DARK AS NIGHT #3
A Day Yet to Come
by JT Adeline
A FINAL PROPHECY
Before a day without a night,
one will shift over to take on the fight.
He will hide his plan from those he loves to take one on,
to fight alone.
The sisters three must combine as one,
to secure the gateway and make it sound.
One that sees, and one that binds,
the last to protect the one who must hide.
A wish, a prayer, a truth to know. Accept these things, a family once more.
ONE FIGHTS ALONE
Rove Gustavo has a new power and swears his girlfriend to secrecy so he can save his brother from the evil clutches of the Sorceress Kya. Will his family understand or will Shayne Adams return home when blame is thrust upon her?
AN ENCHANTED REALM
Powers grow, love soars and enemies turn friend. Will those who were chosen before they were born protect a magical realm and keep magic alive, or will they die trying to protect something they never knew existed?
BUY THE BOOK
Grief, like nothing she had ever felt before, dropped her to her knees threatening to break her heart. Voices shouted next to her as hands lifted her from the warm brown roof of the barn to securely land her on the ground near her best friend, Teagan Finnegan. Total pandemonium broke out around her as everyone ran in different directions to the injured, as fresh tears fell from Shayne Adam’s eyes making it difficult for her to see.
The once vibrant green grass was now trampled from the battle between good and evil. The Sorceress Kya and her charred black army were gone, leaving behind blackened earth and uprooted ground. Radek Gustavo kneeled by his beloved Francesca with an injured Aradney in her arms; her black burned arms were visible even from where Shayne stood. Roam Gustavo and Maya Stewart knelt next to where Vlad lay lifeless across the field, just feet from where Rove Gustavo had been grabbed by Kya and taken away. More tears trailed down her face at the thought of the one she loves now gone as Diego, former enemy now friend, ran past her and dropped down next to Teagan.
“Vlad is badly injured,” he said with panic, looking down at Rune Gustavo lying lifeless on the ground.
“As soon as I heal Rune I’ll be there,” Teagan wiped away tears with her shoulder. Her magical Celtic sword’s glowing tip touching her right hand where it lay on Rune’s gaping wound, his face almost as white as the streaks in his raven hair. “He’s mortally wounded. My sword is healing him, I can feel it, but he’s healing slowly.”
“Rune?” Dimitri Gustavo’s surprised voice floated through Shayne’s ears and drew her attention away from her heartbreak, as he knelt on the ground near his son. “I saw Kya take him, how is he here?”
“Dimitri, where is Rove?” Adrianna Gustavo cried, dropping to the ground near Rune’s head. “I don’t see him anywhere.”
“Kya has Rove,” Shayne heard herself answer, her voice sounding hollow to her own ears. She lifted her eyes and watched as Rove’s parents turned their surprised gazes to her.
“How can that be?” Adrianna asked, her voice bordering on panic.
“Because Rove has a new power,” Shayne answered, tears streaming down her face. “He can shape shift. I never thought this would actually happen.”
“Rove can shape shift?” Adrianna questioned in both surprise and anguish. “How? When?”
“The night we unintentionally woke you and Dimitri,” Shayne answered, her knees threatening to buckle as she spoke, “Teagan and I had been playing cards in the tree house when Rove joined us shape shifting uncontrollably. He asked us to keep it a secret in case he needed to use it unexpectedly. He came to me last night and told me that if anything went wrong today, he would take Rune’s place to save him.”
“This should never have been kept a secret,” Adrianna protested, looking to her injured son and back to Shayne.
“I’m so sorry, Adrianna,” Shayne pleaded, wiping away tears with shaking fingers as she finally looked into Adrianna’s troubled face. “I didn’t think…”
“No, you didn’t think,” Adrianna interrupted, her voice rising. “Rune is injured and Rove is in the clutches of someone far more evil than we anticipated. No, Shayne, you didn’t think...” her voice trailed off as the ground began to shake under them.
Shayne teetered as the earth shook and trembled. Diego grabbed her arm and drew her to the ground next to him, draping his arm protectively and holding her securely as the ground continued to shake. A white mist appeared to float across the beaten ground, covering it in a sheet of white, until it built in intensity making her shield her eyes from its brightness.
The whiteness diminished as quickly as it had come, bringing the Gustavo living room into focus. Instead of the hard ground, Shayne was now sitting on soft carpeting while Rune was laid out on the couch, Teagan stood beside him her sword split into two, ready to battle whatever was now coming. Maya and Roam stood over an unconscious Vlad lying on the carpet near the doorway to the kitchen, a protective purple barrier surrounding his still form.
“Adrianna, did you do this?” Radek asked from across the room where he stood protectively over Francesca with a sobbing Aradney in her arms, his fangs descended and the color of his eyes red.
“No.” She shook her head, Excalibur gleaming in her right hand. “I don’t have that kind of power, not without a spell.”
“Then who did?” Roam asked with his blue lightning power arcing from his hands as he stood protectively over Vlad.
“You don’t need your power, Roam. None of you do.” The voice was soft, almost musical as it drifted throughout the room. Stars shimmered near Maya, building in intensity until a figure began to appear. Maya popped out another purple barrier as a woman with long blonde hair loosely braided and thrown over the front of her shoulder, appeared in a white tunic and brown slacks reaching her bare feet. Shayne scrunched her eyebrows as she tried to decipher why this woman looked familiar.
“Mother Brea?” Maya exclaimed, her voice catching as tears pooled into her eyes. She dropped her barrier and went into her birth mother’s outstretched arms.
“My beautiful daughters,” Brea said, embracing Maya and kissing her on her cheek. Shayne was sure she heard her incorrectly. Brea withdrew from Maya’s embrace kneeling next to Vlad, touching him on the shoulder. Whiteness, much like the healing power of Teagan’s sword, traveled across his body until he began to stir. Brea rifled his hair and smiled as she stood, going next to Aradney and running a hand down the nightwalkers burns, touching a hand to Aradney’s cheek before turning and gliding to Rune, touching him gently on his forehead. “Shayne,” she said, looking down at Rune as his eyes began to flutter open. “The book, quickly. You must fetch the book of Light and Dark.”
Shayne slowly stood, how did this goddess know her name? Her eyes drifted to Teagan and she froze in place. Her friend was standing stiffly, her eyes riveted on Brea. There was no mistaking the absolute stunned expression on her face.
Shayne jolted in surprise. A photograph of Teagan and her mother popped into her memory as she stared at her best friend and the mother who had abandoned her so long ago. But how could Teagan’s mom be Maya’s birth mom? Brea smiled sadly, going to Teagan and lifting her hand to her daughter’s face, only to have it slapped away.
“Mom? Did you just say, Mom?” Maya questioned, her face showing absolute shock.
Brea took a step back from Teagan, her eyes showing regret and pain. She looked to Maya and then her eyes settled on Shayne. “I’m so sorry, there isn’t time for me to explain, my daughters. We must hurry. Shayne, the book,” she urged, motioning to her.
“Oh, no, no, no,” Teagan demanded using one of her swords as a pointer. “You will explain now.”
“Teagan,” Brea said, her voice maternal. “I only have a short while to accomplish all I have come to do. Please let me…”
“I don’t care!” Teagan yelled, tears pouring down her face. “You left me! Where were you when Dad died? With my sister, you didn’t bother to tell me about?”
“Teagan, please. You have every right to ask these questions,” Brea stated hurriedly. “I really don’t have much time. Shayne, you must retrieve the book and open it. Open it to the black page, hurry!”
“Why?” Teagan asked, placing her body in front of where the book was tucked away under the coffee table. “Tell us why you need Shayne to find the black page.”
“Because her sister, Kya, has embraced black magic,” a man’s deep familiar voice, with a heavy Irish accent, answered moments before he appeared next to Brea wearing similar clothing, except for the leather boots on his feet. “You must know what has been foretold to stop her.”
Shayne’s hand covered her mouth to stifle the gasp leaving her lips as she stared at the man she knew as well as Dracula.
“Dad? How...” Teagan’s swords vanished as fresh tears left her eyes. Her now empty hands went to her face as sobs overtook her.
Aidan Finnegan looked even more handsome than Shayne had remembered him being. His thick, copper brown hair was longer, reaching well past his shoulder blades, his amber eyes just as kind. His body was still muscular, showing even under his clothing. Shayne watched in awe as he left Brea’s side and walked slowly to his daughter, extending his arms toward her in invitation. There was no mistaking the relief he showed when Teagan stepped into his arms and laid her head on his chest. “I know this is hard for you to process, Teagan, and you have every right to be angry with me and with your mom. You have to understand this has all been done for a reason, a reason we cannot yet tell you about. You and your sisters must figure it out on your own.”
Shayne stood rigidly. Aiden just said ‘sisters’, she thought. We’re sisters?
“Then why are you here?” Teagan asked, her voice muffled by Aidan’s shirt. “Why come here at all? So I can watch you leave me again?”
“Aidan, we are almost out of time. We can’t stay longer than allowed.”
“I know, Brea,” Aidan answered. “I haven’t seen Maya since she was a wee baby,” he said as he turned to look at her and then to Shayne. “Our daughters are beautiful.” His voice caught and he ran a hand down Teagan’s hair and kissed the top of her head. “As your mother has said, we only have a short time to accomplish this. The longer we stay the better chance of Kya sensing us and then all will be lost. Shayne must go to the book and touch the black page.”
Brea went to Maya, hugging her and kissing her on the forehead. “All will be explained soon,” Brea said, before going to Shayne and running a hand gently down her face before kissing her cheek. “But be warned and be careful. Kya is deadly.”
Brea returned to Aidan, cupping Teagan’s chin in her hand. “I have never stopped loving you, any of you.” Her bottom lip quivered and a tear rolled down her cheek as she gazed at Teagan’s face.
Aiden’s eyes roamed the room. “You will find what you seek at Vlad’s castle. I’m sorry, that is all we can tell you for now.”
“Don’t leave me again,” Teagan begged grabbing onto her parents. Aidan dried her tears and gently disentangled them both. He moved Teagan to Rune now sitting on the couch and whispered into his ear before stepping away to rejoin Brea, putting his arm around her.
“We won’t be far,” he said nodding to Vlad as their bodies began to shimmer. “Touch the page, Shayne. Read what it says.”
“We will come back to you all,” Brea added. “When the moon is high and the sky is bright and answer all your questions, we promise. Light and love to you, my daughters. Blessed be.”
The room suddenly felt empty and way too quiet. Shayne slowly knelt on the floor by the coffee table and withdrew the book from underneath with mixed feelings running through her thoughts. She carefully removed the black cloth from around it, camouflaging it from being seen by others, and sat down on the floor with her hand on the book’s blank cover. She was Teagan and Maya’s sister. She was the daughter of a sorceress. How did she not know?
“What did my dad say to you?” Teagan asked Rune as she sat beside him.
“To take care of you and remind you that we are all in this together.”
Shayne glanced at Teagan from the corner of her eye, jealousy seeping into her mind as her hand lay still on the book’s cover.
Teagan placed her head on Rune’s shoulder. “Open the book, Shayne. We better find out what the black page says.”
“We can’t open it yet,” Rune said looking around the room. “Rove isn’t here. Where is he?”
Shayne swallowed nervously and spoke before anyone else could. “Rove took your place, Rune. He’s with Kya.”
“Excuse me?” Rune responded, his body jerking in her direction while Shayne avoided his eyes. “What do you mean he took my place?”
“Apparently Rove received a new power,” Roam answered sitting on the arm of the couch next to his brother. “He was able to shape shift into you and allowed Kya to capture him when you were injured.”
“Why? Why would he do that?” Rune questioned. “She’s going to kill him!”
“No, she won’t,” Teagan clarified, placing her hand on his cheek and forcing him to look at her. “As long as Rove looks like you he’s safe. She won’t know the difference.”
“She’ll know if he can’t open the gateway!”
“She won’t be able to open it until the summer solstice,” Shayne interjected keeping her eyes on the book. “We have twelve days to get Rove back.”
“Did you know, Shayne, that Rove could shape shift?”
Shayne licked her lips nervously, running her hand down the cover of the boy’s book. She lifted her tear-filled eyes to look at Rune. “Yes, I knew. I also knew when he was going to take your place. Rove asked me not to say anything.”
Rune ran his hand through his hair. “You knew and still you allowed him to take my place and be taken by Kya! How could you do that?”
“I didn’t have much of a choice, Rune,” Shayne answered, slowly getting to her feet and placing the large book on the coffee table. “I don’t like this anymore than anyone else.” She turned her back on them all and left the room.
* * *
It smelled like an old basement and the surface he had just been thrown to felt like one too. Something clanged shut behind him and Rove Gustavo placed his hands on the cold concrete floor, slowly lifting his head. He peered to his left and wasn’t too surprised to see bars a short distance away. Slowly, he got into a sitting position and looked around. He was definitely in a cell, and could only hope it was in Merlin’s castle.
“Rove! Are you alright?”
Panic tore into him as he scrambled to his feet, grabbed onto the bars and stared into the cell directly across from his. Pappy stood exactly as he was, staring back at him.
“Who did you call me?” he asked unable to keep the panic out of his voice.
“I called you Rove. Did you hit your head? Are you bleeding?”
Rove concentrated, placing a picture of Rune in his mind to turn back into his brother. “Who am I now?”
Pappy stared at him, alarm and confusion showing on his face. “You’re still Rove, are you supposed to be someone else?”
Rove backed up, calling to his dragon scaled ropes, but nothing happened. “Why aren’t my powers working?”
The voice that responded was quieter, but familiar, coming from the far end of his cell. “Do you have black bands around your wrists?”
Lifting both arms, Rove stared in disbelief at the black bands tied securely around both wrists. He placed his fingers underneath and tugged, but they were held fast. “Pappy, what are these? How do I get these blasted things off?”
“You can’t,” Pappy answered, sticking his hands out between the bars to show Rove his own black bands.
“Kya conjured them with black magic from her creepy black book.”
Rove turned, running to the end of his cell and grabbing onto the bars. He knew that voice. A stream of swear words left his lips when he recognized Riebl sitting on the floor of the cell adjacent to his. “At least you’re where you should be!” he snarled.
Riebl picked something up from off the floor of his cell and tossed it through his bars. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, everyone’s happy.” He placed a hand on the floor and hoisted himself to his feet. “Unfortunately, with me here, there is no escape for either of you. And trust me, that’s a bad thing.”
“Trust you!” Rove yelled. “You tried to kill my brother you worthless piece of crap!”
“Now, that’s the old me,” Riebl answered, leaning a shoulder against his bars. “I’ll make it up to all of you, that is, if we can get out of here.”
A laugh escaped Rove’s lips. “I can promise you, if I get out of here you’re the last person I would think of helping to escape.”
“Rove, I have to know, is everyone okay?” Pappy called.
Rove sneered at Riebl before going back to the door of his cell, placing his hands back onto the bars. “I don’t know how everyone is, Pappy. We were battling Kya and her black army, Rune was stabbed and I had no choice but to take his place to save him.”
“Rune was stabbed?” Pappy exclaimed alarmed. “How in the world did you think taking his place would save him?”
“Teagan will heal him and he’ll be okay, he has to be.” Rove placed his forehead on the cold steel of the bars, moments of doubt clouding his mind. He pushed the thoughts aside; he had to assume Rune was fine and right now trying to find a way to get him back from Kya’s clutches. He lifted his eyes to Pappy, knowing they showed his concern. “I can shape shift now, Pappy. It just happened one night. I told Shayne that if things went wrong I would shape shift into Rune and let Kya take me. But now she’s going to know I’m not Rune. She’ll go back once she knows. Pappy, we have to do something or everything I’ve done will be for nothing.”
Pappy sighed, dropping his head down. “It’s these bands. They prevent us from using good magic. I can’t do anything either with these on.”
“What do we do?”
“Pray she doesn’t come in here,” Riebl responded. “She’s totally wacked. She’ll take us all out once she sees your red streaks and not the one she needs.”
“I could care less what she does to you,” Rove retorted, snarling at the nightwalker before turning back to his grandfather. “Pappy, there has to be a way. What do we do?”
Pappy’s eyes stayed riveted to the floor as the ancient wizard slid down to sit on the cold cement. “The only thing we can do, pray.”