Chapter 13-An Escort Home
I watch in stunned silence as the same officer who I thought I saw outside the bar last night gets out of his police vehicle. He slams the driver side door shut and takes his time walking over to me.
I never noticed it before, but the way he walks seems almost arrogant now. He rests his hands on his belt and makes a clicking noise with his tongue, stopping in front of me and resting a hand on the top of his police car.
He gives me a charming smile.
You’re losing it, he’s an officer for goodness sakes and you’re a witch! I internally scold myself.
As if to help my cause, a searing pain shoots over the lines etching the symbol on my stomach to remind me humans and supernaturals don’t mix. By law, well coven law, our relationship is forbidden.
My dumb embarrassed grin turns into a pained frown as I clutch onto my stomach.
“Ma’am?” the officer says with concern, coming to my side.
“I’m fine really, just a stomach bug,” I grit out. He rubs his chin looking down at me.
“Are ya waitin' for someone?” he asks slowly in his smooth deep voice looking both ways down the street.
“No. I need to go home though, I don’t have a car."
“I’ll take ya home,” he says while looking down at me and I feel my cheeks blushing at his offer.
He walks with me over to his car and my heart pounds heavily in nervousness and excitement. I really need to get it together, I should tell him I’m fine walking on my own...
He opens and shuts the door for me when I get in. Then he walks around and gets in the driver side. I’m afraid if the buckle hits my stomach, it would send immense pain searing across my belly. He doesn’t turn off the loud music or say anything when I don’t buckle up to my relief.
He’s such a...kooky human, especially being a cop and all.
I try to relax being so close to him, I glance at his strong jawline and shaggy sandy blonde hair. The smile on his face is gone and replaced with the stereotypical ‘cop look’. Which consists of his full lips formed into a hard line and his jaw clenched. I really need to stop staring at him or he is going to think I’m crazy or something.
I hear some police officers talking back and forth on the police radio, but I have no idea how he can hear them over his music.
Crap, he must be waiting for me to tell him where to go and here I am staring at him like an idiot.
“Oh, you can drop me off at Slate Ski Resort,” I tell him feeling awkward.
He nods his head silently and puts the car into drive. I look straight ahead at the road we are speeding over. After a while, I get tired of looking out the window and stare down at my lap instead.
“You a supernatural ma’am?” he asks me abruptly and I look up from my folded hands on my lap.
“Yes, I’m a witch,” I say warily, wishing I wasn’t with all my heart. All it has ever brought for me and my family is trouble.
“They brought in a hybrid to the station the other day. Guess ya witches don’t care for 'em,” he states in a serious voice.
“Lots of us are afraid of them, but I think I met the one you’re talking about. He was awful kind, terrified of himself even. The poor thing was all alone in the woods for a month,” I tell him in a soft voice, remembering how afraid Jackson looked.
Suddenly, he slams on the breaks and to keep me from slamming into the dashboard he puts his arm out in front of me. By some miracle, the painful heat searing across the skin of my stomach stops. I lean back against the seat, sighing in bliss, forgetting the cop next to me.
I’m pretty sure he heard my sigh though, he must think I’m nuts. His warm blue eyes seem to stare straight into my soul searching for something, the corner of his lip is quirked up into a smirk and my heart flutters. If it weren’t for the blaring music in the background mixed with the chatter of broken police conversations, I may even have swooned over the moment. My mind reminds me again though that we are too different and by law, illegal. Defined illicit by the hag-mistress herself.
Flustered, I reach for the car door handle with a shaky hand seeing we are at the ski lodge.
He snaps out of his stare and must see my hurry to escape. However, he takes his time adjusting his police hat before unlocking the door. When I hear it unlock, I step out feeling a little lightheaded.
“Ya alright walkin' back to the house from here?” he says with an amused look. What does he think is so funny?
“Um...yeah,” I manage to say loudly over the sound of the blaring music from his car.
It’s so loud the car is vibrating. Suddenly, he turns the car off and when I hear a twig snap in the woods behind me I jerk around as if expecting someone to be there.
He must see my fear because he comes out of his car.
“Let’s go,” he says with sudden authority.
The policeman pulls out his flashlight and I pull out my phone to help guide us down the path as we begin to walk down the dirt road leading away from the ski resort and to the McCaster’s house.
It’s the same path Will and I use as a shortcut to get back to his house after we work at the hayride.
Something in the bushes next to us runs out across the path and I shriek, absentmindedly grabbing onto the officer’s arm.
“Just a raccoon, you don’t need to hold onto me for such a harmless creature,” he teases, but with an underlying tone that almost sounds pleased.
I laugh nervously, realizing just how closely I’m holding onto him.
“Sorry,” I mumble weakly feeling annoyed at myself, I pull away from him.
We continue walking in silence until we reach the front porch of the house.
“Thanks for driving me home,” I tell him, choking on my own words. This place isn’t my home...
“Just doin' my job,” he replies slowly in a low tone, looking over my head at the front door of the house with a thoughtful expression.
I turn following his stare, feeling something shift slightly on my lower back.
How long has his hand been there? I’m so mortified by my own oblivion my face probably looks like a tomato right now.
Even though he may be a strange cop, I do feel safe around him and I suppose my head has been in la-la land ever since he gave me that look back in the car. Still, it scares me how easily I let my guard down around him.
The front door opens and Will steps out, looking around at his surroundings and then down at me with raised eyebrows.
“They finally released you! I was about to come over to the station myself. Who brought you back?” Will asks me sounding relieved and confusion floods into me.
Doesn’t he see the policeman next to me?
When I turn to the policeman though, he’s gone. I turn all the way around then, peering back down the shadowy path we walked down. Seeing a figure receding back down the way we came, I conclude he must have gotten an emergency call or something. He must be a fast runner too, to have gotten all the way down the path that far.
“A cop at the station dropped me off,” I tell him while walking by him and up the porch.
“Well, you look like you’re in a good mood,” Will says sounding strange. He shuts the door behind us and I look over my shoulder at him.
“W-what?” I stutter, frowning at my failure to speak right.
“Your magic is wavering around you and you look like you’re tipsy. Who did you ride home with? A bottle of vodka?” Will asks me sounding somewhere between furious and concerned.
I glance in the hallway mirror seeing my hair floating around my shoulders and the faint blue shimmer of my magic pulsating around me.
“No, a policeman,” I repeat to him again, not knowing what the big deal is.
My magic reacted this way the day I was revived too. It hasn’t really acted up like this since, but it’s probably just a side effect of the magic in my body lying dormant for so long.
He steps closer to me and places a steady hand on my shoulder. I didn’t realize how much my body was shaking. I take a slow deep breath, my hair falls back down onto my shoulders and my magic calms down, disappearing.
“That’s better,” Will says in a soft voice and I find myself leaning into his nearness when he playfully flicks at a piece of hair on my shoulder.
“Valerie...” he begins to say.
“Yes?” I reply.
“Tomorrow, we still have off work. Crystal has invited me to go hiking with her and Darren up the mountain. You should come with us,” he tells me with a hopeful look, before turning from me and going outside.
“Sure, that would be great,” I tell him, watching him head back outside and getting in his truck.
“It’s a date then!” he yells loudly out his window before driving away. Then I close the door of the house.
I should be excited I get to spend time with Will, but I suppose I’m just worried my feelings won’t be reciprocated. All I can do is just have a good time and hope for the best tomorrow. Besides, Patricia still has yet to tell Stella and I what our punishments will be for going against my house arrest.