Chapter 29

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-Laelyn-

After getting over the shock, Brent explained what he thought happened. He said he felt like a voice in his head had taken over, and he had to fight to be in control of himself.

"Sounds like possession to me," Cowyn assumed. He and Mason had stopped the bus when they'd heard the first screams. "Do you think... Was that Daeva?" Beckham and I nodded.

"So she can possess us, whenever she wants? Why doesn't she just do that, then?" Mason asked. "Something about this just doesn't make sense."

"I thought she wanted to kill us," Tayvis said. I shrugged.

"That's what I thought, too," I said. Beckham looked up from his journal and chewed his bottom lip.

"I mean, that's what Father told me," he said. "But if she knows where we are, and she can take us over at any time... It makes no sense, logically. If I were in her position, I would want the immunes out of the way as quickly as possible. So why isn't she killing us now?"

"Aren't you the one who's supposed to know all about this stuff?" Chanson asked sarcastically, standing up from his seat in the back of the bus. "Seems to me like you're setting us up for disaster, anyone else?"

"No one's keeping you here, Chanson. If you're so skeptical about it, why don't you leave?" Beckham said in a friendly tone, a much kinder response than I was expecting. Chanson seemed to think about it for a second before sitting back down. Beck laughed a bit, freezing as I gave him a questioning glance.

"What?" I asked.

"Nothing," he lied, smirking. I gave him a pointed look. "He'd just do anything to be around you, that's all."

"That's not true," I said. "He's just trying to help."

"Himself," Beck added quietly, but I heard it. I didn't know what his problem was. I sat back and relaxed as Mason started driving farther with Cowyn to guide him, everyone looking more tense every second.

***

I was jolted awake by another scream. What now?! Looking to the back of the bus again, I saw Tayvis in full fire mode: eyes glowing, hair ignited, flames engulfing both hands. Cowyn was hiding under a seat, which soon became a bonfire. He was quick to hide under the next one.

"Laelyn, get down!" I heard someone shout. Not taking time to identify the voice, I fell to the floor just as a deadly sphere of fire flew through the air where I had been. A hand grabbed my arm and pulled me towards them - Cowyn. I soon realized we were abandoning the bus. We hurried to the front of the bus, scrambling under the seats to avoid Tayvis. All I could hear was the terrible high pitched laugh coming from Tayvis' direction, eerily familiar but too hard to place in all the confusion. I coughed from the growing smoke cloud just above me and began moving as quickly as possible. Finally, we made it to the doors and rushed outside the now flaming bus, gasping for air. Beckham and Mason were already outside.

Cowyn and I helped a few more people off the bus before the flames were too widespread for us to get closer. Beckham yelled for me to follow him somewhere, but I couldn't stop staring at the bus. We can't leave these people to die. I shook my head, looking at the flames climb higher and higher.

"We can't save them now!" Beckham yelled. I couldn't move. These people were dying because of us. "They knew what they were signing up for, Lyn. This isn't our fault." He pulled me behind him and we fled to the forest with Cowyn, Mason, Isaac, Mai and Alyrica.

***

"Geez, took you guys long enough," we heard someone say as we got to a clearing in the trees. Chanson was leaning against a tree, arms folded and a smirk on his face.

"Wha- How did you get here?" Beckham asked. Chanson let out a laugh. "You weren't there when we left, how'd you have the time to get here before us?"

"Time's a funny thing," Chanson responded. "By the way, I got everyone out. They're safe at home, mostly just minor burns. I had to leave Tayvis, though I'm sure he's fine with the flames."

"What? How..." Beckham trailed off. "What's your magic potential?"

"Time manipulation," Chanse shrugged. "I just froze time for a bit."

"Really?" I gasped. "That's so cool!" I mentally slapped myself. That sort of thing is normal here, Laelyn!

"Eh. I'm just glad everyone got out alive. They would've died."

"Thank you," I said quietly. Chanson turned to Beckham.

"Do you hear that? People could have died. This isn't a game. These people have lives too, you know," he said angrily. Beckham walked closer to Chanson, who didn't back down in the slightest.

"Listen, no one forced you to come!" Beck said, his anger rising.

"No, but obligation is a big part of this. You made it seem like if we didn't come we'd be ignoring a terrible problem, made it seem like we needed to save the world. If it weren't for me, those people would be dead," he explained harshly. "And you don't care."

"I don't care? You think I don't care?" Beckham repeated.

"People are risking their lives for you, and for what? Death isn't something you should take lightly," Chanson shot back. I stepped back and shared a look with Alyrica. This wasn't going to end well.

"And how would you know that? Have you ever had someone close to you die?" Beck asked. Chanson laughed.

"Have you?"

"I watched my father get murdered!" Beckham yelled, effectively shutting Chanson up. "I know what we're dealing with! Daeva is dangerous, okay? I know! If you accuse me one more time-"

"What? What are you going to do?" Chanson taunted, finding his voice again and staring Beckham down. Beck seemed too angry to respond, staring straight back. Suddenly, I saw a small smirk on his face. Oh no.

All of the sudden, Chanson's eyes shut as he fell to a crouching position, holding his head and screaming in pain. Cowyn rushed over to help, but Chanson pushed him away, still wincing as he forced his eyes open.

"What was that?" Chanson asked weakly, anger still evident in his tone. Beckham shrugged.

"Just a dream," he smirked. "Sorry, did I do that?" Chanson's face took on a look of pure anger as he pushed Beckham's shoulders, effectively angering him more as well. Beck pushed back. I have to stop this.

"Beck, stop!" I yelled, grabbing his arm and attempting to pull him away from Chanson. I knew it wasn't the same person, but all I could think of was the images flashing across my mind of the real Chanson, getting hit again. I couldn't stand by and watch that happen.

"Me? This idiot started it!" Beckham spat. He turned to stare Chanson down again, but instead he was greeted with a fist. I gasped and let go of Beck's hand. Chanson had punched him. Beckham's hands curled into fists as he looked back at Chanson. "You've just made the biggest mistake of your life," he warned. In one swift movement, he'd grabbed Chanson by the shoulders and slammed his back into a tree, throwing a fist at his face.

"Beckham!" I yelled. He and Chanson ignored me and kept fighting. I felt a surge of emotion and extended my arms, intending to pull Beck away, but all I saw was a bright flash of light and Beckham flying backwards.


Author's Note!

OMG GUYS WE ARE #294 IN SCIENCE FICTION OMG and  we reached over 700 reads! SEVEN FREAKING HUNDRED! That's so exciting!!! Thank y'all so much for reading this, it's still so unreal that people read my stuff. I hope you liked this update! Any guesses on what happened at the end? 

Love you all, see you next chapter!

Savy

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