Chapter Thirty Six: Jasmine

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"I don't like this, Brae. We shouldn't trust her; she was plotting to kill us."

"Was plotting. That was before she met us. She wouldn't now. When I confronted her about it... she was so upset... I think she's really changed, and I think that scares her."

I glowered but kept quiet. If Brae had decided to put our fates in Roxy's hands then there was really nothing I could do. At that moment, Rowan caught up with us. "You're sure she'll be there, Arcan?" he asked for what must have been the hundredth time.

"Yes, Rowan, you have my word. We will not leave without her." Rowan had been extremely reluctant to come this far without Lorelie and Brae's assertions that Roxy - a Helian - would bring her to us hadn't made him any calmer.

We were almost at the meeting place, Sephans and Brizans in tow. Those thought to be under Control hadn't been told anything, as we weren't really sure what the Helians had done to them. They seemed content enough to follow where their leaders took them though.

Convincing the Sephans and the Brizans that they needed to leave had been easier than I had anticipated. It had probably helped that they had been so paranoid about the Helians to begin with. Erica seemed relieved to have a reason to go, she didn't want any proof at all. But Rowan had seemed particularly interested in my dreams and I got the impression that he would quiz me further once we were out of immediate danger. For now, his only concern was Lorelie.

"I can see them," Brae said suddenly, pointing. There were two black silhouettes in the distance. I felt that saying it was them with such certainty from this far away took a lot of faith on Brae's part.

However, as we got closer, I could see that it was definitely them. Lorelie looked peaceful, almost serene, apparently unperturbed by her predicament. I looked at Roxy, expecting to see either malice or nerves, but her expression was as calm as Lorelie's.

Something was wrong.

"Stop!" I hissed, grabbing hold of Brae's arm, but it was too late. Cloaked figures were emerging from the shadows in the trees all around us. We were trapped.

Before we could move, fire sprung up on every side, blocking our escape. The heat pushed the others back into a tight circle, but I stayed where I was on its fringes, relishing the warmth of it hitting my skin. Perhaps it was due to my anger at the trap; my blood must have been boiling far hotter than flames. After all my work, Brae was still in danger. But I wasn't going to let the Helians win now.

Rowan and Euphrasia sent streams of water at the flames to try and quench them, but there was only two of them against an unknown number of Helians and they barely made a dent in the blaze.

Erica clenched her fists and closed her eyes and moments later the ground began to tremor and shake as she created an earthquake. A few of the Helians were thrown off their feet and some of the fires stopped.

The Arcans sprang into action too, creating whirlwinds to buffet the Helians who were still standing. The Helians had the advantage of numbers, but the variety of powers they were facing made it much harder for them to sustain their attack. The amount of water the Brizans were firing out also made it difficult for them to keep producing flames.

Feeling useless, I retreated away from the fighting with Brody and Nolan, who were both in the same situation as me. As battles raged on all sides of us, we were forced to cower and watch.

Within the melee I could see Imogen battling fiercely against Avery, the Helian sending out flame after flame while Imogen buffeted her back with gale force winds. Avery was blown off her feet and fell to the floor with a crash, but as she went down, she sent a huge ball of fire at the exuberant Imogen, forcing her to dive suddenly to the left and land on the ground in a heap.

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