Before Perrie could determine
a response, she sensed an abrupt and unwelcomed disquiet. Though uncertain of its direction, it did seem beyond the current
goings-on of the compound. As her eyelids tightened, her breath lessened and
became shallow. More focused. Slowly
the darkness faded and a very faint window opened. The location appeared—
familiar; but, not a pleasant place to be.
Though she sensed an
uneasiness that went beyond the normal day’s goings-on, Perrie, members of Traverse and their entourage made their way
to the judge’s chamber to wrap up the in-camera sessions.
Her Counsel walked up
ahead. On her right the band’s frontman and the EeDellon-born bearer of
the missing shard of her heart. To her left the keyboardist; an elder brother,
a Crystalline-born son of The Ancients, and witness to her creation. Both had
an iron-man grip of each hand and also sensed a suffering.
They turned down a corridor
just off the atrium. Perrie noticed a tall, gaunt-looking man step out from a
doorway. He stood there— motionless with his head lowered and seemed to
stare at nothing but the floor. He also stood directly in their path. As she watched her legal team split and walk around him, Perrie could see his worn and crumpled attire. His short, dark hair appeared equally unkempt.
When he took a sideways
glance in their direction and the distance between them closed, Perrie registered the empty look to his face. As Perrie’s eyes met with his, he raised his head and straightened tall. The corners of his mouth took a wicked turn and he drew in long deep breath. As he cocked his head back, his eyes widened and an unquestionable look of contempt greeted her.
Perrie watched as he
pulled his left hand from the coat’s pocket. Slowly, he raised his arm…
disembodied voice shouted.
Another voice reverberated,
“He’s got a gun…”
Perrie heard the pop.
Saw the flash and billow of smoke— and watched the projectile speed toward
her. Upon piercing her chest, she felt the searing heat of the steel and its
jolt to a stop. She heard choruses of loud voices as her knees faltered and buckled.
In a seemingly slowed
motion, Perrie hooked forward and lurched back. She heard the scuffle that ensued;
wrestling the gunman to the wall. She felt a tightened grip of her upper arms
as those on either side, lowered her to the cold marble floor. Amid the shouts
to subdue her attacker, frantic voices called out her name. Blinded by the luminous
lighting, Perrie narrowed her eyes and turned her face into the hand supporting her head.
Barely conscious of
the ongoing struggle, Perrie convulsed involuntarily when another shot rang out and echoed throughout the close hallway. A warm liquid rose in her mouth. Her eye-lids
She heard her name called
from more than one source. Both physically and Within. She saw worried faces hovering over— but, could not force her lips to voice a response. And while the gun powder settled and stung her nostrils, Perrie also smelled the blood that flowed beneath
her blouse. Felt it trickle the length of her side and pool underneath.
Her eyes continued to
close slowly and reopen. She focused her blurring vision on her beloved as he
lifted her head to rest upon something soft laid at the back of her neck. As
the frontman lowered her head, his long black hair hung as a shroud about his face.
When the fear in his eyes register, Perrie tried— but could not raise a hand to meet them.
Perrie choked abruptly,
when someone pressed an article of clothing to her chest. Blood pooled in her
mouth. The Frontman wiped the blood from her mouth and throat. As her cough subsided, Perrie reached a frantic hand and he took it quick into his own.
'Is this how it ends…?’ she cried Within. There was no
Perrie felt a sudden
curious warmth course through her. And, as the clamor dimmed, her eyelids fluttered
erratically. Her vision grayed and those about her faded into the encroaching
darkness. Here, Perrie slipped into what became a long, but much guarded unconsciousness.
Due only to her part
in filing for divorce, Perrie had finally been delivered into the hands of her Allies.
And all who knew her for her true self understood well the fear of vulnerability.
But, she could not have been more protected. But— had anything remotely
similar occurred but six weeks prior, Perrie would have feared the outcome.
‘That beautiful stubbornness…’ The Old One’s
voice ended the vision, ‘is why you stand here this day.’
Perrie drew in and released
a deep and labored breath. She opened and refocused her eyes once again upon
the Here and Now. To the fire that burned bright in the morning sky. A brisk breeze rose up over the balustrade and grappled the paper still held in her hand. Perrie opened the clipping gingerly and read,
Gunman killed by own gun during scuffle after courthouse shooting
man pulled a gun in a hallway of the courthouse and shot the Stevens woman, as members of Traverse, escorted her to the judge’s chambers for closing statements
of the highly-publicized divorce proceedings. Having been shot in the chest, she was rushed to the county hospital were her
condition is listed as critical.
There is no apparent connection between the unidentified assailant and…
‘How could he hate me so?’ Perrie questioned.
‘Hate drove not his actions that day.’ The Ancient answered. ‘One’s fear does this. The ignorance
this world fosters is deep set and will not be easily abandoned.’
“Are you ready?”
a hesitant voice called from behind.
Perrie stood so lost in thought,
she wasn’t sure whether she heard it physically said or VoiceThought. Once
again her attention shifted as she heard quiet footfalls approach from behind. Drawing
in a deep breath, Perrie recognized the aftershave as two hands touched softly and firmly grasped her bared shoulders.
Knowing that the Old One had
released her, she looked to the gaseous orb and whispered, ‘Thank you, My Father…’
‘I meant not to disrupt ...’ her brother apologized. ‘I
did not know he … It is time, My Sister, to leave.’
Perrie refolded the news clipping
and let the images of what she’d just relived flow into his mind. She heard
a short, hard breath escape him. Felt his hands move across her shoulders; resting
his thumbs at the nape of her neck. Just under the long tress of hair trailing down her back.
Perrie closed her eyes and leaned her head back.
the time an ambulance arrived, Geffen sat cradling your head in his lap.’
With that said, he let pass
his own memory of that day; seen for the first time through his eyes.
The steel clang of gurneys
echoed loudly as EMTs hurried through the hallway. As the keyboardist kneeled
beside his sister and picked up an unresponsive hand, he called to her, Within.
‘You did not answer.’ Her brother whispered in a labored breath.
His grip tightened. ‘Even this time, I believed … I would find there. Waiting…’
On that fateful day, though
she and Geffen had Touched and knew each other well—during her Awakening—they’d only each just stood face
to face; felt the warmth of one’s physical arms around the other. She lay
that day, on a cold marble floor, very near death.
Geffen sat straddling
Perrie’s lifeless body. He’d moved her head to rest upon his thigh
and cradled it there with his bloodied hands. Blood streaked and dried in her
auburn hair after he brushed a few stray wisps from her face. A legal aid continued
to hold the wadded shirt over her chest. The white silk blouse Perry wore that
day now glistened of crimson.
Having heard him call,
Geffen bellowed, ‘she’s NOT THERE.’
Delstau placed his right
hand on Geffen’s forearm to appease him. Straight away Geffen wrenched
his arm free with a force that pitched Delstau back on his heels.
Geffen looked up and
met his eyes, ‘You tell me AGAIN … why I had to let this happen…’
he demanded as a few flashes of light filled the now close hall.
‘You know why…’ Delstau’s calm had no effect on his friend’s anger.
‘Do you know for sure that his aim did NOT improve?’ Geffen
‘If it had, neither you nor I … nor anyone else for that matt…’
As one of the gurneys
forced their way behind her brother, Delstau looked to those still standing around the slain gunman. He could barely see through the many pairs of legs. The Police, witnesses, and other courthouse officials,
all stood giving statements or barking orders. It did look as though someone
had folded part of dead man’s crumpled coat up and over his face.
He watched as the technicians
unfolded a black body bag and then let it drop carelessly to the floor. When
the hallway filled with more flashes of light, Delstau returned his attention to Perrie.
Another set of EMTs
had just arrived and currently worked to force Geffen out of their way. When
someone else removed his sister’s hand of his—
The vision ended.
‘None present in that hallway, the courthouse…‘ He hesitated to finish, ‘None knew how dangerously close we all came to suffering unimaginable dark ...’
‘No more, … Delstau.’ Perrie knew of what he spoke
and refused to hear more. “Please!” escaped her lips in a deep breathy
She pulled herself free from
his hands and turned to stand opposite him. As he brought his hands back to her
face, his thumbs wiped at the tears just beginning to fall. Being over six foot tall, Perrie’s head fell just under his chin as she moved in and took her arms
around and up his back. Folding his own about her, Perrie felt his head turn
slightly to rest his cheek upon her hair.
Once in his embrace
Perrie sensed his concern. Living out of suitcases, months on end, had been a
major part of his life. This tour would be her introduction to a whole new life-style. Had he not left The Brood—an East Sector band he’d played with just prior
to joining Traverse—they may never have come together. And though he’d
been critical to Geffen’s Awakening, he played a crucial role in bringing the two together, Within.
‘Are you ready for this, Little Sister?’ He inquired.
Pulling out of
his arms in order to see his face, ‘Yes,’ she replied with a firm conviction.
‘I am ready.’ Finishing with a smile that broadened across her face,
to take in one final look across the serene view her balcony had afforded her over the past year. She drew in order to savor one last breath of the salted air, pungent sage, and the numerous pines of the
gardens; took in one last sound of the waves crashing upon the isolated shore below.
It will be a good seven months before she is able to return to what she’s come to know as sanctuary.
Back inside, Perrie
replaced the clipping inside her journal and slid it in the portfolio as she lifted the strap up an over her shoulder. She took a quick glance in the mirror and smoothed back her hair. Tugged at the buckle of the belt to her well-worn jeans and slipped on her favorite earth shoes. After a quick adjustment of the long, scrunched off-the-shoulder sleeves, she turned to find her brother
collecting her baggage from the outer room. And with glance over her shoulder,
Perrie whispered, “Good-bye Little Queen.”
The little feline,
still atop the bed, replied with a staccatoed chatter and flipped her tail about; content with her surroundings and reign
of a soon-to-be-emptied household.
Perrie took hold
of the raw linen, tailored jacket that hung on the doorknob and joined her brother.
As they made their way down the long carpeted stairway leading to the foyer, she heard the band’s frontman and
owner of the compound, giving instruction to the housekeeper. He stood bare foot
in jeans, a simple white t-shirt under an aged brown leather bomber jacket. With
an old fedora in his hand and his long black hair framing his face, Geffen looked up to watch Perrie descend at her brother’s
When she saw the
same concern in his dark eyes, she VoiceThought, ‘Yes, My Love,’ she
smiled, as she reached the last few steps, ‘I
am ready for this.’ As she stepped closer, he reached for her hand
and offered only a slightly reassured smile in return.
moved in and took her hands about Perrie’s face and said, “Vaya
Con Dios, Mi'ha!”
Perrie renewed her smile and replied, “Gracias, Senora…” and with watery
eyes, “I will miss our Spanish lessons together.”
Everyone hugged and said their final good-byes.
Once inside the lavish tour bus Perrie sat in quiet contemplation while the rest
of the band slowly filed in. Suddenly that ever-present pang in her chest overwhelmed
her. In that moment, Perrie came to terms with another realized moment in Time. This company of men—most of whom she long ago believed dead—embarked on
more than just a book-signing and concert tour. History would record it
once again, as a long and very dangerous journey home. But first— before
they escape, one last Heartbound needed to be found.