Chapter Twenty-Four

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I am updating today because, for the next week, I will not be at my computer... at all. The next update will be next SATURDAY!

Thank you Ashton15 for the picture!

Happy New Year (in advance)!!

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It's a sixth sense feeling when someone's watching you. And that's how I was woken up. I felt someone watching me, and when I saw a dark, hooded figure looming over me, I almost screamed.

It wasn't Mikko; the figure seemed to have a human shape. It wasn’t Nikki either, because the figure was too short.

Looking out the window I saw that it was still very dark, so I didn't get any light from outside.

"Who are you?" I asked terrified. Someone had to be on their way if my guards were taken out.

The movements were deliberately slow. "I don't mean you any harm." The woman's voice was familiar. "I'm here to offer you protection."

"Protection?" I pressed the button on my lamp. "Protection from whom?" Once the light hit her face, I recognized her. "You're that witch from the restaurant."

She nodded once. "I am. Though I am surprised you recognize me so quickly."

Her face was beaten. Bruises littered her eyes, jaw, and even a huge one on the right side of her forehead. She had bruised swelling under her left eye, suggesting that she had taken a few hits to that spot. It looked like she had stepped into the ring with a boxer.

"I want to protect your children." She tried to smile, but the motion hurt her bruised face. "This is the only chance I may get to perform the ritual on you."

"You can't do a ritual on me. I don't know you and I don't trust you."

She held her hands out. "I don't want anything back for this. I know my sister would've wanted me to protect Mikko's children. I won't live to see what they look like, so I need to protect them like I can."

"Your sister?" I was confused. "Who is your sister? Why would she want to protect Mikko's kids?"

She shook her head and pulled out a vial. "I don't have much time." I scooted away from her when she reached in her cloak and pulled out a book of matches. "I told you I'm not here to harm you."

I scooted away from her to the opposite side of the bed and quickly pulled out the gun. I had one in each side table. "That's not exactly reassuring. You were with Marshall."

Her brows rose momentarily as she set the matches down. "No one wants to be held by Marshall Alexander. No one gets away from him alive."

I kept the gun pointed at her. "You look like you're doing just fine."

She shook her head. "I'm not free from Marshall. What you see now is a very strong spell. Once I'm gone, I'll be right back in Marshall's captivity." She reached into the cloak again. "This might get a little messy." She pulled out a vial of blood. "This is what Marshall took from you."

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