Don't leave me hanging part 46

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Welcome to the forty-sixth part of my first story quiz! If you haven't already read the others, you might want to, so you can understand the story. Well it's been a long journey everyone. Please make sure to read the last question and check the comments. I have an announcement I'd like to make. Thank you all - past, present, and future - for your invaluable support. I will never be able to express just how important it has been to me. (Also if there are double spaces anywhere, sorry! My new keyboard has been acting up)

Recap: After finding Owen's room abandoned, you rushed to follow his trail by using your wolf form. You finally catch up to him at the white tree in the clearing, just as he's turning himself in to Logan and a group of his wolves. You're forced to watch, kept back by Owen's silent warning, as Logan taunts and abuses Owen. Although you try to follow as Owen is dragged off, you lose track of him. You call Kris who soothes you then brings you to Stella who will teleport you to where the rest of the team is staying.

Created by: xxblutixx of From the Notes of xxblutixx
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  1. You open your eyes to find yourself in a softly lit living room. A winding metal staircase is housed in the corner of the room, leading to higher levels. As you look out, this particular floor of the house seems to be rather loft-like. There appears to be the living room that you're currently in, an office, and a bathroom, but no walls exist to define the boundary between the living room and the office. Wide windows let in the filtered sunlight, and you can tell by looking out one of these that you're in a rather developed forest.
  2. "Where are we?" you inquire of Kris and Stella. "This is Lacey's house and headquarters," Stella explains, "She'll be travelling with us." "Does that mean Lacey is better?" you ask. Stella shrugs, "I assume so; let's go upstairs and meet up with everyone. They're sure to know more." Stella leads the way up the silent stairs with her light, airy step. You follow nearly as quietly, padding along with your bare feet. Behind you, you can barely Kris's careful pace, but you're reassured all the same by its soft, barely audible rhythm.
  3. On the second floor, you encounter a great room that resembles a dance studio. Around the edges are mirrors and support bars, though there are also multiple lounge chairs and accompanying side tables, which you've certainly never seen as frequent fixtures in normal dance studios. At one of these tables is Justin, studiously taking notes and looking up every so often at the show in the center of the room.
  4. For a moment, your attention too is fixated on the center of the room. Five girls spiral, twist, tumble between, around, and beside one another in an intricate dance, each with their eyes shut, concentration focused elsewhere. Their bare feet make no noise on the smooth, polished floor, and their loose, flowing outfits of pastel rose or lavender whisper through the air. A sixth girl, small in stature and draped in layers of translucent black material, stands before them, back to you, in the stance of a conductor.
  5. Justin's eyes light up at seeing you, and he motions energetically for you to come to him, but indicates you should proceed with silence. As soon as you reach him, Justin gets up to hug you. You're about to greet him, but he puts a finger to your lips and quickly scrawls on his note paper, "talk after", indicating to the dancing girls. A little put-out, you nonetheless take a seat next to Justin to wait. He picks up his pencil and resumes taking notes.
  6. Looking for something to do, your eyes stray over to his notes. You read something about healing and a pooling of power before you give up and shift your attention to the dancers before you. They've shifted. The girl in black is now within a ring of spinning dancers, dancing the wildest herself, as much as you can tell between the floating trails of cloth the other dancers leave in their wake. The dancers move faster and faster, yet every move they make is still precise, controlled, and no mistakes are made. It's undeniable that they're supernatural and that they must have had much practice doing this sort of thing. The sheer fabric whistles through the air and shimmers with a golden light. A melody hummed floats through the air, and you watch as Stella steps forward, eyes closed, and impossibly glowing.
  7. Without warning, all dancers and Stella fall to their knees, heads bowed. The light off the dancers disappears, and the ceiling glows for a second before it's gone. Most of the girls stand and stretch, rolling their shoulders or lunging as if they had completed any other regular exercise, but the girl in the middle, the one in black, strides up to Stella.
  8. Before the girl reaches her, Stella speaks up, "I know, I know, sorry. I just know you're missing your seventh." "Obviously we're missing our seventh, but your stunt nearly messed the entire flow of energy up. It can only flow in one direction, Stella. You made the choice not to stay, and you can't come back whenever you want, expecting the same standing," the girl lectures.
  9. "It was habit; I'm sorry," Stella repeats, " I'm not here to take your position, Nikki." "If you were, would you tell me? I doubt it, but never mind, I'm going to to check on Lacey, and I assume you will want to come?" Nikki arches an eyebrow rather contemptously at Stella. "Of course! How has she been doing?" Stella asks with a new tone of concern. "She's conscious now, no thanks to any of you," Nikki snippily replies as she marches up stairs at the opposing end of the room. Stella follows, but you hang behind a little to wait as Justin packs up his notes. Kris hesitates a little as he passes you but doesn't stop and follows after Stella.
  10. "Thanks for waiting for me," Justin says, smiling warmly and readjusting his armful of writing implements, "It's a relief to see you're okay and here right now, _________." You shift uncomfortably with guilt at making him worry. "It's no problem," you mutter. After a short, awkward pause, Justin suggests, "Well I suppose we should go up with them now?" You can only guess the number of questions Justin must have, but you're glad for the moment that he's silenced them.
  11. Justin leads the way up the stairs, not stopping at the next level, but the one above. A wide space opens before you, softly lit by skylights dotting the cathedral-style ceiling. A gentle breeze flows through the white lattice walls, carrying the light, airy fragrance of the ivy and crawling flower vines twisted thickly around the lattices. Behind their scent a fainter, but much stronger earthy smell of the forest invisible beyond the walls. The room smells fresh... alive, as if the room was but a clearing in the forest, reverberating with the life energy of plants, quietly yet earnestly growing and surviving. It's strangely invigorating.
  12. Delicate four-poster beds with white wooden frames carved and woven like ivy and delicate, transparent canopies line the edges of the room, with one, in the middle of the opposing wall, standing out from the rest with a shimmering golden shroud. Nikki and Stella are standing by the bed, and judging by Nikki's stiff body posture, you can tell she's not happy. They're both looking up at the girl with the small, shimmering golden wings sitting daintily atop the canopy. As you get closer, you recognize the rosy pink cheeks and bright eyes of Lacey. A laugh like windchimes swayed by a rare summer breeze is let loose on the room, and Lacey daintily alights on the ground, her ankles wobbling a little as she struggles to keep her balance. Nikki reaches out almost immediately to steady her, but Lacey waves her away and, instead, sits down cross-legged on the rumpled sheets of the bed.
  13. "_______." She smiles. "It's wonderful to see you're here and safe too." "Lacey!" You want to go up and hug her, but she looks a little frail still, and you're not sure Nikki would be so open to that. Instead, you smile back, saying, "It's great to see you've recovered too." "Lacey! What were you doing flying around? You know you're supposed to be in bed to complete the healing. We just finished the seven-point spell. As you well know, its effects take a while to stabilize," Nikki scolds. "Yes, I know. I felt so energized in that moment though, after all that time unable to move, that I just... had to take flight, and it felt so nice, Nikki. To be free again. Now I am sure I made the right decision. I cannot wait to go on an adventure," Lacey earnestly says, looking up with a rather pleading look in her eyes. Nikki sighs out to the side, "Yes, yes..."
  14. "So you are coming with us?" Stella asks. "Yes, of course!" Lacey replies, beaming, "I feel a lot better now. Nikki and the others have all been very attentive." "Speaking of such, I think it's time for your follow-up," Nikki suggests. "Yes, I want to be ready to go on that trip. Come visit me later, _______, Stella, all of you. I want to know what's been happening at the main branch. Nikki says there's nothing of interest, but I absolutely have to know if you packed any of those strawberry shortcake lollipops for the trip."
  15. After promising to check for strawberry shortcake lollipops and to visit her later, you, Justin, Kris, and Stella descend to the third floor, which, as Justin informs you, is the main level of the house. At a little corner kitchen, across the room from you, you see a person in gray sweatpants leaning into the fridge. Slowly, you walk until you're about a yard behind them and wait patiently.
  16. "_______!" Cory exclaims, haphazardly tossing the food he had extracted from the fridge onto the counter as soon as he turns around to see you. He bearhugs you so tightly that you begin to feel hot from the constriction... or that could've just been the result of having your belly pressed to his bare abs.
  17. "So, what'd you see? You just ran off on us," Cory chats as he returns back to his food, assembling a sandwich out of the many parts. At his innocent question, you flashback to seeing Owen, big strong Owen, being bound and dragged into the forest, and you can feel yourself wavering again on the edge of crying. "No need to start the questioning yet, Cory. There will be plenty of time for that later," Kris quietly asserts from his unnoticed post by the edge of the room.
  18. Cory half-shrugs. "Yeah, I guess it makes sense just to wait until Jack comes back." Cory takes his finished sandwich to one of the couple couches in the room where he voraciously wolfs down the food. Next to him, Stella just shakes her head.
  19. "So, where is Jack?" you ask. Cory pauses in mid-bite, but Kris answers, "He'll be coming back soon. He was just out looking for you." You nod. Everyone seems a little tense at the question, but you bite your lip to keep yourself from asking questions you don't want to know the answers to. If Kris said he'd be back, he would, right? You could find out what was up from Jack himself.
  20. Nikki comes down from the upper level, breaking the awkward silence. "Nikki!" Stella greets her, "So how is Lacey's status? How long do you think before she'll be ready to travel?" Nikki shoots a glare at Stella. "Technically, Lacey should not be engaged in stressful activity for the next month. Her faery blood renders her especially sensitive to the malevolent spirit possession. Coupled with her already frail constitution, she will not be fully recovered until at least three months from now," Nikki replies sharply, "Stella. You should know this. Lacey is not fit for the kind of excitability that you propose to drag her on."
  21. "Whadda you mean?" Cory asks, halfway through eating his bite of sandwich. He swallows and adds on, "Lacey seems fine. Yeah, she's sickly right now, but she's always full of energy. She'll probably be recovered in a couple days." Nikki shifts her death glare to Cory. "Wolfboy. Keep your snout out of matters that you can't possibly begin to comprehend." Stella seems a little downtrodden though and says nothing, which is unusual to her typically sunny personality.
  22. "Well," you pipe up hesitantly, "Lacey seemed excited to go, and whether or not she does is up to her, right? After all, only she can truly tell if she's ready or not?" The infamous death glare now shifts to you, but you make a valiant attempt to show no reaction, although it makes you want to shrivel up into a dustbunny of nothingness and hide under the nearest sofa. "The spells we are using to aid her recovery make her feel better, but that does not mean she is better. When you use a cough suppressant, your cold still lasts for at least a few more days, doesn't it? Lacey simply doesn't want to be left behind. She is pushing herself too hard already for your group. Can you not recognize that? You keep asking for more and more when the matter is yours at its root."
  23. "Nikki! Don't be so harsh to _______! You know she's new. Make her feel welcome. And don't be silly, this matter concerns us all as immortal descendents, not just them," Lacey enters the conversation, standing on the stairs with one hand on the wall to support herself. In an instant, Nikki is by Lacey's side. "Lacey! You were supposed to take a nap." "I was trying, I really was, Nikki. I just wasn't that tired though... then I started hearing your voices. It didn't sound very nice," Lacey protests.
  24. "You're going back upstairs, and you're going to sleep, all right, Lacey?" Nikki asserts as she turns Lacey around to face the upstairs. Lacey looks over her shoulder back at all of you. "Don't hold it against Nikki, okay? She really has been doing the most to take care of me, but I think she's been very sleep-deprived and stressed. I really - EEOOP!" In mid-sentence, Lacey trips up the stair she is trying to ascend. Nikki catches her halfway to the ground, and Lacey just laughs, "Oops. Bye now! Our home is your home!"
  25. After Nikki and Lacey disappear upstairs, Cory mumbles under his breath, "That was unnecessary." "No... she's right. This is our mission, and we're asking for their help. If she's injured, she shouldn't have to go, and she is," Stella says, looking guiltily down at the floor. "It's okay, Stella," you try to reassure her, "You know Lacey. She knows exactly what she's doing." "Yeah... you're right. I shouldn't doubt her," Stella admits. She stands up. "_______, let's get you into a room. I'm sure you could use some rest."
  26. Stella tells you to wait a minute and disappears downstairs. She returns with a tall girl with long silver hair, still draped in sheer lavender clothing. "______, this is Wisteria. She's going to help you sleep." Wisteria reaches into a pouch at her hip and pinches out a bit of whatever is in there. With a clearly practiced hand, she flips the substance over into her palm and blows once, gently, in your direction. You only have time to notice the sparkling powder coming towards you before you start feeling dreadfully tired. Your eyelids flutter between open and closed a few times before you finally give in to exhaustion.
  27. ~ And that's that! I've been stuck with writer's block at this point in the story for 2 years now... aha... I'm sorry to have to say this now when I've finally come back to post something new, but DLMH is officially on hiatus until further notice. I'm so so so sorry to disappoint, but the reality is that it's been 6 years since I was a fangirling teenager anxiously stepping into the writing world (yes, I'm an old baba yaga now shhh). Believe me; reading my story over again and realizing how long it's been breaks my heart, and I wish I didn't have to do this. I still have a strong attachment to my story (although I would LOVE to edit so many things), but I just don't have the time right now to allocate the time needed to immerse myself in that world again, and it would certainly be a slightly changed one now. I make this final announcement because I think it's only fair though not to keep people hanging (for those of you still out there), waiting for a new release when I take forever to even come back onto the site. As always though, I will still be available if anyone would like to reconnect after it's been so long. I'll post some details in the comments. Thank you all for a wonderful journey it's been, and I hope we can meet again soon in the world of DLMH (because I already had part of the ending written -cries- ). I love you all, and you all helped to shape this GTQ experience that I'll never forget for the rest of my life. Before it gets too sappy though, it's time for the classic; Who do you like?

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