Winch woke up to the sound of screaming and launched himself out of bed and up the stairs before Moriah could stop him. Another scream went up and he ran faster to Ethan’s bedroom in time to see Ethan hovering over his bed in a panic, trying in vain to grab on to something. Winch stared at the scene, dumbfounded because he couldn’t see if anything was holding Ethan. Moriah walked in and started laughing.
“Ethan, It’s okay;” Moriah said as she moved past Winch and took Ethan’s hand in hers. “You need to calm down, Ethan. What’s happening to you is normal and I know it’s scary but you need to trust me.” Ethan panicked and kicked his legs like he was running.
“Down, I want down.” He sobbed out.
“I know you do, but you need to calm down first. Your magic is holding you up.” Moriah said with a small smile.
“I don’t have magic, my sister does!” Ethan shouted, eyes looking a little wild through his tears.
“Your sister’s magic came to you when she died, remember? The glowing dusts?” Winch said as he came out of his stupor finally and walked to Ethan’s bedside. “It’s yours now.”
“But I don’t want it! I want April to have it!” The tears were coming faster now that Ethan wasn’t panicking about being suspended in the air. Slowly, Ethan sank down and into Moriah’s arms. Winch hugged them both and sighed.
“I know, but she’s gone now and she passed it to you.” Moriah said to Ethan as she cradled him.
“I want them back.” Ethan kept repeating it over and over again like it would being them back. Winch pushed a hand through his brown hair and sighed in frustration at the fact that he could do nothing for the boy. Moriah patted his hand and smiled.
“Maybe some tea, Beau.” Winch was grateful for the exit and nodded to her before leaving the room to get the tea. Beau descended the steps and ran in to Gabe who was sitting on the steps, holding an already warm mug of tea.
“It’s time you did some story-telling, Beau.” he said. Winch’s shoulders sank and he nodded.
“There’s only so much I can tell you, but come on.” Winch said as he went down the stairs to the kitchen.
“That’s a good place to start. Now I know who’s behind the boy’s troubles.” Gabe said as he looked in to his tea mug. Gabe watched Winch make tea for the two upstairs and then took it up to them. When he came back down, his own tea was ready and he sat down with the mug.
“Werewolves. Like we fought in DuHiel.” Gabe swore and slammed the mug down.
“And just when were you going to inform the watch that they’d over taken the town? When they got here” He demanded.
“In the morning. I was more concerned about Ethan. He’s mine now. I intend to do right by him where my own father failed.”
“You father didn’t fail just you, Beau. He failed me too.” Gabe said.
“All the more reason not to fail him so soon. He’s important, Gabe. Moriah says so.” Winch said. “but you’re right. I should have told the Watch first and then come here.”
“I’ll tell them, but first I need details.”
“From my count at the attack yesterday, we’re looking at close to three hundred living and hunting in the Marsh. Blue is gone. The Keep too. I wouldn’t be surprised if himself took his griffin BlackWing out as soon as the attack happened;” Winch said, then dropped the last part. “I cannot say that he’s behind it.” As soon as the words left his mouth, Winch was overcome with a vise-like feeling on his skull. He groaned in pain and grabbed his head. Gabe waited out the episode, he knew what was happening to Winch and there was nothing that he could do. Gabe watched Winch’s eyes go pain-blind and moved the mugs out of the way. The whole thing should have lasted only a few minutes, but when it went on longer than it should have, Gabe’s eyes narrowed with suspicion. Looking around, he spotted a mirror bright copper pan hanging against the wall on a peg. Lord Baxter’s face was in the pan and when Gabe took the pan down and looked in to it, he smiled and got an odd sense of satisfaction from smashing the pan till it was a mangled mess. Gabe watched as Winch slowly took his hands away from is head.
“Bastard was watching you stuffer,” Gabe said as he held up the pan. “I took care of it.”
“Moriah’s going to kill you for smashing that pan.” Gabe laughed and Winch just gave a small smile through the pain still pounding in his head. Moriah came in then with the tea-things and looked at the both of them. She set the try down and walked over to Gabe, placing her hands on the sides of his face and murmuring a few words to take the pain away from him.
“I see he told you as much as he could, right up to the pain of the binding.” She said as she put her hands on her hips and stared the both of them down as she saw her pan. “Gabe, you idiot! That was my best pan!” Her anger at seeing the pan a mangled mess set both men off again and while they were laughing, Winch wrapped his arms around Moriah’s waist and drew her in for a kiss. When they separated, Moriah slapped the back of Winch’s head.
“You’re still not getting off the hook for smashing my best herb skillet,” She said, then pointed at Gabe. “and you owe me another.” Moriah shook her head when Gabe snickered and waved the pan at her. Winch shook his head, but he was smiling.
“How’s the kid?” Gabe asked when things had gone quiet.
“Calmer now, but he’ll have a hard time if he stays in shock. More nightmares and his magic pulling ticks like this will jolt him out of it; as much as I hate to wish it upon anyone: he needs the tricks.” Moriah leaned against the kitchen counter and sighed. “I can’t go with you to the Capital right away, Gentlemen, but I’ll follow as soon as I can.” Gabe’s head snapped up.
“I’m not leaving…” he was cut off by a look from Moriah. “Maybe I am. Who knows? The City of Steele might be good for me this time around.” Winch snickered.
“You’ll leave about noon time. You can’t forget the other boy.” Moriah said as she moved toward the stairs and started down them.
“What -” Winch was cut off by a loud banging on the door to the tower. He and Gabe collowed Moriah down and where there when she opened the door. Raife and Sam tumbled in, holding a small sandy-haired boy and covered in muck.
“We found him..” Raife stammered.
“Bloody weres!” Sam cursed.
“They almost had him.” they finished together as Winch took the boy in his arms and Moriah wiped some of the muck from his face.
“I thought he’d been lost;” Winch said. Gabe looked over his shoulder.
“Who is it?”
“Tom Julnickle. They left in a wagon weeks ago, trying to reach Millwood.”
“A Wagon? With those things out there!?” Gabe swore then and took Tom in his arms.
“Quiet! You’ll wake Ethan!” She said as she hurried up the steps with Tom and Winch. “Do not let those two in here until they’ve wiped that muck off!” She said over her shoulder to Gabe as Raife and Sam tried to enter the tower.
“Clean off and come back. I want a full report on what you saw. Warn the others at the barracks.” Gabe said. “Tell them I said to break out the silver.” Raife and Sam saluted and left and Gabe ran up the steps and nearly ran over Ethan as he was coming out of his room.
“What’s going on?” He asked. Gabe looked down and picked up Ethan.
“Another little boy was just brought in, come on. Maybe you can help.” Gabe started back up the steps, flinging Ethan on to his back.
“How can I help?” Ethan asked.
“Well, he’s about your age, maybe seeing you won’t make us seem so scary.” Gabe answered as he and Ethan walked in to the room where Moriah and Winch were working on Tom.
“Hey! That’s Tom!” Ethan said as he wiggled down and ran over to the table. “What happened?”
“He and his family were attacked by the same things that killed your family,” Gabe said as he pulled Ethan back from the table and out of Winch and Moriah’s way. Ethan was about to ask another question when Tom started screaming and bucking on the table. Moriah and Winch laid on top of him so he wouldn’t hurt himself and Tom clawed at their arms. Ethan was so startled by Tom’s sudden screaming that he unleashed a bolt of yellow magic and it hit Tom in the forehead. Tom collapsed, but was breathing. Ethan was so stunned his mouth was caught in an O and the adults were just staring at Ethan.
“Uh oh.. I’m in for it now.” He muttered. Moriah snorted out a giggle.
“You didn’t hurt him, little one. He’s fine. Come look,” Moriah said as Winch and Gabe smothered their laughter. Ethan walked over to the table and watched Tom breathe slowly. “You just hit him with a sleep dart.”
“Lady Moriah?” Ethan asked as he studied Tom’s features.
“How did I know how to do that?”
“You’re instincts and your magic took over when you were startled. In this case, it helped, but you will learn to control it so that you don’t hurt someone with something far more dangerous.”
“How will I learn?”
“You’ll go to the Capital soon, Winch and Gabe will take you to the Academy.”
“You’re sure I didn’t hurt him?” Ethan asked, he was sure he was going to get into trouble.
“No. You didn’t hurt him;” Moriah answered and she patted his cheek. “and you’re not in trouble.” Ethan let out the deep breath he had taken before asking his question.
“I wish I had magic when those things attacked.” He said and the adults didn’t know what to say to him. Gabe and Winch placed their hands on Ethan’s shoulders and they watched Moriah go back to work on the little boy who was on the table in front of them.
“You can help now, Let’s go make Lady Moriah and Winch some tea.” Gabe said and he led the little boy and his sadness out of the room.