He swore and morphed, catching her in his talons as she fell, tangible to him now as she wouldn’t be otherwise, her eyes huge and full of stars as she jerked in the visions grasp.
Her body shook and trembled as the stars swooped and wheeled in her eyes and her lips shaped words that made no sound. Harder, she shook and then harder. There was a pause and then her body arched into a bow and she screamed, a thin, tortured sound from lungs that couldn’t draw a full breath. Samuel grunted, his inability to help her a physical pain, and hugged her closer to him as she slowly relaxed, the stars receding from her eyes. He stared at her, worried, barely breathing, as she lay limp for a full thirty seconds, the time an eternity, until she drew in a ragged breath and opened brown eyes, until they focused on him, until she smiled wanly and touched his cheek.
“Bad one,” he ground out.
“Bad one,” she confirmed, closing her eyes. He said nothing else, just picked her up and carried her to her bedroom. Normally, Lizzy wouldn’t allow that kind of thing, since her bedroom was not close and being carried through hallways and up stairs tended to make people stare, but no one could see her now anyway. No one could ever see her during or after her visions, no one except a fellow Seer, a Cousin, or Samuel. And technically he shouldn’t be able to see her either, but nothing could keep a Guardian from his ward. The enchantment that had changed him was simply too strong.
He set her down on her bed and crouched down beside her, black eyes boring into her. “What did you see?” he growled, wings half extending, cocooning them.
She shook her head, not wanting to think about it. “Lizzy,” he warned, “a vision that intense means danger. Danger means it’s my business. Tell me.”
“Darkness. I Saw darkness.” She closed her eyes, trying not to remember how deep, how just all encompassing, the darkness had been. There had been no end. “Then screams. Fire. People begging, crying, trying to get out. Someone laughing.” She drew in a deep breath, let it out slowly. “Heard someone die, felt their life end. Felt endings. Not just of life, but of possibilities. Doors closing, windows closing. Soon there will only be one possibility left and with it comes chaos, destruction and death.”
“It might as well be, I think. I couldn’t See much of that, but I got the impression of being trapped and helpless. Whatever happens I will not be in a position to help.”
“What happens?” His voice got deeper every time he spoke and the room grew darker, his power solidifying the shadows.
“I don’t know. I only saw generalities. I can’t control the visions, you know that.” She was silent for a long time, listening to his growls as he considered the implications of what she’d said. She sighed and said “I have to do it again, don’t I.” It was not a question.
“Won’t tell you what to do.”
Lizzy dredged up a smile. No, he wouldn’t. It would never even occur to him to request that she go back into the fog.
“If people are going to die, then I have to try to stop it… But then they’ll know. They’ll know I can still do it.” She shook her head, squeezed her eyes shut. “I don’t know if I can do that. I can’t let people know. All that’s keeping me safe is that people have no idea I can still See.”
“All?” It was a deep rumble, ripe with laughter and she didn’t have to look over to see the cocked eyebrow, the laughing eyes.
She laughed quietly and said “Well, almost all. What are we going to tell people? I won’t be back in the world for days after this. I have work to do, deadlines to meet. People will notice that I’m gone.”
There was a long silence where neither said anything and thought much. Lizzy lay there, thinking about doom, futility and curses and next to her, she could feel Sam thinking about death, violence and protecting her at all costs, including blood. Guardians were like that. As long as their ward was safe, the whole world could burn as far as they were concerned.
“Maybe we can say that I’m sick.” She said it without much conviction. After all, that wouldn’t work for the days it would take. Eventually, people would be dropping by to see if she was okay. And then, when they couldn’t see her, couldn’t hear her, couldn’t perceive her in any way, they would know. They would know that her Sight had never left, that she was still a viable Seer and then it would be all over. The demands would start again, the pressing, the persuasion, and eventually, the threats. They would find something that she cared about and use it as a lever. It had happened before and, sure as if she had Seen it, she knew it would happen again if she wasn’t careful.
“I can keep them away,” Sam growled.
Lizzy lifted her head to look at him. “That will just reinforce what they think of you. It will make them more determined to take you away.”
“Let them try. I go where I want, I protect who I deem worthy. They try to change that, they will regret it.”
Her face softened and touched his cheek. “I love you sweety. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“You don’t have to worry about that. Just get back to the world.”