I moved towards Maggie and quickly grabbed Chris from her lap. “Send Auntie home, CJ,” I advised to her concerned face. “They are coming for us; I don’t want you here when they arrive.”
“Who’s coming, Zoe? What’s going on?” she asked jumping from her seat.
“A lot of badness,” I checked outside the windows and waited for Chris to do as I asked. “CJ?”
He sighed before finally relenting. After Maggie teleported out, I ran to the magic room and collected supplies. “You and Mommy are going to have to get ready, baby, Daddy’s coming home soon.”
I looked at him, his face bore a stern look; my baby, my innocent little boy was about to be used in a battle I could not prepare him for.
He smiled at me realizing my apprehension to try and ease me through it.
“Zoe?” I heard Drake’s voice out in the hall.
“We’re in here!”
He rushed into the room and brought me into his arms. Uncle Monty picked up Chris and we steadied ourselves for the trip to the Pit.
When we arrived to Karver’s throne room, we found him gearing up and Evelyn was pacing. “He better not fail me, Steele,” Karver barked.
“We need to get him some place secure. I’m not letting anything happen to my wife and son because of you Karver.”
“There’s a room under the Lichhouse, they can wait there until it’s time.”
We exited into the hall; the place looked less like what I remembered. Chaos seemed to have taken a hold in the area and there was panic amongst the citizens.
“Are they fighting with you?” I asked as Karver led us down the main hall.
“The only ones to worry about are the Malachites. Everyone else is under my protection.”
We entered into a smaller passage leading down into a dank and dark hall; Evelyn was walking nearly hand in hand with Drake trying her best to get his attention.
“If you’re looking for another beat down, Evelyn, just say so,” I said letting her know my intentions were to keep her away from my husband.
Karver stopped and looked at her, “Let’s not have a repeat today. I DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR PATIENCE TO DEAL WITH THIS NOW!” he snapped.
She bowed her head, “My Liege,” she stepped in front of him and began leading us.
Drake stopped me near the end of the hall. “I’m sorry about everything with Evelyn. I never meant for that to come back on you. I never meant for any of this…”
I brought my hand to his face. “Drake, I’ve made my peace with the fling you and she had I was never mad at you about it. But let’s be perfectly clear about this, if she comes after you again, I’m going to rip her pretty little head off!”
“That sounds like a jealous wife,” he smiled. “This thing with Chris…,” he dropped his eyes to the ground. “I’d die for you both.”
“TODAY!” Karver yelled for us to continue.
“You have a very heavy son, Belle,” Monty said shifting CJ in his arms.
I smiled and took him, “He’s just healthy! He loves to eat.”
Monty stepped ahead of me and I quickly caught up. We turned down a last hall nearing another door.
Before I could reach the others, it slammed shut catching me on the other side. “Drake!”
“Zoe!” he tried to force the door open but to no avail. “Get this opened, Karver!”
“I can’t,” he said pointing to the latch. “It’s bound by magic. They must be close.”
“GET THE DOOR OPENED!” Drake yelled.
“Are you hard of hearing? The only way to her is another hall down that corridor!”
“Shit!” Drake threw his weight into the steel barrier. “Zoe stay by the door, we’ll find another way around to you.”
“Hurry!” I held Chris closer to my chest and slid down the door frame to the floor.
The others quickly moved through the next area to circle back.
“Don’t worry baby, we’re ok.” I said rocking him in my arms. The lights went out and I heard another door down through the area we’d just passed creak open.
“Hello?” I called out from within the darkened space. “Drake?” I adjusted my vision for night and saw two figures moving towards me.
I felt cold hands grab my arms and a sharp pinch on my neck. Before long, my eyes were heavy and I was free falling to the floor.
I awoke on the floor of a large cage. I rubbed my eyes and tried to gather my bearings. I quickly scanned the room for Christopher. My head felt like it were about to explode.
“Hello there,” a deep and echoed voice greeted me from behind.
I turned my attention and was met with a tall demon with a pale green hue to his flesh and bright yellow eyes. His face was scarred and rotting and his teeth curved into sharpened fangs and were peaking over his lips as he spoke.
“You must be the prized witch my predecessor was after. You weren’t that hard to capture,” he sneered.
“And you must be Malachai.”
“Ah, so you’ve heard of me? And here I thought I would have to resort to vulgar threats and violence.”
“Where’s my son?”
He chortled at my question as if I’d made the funniest remark he’d ever heard. “Don’t worry about him. He’s right where I want him to be.”
“Master, the others are searching for her now. What would you like for us to do?”
“Make sure they don’t succeed!”
The cloaked men exited the room leaving me alone with Malachai.
“WHERE IS MY SON!?” I yelled believing my anger would garner the results I was seeking.
“You know I was told you had quite the fiery temper. Keep it up witch and I’ll torture him slowly before killing him!”
I dropped my weight back to the bottom of the cage feeling defeated.
The door latch groaned as the metal handle twisted in place and popped open.
A hooded figure entered into the room and stood near the wall. He pulled the cloak from his head revealing a familiar face and smile.
“Zavier? I was told you were dead!” Malachai said approaching him.
“And let me guess, you mourned me by declaring yourself King?”
“They needed guidance; besides I was in this just as much as you, why wouldn’t I?” he growled.
Zavier scoffed and walked towards the cells. “Zoe,” he smirked. “I told you I’d see you again.”
“How? I made sure to remove every instance of power from your worthless body before Karver did you in!”
“Well apparently one of you needs to brush up on their skills.” He winked at me before turning his attention back to Malachai.
“Where’s the boy?” he demanded.
“Secured in the back room, away from the witch; he kept trying to free her.”
“Of course he did! Who’s watching him?”
“No one, everyone is out hunting for Karver and Drake to ensure they don’t interrupt the proceedings.”
“Are you an idiot? Get back there and watch him! There’s no telling what he’s doing alone!”
Malachai rushed to the back and threw open the door. “HE’S GONE!”
“SIMPLETON! How were you expecting to take the throne when you can’t even take care of a toddler? Get out there and find him!”
Malachai glared at Zavier. “NOW!” he barked his commands and Malachai obediently obliged.
“And you, Zoe,” he said after we were alone. “If I let you out, do you promise not to attack me?”
“Why would I promise you that?”
“Because otherwise, I’ll leave you in there to rot; though I don’t think Chris would approve.”
“You son of a bitch! I promise that if you let me out of here, I will claw the flesh from your face before I send you back to whatever hell you crawled out of!”
“My Belle, that’s no way to speak to an ally!” Uncle Monty said stepping into the room.
“MONTY?” a confused expression crossed my face and was met with his sensitive smile.
“You’re looking a bit cramped dear.”
“Uncle, what’s going on?”
Drake and CJ walked from the back and approached me.
“What the hell is going on?”
The flesh on Zavier’s face began melting and revealed that of Karver’s.
He grinned at my expression as he undid the cage chains and let me out. “How did you do that?”
“Zoe, haven’t you seen me ‘become’ the creatures I’ve created? Why is this a shock to you? I’m responsible for what Zavier became; I’m his creator as well.”
I looked at Drake and took Chris from his arms, snuggling him warmly in my breast. “I’m so glad he’s ok.”
“They can’t hurt him, not until they get what they need from me that is,” Karver said motioning for us to get to the door.
Out in the hall, Evelyn was once again in her demon form and fighting one of the hooded men. She turned towards us just as she ripped her claws through his face and neck, tearing him apart.
Drake ran Monty, me and CJ outside and Karver addressed Evelyn.
“Where are we going now?”
“A place where Chris can expand on his powers,” he replied without looking back.
“There you are!” Malachai growled from behind us after we’d reached the common area.
He ran towards us accompanied by a group of his followers. Chris jumped from my arms and halted their movements.
“We have to go, Zoe,” Drake said pulling at my arm.
“Wait, what about Chris?” I said struggling to remove his grip on me.
“He can hold them off for now, you and I have to move. You have to get elevated and channel, make Chris stronger for this. He draws his power from you, now go.”
I ran towards the wall and hopped to the overhang above the door. I grabbed the candles I’d brought with me and drew out a pentagram before sitting and taking up the source.
Instantly I felt Christopher connect to me. I could hear him the way Drake communicates with him. Mommy’s here, I assured him. Below me he continued gripping the attackers in a bind. He looked up at me; his red eyes acknowledged that he too took in source magic before he turned his attention back to the Malachites.
Karver and Evelyn emerged from the hall and she ran at one of the men, ripping and tearing at him as her sharp nails drew blood and scraped flesh from his bones.
CJ’s body elevated and he began tossing sparks from the tips of his fingers. The hordes of Malachites cowered in fear; some ran for safety and others stood in the fray prepared to exile their King and kill his protégé.
Karver looked up at me and I got Chris ready.
CJ walked into the center of the grounds and was hit with a bright light. “NO!” I jumped up, breaking my connection.
“Zoe stay there! Keep channeling!” Drake yelled at me.
I returned to my position as worry sank deep inside me. I reconnected with Christopher and he stood with his arms out, causing large sparks of light to disperse around him.
I felt my magic exit through him; he grew more powerful the longer the channel was in place until he reached capacity. His red eyes changed to white and the light again shot from his body.
I stopped my channel and watched my son and his newly gained powers prepare for a showdown.
Drake came over, helped me up and held me back. “He’s ready for this, Zoe. That force field is protecting him from everyone and everything including us. The night he stayed down here, we practiced this. The demon blood will keep him strong.”
A tear fell from my eyes as I watched CJ cast source magic to bind and maim his attackers. His little hands tossed large balls of frost, sparks of electricity and gusts of wind in the direction of the assailing men.
A hooded creep came up behind CJ; he turned towards him, his blue eyes again mimicking that of Drake’s and glowing red. He smiled at the man before boiling his blood to a temperature that caused him to explode.
“YES!” Karver yelled in excitement. Chris was making short work of the men and each death empowered Karver more.
Malachai tried to run and Chris quickly froze him in place. A look of horror crossed his brow as the flakes of ice and snow fell around him.
Karver neared him; Malachai’s green hue changed to a light blue as the ice made its way through his veins. His hair and eyes froze and the terror on his face provoked a smirk from his King.
“Was it my throne you wanted?”
Malachai growled as he verbalized his distaste for Karver. “There are still others! You’ve prevented nothing! You strut around here and cause everyone to bend to your will and for what? This was a small glimpse into your future Karver. You wait until the others convene, then we’ll see who’s still standing!”
“Right now and for eternity, it’s me. You on the other hand,” he snapped his fingers and Malachai fell into a pile of ash at his feet. The remaining two Malachites immediately bowed before Karver.
He walked over to them. “It’s a little late to show your loyalty! EVELYN!”
She ran over and snatched them up in her claws before escorting them to the Lichhouse.
Chris ran over to me and I pulled him into my arms. “This was it?”
Karver looked at me before sending us back home.
“Drake? Are we done?”
“We did what he asked.”
“As before, but there was still more he sought from us! I need to know this is over!”
Drake kissed my cheek before leaving to find Karver.
“Your son is very strong, Zoe,” Uncle Monty said once we were alone. “You had better keep an eye on him.”
“Yes Uncle. He isn’t all powerful all the time. Once he broke our connection the magics returned to me. He can only access them if I channel them first.”
“The demon blood in him; make sure he follows you and learns from you!” he added.
I looked at CJ and he smiled. “Let’s hope it’s over.”