Adrienne eyed Lisa first with anger then it shifted to a challenge. She would not be spoken to like this by anyone, including the one person here that she considered a near equal. "Look Miss Snow, you’re not going to get me to admit anything besides what I already have. So I'm afraid of the dark and that’s because of that monster over there." She sneered pointing to the rider, "But I am not weak like the rest of you. As long as I got my followers on tweet, all the social networks and my money, life is great. This is a party that I have no choice but to attend. As soon as I can, I am leaving."
Even Chang was beginning to lose his cool now. Victor snapped and tried to wrap his hands around her throat but Lisa stopped it. The second Victor moved Adam jumped into motion but a look from the fire elemental sent them both back to their places, Adam glaring at Victor and Victor glaring at Adrienne. Lisa could have been angry or rude but instead the wheels in her head started moving. A smile crawled across her face and soon a loud laugh erupted from her lungs. She turned to the others and began speaking.
"The bitch isn't worth our time. We can do this without her. She’s not that important. Forgive me for losing my temper. My husband can tell you it doesn't happen often but when it does its scary." She said to all but Adrienne. Adam nodded vigorously to the last part of that statement.
The French socialite was fuming and rose from her seat to challenge Lisa again but the redhead ignored her. Adam had seen this before in dealing with the kids when they were being bratty. He had to suppress a laugh. Chang was catching on and motioned for the next person to go.
Adrienne was incensed. "What do you think you’re talking about? I am the only reason that last fight went the way it did. IT WAS ME!"
Adam raised his hand to speak next while Lisa ignored the whining French girl. Slowly the others caught on with Dria being the last. All eyes save for Adrienne's went to Adam who played along by telling one of his many cop stories supposedly leading to some point making LeVesque even more angry. She got in Adam's face and began screaming. "I was not done and you’re not allowed to continue until I say so!"
Adam just gently brushed her off to the side and continued his story while Adrienne tried to talk over him. Adam never got flustered and just kept going. Dria asked a question of Adam, also ignoring the raging woman. "Hey!!! What the hell are you doing?! I'm not done yet! Stop ignoring me!"
That’s what Lisa was waiting for. A nod to Chang and he turned to Adrienne as did Lisa. "If you have something you want to say, say it, but say it calmly." He stated politely.
It took a moment or two for the woman who was used to being the center of attention, to calm enough to speak and longer for her normally pale face to return from the ripe, red tomato it had become. "I refuse to be ignored and told what to do." She managed to get out.
Lisa picked it up from there. "Well reality has changed around you and we have to work as one. I've dealt with models like you who think the world revolves around them. Truth is it doesn't. The first thing you have to do is accept that, then you can be one with the team. We each have our part and none more important than the rest. Also we now know your fear, besides the dark, is to lose your fame and be a normal person. Am I right?"
The only response was an enraged huff and an inability to meet the other woman’s gaze. She knew that Lisa was right but she would never admit it. Admitting it would make her just like them, common people, and she was not a common person. No, Adrienne LeVesque was anything but a common person. She was special, she had money and fame, she was wealthy and powerful. Now, though, she felt like little more than a scared child that was losing control of her world and all in it. Of course she knew that she wasn't the only cause of their success so far and that she was only one piece of the puzzle, but she had believed that she was the center of the world until now. Lisa had handled her so easily and in a way no one ever had before. Anywhere but here she would have turned the situation to her advantage but their powers didn't work when used on each other with intent to do damage. She managed to get out a weak 'yes' but that was all she could muster.
"Listen to me." Lisa said in her semi stern mom voice, "You need to seriously look at yourself and deal with being on a team. None of us are more important than anyone else. The rider may have more knowledge about the enemy than we do but in time we can get things together. You can be part of that or not but don't bring us down to defeat due to your ego. All that you hold dear will be lost with all that we hold dear. Think about it." Lisa put a friendly hand on Adrienne's shoulder but she quickly shook it off and sat back down in silence.
Almost everyone was in awe of the way that Lisa had handled it. Victor in particular could understand what was going through the socialites head. He had been there but in his case it was in solitary confinement. Victor had started a fight with someone who killed a friend of his while in prison and got tossed in to the dark cell for his efforts. It was there that he began to really look at himself and ask the questions that changed who he was.
For the French woman it was a bit different, Adrienne had support if she wanted it. He reached out and for a brief moment and laid his hand on top of hers. Shockingly enough, she didn't pull back immediately nor did he, and even then it wasn't sudden but almost hesitantly. Their eyes locked and for a moment it was rage on her side, but this time at herself and compassion on Victor’s side, almost as if they felt some kinship even if they came from different worlds...
The Rider's child was still prisoner in the chaos realm when he heard the fuming beast stomping across the hall. "Problems? I can feel my father now. They are getting stronger and building a team. You are losing ground as we speak."
The beast stood to his full 12 foot height and towered over the child who seemed unafraid. "This is not a battle I will lose and you will surrender your power to me. You will bow to me and beg for your life as will all those from your plane. The rider and all those with him will not stop me this time."
"They grow stronger and with each passing moment become more united. Your over confidence will be your downfall." Chaos was always arrogant no matter what form he took. That was an early lesson from one of his teachers on the mortal plane he had been taken from. The child had learned early on how to recognize primal forces and deal with them. "My father will come, you will fall before him and the other realms defenders."
"We shall see. For now my strength must grow even more and the more you resist the more people will suffer from it."
A tiny portion of the child’s strength was then stolen. If only the beast knew...
Your comments are welcome. Those that have been received are appreciated. Please feel free to ask questions since it will help direct the story. Still can't believe I completed 18 chapters and a prologue. Thanks to all the readers. for boosting my confidence and supporting me in this labor of love.
War of the Chaos Beast: Chapter 18A mental showdown and unlikely friends?
By tom McAllister