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PART 4: SCARLETT'S POV
Secret entered the room wearing a tight royal blue evening dress that came to her knees. Her hair was pinned up on her head and the necklace that hung around her neck was nothing less that magnificent.
She looked like she was attending a wedding, but of course, she could wear rags and upstage any bride. "I see you've met the others, Scarlett dear." I hadn't realized i'd been holding my breath until I tried to speak and coughed instead. I cleared my throat and tried again. "Yeah, they're great." I saw Addy smile out of the corner of my eye. "Well, i'm so glad your all getting along because you'll be spending quite some time here with them." I didn't hide the shock I felt. "How much time?" I hissed between my teeth. "Don't lash, dear. Time is nothing when your immortal! And besides, you'll quite like it here at the Palace. Although we haven't been able to get inside yet so you'll have to remain out here with the others." I rolled my eyes and repeated myself. "How much time?" She sighed. "Don't worry, you won't be here that long. In the meantime, is there anything you'd like me to tell your darlings back home?" I saw Renegade's smile slowly fade. "Yes, actually. Could you tell my parents i'm safe and I love them?" She nodded and turned to leave. "Wait!" I yelled. She spun back around, her grin plastered on her face. "Yes?" I thought about it for a second and added, "Can you also tell Seth if I remain here long that I didn't regret it. He'll know what I mean. Oh, and tell him when the others aren't around." What am I doing!? I thought to myself. It was a mistake, wasn't it? Her grin widened. "Of course, my dear." She waved and then vanished out of thin air. I turned to face Xavier as he spoke. "She lied, you know. About the 'you won't be here that long' thing." He grimaced. "Oh, don't listen to him! He's the newest besides you and your sister. Only been here about a decade or so." Addy said, scolding him with her eyes. A decade!? "But he's not wrong." Renegade chimed in, shaking his head sadly. "Journey told me the same when she first brought me here over a thousand years ago. I was the first to arrive, followed by Adrina and then Akiah." Addy pulled herself back onto the rock and faced away from us, her back was stiff. "Has it really been that long? I stopped counting after one hundred years." Her voice sounded defeated. I wanted to comfort her but I didn't know how. "Unfortunately it has been quite so long, lass." Renegade said, stepping into the stream to place a hand on Addy's shoulder. "I don't understand any of this." Xavier said, slumping against a tree. "Why us?" I was surprised when it was Akiah who spoke. "Because we're the last of our kind, of course. Scarlett, have you ever seen a centaur, mermaid, winged boy, or even a girl who can communicate with nature, before now?" I flinched at the sound of my name. "Oh, Uh.. no." I stuttered out. "That's because there aren't any left. Each of our kind is now extinct." I thought what she said over for a minute. "That must have something to do with use being the key." Garnet smiled and said, "Maybe it has something to do with one of every species!" It seemed to make sense, all except for two things. "If that were true, shouldn't there be a werewolf here? Like my father or Sam, or even Seth. And if you hadn't noticed, we're the same species and there are two of us here." I said. "Not exactly. Garnet is technically the only one here that's dead." I looked up at my sister, studying her. She looked healthy, but it was true. She had died, I saw her body. I shivered at that thought. "Okay, but what about the wolves?" His eyes went blank. "I'm not quite sure why there aren't any shape shifters here, child. Perhaps they just haven't arrived yet." As if on cue, Journey appeared behind me with a massive wolf shuddering angrily beside her. Even though he wasn't in human form, I recognized him at once. "Seth!" His eyes flashed to my face and he seemed to relax a little. He looked up at Journey for a moment and she nodded. "Of course, dear. There are some jeans for you on the bench by the fountain." She smiled at us all before vanishing. Seth hesitated for a moment, staring at me, and then disappeared behind the fountain to phase. He was back in seconds wearing the blue jeans she'd lied out for him. "Where am I?" He asked, looking only at me. I blushed thinking about kissing him and Garnet answered for me. "The Forbidden Palace." His eyes flashed to Garnet and the slight shaking he was doing stopped. "Aren't you...?" "Yes, this is my sister. Garnet, Seth. Seth, Garnet." I gestured with my hands. "And i'm Adrina but Addy will do just fine!" Addy announced. He looked over my shoulder at her and his eyes widened. I felt a pang of jealousy as I wondered if it was because of her tail or her beauty. "Yeah, yeah. I'm a mermaid. And that's Renegade, he's a centaur. Xavier's the winged boy, and over there is little Akiah. She speaks with animals and nature itself." Seth was silent, taking it all in. "Cool..how long are we gonna be here?" He finally said. He took things better then me. "Who knows! But you'll be happy here, promise. None of us bite. But can I say the same for you, wolf?" Addy said questioningly. He cracked an easy smile. "He doesn't bite but if he starts that whole shaking thing, back up. You don't wanna be around a werewolf when they're phasing." I said, stepping forward to hug Seth. I didn't know why but I felt a lot more content with him there. He hugged me back and questioned my with his eyes. I shrugged. I turned around to see that Garnet was grinning like the Cheshire Cat and Xavier was looking away grumpily. He must be terribly lonely, I thought to myself. Maybe that's why he's so bitter.
The rest of the night we all sat in a circle (except for Addy, who kept her tail in the water) and talked about the other's pasts. Some weren't so pretty. Renegade was a great war centaur and had used his magic flute to confuse the enemies into shooting their own comrades. It turns out that Addy had been a merman's daughter, but not just any merman. Her father was the king and she had been Princess Adrina of the seven sea's. It all sounded great until she told me, on her father's orders, she had lured sailor's to their death with her singing voice. She was a siren.
Next was little Akiah's story. She'd been born by humans and taken away from her parents when it was discovered she could communicate with animals and control nature. They'd locked her away in an asylum until Journey found her there and brought her here. Her story reminded me of Alice's in a way. Xavier hadn't wanted to share his story but he did tell us,
"I wasn't born, but created."