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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter TWENTY

TICK TOCK

BlindSightLeoBookCoverPeople swarmed toward them while others yelled, “Stay back!” Leocardo kept blinking as his eyes attempted to adjust to the harsh light. His jeans were beginning to soak up the frosty grass despite, mere seconds ago, they were being charred by flames. A young man in a white uniform came toward him; Leocardo shook his head and groaned.

“Ana and the boy, she got hit on the head,” he insisted, pushing away their helpful hands. He wanted them to help Ana and William first, not him.

Leocardo’s gaze drifted to Ana; her peaceful yet ashen face scared him, it reminded him of Odette and he begged the universe to make sure that neither of them would sleep forever. Within seconds, Ana had her head and shoulders held in place by a neck-brace and she was hoisted onto a stretcher. The little boy received a similar treatment as no one knew what he had damaged, but they all received masks except Leocardo who continued to deny it.

“I’m fine,” he insisted. “I’m out now.”

“Leo,” the groan of pain was so soft he nearly missed it and noticed Ana’s eyes were opening the slightest before closing again.

“Ana,” he murmured and reached out for her, but the nurses pulled her away in the stretcher before he had a chance.

They helped him into the ambulance where they had taken Ana and he had to hold back tears. Pain shot up his leg from his ankle, but nothing hurt more than the thought of Ana’s possible death and Odette’s eternal sleep. The team in white asked him numerous questions and he tried to answer them as best as he could on the way to the hospital.

“She’s going to be fine, right?” he demanded.

“It doesn’t look severe, but she needs testing,” the EMT replied as he kept checking her monitors. Leocardo just stared at her and ignored the painful throbbing of his ankle. When he wiped the sweat from his brow, he found his hands blackened and moist. The sweat stung the shallow cuts on his fingers. He could see some thick splinters anchored along Ana’s palm and fingers. He reached out and caressed Ana’s wrist, afraid he would damage her further.

When they arrived at the hospital, they were wheeled in different directions. He tried to hold his gaze as long as he could on her, but she disappeared around the corner. All his energy was focused on her safe recovery and that her brain had not been severely damaged as a result of the blow. If that happened he would never be able to forgive himself.

They took him to a single room where a middle-aged nurse tended at his wounds while a freckle-faced doctor inspected his ankle. She assured him that it would be a simple and quick procedure. They had to first use local anesthetic to numb his ankle before twisting it into place and seal a sturdy cast around it. The nurse looked up at him every few moments with a warm smile and he winced in pain, but it was dull and manageable. The cuts over his arms and face were disinfected, the deeper ones received a stitch or two and all of the splinters were removed.

While the nurse applied the last stitch to a deep cut on his shoulder blade, Theodore came into the room. As always, he had a perfect haircut, clean shaven skin, and his small blue eyes were encapsulated with growing authority and a thirst for knowledge. Leocardo felt like a dirty second hand broken ragdoll in comparison to Theodore’s tailored appearance.

“Thank you, Leocardo.” Theodore moved toward him and shook his hand firmly. The cuts in his hand seared briefly. “You helped Ana even though I could not.”

Leocardo sympathized with Theodore. Leocardo also felt the guilt mounting. Should he admit what he had done? How he had exploited Theodore’s trust in him as he wandered through the Dawson Manor? No, it was long ago now. What good could come from it? He knew that the Dawsons were good people; they were nothing like Alexander Dawson and did not perceive Odette the way previous royals had perceived Devna. Theodore’s words suggested he must have offered to help, but Ana in her stubbornness had refused.

“We did what we had to do for William,” Leocardo flinched as the nurse tugged on the thread for his stitches. She checked his cast, gave him crutches, and said he could leave when he was ready.

“I sense that you and Odette have a lot of good to bring to Edaion,” Theodore spoke with a gentle tone.

Someday he would make the perfect bearded old man with words of wisdom, Leocardo thought. He did not feel as though he had anything to contribute to the country, especially now that because of him, Theodore’s sister was getting brain scans.

“Have you seen Ana?” Leocardo asked.

“Yes, briefly. My mother…” he said, concern softening his voice, “and father required some time alone with Ana so, I thought I would thank you in the meantime.”

“You really didn’t have to,” Leocardo insisted.

Behind Theodore, a dark haired woman passed by the window. Seconds later the door opened and Tatiana entered. She stood there with a blank expression, yet her eyes looked softer than usual.

“Leo,” she said as if surprised to see him. “The cast suits.”

“Ana’s well,” Theodore said.

She nodded before leaving just as quickly as she arrived. Leocardo groaned in frustration. He had hoped to thank her again for her help. Theodore bid farewell soon after, possibly to follow after her. Leocardo was glad to be alone. He needed to get out of the room and find Ana to make sure she was well and then check to see if Odette had woken up. If he and Ana had interpreted the premonitions correctly, this could be the last day of Odette’s endless sleep, and he hoped she was already awake.

Leocardo grabbed the white crutches and felt the cream padding mold to his armpits. It was uncomfortable and the discomfort only worsened as he tried to walk. A lady outside the room had him fill out some forms. He did so quickly before asking for directions to Aniela Dawson’s room. He couldn’t wait for a steaming hot shower to remove the thick layer of dirt and ash from his skin.

He followed the directions given. The cast around his ankle made him feel like a clown as he hobbled down the halls. He kept his weight on his right side so his left leg in its brand new cast could swing with ease. As he followed the maze-like hallways he thought to himself that at least he knew Ana was alive, and according to Theodore, not in bad shape.

When he turned a corner, he saw Ana sitting in a chair with a juice box in her hand. Her clothes were blackened, her hair thick with grime, and her fingernails lined with gunk, yet when her head turned to look at him, her blue eyes were crystal clear. She waved him over. He tried to hurry over to her without falling over or putting pressure on his left leg. Her father sat beside her. His eyes were lined with worry but he looked stable.

Leocardo finally reached them. “Hey,” he said. He sat beside Ana. “Hello Mr. Dawson,” he added, to which he received a nod. “Are you okay?” He turned his concern to Ana and let his crutches rest against the chair beside him. He placed his hand on her shoulder. Her eyes focused on his cast and grew with concern.

“I’m more worried about you. Does it hurt? How long are you going to be on crutches? Have you checked on Odette yet?” After Ana spoke, James smiled just the slightest bit and stood up. He disappeared inside a room beside them. As the door opened, he got a snippet of Alaya demanding more tests for Ana.

“It hurts a little bit,” he said. He didn’t want to tell her about the needles they had to use for the anesthetic or how they twisted his ankle into place. “I came straight here; I heard you were getting brain scans.”

“I’m sorry you got hurt.” Her voice was soft with sincerity. A lock of dirty blonde hair fell between her eyes. He noticed that the ends of her hair had been singed; he wondered if he’d lost his eyebrows in the rescue mission.

“I should be the one saying sorry. If it wasn’t for me and Odette, you would be safe at home playing your harp. You wouldn’t be getting scans or running into burning buildings.” He said with an apologetic tone, keeping his gaze averted.

“Don’t say that.” He felt her hand direct his cheek so they were facing each other. “William was saved because of Odette’s premonitions. Who knows who else will be helped by her presence here…and…I really enjoy having you around…”

“Ana…this…I…” Leocardo murmured, trying to keep his thoughts somewhat organized. He could feel her breath on his lips.

The door swung open and they both pulled away. Alaya stepped out. Immediately he tried to stand up to greet her, but after a wobble without his crutches, he fell back into his seat. He just sat there, vulnerable. “Hello, Mrs. Dawson.”

“Lady Dawson,” she corrected. He could not blame her; he was part of the reason why Ana had nearly received severe brain damage. “Ana, you’re getting more scans, come with me.”

Leocardo sat and watched Alaya rip Ana away from him, the dutiful father following alongside. “Sorry,” Leocardo had murmured in response to Alaya’s correction. He pushed himself up with difficulty and a nurse, flustered by his actions, came to help him onto his crutches. He still didn’t have the hang of it. But he didn’t know how long Ana would take and he couldn’t wait. He had to see his sister. Fear bit at his heart. Was she awake?

He maneuvered his way to Odette’s room only to find her no different than when he had last seen her. Their desperate actions and near fatal decisions had done nothing for her. He let himself sit into the chair beside her and pressed his head into her hand. What had they been thinking? His eyes grew wet and he held onto her wrist tightly.

“Just wake up please,” he pleaded.

The memories of the building ablaze and the thoughts of losing Ana and William let alone his own life played through his mind. If it had not been for his blind faith in the premonitions and notion that Odette needed them to save William to bring her out of this nightmare and back into reality, he would not have risked it. He would not have let Ana risk it.

The cold look he had received from Alaya was frozen in his mind. How could she not detest him? If it was not for him or his sister, Ana would not be having brain scans. Alaya’s precious daughter would not have been in such a dangerous situation. Maybe his original thoughts about the fourteen men were right? Maybe there was a group of malicious men tormenting young women, but instead he had risked his life to save an orphan he had never heard of until today. Ana could have been wrong about the men. The numerous alternatives made him dizzy and nauseous.

“Is that what you meant?” he whispered into his sister’s cold hands. “Was it the little boy we were meant to save? We saved him, William is alive, please just wake up.” What else did Edaion want? What else did Odette’s body need? What did that insidious damned gift that had ruined their life within her require?

What would happen to him if she never woke up? Leocardo could see himself coming to the hospital every day, some days with Ana, or maybe he and Ana would drift apart. What would this monster, this foreign land who had snatched them out of their lives, do with him if she so readily disposed of Odette? The future he had envisioned with Odette, the aunt to his children and the only family he had left in this cold strange world was slowly dissipating into nothing. Was this what happened to Devna? Did she fall into a deep coma, never heard of again, lost to all so the historians assumed she died? His fingers trembled and he squeezed her hand tighter. Was this the future for a seer, premature death?

“No change?” Ana’s voice broke his thoughts and she sat beside him. Her brow was furrowed with worry.

No change. Would there ever be? He stared into her eyes. He moved his hand from his sisters and onto Ana’s before resting his hand on the back of her neck to pull her closer to him. He was so glad to see her. He rested his forehead against hers. Words failed him.

Ana was close. Really close. So close he could feel her breath on his lips and she did not seem to want to pull away. His eyes drifted open to see her eyes were closed and suddenly he felt his nose brush against hers. Her lips in turn caressed his, at first hesitantly as if unsure of her actions, but he could taste the raw tenderness. He kissed her back deeply, languidly, and earnestly. Ana’s lips deepened the kiss hungrily and he returned it with his own cravings. Warm hands rose to cradle her dirt-smeared face before he lingered there with their noses affectionately brushing each other.

Leocardo’s gaze shifted as he thought he saw a little boy standing in the doorway. “William?”

“Oh, hi William, did you need something?” Ana quickly created distance between them. Color tinted her cheeks and Leocardo could not help but smile.

“Hello, are you feeling better?” Leocardo asked William, who was not covered in black ash or surrounded by an all consuming fire anymore. Ana also questioned William.

William ignored both their concerns and walked toward the bed in silence. He looked to be about twelve and was bandaged along his dark caramel arms and neck. He had coarse, black curly hair. In the burning building, he could have been six with how petite and vulnerable he had appeared. This was the boy they had to save? Was his death the traumatic event all fourteen of the men were watching, hoping it would be stopped?

“This is my sister Odette, she’s not well,” Leocardo said. William stood over Odette’s comatose body.

“You met her before,” Ana reminded him.

William stared at Odette as if searching her face for something.

Did Ana visit him prior? Did she tell him that Odette had led them to his rescue? It must be strange for a child to see someone sleeping so peacefully yet knowing that they are very ill, Leocardo thought to himself. Would he even understand?

Leocardo wanted to lead William back to his own room; he did not like his sister being stared at like she was on display. She was not an artifact in a museum. Unsure of what to say, Leocardo opened his mouth, but before he could find the words, he saw William reach out to touch Odette. William’s fingertips connected with her bare arm and Odette gasped, reaching out with both hands strangling a terrified William.

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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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