Mirica stared at Nico. Her cousin. A cousin she didn’t know she had, couldn’t quite believe she did have, and yet she didn’t think he was lying to her about who he was. She half wished she did. That way, maybe, it would be possible to disbelieve everything else he’d told her, because she didn’t want to think of her brother as a murderer. Especially not as he might have killed their parents. Were there really no signs that she’d missed? Could he have been that good at lying about who he really was? An unwanted tear trickled down her cheek, one that she scrubbed away quickly in the hope that Nico wouldn’t see it, but she could tell from the pity in his eyes that he had.
“I’m sorry.” Finding herself wrapped in his arms was a surprise and she couldn’t work out how to extricate herself without making it obvious that’s what she was trying to to. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“Finding out like that… honestly, Rica, I’m not thinking straight. The last thing I thought I’d find when I let myself into your brother’s house was you. He never mentioned a sister, but then that might have been because he was worried that I might take your powers.” Nico released her. “A couple of years ago I might have done, you know, so he wasn’t wrong to hide you from me. I might even have done the same to my own family, because of the addiction, one that I only rid myself off when I knew myself how much it hurt to lose someone like that.” He shook his head. “I wish I could turn back time, to stop myself from becoming that monster, but that impossible, so all I can do now is try my best to make amends in the few ways that I can.”
“How does killing my brother help with that?”
“To be totally honest with you the only reason I want to kill him is to make certain that he can’t hurt anyone else. We have three young magic users here who only managed to get away from your brother because Stasia found them at the right time. If she hadn’t they’d be dead. As it is she found them another sanctuary to use until they were strong enough to be able to deal with the thieves in the Hideout.”
“Are there other places like this?”
Nico shook his head. “The Hideout is a one off, but she’s been working on making something similar for years now. Unless she blooms she won’t have the skills to be able to, although she does know how to get us to help her out if she needs us to, and I think, once you’ve settled in, I’ll introduce you to her. Having a friend might help.” He smiled. “What she has managed to do is create enough wards that she can set them up in an abandoned house for a week, or sometimes ten days, and give the newly bloomed magic users some time to accept what’s happened to themselves in safety. There are other magic users who do the same thing, but they don’t have the same abilities as Stasia, so for them it’s a waiting game, while she can go to whoever needs her.”
Mirrored from K. A. Webb Writing.