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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter TWENTY-ONE

BLIND FAITH

BlindSightLeoBookCoverLeocardo’s body was in a state of shock, immovable. A split second later, his body flooded with adrenaline as he saw that Odette was not only awake, but that she had lunged at William and her hands were tight around his neck.

“Odette!” he shouted as he grabbed her arms, prying them apart.

Ana’s exclamations behind him pierced his ears as she pulled William toward her. Odette’s arms suddenly went flaccid and she nearly fell straight back onto the bed, but Leocardo eased her into the pillow. Her eyes swelled with tears.

“What…what…where?” Tears streamed down his sister’s eyes and Leocardo just held her hand and caressed it.

“It’s okay, you’re in the hospital. I’m here. Ana’s here. You’re just scared. You’re safe.”

Leocardo’s gaze was glued on Odette. Her hand gripped his wrist with amazing force as commotion broke out all around them. She tried to get up when she heard Theodore’s voice enter the fray and one of the monitors cycled violently from extreme highs and lows. Her face contorted in confusion and her mouth parted as if ready to scream in anxiety or fear. Ana rushed over trying to soothe Odette as well.

“Out,” a female nurse ordered. Leocardo did not know when she had entered, but she was ordering people out with severity in her voice. “Everyone who is not family, get out. You’re straining her. She’s recovering and needs her rest.”

Leocardo murmured soft words to his sister and Odette squeezed his hand, her head facing in his direction. He heard Ana leaving. He turned around and Ana squeezed his other hand.

“No, wait. Ana can stay, she’s like family,” he begged the nurse.

“Just family,” the nurse insisted and shooed them out. He saw that Theodore was also in the room and was moving toward Ana.

“But…”

The nurse gave Leocardo a dirty look before asking Odette some questions about what she could remember. She also checked the monitors.

“Yeah, no Leo, it’s fine.” Ana smiled at him after shaking her head. “You need some time alone with her. Call me when you leave?”

He nodded and watched her until Theodore guided her out of the room. He turned his attention back to Odette who still looked petrified, but better. Once Theodore, Ana, and William had left the room, it was quiet. The doctor entered, wrote down some notes, and flashed a light in Odette’s eyes before confirming she appeared perfectly healthy.

“She just needs rest now. Welcome back, Miss Reyes,” the doctor said before leaving. Leocardo was unsure if he liked this quiet as it reminded him of waiting beside his sister alone when she was unable to wake up. This time it was different; he could feel the pressure of her fragile fingers around his hand.

The nurse did her last checks before leaving with a stern warning. “No one is allowed in here but you and the staff. She needs to rest.”

Quiet filled the room. He had gotten so used to the beeps, he barely noticed them. What was he going to say? What could he say to his sister? Her blind eyes looked up in his direction but her gaze remained unfocused. Her hazel eyes watered, but no more tears streaked her cheeks. What was going through her mind?

“You’re awake,” he whispered. For a moment, Odette shut her eyes. It was only for a few seconds, but Leocardo’s heart raced.

Odette looked ill yet delicate. Her eyelids were a lifeless pink. Her skin was pale and her lips lacked any kind of color. Her usually thin body looked sickly, as though she had been slowly wasting away. Odette’s timid eyes opened again and she asked the question he knew was coming.

“What happened?” Her voice was small, the smallest he had ever heard it. He could not imagine the pain and confusion of one moment being at home and the next waking up four days later in a hospital bed. He sat down and smiled weakly before he started the long story.

*

The doctors allowed Odette to leave the following day, and although Leocardo was happy, he also felt unnerved. After such an anxious and debilitating four days, she was released without much more than a ‘thank goodness’. Odette was a special case, that was certain, but he did not like how special she was. No one seemed to understand how she had fallen into the coma or how she had come out of it. Even though Odette was back, he worried it would happen again.

Rather than telling Ana when they were leaving, they took a bus to visit Nate who had been looking after Cielo. Without answers, Leocardo could not feel the joyful energy he expected to feel as he left the hospital with her. The only answer he had come close to accepting was that the premonition was an overload. Normally a strong premonition might induce a seizure, but this one had been so strong that she fell into a coma. It was her body’s way of dealing with such an intense message about the future. A child’s life had been saved thanks to her.

After Leocardo explained to the best of his abilities what had happened over the last week, he knew he had left bits out. Some scared him too much still to burden Odette with, and when he had asked her what she remembered, it was what he had expected—nothing. Her mind was a clean slate. The last thing she remembered was spending the day with Ana before feeling tired and taking a nap, a nap that resulted in a four day long coma.

When he told her that he was a teleporter, she exploded with positive exclamations. “Qué bien!” Her grin was the biggest he had seen it since she had woken up. “I wish that was my gift, I could go wherever.”

“It’s not quite like that,” he told her with deep sadness. “I wish I could take you somewhere safe…back home.”

“At least you can remember when you teleport. My gift just makes me disappear from myself.” They fell into silence and sat, holding onto each other as if any moment one of them would float away.

Leocardo did not know what he was going to do with the premonitions. What he wanted to do most was burn them, but that felt wrong. The angst those drawings had caused was incomprehensible, and yet he knew they had allowed them to save William and consequently Odette. They would have to file them away. They had much to learn about the power behind those ragged lines and smooth shadings.

They arrived at Nate’s home and Leocardo was surprised that it was a modest but a well presented house. He expected Nate to open the door half naked with lipstick marks on his neck, but he was in some faded jeans and a striped shirt with no female’s lingering presence. Leocardo greeted Nate.

“What happened to your— Odette!” Nate exclaimed in response and embraced her. “It’s about time you woke up sleepy head,” he humored, and Odette laughed, blushing slightly. “Theo told me about the fire.” Nate’s voice was oddly serious and turned his attention to Leocardo. “At least you came out with only a busted ankle.”

“Yeah, it could have been a lot worse.” Leocardo did not want to go any further than that. The possible alternative circumstances were too depressing to consider. “We’re here to pick up Cielo.”

Leocardo wanted to put his arm around Odette, but the crutches didn’t allow him to do it. He was so glad she was healthy again. Nate ducked away without inviting them inside, and before he returned, Cielo came bounding out the door. Odette’s arms quickly found Cielo and she hugged her tightly. Leocardo scratched Cielo’s head and smiled while Cielo left damp streaks all over Odette’s face.

“Cello was no problem,” Nate noted as he leaned against the doorframe upon his return.

“It’s Cielo, see-el-o,” Odette corrected.

“No wonder she didn’t listen to me,” Nate joked and handed Leocardo the food bowl and leash. Leocardo thanked him for taking care of Cielo, knowing full well she had not been treated as well as she would have been if she had been in Leocardo’s care for the few days.

“I hope you had a great birthday,” Leocardo said, not having seen Nate since his drunken celebrations. Leocardo was excited to go back to work to spend some time with Nate, Cameron, and Eliza. He missed the good-natured and laidback attitude of the bar; he even became nostalgic of Cameron’s nagging.

“Oh yeah! Happy birthday, Nate!” Odette stood straight up again. “I can’t believe I missed it!”

“Next year,” Nate assured her and gave her a gentle smile she would never see. “Your brother is my new best friend. The bar has been crazy busy,” Nate said with a thankful smile. Odette frowned in confusion, unaware of what had happened with Nate’s unemployment. “Oh, and I heard Leo that you’re a teleporter. Congratulations.” Odette beamed, happy she was in the loop for that comment.

“Yeah, it’s been helpful so far,” Leocardo replied modestly. “We better be off.”

He adjusted the leash on Cielo before Odette took it from him. He was still working on maneuvering himself without falling on crutches and was grateful Odette could manage Cielo. They said goodbye, hopped on the next bus and went back home.

On the way home, Leocardo noticed people on the bus looking at them more than usual. A skinny blind girl, a man with crutches and an overly jubilant dog probably made quite the spectacle.

“The boy’s name was William right?” Odette asked softly as her fingers massaged Cielo’s head who sat beside her with a dopey grin.

“Yes, William.”

“I feel so horrible, I…it wasn’t me. I was scared and I—”

“Odette,” Leocardo interjected. “No one blames you, not even William I’m sure. It was just bad timing.”

He tried not think about how badly he had wanted to beat Ned to a pulp, convinced prior to meeting him that he was somehow maliciously involved with his sister. At that moment he needed to blame someone, but that also was just bad timing.

Overcome by brotherly affection, Leocardo hugged Odette tightly. “I’m so glad you’re back.”

“Could you be more uncool?” Odette’s voice was muffled against his winter coat. But she didn’t let go and also held on tightly.

That night, Odette went to bed early, but Leocardo had never found it so difficult to sleep. He barely received four hours as he kept waking up in fear that Odette would not wake up the following morning. When he gave up and trudged out of bed at 6 AM, he found Odette with her earplugs in.

“Are you okay?” Leocardo asked, worried. Odette took out the earplugs. Leocardo could hear Spanish rock whispering from the MP3.

“I’m fine.” She didn’t sound convincing.

Leocardo sat beside her on the bed. Flicking through her eclectic taste in songs on her MP3, he asked, “Did you sleep?”

Odette massaged her neck. “I did.”

“Nightmares?”

“I don’t know. I think so. I keep thinking that it was part of what I was dreaming in the coma.”

“What do you remember?”

“I could hear children screaming… My cheeks burned with cold as if I was on a snowy mountain. I felt something wet on my fingers… It smelled like metal, like blood,” her voice was small. Odette’s fingertips rubbed against each other, as if she was recalling the feeling.

The scene she described chilled Leocardo. He took her hand and squeezed it. “William is safe and alive.”

Odette nodded, biting her lip. She took her MP3 back and snuggled back into bed.

“I’m here if you need anything.” Leocardo offered, but Odette had already put her earplugs back in.

*

Slowly everything returned to the way it was when they first arrived. Cielo constantly asked for affection, Odette complained about his cooking, and he filed mountains of paperwork. The bills piled up, but Leocardo knew he could work with Theodore to get them taken care of one way or another.

He often thought about leaving Edaion. He wanted to take Odette away so they wouldn’t have to live in a place where she could experience the seizures and slip into comas without warning. This foreign country that was now their home still seemed distant and enigmatic, and yet he was comforted by her perilous mountain peaks and the bottomless expanse of the lake.

This time, even when he thought of leaving, he was not overtaken with drowsiness that swamped his free will because he knew he could never act on it. Ana’s words still played in his mind. They could never leave. Even without the island’s superficial calm, somehow he felt okay with that. He had nothing to go back to now. No one would remember either of them in Spain. Edaion had taken care of that.

As days passed, his mind wandered more and more toward Ana. He had rung Ana briefly, but he was not able to communicate much. So much had happened between them and he was unsure where they stood. Were they friends or something more? Had it been purely because of the situation that they had turned to each other for comfort? That was the last thing he wanted Ana to think. He did honestly like her.

He invited her over for dinner one evening. A few days had passed since Odette had been released from the hospital.

The buzzer alerted Leocardo and Odette that Ana had arrived. A bubble of joy burst inside him. He moved as casually as he could to the buzzer, made difficult by his crutches, so that Odette would not make fun of him.

“Ana?” he asked.

He moved into the hall. She was walking toward him and he shut the door behind him. They needed to talk and the last thing he wanted to do was talk about this with Odette in the room. The hallway had never been particularly private, but it was the best they had at this point.

“Hi, Leo,” she said joyfully before hesitantly pecking him on the cheek. She smelled of fresh flowers, a pleasant change from ash and singed cloth. She held grocery bags up between them. “I’m cooking,” she announced.

“Ana…” he started, feeling uneasy. What was he going to do? What were they going to do? The kiss felt distant, had she meant it to? “Erm…” he murmured and let one of the crutches rest against the wall, he leaned his weight onto one arm and had his back against the wall. With his free hand, his fingertips reached for her hand. He waited for her reaction. “Is there…an us?” his eyes met her gaze.

Anxiety coursed through his veins for a split second when she didn’t respond, but then her nude lips parted into a broad smile. The groceries slipped onto the ground.

“I hope so,” she whispered.

His lips twitched as he tried to suppress a smile before grinning broadly. “Good,” he responded before kissing her.

“Let’s go inside,” he murmured, drowsy with the sensation of Ana’s lips on his. He grabbed her hand and squeezed before leading her inside.

“So…is he a good kisser?” Odette asked bluntly, making it clear that she did not need eyes to see. It continued to amaze him, but he was glad he did not have to make some kind of awkward announcement. Odette was bright enough to put two and two together. Leocardo felt his face grow hot before looking over to Ana who simply giggled.

“I hope you are hungry! I’m making tacos.” Ana announced before touching and twisting dials on the stove and pulling open drawers. Leocardo thought he was bad at cooking, but at least he knew how to work a stove.

Quickly, he moved to Ana. “Now now…we’ve had enough fires for a long time. We don’t need another,” he teased and set everything back to its original setting. He nudged her to the side without sending himself off balance and glanced over his shoulder to see Ana moving toward Odette.

With that thought, he glanced back at Odette who had excused herself to the bathroom. He was glad she was awake and well. He thought back to the past week and all the things that had haunted him, they seemed so petty now. What worried him most was what would happen when winter abandoned them.

With a moment of privacy with Ana, he snaked his hands around her waist and murmured, “You still think she’s a medium? After everything?”

“Let’s not think about that just now,” she responded, giving his arm a squeeze.

He hoped that if Odette was a seer, that her future was not as bleak as Devna’s had been. He hoped that Odette would be in control and not fall into another one of those dark, silent, and prophetic comas ever again.

Odette’s visions had saved a young boy’s life but did it stop there? He could not help but think that this was not the end of it. Leocardo could not shake off the feeling, the same feeling that haunted him from the moment they arrived; they were Edaion’s slaves now.

FIN

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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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