. “You think there’s a demon in the library?”
“I think there’s usually a demon in the library,” Isaac muttered. Sometimes Nicholas spent a lot of time here. “Just be careful, okay?”
Garrett nodded, and they went up to the second floor. There was nobody there either. At the top of the stairs on the third floor, there was something in the shadows that wasn’t hidden the way normal things were hidden, and as Isaac got closer, it started to move towards him. “Fuck.” Isaac raised a hand, preparing to defend himself against…
“Sorry,” Seth said. He’d just appeared there, looking abashed. “Sorry. I was somewhere else and forgot what time it was here. Sorry I’m late. And sorry I scared you.”
Isaac nodded, willing his heart to calm down. At least Garrett had sworn louder than him. “It’s fine. Garrett, I don’t think you’ve met Seth. He’s a ghost.”
“I see that,” Garrett said, holding the doorframe. “The appearing out of nowhere thing made it pretty clear.”
Baker was sniffing Seth, and found nothing. He darted into the library. And barked.
“What is it, Baker?” Isaac asked, putting his hand on Seth’s shoulder as he moved around him. Baker had run up to one of the study tables in the middle of the floor and was standing in front of it, hackles raised at the slumped over, unconscious form there.
It was Peter, and he wasn’t moving. ”Shit,” Isaac said, hurrying over, heart slamming in his chest. He couldn’t tell if Peter was breathing, or… “Peter.” He didn’t rouse when Isaac touched him, but he was alive. His heart was beating, so much slower than Isaac’s, but he was okay.
“He’s just asleep,” said Garrett, taking Peter’s pulse.
Isaac nodded, Garrett’s voice calming him a little. It hurt, seeing this, seeing Peter like this. Someone had hurt Peter, and that made Isaac want to hurt someone. But he had to calm down, actually help Peter. His hand on Peter’s head, Isaac did a spell Lee had taught him. “He’s not just asleep,” he said, feeling how still Peter’s thoughts were. Thoughts normally moved around like crazy when people slept, that was why there were dreams. Isaac had practiced this spell on Jacob and his thoughts had always been zipping everywhere while he slept. “Someone put him to sleep.”
“And the rest of them too, I bet,” Seth said. Isaac looked where he was looking. At another table nearby were Jackie and Moira, and at the desk at the far end of the room was Axel, one of the librarians. They were all asleep.
“Not exactly subtle, is it?” Garrett asked. “You think your demon did this?”
“Yeah, I do,” Isaac growled, heading for the stairs. “I’m going to kill him.”
“You can’t,” Seth reminded Isaac.
Isaac knew that, because if Klaus was here, that meant Nicholas probably was as well, and even if it wasn’t Nicholas, Klaus was a fucking coward who made others do his work for him. Isaac couldn’t get his hands on him without strangling someone else. “I know. But I’m going to…do something, I don’t know.”
“You guys are talking like you know this demon,” Garrett said, as they headed up the stairs.
“We’ve met, sort of,” Isaac said. “His name is Klaus. He’s…someone we’d all be lucky not to know. If he’s here you have to let me talk to him, okay?”
“Okay. What are you going to say?”
“I don’t know,” Isaac admitted. The door on the fourth level was closed, a minor barrier in place.
“We’re not supposed to be on this floor,” Garrett said. “This is for apprentices.”
Seth disappeared for a second, and came back. “Two people in there, they’re both asleep too.”
Isaac nodded, went further up the stairs. “The top floor is restricted, right? That’s where he’s going to be.”
“How are we going to get there? The wards on the doors won’t open for us.”
“I know a trick or two for getting places that most people think won’t open,” Isaac promised. They ignored the fifth floor, and the sixth. At the top of the stairs was a heavy wooden door with bright, glowing wards all over it. Isaac raised a hand, paused. The ward stretched across the wall on either side of the door too. Damn. Fine, he’d do something else.
“Isaac,” said Seth, hand on Isaac’s wrist. “I can’t go in there.”
“What?” Isaac tried not to glare. “What’s wrong?”
“The power that Klaus uses to stop me seeing him. He’s got it up around this floor. I won’t be able to go in, even like this.”
Dammit. Isaac looked at the door, and gave Seth a hug. “I’ll be okay,” he promised.
“I don’t like this.”
“I’m going in.” This was why Giles had sent him here.
“How are we even going to get past this?” Garrett asked, hand hovering over the wards. “These are so fucking powerful.”
“Yeah,” Isaac agreed. He couldn’t even make heads or tails of them, really. But they were made from the Pillars and nothing else. Isaac touched the Web with one hand, considering the way it vibrated, and ran his other hand up the ward. There was power in both, so much power. More than could be safely handled. The matrix holding the wards together wasn’t impenetrable or even that complicated, but the power flowing through it was much that trying to open it without the key would be really dangerous. What the hell was wrong with the academy, Isaac thought? Why would they have this on a door in a library? Some stupid student could die trying to sneak in here for a prank or something.
There was probably some really clever spell or something he could use here that would unravel them safely, and if he had an hour he could probably figure it out. But Isaac wasn’t clever and he didn’t have time for that, so he just knotted every strand of the Web right into the ward, and stood back. “What did you do?” Garrett asked, as the ward started to glow brighter and brighter.
“You know when you put too much water in a skin?” Isaac asked, working another spell, this one a modified shielding spell that was from Giles’s book.
The wards flared really bright and, with a bang, exploded, splintering wood and stone everywhere. The pieces hit the shield and bounced away, not touching Isaac, Garrett, Baker or Seth. A tingling spread over Isaac’s body, the force dispersed. The metal chain Giles had given him was warm around Isaac’s ankle. Isaac still didn’t know what the charms did, but the one on his left side, which was a tree charm, was the one warming up.
“I’ll be right back,” Isaac told Seth, and then stepped through the remains of the door.
“Holy shit, can you show me how to do that?” Garrett asked in a whisper.
“Sure,” said Isaac, mentally trying to put another spell together. Another shield, a mental one this time. He put it over himself and Garrett. The Pillars were slippery in here, harder to access, probably because of whatever spell Klaus had used to hide himself. “It’s not that hard.”
The top floor of the library was three rings of shelves, with what looked like a few tables in the centre. That oppressive feeling from downstairs was stronger here, making Isaac feel heavy. But he walked down the aisle to the middle of the room, where he could see a light. “Listen,” Isaac said to Garrett. “Klaus possesses people.”
“Yeah. All I mean is that…it might look like Nicholas up there. But it might not be him. Just don’t freak out, okay? I’ll explain after.”
“S-sure,” Garrett said, sounding not at all like he was sure. Isaac wanted to stop and tell him everything, but there was no time.
The centre of the library was filled with a few tables in a circle under glass skylight that was letting in the light of the full moon. Laying on one of the tables was Nicholas, with some tools scattered around him, all clean and gleaming with reflected moonlight. There were piles of books beside him.
Standing over him was an old man, skeletal, tall, wearing a long black coat. He had greenish skin, horns coming down the back of his head, an extra set of arms, and a knife in one hand.
“Hello, Isaac,” said Klaus, not looking up. “You might consider less obvious entrances in the future. As satisfying as the dramatic ones are, they do rather give away the ever-critical element of surprise.”
“It’s actually you,” Isaac whispered. “Not one of your puppets.”
“Work like this is extremely sensitive,” Klaus said, nodding down at Nicholas. “I don’t trust it to others. I worked very hard to make Nicholas, and it would be a shame to make an unnecessary error and have to start over.”
That was so…cold, like he was talking about spilling ink on his homework and having to write it again. Isaac had known Klaus treated Nicholas that way, known Nicholas was just a thing to him. But hearing it upfront like that made Isaac not know what to say. What…what had happened to that little boy Seth had shown him to make him like this? What could his life possibly have been like that he thought this was okay? How could he be like this? Isaac just…stood there a second, staring. He didn’t know what to say.
“What are you doing to him?” Garrett demanded, coming closer. He had a hand up as if to do something, but there wouldn’t be anything he could do.
“Ah, I should have known Isaac would bring a friend. Hello, Garrett. My name is Klaus. I’m afraid you’re rather interrupting, so if you’d do me the favour of going to sleep.”
Garrett didn’t go to sleep, but Isaac felt a blow against his mental shield and Garrett shifted, the magic he’d been working on disrupted. Klaus paused, finally straightening. He had four eyes, and was wearing spectacles over all of them. “My,” he said, smiling. “You have been doing your homework, haven’t you, Isaac?”
Isaac was shaking all over. Klaus was so powerful, fuck. “Don’t touch Garrett,” he warned. Baker barked his agreement, growling at Klaus.
Klaus looked down at Baker, then back up. “Very well. In exchange, you will not disturb Nicholas. He needs regular maintenance, you see. If I fail to give it to him, he could begin to malfunction. And if you disturb the process now, he could very easily die.”
The part of Isaac’s mind that wasn’t freaking out—the very small part—realized this was a chance. He wasn’t going to kill Klaus tonight. But he could learn something. Bringing the Web to the front of his vision so he could see what Klaus was doing, he took a step closer, and then another, making himself get as close to the table and to Nicholas as he could. His chest was cut open and one of his arms was laying on the table beside him. Isaac made himself look. “Do you need any help?”
“Isaac!” hissed Garrett.
“It’s okay, Garrett,” Isaac promised. It wasn’t okay. Nothing was okay.
Klaus smiled. “No, I’ve perfected the process at this point. Humans, you see, grow by secreting various hormones. Because Nicholas’s body is artificial, his various parts can only grow so much before they require replacing. Several of his bones are too small and others are starting to wear out, as are his lungs. Tell me, how did you know I would be here tonight?”
“I’ll tell you that if you tell me how you knew I would be here,” Isaac said. He sat down in the chair closest to Klaus to hide how badly he was shaking. There was an open book beside him that was written in a language where Isaac didn’t even know the letters. He tried to commit them to memory anyway, hoping he could write them out later.
Klaus smiled, went back to work, long fingers from two of his hands sliding inside Nicholas’s chest. “And what makes you think I knew?”
“You…” Isaac had to stay calm. He had to think. Klaus was smarter than him, but Isaac couldn’t be an idiot about this. Garrett was freaking out. Someone needed not to freak out. Baker was beside him. “You didn’t have to put the whole library to sleep. Nobody would have ever known you were here. If you wanted the building empty you could have used a simple compulsion spell to make everyone think they wanted to leave. You did something else because you knew I was coming. And…I don’t believe you do all of Nicholas’s…maintenance here. You’re trying to scare me.” It was working.
“Very good,” Klaus said, with a slow, deliberate nod. He pulled his hand out of Nicholas, a bone between two fingers. There was no blood on it, just something bright white on top of the already white bone. He set it down and picked a clean one up from a pile beside him, sliding it inside Nicholas. “A year ago you’d have been so frightened and distracted by the superficial elements that you’d have never thought past them. You’re learning a great deal.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“That’s right, I didn’t. I know many things, Isaac. It’s a mistake to underestimate me, but do not feel bad—it’s a mistake that many, many talented people have made. And the magnitude of that mistake is far lesser than that of the mistake dear Garrett is about to make.”
Behind Klaus, Garrett had been preparing something, some magic. He froze when Klaus said his name. “Garrett, don’t,” Isaac said, hoping he didn’t sound as scared as he was. “He wasn’t lying before. If we attack him, Nicholas could die.”
“That’s not Nicholas,” Garrett whispered. “That can’t be…that can’t be Nicholas…”
“It is,” Isaac promised. Klaus had picked up one of his tools and was using it inside Nicholas. “Please, Garrett. You’ll hurt him.”
Garrett looked sick, but he nodded, stepping closer to Isaac. Isaac took his hand. Klaus nodded. “I knew you were a sensible boy, Isaac. Now shall we talk about what you really want to discuss? It seems that would be more productive than you speculating endlessly on my motives.”
“What do you want?” Isaac demanded immediately. He hadn’t thought Klaus would actually tell him anything. Whatever he was doing was so far outside of Isaac’s ability that he didn’t think he was going to learn anything from watching. Isaac could see him working different parts of the Web now and then, but he didn’t think he could replicate what Klaus was doing, even without the fact that he could tell he was only seeing parts of it thanks to Klaus’s other magic. “Why are you doing all of this? The demons and angels, and the schism and Nicholas and controlling everyone and…why? What do you want?”
“I want, Isaac, for the human race to have a fighting chance when the world begins to end very soon. Everything I have ever done is in service of that.”
What the fuck was Isaac supposed to take from that? He reached down and put his other hand on Baker’s head, letting that calm him a little. “That’s not a real answer.”
“But it is the one you have been given. The chosen one is a critical figure in a large number of the more accurate prophecies. I created Nicholas in the hopes of having some control over that figure, but alas, there you were. And so instead I tasked him with keeping an eye on you. And it worked. I didn’t anticipate that he would fall in love with you, but nobody can control all variables, and he has always been rather stubborn. Tell me, is that inconvenient for you? It is a trait I could remove from him, if you like.”
“Don’t you fucking dare,” Isaac said, chair scraping as he stood up, letting go of Garrett. “Don’t you dare change a fucking thing about him, you freak. He’s just the way he should be right now. He’s a goddamn person. He’s not a thing for you to rebuild just because you can.”
There were tears on Isaac’s cheeks. Klaus nodded, a click sounding as Nicholas’s new rib was slotted into place. “I had a feeling you would say that. I would not actually do such a thing, of course. I know my actions appear cruel at times, but cruelty is never my aim.”
“Everything you do is cruel.”
“From your perspective, no doubt that is true. Your main aim, of course, is to break my control over Nicholas and your other friends, yes?”
“And everyone else,” Isaac added. “Everyone else you’re controlling too.”
“Everyone else?” asked Garrett. “Are other people…like this?”
“I do wish you’d let me put him to sleep,” Klaus sighed. “It wasn’t just because his presence here is dangerous and tiresome. Your interference is going to make it quite challenging for me to overwrite his memories. Garrett will be quite ill tomorrow.”
“Don’t you touch my mind,” Garrett snapped, hand on Isaac’s shoulder. Isaac nodded.
Klaus only smiled, keeping all his eyes on Isaac. “What,” he drew the question out, “would you be willing to trade?”
“For the removal of my threads from your friends. You are asking me to give up something very important to me. I will require something in exchange.”
“You’re…” Isaac frowned. “You’re willing to do that?” Klaus was lying, he had to be.
“Of course. Since you don’t have a price in mind, I shall set one. A willing agent whom I need not directly control is always useful for me, moreso than a puppet. I would have you run errands for me, Isaac. Each time you complete one, I shall release my spell from one of your friends. Does that sound fair to you?”
“You…I’m not working for you!”
“I am afraid you have nothing else I want, Isaac. Of course, I promise not to cast my spell on anyone else at the academy in the meantime. That would be cheating.”
“He’s lying,” Garrett said to Isaac. “You know he’s lying, Isaac.”
Isaac did know that. But what if he wasn’t? Isaac had so few options in this conversation, and he couldn’t afford to let this one slip out of his grasp. “Any other student, ever. And you start with Nicholas.”
“Isaac, you can’t.”
“No, I’m afraid that won’t be possible. I require Nicholas for a while longer yet. But when all my errands are complete, you have my word that I will teach you how to reorient a homunculus’s guiding principle, so that Nicholas need not be dependent on me.”
“Your word doesn’t mean anything to me.”
“I am aware. That is why we will start with small errands, to build up trust.” Klaus smiled. “So, here are the terms, Isaac. On my way here I took the mages’ leystone. It’s in that small box there. I would like for you to bind it to yourself. Once you’ve done that, I will release Thomas from my control. We can discuss further agreements after that.”
“Isaac, we have to go,” Garrett said. He pulled Isaac to his feet. “We have to tell the archmage and everybody about this. We can’t stay here.”
Isaac glanced at the box on the table. Klaus smiled at him, and the tiniest hint of magic flickered from him, so small Isaac wouldn’t have felt it if it didn’t land in his pocket. “Yeah,” he agreed, letting Garrett pull him away from the table. Klaus pulled something purple and squishy out of Nicholas, and set it down. “Yeah, we have to go.”
Klaus wasn’t going to be here by the time they got to anyone who could help.
“Goodnight, Isaac,” said Klaus, still working. “It was nice to finally speak with you.”
Isaac caught himself nodding, and retreated with Garrett. Outside, Seth looked fit to kill someone. “What happened? Was he in there?” he demanded.
“He…we have to get help,” Garrett said, and they headed down the stairs.
“He was in there,” Isaac told Seth. “He was…working on Nicholas.”
“Damn him,” Seth whispered.
“And he wanted, he wanted Isaac…”
Isaac didn’t need to check Garrett’s mind to know it was slipping away. He tried to stop it, tried to keep his shield up, but it didn’t help. Garrett’s thoughts were pulling away from him, and the more Isaac tried to keep them in place, the more he could feel them tearing. He had no choice but to let go for Garret’s own good, and that hurt Isaac so much. Garrett pulled Isaac down the stairs, and by the time they were at the bottom, he was blinking, hand on his head. “Fuck,” he said. “This chosen one stuff is harder than you make it look. That was really a demon, huh?”
“Yeah,” Isaac said. He was angry at Klaus for this, he really was. But it was just one more thing he was angry at Klaus for, one in a long list of things. “It was.” He dropped the mental shield. It was useless anyway. Klaus’s magic had been from outside the Web, so it was able to get around Isaac’s shields without him even knowing where the gaps were. Which meant, Isaac realized, Klaus could easily have put Garrett to sleep. And had chosen not to. He’d been…toying with Isaac. With both of them.
“It’s…it’s gone now, right?” Garrett asked. Isaac recognized these symptoms from seeing them in Nicholas. Lee’s voice came to him: a stress-induced fugue state. His mind was cloudy, he was confused. He was asking questions because a suggestion had been implanted in his mind, and the answers Isaac gave would determine how quickly he recovered.
Isaac had no choice but to play Klaus’s game. Telling Garrett the truth right now wouldn’t help him. It would only make him confused as his brain tried to process what it knew was true with what it thought was true. He’d get sick, and if his cognitive dissonance was strong enough, he could slip into a coma. The only way Isaac could help him now was to make sure there was a clean cut from what was eating at him, to avoid mental scarring. “Yeah,” Isaac said. “We got rid of it together. You were really helpful.”
“You were,” Isaac confirmed, smiling. He hated this, he hated it so much and he hated himself for doing it. But what was he supposed to do? “Thank you for coming.”
Garrett nodded, looking around. “Yeah, of course. I wouldn’t…want you to be alone.”
Isaac had never in his life felt more alone than he did right now, but he nodded. “Yeah. Come on, we should go back. You’re really tired.” Seth was beside him, looking angry, and Isaac tried to keep him out of Garrett’s line of vision.
Garrett nodded again, and let Isaac take him back to the dorm. “You’re not going to try and get someone up there to stop him?” Seth asked quietly.
“There’s no point and we both know it. He was only up there because he knew we were coming. I need…to get Garrett to bed,” Isaac said. Garrett wasn’t paying attention. He would be developing a headache. “Then I’ll go wake Yancy up and tell him. But it’s too late to do anything about it.”
“What did he even say to you?” Seth asked. “You were in there for so long.”
“Nothing helpful,” Isaac muttered. He slipped his hand into his pocket. “You know him. Everything he said was just…a lie.”
“Yeah,” Seth said with a sigh. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”
“Me too,” Isaac agreed. In his pocket, he touched the leystone, held it in his hand. “I am too.”
2 thoughts on “Chosen One, 91”
Fuck you, Klaus.