Chapter 16: (De)Pendant Power

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The Heart of a Mate: Chapter 16: (De)Pendant Power

Lauren's POV

               My mother and father sat on the couch opposite Jay and I, my mother still beaming at her belly. Every time she glanced down and caressed the bump, it made me wonder if she had been this elated when she fell pregnant with me. 

"I think we're going to go with the name 'Julien'." 

I cleared my throat, "That's great, but that's not why we're here." 

My father looked at me, his eyes searching my own with, of all things, respect. "Then why are you here, son?" 

I pulled the pendant into view from under my shirt, the chain still draped around my neck. "I recently obtained some information that the same Vampire that rebelled four years ago is after the pendant, under the belief that she can use it to over throw District rulers..." 

His eyes widened a bit. " - and how can I be of assistance?" It felt odd talking to him like this, he actually held a level of respect for me - so unlike he used to. 

"I was never really educated on the true power of the pendant and it would be a great help to me now." 

"The pendant only holds the power that it's beholder will establish." 

Jay gave me a knowing glance, "Makes sense." I remarked, not really in the mood to fill the prior Sayrin in on the story. "So it's basically only as powerful as its owner - do other districts have such artifacts?" 

"No, that's why others call on you in time of need, you hold all the power." I let his words sink in, the depth of them weighing on my shoulders. 

Jay took my hand and I braced myself for the harsh words that would undoubtedly come out of my parent's mouths...but the words never came. Instead they smiled in acceptance. 

Jay leaned forward on his knees, unphased. His eyes were stuck in a set of determination. "What can you tell us about contractors? Is there any way to stop them?" 

He shook his head and looked at my mother with a pained expression. "Death is their only stopping point. Either kill them or those that employed them." I sighed and gave up the thought. "How many are after you?" 

"One that I know of..." I stared out the window, the dark sky looming over my head. "It's getting late, Jay and I still have some business to attend to tonight." We all stood and made our way to the door. 

"Come see us again baby." My mother hugged me, followed by a handshake from my father. 

               I leaned against the wall and balanced on the dresser against the far wall. Pyro and Jay were a few feet away, Jay working on the wrappings that circled Pyro's chest. I watched in astonishment as they actually managed to get along. Jay had volunteered to tend to Pyro and Pyro allowed it without even one sarcastic comment. He was a lot better now that he wasn't plagued with the Vampire Ashe but his ribs were still broken. After a while, I lot interest at the harmony and turned my focus back to the pendant. I still couldn't understand how one little thing could cause so much chaos. I studied the ruins inscribed around the edges, unsure of what any of them actually meant. I held it at arm's length, attempting to make sense of it all as a bigger picture but nothing about the pendant was understandable. Just when I was about to drop it, it warmed in my hands just like it had before. Light exploded from the center, the force pinning me against the wall. It enveloped Pyro's entire being. My heart thrummed in my ears, my mind racing back to the first memory I cared to remember. 

               My mother tugged on the black buckle that held the ceremonial white leather flush against my small chest. "Remember to be nice to him - even though he's a boy - you two will still rule this district one day." I swallowed hard. I was accompanying my father to a meeting with the Grand Levi, a rare occasion since not much was going array. His son would be there as well and, as I'm told, he's difficult. 

"Yes mother." I replied obediently. 

My father walked in and I fought the nerve to shake. "For god's sake Lellie - quite babying him." 

"But father -" I shut my mouth the second he looked at me, his eyes slit and furious. He readied his hand to slap me, but stopped when my mother made a noise of worry. He sneered something in her direction and stormed out. Without another word, she walked out to the carriage and saw us off. 

               I followed the Sayrin as instructed, my hands sweaty with fear that I would anger him at any second. 

"Welcome gracious Sayrin." The Grand Levi smiled and tipped his head. "That can't be Lauren..." 

My father looked down at me with a disappointed sigh. "Oh, but it is." 

The Grand Levi noticed the sudden change in the air but still managed to smile. "We're meeting in the garden, please follow me." 

The garden was similar to the one at the Grand Estate so it really held no interest to me. "Where is Pyroenthesis? I hear he's already completed his formal training and moving on to weaponry." My father smiled and I couldn't help but feel like he liked Pyroenthesis guy better than me. 

Daddy I -" He back handed me, the force causing me to stumble. 

I wanted to cry but I knew I would regret it if I did. "Please Sayrin, he's just a boy -" 

"He's six, he's old enough to know his place." He looked at me with a disgusted glare, as usual. I couldn't understand why he hated me so much, had I done something I couldn't recall? 

The Grand Levi looked around in slight desperation. He offered an open gesture. "Pyroenthesis, son, come to my side." 

A boy a few years older than me took the place by the Grand Levi's side, his hair was the color of uncontaminated snow and his luminescent blue eyes shown almost as bright as the sun. The intensity in them almost made me look away but the emotion held my gaze. There was burning anger in his smug grin. "My greatest honor Sayrin." He bowed the way a second term warrior would. "...and to you." He faced me and I instinctly stepped back. The fact that I was a bit afraid seemed to please him. 

"He has such respect - you should be proud." My father and the Grand Levi continued talking but I couldn't pull my attention away from the other son. He wasn't natural, he seemed so wound up, like a bomb getting ready to explode.



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