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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter SIXTEEN

SILENT BEAUTY

BlindSightLeoBookCoverNext thing he knew he could feel someone softly breathing, they were close to his face. His eyes opened and he saw Ana dozing. A thin, streak of drool from her parted pink lips had dripped onto the pillow. He smiled and reached out to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear before placing his hand back under his head. His back ached from sleeping on the hard floor, but he didn’t care. Her face scrunched up and slowly, her eyelashes fluttered open.

Ana’s shocked eyes said it all. “You have to go,” she whispered, scrambling to her feet.

He understood her reaction and tried not to take her demands personally. He clambered to his feet, nodding as he went.

“I’m so sorry,” he muttered, and went to collect the papers strewn over the ground.

Ana pushed him over to the glass paneled windows which Leocardo had thought were only walls. Ana clicked something and the window opened wide enough to let him out. The air was cold, and snow was piled on the ground. Ana gave him instructions on how to escape without being caught. He could guess how serious the consequences would be for her if he was caught sneaking out. If any of her family members had found them only the most corrupt ideas would influence their thoughts, and he was sure he would not be allowed over anymore, despite his innocent intentions.

She pushed him out to the garden and he turned around, acting on impulse, and rested his hand on her lower back. He stared at her and leaned in, brushing his nose against hers. He loved her floral scent and her soft skin. After a few moments of silence, she whispered, “You have to go.”

There was a soft sound of protest from his lips as he continued one second longer. He pulled away and whispered, “I’ll see you soon.”

Once he was safely out of hearing distance from the manor and everyone in it, he couldn’t help but laugh in joy. A strange happiness effervesced inside him. It felt strange because it was pure and belonged to him, it hadn’t been forced upon him by Edaion. Images and scents of Ana colored his thoughts.

On the bus ride to the hospital, he gave Nate a call and made sure it would be okay if Cielo stayed with him until further notice. Leocardo knew he could not handle a pet right now. The adrenaline of running away from the Dawson manor had dispersed and he was beginning to worry about what would happen if Ana was caught. He did not want to see Alaya unleash her fury, especially since nothing happened last night. The image of them sleeping in a back room looked bad enough, regardless of the truth.

When Leocardo arrived at the hospital, the doctors informed him that Odette’s condition was unchanged. She showed no signs of becoming conscious. They explained that her powers could have triggered the onset of the coma, but none of the tests were conclusive. It was infuriating. They were useless; since Ana had found her on the ground, they suggested the fall may have been a factor even though no brain damage was evident apart from a mild concussion. Leocardo’s insides had been sufficiently twisted the night before, but today he was better equipped to handle the news.

He thanked the doctors and asked to see Odette. At the very least, they decided she was not contagious, and allowed him into the room with her. He pulled up a chair and talked to her, trying not to choke on his words. He knew that sometimes people in comas could hear, even if they could not respond. He thought maybe if he asked the right questions she would awake. He asked about the faces, the drawings, the men, and whether they were premonitions or images of the past.

No response—the sleeping beauty didn’t even stir. It relieved him that she appeared to be sleeping now, her hands down at her sides and not folded over her as if ready to be put in a casket, but the fact that she stayed so deadly still for such a long period unnerved him. How long could a person stay in a coma before there was neurological damage? He had heard horror stories of family members having to let the person in comatose go because even if their loved one were to recover, they would wake with brain damage. Would there be a day when he would be asked that question? What would he say? How much time would he give his sister to wake up from her sleep?

For long periods of time, he wondered if she was dreaming, and if so, what about. Would she remember her dreams when she woke up? Would she remember he had been here to see her? The beeping of the machines irritated him as he tried to understand all the nodes, buttons, numbers, and pulsating lines. Any slight irregularity in the pattern would propel him into a frenzy of hope, only to be dampened when he realized it meant nothing.

He dismissed himself with a kiss on her forehead and a gentle squeeze of her hand, hoping that she could feel both but knew the chances were minimal. The beeping on the machines did not alter and her eyes didn’t open. He wondered if there was a prince who could wake her up with a single kiss like in the fairy tales. They were living in a world of magic after all. Could one of the fourteen men be the prince to glide her into this world again?

Once he left Odette’s side, he went straight to the pool. He changed and dove right into the water, thankful for the heated water. Leocardo lapped until he felt cramps and decided to take a break and stretch. Outside the pool, he ate a few muesli bars to keep his carbs up, waited for fifteen minutes, stretched and then dove back in. Another dozen laps completed with short breaks in between until he realized he had been in the pool for nearly two hours. He also noticed that the nerves that had been building had now turned into the enjoyable burn of muscle after some relentless exercise. As he pushed himself out of the water and walked over to his bag, he shook his head, and along with the beads of water, left the remainders of stress. He had work to do.

As he turned to leave, Tatiana walked in. He greeted her and she returned his greeting with a curt nod. Just as he started toward the exit, he stopped himself, turned around and went up to Tatiana just as she put her bag down.

“Hey Tatiana.”

“You can call me Tia, you know,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.

“It’s a bit weird, Tia means aunt in Spanish so….”

“Sure,” Tatiana noted. “I suppose I’m not your aunt.”

“Not as far as I know.”

“Leaving?”

“Just about. I was going to ask about what you said the other day, about what gift I may have.”

“Teleportation.”

“Yes, why did you say that?”

“I’ve seen how you swim,” she stated as she continued to rummage through her bag of chaotic bundles with the occasional plastic bottle.

“I don’t understand, what does that have to do with my gift?”

She sighed and straightened up, acting as though it was obvious. “You cheat.”

“What?”

“You cheat as you swim.”

“How do I cheat?” he asked with a frown. He had never cheated in swimming before. How could he even cheat? What, did she think he was on steroids or something?

She sighed heavily as she pulled the band that held her voluminous hair. It cascaded down past her shoulders and a waft of strong perfume escaped. He could not pinpoint the scent but it reminded him of pomegranate.

“When you swim you often,” she paused as if to catch the right word, “jolt in the water, you skip ahead sometimes even though your body is continually moving.”

“You’re saying I’m…teleporting in the water?”

“Pretty much, that’s my guess. I think it’s to do with your stress levels. Whenever you come with an upset, angry or stressed look you do it more, at least from what I’ve seen.” She said as she went back to her bag and finally found the towel she had been rummaging for. Leocardo had truly underestimated her observational skills and intelligence. “You did not have it earlier, but ever since winter set in, you seem to unconsciously do it. I’m guessing once your mind knew that you should be displaying some kind of specialty, your body followed suit.”

“Well how do I control it if that’s what I’m doing?” he asked, wondering if he had been doing it in the water only a few minutes ago. Is that why he so often got an odd glance? Had Odette’s seizures set it off?

“Most of this gift stuff has its onset psychologically. You know what you have now, you were probably doing it ever since your sister’s incident, you just haven’t noticed. Be aware, you might notice it now,” she instructed before walking off with her bag to get changed.

Those words, be aware, continued to become more sinister until all that echoed over and over in his head was “beware.” He thought of Odette.

*

He knew he had to do more than investigate the nature of Odette’s gift. He had to contact his work. When he arrived at Green’s Tavern he entered Peter’s office. Somehow Peter had already been alerted about Odette’s condition and expressed his concern.

“I still want to work,” Leocardo insisted, afraid of losing his job. “But I would like to get rid of a few shifts.”

“Take all the time off you need,” Peter urged. His eyes glistened with compassion. No cigarette was lit, an odd sight to see.

“I know that the last thing you need as a business owner at the moment is to have a full time worker become part time. If it’s of any use…” Leocardo hesitated. Should he dare? “Nate can’t wait to get back to work; he really wants you to give him a second chance.”

Peter’s expression was indiscernible. At first he appeared infuriated, but then his expression grew somber. Peter dismissed him with a wave of his hand. Although Leocardo feared he had jeopardized his own employment, he didn’t regret his actions. With a nudge, Nate would hopefully be back at the bar.

Leocardo needed more information about Odette’s condition. He tried to think about who Odette was close to. There was him, Ana and some friends from school. He remembered Odette sleeping over at Samantha’s house on more than one occasion. It was worth a try.

Once home and fed, he made his way toward Samantha’s house. If he was going to piece together this puzzle, he needed to think about who was close to Odette. Obviously he and Ana were, but they needed more and Samantha was as close to Odette as anyone. Surely she would have knowledge about Odette that neither of them did. There would be plenty of topics Odette never discussed with Leocardo, particularly boys, and ever since fourteen men were plastered all over her walls, he could not help but feel a man was somehow involved. Even the smallest crack of knowledge could open a whole new crater of possibilities for where to go next.

Tatiana’s words echoed in his mind. Teleportation? Could he teleport? There were a few times he had felt disorientated, like the night of Odette’s coma when he arrived at Ana’s confused about the journey. Was that his gift or had he been too tired? All the conflicts in his life were pulling his mind in different directions. He decided to focus on tapping into his gift.

Several times, he stopped and focused on a spot a few meters away and willed himself to move forward, but kept his feet rooted in position. At first, it took him a full minute to focus enough desire to make anything happen, but once it did, the sensation was strange. He felt violently thrust forward as though someone was pushing and pulling him at the same time. Everything became a blur for a split second, but the churning sensation in his stomach lasted longer. He continued to teleport small paces at a time and felt strangely giddy at his achievement.

It was not much in the scheme of things, but he had never been able to teleport on command before. Focusing his desire with so many other thoughts flooding his mind was difficult, but it managed to propel him forward each time. After he had done it ten times, he felt sick in the stomach and stopped experimenting.

Then something clicked. Was this how Odette and he arrived at Edaion? Odette had displayed her gift by drawing the lake, soon after they had been thrown into Edaion. That sickening feeling was too familiar, all too similar to when they arrived. Everyone had arrived by boat. That is the only way you can arrive to Edaion but they did not. Did this make him special too? Or was he merely the carrier of Odette and her gift?

Bringing his mind back to the job at hand, he thought about Ana. The way they had investigated the drawings together, the questions they raised, and the softness of her smile eased his mind. She wanted to solve this as much as him. The concerns he had about her being the enemy just wanting to hurt Odette seemed so distant and petty now. He texted Ana, informing her of his actions.

Going to Samantha’s to see if I can find any leads. And you?

She replied: Went to Phoenix to see if anyone recognized the faces. None did. Not sure what to try now. Suggestion?

Maybe someone living in the place where you found her saw something?

She replied: Going to knock on doors and see if anyone saw Odette collapse.

Okay I’ll see you later, good luck.

After putting his phone away, the bus had come to a stop close to Samantha’s house. He walked the last few blocks and briefly relived the painful memories of stumbling through these streets searching for Odette. He raised his hand to press the doorbell. It felt like it had been so long ago, but it was only yesterday he had rung this doorbell, asking for his sister’s whereabouts.

Samantha’s mother opened the door. “Hello.”

“Hi, I’m Odette’s brother. I was hoping to talk to Samantha for a little bit.”

The pointy-nosed woman stared at him with a strange severity as if ready to squish him under her shoe with no remorse. Suddenly her thin lips stretched out to a polite smile as she looked over her shoulder and called for Samantha.

Samantha came out quickly and worry rushed into her expression. “Leo, how’s Odette?”

“Not well, she’s in a coma.”

“Oh my.” Samantha gasped and her mother put a fragile finger to her own lips with a slow shake of her head.

“Can I talk to you for a bit?”

“Mum can you give us a moment?” With this, Samantha’s mother left without another word, but with a worried maternal look as she clutched the dangling silver cross around her neck. Samantha closed the door behind her and turned to him. “What happened?”

“Ana found her a few blocks from the Phoenix orphanage on the ground unconscious,” he summarized. “The doctors say she’s stable, but she’s in a coma. The doctors have no idea how it happened or when she might come out of it.”

“What can I do?” Samantha asked, looking worried as she hugged her woolen, purple jumper.

“I just wanted to know if Odette ever told you anything or if she ever did anything strange?”

Samantha went quiet and averted her eyes in thought. Finally, she shook her head with a frown. “No I don’t think she did…she didn’t talk much about herself at all and especially nothing to do with her gift.”

“Did you see her gift a lot?”

“No, not really,” Leocardo saw Samantha recollecting her thoughts and retrieving her memories as her eyes continued to dart. “A few times, it was weird and made me nervous,” she admitted.

“Did people make fun of her for it? Was there a guy or group of guys that stood out?”

“Well…not a particular group really, but people did bully her at times.”

“Like?” The wind grew stronger and Leocardo pulled his scarf up higher, but was not giving up on the conversation. Samantha obviously thought it was better to talk out here rather than go inside and have her mother looming over them.

Samantha kept quiet for a few moments before meeting his eyes. “I always thought that they were things she drew of the past since she loves reading about ancient things. She had a morbid curiosity for that stuff. There was a kid who would say that she was probably half dark magic. But don’t worry, none of the rest of us believe in that.” Her face lit up as she remembered something she seemed to think would be helpful. “I have a drawing I found on the corner of a page in a book I lent Odette.”

“I’d love to look at it.”

“You can keep it,” she said before dashing inside. Before he could say any more, she came out quickly, panting slightly. His stomach felt icy cold as he saw she had handed him a small version of one of the fourteen men he and Ana had grouped last night. Leocardo took it from her hand as she thrust it in his direction as if the book was cursed. “Odette is great and all, but I always thought there was something a bit off. I know my dad mentioned that he thought Odette was strangely overwhelming.”

Leocardo did not know how to interpret that, but before he could ask, there was a stern order from behind her. Samantha obediently turned and entered the house, her final words to him were hurried.

“I’m so sorry I can’t help you more. All I know is that the few times I did see her drawing like that, it was like someone had possessed her.”

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FROM THE START (ProloguE)

Blind Sight is an urban fantasy series about a blind girl who develops the ability to draw. You are reading Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s brother who thinks she’s having premonitions. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s new friend Ana is convinced Odette is a medium channeling spirits and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?

amazonbutton-purchaseYou can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.

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