Raven's Wing: Chapter 11

"I hate to make you think about all of this, but I have to ask you some questions." Carrie sat in front of her on the edge of the couch while Kento sat at the other end holding Shary's hand. Sage had gotten up and moved to another chair to rest after expending himself emotionally and physically, though most of his weariness stemmed from his herculean efforts to hold his emotions in check.

Sitting quietly through the narrative there was panoply of emotions that ran across his normally calm face. As the others listed to her they watched him warily. No one had seen him this upset and so none of them knew what to do or say. They watched him close his eyes and knew better than to disturb him now. He was trying to regain control over that which he had lost and the guys all knew that to disturb him now would mean certain death.

Kento had taken Sage's place at the side of the couch, watching her worriedly just holding her hand when it was available to let her know that there was no way that she was alone, not now, not ever.

Carrie continued as Nikki headed to the kitchen with a large backpack. She had heard enough and was going to start preparing a tea that would sooth the girl's jangled nerves and clear her mind for more comprehensive thought. The other things she prepared were some herbal compresses that would sooth her damaged skin and help ease the knotted muscles since she figured a massage was out of the question by the way the bruises patterned her skin.

"Shary, can you tell us anything about the man, other than he was strong? He spoke to you several times, was their any part of his voice that you recognized??"

Carrie was interrupted by the doorbell ringing almost as if the person on the outside did not want to interrupt. Rowen went to the door and spoke with the person on the other side for a few moments and then let him in. A tall, blue-haired gentleman in a suit stepped in the door and bowed to the house's occupants. "Pardon the intrusion. Please, continue." He looked at Shary and his jaw clenched at the sight of the bruises that he could see. "Worry not Shary-chan, I am a friend of the Raven, I was called to help."

Looking at Carrie he motioned for her to continue. Nodding Carrie did. "Was there anything about the voice you recognized??"

Shary swallowed hard but she shook her head. "No. I mean he sounded familiar but I couldn't place where I heard his voice. The room was too dark so I couldn't see anything." She squeezed Kento's hand tighter, still holding her robe tightly. "I wish I could help you--wait. I remember something."

That caught everyone's attention and she closed her eyes tightly, trying to remember. "Something his clothes... it was the uniforms the boy's wear at our school." She opened tear-bright eyes. "Someone at school did this to me." Now she was very scared.

Sage stood silently and headed for the back door. Cale followed him silently knowing that the young man would do something foolish if there was no one else to help him stay in check. As they reached the small back yard Cale noticed a small dagger in Sage's hands. Not turning to face his one time nemesis Sage spoke to him. "Cale, I want you to witness this. On my blood and honor who ever did this to Shary will pay for it with his life."

Cale was surprised that Sage of all people would swear out a blood oath over the girl. But as the Raven had told him, this girl was special somehow and they would have to protect her. As he watched the blood drip from Sage's hand to the ground he counted the three drops before he walked over to Sage to bandage the wound. It was not serious, but both Cale and Sage knew that it had to heal naturally for the Oath to be binding.

Looking into the younger boy's eyes he read that somehow this girl had gotten to all of them. She was long in trusting them, but in the end, she did trust them and it was that trust that was barely holding her together now. Cale nodded in understanding now and made a promise to himself that he would not be far from this group until all of this was over. He knew that the assailant had hoped to drive Raven and the others away from the girl with this act of violence. But true to their individual natures, they banded together even closer with renewed vows to protect her.

Inside Nikki finished preparing the tea and compresses, and as she walked out of the kitchen the others could smell the herbs she had used. Moving over to Shary she nudged Kento out of the way. "Shary-san, I need to see your bruises so that I may put these compresses on them to help you heal." She also indicated that they could move to a more private area to do the bandaging. She knew that Sage had been thorough in his cleansing of her wounds, but there was always a possibility. Handing her the warm tea she gestured for her to drink up. "It will help you to relax and to think clearly."

Shary nodded silently and held the cup in both hands. She raised it to her lips and slowly drank it all. Her throat kept threatening to close but she finally managed to drink the liquid down. She held the cup for a while and felt her body slowly loosening up. It scared her a bit but some parts of her body didn't feel so sore anymore. She was also able to think clearer yes, almost to the point of having a blank mind.

"Arigato Nikki-san." She gave her a small smile. She leaned back into the pillows, and looked around the room. She narrowed her eyes some as she noticed someone wasn't here. "Where's Sage?"

"Right here Shary-san." Sage walked through the kitchen doors with the stranger, Sage's emotions were better under control but no less intense than they were when he stepped out of the door. The stranger bowed to Shary and smiled slightly. "Shary-san, pardon my earlier rudeness in not introducing myself. But there were other things to consider." He paused and looked about and then nodded slightly. "My name is Cale, I am a friend of this group and at times an acting guardian."

To show that he was no threat he gently picked up her hand and as he caressed it lightly he smiled. "I too have secrets child. Don't let yours overwhelm you in their shadows." As he placed her hand back next to Kento he turned to find himself a seat in the spacious living room.

Shary nodded to him, understanding the hidden message of what he said. She looked over at Sage and gave him a small smile and squeezed Kento's hand when he picked hers up again. She looked at the compresses and decided not to put this off any longer.

"Nikki-san... I'm ready for the compresses..." her voice was once again soft and she was a bit more relaxed. She still clenched her robe tightly to herself with her free hand but at least she didn't look like a scared rabbit anymore. The mark given to her a long time ago from her rescuer seemed to glow very faintly, as if sensing her calm and then faded out.

Nikki looked at her long time friend. "Kento, I think we will give her some privacy. Sage, what room was she in before?" Nikki got the instructions to the room as Kento gently picked up Shary and started towards the stairs.

As they disappeared up the stairs Sage looked at the others his violet eyes almost glowing with the contained emotions. Looking at Cye he nodded. "Cye, you and Ryo are going to have to help her the most this time around. She trusts us all and has managed to start trust Cale here. But in school she is going to have to learn those lessons all over again. Keep an eye on her, especially you Ryo. Something isn't right with that Sensei in your third period class. I want to know what it is."

Once more she was taken to the room but this time she was awake. She sat in the middle of the bed, holding her arms out before her. There were no visible bruises but the muscles surrounding her wrists were under the skin was still sore. She looked as Nikki placed the compresses on her wrists. It felt soothing and she felt her arms relaxing.

"You can count on us, Sage." Ryo said. Cye nodded as well. Shary was a great girl and they were going to do their best in protecting her all they could. She was just starting to blossom and someone tried to crush her. They weren't going to let that happen to her ever again. As Kento came into the room once more they all asked how the girls were.

"They are getting her to look like a mummy, but last time I looked she was starting to relax more and the Nikki's compresses were helping. She has no visible bruises thanks to you Sage, but she is going to be a long time in healing of the mind." He thought a moment then quietly asked.

"Did you all catch the fact that the creep that did this to her mentioned Raven and her Armored friends??" Startled Rowen nodded. "Yeah, I wonder how this guy knows about us. Or if he was calling a bluff to draw us out into the open??"

Ryo wasted no time in pulling his cell phone out and dialing up Mia's number. He went to another room to talk to her and when he came back out he looked rather serious. "Mia said she would take a look as to what might be going on. But she sounded confused about another evil popping up now. I think Shary's hiding something that might just help us to understand why she was attacked."

Upstairs Nikki and Shary were talking quietly of other things and Shary was even smiling slightly. Nikki did not want to take the smile away as it made Shary look quite beautiful but she had to ask the question. "Shary-san, I have to ask you. Where did that mark come from? The one that was glowing earlier??" Nikki only know about the mark as she used her second sight most of the time when she was around the guys since it told her far more about the situations she was in than her normal sight. It was because of the Second sight that she was able to see the change in Shary's aura from the glowing mark.

"We know but we can't just go up and tell her," Sage said quietly. "Something tells me when Nikki comes back down she might have some news for us." He looked at his bandaged hand and his hand closed into a fist. He would go through with the vow so help me. And when he found the attacker, he would give him a slow and painful death.

"This thing?" she gently pulled one of the compresses from the mark so it showed up. It wasn't very large, and the image was very faint. But right now it was standing out against her pale skin. Larger than the size of a silver dollar, it looked like a yin-yang symbol. On one side was a picture of a reptile of some sort, the other side held a cat. The cat part looked darker than the reptile.

"The night of the accident... when I was pulled away my rescuer place something cold there. When I awoke in the hospital this mark was there. Its like a birthmark or something." She looked up at Nikki. "But it was glowing? Never did that before." She put the compress back on and wrapped a light blanket around herself.

"I think I can answer that for you." A new female voice said at the door. Nikki's head snapped up and her eyes went wide as she stuttered. "K-Kayura-sama, When did you get here??"

Nikki stood and bowed quickly before sitting back down by her patient. Kayura smiled slightly knowing that Nikki would probably always react like that to her more sudden entrances. Dressed in the robes of the ancient and holding the staff she entered the room looking at Shary.

She wasn't sure to be scared or happy to see the young lady that just suddenly appeared in her room. She'd never seen her before and the way Nikki reacted she was confused. She only gave her a small bow with her head and held the blanket tighter.

"Konichiwa." she said softly, still keeping her head down. She knew she wasn't going to harm her but her nervousness of meeting people kicked in.

"It's ok, I don't bite." Kayura smiled in her own winning way and set the staff in the corner. She changed into slacks and a baby t and sat on the bed. "I am Kayura, Last of the Ancients. I have come here to help you all to solve the mystery around you. But first, we must get you to remember farther back than the accident. More like, the entire day of that evening. You knew that day was unusual for some reason but you could not remember why, I am here to help you remember."

Making gestures that Nikki understood she watched the Staff float over to her. "We are going to take a trip down stairs and then we are going to take a trip into the past. The answers lie there."

With a small flash of light the three women were standing in the middle of the living room. Shary did not hurt so much and her muscles had ceased their incessant complaining. The others only looked mildly surprised and Cale and Sage looked downright predatory. "It is time to show Shary-san what your other secret is boys and girls."

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