"How many times have I told you not to get so physical?" the blond man screamed. He whirled around, pointed his finger at the cowling man, and spoke the words of the curse no man wants to hear. "Adflictatio!" The man fell to the floor writhing in agony. The handsome blond was in a rage. His fingers curled like they were grabbing something. The man on the floor screamed out in pain. With the agility of a cat, the blond man pounced. The fangs sunk deeply into his victim's neck. As the blood flowed out, the struggles slowed until finally it was over.
"Ceenta!" The blond looked up. Blood was dripping from his lips. "He's getting worse."
"Ok, Don. I don't want to have to turn him, but if it's the only way, then I will." He stood, joined his lover at the door, and tried to give him a quick kiss. Don pushed him back.
"You've got that bugger's blood all over you, Ceenta. Wash up and meet me, but make it quick." Ceenta smiled and nodded. He quickly made his way to the bathroom, ripping his shirt off along the way. He tossed it casually on the floor. A minute later he emerged cleansed.
"Ah, Sarduri, thank you," he said to his personal attendant. Sarduri held out a clean shirt and helped his master put it on. "I'm afraid there's a bit of a mess in my private office."
"It's being taken care of, master. Have no worries."
"You're a good man, Sardui," Ceenta said patting the Middle Eastern man on the shoulder.
"You must hurry, master. I'm afraid things don't look good for our guest."
"You're right. Thanks again." Sardui bowed deeply as Ceenta ran from the room.
A surgeon was working furiously on a young lad laid out on the bed in a guest suite. He was sweating profusely as he stitched up a long deep slice in the young lad's leg. Ceenta entered the room and quickly assessed the situation. His guest was very pale and barely breathing. The surgeon looked up.
"He's lost a lot of blood," he said solemnly.
"What are his chances?"
"Without a transfusion, he'll probably die. I've stopped all the bleeding and have just about sewn up all the wounds, but his blood loss was significant." Ceenta moved over to the bedside and looked down on the lad. He hadn't wished this to happen and the body of the man responsible was being disposed of at that very moment. Ceenta reached out and brushed the soft brown hair back from the lad's forehead. A lightening bolt shaped scar was revealed.
"I wish there was another way, Daniel," Ceenta said softly. He leaned over and bit gently into Daniel's carotid artery. His fangs released the fluid of life into the young lad. Moments later, the once pale flesh turned a healthy pink.
"It's a shame, really."
Tom stared wide-eyed at the destruction before him. The all glass shower was completely shattered. Blood was spattered everywhere and, in some instances, it had deeply pooled. Broken glass was everywhere. It was as if an explosion took place inside the shower itself. The shower head was still streaming its hot spray, filling the air with humidity and ... the smell of blood. The only thing missing was Daniel. Tom's eyes quickly scanned the room, but ... no Daniel. Tom slowly stood up. He walked quietly over to the shower and turned it off. He was besieged with all kinds of emotions ranging from fright and terror to anger and desperation. He walked back over to the door, then turned and surveyed the room again, trying to find a clue as to what had happened to Daniel. The longer he looked, the more isolated and alone he felt. Tears rolled down his cheek as his thoughts turned to the worst. Not being able to look at the horrid scene anymore, he turned back toward the living room. Spying his wand on the floor in the hall, he paused and picked it up. He swiftly turned and pointed it into the room.
"Deduco veneficium!" he yelled. Letters started to appear on the steamed up mirror over the sink. Tom watched as they slowly spelled out the words.
"Nickoli Pertrosika." Tom stared at the words. The spell revealed who last used magic in the room. Tom had no idea who Nickoli Pertrosika was. He had never heard the name before, but it was his only clue to finding Daniel. He ran back into the living room and pointed his wand at the television.
"Verba communico, Will Theakston," Tom said clearly. The screen crackled with bright flashes, went totally black, then slowly started to glow. As the intensity increased, a face appeared on the screen.
"Hi, Tom. Been a while, mate!" Tom visibly relaxed. Just having someone to talk to was an enormous comfort. But the gravity of the situation changed his demeanor back to serious quickly.
"Will, thank God."
"What's wrong, Tom?"
"It's Daniel. He's been taken."
"Taken? What do you mean?" Tom quickly explained the situation to his friend.
"So this Nickoli person is your only clue?"
"Yeah, do you have any idea who he is?"
"Never heard of him, but dad's well connected with some wizards in the KGB. I'll get him to check around."
"Thanks Will. This is the only lead I have and the sooner I find something out the better. From the look of things, Daniel could be badly hurt."
"Not to worry, Tom. I'll be back in touch in no time flat."
"Keep your chin up, Tom. We'll find him. I'm sure he's fine."
"Thanks." Tom ended the conversation. Now all he could do was wait. He was positive this had been a magical hit, so calling the police would do no good. Time would become Tom's worst enemy in the minutes and hours to come. With each tick of the clock, his worry grew.
Daniel slowly awoke and opened his eyes. The intensity of the light in the room burned his eyes and he snapped them shut quickly. He tried to move, but his body was instantly wracked with pain. Lying very still, he could only listen without pain. Concentrating on the sounds around him, Daniel was awestruck at what he could hear. The sounds were strangely ... intense. He was hearing things that he couldn't hear before. Small sounds, insignificant sounds, normal background sounds, were being amplified, categorized, evaluated and defined in nanoseconds. Daniel listened in awe as his sense of hearing worked on autopilot.
Then Daniel became aware of another sense, a new sense, one never experienced before. He felt ... aware. The young movie star knew of no other way to describe it. He could sense everything around him, without the use of sight or touch. He just knew what was there and, more significantly, how it effected him. This new sensation was intriguing and scary at the same time. He could sense the size of the room, all the furniture that was in it and he could even sense the presence of people. This confused Daniel. His keen hearing told him no one was in the room; however, he could sense someone, no, three people there. Concentrating on the people, he suddenly realized the sense was telling him who had been in the room, not who actually was there right then. Daniel knew there were spells that would give the same information, but this new ability to do it on his own was in one way awesome and in another, frightening. Why was he suddenly able to do that? Why was he suddenly able to have this very heightened sense of hearing?
Daniel searched his memory and suddenly remembered being attacked in the shower. That would explain the pain, but it gave no clue about these new abilities. The only other question that remained unanswered was where was he. Getting up to see was out of the question. The intense pain in his eyes and his body was still very clear in his mind. Panic started to rise. He felt trapped. In his ever increasing terror, he reached out to the one person who meant safety ... Tom. He screamed Tom's name in his mind.
"Tom! Where are you? Help me, Tom! I'm scared. I'm so scared."
Tom was beside himself in grief. Had sat on the couch openly sobbing. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to hurt, much less kidnap, Daniel. Couple that was the recent car bombing on the set and things just didn't add up. He could understand a human kidnapping. They would want money. But this kidnapping was by a wizard. What possible gain could a wizard get from kidnapping Daniel. It just didn't make sense.
Daniel and Tom were the biggest celebrities in the wizard world. Everyone knew them and they were immensely popular. Even at the last Salem Remembrance Gathering marking the three hundred and twelfth anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials, the boys were given a standing ovation. The huge event was attended by hundreds of witches and wizards from all over England. The American Remembrance Committee had even invited the boys to attend their gathering, but the demanding schedule of filming the movie prevented them from attending.
The television in the corner of the room suddenly crackled and flashed. Tom sat up immediately and looked in its direction. Will's face slowly appeared.
"Tom! I've got good news and bad news."
"Give me the good news first. I've had about all the bad news I can stand."
"Dad did some checking around and found that Nickoli Pertrosika does work for the KGB and that he's a wizard. And here's the interesting part. His file is classified. That means one of two things. Either he's undercover or he's an assassin." Tom groaned. "Sorry, Tom. And that's not the bad news."
"How can it get worse?"
"No one had seen him, wizard or human, in over a week. He's on the 'Watch List' at the KGB, which means they're trying to find him."
"Great. A wizard KGB assassin kidnaps Daniel for no apparent reason and no one has this assassin in over a week." Tom was having a hard time holding a fresh batch of tears back.
"Don't give up hope, Tom. Dad's still checking, but I knew you wanted some news."
"You're right, Will. Thanks," Tom said choking back a sob.
"Hey, easy mate. Do you want me to come over? I'm free right now."
"That would be great, Will. I really need a friend right now."
"Be right there." The television popped and cracked and then went black. Seconds later Will appeared in front of the couch. Tom stood up and Will pulled him into a reassuring hug. It was just what Tom needed ... to be held and to be told that everything would be all right. He relaxed into Will's warm hug, finally letting his mind relax. That's when a familiar voice echoed into his mind.
"Tom! Where are you? Help me, Tom! I'm scared. I'm so scared."
"I just heard him! I just heard Daniel in my head!" Tom screamed. Will stumbled back and looked at Tom with wide eyes. Tom fell to his knees sobbing profusely. "H-he's scared and he n-needs me," Tom said between great heaving sobs.