“Bridget always knows how to make the best of things,” Colten said, smiling with a far off look in his eyes. I leaned my forehead against the glass, letting its coolness calm me. It is unfortunate that Bridget be brought up so soon. She only ever got in the way. I frowned, watching Colten closely. Stop thinking about her.
“Can I talk to her please?” Colten leaned into the table, clasping his hands together, looking like a precious little boy. “I’d really like to speak with her.”
Gideon paused, his hand hesitating over his notepad. I imagined him to be peering up at Colten from over his glasses. I saw his shoulders lift and sink in a deep breath. “Not right now, Colten, we’d best finish this up first.”
“Then can I talk to her? She worries; I want to make sure she’s okay.”
Gideon was back to his formal self, all business. “So you discovered you could manipulate air. Then what?”
Colten sighed. “Then… then we had some fun with it, I guess. Just playing around, really. I even managed to lift Bridget up and make her fly.” Colten grinned. “She really liked that. Said it made her feel like Wendy from Peter Pan. She always wanted to be Wendy.” Here Colten paused, his forehead creasing slightly. Gideon eyed him cautiously, but Colten soon relaxed again. “It wasn’t just air either. Eventually I realised I could control water too, and fire. Things started escalating fast then, I suppose. I had so much power; it was incredible. I didn’t even know what else I could be capable of. But I was willing to find out. That’s when Ms. Milson came to me.”
I perked up at the sound of my name and sucked in a deep breath. Gideon turned slightly so I could see the side of his face, and I knew that he was warning me not to do anything. For the first time, Colten’s eyes drifted past Gideon to the window where I stood. I tensed and turned red, even though I knew he couldn’t see me through the glass, and doubted that he knew I was even there. Still, he was looking right at me! I could feel a connection, just like I had the first time I met him.
I felt very overwhelmed walking up to his front door. Well, it wasn’t really his front door. It was the doors to the apartment building. The heavy security checks I had to go through to get to his actual front door did little to help my apprehension. The Adders always were an important family.
When I first laid eyes on Colten, I couldn’t believe that this was the man who’d been injected with Project Sionis – didn’t want to believe it. Nothing could put this man in danger, not if I could help it. He invited me inside, offered me a drink. He was so kind, so firm in himself that I thought maybe he could beat it, maybe he wouldn’t have to turn. That became my every hope from the moment I saw him, but I still had to warn him. I decided to take my time with it though, because I didn’t want the special visit to end, didn’t want to break the connection that we had. Still have, I’m sure. Look at those eyes. We are meant to be connected, I know it.
“And what did Ms. Milson want?” Gideon interrupted again. I narrowed my eyes.
“She said that she was investigating Project Sionis, and that she was afraid I was in great danger. She said she feared that the serum would eventually start to take control of me, instead of me controlling it, making me lose my mind.”
“Turning you evil, you mean?”
“Essentially, I suppose, yes. Why don’t you go ask her what she meant exactly? I’m sure she could confirm.”
“Already taken care of. She added to her statement that she had begun the process of having an antidote made up to reverse the effects, but that she knew it would take a while and might not be fully effective. That is why she came to you.” Gideon cleared his throat. “How did you react to Ms. Milson’s warnings?”
Colten shrugged. “I didn’t, not really. I doubted what she was saying; I felt perfectly in control. Honestly, I didn’t think too much of the visit. I thanked her for her time, and sent her on her way.”
I fingered what was in my pocket, my mind trembling with the anticipation of what it could do if I released it.
“Don’t you think you should have at least gone to someone to look into this for you? Had a doctor check you out?” Gideon growled.
Colten gave a half-smile. “Judging what happened next, I guess I should have. But I don’t know how much that would have changed things. You said so yourself, the antidote was unlikely to be fully effective. I began to notice the changes not long after Ms. Milson came to me.”
The grin in the glass stared back at me, widening.
♣ ♣ ♣
“Colten, are you in here?” Bridget’s voice echoed through the halls. She peeked into the library. It was dark, except for the fire that sparked in the grand fireplace. She carefully made her way over to the hunched silhouette that sat before it.
“Colten?” she asked tentatively. The figure did not move. She quietly sat beside him. She could see only his face, lit by the fire. “Colten, your dinner is getting cold.”
“I’m not hungry,” he brooded. “It’s late. You should go to bed.”
“But Colten –”
The fire snapped, and she jumped. Little hands seemed to be reaching out from within its red and orange flames, spitting and hissing. The light of the fire reflected off her pale skin, and she felt its heat swimming over her.
“Go to bed,” he snarled. “Now.” Bridget hurried from the room, stopping in the doorway and peeking back, only to see the fire crawling out from its stone bordering.
Colten had begun to turn. The city soon lost its beauty. Storms erupted, rain crashed down, flooding streets; lightning flashed, wind howled, and fire began to spread. But Colten did not stop there. Buildings were destroyed, bones were crushed, people took flight. Colten had lost his mind completely, and could see none of it, only thirsted for more power and gained it from the destruction.
Read Part 4