Chapter 19: The Valentine Ball
“You’re my what?” I asked, flabbergasted. I couldn’t help but think that I’d misheard him.
“I’m your uncle.” He repeated. “I was your father’s youngest brother. I wasn’t lying when I said I was close to him.”
“Does,” I took a deep breathe, wincing from the pain that seemed to shoot through my lungs. “Does my mom know who you are?”
“Yes. I confronted her at the orientation and told her who I was. Believe me Spencer, I wanted to tell you the truth on that first day, but your mother didn’t think that that was such a good idea.”
It was then that my mother’s words started repeating in my head.
Let’s just say Mr. Grey has a little to do with your past and your future. That is all you need to know.
“So,” I said, hesitant. “That makes Jordan and Morgan…my cousins.”
“Yes,” Mr. Grey answered. “But they don’t know that you are my oldest brother’s child. Actually, Ashley never really spoke about Ashton to them so they don’t know that they have another uncle.”
“Wait,” I said. “Did you just call my father Ashton?”
Mr. Grey stiffened, realizing his mistake. “Crap. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that.”
I barely heard him. I was suddenly remembering an old carving at the picnic table my friends and I usually sat at. It said something along like Ashton rules! Could it be possible that my father had carved that? And if so, had that picnic table once been his regular hang out as well?
“So my father…what was he like?”
“He was,” He chuckled. “The most dramatic, goofiest person I’d ever known. Azazel,” He cringed as he said his name. “Was just as silly. They were the funniest kids in Hallowville. Everyone loved them.”
“And yet my father was blamed for something that wasn’t even his fault,” Mr. Grey looked away from my angry gaze, clearly uncomfortable. “My grandparents threw him out when he needed them most. I can’t understand why any parent would do that.”
“You must understand,” he said. “When you’re father married you’re mother, it was a humiliation to our family. When Ashton didn’t stop him from being possessed that just made it worse. And when you’re father escaped from prison and came to our house for help, mom couldn’t even look at him. I remember her telling him to never come back, that he wasn’t accepted in our home anymore.”
“And you think she was right for that?” I asked, outraged.
“Of course not. I loved my brother. I didn’t care if he married someone from the Powerless world or if let his best friend get possessed by a demon. He was still my big brother, and I knew that if things were reversed – and it was me instead of him – I knew that he would have also loved me regardless.
“I just don’t understand why he couldn’t return home to you and you’re mother at the time, but I always wondered if was because he was trying to protect the both of you.”
“Mom said he did. She said that he returned home, but he didn’t stay long because he had to protect us from him. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time. It wasn’t long after that that Death showed up to take me to Eden.”
“Hm,” he said, clearly lost in thought. “What I don’t understand is how you can’t remember him? You were five when he left. I’ve always wondered if he had someone cast a spell on you to forget him.”
“But why would he do that?” I demanded. The thought of someone casting a spell on me just so I could forget my father made me angry.
“Because you’re father left you and maybe he thought it would be better if you forgot him instead of you believing that he just up and abandoned you.” He smiled softly. “After all, you were his prize possession. Aside from your mother, he loved you very much.”
“I just wish he could have left something behind. Something that I could use to find him.”
“Spencer,” he said. He sounded exhausted. “The last thing you’re father wants is to be found.”
Mr. Grey shrugged. “The answers will come to us in time, but until then just focus on school. It’s what he would have wanted.”
What he said made sense, but I was still confused about one other thing. “I have one more question.”
“And what is that?”
I hesitated before answering. “Why is my last name Mason? Shouldn’t it have been Grey?”
“When you’re father went to the Powerless world, he wanted to start a new life there. So he used an old family last name. Your great, great grandma, Marian Mason. She later on married a hunter named Garrison Grey. He was our step-grandpa. Our real grandfather, well, all I know about him is that he had to leave in order for Grandma Marian to have a better life. It’s a complicated story. Anyway, I guess after our parents disowned him for marrying your mother, he decided that he didn’t want to keep the last name Grey anymore. I guess he didn’t want to bring ‘shame’ to the Grey name.” Suddenly he smiled. It was a soft kind of smile, full of love and tenderness. For some inexplicable reason it made my head spin. “I’m just glad that you understand everything now. I hated not telling you. I just hope you can forgive me and let me become a part of your life. If you’ll let me.”
Mr. Grey wants to be in my life – to be the uncle that I never knew I had. I suddenly felt a little overwhelmed. I just couldn’t believe the man standing in front of me was my father’s youngest brother – my uncle. And yet I knew he was. Just as I knew that Jordan and Morgan were my cousins. I took a deep breath.
“Okay,” I said. His smile seemed to intensify at my words. “But what do I tell Jordan?”
“Nothing,” he said. “At least not right now. You let me worry about that.”
After I left Mr. Grey’s office, my mind went elsewhere as I walked through the dark and desolate corridor. I still couldn’t believe it. Mr. Grey was my uncle! All this time he knew I was his niece and yet my mother didn’t want him to say anything. I thought back to that day at the orientation, when I saw my mom talking to Mr. Grey. Okay, more like arguing, but it was because Mr. Grey wanted to introduce himself to me. Not just as my teacher, but as my uncle.
I wonder why she didn’t want me to know. Did she think I would have left her for him? That’s silly to assume, but I know my mother. Her imagination can go a little wild sometimes. But could she truly believe I would have left her for a man that I barely knew? Or was it simply something else. Something she wasn’t telling either of us. Was she mad at my father’s family for the way they treated him? Did he ever tell her about that? And if so, did she hate them for it? Maybe in way, she blamed them for my dad’s disappearance. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t bring myself to be mad at her. After all, she probably thought she was doing the right thing.
I was just getting to the double doors that exited the building when I felt a sharp pain in my lungs. I gasped, and kneeled over in agony. Like the nurse said, my lungs haven’t been the same since I was released from the infirmary. Every time I took deep breaths, or ran too long in PE, they would start bothering me. It’s embarrassing, but every time that happened, I would basically have to beg Mr. Howl to let me sit for a bit, at least until my lungs stopped aching.
I got down on my knees, praying that the pain would soon subside. I put my left hand where I knew my lungs were at, and tried to put some pressure on it by pushing down. Hopefully that will stop the pain, or make it more bearable. I was aware of the cold marble floor seeping through my jeans, making my teeth chatter. The cold wasn’t helping my sore lungs either. I was just about to get up when I heard a familiar voice down the hall call my name. I could hear panic in their voice. I turned around, and sure enough it was my knight in shining armor.
I felt a smile spread across my face as Alex rushed to my side. Just seeing him made me instantly forget about the pain. Instead I focused on his face and the warmth that seemed to emanate from his body. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to my feet.
“Are you okay?” Alex asked anxiously. Oddly the pain seemed to disappear as he held me closely to him.
“I’m fine,” I answered. I tried to relish in this moment, knowing that it won’t last very long. But I felt content, complete. I was happy for the first time in a while. “Now that you’re here.”
To my disappointment, Alex didn’t reply. Instead he pulled away from me reluctantly, a look of longing on his face before he turned and walked away. I was stunned as I watched him disappear through the double doors. I was almost tempted to run after him and to demand why he was acting this way, when I realized that wasn’t such a good idea. I sighed, wincing as a small pain entered my lungs again. Well, at least I know that he still cares for me. If he didn’t, he would have just walked on by, acting like he didn’t see me. I put a hand where my lungs should be as I walked out of the building, hoping desperately that the pain will soon go away. Not just in my lungs, but the aching in my heart as well.
I was in Elemental Magic the next day that I was encountered by none other than Cameron Johnson. Everyone was practicing on their water magic, trying desperately to wield it from the cups that sat in front of us. Everyone seemed to be having trouble with it. Everyone except me. To me, it was simple. All I had to do was stare it and voilà – out of the glass it goes. Of course, when Cameron came up to me, I instantly lost my concentration, causing the water to fall back into the glass.
“Hey,” Cameron said, his voice taking on a flirtatious tone.
“Hey,” I replied, halfheartedly. I hope whatever he came to say will be short because frankly I didn’t have time to mess with him. Out of habit, I glanced behind me to see Alex looking this way. I could see that his hands were curled into balls and that he was looking at Cameron with a look of hatred.
“So I was wondering if maybe you’ll be my date for the Valentine Ball. I figured no one asked you and I would hate to see you alone at the dance by yourself. What do you say?”
I fought the urge to hit him. “I say have fun at the dance. And for your information I have a date. Her name is Gabrielle Swan.”
“Oh, so your into girls now,” he laughed. “I’m not going anywhere until you agree to become my date for the Valentine Ball.”
“That does it,” Morgan said. He shot up out of his chair, his face bright red from anger. Everyone in the classroom went quiet at Morgan’s sudden outburst. Cameron took a couple steps back; his face deathly pale as he took in Morgan’s outraged expression. “If you don’t leave her alone you’re going find yourself thrown out the window that way you can’t go to the dance at all!” I was speechless. Was Morgan really standing up for me? “Now go!” he demanded.
“You’re crazy,” Cameron said. I felt my temper flare at his words. No one calls my cousin crazy and gets away with it. I summoned my power as water from everyone’s glasses came rushing together, making a huge a water ball above Cameron’s head. I smirked and let the water fall, drenching him from head to toe. He was completely soaked! Everyone in the classroom busted out laughing at Cameron’s wet state. Even Mr. Hans looked amused. “What the hell?” Cameron squealed.
“Who’s crazy now,” I said. Cameron didn’t reply. Instead he rushed out of the classroom, leaving nothing but puddles of water behind. Morgan gave me high five, along with a grateful smile.
“That was awesome.”
“Indeed, Ms. Mason.” Mr. Hans said. “That was truly some wonderful magic you wielded.”
“I’m just sorry I used all the water on Cameron,” Not to mention the huge mess I made.
“Oh, it’s all good. Nobody was getting anywhere with the water magic anyway.”
It was the night of the Valentine Ball. I couldn’t help but feel a little excited. This was my first real dance that I’d ever attended. Most of the time when they had dances back at my old schools, they were boring and not really worth my time. To my relieve, my dress seemed to fit me perfectly. I looked in the mirror as I admired myself. The dress seemed to bring out my small figure, including how small my breasts are! I’m 32B in cup sizes, which was fine by me. I never really wanted big boobs in the first place. And as I predicted, I didn’t even have to wear a bra!
I curled my hair, which seemed to take up most of my time. My hair is very thick and sometimes I’m under the impression that it’s got a mind of its own. After that, I dabbed some foundation on my skin, making it look smooth and clear. I coated my eyelids with black and grey eye shadow, which brought out my brown eyes, and then smeared some lip gloss on my lips. When I was done, I did a thorough check, just to make sure nothing looked out of place or smeared. I don’t like to wear make-up, but I knew it was probably essential for the dance.
I slipped on my black flats and grabbed my black handbag before shutting off my light and meeting the girls downstairs. Gabrielle, Scarlett, Mia, and I decided to go to the ball together, having realized that it made things simpler for all of us. When I descended the stairs and saw them waiting for me, all dressed up and beautiful, I couldn’t help but stop and stare at them. I was right about Gabrielle and Scarlett’s dresses. Both of their dresses came to about their thighs, making it difficult for either of them to bend over. Gabrielle’s hair was styled like mine, her long brown hair curled to the center of her back. That must have been difficult. Mine only came to about my shoulders. Scarlett’s hair was pulled up into an elegant bun, while Mia’s hair, which was shorter than all of ours, remained the same as always. Her hair was cut pixie short, making it difficult for her to really do anything with it. The only thing she did was placed a lily in her hair. They all gaped when they saw me.
“Spencer,” Gabrielle breathed. She grabbed my hands. “You look beautiful.”
“Thanks. So do you guys. I can’t believe how gorgeous you all look!”
“Aw, thanks Spence.” Scarlett said. “Now if only we could have gotten hot dates.”
Mia just rolled her eyes.
We talked animatedly as walked arm-in-arm together to the gym. Sometimes it was Gabrielle and Scarlett’s heels clicking against the pavement that filled the silence. I found it quite odd that we were having the ball in the gymnasium, but maybe that was the only place big enough that could house hundreds of students, including the teaching staff. When we made it inside the gym, I was relieved to find it warm. I gasped at the improvement. Whoever had decorated the gym did a very good job. There were tables scattered all over the gym, table cloths switching from red to pink to red again, with small candle sticks centered in the middle of each table, making it give off a romantic touch. My favorite part was the rose petals that seemed to be scattered all over the gymnasium floors. I inhaled the sweet aroma that was the roses. It smelled wonderful. There were also longer tables that provided finger foods, like cut sandwiches and pigs in blankets, which I’ve never tried. There was other stuff too, but they didn’t look very edible, nor did they look even remotely appetizing. Most of the first, second, and third years seemed to take over the dance floor as they danced to the song “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men. The upper class students seemed to gather into groups, as they joked and socialized amongst one another. I guess they considered themselves to cool to dance with the youngsters. Across the room, I saw Cameron shooting daggers in my direction. I just smiled and gave him a finger wave. He flipped me off before continuing his conversation with Jamie, who was also giving me nasty looks. Whatever. I ignored them as I continued to follow the girls through the gym, trying to look for familiar faces. Eventually we spotted Morgan and Jennifer seated at a table that stood farthest from the others. They waved at us, before gesturing to join them. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see Scarlett. I noticed that Mia was already on the dance floor, breaking down into some killer moves.
“We’re going to go dance,” she shouted over the loud music.
I just nodded, showing her that I understood. Scarlett hugged me before joining Mia on the dance floor. They both shook their asses like there was no tomorrow. I rolled my eyes at them, a small smile forming on my face as I went to join the others. I sat beside Gabrielle and listened as she and Morgan joked with each other, while laughing hysterically at the people that couldn’t seem to dance. I scolded them for being mean, which they didn’t seem to notice. They were having too much fun. I shrugged it off. I was just glad to see everyone enjoying themselves. I started searching for Jordan and Alicia on the dance floor. When I found them, I busted out laughing. They were both being completely idiotic, doing dance moves that people hadn’t seen since the seventies. When Jordan caught my eye, he gestured for me to come join them. I shook my head, before turning away. Luckily for me, Jennifer seized my attention. We talked about how much fun we were having and how great the gym looked. Then somehow our conversation went from the ball to penguins. It made my head spin.
I jumped at the sudden screams that erupted in the gymnasium. They were screams of excitement when a song I knew all too well from the Powerless world started playing through the loud speakers. My ears are going to be bleeding by the time I leave this gym. I’ll be surprised if I don’t go deaf. The song “Cool Kids” by Echosmith seemed to cause everyone to grab their N’Sync’s, and start dancing to the pounding rhythm. I watched as Gabrielle and Morgan got up from their seats, heading straight for the dance floor, both of them dancing like they were crazy. Someone grabbed my arm then, and I realized it was Jordan, trying to pull me out of my seat. I tried to grab the first thing I could find, but it was too late. He already had me by my arm, dragging me towards the dance floor. In my peripheral vision, I saw Alicia and Jennifer watching us closely. Whether Alicia was still concerned about Jordan’s relationship with me being a problem or not – I couldn’t help but be more worried about what he was going to submit me too.
“I can’t do this, Jordan,” I said, my voice trembling with fear. I could feel myself about to hyperventilate as he pulled me towards him. “I can’t dance.”
“Neither can I.” he said matter-of-factly. I groaned. “Just relax and have fun. Don’t pay attention to anyone but me okay.”
“Okay,” I squeaked. Jordan chuckled at my reaction then started spinning me around, making me dizzy, and nearly causing me to fall on my butt. Like Jordan said, I tried not to focus on those around me and eventually I forgot all about them. I smiled as I moved to the music that resonated throughout the gymnasium, dancing like I’d never danced before. At one point, Jordan and I grabbed hands, both of us breaking into smiles as we spun around on the dance floor, causing everything to blur all around us. After that we both had to take a break, so we decided to retreat back to our table.
Two songs later, as Jordan and I laughed about nothing in particular, I saw in the corner of my eye, Alicia approaching us. She grabbed Jordan’s hand, her face unreadable.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure,” he said. Jordan gave me a departing smile before following Alicia to the other side of the gym. I watched them closely from where I sat. It wasn’t until a couple minutes into their conversation that I noticed Jordan looked affronted; probably from something Alicia said. From the way he was standing and the glare he had aimed at her only made me realize that something was wrong. This can’t be good. I wonder what was going on.
I spotted Gabrielle making her way towards me, her face melancholy as she took a seat beside me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I’m upset. I wish there was some way I could dance with Mr. Grey without it getting suspicious.”
“Why do you think people would be suspicious? Look at Mr. Hans—“We both looked in the direction where our Elemental Magic’s teacher stood on the dance floor, dancing with a bunch of second year girls. There was nothing suspicious in the way he danced with them. “I’m sure if you danced with Mr. Grey, nobody would think much of it.”
“Are you sure?” she asked, uncertain.
“I’m very sure.”
“Okay” Gabby said. She pulled me into her arms then. I returned the hug, squeezing her tightly. “Thank you. You’re a good friend.”
I pulled away from her, a wry smile on my face. “You go get you’re older man and you make him dance until his feet bleed.”
“I will,” I giggled as she jumped to her feet and made her way to Mr. Grey, who stood talking to Ms. Foster, the Home Economics teacher. My smile intensified when I saw the relieve on Mr. Grey’s face as Gabrielle approached him. He nodded happily, indicating that he would most certainly love to dance with her. Anything to get away from Ms. Foster. They held hands as they made their way to the dance floor, Gabrielle’s eyes wide and excited as she gazed at me from across the room, pointing at him and mouthing Oh my God! I put a hand over my mouth, trying to stifle a laugh when I noticed Jordan retreating back to our table. I sat up straighter in my chair, trying to take in his expression. He looked…heart broken. When he took back his seat, he banged his face into the table. Well, that can’t be good.
“Jordan, what happened?”
“She broke up with me.” Jordan said his voice muffled by the table. “She said it’s hard dating a guy who is N’Sync to a girl that is gifted.”
“She said that!”
I was enraged. How dare she do this to him! And especially at the Valentine Ball of all places. There are better ways to break up with someone, but at a dance? Suddenly I felt responsible. If it hadn’t been for me, they would probably still be together.
“I’ll be right back,” I said, as I got up from my chair and made my way across the room to where Alicia and Jennifer stood. Jordan didn’t protest. Actually, he didn’t move an inch when I looked back at him later. I felt a sort of guilty satisfaction when I saw Alicia and Jennifer’s eyes widening as I approached them, both of their faces looking pale as Casper the ghost.
“You know,” I said, as a way of greeting. “There are many ways to break up with someone and they don’t involve balls or dances of any kind!”
“Spencer,” Alicia said her eyes filled unshed tears. “You have to understand—“
“I don’t have to understand nothing!” I exploded. They both winced at the loudness of my voice. I was actually surprised that nobody else around here seemed to notice. “He loved you, and yet you were so insecure when it came to me! I told you that nothing was going on between Jordan and me! I don’t love Jordan like that. You know why,” She shook her head, tears falling silently as Jennifer wrapped a comforting arm around her. She didn’t say anything – just continued to glare at me. “Because Jordan is my cousin.”
They both were taken aback by my words. “What?” Alicia said, clearly stunned.
“Jordan,” I enunciated each word. “Is my cousin. I found out while I was waiting for Mr. Grey in his office. He had a picture of my parents and me. When I asked him about it, he told me I was his niece.”
“Oh my God,” Alicia gasped. I watched as her face took on a look of horror. “What have I done?”
“That’s a good question. And I really liked you Alicia. I just can’t believe you were that petty.” I hissed. “I even believed you two could have had a real future together.”
“Does Jordan know?” she sobbed. I stared back at her impassively. “Does he know you’re his cousin?”
“Not yet,” I replied. “Mr. Grey is supposed to tell him.” And with that said, I walked away.
When I returned to our table, I noticed Jordan still hadn’t moved an inch as I took my seat beside him. He looked more rejected than ever.
“Are you okay?” I asked again.
“No,” he said. “I’m depressed.”
“I’m so sorry, Jordan. It’s all my fault.”
“How is this your fault?” he demanded. “You didn’t do anything. What she feels is her problem.”
“What did she tell you exactly?”
“She told me that she was very jealous of my relationship with you – that she felt it could become a problem. And if that’s the case, then its best we broke up.” Jordan lifted his head, a gentle smile appearing on his face. I also noticed that he had a red mark on his forehead. “You’re my best friend and no girl is ever going to make me regret that.”
I felt tears cloud my vision as I wrapped my arms around him, crushing him to me. “I love you, Jordan.”
“I love you too.” He said, as he held me tightly. “And maybe this is for the best. Maybe she wasn’t the one for me.”
I pulled away, feeling guilty all of sudden. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hard on Alicia. After all, she couldn’t help how she felt. But of course my mind had been focused on the fact that she had hurt Jordan. I couldn’t see past my anger towards her to see the pain in her eyes.
“Or maybe she was. Still is. She loves you very much. I’m sure she’s going to regret what happened tonight.”
“Well, what’s done is done,” He stood up then. “I’m calling it a night. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Alright,” I said. “Sweet dreams, okay.”
I’m not entirely sure, but I think I heard him scoff as I watched him walk away. My heart went out to him. I know exactly how you feel, Jordan. More than you know. As Jordan disappeared, leaving me completely alone at the table that I sat at, I became aware of a familiar song. “Never Let Me Go” was playing softly through the gymnasium, Florence’s voice singing delicately through the huge speakers. I watched as couples came together, dancing slowly with one another as boys wrapped their arms tenderly around their girlfriends, swaying back in forth in time with the music. The girls would lay their heads down on their chests, looking content. I felt an aching in my chest, one that longed for someone to take me in their arms and dance with me, making me feel loved and cherished too. And there was only one boy I wanted to share that with. I blew out a sigh. Watching all these couples dancing together was torture enough. Can’t they find something less heartbreaking to hear?
I sat back in my seat, arms crossed, feeling more lonely than ever, until I saw someone from across the room, staring at me. My eyes widened at the familiar face, my heartbeats quickening, making it difficult to breathe. Alex smiled at me from across the room. I felt an ear splitting smile make its appearance on my face as Alex closed the distance between us, his hand extended out to me, a question in his eyes. Will you dance with me? They seemed to say. Without hesitation, I placed my hand in his, and followed him to the dance floor. As we passed by groups of couples, I couldn’t help but notice their baffled expressions as they took in the sight of me and Alex dancing together, his arms wrapped tenderly around my waist, my hands on his shoulders.
The lyrics of the song seemed so much more consequential as Alex and I swayed to the music, my face resting on his shoulder as he held me.
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
As we continued to dance, I became aware of everyone’s eyes as they stared, transfixed in our direction. I guess they couldn’t believe what they we’re seeing. This beautiful boy – dancing with the average girl. Or maybe it was the other way around and they couldn’t believe I was with someone like Alex. But I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m with him, and that’s all I care about. When the song ended, everyone went back to their own thing, ignoring us completely.Some would continually stare as they danced by us, but they didn’t gawk like they had before.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” I whispered. “I didn’t think you would come.”
“And miss you dressed like this,” he said. “No way. You look absolutely stunning, Spencer.”
I didn’t reply. Instead, I stood up on my tippy toes and crushed my lips to his, wrapping my arms tightly around his neck. He kissed me back, his lips warm, but hard against mine.
“Isn’t that cute,” said a sudden voice. “What a perfect couple you two make. Both of you from disgraceful families.”
Alex and I pulled away from each other, our eyes looking for the person who spoke. Abigail Westchester looked fabulous in an expensive looking pink, strapless dress, her curly hair piled on top of her head. I frowned at the sight of her. Of course she comes to ruin this perfect moment of ours.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, coldly. “I thought you couldn’t come because you were under investigation.”
“You didn’t hear,” she said. “They found me innocent. They realized after looking at my grades in Magic and Spells that I couldn’t have done it. Especially as something advanced as a fire serum.” I didn’t respond. I could care less if they found her innocent or not.
“Well, I’m happy that you didn’t try to kill me. Now if you’ll excuse us—“but I didn’t get the chance to finish my sentence. I didn’t even see her hand coming before I felt it smack me hard across the face. It felt like time had stopped as I tried to process what just happened. I turned to look at her, my mouth agape as I put a hand to my cheek, which still burned from Abigail’s assault.
“That was payback, bitch.” She snarled, before walking away.
I could feel the heat of anger emanating from Alex as he watched Abigail retreat across the room.
So of course she didn’t get very far. Fire appeared out of nowhere, flames engulfing Abigail from head to toe. I looked at Alex, already knowing that it was him using his fire magic on her. Of course, the grin on his face was a dead giveaway too.
“Now that’s payback.” He sneered. I should have scowled him for setting Abigail on fire, but to my surprise, I was actually kind of happy he did it.
Everyone stopped dancing as Abigail ran around the gym, her arms flailing, screaming at the top of her lungs for someone to put out the fire. Eventually Mrs. York stepped in, using her water magic to put it out. Luckily, Abigail wasn’t seriously burned as she stood almost stark naked in front of the whole school, trembling as she shot Alex an accusatory look.
“You did this,” she shrieked. “I slapped you’re stupid girlfriend in the face, and you set me on fire!” Abigail glared at the Headmaster, who to my surprise looked completely startled at what just happened. “He set me on fire! Do something about him?”
I looked at the Headmaster pleadingly. Please don’t, I thought. He looked away, nodding his head at something or someone. Seconds later, I watched in horror as Coach Howl and Mr. Xavier grabbed Alex by his arms, dragging him out of the room. I was stunned into silence as Alex started kicking and thrashing, yelling for them to let him go. Of course they ignored him, pulling him through the double doors, disappearing out of sight.
Just then a bunch of voices filled the gymnasium, voices that I couldn’t seem to block out.
See. What I’d tell you. Exactly like his father.
That boy has some serious anger issues. They may have to send him to anger management just to get that temper under control.
What a loony. I always knew there was something wrong with that kid.
On and on the voices went that I became unaware of my friends as they stood at my side. Mia wrapped a comforting arm around me. “Are you okay?”
I shook my head. “No. It’s not fair that Alex got in trouble, but Abigail got away for slapping me.”
bitch slapped you,” Scarlett said. She looked outraged. “Ooohhh, Mia you better
hold me back because my fists are about to go swinging.”
“Why did she slap you?” Gabrielle demanded.
“Because apparently it’s my fault she got in trouble in the first place. She blames me for the whole fire serum incident.”
“So it wasn’t her?”
“No. They looked back at her grades in Magic and Spells and came up with the realization that she couldn’t have done it. Her grades in the class were too low.”
“Then there’s no way she could have made that serum.”
“So what are you going to do now?” Morgan asked. I wasn’t surprised to see that out of the rest of us he looked bored.
“I’m going to rescue my boyfriend. I think it’s unfair that he’s the only one being punished, even if what he did was wrong.”
“Of course it was wrong. He set someone on fire. Not that I object or anything. I think she deserved it.”
“No one deserves to get set on fire, Morgan.” Gabrielle scolded. “But as Spencer said, it was unfair for him to take the fall for everything.”
“You go get your man, Spencer.” Scarlett said, with a wink. “We’ll take care of things here.
“I can’t believe we’re helping, Torchwood,” Morgan said, piqued. “I thought I would die from a horde of demons before I ever helped him.”
Morgan blanched as Gabrielle leaned into him, a scary look on her face that even had me shivering in fear. “You’re going to help us.”
Morgan bobbed his head up and down in a weak nodding manner. He looked like a child that had just been scolded by his mother.
“You better tell Alex he owes us,” Mia said. “And his payment involves sitting with us from now on. No exceptions.”
“I’ll let him know,” I said. It was in that moment that I realized I did have some amazing friends. “I’ll see you guys later.”
“Good luck.” I waved at them before casting a surreptitious glance around the gym, hoping nobody saw me as I exited through the double doors of the gymnasium.
I beat my fists against Alex’s door until my knuckles started to bleed. Why wasn’t he answering? Maybe they have him locked in the Headmaster’s office, my subconscious said. Maybe we should check there. I couldn’t help but agree with her.
I held my dress in my hands as I ran to the main building where the Headmaster’s office was located. I pushed the huge doors aside as I rushed up the stairs, forgetting in the process that I hadn’t closed them. Oh, well. Someone will see them open and close them for me.
I was on the third flight of stairs, just about to ascend the next, when I heard two voices down the hallway. They sounded vaguely familiar when I realized that the other voice was Alex. I grabbed the hem of my dress, my pulse racing from excitement as I ran down the corridor, searching for the room that I was hearing the voices in. All the classrooms that I seemed to run by were either closed or dark inside, until near the very end of the corridor, I saw the light from within the weapons room was on. I could hear the voices of Alex and…Ms. Hardwick? For some unfathomable reason, I hesitated as I neared the door, which was slightly a jar, only giving me a slight glimpse inside. I peeked through the crack and felt my blood run cold as I stared at the two people inside the weapon’s room. Inside stood Ms. Hardwick as she stood in front of man cloaked in a black hood. I couldn’t see his face – his back was facing towards me as he continued talking to Ms. Hardwick in voice that reminded me of Alex. Except he sounded a little a more gruff then Alex, with a sinister edge added to it. Oh my God. Suddenly I knew why that man sounded just like Alex, why he was a man wearing nothing but a black hood. I suddenly felt nauseated. It was Alex’s father – it was Azazel.