“Is it bad I want to find out where they keep them and steal them?” I sighed as I sank against Masato’s arm. “They don’t belong to the town, they belong to us, to our families.”
“I know, baby, but we can’t exactly take them. And if we ask for them back, well, covers blown. At least it wasn’t a lot, from what the guy at work said, I’d expected more.”
He was right. It wasn’t as much as I was expecting either, just a few trinkets here and there. A wooden bracelet with a pentagram carved on some beads, which I believed belonged to Sarah Williams.
As for the books, as Masato was told, it was just a few pages of the rules. Along with an album that recorded the events of the Salem Witch Trials, although thankfully, the names of the nine remaining bloodlines weren’t included in that copy.
And the final book was one that, to put it one way, acted as our version of the bible. How we lived, how we used our powers and recalling the very first coven back in the fourteen hundreds.
“Yeah, I know. I just hate that our history is laid to bare for everyone to see and judge.”
“I know, but at least you have the most important ones, I guess.” Masato sighed, “They’re one hell of a read.”
“Yeah.” I sighed, feeling uneasy and as if I were being crowded in a tight space.
Between Alicia and Emmett finding Zach’s half of the heart, seeing my family’s history laid bare and the crowds of people, I felt as if I was suffocating.
“I’m going to step outside for a minute. It’s getting a little jammed in here, and I’m feeling a little flustered. Too many emotions.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“No, it’s okay, I won’t be long. Plus, it looks like Alicia might need saving from one of the Lester brothers. She looks so bored.” I chuckled as I spotted her in the corner of the room.
Alica looked as if she’d rather watch paint dry as Hank spoke enthusiastically. His arms flailed everywhere, his face was more animated than a cartoon, but Alicia looked as if she’d instead be staked and die right now.
Emmett was fully engrossed in conversation with two guys from work while he left poor Alicia with the older man.
“Go save her and take her for a dance. Emmett could be talking to his work friends for a while.”
“All right, please don’t be long, or I’m going to come to find you.” Masato cupped my chin with his curled finger and brought my lips to his.
“I won’t; I just need a few. I’ll be back to steal you off my mother after a dance or two.”
“Okay, I love you.”
“And I love you.” I smiled, brushing my lips to his once more, letting it linger before I stepped away.
Masato smiled as I turned and made my way through the small crowds towards the back of the building.
Outside was beautiful in the night sky — a white, vast patio area with a few white painted iron tables and chairs scattered neatly. A couple stood over to one end, so I opted to stand the other, leaning over the white wood railing.
Bright, twinkling white fairy lights illuminated the immaculately trimmed bushes around the edges which made it look as if they had coated them in diamonds while vintage style lamp posts brought light to the patio.
I looked up, the dark sky clear of clouds showing the stars in all their brilliant shine. The full moon glowed over in the distance, filling the air with the light it acquired from the sun.
I took a deep breath and sighed, letting the small amount of air my Witch half needed to fill my lungs. It had gotten too overwhelming in there, after seeing my family’s history laid out like an exhibit. I’d also noted my father’s signature on one page, and it disheartened me.
I loved Alicia and Emmett, but I still missed my birth parents. The ones who’d saved me from execution, the ones who exiled themselves for my sake. The very parents who gave their lives to preserve mine, along with my brother. I could feel the tension building, and I knew I had to step out to recover myself.
The last thing any of us needed was for me to have an unexpected burst, otherwise, all the people in there who doubted the authenticity of the articles would no longer be skeptics. That wasn’t a risk I was willing to take, no matter how open the townspeople seemed to Witches and Warlocks being real.
A shooting star flew across the sky, causing me to smile a little. It reminded me of the times the whole coven would gather to watch the meteor showers where we’d sit around a small campfire with our families, talking, laughing, and then laying back to watch them.
I was about to turn to head back in when another cold chill hit me, and my eye caught something shiny, glowing in the distant tree line.
My eyes squinted as I made out the silhouette of a man standing in front of them. I expected to blink, shake my head, and for it to disappear, like before. However, though, the shape stood there, and the glow flashed again.
I was over this foreboding feeling. I was now confident someone had been following me, and I needed to find out who.
I stepped down from the patio and began walking towards the trees. I knew I should have probably called for Masato, Alicia, or Emmett. However, once I’d began moving towards the trees, I felt this strange tug that wouldn’t allow me to stop moving and turn back.
The closer I got, the stronger that tug felt. It was to the point it seemed as if I wasn’t even in control of my own two feet as they stepped further.
As I approached the tree line, the glow flashed once more before the character moved behind a tree.
“Who are you?” I called, just loud enough for him to hear me. “Come out and show me who you are.”
“Hallie.” A voice echoed in a whisper, and the surrounding air turned ice cold. A thin coating of cloud covered the forest floor, and my heart raced against my chest.
“Show yourself. Whoever you are, whatever it is you want, you’re messing with the wrong girl with the wrong family.” I spoke, my voice shaking a little, despite my attempt to sound confident.
I felt the pressure build, and I quickly stuck my hands into the pockets of Masato’s suit jacket he’d given me. The static blue was dancing around my fingers tips, a sign my powers were readying to defend me from whoever it was.
I stepped past the first tree, and the flash came to the left of me.
I needed to turn back. I needed to summon Alicia or Emmett, tell them to bring Masato. If I spoke loud enough, their hearing would pick it up. However, when I opened my mouth to speak, it was as if I’d forgotten how to speak.
“Hallie Davenport.” The voice whispered again, and my heart skipped.
Whoever it was, knew who I was. They knew my real name, not the name I gave everyone, and cold goosebumps pricked at my skin. Disquiet reared its wicked claws as my stomach churned.
“Who are you? I mean it, come out here and show yourself!” I’d walked too far into the forest. It was unsafe, Wolves could prowl, or Vampires. I had to stop; I had to run. I wasn’t safe here.
I forced my feet to stop, trying to gain some composure, readying myself to run, and I turned on my heel.
However, instead of facing the opening, the figure stood before me. Teal blue eyes glowed in the dim light of the stars and moon.
The man who’d been following me, the man who knew who I was.
I felt myself being swallowed by fear as the eyes stared at me intensely.
“Who are you?”
TO BE CONTINUED
With Hallie finding herself deep in the forest surrounding her home town, who is the mysterious man who’s been following her? Will Hallie and the other three end up staying in Willow Lake, or will be they forced to flee? Will we ever find out what was up with Eric?
Friend or foe, either way, nothing can prepare her for the events that are about to unfold.
Book 2, The Return to Willow Lake, out now!
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