The women all hurried down to Tahlmus’ office, but when they got there he didn’t answer their knocks. Celestial tried the door handle but it was locked.
“Do you think he’s mad at us?” Fleur asked nervously
Coral shook her head no. “He’s not in there,” she replied.
All four of them looked at her. “How do you know?” Laguna asked.
Coral shrugged. “It’s just a feeling. In fact I don’t sense him anywhere in the estate.” She felt confused. She’d never had these powers before, none of the Sirens had. It had only been Tahlmus.
“Maybe we should discuss that with Tahlmus too,” Celestial said worriedly. Lillianna didn’t feel like herself around Tahlmus, and Coral was showing signs of magic none of them had possessed before. Something was going on.
“You don’t think Mystic found him do you?” Laguna asked.
Lillianna shook her head. “I don’t think Mystic knew where Tahlmus was, that’s why he focused on Kanes… and Kanes didn’t know what had happened to Tahlmus.”
“I… I don’t think Kanes would need to know where Tahlmus was for Mystic to be able to find him,” Fleur started slowly. Everyone looked at her, questions in their eyes. “I…. I’ve been reading about dragons because….” Fleur paused. She didn’t want them to know that having a pet dragon was what she wanted next. “Erm… just because… anyway… I’ve read a little about their magic. There’s a link between siblings. So if one gets lost, the parent or sibling dragon can cast a specific spell and it will lead them directly to the one that’s lost.”
“So…” Celestial started as she was working it out in her head.
“So, if Kanes and Tahlmus really have draconic magic, then all Mystic needs is that spell. Then he can use Kanes to easily find Tahlmus.”
“Who can easily find me?” Tahlmus’ voice came from behind them. All the girls jumped at his voice. Celestial and Coral both punched him in the arm, telling him not to sneak up on them like that. Tahlmus just laughed. “I assume you wish to talk to me,” he stated using his magic to unlock the door, and walk inside the office. Lillianna was right behind him. She desperately needed to be close to him.
“Yes,” she replied seductively, placing her hand on his shoulder so that he had to turn to look at her. Their faces came within inches of each other. Looking into his eyes she tried working some magic to make him kiss her.
“Lillianna,” Tahlmus stated removing her hand from his shoulder. “What did I say about working your magic on me?”
Fleur and Laguna came forward, gently pulling Lillianna away from him. “That’s one of the things we need to talk to you about,” Celestial said.
Lillianna closed her eyes and she started to feel more like herself. “When I see you… I… I can’t help but feel the need to seduce you, and … I don’t want… I don’t feel like myself when it happens. I can’t control it.”
Tahlmus shrugged, starting to open his mouth to speak. “That’s not everything,” Coral stated before he could say a word.
“You need to read this,” Celestial said holding out the journal. Tahlmus accepted it. From the looks of it, he determined he had to be an old journal.
“And Coral has developed some weird powers,” Fleur stated.
“Yeah, she was able to sense that you weren’t in your office, nor even within the estate,” Laguna said.
Tahlmus looked at Coral, concern on his face. Again, he started to open his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a knock on the door. Atargatis stood there, supper was ready. Having been warned not to leave the journal unattended, Tahlmus put the journal in his robes, and walked with Celestial, while the others helped Lillianna who was trying to blindly make it down the hallway to the dining hall. She had felt it would just be better if she kept her eyes shut until she was back in her room.
Supper was uneventful. The Sirens enjoyed taking turns telling Tahlmus about their days. With all of them having different tasks they all had something to say. They were also very excited, as in another month they’d have a lot of children running around to teach and care for. Tahlmus remained interactive with all the excitement, but in the back of his mind he was worried about Celestial, Coral, Fleur, Laguna, and Lillianna. Something was bothering them, because they all stayed very quiet.
After supper everyone went their separate ways. Fleur and Laguna helped Lillianna find her room, and Coral went to help Tempest with one final chore. Celestial stayed sitting at the table with Tahlmus.
“You ok?” Tahlmus asked as Celestial just sat there. She slowly shook her head no. “Do you want to talk about it?” Again Celestial responded by shaking her head. Tahlmus slipped his hand in hers as they continued to sit there quietly.
“You need to read the journal,” Celestial finally said. “There are things about your past that you don’t know, and things could go wrong if you don’t read it.”
Tahlmus frowned. He had no idea what could have possibly happened in his past that he didn’t already know. He had lived through it, and had a very clear memory of how things had gone for him. He didn’t think a journal could hold any secrets he didn’t already know. “Come with me,” he said. “We will read it together.” Celestial allowed him to lead her back to his room. Tahlmus knew something was seriously wrong. She never let him lead her anywhere.
Once in his room Tahlmus turned on a light, propped up his pillows and sat down on the bed. Celestial joined him, curling up into him as he started reading the journal. Tahlmus was in shock by what he read. It all seemed unbelievable, yet he believed it and couldn’t stop reading. At times he could feel his temper wanting to flair, but having Celestial next to him helped. It helped keep all his emotions in check as they went on a roller coaster ride in his head.
“My… my parents weren’t even my real parents,” he whispered. The reason he had magic and they didn’t suddenly made sense. “My life has been a lie,” he paused as Celestial wrapped her arms around him, her head resting on his shoulder. “I have a twin brother… there’s another evil mage… I… Wait… Lillianna said she couldn’t control herself around me… said it wasn’t her…” Tahlmus half growled half sighed. “Why didn’t I think of checking for that?” he whispered.
“What’s wrong?” Celestial asked raising her eyes to him.
Tahlmus shook his head. He didn’t know where to start. “We need to go find Lillianna.”
“Right now?” Tahlmus nodded. “Why?”
“Elixirs,” he said. “Elixirs bypass all the protection charms I’ve put in place, and my original assessment of Lillianna.” Before Celestial could say anything, Tahlmus was off the bed leading her down the hall towards Lillianna’s room. “If that journal is true and if I’m right, Mystic has already gotten to her.”
Celestial tried to take in what Tahlmus was saying as he knocked on Lillianna’s door. Multiple voices could be heard inside. “Wonder what they are doing in there,” Tahlmus thought to himself, as he sensed Coral, Fleur, and Laguna in the room. The voices stopped, but no movement was made to open the door.
“Lillianna, it’s me. I think I know what’s going on. Please, open the door.”
The door finally opened but it wasn’t Lillianna who answered it, but Coral. “Lillianna doesn’t want to chance seeing you.”
“She won’t have to look at me, but I need to see her.” Coral hesitated, but then opened the door. Tahlmus walked in, and saw Lillianna staring out the window. He glanced around the room as he walked over to her, his gaze pausing on the picture on her vanity. “He looks just like me,” Tahlmus thought as he continued over to Lillianna. “You don’t have to look at me, but I need to place a hand on your shoulder for my magic to work.”
Lillianna just nodded as Tahlmus placed his hand on her shoulder. Closing his eyes, he started muttering words to a spell he remembered reading about. As the spell started to work, he found he could sense every particle and molecule in her body. He was able to find the elixir molecules. Focusing on them, he found he was able to tell exactly what the elixir was made of, and its’ purpose. He also found that the elixir had a signature ingredient that he’d only read about.
“It’s Mystic,” he whispered. All the women turned to look at him, even Lillianna. With his magic spell still working; the elixir had no effect on her. “What is Mystic?” she asked.
“Mystic knows who you are, and he’s been close enough to you to get you to drink an elixir.”
Lillianna started shaking her head. “No… no… I’ve been careful… I…”
“It was made so that you’d seduce me, and take me back to Mystic,” Tahlmus said as he continued to analyze the elixir molecule. “It’s weak though. A few more days and it will be out of your system.”
“Then that means Mystic will be looking for her,” Fleur said.
“What do we do?” Laguna asked.
“We can’t let him find you,” Coral stated.
“I’ll… I’ll have to leave. I’ve put you in danger…I…” Lillianna’s words trailed off as Tahlmus held a hand up to quiet her.
“No,” Tahlmus said. “You stay here. The estate is protected.”
“But the elixir… He’ll find me.”
Tahlmus shook his head. “He can’t use the elixir to locate you, and he’d need a stronger connection to you to use a spell to locate you.”
“But he has Kanes.”
Tahlmus shook his head again. “With all the enchantments I have around the estate, he’ll never get a location. We are safe here, as long as you don’t leave the estate.” Lillianna just nodded. Tahlmus could see fear in her eyes. “Go to sleep,” he whispered as he cast a spell to make her sleep. He then carried her to her bed. “Coral, Fleur, Laguna, stay with her,” he said as he magicked up extra mattresses, blankets and pillows. The three women nodded. “Celestial, please come with me. We need to talk… and I’m pretty sure you won’t like what I have to say.”
“Then why should I come?”
Tahlmus shrugged. “I guess you don’t have to,” he replied, “but I hope you do,” he finished as he turned and walked out the door. Celestial stood there unsure of what to do. Tahlmus never really asked for much, but she thought she knew what his words were going to be and she wasn’t ready to hear them; didn’t want to hear them.
“Go to him Celestial,” Coral said. She still didn’t understand how she could have heard what Celestial was thinking, but she had. “Maybe it’s not going to be as bad as you’re thinking.” Celestial turned to Coral, who continued before she could ask anything. “And if it is, you have to convince him otherwise, for all of us.” Celestial wanted to ask questions, but she knew Coral was right. So she left heading towards Tahlmus’ room.
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