Chapter 14-Falling Down
“Valerie, I didn’t mean to scare you! Stop!” I hear Colin holler from somewhere behind me, but I continue running. I make a sharp turn around a boulder. Leaves crunch beneath my feet and a briar bush snags the sleeve of my sweater.
Frantically, I try to pull the thorn out. When I get it unsnagged, I hop over a fallen tree and keep going. He’s gotten closer to me now since I had to stop and I’m not going to be able to run forever.
“Ah!” I yell, tumbling down into a ditch after tripping over an uprooted tree root. Mud and pebbles get all over me, shrouding me in the cold. I look up at the area where I fell down and see Colin standing there looking down at me.
“The reason Will wanted you in the cabin was because he agreed to hand you over to the supreme. When the witches come for you they won’t be able to get you in the cabin. Come on, we have to go back!” Colin yells desperately and I stand to my feet, brushing the dirt off my face.
There’s no way I’m going back with him after seeing him run at me like that. He’s been traumatized dealing with the vampires. His mind isn’t where it should be, he needs help beyond what I can give him. It’s too dangerous for me to go back with him right now.
Something in me believes Colin though and Will did say not to leave the cabin. So it makes sense why he would have warded it if he was expecting witches to come for me.
“It’s too late...” I hear Colin say suddenly in a quieter voice and he walks away from the edge of the hill I fell down into the ditch and out of my sight.
“Colin?” I holler, looking around me using my sight.
“Colin!” I scream, seeing him thrown across the air above me and sent crashing into a tree. His body falls to the ground and I shiver spotting a warlock with long black hair and tan skin walk to where Colin was standing just moments ago.
I glance down at my feet seeing a blue six-pointed star surrounded by a hexagram. The bottom of my black dress swishes against the damp muddy grass below me and I don’t need a mirror to tell my hair is floating around my head. I can see it from the corner of my vision.
As I watch the ground my magic condenses around me, sending shards of highly concentrated black magic circling around me. My stomach burns painfully and I grimace, clenching my fists when I feel my eyes begin burning in agonizing pain too.
My eyes dart up at the warlock again feeling a cold gust of air collide against the bare skin of my back. Well, I guess the devil is being more resourceful now letting me wear a dress I already own on the job. This is the same dress I wore to the ball, he probably did this on purpose so it would get ruined. It’s the most expensive dress I own too!
The warlock uses his magic to hop down into the ditch, landing gracefully beside me. My magic sails against his protecting me from the impact of his aggressive magical attack. To my annoyance, his magic is much stronger than I expect and shoves me backward into the wall of the ditch.
“Give it up demon witch.” The man states with callous and I laugh, feeling my magic already starting to eat away his. His face pales and he stumbles away from me, falling onto the ground. He crawls backward as I step away from the wall of the ditch towards him.
Suddenly, he pulls out a small purple box from his black cloak and throws it in my direction. It lands on the ground and a crafted coven detainment web pops out of it landing on me and forcing my magic to rush back to me and away from the warlock. A scream escapes me as too much of my magic condenses around me at once, one of the many negative things about using black magic. I can’t control the speed or amount that comes back to my body and it is too much for my body to handle.
I struggle against the thin metal wiring of the net around me, feeling it tighten around my skin enough to leave bruises. It’s the same exact crafted web the coven uses to detain supernaturals when they take them into questioning, the few that don’t get killed on sight that is.
“Too bad your boyfriend isn’t around, guess I don’t have to pay him.” The warlock mutters, standing up and approaching me.
No longer is he so cautious, knowing he’s successfully hindered my ability to use craft for the time being. The moment I get out of this net I’ll make him regret it.
The web keeping my body and magic restrained to the ground is skin tight and forces my arms to my sides and my feet pinned together. I manage to crane my neck to get a glimpse of Colin’s immobile form still laying still on the ground, he hasn’t moved at all since the warlock threw him against the tree.
“Ad infernum daemonium.” I whisper hoping the devil’s magic will still work in my circumstance. To my dismay, it doesn’t. Strangely though, my hexagram still surrounds me and the warlock must see it too because he stands right at the edge of it looking deep in thought.
He’s probably too scared to enter it.
“Get rid of this devil’s hex!” The warlock yells at me looking irrational. He raises his arm in my direction and says something under his breath. The crafted coven web around me constricts me even tighter, slicing through the skin of my face now too. I can’t get rid of the hex sign until I find the demon wandering around out here in the woods. I wish it was inside the warlock, that’d make my job easy. It isn’t though and there’s no way I can control when it appears or disappears on my account anyway.
“I can’t!” I sob against the searing pain of the wires cutting into my skin, enraged at him for making me suffer like this for something I can’t even control.
The warlock’s glare of hate never leaves me as he boldly steps into my hexagram, still willing is magic to tighten his web around me. I cough up blood violently when he manages to make it all the way over to me. His pointy shoe kicks me again in the gut and my body jerks, but isn’t able to move much since the net keeps me in place.
I try not to let him see my pain, but he brings his foot back again and puts his whole body weight into the next kick and a choked scream escapes me as blood trickles down the corner of my mouth. All I can focus on is his unrelenting hatred, the next kick comes at my rib cage and I wheeze and cough up more blood. I’m too tired to lift my head and see his satisfaction at my misery.
Tears start to blur my vision, the blue glow of my hexagram fades away and I think it may be because I’m dying. The next kick may hit a vital organ and be the last. Maybe it’s best this way, I’ll be dead and the coven won’t have to keep hurting people to get me.
My heart races and I hold my breath, seeing his foot draw back again.
Nothing comes and the warlock steps back from me just as my hexagram reappears. It radiates a strange red glow just as I hear someone else walking a ways away from us.
“You, stay back! This is strictly coven affairs.” I hear the warlock holler above me, it must be a hiker or someone based on his carefree tone of voice.
Hopefully, they leave before he hurts them too.
“I said leave!” The warlock warns, but his voice sounds not as confident. The lines of my hexagram heat up and I squirm uncomfortably feeling the warmth hit my back. Now that the warlock is distracted, at least the net has quit strangling my body.
I push my arms out, struggling against the wiring and when it snaps, I weakly toss the net away from me and struggle to sit up with the little strength I have left. I go limp though when I see Nick throttling the warlock’s throat. He holds the man’s body in midair while walking in my direction at a steady pace. How did he find me?
His magic crackles and snaps around him in bright red flashes. It’s unusual to see magic react like that around its user-even for a hybrid. It’s violent and unpredictable, making the warlock scream in agony when it lashes across his body like a coiled whip of lightning.
I whimper seeing Nick step into my hexagram and toss the warlock onto the ground with an impassive expression. His body shakes with rage as he hunches down and grips the warlock’s neck again. Then he pulls out the same knife Colin was holding onto earlier and brings the knife down on the warlock’s chest like a sledgehammer.
I can see Nick’s magic healing the warlock just enough to keep him alive through the torture and I sob feeling the warlock’s petrified fear and unbearable torment as Nick drags the knife down his chest cutting open his rib cage. The warlock’s body spasms as he screams over and over again begging for mercy. Nick’s hand leaves the warlock’s neck when he tears the knife out of his chest and then brings it back down again, twisting it right into the warlock’s neck. Then he stands up and watches the warlock grapple at the knife holding him down like an insect stuck on its back, helpless.
My breathing catches seeing Nick’s magic seep over near me, I shiver feeling it start to heal my wounds. I’ve never been so weak like this to have to rely on someone else’s magic for survival. Gaining a little energy, but still badly wounded, I stand up with wobbly legs.
When Nick’s magic withdraws from the warlock an immeasurable amount of blood sprays from his sliced open gut and the warlock stops struggling to remove the knife as the life leaves his eyes. Nick’s breathing is ragged and heavy as his fangs extend and he crouches down next to the warlock’s dead body.
He tears open the warlock’s chest with his bare hands, bone crunches revealing mushy flesh and organ tissue. I sob seeing him dig through the warlock’s chest until he rips out the heart and crushes it in his fist, before retracting his fangs and tossing the shriveled up heart onto the ground.
Then he wipes his hands off on his pants and combs back his hair with a ragged breath, turning to face me. In the blink of an eye, he’s standing right in front me and I whimper at the horrific scene.
“You understand what I risk being a hybrid in the kind of work I do. I don’t know what you have learned, but I’m no devil worshipper. They are doing everything in their power to get me to step down from my position. Just let me help heal you, relax. You are safe now, Ms. Parway.” He says soothingly above my head, lightly holding my newly healed arms with trembling hands.
Magic heals wounds faster with direct touch. My body still shakes though as I stare at the dead warlock sobbing, remembering seeing his body sliced open and torn into moments ago by Nick.
Nick stops scanning our surroundings and then watches me intently. I can feel his magic unwind around me as he does something he never does, let his guard down. He nudges me forward pulling me flush against his chest. The smell of blood is overwhelming as his other hand slides down my arm and lands on my hip. His breathing is unsteady against me as I continue to cry into his police vest.
With a sniffle, I hesitantly look up at him not sure what he’s doing. His eyes are full of dark determination and resolve as they search my own. Seeking permission for something, but I’m too mute in my own fear to respond remembering the warlock he brutally killed. So I duck my head back into his chest.
Feeling rigid in fear, I rest my head against his hard police vest wondering what it would be like if Will held me this way like he used to. Childish, I close my eyes and pretend Will’s the one trying to heal me right now to keep my own sanity.
Imagining Will, I smile and lean into his touch. I can feel the last of my wounds mending and healing, but it’s almost as though he’s giving me more of his magic than necessary. I’ve never felt this good getting healed before. Why is Will giving me so much of his magic? He’ll drain his energy. I whimper into his chest, remembering the trial and all of the witches and their hate. Their blood hungry stares, their eyes screaming for my death. Just like the warlock who came here to kill me.
A strange heat pulsates from Will’s hands and he makes a choked panting sound above my head. His hands rest on my waist trembling.
His magic pulsates from his hands, feeding my magic with his own ravenous power. The magic is so refreshing and in my weakened state, I greedily accept it with open arms. I’m surprised my magic hasn’t started to repel Will’s magic yet. Naturally, it should. Especially since he’s already given me more than enough to heal myself.
Slowly, with new purpose, Will’s hands find my hips and I gasp through a sob feeling his magic pulsate again. His breathing is uneven above my head, his hold still unsteady and shaky. Will’s body trembles against me, but I’m not sure if it’s still because of his anger. My body tremors, afraid at any moment he’ll snap. I flinch hearing his breathing hitch again dangerously close to the side of my head, but I keep my eyes clamped shut. My lips part and I exhale sharply feeling his hand start to move, caressing my hips in small circular motions. My whimpering becomes quieter. I lose myself in his gentle touch as he gradually gives me more and more of his magic.
Will’s light touch grows achingly slower dragging up and around my hips to my lower back. His hands trace back over the tops of my hips in one sweeping motion. Shallow breaths escape me, feeling his trembling hands struggle to stroke my hips again as if it pains him. Somewhere above me, he breathes in sharply repeating the same motion again with purpose and I gasp softly feeling liquid heat pull below my stomach. I shiver hearing Will chuckle quietly in what sounds like a mix of pleasure and pain.
My sobbing finally has died down and my magic feels more alive than ever, I feel completely healed. Breathing heavily, Will cradles my head to his chest like a parent does a child and pats my back making me feel childish for feeling scared.
Wait, Will never would pat my back like this. Neither does he usually cradle my head like he’s holding a baby...
My eyes fly open and I pull my face away from a familiar looking police vest. I look up to see Nick staring down at me with his usual serious expression.
For a selfish moment, my brain really wished he was Will. The Will I knew that would tell me everything and not keep so much from me. Pretty much, before he took over the coven. I wish things with Will and I could have been different. Maybe they can still be, technically we are still together. I know Nick was just healing me, but why do I feel like I’ve betrayed Will?
He was just healing you with his magic, so stop daydreaming about nonsense. Besides, did you forget about what Colin said about him and in case you happened to forget, Colin could be dead! My mind scolds me and I’m left feeling empty and drained as I step away from him.
I’m disgusted at myself for thinking him Will and even considering for a moment his caresses could be anywhere near as intimate as Will’s. I just watched him kill someone in cold blood!
“Thank you for healing me, but did you glamour me?” I ask him carefully knowing how much my mind believed him to be Will and still scared by him using his powers over me again without asking.
“You were hurting and I figured you would rather see him. I understand your discomfort, for that I apologize, but I thought it was what you wanted.” He replies evenly and my breathing hitches realizing he’s not wrong.
Silently, I watch him, remembering how he held onto me. He gave me his magic so eagerly and readily. My face blushes in embarrassment, I’d be dead if he didn’t show up and help me heal. He could have killed himself giving me so much of his magic and here I am getting upset at him for helping me.
So do I have a right to get angry at him for glamouring me to help me cope? I don’t like that he did it. It kind of scares me how easily I let him take control of the situation too. Still, I feel mortified for having him see me like that while he gave me his magic.
He did give me more than necessary and maybe we both got a little drunk on each other’s magic. He doesn’t look bothered at all by what just happened, so I guess I shouldn’t be either.
“D-don’t do it again. Colin told me everything.” I stutter quietly, not wanting to dance around the topic with him.
“I’m sure he did. Let us take care of this body first though and then go check on your friend who already happens to be conscious. Then I will answer your questions.” Nick says and warily, I follow his gaze looking up from the ditch to see Colin nervously looking down at us.
Something else is nagging at the back of my mind, Stella mentioned seeing Nick feed off my magic the other day while she was watching. Well, a few minutes ago I was feeding off of his. I’m surprised my magic actually behaved for once and didn’t completely consume all of his magic.
It should have repelled his magic, but it didn’t. He should be dead after all of the magic he gave me, even being a hybrid.
There’s only one reason he wouldn’t be, but it’s laughable to think he would ever do something to that extent. Even if he does think I’m the white witch. Besides, I used my sight and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary other than his tainted red magic, which is a common side effect of being a hybrid.