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Accordance (Significance #2)(58)

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“Maybe, after some persuasion.”
He leaned forward with a grin and kissed me. I sighed at the rush of calm I got and felt him pull me a little closer over the gear shift. Someone tapped on the window.
Maria.
“Come on, guys!” she said muffled through the glass. “Everyone’s going in and you don’t want to be left out here alone do you?” 
I bit my lip as we laughed and even though we very much wanted to be alone for a minute before making my debut, we got out and walked with her. We walked back to the yard through a door off the side and everyone made their way to the cottage.
I felt confused as to how everyone would fit in there.
“The guardians live here year round,” Caleb explained. “They live in the house but the council palace is underground.”
“Palace,” I whispered.
Then I saw the tree from that Watson’s mind. It lined the side fence. It was massive and just like his memory, it had wound its branches and limbs into the filigree work along the top of the fence. It looked old, like it had been there from long ago.
When we crossed the threshold behind everyone else, I saw an older couple holding open one door that lead right to another, down into a dark hallway. They ushered us in and shut the door, locking it behind us. I felt my heart rate pick up.
“It’s ok,” Caleb soothed. “It’s always this way. This hall takes us down to stairs to the council meeting place. They hide it so there’s never any chance of someone seeing us or wondering what all those people are doing all together like this, you know.”
I nodded and he wrapped his arm around me and kissed my temple. We reached the stairs and started our descent. It was a very long way. Maria was going on ahead of us about the fight today and how awesome it was. How Caleb and I kicked butt, she said. Caleb chuckled, his thoughts affectionate for her. He’d been scared today, watching her in the clutches of the Watsons. That had been one reason he had been so focused and honed into what he had to do.
At the end of the stairs was a door and I could see the glow from the ones going in already ahead of us.
My heart skipped again in anticipation.
I didn’t want to be a freak show. I didn’t want to be on display.
“It’s ok, Maggie. This first day will be bad, I won’t pretend it won’t be but, after that, it’ll be fine and they’ll get used to it. But you have to remember, you’re like a miracle to them. You represent what they’ve been waiting for.”
“Caleb’s right,” Peter said. I hadn’t realized he had stopped to wait for us. “And unfortunately, they are very traditional in the old ways. There are some things you’ll be subjected to that you’ll just have to endure, I’m afraid.”
“Like what?”
“Like the bowing, for one.”
“Oh, come on,” I groaned.
“I’m sorry, dear. But they will think it a disgrace and insult on anyone who doesn’t treat you as the Visionary should be treated in their eyes.”
“Ok,” I conceded. I didn’t want to fight with Peter or disappoint him. And I didn’t want to stomp on their tradition. I just wanted to be normal. “I promise I’ll behave accordingly,” I said all proper making him smile in amusement.
“I’m so very proud of you, Maggie.” He kissed my forehead. “We’ll be with you the whole time. We’ll get through this together.”
I nodded and gladly accepted Caleb’s firm grip on my hand as he towed me into the bright light from the room. It was just like his memory; a big golden room, like a ballroom, with high ceilings and no windows. The floor was gold too and it was intimidating. There were so many people in there and as if they sensed me every eye in the place turned to me. I cringed and Caleb pulled me closer.“You’re ok. You’re just going to have to get used to people seeing you as I see you; amazing.”
Please don’t leave me alone here.
You will not be able to get rid of me, he promised.
As we turned to follow Peter I saw something that stood out among the nicely dressed people. A girl with black hair, dressed in a long purple dress with a small train and her skin white and gleaming. She had an entourage of about fifteen people behind her. One of them looked awfully familiar to me but the girl I recognized right away.
Marla.
“Maggie,” she crooned and came to us.
Peter had stopped too and eyed her curiously. A few others of our family made their way to stand at our backs.
“What are you doing here?” I asked her.
“It’s a Reunification. I’m supposed to be here.”
“But…Sikes attacked us. He-”
“I know all about what Sikes did.” She turned to one of the men. “And thank you, Lionel, for disposing of him for me. He was becoming very bothersome.”
I still couldn’t read her mind and I didn’t understand why, but I got the implication of what she was saying.
“You knew Sikes’s planned to attack us,” I accused.
“Yes, of course. That’s why I sent Lionel with them to make sure that if you didn’t have the stomach to finish my uncle, then the deed would still be done.”
“Why?”
“Because he was ruining everything!” she yelled and came closer, walking as if she was being caressed. “He was wasting our chances on humans. Humans! They didn’t deserve what he was offering them. Your blood, you’re precious gifted blood. And little did he know how precious it was. He had no idea you were the Visionary. So I disposed of the humans to keep them in the dirt, where they belong.”
Caleb’s hand squeezed mine painfully but I didn’t care. She was confessing all. She had waited for this moment and was now reveling in the reveal of her secret.
“You killed those humans?” I croaked as the others started to come forward to witness our heated discussion. “Then why the charade? Why come to us and tell us it was Sikes.”
“To put you off my scent, of course, and it was Sikes’s. He planned to kill them once he got his results but I didn’t wait for that. I didn’t care if the humans could gain abilities or not. I just cared about me. So I took your blood for myself.” 
“You mean you-“
“Yes. I drank it in a poultice, along with the others, but he didn’t know. He didn’t realize what I was doing or what I had done until it was too late.”
“Why, Marla? What purpose did it serve?”
“Well, you can’t hear my thoughts, can you?” I didn’t answer but she knew already. “I know you can’t and the reason why is because your ability doesn’t work on yourself. You can’t see your future or visions for yourself. And now, you’re in me. I’m half you. So, you can’t read my future or my mind either. Lucky me, I get to keep all my secrets.”
“But why?” I asked again more forcefully.
“Because Sikes was ruining everything and taking us down with him. He destroyed our family and now we have nothing. So I got rid of the ones who were loyal to him and brought along the ones loyal to me.” She looked behind her and I held in my gasp when I saw Marcus among her followers. She turned back to me and pasted on a pretty smile for the onlookers who were coming but not close enough to hear. “I intend to rise my family back up and take what was rightfully ours to begin with. Power. Now that Sikes is out of my way the only thing still standing in it, my dear sweet pretty Visionary… is you.”
The End……for now.
Oh, the thank you’s could go on for miles. The readers who have picked up this book and my others as well are the reason I do this. It’s been SO much fun getting to know all different kinds of people from all over the world who have read something of mine. It’s humbling in every sense of the word and I thank you for allowing me to be a little piece of your world. You guys are the best and I love to hear from you! You rock!
Be sure to look for Defiance, the next installment in the Significance series due out Spring/Summer of 2012.
Please feel free to Contact me at the following avenues.

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