“Oh. My. God.” Alicia gasped as I held my hand up to her, the ring twinkling in the light of the room with a broad smile on my face, “You’re getting married!”
“I’m so happy for you, Hallie!” Emmett beamed widely, taking me in his arms and spinning me around. He turned to Masato and patted his shoulder, “And you too, son.”
“Of course, you’re marrying a Pope.” Zach chuckled with a full tongue in teeth smile.
“What is that supposed to mean, Zachariah?” I narrowed my eyes at him as my arms closed against my chest.
“Well, back when we were kids, I honestly thought you and Thomas would end up wedded. Now you’re marrying his son. You were destined to become a Pope one way or another, so it seems. I’m happy for both of you.”
“Zach’s got a point.” Masato laughed, “My dad told me I was an asshole because I was the one who got to be with you, not him. He loves my Ma, don’t get me wrong, but, you were always his special girl.”
Masato’s words only caused my already Cheshire cat wide smile to deepen. I’d always wonder too if the attack had never happened if something would have become of Thomas and me. He was my best friend, and I recalled how Sam always teased us, saying when we were older, we’d end up married.
“So, when’s the wedding?” Alicia urged, her eyes bright with excitement. She’d been pestering me about Masato and I getting married for a while, and now she was subsequently getting her wish.
“Oh my god, Mom, he’s literally just asked me!”
“Well, I need to know these things, dear! Planning a wedding is no easy task. It’s not as simple as it once was, you know. The venue, cake, decorations, guest list, reception, music, who’s a bridesmaid, who’s the best man-”
"Mom! Seriously, calm yourself.”
Emmett looked at me with pursed lips, “You realize this is Alicia, you’re talking too, right?”
I went to speak but ended up sighing and shaking my head.
“We can’t have it in a church.” Alicia’s lips pursed as her forefinger tapped her chin, “Oh! What about if we have it here? Or outside in the town center if they’ll let us? Or maybe the city hall? Oh and of course-”
“Alicia, deep breaths, honey.” Emmett chuckled, placing his hands on her shoulders, “Let the kids enjoy just being engaged.”
“Alicia, more and more, you remind me of our real mother, you do.” Zach scoffed entertained.
Alicia went to speak when a high pitched tone caused my head to feel like it was about to explode. I instantly recoiled, my hands shielding my ears as I fell to the floor crying in pain.
My head felt as if it was being pulverized as my ears throbbed from the noise. My abdomen began to churn as I felt as if I was going to throw up.
Emmett and Alicia found themselves in the same position as well.
“Hallie!” Masato fell beside me, his hand on my shoulder, “Hallie, what’s wrong?”
“Make it stop!” I begged through sobs as I held the sides of my head tight in a desperate plea to ease the crushing pain. It was like a migraine, only ten times worse, and I felt as if I was going to vomit.
“Shit, the alarm!” Zach’s voice came out panicked before he made the noise stop.
“Jesus fucking Christ, did you have to make it like that?” I growled, looking up at Zach, who seemed unphased.
“Let’s worry about lowering the frequency later, please, Hale? They’ve crossed the marker. Two of them, North East exit. They’re not going further at the moment, but they’re scouting for something.”
“You okay, baby?” Masato soothed as he pulled me close and I fell limp against him, trying to recover my harsh breaths.
Emmett got himself up from the floor and shook his head, violently, “I’ll go check it out, stay here.”
“I’m okay.” I nodded softly after a few moments. “Any signs of people around?”
Masato helped me to my feet, and I sat myself down while my fingers rubbed my temples. Despite the fact the noise had ceased, it left a killer headache in its wake.
“Not in the forest, no.” Masato shook his head as he took a tablet from Zach and showed me the screen.
I tried to look at the screen, but I could only wince as the light burned my eyes, and it felt as if the screen was one hundred watts too bright.
“Urgh, I can’t concentrate on the screen.” I looked up at Zach and flicked out one of my middle fingers, “Fuck you.”
“The frequency comes from the device itself, which is Emmett’s territory, Hale. All I did was mask the cameras and put up the invisible trip line.”
“That hurt like a bitch.” Alicia groaned, leaning her elbows on the counter with her head in her hands.
“Well, on the plus, the Vampires didn’t seem to pick it up.” Masato sighed.
“The device that emits the noise is down in the basement, and it’s low range. You can only hear it within about fifty feet. You okay, Hale?”
“Besides wanting to smack yours and Emmett’s heads together? And feeling as if someone’s splitting my brain in two? I’m fine.” I rolled my eyes, although instantly regretted it as it caused a twinge of pain.
The sarcasm in my tone caused Masato to snicker in an attempt to suppress the laughter that bubbled as Zach shrank in his seat. Much like a dog who’d been scrutinized and sent to the dog house for misbehaving.
Before anything could be said, Emmett reappeared, causing a rush of wind from the speed he flew in with, “No human’s nearby, they must be just checking the area out. I managed to listen in a little. They were moaning about their clan leader, sending them out to do his dirty work. They didn’t say anything more because one of them must have picked up on my scent.”
“You think they’re scheming another attack on someone in town?” Alicia asked quietly; she looked about as rough as I felt as I looked over at her.
“It’s possible.” Emmett nodded, “We’ll stay on alert, for now, we’ll figure out an exact plan in the morning.”
“Masato, take Hallie upstairs and go get some rest. Us three will keep watch on their movement for tonight.” Alicia nodded slowly as she dragged herself up, so she was standing and headed to the fridge.
“Okay. Come on, baby, let’s go get some sleep.”
“All right.” I nodded, forcing myself off my seat.
“Hallie, this should help.” Alicia waved a small thermos at me, which I knew contained pig’s blood inside. “Catch.”
I just about managed to catch it as she launched it in my direction, right before it hit Masato in the head, “Thanks, Mom.”
“We’ll make sure we check the frequency in the morning and tamper with it.” Emmett nodded,” Hang back after school tomorrow, so you avoid another headache.”
“I’ll take her out after school’s out, night guys,” Masato spoke quietly, as he took my hand, “Let’s go, baby.”