“So…why did you decide to hide in a tree?” I asked, both of us leaning back on branches.
Olivia stretched out her arms, a small smile persisting on her face.
“Last I was aware, Ally’s father was still an associate of Adam’s.” Did everyone in the gang just decide to call my dad ‘Adam’ at some point?! I thought. Did I miss a memo or something? “Coming in the front door didn’t seem wise.”
“Okay, but why not just approach us once we were out here then?”
Her miniscule smile widened as she looked down.
“I enjoy sneaking up on people,” she answered awkwardly.
“Excuse me?” I laughed. “Since when do you like anything as juvenile as that?”
She raised her head back up, her full smile really beautiful.
“When I was…assisting Carter earlier in the week, I may have acted more like my younger self. It may have been more of an indulgence than I cared to admit.”
I continued to laugh. I’d seen the less cold side of Olivia plenty of times, but this was different. If I wasn’t mistaken, she was even blushing a little.
“Wait,” I stopped my laughter, wiping my eye. “What was going on with Carter that day? What was that monster I saw?”
Olivia changed to her usual expression. Really though, after what I’d just seen, I wouldn’t be surprised if the degree of her usual broodiness was something of an act.
“I’m fully aware of how nonsensical this is going to sound so I’m just going to get it all out at once,” she started.
Nonsensical, huh? As if that didn’t already describe our entire lives? I thought.
“The source of Carter’s powers is a demon that lives inside his soul, his soul having absorbed her when she was in a condensed form which he confused for a bee. This demon also happens to be the reincarnation of the biblical Sarah, wife of Abraham, who, if you haven’t been informed about this by now, is Smog. The reason why fear has served as a limit to Carter’s power is because Sarah has purposely been holding him back. What you saw, that monster, was Sarah exploiting Carter’s fear and anxiety, trapping him in his own soul and taking over the body. With my help though, he was able to take control back and get Sarah back in his soul.”
I opened my mouth. And I closed it. I opened it up again. And I closed it once more.
“Yeah I need a drink,” I said, teleporting is both down to the ground, out of the tree.
“Hm,” she murmured. “I’d sensed that you could teleport other people now. I hope this new ability didn’t come from your father.”
“Not a chance,” I replied, shaking my head. “I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s thanks to Carter. Before you showed up to help Carter, I was fighting a terrakinetic and he basically beat me to the point of death. I only survived because Carter showed up and gave me some of his blood, his healing factor, you know. I guess in addition to healing me, it must have also powered me up.”
Olivia wrapped her hand around her chin.
“That might be partially it but I’m not sure,” she said. “This isn’t the first time Carter’s given you blood to work share his healing abilities with you. He did so during Demongeddon as well.” She paused. “I think that it has to do with…”
“There you are,” Ally cheered, interrupting Olivia, galloping on Destine toward us. “Where did you…oh,” her mood changed, seeing Olivia.
Gently, I put a hand on her shoulder.
“Everything is fine,” I said. “Between us I mean.”
“Well, that’s great!” she exclaimed, dismounting. “So you two made up about everything?”
Olivia and I smiled at each other.
“No more looking back,” she said, echoing something I’d said before.
“No more apologies,” I echoed her as well.
There was a warmness around us. Not the temperature, that was still ice cold, but just the three of us standing here like this…it felt so safe.
“Awesome! Now we just need to figure out what’s going on with the others.”
Olivia crossed her arms and stiffened her posture.
“That’s actually why I came here.” I frowned at her. “Now I mean. Coming to see you was a desire I’ve had for some time, but out of fear, couldn’t bring myself to act on until it was absolutely necessary.” She paused. “I’m not sure what you’ve thought has been going on, but we’re still in danger from Abraham.”
“What?!” I asked, instantly terrified, Ally holding on to me. “I’d thought Joey had convinced him not to kill everyone when he was murdered.”
Olivia shook her head.
“The reason we’re all still alive is simply because Carter didn’t show up to fight him. He’s the only “player” left, as well as the only one who ever really mattered. And tomorrow, they’re to fight, the lives of millions on the line.”
Ally tightened her hold around me.
“But Carter can kick his ass right?” Ally asked. “If…If I understand all this right, didn’t Abraham do all this to make him stronger?”
“Yes,” Olivia groaned. “But in actuality, Carter is currently weaker than he’s ever been. While Sarah serves as his power source, it’s always been the strength of his soul which allows him to reach higher levels of power. Abraham has been working under the assumption that because he’s powered by his own fear that driving him to despair would bring out his maximum power. But as I said before, “fear” was just being used to limit him. And all he’s done is cripple his soul.”
“I’m not sure if I’d be more or less cared if I understood this,” Ally commented, having missed out on some details.
“It’s as I was telling you before, Raina. Carter’s blood may have given you the opportunity to increase your capabilities, but you were only able to seize that opportunity, in contrast to the first time this happened, because only now was your soul strong enough. And if we’re going to save Carter and millions of others, that strength is what we’re betting on.”
My eyes widened.
“Uh, you’re not asking me to fight Abraham, right? Right?!”
“Of course not, Olivia asserted, stroking my hair. “Only Carter even has a chance to defeat Abraham. But if he’s to have one, he needs his family. His whole family. And I do believe you’re the only one who can bring us all back together.”