I pull my wrists against the anti-magic handcuffs when the brown wooden door of the interrogation room they’ve locked me in finally opens. For all night long, they had kept me in a holding cell which also happened to be anti-magic. It was only about an hour ago they brought me in here. How can they arrest me for passing a red light?
“What happened to you?” I grit out, testing the anti-magic handcuffs around my wrists again. I should have brought Valerie home by now! Now, I have to rot away in here wasting time until they decide to let me go.
It’s vile how much magic is radiating from him like he took a high concentrated booster. Outlawed drugs giving magic users a quick rush of power, usually just ends up killing them or if they’re lucky, a nice drug trip like they hoped for.
“Where should I begin, Mr. McCaster?” Nicholas Silvet asks me and I go tense.
“Don’t pretend this about money. You and your cult are destroying this town! I’m on to you Silvet, this isn’t about money to you anymore.” I snarl.
“I promised to protect this community under oath. Try as I might, you still don’t believe my genuine desire is for the coven’s safety as well.” The vampire states while sliding something across the table in my direction.
With a raised brow, I scan over the blue and white rectangular piece of paper with his name inked in scrawny pen lettering in the bottom right-hand corner. Signed and dated. He sits back in his chair with a humorless expression, waiting for me to react.
“Is this supposed to bribe me into silence?” I rebuke.
“Mr. McCaster, your claims about my department couldn’t be further from the truth. We have collected enough money to support you.” He replies in a settled tone.
“Support me?” I spit back. The vampire is a hybrid!
He taps the check sitting in between us then clasps his hands expectantly.
“Yes, you will run for mayor and your platform will be based upon the same as the last mayor’s. Except, you will advocate for tolerance and equality, including hybrids, to ensure peace here in Wixton. Once the public sees this donation I have given you for your campaign, I believe your people will start to rethink their thoughts about my kind.” He explains slowly with a no-nonsense tone.
“And if I were to run, who would take my place?” I grit out.
“Up to you.” He says.
“I decline.” I scoff. Something flashes in those stone cold dark blue eyes, have I finally struck a nerve with him? I was not expecting him to punch me at the trial because he’s not as emotional as most vampires. What with him always speaking in monotone and that signature callous stare, I don’t think anyone in the court saw it coming or Valerie’s little accidental magical slip-up for that matter.
“Mr. McCaster, the first mistake you made was jeopardizing your own position, but your worst mistake was jeopardizing mine. In a weeks time, the high council of supernatural affairs is coming to check up on our town as I’m sure you know they do annually. I have been already asked to increase security for their arrival next week. I have high hopes they will approve of your running. This will guarantee the cooperation of your people with mine.” He states gravely while standing up.
“Colin Wallace came forward and told me many things that contradict what you have just told me. He told me you are after the legend, even cut off some kind of mark on his wrist. Are you telling me he would lie about such detailed information and then be willing to cut off a chunk of his skin?” I counter loudly.
“If his claims about me and my police department were true, don’t you think we would have silenced him by now?” The policeman asks.
“I suppose...” I reply, thinking through what he says. Now that he’s told me that, he is right. I’m really regretting leaving Colin there with her. I need to get out of here.
“The governor has graciously pardoned us both, even Ms. Parway’s burning of the courtroom. Do not mistake his pardoning of us as forgiveness. I cannot blame you for wanting to protect your family from the supreme, but you must work now to show that mindless lunacy will not be tolerated. Speaking of which, now is the time for you to tell me who alerted Clarissa Gild of my presence here to begin with.” He demands.
“My mother and sister. Really, it was my mother who suspected Valerie to be the white witch. They moved south to work in another coven when things got messy here. When I stayed behind, they told their suspicions to their state’s supreme-Clarissa Gild. She immediately ordered the execution and I knew whoever she chose would do it. So I offered to.” I explain with reproach.
“Things you should have told the court and I suppose your family asked you to get rid mine while you were at it, didn’t they? To make sure you did as you were told, the supreme took them into custody in case she needed to frame them which I suppose they were not expecting.” He says while watching the door behind me.
“...yes.” I sigh.
“I will have them freed. I have footage of the supreme herself trespassing into Ms. Parway’s home weeks ago. Did you know she planned to kidnap Ms. Parway herself originally? I’m sure you were clueless.” He says dryly, acting as though he knows everything.
How will he help free my family? Why would he want to after what they did? He must have got street footage or something to see the supreme passing the ward Stella put up around the house, but how was she able to slip through it?
Stella should have noticed.
“Will you get Clarissa Gild to retire too?” I ask in disbelief.
“Yes, Will. It is essential you disclose this information to your people. Do you understand now why this transition is critical for you? My people are not mindless killers. We have been meeting weekly talking of ways to unite our people, fundraising enough money to get you into this position. You had every right to want to kill me, thinking I was plotting to harm this community. You were wrong though. I’m willing to let bygones be bygones, Will. I hope we have come to an understanding.” The Silvet son tells me.
I’m not sure what he’s gaining himself from supporting me and helping clean up what needs to be done. I tried to kill him even, but looking back it wasn’t a wholehearted attempt. Something in me knew we weren’t so different. Both just trying to do what’s in the best interest for the town. I want Valerie to be proud of me and not have to live in fear.
I really was wrong about him, Valerie was right and it makes me look like a jerk.
“We did both take an oath to support each other for the better of the community. Now I understand. I was wrong to jump to conclusions, I was worried you were trying to accomplish the legend. I was too overwhelmed with you all showing up here. Too influenced by my parents’ own fears. We lied about the evidence we found, it was your father who committed those murders. We thought you’d be no different from him. He was a religious man, wasn’t he?” I say.
“He was. Spent his whole life preaching about the necessary separation of vampires, werewolves, witches and the like. Hybrids were an abomination because they were stronger than him.” He says evenly.
“Now that he’s dead though, I realized he wasn’t entirely wrong about everything because there’s something else he believed too. The older generation has wicked beliefs as we both have learned through our own experiences. I’ve learned not to dwell on the past, but I have seen history repeat itself and cannot help, but see the truth for what it is. Your coven will never see us as equals, so that is why I am asking you to advocate for peace so future generations of vampires and hybrids do not get ostracized for existing.” The vampire continues.
He doesn’t come off as the bygones be bygones kind of person to me. As the saying goes, like father like son and it is chilling how much he looks like his father. I’m happy to know my suspicion about him being a Silvet all along was right. My own father told me about Mr. Silvet’s ranch and why they chose to live so far out from town. He was some kind of vampire supremacist and I can’t help, but wonder if it ever rubbed off on his son. Even if he did loathe his father and leave home early as he says.
I look at the officer, remembering my own upbringing and thinking about Valerie’s hopes for the future. She always has been a dreamer, but she will never be able to really escape her heritage as a witch.
She’s gone through too much and already in too deep, working with black magic to get rid of demons. My intuition tells me it’s the legend finally taking place, but I can’t keep thinking like that. We had demon issues before, but this curse is a whole other matter. I know there’s more to it, but she keeps telling me I don’t want to know.
Nicholas looks a little older than me, lived longer than me too being a vampire.
I can see now why his stare is always hard and calculative, he’s lived in fear his whole life. He’s grown tired of being mistreated and judged even by his own father. Nicholas’s disdain for my fellow witches is understandable and this donation he’s given to me shows his desperation.
He’s finally realized the power I hold is stronger than his. When I become mayor, he’ll be working under my direct orders. I shouldn’t have been so worried about who would hold the power when they all showed up. It was, and will always be us, the coven. We’ve been overseeing all supernaturals in this town way before the humans knew.
We have a better reputation than the vampires. It’s great to see them be so humble and place their hopes in me. I was an idiot to think him after the legend.
I eye the fifty thousand dollar check again.
This is a lot of money and I know he didn’t get it from his family. The police department is government funded too, so they really had to work to find people willing to donate. Not many people in our town earn this amount money in a year, including me.
“There is a reason why this job belongs to the humans. They have the middle ground.” I reason.
“You murdered my father Will and then tried to murder me, this is not an offer. This is your atonement to myself and the community.” He counters not losing a beat.
The corner of his lip quirks up seeing my hesitation linger and he begins to pull the check away from me. The unspoken elephant in the room may as well have come falling from the sky and crashing down on the table between us.
If not me, then who else will he give it to? He could easily regret this choice, it makes him very vulnerable. I don’t fully trust him either, but I trust our town is in turmoil. I also trust this chance may not come by me ever again.
“Wait! I’ll do it.” I say quickly.
“Excellent, but you will be paying for that traffic ticket with your own money first Mr. McCaster.” The vampire reminds me as I’m forced up to my feet by a younger looking policeman. He kind of matches the description Val told me her partner at work looks like.
I stare at the witch in the corner of the dimly lit room diagonal from me. Her short orange hair almost looks as red as the blood oozing out of the slash marks across her distorted face, marking her identity unrecognizable.
I can’t remember what I was doing up at one of the McCaster’s cabins earlier today. Savior saved Valerie though and he saved me too, found me lying knocked out in the woods. The two prick marks in my neck throb and I snarl feeling an ice cold collar lock around my throat. Guess they turned me, who could have sired me?
“Good, come now.” Heinrich tells me and I oblige solemnly thinking it him with his sudden appearance. I’m not sure what I did wrong to be treated so lowly like this, hopefully, I can earn my place back. I follow the big vampire out of the cell and into the hallway. He leads me over to another empty small study room, but this one has a small sink. We must be in one of the many back rooms of the church.
“Wash.” Heinrich says and with a lowered head, I wash the blood from my hands and change into the plain shirt he tosses me.
Once cleaned up, we head out through a steel door that another policeman unlocks. A loud beep goes off and Heinrich pats my shoulder, signaling me to keep following. We walk down another long hallway towards a set of brown double doors. Heinrich unlinks my collar and hangs it up on a golden hook on the wall.
“Do not talk. Do not touch. Only follow.” The officer tells me sharply in a low voice and I wrinkle my nose wondering just why he would think I would want to touch someone like him. He looks like he’d shoot me in the gut before I’d have the chance.
This room smells musty and the floor is cement, in the center of it, a tall vampire stands and his gold hair is combed back neatly under his police hat. He stands tall like a soldier, hands grasping the front of his police vest as he turns to face us.
“Did he clean it all up?” The vampire asks and my mind itches to recall his name, but I can’t.
“Drained blood, but no eat meat.” Heinrich answers. The man bows his head then, shaking it in anger. Why can’t I remember his name, he looks so familiar?
“You told him the information?” The vampire probes.
“Yes.” Heinrich says smugly while watching me.
What information? I don’t remember being told anything. Well, I know enough about vampires at this point to realize I’ve been turned.
I have a feeling I’m not going to be given much help adjusting to my new life. Going off of how I came to covered in the blood of Clarissa Gild and was given no emotional or physical support at all.