Facing Facts is a Darkest Powers short story. It first appeared in the anthology Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions before being reprinted in The Complete Darkest Powers Tales. It is set a month after the events of The Reckoning. Narrated by Chloe Saunders it tells the story of how Tori Enright discovers who her biological father is, while Chloe faces a ghost from her past.
Chloe and Tori are having a self defence lesson that Chloe worries Tori is enjoying a bit too much, referred by Simon. Tori cheats with a knockback spell and makes a few cracks about Chloe's lack of offensive power when Liz isn't around. Kit Bae comes and takes Tori inside to speak to her. Knowing that he is her father Chloe worries he's about to come clean with her.
They knew that people are still after them but believe the St. Cloud Cabal, who were behind The Edison Group, will take their time hunting them down while they have Kit keeping their powers in check. They've been staying at an old farm house for two weeks. While they're on the run they are pretending to be a blended family with Kit and Lauren as their parents. Because of this Chloe and Derek haven't been able to go on a real date yet, as they're playing step siblings. Despite this they've spent a lot of time alone 'walking' in the woods.
While eavesdropping Chloe overhears Tori shouting 'No' and that Kit is wrong before she runs off, Kit confirms that he told Tori the truth. Chloe offers to go talk to her and Kit agrees, asking her to bring Tori back. As Chloe goes after her, Kit calls Simon in to tell him too.
Chloe finds Tori whose upset and angry, she points out that she doesn't look Asian which Chloe's narration agrees with, her skin tone, dark hair and dark eyes can be passed off as Caucasian from her mother but she also recognises Kit's features in Tori. Chloe tells Tori what the demi-demon Diriel told her about Tori's mother using in-vitro fertilisation rather than cheating. This doesn't cheer Tori up as her mother is dead so she can't blame her for what she did, having another man's baby and passing her off as his as well as ensuring she was part Sorcerer on top of the genetic modifications.
Chloe still has nightmares about Diane Enright's death and raising her zombie to kill Dr. Davidoff. Derek has tried to help her by pointing out that she made the most logical decision but it hasn't helped. Tori realises her relation to Simon and is grossed out by her previous crush on him. Chloe tells her that Derek thinks she was interested in the parts of herself she saw in Simon which she doesn't find any better.
Tori realises that Chloe has known for awhile and never said anything to her about it, she's genuinely hurt when Chloe says she didn't think it was her place to tell Tori, who tells her if she was her friend then it was her place. Tori walks off and hits Chloe with a knockback spell when she tries to follow. Chloe tries to head after Tori but she out runs her, heading to town though still in sight of Chloe. When Chloe is close enough to see the mall parking lot Derek calls, telling her she shouldn't have left, that they aren't supposed to go out alone. He tries to order Chloe to come back without Tori who can look after herself, Chloe isn't impressed by that and tells her she'll come back when she has Tori before hanging up on him and switching her phone to vibrate.
Chloe understands that to Derek their 'family' is like a Pack to him and that he snaps when he's worried about them. To deal with that you have to know he doesn't mean anything by it and push back when he steps over the line. Before the mall is an abandoned house that Chloe sees Tori heading for, despite worrying about the possibilities of ghosts Chloe follows after her and find a broken window that she assumes Tori climbed through to get away from her, somewhere where Chloe wouldn't want to follow. She's glad to see Tori climbing the fence into the mall parking lot instead and follows her over the fence.
Chloe is having trouble finding Tori in the mall when Derek approaches her, she describes his skin as having cleared up a lot in the last month and he now has a short scruffy beard. Derek thinks Tori should be happy, the man she thought was her father turned her over to her mother when she called him for help in The Awakening and now she has a real father. Chloe tells him that Tori knows that she kept the truth from her, Derek thinks it doesn't matter and that Chloe shouldn't even bother trying to be nice to her. When Chloe says that even if he doesn't want to be her friend he doesn't want her to run off and get captured or killed Derek hesitates.
Chloe tells him to go home and when he doesn't she starts evading him in the crowd as he's too big to slip through and people won't move for him until he scowls. Chloe and Derek don't often have real fights but when it comes to Tori she's the exception. Derek is frustrated by how quickly Chloe has gotten over her past mistreatment. Chloe is frustrated by Derek's inability to get over it. Even Simon sees that Tori is trying and treats her like a part of the group.
Chloe finds Tori and follows her, she looses her for a moment and then believes she's gone into a bathroom. The room is empty but there's a big vent on the wall, Chloe opens it and crawls in after Tori who almost leads her into a gap she'd have fallen in. Derek stops her, Tori is gone and Derek never saw or heard her. He gets Chloe out of the vent and encourages her to think logically as Chloe has already jumped to the conclusion that Tori is now a ghost. She reminds him that it could have happened, that it happened with Liz. Derek apologizes and gets Chloe to think of the last time she saw Tori and can be sure she wasn't a ghost. Chloe tells him about thinking Tori had gone inside the abandoned house only to see her climbing the fence into the mall parking lot.
They make their way back to the house, the window with the broken glass has dried blood on it. As they make their way through the house Derek apologizes for what he said about Tori, he doesn't want anything bad to happen to her and just wishes that she'd treat Chloe better. Chloe admits she knew she should have told Tori about Kit but she chickened out because they'd been getting along so much better.
Derek follows Tori's trail to the front room where a fresh hole in the rotten floor boards has fallen through to the basement where Chloe can see someone's body. They make their way carefully down the basement stairs and Chloe gets startled by the belligerent ghost of a woman named Rebecca Walker who claims the developers didn't fix the floor properly in the hope of balming her son if there was an accident. Tori is unconscious but she's breathing and has a pulse. The ghost of Rebecca Walker claims Tori is fine, that she would have seen her ghost if she died and that the ghost of another woman had followed Chloe to the house
Derek calls his dad who tells him Lauren is on the way. Chloe tells the ghost to tell her who followed her and in exchange they won't report the accident and will tell her son about what the developers did. The ghost tells Chloe she doesn't know the other ghost, that she must have have been following Chloe because of her Necromancer glow. The other ghost saw Tori fall and raced out of the house. The ghost describes her to Chloe who recognises her as Tori's mother Diane.
Chloe tells Derek who realises that Diane must have used a glamor spell to disguise herself as Tori, to lead Chloe into the mall and then try and trick her into falling through the gap in the shaft she lead her into. Chloe goes outside to the yard and calls to Diane who appears quickly. Chloe admits to what she did and believes Diane wants revenge, killing her for the part they played in her death and raising her as a zombie to kill Dr. Davidoff but Diane claims she it was just a lesson and a show of what she can do if she wants. She finds Chloe interesting and whats her to remain open to the possibility of them helping each other.
Chloe knows otherwise though, she doesn't find her interesting, she finds her useful. Diane knows she could never control Tori but even now she believes she can still control Chloe, frighten her by leading her into an accident if needs be. Chloe tells her she can't control her, that she isn't sorry she's dead just that she was the one who had to do it, she knows there was no other way to stop her and tells her that she'll find a way to permanently banishing her before she does a temporary banishment.
The story ends with Derek putting his arm round Chloe and telling her that his dad and Lauren have arrived, that Tori might have a broken ankle and a concussion but is otherwise fine.
|Darkest Powers Series|
|Novels||The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning|
|Short Stories||Dangerous, Kat, Divided, Disenchanted, Facing Facts, Belonging, Hunting Kat, Atoning, Branded|
|Compilation Novels||The Complete Darkest Powers Tales|