Heather shook her head violently. “No, no I’m not. That woman is see-through and Cage says you are responsible for that thing out there. I’m seeing things again, aren’t I Elise. The black thing has got me … unless … you’re the witch.” She grabbed Elise by the collar, then shriek as her fingers skimmed Roark’s body. “There’s a spider on you! A giant spider!”
“It’s okay,” Elise said again. She waved her finger. “This, my friend, is too much to bear. Go to sleep, you will, and forget to share. You’ll wake rested and full of love, forgetting all of the above.”
Heather looked at Elise for a moment and Elise couldn’t help but see gratitude instead of fear, just before Heather’s eyes drooped shut and she started to snore softly.
“Good thinking,” said Cage as he looked at Heather. “Come on.”
“Where are you going?” asked Rosemary.
“We have to go outside and stop the thing,” answered Elise.
“It’s not a thing, it’s a he,” said Cage.
“What?” Rosemary and Elise said together.
“It’s Paul,” Cage clarified. “The hunter who taught me everything I know.”
“Hunters can’t turn into black fog that shows and makes people feel their own pain,” stated Elise.
“He sold his soul,” said Cage. “I knew it had happened and I went to stop him, but I was too late. By the time I got to the cave, the very cage I found the life stone, Paul was gone. What I didn’t tell you earlier was that there’s something else in that cave. The Dark Onyx.”
“No.” Elise’s hand flew to her mouth.
“Who is Paul and what is the Dark Onyx?” asked Rosemary.
“Paul Campbell was a notorious hunter,” said Elise. “He showed no mercy and killed anything paranormal, regardless of whether their allegiances were with the light or the dark. He wiped out a whole family of Apple Blossom Fairies before I was able to banish him from the valley.”
“Something he had never forgotten,” said Cage. “He had never been bested by a witch and the fact that you were able to banish him from even coming close to getting revenge sent him over the top.” Cage looked at his feet and then back up at Elise. “He trained me with the sole purpose of killing you.”
Roark let out a fierce growl.
Cage held up his hands in a peaceful gesture. “I’m not going to do it. I never was. He tried to teach me to hate all things paranormal, but I saw through the hypocritical bigotry of it. How could I hate all thing magical, when I was a magical being? I didn’t want to go around hurting people for fun, so it reasoned with me that he was, indeed, the evil one. I used him for his training and knowledge and then I left. When I heard he was after the Dark Onyx, I knew he’d found a way to bypass your banishing.”
“Why now?” asked Elise.
“Because you started cursing again and because I’m here,” stated Cage.
“Will someone please tell me what this Dark Onyx thing is?” cried Rosemary. “Dorothea and Ernest are in that thing and I need to know what we’re dealing with!”
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