Raven

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•Twenty One•

I head back to my apartment in the Underworld after Aeryn tells me about Natalie. Why did he seem so sad about her death even though he can see her?

"Raven!" Hybrid grabs my waist from behind and hugs me. I've missed him. "How's school? Make any friends?"

"Yeah, actually. I wanted to ask you if you've heard of a transgender girl named Natalie?"

"Yeah. We took her into a cell not too long ago. Why? And how did you make a friend?" He lets go of me and turns me around to face him. His makeup is off and his hair is down. It's slightly damp and he's shirtless, so he probably just got out of the shower.

"I made a friend named Aeryn and he can see the dead because he did this ritual thing with a friend. I need to know if you know Natalie because I owe Aeryn and it would be perfect if I found her for him!"

"Why do you owe him?"

"He lets me stay at his place and I watched him get attacked by some guy because I can't affect him."

"Huh. Natalie is in cell 143 if you wanna go visit her."

"Thanks, Hybrid! I'll go tomorrow. I'm exhausted."


I walk to Natalie's cell. When I finally reach it, I stop in my tracks. Natalie is in one of the most protected cells we have.

"Can I visit?" I ask the guard outside the door.

"You have ten minutes," he answers. He doesn't move.

Just because I can teleport doesn't mean I want to.

I teleport in anyways. The girl is sitting on the floor in front of me, hands chained to the wall beside her. Her head hangs down; it looks like she's dead. I crouch before her.

"Natalie? I'm a friend of Aeryn," I begin. She weakly looks up at me. Her hair is long and brown, but tangled and destroyed. Her eyes are the most beautiful shade of green I've ever seen. Her lips are thin and white, along with the rest of her face.

"Who are you?" she asks, her voice barely a whisper. It sounds raspy and dry.

"I'm Raven. I wanted to see if I could reunite you and Aeryn."

"That won't be necessary."

"Why not? He misses you."

"I'm locked in here because of him. I killed myself, then kept going back to earth to see him when I wasn't supposed to. Now I'm stuck in here."

"I'll be back." I teleport out, grab a bottle of water and a bobby pin, then go back. I pick the locks on her handcuffs. She grabs the water eagerly. "How long has it been since you've eaten or drank?"

"A few days. My ability lets me blend in with the humans, but I also behave like a human. I hate it."

"Come on. I'm getting you out of here."

"You're kidding."

"No. Aeryn wants to see you. We're going," I lift her up and put her arm over my shoulder. We teleport to earth.

"Oh my God. Natalie?" Aeryn runs up to us as soon as he sees her.

"She needs help. The police down there haven't fed her."

"Can you run a bath?" Aeryn helps me sit Nat on the loveseat.

"No. I'm dead," I sit with her.

"Right. Stay with her." He half-walks, half-runs to the bathroom. He comes back minutes later. "Nat. It's ready."

I watch as he carries her bridal style to the bath, then go back to the Underworld to put a corpse in her place. I bring clothes when I go back to earth.

"Aeryn! Her clothes are on your bed!" I yell through the door.

"Thanks!" he calls back.

About an hour later, Natalie comes out of the bathroom, fully clothed, hair neat. She's really skinny, but she doesn't seem to care. Now that she's clean, her hair is a chin length bob. She's really pretty.

"Can I go shopping?" Natalie asks, her voice still hoarse.

"Of course! I'll take you!" Aeryn offers.

"Thank you."

A few hours later, Aeryn and Natalie come through the front door with a few black dresses and masquerade ball masks. It seems like they also got black leggings and red shirts.

"While you get situated, I'm going back to the Underworld." I leave, only to get shoved to a wall when I teleport back.

"What did you do?!" Ghost demands, his hand against my throat.

"Stop it," I claw at his hand. I try to trigger my super, and to my surprise, it works. I pull his mask off, rip his tux, and mess up his hair. Unintentionally, I throw him against the opposite wall. My super fades.

"You..." he coughs out. "You monster."

"I released Natalie for a valid reason. What harm has it done to anyone?"

"How can you control your super?" He stands, but keeps his distance.

"It just happened. I don't know."

"Get out of my sight. I don't want to see you right now." He sits in his desk. I teleport to the apartment.

"I'm home!" I call out.

No answer.

"Fine. Don't be home. I'll just sit here. All alone." I fall backwards, opening my wings just before I hit the ground. Naturally, I slowly circle the couch.

Of course, my mind starts to wander.

Why is there a d in fridge, but not refrigerator?

Why is our bed most comfortable when we're not supposed to be there?

What if oxygen is toxic; it just takes eighty to ninety years to kill you?

What if humans actually loved on Mars, but they messed up the climate so bad that they had to move to earth, so they sent Adam and Eve in a space pod, but that space pod took out the dinosaurs?

Bored and braindead, I decide to play minecraft. When I open the computer, it's on a notes tab. The title is Wedding Vows.

I slam the computer shut, feeling guilty, surprised, flattered, and scared.

What if I just ruined his surprise?

What do I say if he proposes?

What if he's buying a ring right now?

What if the vows aren't for me?

He could come through the door any second. I put the computer back exactly where it was and teleport to Aeryn.

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