C7 The Necklace
Sera has spent the remaining hours after lunch, diving into work. Sometimes he would catch her staring at the computer screen, but for the most part, she kept herself distracted. She's numb to it all. That's why when she pulled into the coffee house parking lot, he didn't even care.
He's been here countless times with her before. The past two days have been different. Sera is changing. He can't figure out whether he likes it or not; and can't for the life of him understand what this feeling is in the pit of his stomach, tying itself into little twisting knots repeatedly. By far the strangest feeling he's ever experienced.
It's a habit when he hovers behind her while she orders. The tension between Jack and Sera is palpable. Jack always has that slick smile on his face; the one he only saves for her. Nathanael hates it. The way he looks at her, says her name, knows her drink, and watches her while she works on her laptop at night. It makes him uneasy. It makes him... mad.
"Hey, Sera. How was work?" Jack's voice is cheery as ever. One would think after that first date was a bust; he would be a little more withdrawn. A proud smile spreads across Nathanael's lips.
"Just like my life: long, uninteresting, and mundane," she responds.
"That good, huh? Anything I can do to make it better?" He leans slightly over the register. Nathanael feels the need to step in and glide through the counter. The machines shimmer as he shifts through them to wind up behind the bar. Bending over, he grabs hold of the rubber floor mat and flips it out from under Jack.
Jack wobbles before falling onto his back. Quickly, he dusts himself off and stands. His smile, a little less perky than before and his cheeks redder than the apron he's wearing.
"Whoops, it's just a little wet there." He attempts to recover.
"Are you okay?" Nathanael's heart stops when Sera looks so concerned.
"Uh," Jack rubs the back of his head, "Yeah, that was weird."
"Appears a lot of weird things are going on around here lately." It's Sera's turn to glance around, uneasy. Her hand reflexively flies to the vial at her chest again.
Not that he blamed her. Strange things are going on around here. He suspects something happened in that psychic shop she went to at lunchtime. Anger inside bubbles at the memory. For some reason, Nathanael wasn't able to enter the shop. A strange force stopped him. It must have been some form of shield protecting the building from everything supernatural. The only thing that could have done that would be powerful spells. What is a powerful being like that doing here on Earth? What is it they could be hiding? Above all things, what could they have possibly said to Sera to make her so... jumpy?
Nathanael leans on the window ledge of Jack's Coffee Bean. Beside him, sits the green chair where Sera is typing away at something on that portable computer. The longer he remains here, the more he begins to comprehend their many purposes, not that he would ever know how to work one. The world now revolves around these devices. Not one human seems to walk around without some kind of technology with them. The Angels of Heaven are going to be so entertained with all his stories when he returns. Some have never been to the surface. Those Angels are the most curious, hovering around the outskirts by the clouds, hoping for morsels of the secular drama. The unknown can tempt even Angels.
Sera stirs, mumbling something to herself and glances off into the distance. Her hand automatically reaches for her chest. She does that often. The necklace hanging there proves to be a source of comfort for her.
The vial on her necklace brings his attention lower. Situated between the curves of her breasts, sits a powdered substance that glimmers in the sunlight. He scoots off the ledge, coming in closer for a better look. That's not just any vial.
It pulses at her throat in tune with her heartbeat. Whatever it is, it is somehow connected to her. He can feel the power radiating from the necklace the closer he gets. This is something supernatural.
How did she get a hold of this? His hand reaches for her neck, the pulsing increases.
Sera's breathing increases as the vial thrums against her. He can feel the power the closer his hand gets. That's Angel dust around her neck. His fingers dance along the edge of it. What could this be?
She gasps, wraps her slender hand tighter around the pendant, and sits back in the chair, escaping him. "Why are you so connected to this necklace?" He asks rhetorically, staring at the hand at her chest. "And how are you able to touch something spiritual?" He glances up to see her hazel eyes staring into the space where he's standing or would be if she could see him. He freezes; his hand still extended, reaching for her.
They stay like that for a few seconds until he can sense her heartbeat slow. With a shake of her head, she bites her fingernails and melts back into the chair.
That is... strange. It's as if she can feel him there with her. The more he comes to know about this girl, the more mysterious she becomes. She has hidden secrets, unknown to even her. He doesn't even know them yet, but he will find them out. Maybe that is why they sent him for her, maybe she is somehow important. He was given this assignment for a reason, the Lord entrusted him with her for a purpose. He intends to find out all of her secrets... and figure out what is going on around here.
Sera pulls her feet up onto the comfy green chair, her hand still clutched around her necklace. She could have sworn it just jumped. That's absurd. The necklace is just a vial filled with powder. As much as she reiterates that detail to herself, she can't keep explaining away the fact that it's... it's been feeling weird lately. Things appear to happen when she wears it—like glimmering slightly when she looks at it sometimes, and she can swear occasionally it fills her with this sense of security, like that blanket she carried around as a baby.
Climbing to her feet, her hand still holding the vial, she picks up her purse and heads for the door.
"See ya, Jack!" She waves and slips out before he has a chance to reply.
All she can recall is the necklace was among her presents on her eighteenth birthday. A little box, settled on the top of the pile—the only one without a card. She's on a self-imposed mission to finally figure out where this necklace came from.
Her mom's car is in the driveway, perfect. She pulls up across the street and hops out, not even bothering to lug her laptop inside with her. Barely making it inside the house, she hollers, "Mom!"
"In the sunroom, dear," her mother replies from deep inside the house.
Sera makes her way through the hall and kitchen to the back door. Her mother is sitting in a white whicker chair, papers spread out in front of her and a smudge of red ink on her cheek. Sera hides a giggle, opens the door, and slips into the seat across from her mother.
"You have a little something there." Sera points to Bianca's cheek.
Bianca rubs the spot vigorously, yet unsuccessfully. "Oh, I'm so behind in grading these." She picks up another packet and places the red pen between her lips as she returns to her task.
"Do you need any help?"
"Do you mind, dear?"
"Nope." Sera pulls a packet onto her lap. She reads the first sentence before needing to pick up a pen. "What grade are these kids in?"
"Well, this sophomore just used the word 'gonna' in a sentence."
She sighs before rolling her eyes. "I swear 'the texting' is the worst thing ever invented for the English language."
Sera smirks. "Is that why you refuse to participate?"
They return to their papers, but Sera can't hold it in any longer. "Hey, Mom, can I ask you a question?"
"Anything to distract me from this nonsense." Bianca Cross peeks up from her winged-retro, red reading glasses.
"Do you remember where you got this necklace from?" Sera pulls the vial between her fingers, bringing it to the front of her blouse.
Her mother looks over her reading glasses. "Uh, I don't believe that was from us."
"Are you sure?" Sera glances back down again. The vial between her fingers now shimmers in the setting sun through the large sunroom windows.
"I'm sure. Maybe it's from one of your aunts?"
"Hmm, I'll check."
"Why do you ask? You've had that thing forever."
"A few years," Sera admits. "It's just getting a little tarnished; I wanted to purchase another one."
"Oh, well do 'the texting' to your aunt."
"The texting'?" Sera stifles a giggle.
"You know what I mean." She looks up again, her brown eyes appear bigger behind her reading glasses.
"Okay, I'll do 'the texting'." Sera giggles one more time before returning to the paper in her lap.
Every so often, while reading through the rest of the papers, her hand would reach for the vial at her neck—the mystery behind it suddenly becoming imperative to figure out. How can a necklace fill her with such a sense of comfort? How is the vial something that is such a big part of her, and she has no idea where it came from? It's something she resolves to figure out.
Nathanael hovered over where Sera stood, watching her compute things onto her tiny phone. Again, with this technology, communication is faster than ever. People are available at the press of a button.
Her phone chimes as someone responds. He leans close to her ear. Her back stiffens, and she tugs a little at her shoulder but doesn't look over at him.
A necklace? No, doesn't ring a bell. He reads the response from the tiny screen. Damn it.
"Well, it couldn't have been Aunt Kathy—she usually gives me cash," she mutters to herself. "Who else was there that night?" She paces the floor still tugging at her necklace.
In spite of everything, he has noticed that once she gets her mind on something, she always sees it through. He has started something here. He can feel it.
The necklace pulses again at her throat. She clutches it tighter, glancing around the room.
Once more, he hovers over her shoulder and watches her pull up a new window on the phone. Her fingers slide over the square until a list drops down from the top. Most have job titles in the search bar. She bypasses all the job search websites, and she combs for "Necklace vials." A bunch of pictures litter the screen. Maybe not all secular ideas are so bad after all.
She scrolls super fast through a bunch of them. "No. No. No. Too small, too big, too gold," she utters to herself as the screen swims in his vision and forces him to glance away. There are so many. How can one person find something so small in the masses of that search? Maybe, it's not something that she can find. What if this necklace isn't of this world? His eyes gravitate to it once again. The necklace between her curves glimmers, agreeing with him. It only makes his decision official. His new self-imposed mission: find out the origin of the mysterious necklace.
That night she went to bed without any answers. The night is warm, at least that's what the box called a 'Television' announced this morning. A breeze brings with it a different scent. One he's not familiar with yet. Sera has been asleep for a while now. The only thing to keep him company is the sound of the woods surrounding her house. A cricket chirps, and the wind rustles between the leaves.
Nathanael turns away, swinging his legs onto the floor. The room is quiet as he glides over to her bedside. The gentle curve of her cheek is calm, relaxed even. Maybe this is all in his head. Maybe this is normal for Earth.
Just then, her brows furrow in her sleep—her head flinging to the side. Maybe not. Movement above his head draws his attention. The shadows from the tree branches are growing, stretching across the ceiling closer and closer to the bed. His arms fling outward preparing for an attack. The shadows elongate farther, creeping like fingers reaching for her.
Something is strange, yet he can sense no evil around. What is going on? Sera whines in her sleep, tossing and turning now. Not having anything else to do, Nathanael reaches out for her. His hand touches her shoulder and Sera stops struggling; her face peaceful again. A light outside the window causes the shadows to slowly dissipate. The light grows brighter and brighter. Curiously, Nathanael approaches the window.
Lampyridae, or lightening bugs as Sera calls them, have begun to flock to her window. They float in a growing swarm suspended in the warm winter air.
Suddenly, Sera jumps halfway up in bed. The spell breaks, causing them to scatter. Her eyes dart around the room. With a sigh, she rolls over clutching her blanket against her chest.
The night returns to normal. After a few minutes, Sera's breathing evens out. Nathanael wanders over to her bed again. She stopped at the touch of his hand. This keeps getting even more curious. He attempts to touch her again.
Her skin is warm, too warm, feverish for a human. She doesn't look uncomfortable though; her sleep even seems peaceful. These things only happen when she is asleep. This girl has no idea she's even doing this. The Lord has placed him here for a reason. He finally understands his purpose, to dissipate the cloud of mystery surrounding the fiery red headed dreamer.