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The Last Spell 34.2

by SilverNight


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

The details of the room blurred around him. Shane no longer felt the pain in his clenched fingers. He no longer saw the expression Cyrin refused to look at him directly with.

He’d stayed on the news channel long after the fire was put out, after the ambulances had shown up, after they’d left with two empty body bags they hadn’t even been able to fill. Even if he’d changed what was on, he knew he would’ve seen and heard the same things. Pronounced dead immediately. Possibility of an accident. Debris cleared. The reporting had changed its tune a few hours later. Traces of explosive discovered on car undercarriage. Assassination strongly suspected.

But no one had had anything conclusive to say about who had done it. They’d tried to uncover the assassin, of course. It had been all the secret service would do for months, investigating suspects only to throw them out. The case still hadn’t been pronounced closed, and never would be, probably, until someone was eventually found guilty. But whoever had done it had gotten away with it to this day.

Shane hadn’t thought he needed them to be caught. He just wanted his parents back.

But strangely, he thought that right now, maybe he did want more than that.

He snapped back to reality when Cyrin spoke again, and Shane realized his eyes were burning.

“He’s got it out for the Houses, but yours most of all for some reason, Shane,” Cyrin said in a hushed voice. They still weren’t looking at him. “I don’t know why. All I know is your parents were the target of his hatred. I wasn’t going to let you become the next.”

Shane wondered why his jaw hurt. He realized he was clenching it.

“Shane?”

He’d been that close to spacing out again. Shane blinked away the beginning of tears, seeing that Cyrin was finally looking his way. He recognized their expression immediately. Minus the feverish glaze in their eyes, it was the exact same heavy, horrified look they’d had when he’d connected the dots for them about his parents back in Storm City. Seeing it again sent a shiver down his spine.

“I really am so sorry,” Cyrin said, in a voice so weak that it sounded like they barely got through the statement.

They’d said that before, too. But while he’d dismissed their pity then, Shane better understood why they’d said it. They must have been thinking of this at the time.

“It’s not you who needs to apologize,” Shane muttered, hearing a dull anger in his voice. It felt like it didn’t belong there. “He will. I’ll see to it.”

Cyrin slowly opened his mouth, but no sound came out for a few moments.

“Shane…” he rasped faintly. “I don’t think you should go to Starlight City. Not if he’ll be there. It’s not safe for you.”

“No. I’m going.” Shane shook his head. “He thinks I’m dead, doesn’t he? He won’t be expecting me there. He might not expect any of us, even.”

“But once he sees you’re not, he’d take a second chance to kill you with glee,” Cyrin insisted, looking at him pleadingly as he shuddered from another labored breath. “I know you want justice, Shane. But please. Don’t seek it there.”

“I don’t plan to let him kill me,” Shane said firmly, deciding he meant it. “But I’ve got a second chance, too. He needs to be taken down.”

Cyrin closed his eyes, taking quick, sharp breaths all of a sudden, and he didn’t know why until he spotted tears leaking out from the corner of his eyes.

“Is the pain getting worse?” Shane asked urgently. “Can I get you—”

“No, no,” Cyrin whispered, shaking his head as he gasped faintly for air. “It’s not that. You don’t— I haven’t—”

They stopped speaking as they choked on what sounded like a very faint sob, squeezing their eyes shut tighter, and Shane felt some of the rage wash away into sadness. This wasn’t right. None of this was right.

“I’m going to fix this,” Shane said quietly, starting to form a plan in his mind. “For your sake, and mine. He’s got no claim on you, Cyrin, and he never should have. I can stop him, but I need your help. I need a spell.”

Cyrin opened his eyes, blinking as they looked at him tearily.

“I would,” they said, their words sounding strangled. “But I don’t know if I’m able to cast anything right now. I…” They drew in a sharp breath, closing their eyes momentarily again. The gold magic glimmered under the skin of their neck like a threat.

The poisoning was doing its work. They were getting weaker. Cyrin didn’t have long left.

Shane slowly reached into his pockets, finding the bronze Flare wristbands that Cyrin had lent him. He held them up.

“Would these help?” he asked quietly. “I know it’s not much, but… I think you could use them right now.”

Cyrin stared at the wristbands, and judging by the single tear that fell more freely down his face, it didn’t look like not much. Maybe something closer to everything.

“Yes,” they whispered.

Shane slipped them over Cyrin’s wrists, letting the metal sit over their skin. When they were wearing both, Cyrin’s shoulders slumped with what looked like tension fading away. An aching sort of sadness had slipped over their face, and although Shane knew this final comfort helped, it broke his heart that he couldn’t do more.

Unless…

Praying that this instinct was the right thing to do, Shane moved from the chair to sit on the side of the bed, wrapping an arm behind Cyrin’s shoulders before pulling him up into a tight hug— a real one, not merely the warm feeling of one. Surprise flashed over Cyrin’s features for a moment, and he worried that it wasn’t well received. But then Cyrin hugged him back fiercely, their arms squeezing Shane with what felt like the last of their strength. Shane closed his eyes, letting Cyrin settle against his chest.

“Thank you,” Cyrin whispered, and he heard a sniff from them.

“Of course,” Shane whispered back. It wasn’t what he really wanted to say, though.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

They held onto each other before a few minutes before he felt Cyrin’s embrace loosen, and Shane gently let go, pulling back. Cyrin leaned away, half sitting up against the headboard. They were still feverish. Still teary. But behind the tears, he spotted a faint determined light in their eyes.

“So,” they said, taking a deep breath. “You need a spell. And if it can take down that bastard, I’ll help out if it’s the last thing I’ll do.”

~ ~ ~

The last of their spell stones felt heavy in the front pocket of Shane’s jeans as he took the steps up to the jet’s boarding door. Cyrin had passed out soon after charging it, and once Shane had reluctantly left them, he’d gotten minimally updated on their situation. While Dawn explained they were traveling— again— to Starlight City and given them the basics of their plan, Kaja had pushed a suitcase across the floor to him and told him to finish the berries in the fridge. Shane wasn’t sure what she’d packed for him, but she’d glowered at him when he’d tried to check it instead of eating, and he’d decided the berries were less likely to give him fierce looks.

Mireya and Leilan, who had already left the hotel by the time Shane had left Cyrin’s room, had sent word that their private jet was ready, and Shane had endured the car ride to the runway with mostly closed eyes. He’d had a thought, as Kaja got Cyrin into a separate car with an eyebrow raise from the driver, that it was back to him, Kasumi and Dawn in the back of a car, leaving this hotel like they had a week ago. And to think that they were here now, with far greater concerns than an annoying mayor to meet with.

Leilan was at the top of the jet stairs, greeting Kasumi and Dawn softly as they passed him. Kaja was already inside, having rushed in to get Cyrin in a seat. Even though Shane tried not to look too much at the unconscious mercenary, the shock of seeing them limply heaved around by Kaja when they’d always stood tall and with poise got to him every time he glanced their way now.

Shane swallowed as he neared the top, feeling Leilan’s eyes on him. He slowed to a stop on the last step, and Leilan gently put a hand on his shoulder, silently asking him to meet his gaze.

Taking in a deep, shuddering breath, Shane looked up. There was a sad softness in Leilan’s eyes, and he understood the silent message almost immediately— How are you doing? I want to talk to you soon. Shane nodded just barely in confirmation, and Leilan offered him the faintest of smiles, removing his hand and letting him enter.

Mireya was in the first seat in the plane, staring distantly out the window, with her feet up and an earring in the shape of a mushroom clutched in her fingers. He was about to walk past her and find a seat further back, but she turned to him, giving him a questioning look.

“Hey,” she said, still looking him over, a slight frown on her face.

Well, that meant something. Shane stopped in the aisle.

“Hey,” he said simply.

Mireya straightened a little, and it seemed like he’d guessed correctly. She had more to say.

“So, you missed a couple things last night,” she said. “When you left the conversation. Like that, uh, I’m a Saint. That Saint in particular.”

Shane felt the cogs in his brain turning slowly at the news as he stared blankly at her. Maybe he just wasn’t equipped for this kind of processing today.

“Alright,” he said.

His college self would’ve shouted at him for that brainless reply. Really? You’ve met a historical figure and that’s what you come up with?

Mireya raised an eyebrow. “Alright? Are you indifferent or did you know already? Weren’t you a history student?”

“I was,” Shane said. “I guess I’m not as shocked as I could be. Sparrow half-spoiled the news already.”

Mireya snorted. “Of course he did. He loves to feel several steps ahead.”

And apparently, Sparrow had been miles ahead of Shane and getting away without him having the faintest clue.

He glanced over his shoulder, seeing Kaja, Kasumi and Dawn further down in the private jet, with Cyrin in the farthest seat, reclined with their eyes closed. Shane couldn’t see their breathing from this distance, and a slight shudder went down his spine. He didn’t know if he could handle sitting back there.

And Dawn wasn’t sitting next to Mireya, for whatever reason…

Shane slowly sat down in the seat opposite Mireya’s, facing her way.

“So,” he said. “You really did survive the last five hundred years.”

“Seems the world couldn’t get enough of me,” Mireya drawled, her tone sarcastic as her head fell back against the headrest. “Good luck or bad luck? You decide.”

“Well, it’s— it’s certainly nice that you’re still here,” Shane said. “But the world doesn’t know it. It’s been mostly widely agreed on that you were immortal, but to a fault.”

“Not immortal enough for the Fading,” Mireya reasoned.

“Right. Which makes sense, if no one ever survives…” Shane trailed off. “Did you survive it?”

Mireya shook her head. “Not in that sense. I fled Renvara and didn’t go back for four centuries. I’ve never caught the Fading, so I’ve got no idea if I’d survive if I got it.”

That second sentence was… an oddly sad thing to hear, and yet Shane knew he couldn’t fully wrap his head around it. Four centuries was no casual length of time, despite the way Mireya had said it— Shane could think of hundreds of things that had happened in the first four centuries after Renvara had been annexed. And that was a far, far longer time to be missing home that he could ever imagine.

“So, potentially, your immortality is to a fault?” Shane asked, curious despite himself.

Mireya shrugged. “Oh, who knows. I just think of it as nothing having killed me yet. Technically, everyone’s immortal until they die.”

Shane huffed with weak laughter. “Pretty sure that’s not how it works.”

“Maybe not,” Mireya admitted. “I just haven’t had to worry about it. Old age and all the health problems that could come with it don’t happen for me, and despite my dangerous lifestyle, nothing’s gotten the better of me yet, so I don’t know if I can be killed or if I’d simply… resurrect or what have you. Frankly, if something managed to kill me, I’d only be impressed.”

Shane blinked. “Only impressed?”

Again, Mireya shrugged flippantly, crossing her legs. To some extent, it… made sense this might be a casual subject to her, considering how long she’d lived and how she must’ve adjusted. It was still something Shane couldn’t quite wrap his head around.

“I’ve lived a full life,” she said. “I feel like I’ve seen it all, and I’m luckier than most in that way. So… yeah, perhaps only impressed.”

Shane felt a slight frown spreading across his face. This attitude didn’t sit well with him, and he felt like quietly advising that this wasn’t a healthy way of thinking. But he wasn’t fit to judge, given the way his thoughts on his own theoretical death had the same hollowness of passive indifference. Saying something about it felt hypocritical.

Or…

Did it not sit well with him because he related to it?

“Well…” Shane started hesitantly, but the thought he was trying to articulate wasn’t ready for him yet.

Mireya stared at him, her gaze at a tripoint somewhere between impatient, curious, and challenging. His pulse spiked slightly with anxiety from the intent observation. “What?”

Shane took a deep breath, resisting the urge to bite his tongue.

“I’m… probably the last person who should tell you this,” he said, “since I’m going to have a hard time believing my own words, but… there’s going to be more for you to see, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I hope things don’t get old for you. I hope you’ll keep finding excitements, whether small or great, along whatever stretch of life you’ve still got ahead. They’re going to be there, whether or not you’re able to appreciate them, so you might as well try to enjoy them. I…”

Shane dropped his gaze, folding his hands in his lap and staring down at them. He felt the uncomfortable weight of Mireya’s lingering stare on him.

“I’d give you a list of the simple joys in life to watch for,” he said. “Except I don’t have one of my own. But if I make one, I could share it with you, and then maybe we’d both get better at living a life that matters.”

Mireya’s silence was long and heavy, and Shane found himself getting more tense for each second of it that went by, praying that it might end. He nearly spoke again just to fill it, to maybe soften his point somehow— so yeah, if that makes sense, you know what I mean— and he was instants away from nervously babbling when she finally spoke.

“Do you think you could get back to me with that list once we’re done here?” she asked quietly.

Shane knew his answer, but the hushed, almost bleak tone in her voice made him hesitate in saying it. He hadn’t heard her say anything that way before. Maybe it meant she hadn’t heard anything like that before, either. He slowly looked up, trying to read her suddenly cryptic expression.

“I’ll do my best,” he promised. “We have to get through this first, but after that… maybe we can switch gears.”

Mireya leaned back in her seat, her gaze leaving him to rest on the jet’s ceiling, even though her unfocused look made it seem like she was staring straight through it.

“Survival first,” she murmured, like she was thinking out loud. “Living next.”

Shane didn’t have the heart to speak their odds out loud— how any of them could get caught, how a million different things could go wrong on the plan, how for one of them on this plane, survival was a fool’s wish. As much as those threats weighed heavily on him, however, he managed to catch sight of the spark of hope in Mireya’s words. Maybe, just maybe, he’d manage to keep that faint light in mind along with what lay ahead of them.

“It’s got to be possible,” Shane said softly. “It’s got to be.”

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Wed Feb 21, 2024 4:56 pm
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Heathersoso says...



Wow, good story, thank you for sharing.




SilverNight says...


Thank you!!



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Thu Feb 15, 2024 3:07 pm
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Youbeaucupid wrote a review...



Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlights:


Introduction:


SWOOSH! Greetings, lovely Silv! Cupid here, armed with my bow, arrow, and a sprinkle of stardust for an enchanting adventure. Today, I'm diving into the captivating world of reviews with my very own Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlight. It's like the incredible YWS S'more Method, but with a dash of cupid's magic! Let's get flying, shall we?

Fluttering Wings - Initial Impressions:

Oh, dear heart, prepare to be swept away by the whirlwind of emotions in this story. From the very first page, you'll find yourself immersed in a sea of feelings, where sorrow and determination collide in the most captivating way imaginable. It's like stepping into a storm of emotions, but don't worry, I'll be your guide through it all!

Arrow Adjustments - Love Crafting Suggestions:

Now, let's embark on a journey of refinement, where every word is a brushstroke painting the canvas of emotion. While the narrative already sings with the melody of heartache and determination, there's an opportunity to delve even deeper into the intricacies of Shane's psyche. Let's peel back the layers of his grief, exploring the raw, unfiltered depths of his sorrow. Perhaps we can unravel the tangled threads of his memories, revealing the moments that haunt him most vividly, allowing readers to feel every pang of loss as if it were their own.

But it's not just Shane's internal landscape that could use some polishing; let's also shine a light on the dynamics between characters. Cyrin, in particular, is a figure of intrigue, their enigmatic presence adding a layer of mystery to the narrative. However, there's a chance to flesh out their backstory, to reveal the motivations behind their actions and the secrets they hold close to their heart. By peeling back the layers of their character, we can create a more nuanced portrait, one that resonates with readers on a deeper level.

And let's not forget about the world in which our characters reside. The setting, with its hints of danger and intrigue, serves as the backdrop for our tale, but it could benefit from a bit more fleshing out. Let's paint a vivid picture of the world around them, describing the sights, sounds, and smells that permeate the air. By immersing readers in the rich tapestry of this fictional realm, we can transport them to a place where magic and mystery await around every corner.

Finally, let's take a closer look at the pacing of the story. While the narrative flows smoothly overall, there are moments where it could benefit from a bit more finesse. Let's examine the rhythm of the prose, ensuring that each scene unfolds with the perfect balance of tension and release. By fine-tuning the pacing, we can keep readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly turning pages to discover what happens next.

So, dear friend, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work, remember! Mistakes are a writers best friend, they help us keep a keen eye for detail! o((>ω< ))o And a willingness to embrace the beauty of imperfection, we'll transform this story into a masterpiece that will linger in the hearts of readers long after they've reached the final page! :D

Golden Harp Strumming - Heavenly Highlights:

Prepare to be swept off your feet by the golden moments scattered throughout this tale like shimmering stars in the night sky. From the tender embrace of friendship to the fierce determination to overcome adversity, these highlights shine with a brilliance that will leave you breathless! 💫✨

One particular moment that captured my heart is when Shane and Cyrin share a moment of vulnerability amidst the chaos. As Cyrin struggles with their own limitations, Shane offers a comforting gesture, wrapping them in a tight embrace that speaks volumes of the bond they share! It's a poignant reminder of the power of connection and the strength we find in each other's arms.

But it's not just the tender moments that shine in this story; it's also the moments of fierce determination and unwavering resolve. As Shane sets out on a journey to seek justice for his loved ones, he embodies the true spirit of a hero, facing challenges head-on with courage and conviction. It's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love to conquer even the greatest of obstacles. o(〃^▽^〃)o

Cherished Verses - Cupid's Favorite Lines:

"He’d stayed on the news channel long after the fire was put out, after the ambulances had shown up, after they’d left with two empty body bags they hadn’t even been able to fill."


This line captures the raw emotion of loss and devastation, painting a vivid picture of the aftermath of a tragic event. It conveys the sense of emptiness and disbelief that accompanies such a profound loss, immersing the reader in the character's grief-stricken reality. 💖

"‘He’s got it out for the Houses, but yours most of all for some reason, Shane,’ Cyrin said in a hushed voice. They still weren’t looking at him. ‘I don’t know why. All I know is your parents were the target of his hatred. I wasn’t going to let you become the next.’"


This line reveals a crucial piece of information about the character's backstory, adding depth to the narrative and shedding light on the motivations driving their actions. It highlights the bond between Shane and Cyrin, showcasing Cyrin's protective instincts and deep concern for Shane's well-being. 😊

Final Whispers - Closing Thoughts:

As we bid adieu to this enchanting tale, I find myself grinning from ear to ear, utterly enchanted by the journey we've shared. The characters feel like old friends, their struggles and triumphs resonating with the deepest corners of our hearts. And oh, the adventure! It's been a thrill ride from start to finish, each twist and turn leaving us breathless with anticipation.

Here's to more magical journeys, more thrilling adventures, and more unforgettable tales that capture the essence of wonder and joy. Until next time, my friend, may your days be filled with love, laughter, and the magic of storytelling! ✨

Sending you all my love and heart-shaped arrows, until we meet again in the pages of another magical adventure Silv, Cupid! - 💘




SilverNight says...


Thank you Cupid! I appreciate the review and love the format <3




Remember when dad's shoulders were the highest place on earth and your mom was your hero? Race issues were about who ran the fastest, war was only a car game. The most pain you felt was when you skinned your knees, and good byes only meant tomorrow? And we couldn't wait to grow up.
— Unknown