The Witch of Willow Lake - 1

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Chapter 24



Hallie POV

“All right, everything is set, we’ll be leaving for Ontario in two weeks.” Emmett looked at me with a small smile as he peeked up from his laptop.

It had been a week since Emmett and Alicia had found Zach’s half of the heart. For two days, I curled myself up in my room, crying to the point my body had no more tears to shed.

The whole time Masato laid with me, just holding me not saying anything. He only left to use the bathroom; even then, he was sure to be quick about it.

Alicia and Emmett had been out every chance they had to check around the area in search of more clues. However, they came up short, so we decided to move.

Knowing Zach was gone, I couldn’t stay any longer. I tried to let go of the past, but now I knew what I did; I couldn’t bear it. All the memories burned me that much more now. They all tried to keep me hopeful, but it was futile, there was no faith left in me to believe it wasn’t a sign he was gone.

“Did you still want to go to the Founders Dance next weekend? If they have things of your families there, it might be worth going.” Alicia questioned as she placed a cup of pigs blood before me. “Drink it before Masato gets home. He tries to hide it, but he pulls the same face you used too.”

I let out a half-hearted chuckle as Alicia pursed her lips in a thin line and scrunched her nose to mimic the face he’d pull. Masato did do his best to hide it, but every time we drank in front of him, he cringed just a little. Precisely like I used too before I became a Hybrid.

“You’ll need it if you two are going to the movies tonight.”

Emmett was right. Usually, it would be a hunting night; however, Mahala had invited Masato and I out for a double date, and it was the only night that worked for everyone. Plus, I wasn’t in much of a mood to hunt, but being in a crowded cinema, meant being around a lot of human bodies.

Today at school had been a little more troublesome, especially when one kid had cut their leg during gym class. I knew I was due to throw blood down me, and I needed to stay in check.

I picked up the blood and drank it, much like a human would drink their cup of coffee. It used to make me cringe when I drank it, but now, it was just something completely normal, like second nature.

“I guess we should go to the dance. I mean, Masato brought a suit, and I want to see what he looks like in it.”

Emmett laughed, “Yeah when he told me he wanted to wear a suit, I was a little shocked. He doesn’t strike you like the suit type, but I will say he looks very dashing in it.”

I turned my face to Emmett and dropped my jaw, “You’ve seen him in it?”

“Of course, we had to make sure the damn thing fit. Otherwise, instead of looking like a strapping young man, he’d look like a child trying to wear daddy’s work suit.”

“Fucker! He told me I had to wait!”

“If it makes you feel any better love, he wouldn’t let me see it. Talking about leaving us girls in the dark, huh?”

“That’s not fair. You haven’t let us see your dresses!”

“He’s got a point.” I giggled as I shrugged my shoulders.

“Well, yes, but that’s because we want to see your jaws drop when you see us.” Alicia smiled extensively at her husband.

“Well, trust me, it’s worth the wait. Now, if you’ll excuse me before we leave in two weeks, I do need to finish the project I’m working on.”

I sighed, “Emmett, I’m sorry I’m making you leave. I know you love it there.

“You’re not making me do anything, Hallie. I have the same job just for a different company lined up in Ontario, so don’t worry about that, sweetheart.” Emmett smiled as he pressed a kiss to my forehead. “What matters is that you’re happy.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“God, I don’t think I could ever get bored of you calling me that. Love you, kid.”

“Love you, too.”

------

My eyes watched as the picture flickered on the big screen, and people in the audience laughed. It was a comedy movie, and right now, we were watching as a couple bickered over something petty. I wasn’t sure what because I hadn’t been paying much attention for the past five minutes.

I shuffled rigidly as the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. It felt as if someone was observing me, and I could feel their eyes reaming into my skin. However, when I turned to look, all I saw was the other movie-goers staring eagerly at the screen, immersed in the film.

“You okay, baby?” Masato murmured as he leaned closer to me, keeping his eyes on the screen.

“Yeah, just feel like someones watching me,” I whispered back, right before a shiver ran down my spine.

Masato turned around before he turned back, and his eyes scanned the front of the room, “They’re all watching the film.”

“I know, it’s probably nothing. Watch the film.” I pressed a kiss to his cheek before I cuddled into him, trying to concentrate on the film.

------

“Oh my god, that film was brilliant! I think what I loved about it the most was that it was realistic, you know? Like it was a comedy based on life truths. That whole high school scene with the jock reminded me of you and Eric.” Mahala spoke excitedly.

Her words came out fast and hardly distinguishable. It was one of her traits when she got excited. She could probably speak one hundred words in mere seconds given a chance.

“Is he still not leaving you alone?” Masato sounded unimpressed, his voice monotone as his lips pressed in a hard line.

“Well, ever since she told him to deep throat a cactus, he’s backed off. But he’s still kind of a jerk. Urgh, I’m ashamed that I’m related to him.”

“I’m ashamed for you too.” Bryan, Mahala’s boyfriend, chuckled as we stepped outside the cinema.

“When he tries to bother me, I roll my eyes, hurl whatever insult or quip comes to mind, and walk off.” I shrugged, “He’s just a child pouting because he didn’t get to play with the new shiny toy at school.”

“Nope and he never will, because you’re my shiny toy.” Masato beamed at me widely as he winked.

“All right, enough about my jackass cousin, who’s hungry?”

As we stepped outside I realized, we’d been with Bryan and Mahala for almost four hours, and I’d not once excused myself to the toilet. “Hang on. I need to toilet; I’ll be back in a minute.”

Before any of them could say anything, I walked inside. Of course, I didn’t need it, but I had to keep up appearances.

My palm pressed flat against the blue painted door with the sign ‘ladies’ on and carefully pushed the door. However, before I could step in, a cold shiver took over, and the feeling of eyes burning into the back of my neck gripped me once more.

With one hand still on the door, I turned my head, searching the crowds pouring out of the cinema’s many screens. All of them chatting, eating the last of their popcorn, or drinking their drinks as they moved towards the exit.

My eyes caught the sight of a hooded form over the far side with teal blue eyes glowing. My eyes narrowed as I released the door from my hand and stepped forward.

I tried to make out more than just the teal blue eyes between the crowds of people, but there were too many. Everything besides the eyes was shadowed under the black hood and dim lights.

Before I could take another step, the figure vanished somewhere between the multitude of people. It was as if the form just evaporated and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

I stood there, confused for a moment, before someone bumped into me, knocking me back a little and snapping me from my daze.

Perhaps with the grief I’d felt this past week, I imagined it. For a while, after the wolves attacked, any time we went hunting, I got the feeling wolves were watching me. A few times I could have sworn I saw golden yellow eyes in the distance, but it was never the case.

I shook myself off and headed into the bathroom. The quicker these two weeks past, the better.

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