Chapter 24-The Calling
After I told Nick to just keep driving, we ended up back at the house. He parked at the other end of the street.
Honestly, I’m still not comfortable being alone in the house with him.
The hayride season is over so I don’t work at the mountain anymore. It was different when Stella was around or working in town, but she’s out of state now and won’t be back until Monday. That’s two days I have to spend here with Nick. I thought it wouldn’t be so bad, but my date with Will ended early and I will be alone with Nick the rest of the night.
Nick is watching tv downstairs while I think about how I’m going to survive here all day tomorrow, alone with him. The soft red glow of the moon catches my eye and I walk over to my bedroom window. The moon’s crimson glow radiates onto my white and black striped pajama shirt and black shorts.
I had forgotten all about the Calling. It’s the coven’s monthly meeting they force all their member witches and warlocks to by force or as they call it, giving us a free ride to their headquarters. It takes an awful amount of magic to summon so many witches at once. It’s pretty creepy to witness them doing it too.
Patty, along with twelve other coven members stand in a circle and chant for a good half hour. Then they collapse onto the ground. The circle they make becomes the portal and all coven members pop up in it for the meeting.
The blood moon, as they call it, only appears every three months.
I can already feel a disturbance in my own magic, they must have started the ceremony. Something bad may happen if they transport me. Nick could be harmed if my black magic surfaces.
With this curse mark on me, they’ll definitely sense something demonic in my magic. Then, they’ll just use their meeting to exorcise me.
“Nick!” I yell in panic, seeing a white circle already appearing below my feet.
He runs up the steps and stares openly in surprise at the giant sphere of light below me.
“They are trying to summon me,” I yell in disgust. My feet might as well be glued to the floor, I won’t be able to move myself off the portal forming below my feet.
Nick eyes the rim of the coven’s portal and bends down as if investigating a crime scene. He pokes a finger into the light before I can tell him not to. As if to make matters worse, my stomach explodes in pain and I crumple onto my knees.
Suddenly, strong arms lift me up and out of the portal. The pain on my belly leaves with the bright light of the portal. Nick sets me down and I shake, knowing the coven will punish me for somehow avoiding their ‘sacred’ meeting.
“Thanks-” I begin, but my phone rings. When I see it’s Will, I answer it.
“Where are you?” Will whisper-yells at me.
I can hear the voices of several people in the background. Including Patty’s loud chants.
“Home. I’m not coming, I’m not a witch and I’m not part of their coven.”
“Not a witch? Have you lost it? You can’t pretend to be something you aren’t. How did you get out of the portal? I’m coming over to get you-” he begins to say, but I speak over him.
“You left our date to get to the meeting earlier, didn’t you?” I think out loud.
His long pause is my answer.
“Yes, but you have to understand. The headmistress doesn’t want me around you to begin with. She knows you’re trouble and she wants to find the necromancer. She’s doing this to protect the coven. So please, come to the meeting before she notices you’re absent,” he begs me.
I pull my head away from the phone.
The headmistress this, the headmistress that. The more Will talks about the coven, always holding it in high regard, the more I feel I’m losing him.
“I can’t, Will. I’m sorry. I’m tired of being called things I’m not. Maybe someday you’ll understand how they’ve manipulated your thinking. I’m not part of some legend, so don’t...act like I’m some evil witch.”
“Come on Val, you know she’s right about you being the white witch. You just don’t want to admit it, but the only one scared is you and you should be. You should feel scared without the coven’s protection. Who else is going to help you when the vamps and demons come for you? Who else is going to protect you when that Silvet brother finds you?” he speaks with concern.
My lip trembles as I consider his words, knowing fully well what I’m risking.
If he believes it, the entire coven must too.
“I never asked to be alive,” I reply, through bitter tears. I hang up the call before I can hear his reply.
I hear a cough and turn around, forgetting I had an audience.
Nick sits on my bed with his arms crossed. Passing him, I go downstairs and walk straight out the front door. Letting the crisp fall air welcome me, I sit down on the porch steps feeling sick to my stomach.
I’m losing Will to the coven. He’s never going to see through them no matter what I do.
A street light flickers on and off. The moon's glow tonight combined with the porch lights makes the grass look like a dirty yellow-brown.
From the corner of my vision, I see Nick sit down beside me. I rather be alone. Especially since I’m upset enough for my magic to get this out of hand.
My hair floats around my face. My blue magic leaks down the steps and into the grass, making a wind of magic swirl around me. Nick probably thinks it’s just the wind, but if he knew any better he would turn back inside.
“You should go inside,” I warn him in a soft voice.
“My father used to tell me, what ain’t living can never really die,” Nick says offhandedly, ignoring my warning.
I wipe at the tears running down my face with the back of my hand.
“R-really?” I sniffle.
“In reference to your feelings. They may not be alive, but they can’t die. Now you can let them control you like you are now or you can control them,” he says.
His fatherly tone catches me off guard and I finally really look at him.
I shake my head in disbelief, looking up at the red moon and wondering what my punishment will be for missing out on the meeting.
“You’re more important than that bastard will ever know,” Nick says in a serious voice.
I steady my breathing. He doesn’t need to be so harsh saying things like that.
“He’s just trying to protect me,” I defend tiredly.
“Oh really? Where is he now?” Nick asks me sternly.
He and I both know Will is with the coven.
Another wave of sobs hits me and I cry into my hands. My magic swirls around a pine tree in the front yard, bending its branches in unnatural angles.
“Control your feelings,” Nick urges quietly. My heart thuds heavily, as I mull over his suggestion.
When I stand up, he does too. I close my eyes and exhale, imagining my magic drifting down to the ground and fading away into nothing.
When I open my eyes though, it’s still blowing around outside like mad. It’s beyond my control.
With a sniffle, I shake my head in defeat.
Nick places his hands on his belt and scans the yard with a bewildered look. Can he actually see my magic?
“You’re not alone anymore. You don’t have to be afraid, I’m not afraid of you,” he tells me, his dark blue eyes full of promise.
The blood moon shines down on his hair making it look auburn blonde. My magic tears through the air around us so violently, that my skin begins to sting from sandy dirt it picks up and flings around.
Nick grips my waist to keep me from falling down the steps when my magic hits my back with strong force. My shirt hikes up in the wind and my chest tightens feeling his warm hands still holding the bare skin of my waist.
My magic calms down when Nick lets go of me. My heart, however, is having wild spasms just over his mere touch.
“How are you feeling now?” he asks me.
I glance down fearing what I may find.
Just like I suspected, a giant blue hexagram sits below us.
“Better,” I breathe out.
My legs feel like noodles and I wobble up the porch, Nick supporting most of my weight.
“How do you know so much about magic?” I ask him.
“I deal with witches daily. Call it one of the many perks of doing my job,” Nicks answers dryly.
“Well thanks for helping me. I appreciate it,” I thank him.