I walked into the bar and the first thing I could smell was blood. “Well this is definitely a Vamp bar.” I said dryly. “You promised, Marcus.” Sage said warily as her eyes narrowed as she watched the group that huddled in front of the bar arguing fiercely ignoring the daggered looks they were getting by the surrounding Vampires.
I looked at them carefully realizing that something was definitely off about them. They were all bulky looking men. With dark shaggy hair, and whiskered faces, most of them wearing different shades and colors of plaid, all of them wore ankle-length combat boots stained with mud. I scowled as the faint smell of wet dog came to me.
“Werewolves.” I cursed under my breath. As if they could hear me they all turned to look at us both. One of the werewolves moved to the front the other werewolves standing behind him.
“I’m assuming you are the pack master?” I said preferring not to refer to him as the Alpha while we were standing in the middle of a vamp bar.
“No, that’s why we called Sage, I don’t recall us asking you to bring a warlock in.” The werewolf said his eyes narrowing as he looked me up and down before glaring at Sage. She smirked. “Trust me. You need him. Way more than you need me.” She said slanting a look at me before standing straighter in front of the wolf pack.
“We need him alive. He betrayed us. It is our right to seek vengeance. We only asked for a locator spell from you.” The wolf said angrily his whole body trembling slightly. Some of the nearby Vampires got up silently and left quickly. Which I found a bit smarter than hanging around. Of all places to meet. I thought sighing in my head.
“She brought me instead, because I am the best. I’m good at finding people. And I excel bringing them back. Alive.” I said curling my lips into a smile.
“But are you going to be able to face down a witch?” The pack master said narrowing his eyes at me.
“What do you mean?” I said glancing back at Sage who held a wary gaze towards the wolves. One of the other wolves glanced nervously at the others, this one was different he wore soft grey plaid and over his eyes hung a pair of wire-rimmed glasses.
“We’re sure that Hunter has a witch helping him hide. We tried to sniff him out but we were blocked, we can’t even find him through the normal channels.”
“I am a retrieval expert; I can find him and bring him to you. I assure you my success rate is excellent.” I said. The pack master nodded. “Then you better start.”
“This guy is such an amateur.” I said grinning wildly.
“Who’s this then?” Isaac said smirking wildly at me, I glared forcefully at both Isaac and his brother Isaac. Who in return were both grinning like Cheshire cats.
“Well who is bothering you now?” Jacob said.
I rolled my eyes. “The werewolves are finally concerned about their little runaway. They have acquired a warlock to help expedite the process. Hmmm.” I said my eyes narrowing as I recognized “If I’m not mistaken, the warlock is also receiving help from the pest Sage.”
“OOOOOOH.” Jacob and Isaac said together. “Isn’t Sage the same witch that disrupted your first human sacrifice spell?” Jacob said grinning wildly.
I scowled. “Don’t remind me.”
“To be fair, the sacrifice in question was one of her childhood best friends.” Isaac said. “I thought they were lovers.” Jacob said narrowing his eyes.
“That too.” Isaac said.
“Ergh, childhood love.” I muttered darkly. Jacob snorted. “you act like you’ve never been in love.” I scowled as I shook my hands pulling out of the locator spell that the Warlock and Sage were currently working on. “You two are boring me.” I said before making a sharp swipe in the air. Jacob and Isaac shimmered for a moment before they flew back into the picture frames that stood tall above me. I looked up at them both. “Some days I wonder why I ever bothered saving the two of you to begin with.” I said as I walked away.
For five generations Talon witches, have been cursed with eternal life, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing except that we age forever. We live forever eternally ageing. I first learned about the curse on my family when I was sixteen years old. The first curse I ever performed was on my 22-year-old twin brothers Jacob and Issac who I saved by cursing them into gilded picture frames.
The Talon witches were once the most powerful clan of witches there were, until a coven of light witches, led by the white witch Rebekah, cursed all the Talon clan with eternal life. Forever aging. I sighed pushing my hair back from my face before I entered the master bedroom. I walked towards the dark violet bedset, leaning on one of the bedposts as I watched the man that lay in the middle of the bed. “Hello grandfather.” I murmured reverently as I sat down on the edge of the bed. His hand, old and wrinkly moved towards me. I clasped his hand in both of mine, and gently kissed it.
“It won’t be too long now. I promise everyone will be free once more. Free of this curse forever.”
“Do you remember my first curse?” I said walking around the bed, running my fingers through the intricate design around the bedposts.
“I was only sixteen years old.” I said smiling as I thought back. “I had just found about the immortality curse. I was young.” I said shaking my head.
“Too young to realize what living forever meant. Our family has been in pain for far too long.” I put a hand gently on Grandfather’s cheek.
“We deserve to die. For our ancestors to feel peace. For our children to ensure the future of our lineage survives. We are weak without the ability to be one with the earth. And I will succeed.” I said, smiling softly at grandfather, leaning back putting my hands in my lap.
“Hunter Moon’s blood is the key.” I said softly, as I walked away closing the door gently behind me.
“Hunter Moon’s blood may be the key, but are there no other elements to consider? Are you ready to do what is needed?” I smirked, as I turned around looking at the elderly redhead. “Hello Frankie.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. “It’s Francesca. Which I’ve told you once before.” She said darkly as she followed me down the corridor.
“I am ready. I know what needs to be done. And I can do it.” I said my eyes turning dark.
“Is the reason you’re doing this, worth the cost you will pay if you fail, or worse if you succeed?”
“It is.” I said narrowing my eyes. “Do you not believe that I can do what needs to be done? Do you doubt me?” I said questioned. “I doubt the price of ending the curse is worth it. Everyone over the age of ninety will die the moment the curse ends.”
“All those people are suffering. It’s not murder if you’re ending the suffering of your people. Your family.” I said turning and facing Francesca. She took my hand in both of hers. “And what about your suffering? I’m afraid that once you do this, there will be no going back.” Francesca said worrying her lip through her teeth. I pulled my hand softly away from hers, and took a step back. “There is no going back. Not for me.”
“This witch is nasty. I’m going to need to do this the old-fashioned way.” I said as I leaned back clasping my hands behind my head.
“What do you mean?” Sage said looking up from a grimoire she was currently looking through. It had been three days since meeting the wolf pack in the Vamp bar in Tennessee. After meeting them we opted to go back to the witch haven in Memphis.
A secret house hidden in the middle of Memphis downtown that held secrets hidden in Witches Grimoires that had been shared and passed on to the house for centuries since the first Salem Witches left their own books behind.
“I mean that instead of trying to force my way through this particular Witches’ Brew,” I said pausing as Sage gave me a full out glare at my term “Witches Brew” which was slang for a particularly nasty form of black magic. Most witches preferred to call it the “Darkness”.
“I can instead just follow his trail from the smoky mountains.” I said ignoring Sage’s scowl as I walked to the cluttered mess she liked to call a desk. I waved my hand clearing the desk and used some loose magic to form a map.
“So he started here in the Smoky Mountains Campsite, where the wolves have settled.” I said pointing to the dot that indicated the smoky mountains. Sage rolled her eyes, “And how pray tell are you going to figure out his whereabouts without having something that belonged to him?” I grinned at the smirk that lay in her voice, then I pulled out the chain I had in my pocket.
“Where did you get that?” Sage said her eyes opening wide, as she reached for the delicate silver.
“I got it off from one of the wolves, the nerdy looking one with the glasses.” I said letting her hold it, watching as she fingered the silver claw on the medallion it held.
“This can’t be Hunter’s. It’s silver.” Sage said doubtful as she looked at the markings. “But it is. Hunter’s mother gave it to him prior to him becoming a werewolf.
He has held it close to his heart even after turning. It gives him strength to wear something that would otherwise weaken him.” I said taking the chain, I held it close in my closed hands and chanted.
Out of the chain came a red trail. Because the chain had been silver, and thus danger to werewolves, Hunter had bled constantly on it. He had even bled on it the day that the werewolf, Jeremy had grabbed the medallion as he tried to run. This blood is what I would use to see what route of escape he took. I watched as the blood fell on the Smoky mountains dot and traveled down, past Jackson where we had met the wolves in the Vamp bar, and even past Memphis where we were now until it finally stopped in the city of Tupelo.
“So that’s where he is.” I said murmuring. “Well you’ve got your location, time to go werewolf hunting.” Sage said moving away from me and walking towards her room. I heard some rummaging and then she came out with a traveling bag on her shoulder.
“Are you going somewhere?” I asked narrowing my eyes at her. Sage smiled, “I have to get back to Las Vegas. I promised my aunt I would watch her terror of a niece. She’s three and already growing into her magic, as I deal with natural magic and origin’s the coven of witches have elected me to train her, so in other words I’m so screwed it’s not even funny.” Sage said sighing as she walked past me.
“I can’t do this without you. You have to come with me.” Sage smiled putting a hand on my cheek. “Yes you can. And you will. Because there’s important I must tell you.” I looked at her warily. “And what’s that,”
“I no longer care about this mission or you.” She said slapping my cheek as she left. “Have fun finding Hunter.” She said in a singsong voice.
“Great. Tupelo it is.”