When her eyes closed, Dae focused only on making sure she was breathing in and out and focusing. He kept whispering encouraging things into her head, and when she finally opened her eyes again he smiled. She had done it. ”See?” he said, speaking out loud for the first time in quite some time, “All you gotta do it breathe…and focus.” Dae pulled Skylar into a hug, moving to run his hand up and down over her back in a soothing kind of way. He kissed the top of her head before pulling away and moving to sit them both down on the bed. “Now I’m not going to lie to you Sky…the next few weeks, if not months, are going to be like that. It’s…going to be painful and it will feel like your head is going to explode, but whenever that happens…just breathe like I told you. Soon you’ll learn to control when you hear them and who you hear. Eventually you’ll learn how to project your words into someone’s mind. It’ll be easy to do with Morgan and I both helping you—Dad too.”
Dae moved, wiping the forgotten tears from her eyes and face as he smiled at his little sister. She was strong, like their mother. She would get through this. Ruffling her hair, Daemon chuckled and fell back on his bed, lifting a new dart with his hand before flinging it at the board on his ceiling. So close to the bullseye…so close. “….I know you couldn’t wait for this Sky…but it’s not all fun and games,” he said, his voice soft. “…there’s a lot more than you bargained for with these powers. Trust me…it’s not just a gift…it can be a burden too.”
“I know.” Sky frowned at his words as she settled into a comfortable position on his bed. She knew it wouldn’t be all fun and games but somehow, hearing it out loud made her even more surly. The pain, the voices… She didn’t want any of that. She merely wanted the satisfaction of knowing that she got her powers. That she, the youngest of the Montagues, was as gifted as the rest of her family. But with this gift would come hard work. Sky remember watching as her brothers and their father worked to hone their skill. It would now be her time to join them.
Her cold blue eyes watched as Daemon silently lifted a dart and flung it at the board. She watched, transfixed, as the dart sunk into the board - so very close to the bullseye. Her brother was a quick learner. He was so good with these gifts and she found herself nervously hoping that she’d be the same way.
“Do I have that gift too? Telekinesis?” Sky questioned. Gifts were hereditary and the similarities varied from family to family. The Montagues had always been a family that was particularly gifted in the mind. Telepathy, telekinesis… They had been through it all. Eagerly, Sky waved her hand over a dart. It didn’t move. Furrowing her eyebrows together, she tried again but there still wasn’t a result. She frowned, looking back at her brother unhappily. “W-What if I only have one?” Both her parents and her brothers had more than one gift. It would be such an embarrassment if she herself only had one.
Daemon looked at Sky, he could see the fear and pain in her eyes. She was trying so hard to make it stop. That was the last thing she should be doing, though. Dae moved to wipe wayward tears from her eyes as he looked at her. He could hear her voice clear as day in his head. That was good. She was getting it…somewhat. He stared at her and waited for her to calm down a bit before speaking to her again. Sky, stop fighting it. Breathe, okay? Stop trying to make it stop…don’t try to force it out. Just focus on my voice.
Daemon hated seeing his sister in so much pain. He remembered what it was like. It wasn’t too long ago that he went through the same thing. Hearing a million voices suddenly in your head…it could drive a person crazy. Not to mention, the pain that came with it? It was almost unbearable. However, Sky was strong, she would get through it. He did. Dae took in a breath and looked at Sky again. Sky. Do what I do. Breathe with me, okay? In…and out. In….and out. Focus…focus on my voice. You’re doing great, Sky…just breathe, focus, relax…
I-I’m so scared. I don’t know if I can bear it.
Sky remembered the days she was dying to have her powers. She thought of the jealousy she felt at Daemon and Morgan getting their powers. It was something she wanted. But now feeling the pain and listening a thousand voices at once, she wasn’t so sure. So, she was telepathic like her brothers. That was reassuring only in the fact that it meant that Daemon and Morgan would be able to help her out.
I don’t know what to do.
Breathe. That’s what Daemon was to tell her. Breathe and focus on his voice. In tune with him, Sky began to breathe in and breathe out heavily. With every breath, another voice faded away but Daemon’s. Clutching his hands over her tightly, Sky’s eyes closed as her heart pounded in her chest. Breathe, breathe. The voices were going away. The pain was beginning to numb. Suddenly, she didn’t feel as bad. Sky could now only hear one voice - Daemon. With a relieved sigh, she looked up and smiled at her brother.
Daemon had been laying in bed, using his powers to throw darts at the board on his ceiling. He’d finally learned how to control them, with help from Morgan and from his father. It was getting easier and easier the more he practiced. Sure, it seemed stupid that he was using them to throw darts…but even that took focus and effort. When his door burst open, Dae lost focus and the dart hovering above him dropped and landed in his leg. Wincing, he took it out and turned as his little sister burst into the room, hands on her head. Instantly Dae moved, getting up off the bed and heading over to her. Concern all over his face, he took her head between his hands and looked into her eyes.
Sky…Sky! Look at me…listen to my voice. Only my voice. Come on sis…focus…focus on my voice. Just my voice. Daemon said, using his own power to seep into his sister’s mind. That was how his father had taught Daemon to control the voices…that was how Dae was going to help Skylar. Their dad and Morgan were off on some hunting trip or whatever it was they did every month…so it fell to Dae to help her. Rubbing his thumbs across her cheekbones, Daemon looked into her eyes—concern still all over his features, as he kept speaking to her. Just listen to my voice, Sky…it’s going to be okay….just focus…on my voice. Focus…focus…
Just listen to my voice, Sky…it’s going to be okay….just focus…on my voice. Focus…focus…
Sky was trying to listen to only Daemon but she couldn’t seem to shut out all of the other voice. She could still hear her mother, the neighbor, the boys across the street, the man passing by in his car, the couple taking a walk through the neighborhood… Another shot of pain went through her head.
She didn’t even realize that she was talking inside her head, but she was. Biting her lip to stop from crying, Sky trained her cold blue eyes on her brother. Her breathing was shallow and heavy.
Make it stop, Dae. Make it stop!
It was a week after her twelfth birthday when Sky felt it.
She had been lying in the grass in their backyard when she heard her neighbor’s voice. Turning her head towards the direction of the house, but no one was outside. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion but she returned to her solitude. However, her mother’s voice cut into her thoughts, adding on top of the neighbor’s voice. Sky stood to her feet, taking in her surroundings. Both her mother and the neighbor were inside so how in the earth did she hear them?
A shot of pain went through her head and she winced. Suddenly, as if that was a signal, a plethora of voices began to seep inside her head. So loud, so meshed together. A pang of both excitement and annoyance passed over her. It was here. It was finally here. But god, did it hurt… Was it supposed to hurt?
Daemon. She needed to find her brother. He would know what to do. Clutching her head, Sky rushed inside the house and up the stairs. Without knocking, she barged in on her brother, assuring herself that her problem was far bigger than whatever he was doing at the moment. “Dae.” Sky winced as she walked closer to her. Another pain shot through her head and the voices got louder and louder. “I-It’s here.”