Xavier is intent on saving his brother, but to do that he needs the help of a human. He knows which one to use too, but it won’t be easy. Humans have changed a lot in the four hundred years that he spent away from earth and this one isn’t playing fair at all.
Seth couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching him. He went to school as usual, and no one on the subway seemed to be particularly interested in him, yet the feeling persisted. He got off at his station, two blocks from the middle school where he taught science, and nothing seemed to be off there either. Everything was perfectly normal. The other teachers complained about the weekend not being long enough and the students all looked fairly miserable. But that was what he expected of them at eight o’clock on a Monday morning.
He tried to brush it off as he settled in for his first class of the day. His kids were generally okay. They weren’t angels, but they didn’t make him want to quit after a bad day either. And now he had a secret that he wanted to share with them, only he knew that he couldn’t. Two days ago, he’d thought magic only existed in books. Then his brother, one of them anyway, had brought home a unicorn. Calix was obviously trying to fit in with them. He didn’t sleep or eat, and Seth had never seen him drink anything, but there had been a time when he and his two brothers had been watching a movie with Calix there cuddled up next to Jacob on the couch that Seth had actually forgotten Calix was a unicorn. Other times he couldn’t stop staring at him and being amazed that he was real, especially when he’d tripped over him as Calix had laid in a sunbeam in the middle of the floor, his horn spiraling out in front of him.
Seth was pulled out of his thoughts of myths and magic by a man coming into his classroom. He was dressed in dark pants and a black hood that was pulled over his face. His students would be coming in any minute, and Seth knew he didn’t have any parent teacher conferences scheduled for that morning. “Hi. Can I help you with something?” he asked.
The man pushed his hood down, exposing his bright white hair that fell around his shoulders. His features were so similar to Calix’s, right down to the shape of his slender mouth, that Seth knew instantly that this was one of the brothers Calix had warned him about. But if it was Sayer or Xavier, Seth had no way of knowing.
“You know me,” he said with a slight smile.
Seth nodded. “You’re one of Calix’s brothers. Which one are you?”
Which meant that Seth was in deep shit. Calix hadn’t said much about his brothers, except that he had two of them and that Jacob, Todd, and Seth were supposed to stay as far away from Xavier as possible.
“You look frightened.”
Seth nodded. No use denying that when he felt like he was stuck somewhere between panic and being frozen in fear. He didn’t know what a dangerous unicorn would be capable of, and he didn’t want to find out either. It was enough that Calix had warned him not to go near Xavier, ever. “I am. What are you doing here?”
Xavier took a step toward him. “I’ve come to collect you.”
“For what purpose?”
Laughing, Xavier turned away from him to study the whiteboard behind him. The only things written on it, for the moment, was Seth’s name, the room number, and the name of the class. “Calix has told you enough about us to make you afraid of me, but apparently not enough to give you ample warning as to why you should be. That’s not very nice of him.”
Without warning, Xavier lunged for him, but before Xavier could reach him, Seth dove out of his chair, going sideways. He got up and sprinted for the door, but not before Xavier could get in front of him again, blocking his exit.
“You’re fast. I do like a chase,” Xavier taunted him. He went after Seth again, and Seth ran forward, but he stumbled straight into Xavier’s arms. He had no time to even struggle before he was pulled out of this world and into another.
* * * *
Xavier hated how long it was taking the human to regain consciousness. He’d hit his head when Xavier had brought him over, and he’d expected Seth to recover quickly. But instead, he’d been obnoxiously stubborn about it as he’d merely groaned and refused to open his eyes. Xavier had taken advantage of Seth’s helpless state as he’d tied him with his hands above his hands against the wall. It hadn’t taken much magic to create a hook, or to bring Seth over to their world for that matter. But now that Xavier had him, he was impatient to get Seth awake again. The sooner he was, the happier Xavier could make him. Then he could send Seth back across to Earth again, where he belonged.
What his little brother Calix saw in the humans he would never know. They were weak and, as far as he could tell, completely useless. They’d hunted the unicorns nearly to extinction, forcing them to live in a world of their own making while the humans had ruined the Earth practically beyond recognition. How they could even stand to be so cramped in their big cities was beyond him. Certainly, unicorns could have never lived like that. Calix was trying, but Xavier was sure that he was going mad from it.
Calix and the problems he had brought on himself were hardly Xavier’s concern, though. He tried to understand why his brother had decided to spend time in the human world instead of simply taking the human and letting him go when he no longer needed him, but Calix’s motives were a mystery to him, and Xavier had enough to worry about without trying to figure out his little brother as well.
The human was taking too long to wake up. Xavier grabbed his shoulder and roughly shook him until Seth began mumbling.
“Wake up,” Xavier demanded.