Chapter 12-Cabin Fever
“Ugh!” I grunt, when my feet land heavily on solid ground. Oh, how I hate being summoned, especially against my will. It always makes it more nauseating. It appears I’ve landed in somebody’s house though. A log cabin to exact, it’s very small in here and there’s not even an upstairs. It’s more like a tiny summer home with its minimalist kitchen and couch. Right beside me is a twin sized bed with a blue comforter and a small painting of a mountain landscape hangs by the bedside window.
My heart plummets when I see a bunch of trees outside. With a gulp, I walk outside the log cabin. Hundreds, maybe thousands of pine trees surround me and make me feel very alone. Why would they set me up with a witch all the way out here?
“Hello?” I call out looking around me. The log cabin’s small fireplace smelled like smoke, they must have recently made a fire in there.
Birds sing around me, oblivious to my dilemma and somewhere I hear the trickling of water, but it’s far off. There’s no roads or other cabins that I can see. Did they send me out here to live on my own? Just as the thought crosses my mind Will appears right in front of me. He dashes past me behind a tree to vomit, an old habit of his. Usually after the coven would summon him to their meetings he’d always have the same reaction. It does make some witches feel pretty queasy.
“Will, you better explain this. I can’t believe you had me summoned here against my will. Where even are we?” I demand and he steps out from behind the tree he threw up behind wiping his mouth.
“Slate mountain, off the map and out my parent’s property.” Will tells me with reproach.
“Why? How could you do this to me? You didn’t even explain to me why you felt compelled to obey the witch who wants me dead!” I shout in frustration and he sighs.
“She has my family, Val. She thinks one of us killed her sister. She’s holding them hostage until I can get the vamps out of Wixton because I convinced her they were behind Patty’s death, which they are.” He says.
“How?” I deadpan.
“I don’t know yet, but I can feel it.” He says simply and I narrow my eyes.
“How am I supposed to believe you? You just sent me here with no explanation. Why am I here Will? You told her about me, didn’t you? You’re afraid of me now just like the supreme is. Please tell me what her proof is of me being the white witch.” I rant.
“The police are forming some kind of group, all the vampires. We know Nicholas Silvet is the one leading the secret conferences. He just attacked the supreme of our state, plus two of my closest assistants! They are planning something and we have an informant to prove it. Colin, come out.” William says loudly and my heart lurches, seeing Colin step out from behind a nearby tree.
Secret conferences? Why on earth would Colin be finding information for the coven anyway? I always had the feeling he was wary of vampires, but why would he want to join them being a human? Will could have made someone else do it who could protect themselves better in case something went wrong.
“He’s right, Val. I never even told Stella I had joined them. Truth is, I’m their blood supplier. They’ve offered me protection in return for my patronage. Will isn’t joking around, they’re all nuts in that place. Total wackos, they all believe the legend and they think you are some kind of goddess. They almost brainwashed me into believing it too.” Colin tells me looking terrified, he cradles a hunting knife in his hand and looks over his shoulder as if expecting to find a vampire.
“Who exactly?” I ask bluntly and the two of them speak at the same time.
“Police?” I repeat slowly.
“Nicholas isn’t even his real name, it’s Noctus and he’s coming. He’s obsessed with the legend, thinks he’s born to complete it. Thinks you are his goddess and-” Colin says quickly looking panicked and Will glares at him, putting his hand up for him to stop talking.
“What he means to say is Nicholas Silvet is a hybrid who believes in the legend and has been doing exactly what I’ve warned you about all along. The vampires want you. They want to use your magic to open the portal and destroy our community. Colin told me they already are opening it, they want you in power though so they can lawfully get it from our possession.” Will explains, but my mind doesn’t want to buy it.
“And what makes you think Nick killed Patty?” I ask Will and his face darkens.
“I never said it was him...” He draws out.
Colin pulls up his sleeve and reveals to us a triangular tattoo. I wince when he cuts it and his blood drips down his wrist. It pools onto the grassy ground of the forest and Will tackles him. Confused, I try to pry Will off Colin.
“Get off of him! Colin, are you okay?” I breathe out as Will backs away from him.
“Who cares if he is! He’s signaling to them our location, they formed a blood pact. They may not have turned him, but that tattoo is fused with vamp blood. You can tell by the glow. It must be Nick’s. I bet they are on their way here right now. How could you do this to Valerie? You know Noctus wants her dead!” Will spits out.
“Oh, he changed his mind about that. He doesn’t want her dead, he wants to turn her. If I keep the mark on they’ll know I’m here. I need to cut it off.” Colin whispers looking terrified and I run in the cabin to get rags to stop his bleeding.
I hear both of them still yelling at each other from inside the log cabin. Underneath the stove top, I find a bin of torn up washcloths and grab a pile of them. How could Colin have gotten involved in such a thing? Nick has the same mark on his wrist too and I never really thought much about it. Colin must be telling the truth. I guess I just never wanted to believe it because Nick has always helped me and I thought he was always being genuine.
Now I know he’s some kind of radicalized vampire leader from how Colin described him, making them all get tattoos so he can keep an eye on them. What else has he made Colin do? Could the coven have been telling the truth in the courthouse about him being behind all those murders?
To think I once lived under the same roof with Nick and never knew this side of him.
“Will, you need to get the coven’s act together or just leave them altogether. I don’t know why Clarissa thinks your family killed Patty, but despite what you told me about Nick that isn’t reason enough to accuse him of killing Patty.” I say while bandaging Colin’s wrist. I don’t even know if there are enough rags here to stop his bleeding. To my alarm, he has managed to cut off the entire chunk of skin with the tattoo in the time I went into the house.
“As soon as we catch Nicholas Silvet, I’ll work with the new police to find them and have the guilty witches punished.” Will says and my blood boils. He probably wants to wait to get all of the vampires removed from the department to do that.
The vampires may believe in the legend as he says, but Will hasn’t shown me proof of their murders or hate speech. They haven’t been attacking people blindly. They haven’t even been attacking me!
The coven is the bigger problem here, why is it he always refuses to see that?
“Fine, I’ll stay here until things settle down. Only for a day though. Colin, did you drive here?” I ask and he nods his head looking hollow. I still can’t believe he had the guts to cut so much skin off on his wrist.
“Will, you can take his truck into town and don’t bother coming back here. You had no right to summon me here like this. You also had no right to kill Mr. Silvet based solely on the words of the supreme, the same supreme who wants me dead.” I remind him and Will takes Colin’s keys from his jacket pocket.
“Valerie, I only killed him to protect my family. I know she’s crazy, but sometimes we don’t always get a choice. It was them or him.” He replies.
“There’s always a choice, Will.” I say quietly, trying to hide my hurt. First, he said he killed Mr. Silvet so he wouldn’t have to kill me and now he’s telling me did it to protect his family. Maybe he did it for both.
“I warded this cabin. No witches or other supernaturals will be able to enter it without getting fried alive. Stay in it until I get back here in the morning, promise?” Will tells me and I look up into his warm brown eyes. He looks just as scared as me. He really can’t control the coven anymore. If he can’t, who can?
“What about the tattoo, like Colin said. Will the vampires be able to track us here?” I ask Will and he picks up Colin’s patch of tattooed skin from off the ground. Looking disgusted, he slides it into a ziplock bag and puts it into his pant pocket.
Does he plan on leading them to himself?
“The tattoo was the only way they would be able to find him since their blood is in it. Lucky for him he wasn’t turned in the time he shared with the vamps. Otherwise, they’d be here by now. Stop using your magic to heal him. His wound should be able to heal now on its own under the hour.” Will tells me while walking around the cabin.
“So you plan on baiting them with that? What’s your plan now? You’re going to get yourself killed!” I yell, but I hear a car start and it’s not long before Colin and I watch him try off in his jeep.
Maybe they already have Nick in custody, I don’t know where they would keep him though. The police run the department still and I doubt they would be willing to accept Nick’s arrest for just being a hybrid if they already knew he was one.
“Amazing...” Colin breathes out seeing my magic start to heal his wound. I give him a weak smile then glance up at the horizon where the sun is already setting. Getting a bad feeling, I help him to his feet and we walk inside the small cabin.
When we sit down on the couch, I manage to finish tying enough rags around his wrist to stop the bleeding. I’ll have to wash the dirty ones out in the sink. It looks like I just murdered someone with all this blood on my hands. So I go over to the sink and try to wash off his blood, but even when I get the blood off my hands they are still stained red.
I wonder if Colin told Stella about any of this. Wait, I still have my phone. I can call her! I check my phone. However, the service icon is going crazy. First, it says the signal’s good then it says there is none at all. It must be the ward, usually strong wards mess with electric signals. I bet Will probably made the ward thicker so the police wouldn’t be able to track our phones to us. It must have taken him at least a day to get a ward up that’s as strong as this one.