“Hey, Silver.” Eric approached me as I threw my things into my locker with his typical butter-wouldn’t-melt smirk.
I’d been back in Willow Lake for a month now. I was settling in, but there was a big part of me that longed for the home I once knew, or to be back in London.
The only real reason I was finding it bearable was because of Mahala and Hannah. In ways, they reminded me of Daisy and Elise, just a little different, although that also caused me to miss my old two best friends.
“Why do you keep calling me that, Eric?” I sighed as I looked at him with my blood red coated lips in an unamused pout.
“Because your hair is silver.” He replied with a tone that suggested it should have been obvious, “You know, you look smoking hot in that corset and those trousers, a taken woman like you shouldn’t be dressing like that. Anyway, got a date for the Founders dance?”
Mahala had told me last week, every year, on March twenty-third, the town held a Founders dance. The date marked the day the three brothers who’d found and built the town opened it to the public, and people moved in.
“Yes, I’m going with my boyfriend. You know, Masato, the one you tried to start a fight with last week?”
“Oh yeah, the old guy, what is he? Fifty?” Eric laughed, entertained by his joke. I couldn’t help by roll my eyes at his pathetic attempt of a joke slash insult.
“Old enough, you should be dating guys your age, Silver.”
“What like you?” I turned to him with a raised brow, “After zero consideration, hard pass. I’ll stick with my old guy. At least he doesn’t have the maturity of a two-year-old, unlike you.”
“Damn, hanging out with my cousin has made you spunky. I preferred it when you were quiet.” He took a step closer to me, his tall self towering over me. It was a feeble attempt to intimidate me, which failed as I remained unphased by his wicked smirk and narrowed eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Here grab a chair; you can wait for me to give a fuck.”
The sarcasm oozed from my tone as I rolled my eyes for the fifth time in a few short seconds. One day he’d make me roll my eyes so much, I might see the back of my brain.
“Jesus, Silver, wake up on the wrong side of the bed much? On your womanly?”
“Go deep throat a cactus, Eric. I’m going to class.”
I didn’t know why Eric bothered me so much; he just had that air about him that left me feeling annoyed the second he was near.
With a sigh, I slammed my locker shut before I turned on my heel and marched away.
“Here, Hallie.” Masato smiled as we stood in our bedroom. “Look what Emmett and I brought today.”
He reached into the corner of the wardrobe and pulled out a black suit with a black tie wrapped around the head of the hanger.
“You got a suit?! You never wear suits. We’ve been together for over two years and never have I seen you wear a suit.” I giggled amused, Masato was always one to dress for comfort, but do it with a sense of style.
“Well, after you showed me up and made me look like a slob at the last benefit we went too, I figured I’d look the part this time.”
“Aw, but you looked so hot.” I grinned as I pressed my hands against his soft but firm chest and touched my lips to his.
“Yeah, well, I figured we’re new here, better make a good impression. Also, um I did some digging and asking around. They know.”
I raised my eyebrow in confusion at his blunt statement, “They know what?”
“About the coven, it’s one reason this founders thing is a big ordeal.”
My eyes went wide as my brain attempted to process his words. That was one thing Mahala had failed to mention when explaining the Founders day dance to me, “What? How?”
“Well, when the founders were digging to lay the foundations, they found the basement. Luckily what they found down there wasn’t a lot because you’d cleared all the vital things out. But yeah, this town is entirely under the belief Witches and Warlocks are a thing. And before this area of the forest was burned down...”
“It was home to our coven.” I sighed.
I found myself thankful we’d gotten all the most recent books out, along with the book that held the records of the people who once lived there.
All we’d left were a few books with the rules, history of the coven leaders, and the history of the Salem Witch Trials, which wiped out one of our original ten bloodlines.
“Basically.” Masato nodded, “What did you do with the books you recovered?”
“Emmett’s moved them around in various places. At the moment, they’re in a safe downstairs. That’s where he was last weekend, going to pick them up from the last place he hid them. You can read them if you want.”
“It would be awesome to learn about the history dad didn’t get around to telling me. But yeah, so this town, very into the whole Witch thing, we’ll have to be more careful than usual. You guys might need to go out a little further for your hunts.”
“I’ll give them the heads up. The problem is the further out we go, the more chance of coming across wolf packs and Vampire clans. And given Alicia and Emmett are still technically Vampire fugitives...”
Masato sighed as his arms came around my shoulders, “Yeah, I know, big risks.”
“Maybe coming back here was a mistake.” I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist as I relaxed against him.
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, one, it’s been a month, and we’ve found nothing. Two, high school is awful, and I hate it there. Three, with this town believing in Witches, we’re at significant risk. Just because they believe in them, doesn’t mean we’re safe if anyone ever found out. Four, this is so far from home, Masato, all I can think about is how this isn’t my home, not anymore. I thought I’d be happy coming back, but I’m not.”
Masato’s lips pressed against the top of my head as his arms tightened, “You told Alicia and Emmett that’s how you feel?”
“No.” I shook my head, “I know Emmett loves his new job, and I know they haven’t exhausted all the options for looking yet. I just feel like it’s pointless. There are just too many memories here. I keep hoping that somehow, I’ll find Zach, but I know I won’t, and it’s painful. I look at certain spots in town, and I know that’s where Zach and I played hopscotch. And you know that big drug store?”
“The one by the lake on the far side?”
“Yeah. That’s the spot where I last saw him. That’s the spot I was standing as I watched my village burn, and he hugged me for the last time, I figured that out the other day.”
A small tear slid down my cheek as the memories flooded my thoughts.
It didn’t matter how many years had passed or how much the place had changed; I recalled them all too well.
“Want my honest opinion?” Masato paused, and I nodded my head against his chest. “Let’s stay here for another month and go to the Founder’s thing. According to a guy at work, they’ll have all the things they found on display so we’ll be able to see what they found and what they know. It gives us a little more time to look a bit more too. If in a month, we find nothing and you still feel this way, then tell Alicia and Emmett. You know they wouldn’t make you stay if you’re unhappy. Equally, we should give it a chance.”
“I guess you’re right. Maybe I need to let go of what used to be and the past. It is a charming town, and Mahala and Hannah are sweet. Plus, I guess I only have a few months of high school to survive.”
“That douchebag at school giving you trouble still?”
“Yeah, but I told him to go deep throat a cactus today.”
Masato let out a light, cheerful chuckle, “That’s my girl. Alicia and Emmett will be home soon, so here’s what I suggest...”
“I’m listening.” I lifted my head to look up at him.
Masato dipped his head into the crook of my neck, pressing a soft kiss against the nape. “We forget the doom and gloom and make the most of out a quiet house.”
I couldn’t help the childish giggle that escaped me as he pressed more kisses against my neck, “I like that plan.”