Zach (A College Bad Boy Romance)

By: Jane S. White

“Do you think Taurus will know where Luna is?” she asked Pisces, ignoring Scorpio's loud exhale. He was clearly tired of hearing about her plight.

“Perhaps. We shall see. Try not to worry, Aurora. Sun and Moon always find each other.”

Aurora fell quiet, contemplating Pisces' words. She thought it a fitting metaphor, and it stirred something deep within her. She remembered the new verse she and Luna had found together in the book, the one that finished the song their mother sang to them, and wondered if she had lost them both forever. Despite her annoyance with Scorpio, she began to cry.

“Come now,” Pisces said, using a long arm to scoop her into his gentle body. He bathed her with comfort until they reached the doorway at the end of the hall and entered into a huge room with no windows. It had nothing but a large table made of colorful sea glass. Aurora wiped her eyes and emerged from the protective crook of Pisces' arm.

She hesitated before moving any closer. Sitting at the table was a handsome man with golden-brown hair, wrapped in a Greek-styled toga. He was bulky and muscular, almost like Josh was. It was a body type she couldn't get enough of, the opposite of the lean swimmer's muscles that Pisces had been consoling her with. Not that Pisces wasn't attractive – he was gorgeous – but he wasn't her type of attractive.

“Pisces, Scorpio,” Taurus said, his deep voice rumbling through the space between them, nearly halting Aurora in her tracks. It was a powerful, masculine voice that excited her senses.

“Taurus,” Scorpio said. Pisces simply nodded graciously at him.

“Who is this?” Taurus asked, looking Aurora up and down with skeptical honey-colored eyes.

“This is -” Scorpio began.

“I'm Aurora,” Aurora interrupted, concerned he would introduce her by the wrong name again.

Chapter 7

“Aurora. Welcome,” Taurus said, looking back down at the table in front of him. There were papers scattered before him, a lot of papers. Blueprints, they looked like. Maps and scribbles. His full attention went immediately back to the table in front of him, and he was consumed in the papers within seconds. She wanted to thank him, but the words stayed stuck in her throat as Taurus acted as if the others weren't there.

“Taurus,” Pisces said gently. “I'm reluctant to distract you from your work, you know we appreciate it, but we seem to have a problem.”

“A problem?” Taurus asked, snapping his eyes up from the papers spread before him. Aurora watched the handsome man greedily, imagining if it was herself under such an intense gaze. Would she be able to hold his rapt attention?

“Luna?” Aurora asked, breaking into their conversation.

“Shh, the adults are talking,” Scorpio reprimanded. Aurora shot him a hateful look and he raised his eyebrow at her.

“Scorpio, could you please alert us to the difficulties?” Pisces asked. “I know the girl is still here but if it's urgent, perhaps we should attend to it immediately.”

“All right,” Scorpio said, sitting down heavily into one of the chairs at the table. He was limping, Aurora realized, injured from the battle.

“Thank you,” Pisces said. He pulled a chair out and offered it to Aurora, who sat dumbly, her eyes moving from Scorpio to Taurus, who was staring intently at Scorpio, waiting to hear his news.

“As you know, the Fire Realm has had difficulties besting us in the past, but they've devised a way to change that, hoping to overtake the Water Realm. They 've finally begun strategizing, and there's no way we would be able to defend ourselves against the underhanded tricks they have started to pull. It's fortunate that our element is lethal to theirs. But something strange is happening.”

“Something strange?” Pisces asked. He had chosen not to sit at the table, and instead leaned against the wall behind it, somewhere between Aurora and Taurus.

“I'm afraid that they've gotten their hands on some kind of power and summoned beasts to the battle. I wasn't aware that they were training anybody, but of course they're quite good at keeping their secrets. This is making it increasingly difficult to move forward from the front lines. I'm worried that Cancer may soon be lost to us if we don't come up with a new plan.”

“That truly is bad news,” Pisces said glumly. A surge of sadness seemed to emanate from him and ripple through the room, and all of them sat in silence for a moment. “What has been summoned?”


Taurus grimaced.

“They are lethal,” he said, turning his golden eyes to the papers in front of him and scribbling a note. “Do you know where they keep them? I've been at this nonstop for weeks, studying every in and out of the Fire Realm. If we knew, it would help with the planning.”

“I'm sorry. I don't know. I think I saw them come from the Eastern area but there is no way to be sure.”

“Very well then,” Taurus said, writing another note. “Is that all?”

“Yes,” Scorpio said.

“No!” Aurora exclaimed, annoyed.

Taurus looked up from his paper with an eyebrow raised. He was even more handsome with his full attention fixed on her. She swallowed hard.

“My sister is missing. Have you seen her?”

“Your sister? How am I supposed to know your sister?”

With this, Pisces cleared his throat and brought everyone's attention to himself.

“Taurus, if I'm not mistaken, I believe this is the Sun. Her sister would look similar.”

Taurus lowered his pencil, staring at Aurora in disbelief.

“You're kidding!”

“No, I'm not. She looks just like...” Pisces said, trailing off before he allowed himself to finish.

Aurora turned to Pisces, bewildered.

“What are you talking about?”

“You've been foreseen,” Pisces said.

She stared at him.

“I make all the premonitions my business,” he added, straightening his back regally.

“This is the Sun?” Scorpio asked incredulously.

“Yes,” Pisces said, his face growing serious. “I don't appreciate all this doubt. I don't tend to speak unless I know what I'm talking about.”

“But she's so-” Scorpio began. He stopped mid-sentence when Aurora shot him a challenging look. “What I mean is, she mentioned the book. That means she isn't even from this world.”

“Not necessarily,” Pisces said solemnly. “It's very possible for possession of the book to fall to those who belong in its lore. Common, even.”

“I can't believe this,” Scorpio said, sighing up to the ceiling.

Taurus, who had been quietly listening, now spoke up.

“You said your sister is missing?” Taurus asked, his eyes narrowing thoughtfully.

“Yes,” Aurora said, happy to finally have the conversation turned to Luna.

“That's not good. The Fire Realm has been doing a lot of kidnapping lately. They may have her stashed away with Virgo, Gemini, and Cancer to keep us from completion.”

“What would they want with Luna?” Aurora demanded.

“If you're the Sun, imagine what that makes your sister,” Scorpio said impatiently.

“What? The Moon?”

Scorpio squeezed the bridge of his nose and nodded.

“Don't worry, Aurora,” Taurus said, turning his deep, sincere eyes to hers. “Ever since Virgo went missing, I've been working my hardest to find a way to get him back. I journeyed here to the Water Realm from the Earth Realm, knowing I would have a higher chance of success if I came out and fought for myself with reinforcements. The Fire Realm has a hard time against the Water Realm so it seemed the natural next step. If anybody can get your sister back, it will be us.”

“Why would they want to take all of those people?” Aurora asked, deeply puzzled.

“To take away our power. We are much stronger when we are united than when we are divided,” Scorpio said.

“That, and there are the Celestial Beasts,” Pisces added, winking at Aurora.

“The what?” she asked, her amber colored eyes wide.

“Pisces!” Scorpio scolded.

“Oh lighten up, Scorpio. You're always so intense. Everyone knows about them, she'd learn eventually,” Pisces said.

“The Celestial Beasts can be called in each realm, provided the guardians are all summoning it together in the right place,” Taurus said in his rumbling, masculine voice.

“How many realms are there?” Aurora asked. She wasn't sure she understood any of this.

“Four; one for each element of the Zodiac,” Pisces answered, seeming delighted to be able to pass on knowledge to someone willing to learn. “Right now, my dear, you are in the Water Realm. The guardians of this realm are myself and Scorpio, and our poor friend Cancer, who was captured by the Fire realm so that we can't call our Celestial Beast forward to protect ourselves. They've totally shifted the power dynamic in their favor. The balance has been broken.”

“So you guys rule the Water Realm?” Aurora asked.

“That's right,” Pisces said, nodding elegantly. She had never seen a more otherworldly man in her life.

“What's your Celestial Beast?” she asked, propping her elbows on the table and holding her head in her hands. She could feel Taurus eyeing her long red curls from across the table and she tried her hardest to keep her eyes on Pisces. She would have a chance to ask Taurus about his Celestial Beast later.

“The Celestial Beast in the Water Realm is the Dragon,” Pisces said with a small, proud smile. “Do you know anything about the Zodiacs?”

Aurora felt like she had been waiting all her life to be asked this question. The one thing she and Luna shared was their love of astrology, and the song that their mother used to sing to them as young children. She nodded enthusiastically.

“I love Astrology!” she said.

This elicited a chuckle from all three men, and she looked around the room at each of them, slightly confused.

“Astrology is a great start, but I'm afraid you may not know all you think you do. In your world, things are much different. Of course we have managed to ensure that not too much false knowledge has corrupted the sacred science, but then you can't call each individual into question who exploits its power,” Scorpio said importantly. She glared at him and he shrugged. “Well, it's true.”

“What do you mean in my world? Where are we, anyway?” Aurora asked.

“My dear, you have been brought into the world of the Zodiac,” Pisces said with a dazzling smile. “And if you are who I believe you are, it may very well be your rightful home.”

“Whoa, I don't know about that,” Aurora said, leaning back in her chair. This world had been nothing but trouble so far, and the sooner she could find her twin and get them back home the better.

“The Sun and the Moon have the potential to become powerful sorceresses,” Taurus said, his deep voice drawing in her full attention. “But of course their power wouldn't be accepted in your world. Here though, you could learn all about how to unleash your full potential. You could be as powerful as any of the guardians. Maybe even more so. If you were to tap into your power, I bet you could help us defeat the Fire Realm.”

Aurora gazed at Taurus, drawn in to his deep voice and the mystical picture that he painted in her mind. Then she glanced over at Scorpio, who had put his feet up on the beautiful table, leaning back in his chair as he stretched. She wanted nothing to do with this world or the guardians, even if they were all as nice as Pisces. All she wanted to do was find Luna.

“That's great and all, and it sounds like whatever you guys are dealing with really sucks. I mean, those Manticores are scary. I'd hate to be the one to face them. But I would never be able to be a sorceress. I mean, I'm studying marketing. And I seriously have to get back before I miss my exams or the shit's going to hit the fan. So sorry, but I don't have the time for this. Especially not when Luna's missing. I have to find her. That's my top priority.”

Scorpio opened his mouth to protest, dropping his feet heavily back on the floor, when Pisces interrupted him.

“I completely understand. It is important for the Sun and the Moon to be united. I'm sure you miss your sister terribly. But if the Fire Realm does have her prisoner, then the only way to get her back may be to train you until you've learned how to unleash your true power.”

Aurora sat back in her chair and put her hand to her temples.

“That would probably take a really long time. I mean, I'm smart enough, but school has never been my strong point. I'm afraid they would kill Luna before I got the hang of this sorceress stuff, if it's even true. And honestly, this is all a bit much, guys,” she admitted. “I can't afford to waste any time. Not when Luna's in trouble. This is kind of overwhelming.”

“Well you're taking it all in stride,” Pisces said kindly. “Why don't we get some dinner and we can discuss our options. I understand that your sister is all that is on your mind right now -”

“You can say that again,” Scorpio muttered.

“-and we will do our best to aid you however possible so that you may find her and return home safely.” Pisces finished graciously, as if he hadn't heard Scorpio.

“Thank you,” Aurora said.

And with that, the four rose from the table and headed out the heavy doors, toward the intoxicating aroma of food.

Chapter 8

They stayed in for the rest of the night as Scorpio had his wounds dressed and Aurora stayed up late talking to Pisces in a cozy study. They sat in armchairs and she gazed at the many volumes of books on deep mahogany shelves as Pisces spoke to her, occasionally feeding logs into the fireplace. He was insistent that she have an idea of the world she was in, and pushed that she not go out uneducated, as it was an invitation for the worst to happen. He seemed only to have her best interest at heart, and she learned everything he was willing to teach her. He even drew her a little map.

“We lie to the West. The Fire Realm lies to the South. In the North is the Earth Realm, where Taurus is from, and to the East, across from us, is the Air Realm,” Pisces told her. “The other realms are absolutely beautiful, and generally friendly. Of course our compatibility is dependent upon the situation, but we try to maintain peace. The Fire Realm is the most aggressive, but despite the people there, even their landscape has some sense of enchantment.”

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