Nail in Her Coffin (Devil's Witch Book 1)

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Chapter 31-Cult Cake


“Just let me know when you get to the airport. Love you,” I try to sound soothing to comfort my girlfriend.

Soon as I get enough money from running this joint, I’m ditching her and moving myself out of this state and away from the coven, forever.

I can’t see myself working in this town, let alone a grocery store, the rest of my life...

It’s been three days since they left, I guess the holy mistress down south gave Val the green light. I can only imagine what would have happened if she didn’t, if Val ended up being a hybrid. I finish mopping up a milk spill from when an elderly woman earlier tried and failed to lift a gallon from the shelf.

Eleven pm couldn’t have come any sooner though, it’s finally time to close up shop. Before I met Stella, I was first friends with Valerie. We worked together in these very isles. That was ten years ago.

She’s the ghost of the girl she used to be and everyone knows whoever screwed her over is still on the loose. She never wanted to be a witch.

Funny thing is, if Val hadn’t died...I don’t think Stella and I would have become a thing. She and I were both grieving over the same person and we were both around to comfort each other. We got close because we had to, they were dark times.

Time changes people and I chose my side way long ago. I’ve been keen on keeping it secret from the coven of course. Now that Valerie’s back, I thought the three of us would be close again. Only, we aren’t. Much of that having to do with my girlfriend, if only Val saw how she talks sometimes about her behind her back.

I would never admit it, but behind closed doors Stella’s exactly like her mother. Well, not all the time -- I mean...I like her. Well, I used to.

Now, I could care less if we broke up or not.

After turning out the lights in the main area of the store, I head back into the walk-in freezer and remove the black tarp from the numerous cakes I had special ordered. For tonight’s ceremony of course. Stella is on the wrong side. When the war comes, and it will, she and every witch will fall hard.

If she knew or cared about my personal life more, she’d never see me again. She’d walk away from me. So I’ve been careful. I don’t know if I should just save face and wait it out or break up with her now before things get ugly. My mind in a frenzy, I load the cakes into the back of my sedan and book it down to the station.

In the basement is where we meet once a week. To display my patronage, I bring them their blood and cakes of choice. It may seem silly, but the vamps are more crazy about the delicacy since there’s human blood fused into the flour.

Blood, it’s like a drug to them. Human blood especially. It doesn’t matter if it’s liquid or powered or even baked.

They all know I’m human. Unlike the witches think, they don’t lack morals and haven’t tried anything on me. So long as I deliver them blood, they’d have no reason to.

After the vamps help me unload the cakes and buckets of blood, we set down their food on long wooden tables down in the police station basement.

Without the police’s help, my establishment, Wally’s, would have gone under with the new modern grocery store down the road. We have been donating blood from our meat shipments to the station to feed his police. In return, he has been paying me of course.

It’s the only reason our doors are still open. I don’t know when the right time to tell Stella will be.

Hopefully, I’ll never have to.

It’s not like I willingly involved myself in this charade. Vampires are one thing, but this man is something else.

And I’m the only human soul who knows.

The first time I discovered what he really was, was during the ice cream outing we went on. Maybe I have witch blood in me or something, but as far as I know I do not. The others must have been in too much shock seeing the crazy robber to really focus on Nick and what he was doing.

I never saw aura’s before, but that moment, right before he left our table, I saw the real him. Not his aura, him.

We made direct eye contact too and I knew he knew I saw him. It all happened in a split second, then it was over. He was back to looking like his usual policeman self. I wasn’t terrified of the burglar, that’s why Stella thought I was throwing up.

No, I was terrified of him.

Still am though, but in a different way. All I know is he’s a hybrid and maybe a mix of witch and vampire. His magic is fearsome, but he uses it in a good way. It unravels around him like some kind of carpet, more like a pool of blood.

The only reason I can see his magic is because he doesn’t bother hiding it down here in the basement of the station.

The magic has some kind of trippy effect on us, vampires included. It makes us feel all relaxed and happy. Frankly, I don’t care what kind of magic it is-it makes me feel like a million bucks and I leave here with a high I’d never get hounding lazy employees all day.

“I know we were short twenty buckets, but we will fill the rest and have them ready by tomorrow afternoon,” I inform a vamp with a clipboard, she nods her head and jots down the number quickly before turning away in the crowd.

The walls down here are really painted white, but the lights are all off and they may as well be black as far as I can see.

Standing torches border the room, emitting an eerie glow. Every time we meet down here, I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. All the vampires are wearing what would look like bathrobes to outsiders, but they are really made of a rich black silk.

Mine is too, I didn’t have to pay for it.

It’s kind of tacky, but it’s more for show. Down here I’m an equal. Something I’d never be considered by the coven.

They all think they’re superior, not vampires though. They know there’s a fine line they tread with humanity, they don’t feed off the innocent here.

Only the guilty.

Oh, how I can’t wait for the war to break out. It would be great to see the covens across the country crumble to pieces.

Their authority erased and replaced.

Eventually, everyone finishes snacking on the cake and fresh blood. The vamps form a circle, waiting on the exalted one who has yet to show himself. In the center of our circle is a six-pointed star with three long yellow wax candles in the center.

All of us have a black upside-down triangle tattooed onto our right wrists, proof of our allegiance.

My mark begins to tingle. That tingle though slowly turns into a burn. He’s coming.

His magic is connected to us, for it etched out our tattoos on each and every one of us.

I start feeling sluggish, his magic’s pull on me is always almost too much to handle. Everything becomes blurry for a second and a vampire beside me even stumbles backwards a little.

I can only imagine what would happen if he grabbed one of our wrists, we’d probably die from the ecstasy.

The candles across from me blow out and the excited whispers around the room go silent and the elated feeling pulsating from our skin abandons us.

Leaving a cold, empty feeling within me.

That’s odd, usually, I leave feeling high and the meeting’s not even over yet. Instead of energized, I feel sluggish. Faces around me turn hard with annoyance, eyes dart around the room searching for him in frustration. Then he appears in all his glory.

His robe, in contrast to ours, is red. He stands exactly in the center of our circle, with his arms crossed. Normally, he looks calmer, but tonight he looks pissed off.

Blood red magic sweeps over the floor, scouring the ground with purpose.

It forms a ward around us, to keep any outsiders from intruding. A dim red glowing wall now surrounds us, the ward has been set.

Following routine, I chant along with the others.

“He is our salvation, he is the one whom will set me free. He is, the redeemer. The one who will make us see...”

I close my eyes, continuing the chorus and soaking in the feeling of our fellowship.

This man will be our savior.

When we finish chanting our song of allegiance, I open my eyes and see the exalted one smiling at us in approval. He blinks out of sight and everyone looks at each other in wonder, when he reappears he is not alone.

A werewolf lays on the ground beside him, chained at the neck and covered in blood. Vampires grimace at the sight, I found out last month they don’t care for were blood.

The exalted one lifts the dead werewolf’s body up and lays the limp pile of brown fur on the stone altar behind him. He uses his magic and the dead beast disappears, the only trace of its existence a red six-pointed star imprinted on the alter’s surface.

We successfully opened the portal to the other realm. That is one of the main reasons we come, so the exalted one can use our life energy to strengthen his power enough to rid this earth of the scum that inhabitant it.

We all were notified before coming, it was the were who bit Valerie.

He was not happy about that.

I don’t really know why he was particularly mad about it, sure he was her familiar. It’s not like she’s the white witch or anything. She’s already healed anyway. Amazingly fast too. The exalted one tells us how he dreams of the new world. I cannot wait for his union with the white witch. It is only a matter of time until they find each other.

We already can open the portal without drawing the coven’s attention.

Now we just need the white witch to give it to us, rumor is she is closest to the coven’s leader now. I wonder which witch it is. The only thing is, we are stuck waiting for her to willingly come to us. The exalted one believes this is the only way. So in the meantime, Nick has been searching for the necromancer who we have now confirmed is among the weres. They probably tried to kill Valerie to hide the evidence.

“Disperse now and track the werewolves. Colin, I wish to speak to you.” Our savior grits out, sounding angrier than I’d hope he’d be.

“The blood has been back-ordered.” I admit, hoping he will understand.

“That is unfortunate. Do you have the other things?” He asks of me and I nod my head quickly.

The key to Stella’s house and a lock of her hair, it pretty much will enable him to enter and exit the house as he pleases without permission. Being Val’s familiar though, he already should be able to get in. Unless they got in a fight or something and she warded the house to lock him out.

That’s the only reason why he’d need Stella’s hair, to conjure a repellent to break through the ward without anyone noticing. I guess maybe he’s just concerned about her, knowing the coven’s dislike for her. It’s only natural he and Will don’t get along, their fates are pitted against each other.

Maybe he just wants to secure his access to the house in case the necromancer shows up. I don’t know why else he’d want to go there. He put up quite a fuss when Val accidentally turned him into her familiar anyway. Stella even pretty much freed him of it too.

So I thought he wanted nothing to do with Val since.

He should be more focused on finding the white witch.

“What are you going to do?” I dare asking him. He makes a clicking noise with his tongue and I gulp, it’s a habit of his.

A signal that I’ve stepped out of line.

There’s an edge in his tone, the lingering threat behind his words makes me mute with new fear, “The only thing you have to worry about is that blood getting here tomorrow,” he reminds me sounding agitated at my probing.

He vanishes into thin air and our meeting concludes. Leaving me feeling dumbfounded at my own stupidity, who was I to question him?

One by one, the other vampires disappear too and I’m left alone to return to my own car. I know he is the exalted one, but I hope he gets his priorities straight. I really don’t get why he’s wasting his time watching over Val.

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