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

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Chapter 39-The Man in the Mirror

Will didn’t answer my call this morning so I’m on my way to drop off Nick’s wallet at the police station downtown.

I clutch my purse to my side scooting around a crowd of people outside a coffee shop and speed walk the rest of the short distance from Wally’s to the station on the other side of the street.

I pat my hair down seeing it frizz up at the top in the glass mirror of the tall glass sliding doors of the police department. The cool air conditioning blasts against me as I enter the busy and loud building.

“Hi, is the chief in?” I ask the vampire lady at the front desk.

She adjusts her glasses back up to the bridge of her nose and squints at her computer monitor. After a moment, she looks back up at me.

“No, he is not. I can have it brought to his office. Unless, you would like to drop it off yourself. Whichever you prefer,” the lady tells me sounding kind.

I smile looking around at the rest of the people in here. There’s so many vampires in here, it still makes me feel uncomfortable, but I’d never admit that to my familiar.

I’m surprised I don’t have to be escorted around, I thought they would be more uptight about things like that with this being a police station and all. Since everyone knows who runs this place now, they probably don’t get too many people who want to wonder around in here though.

I just can’t believe she didn’t bother asking me where I even found it. I could have stolen it for all she knows.

“This way, goddess,” the big vampire, if I remember right, Heinrich, tells me with a wave of his hand.

I laugh at his compliment that seems to have come from left field, the one he should be complimenting is the impeccably dressed vampire behind the desk who helped me. Heinrich stays behind, but I follow the direction he points remembering the location of Nick’s office.

I walk all the way down the hallway and can’t help, but notice how much quieter it is down here now when it was so noisy and filled with chatter a minute ago. I can feel eyes on the back of my head, but I try to ignore their stares and when I stop at the police chief’s closed office door I knock just in case.

The door ends up opening on its own because I failed to realize it wasn’t even completely shut all the way. Hesitantly, I look back down the hallway and Heinrich gives me an encouraging smile, so I just take that as my green light to go in and leave the wallet for Nick to pick up when he gets back.

I go inside Nick’s office and blindly reach around the wall by the door. My hand finally hits the light switch. Once the light turns on, I quickly go over to his neat and tidy desk. After deciding on putting his wallet down by his nameplate, I pull out my phone.

“Ew!” I squeak jump back from his desk seeing a big nasty looking furry spider crawl out. If I knew any better I’d say it looks like a tarantula.

Its foggy red demonic eyes make me shudder and I drop my phone when I look down at myself and see the devil’s magic already at work. After tearing my gaze from my black ‘work’ dress, I scramble away from the creature and steady my breathing.

“In infernis arderet,” I say with determination.

The spider makes a popping sound and then disappears.

A red six-pointed star remains, marking my success of sending it to hell. I try to kick away the black chalky residue, so it won’t stain the floor in here.

I grab a tissue off of Nick’s filing cabinet and get to work on my hands and knees, furiously trying to scrape the black star hex sign from the tiles. It comes off like ashes and I try to form the clumps of the ash into a pile to make it easier to carry.

When I pick up the pile, I turn around to find Nick standing right behind me with his arms crossed and head cocked to the side.

“Ms. Parway, I don’t believe I called cleaning services,” he says with a smirk. He continues walking around me to his desk. All I can do is stare, how long was he standing there watching me clean this up?

I don’t have to see my face to know how red it is. Briskly, I toss the remnants of my work in the waste bin.

“A demon was in here,” I defend quietly.

“Oh?” he says as if not believing me and I clap the rest of the gross ash from my hands.

He picks up his wallet and makes a clicking noise with his tongue, slipping his wallet in his pant pocket. I shift uncomfortably on my feet, waiting for him to say something. He must have known it was missing, for over a day. Stella found it in the morning yesterday.

“What were you doing in my house, Nick? And...and how is it whenever I’m in trouble you’re always around?”

He sits down in his chair behind his desk and reclines backward, folding his arms behind his head with a grim look. It kind of annoys me when he kicks his feet up on the desk like that, I feel like he isn’t really taking me seriously.

I glare, not really caring if he takes offense. He should be just as afraid of my new situation as I am. I thought he would understand what I was going through, but I don’t know why I thought that.

“As you have been aware, my unit is still investigating your case. We may have found Colin, but even you suspected he was being used. We will continue to do whatever means necessary to find who is behind this.”

“Just let us know next time. You scared Stella. You dropped off my coat, didn’t you?” I ask him and he furrows his brows.

Someone knocks on the door behind me, I hadn’t even noticed when he shut it.

“Leave us,” Nick states sharply. The knocking stops.

He stands up then and adjusts his police vest, walking over to me. I take a step back, wondering if the man ever considers personal space because standing a foot in front of me is a little too close for comfort -- especially with us shut in here and all.

He looks down his nose at me and doesn’t smile. The warmth in his eyes is absent, the bags under them darker than I remember. Black and blue marks trail around the portion of his neck just above the collar of his shirt like someone tried to strangle him or something.

When he leans closer to me I back up with a gulp, bumping into the edge of his desk.

“What happened to you?” I ask.

My hand reaches up towards his bruises. When I touch the surface of his skin I can feel my magic leave my body as if it has a mind of its own. After dealing with black magic, I’m really starting to believe it does.

“Sorry,” I say quickly, but by the time I will it to retreat back to me, his bruises are already gone.

I’ve just broken the law in front of him. Witch magic is forbidden from touching other supernaturals.

His hand catches my own. I veer my gaze away from his own, feeling like a little kid caught red-handed.

“It’s okay,” he says quickly dropping my trembling hand.

I bet he hates me now for questioning him when all he’s done is help me. Who am I to accuse him of something without really finding proof beforehand? Well, he really shouldn’t have been in the house without telling us.

I feel cold and antsy in this stupid dress, wanting to leave all of the sudden. I turn away from him and head for the way out.

“I know you’re scared, but think of it this way Ms. Parway. You are valuable to someone. They will not hurt you anymore, you are a strong woman now. You do not need protection anymore. Your magic has changed, it just healed me,” Nick tells me with a look of wonder.

Gradually, the mix of embarrassment and fear on my face disappears. The feelings still swirl within me, but they aren’t so loud. With a shallow breath, I rest my head against the soft surface of the policeman’s vest. However, my moment of inner peace is just that, a moment.

Mortified, I jerk my head back away from his chest and stare around at my new surroundings. Which happens to be back at the front of the police station. When did he teleport us over here?

When did he wrap his arms around me and when did I decide to use his vest as my pillow?

“I’ll take you home,” he offers, breaking the uncomfortable silence radiating between us.

I’m not entirely sure it’s just that though, it’s almost as if he’s glamouring me again.

Is he?

Quit dreaming, he wouldn’t waste his time or energy glamouring you! my brain screeches at me.

My clothes have finally turned back to normal, the dumb dress gone for now.

I’d never tell him, but sometimes it scares me how easily I lose track of time and myself when we talk. It felt like we were only chatting in his office for a few minutes, yet everyone in the station is gone for the night. There’s no way we could have been in his office that long!

“That’s okay, I can walk back,” I whisper.

***

MR. SILVET

Many of my own kind would like to believe the covens populating this country will soon get their payment. Payment for the burden of their sins put on us. Hatred is contagious. It has swamped their beliefs since the beginning of my existence.

For two hundred years, they have tried to erase our existence spinning off our unfortunate dietary needs as vulgar and repulsive. In modern times, we vamp folk only drink from animals, but the covens don’t care. The sinful minority of us who have made the mistake of tasting human have made our dirty history live on to today.

So I spend my days preaching to my fellow brothers and sisters, warning them if they resort to the habits of our ancestors it will only ruin our reputation.

It is my job to ensure the younger generation knows this before they stray into the path of evil.

I have taught the youth to find satisfaction in their work ethic, their education. To not dwell on what outsiders pin us down as, monsters with no morals.

My wife and I have tried to teach our children this, to protect them. If we know what is good for us, we will only associate and form intimacies with those who understand us best. Our own kind. Producing offspring with any other supernatural or human will result in a hybrid, the real monsters the coven should only fear. And they do fear them, rightfully so.

The coven isn’t the only one who fears the legend will come true, especially with our younger folk mingling with humans and witches and the like. They think we want to start some kind of hell on earth, as if we don’t live it already daily. The McCasters have been trying to force my family out of ‘their’ community since we first arrived here in Alabama.

All just because of their portal and their suspicion of us wanting to use it to fulfill a legend they know little to nothing of.

I find peace working on my ranch when I am not in church sharing the truth. If only my naive children would give my sermons the time of day. We don’t want the coven’s land or portal like they think we do, we have no problem keeping to ourselves. If only my eldest son would find some common ground with me, but no matter what I tell him he doesn’t listen.

He is a terrible role model for Jackson, even if my youngest is not of my kind. We adopted him when he was a baby from the only witch my family ever got along with. My sired daughter has been swept up in the human world, luckily, her heart is set on reconciling with the humans instead of turning bitter. I can only hope Jackson follows her example, I know Darren is already a lost cause.

The confession room in my church is old, donated from a church two blocks down. It will suffice though. I shut the doors of my church after a long day of confessions. Most days I’m working at my ranch, but on my off days I come here and rotate with three other priests running the church. Tonight was my turn to do confessions.

On my walk back to my car, I approach the Wixton department. One of their police cars sits parked outside still running. Its lights shine on me and I squint my eyes, seeing it’s unoccupied. Guess they must be walking around out here somewhere.

I continue on my way, feeling drained. Just five more blocks and I’ll finally reach my car. I go down three blocks and pass a series of townhouses, finding a police officer restraining a young woman with strikingly white hair. It must be dyed.

The police officer kind of looks like what I imagine my birthed son would.

Dead to me and my family now though, I don’t have to worry about the mistake I made with my wife. Besides, if my son really was alive and well I know for a fact the last job he would ever choose would be one that forced him to hide his true nature.

The two of them walk across the street together, the officer supporting most of her weight with his arm wrapped around her waist. They go in one of the townhouses and I turn away.

Feeling reassured in myself, I cross the road and enter my car, ready to head home for the day and eat dinner with my family.

Something heavy moves in the back of my car. A weapon slices through the back of my seat, cutting through the leather with so much force the sharp blade passes through the flesh of my back. Blood bursts out of my mouth, splattering onto my windshield. The only possible final movement I can manage, is to glance up in my rear view mirror to meet the eyes of my murderer.

The slightly younger, mirror-image of his father, Mr. McCaster.

“What have ya done?” I choke out.

Things I have worked my entire life to make sure never came true.

The witches don’t know why their ancestors have forgotten the white witch’s true heritage. It is because their teachings leave out the truth. The truth deemed too much for their modern folk to handle in this day and age.

They are right to be repulsed by the legend. They are wrong to blame me. The legend involving a world ender, a vampire born in sin. A murderous child who’s birth brought the death of my first wife.

I always thought the legend was just that though, a legend.

The coven has a right to be paranoid, for what the legend involves is an abomination granting the selected few a reprieve. I found a new family for myself. Adopted my own children, even sired two of them. To forget the sinful children of mine.

“I will tear down everything you have built up and expose you,” William McCaster states in a calm and collected voice.

The stake suddenly plunges into me harder, piercing through the tissue of my heart. The action in itself answering so many questions, but my time in this world is up.

END OF BOOK 1

THE STORY CONTINUES IN BOOK 2 "DETECTIVE WITCH"

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