Detective Witch (Devil's Witch Book 2)

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Chapter 20-Severed Bond

Nick and I only just got out of the building. He had parked his police vehicle a block down from here. When I hear someone run up behind me I turn around to find Will bent over trying to catch his breath.

“Come on Val, I’ll take you home.” Will offers. He must have run all the way down here to catch up. Someone drives by us and pulls his truck around to the front of the building. As if right on cue, a coven member hops out of it and hands him the keys.

“Go on.” Nick encourages me lightly seeing my hesitation.

“I’ll be watching your street tonight, Ms. Parway. Tomorrow, I’m requesting you and Yansmen attend the election polls here. You will be geared fully and given your uniforms on arrival. Have a good night.” Nick adds in a serious voice while looking down at me.

“Okay.” I reply tiredly just as he turns away from me heading to his own car. Then I meet Will over by his truck and climb inside.

_______________________________________

Sleepily, I pull my head away from the car window waking up. I didn’t mean to fall asleep in here, but it’s much warmer in here than the town hall was. I was pretty stressed out and I hadn’t thought the car ride would be long enough for me to drift off.

I sit up a little bit more. The truck is parked and a square-shaped orange button on Will’s dashboard is lit up. Not seeing Will in the truck I look outside and then at the time on the radio. How can it be eleven? We left at nine, he should have dropped me off way long ago. I look out at the gas station and worry grows within me when I don’t recognize it or the empty looking highway on the other side of it.

Will comes out of the small gas station store a few minutes later with a white plastic bag of food. A frigid gust of air comes in with him and I clutch something tighter around me.

“I didn’t want to drop you off at your house. Some witches were waiting there for you. I called it in, the police should get them removed soon.” Will admits to me, but I’m too preoccupied staring down at his jacket that I’ve been using as my blanket.

“You looked cold.” He adds simply without looking at me and I nod my head carefully folding it up and setting it between us. He digs a ham sandwich out of the bag and it makes me wonder how he can be so hungry when we just a couple of hours ago.

I bet they were planning to attack me tonight. Will starts his truck and pulls back out onto the highway.

“Tell me about what it was like...what it was like waking up alone. What made you break out of that coffin? How did you find the strength to fight and not panic?” Will asks me in a tight voice. His gaze is away from me and straight ahead on the road.

No one’s really asked me that before. Well, I didn’t think anyone would want to know really because it was not a very pleasant thing to go through or even think about, to say the least. Secretly though, I’m kind of glad he asks. I never shared with anyone before what exactly I went through, it’s kind of personal and traumatic.

“It was very dark and cold. I could barely breathe it smelled so bad. I knew my skin was rotten and I could feel the smoothness of my bones in some patches on my arms. The necromancer healed me in the coffin and I could feel something painful shoot down my spine.” I tell him.

I consider whether to continue in more detail as I look out my window and rest my head against it. I exhale slowly, watching my breath fog up the glass and then fade away as the air from the car heater warms it.

“I was mad because the moment I opened my eyes in there I knew I would be in trouble. So I fought tooth and nail to get out. Truth is, I did panic at first. Then I guess the necromancer kind of kick-started my energy and I fought even harder. I had to. I didn’t want to stay stuck in there and let them get away with what they did to me.” I admit, feeling bile rise in my throat at the horrific memory and knowing if the necromancer isn’t Patty that they could still be walking away from this free.

Trying not to relive the memory, I take a shallow breath and turn to Will.

“W-what’s wrong?” I ask him uneasily.

His hands are gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turn white. His eyes are wide and he still won’t look at me, he just stares straight ahead.

“We’re going to my parents’ place. I don’t want you in that house tonight. Stella’s ward was broken once, it can be broken again.” Will tells me gruffly and I roll my eyes.

“Will! I can take care of my myself. This is unnecessary.” I huff while crossing my arms as we turn off onto a back road. Finally, I recognize where we are as we go down the long driveway next to the ski resort.

He parks the truck in front of his parents’ house and I follow him up the porch.

“I know you are capable of that, but lately you’ve been distant. I know he is your familiar. A black snake, right? I understand why you feel angry at me for keeping things from you, but you can’t hold me to standards you can’t keep yourself.” Will tells me and I stop in my tracks, not following him inside the house.

My heart is beating too loudly and it’s like I can’t even think straight. I’m expecting him to look mad, but instead, he looks forlorn standing alone inside the living room of his parents’ house. I step inside relaxing a little bit when the warmth of the house radiates around me.

“Who told you?” I ask him still in shock.

“Stella called me while you were asleep. I know you didn’t mean to turn him, but come on. A snake? He must be working with the devil. I have the high council of supernatural affairs on speed dial. If he’s threatening you to keep quiet now is the time to tell me. I can have him removed immediately from his position after tomorrow. I already went ahead and removed your bond while you were asleep. It was less painful that way for you. It would have cost thousands to have someone else remove it for you.” Will tells me looking concerned.

“Will, I was waiting for the right time to tell you. Why didn’t you wake me up? You should have asked me before doing that!” I argue back, but I probably never would have agreed to such a thing. Undoing a familiar bond could be deadly for the familiar.

“You needed rest and you need to be kept safe. Forming any form of attachment to a vampire is risky. You know that.” He tells me and dread floods into me.

“You don’t need to call anyone about it. Nick would never hurt me. Is he okay?! Did you call Nick and tell him what you were doing?” I breathe out in panic.

“Yes, he’s fine.” Will assures me quickly.

Why would Stella go ahead and tell him about Nick when she promised me she would keep it to herself until I was ready to tell Will the details? What made her call him tonight anyway? It had to have been the coven showing up at the house. I don’t know why she wouldn’t have tried calling me first though, I already checked my phone and saw no messages.

“I can’t believe you undid it without asking me. I guess it’s better this way now that you fixed it, but Nick could have gotten really hurt. Are you sure he’s okay?” I murmur.

“Yes, he’s getting the witches removed from your house as we speak. He was thrilled by the news, but come on open your eyes, Val. He’s a vampire hybrid and his father had plenty of skeletons in his closet. He kept his identity hidden from you and I know he endorsed me to cover his own end. For what exactly, I don’t know yet.” Will tells me.

“You can’t seriously still think that.” I mutter feeling like he’ll never fully trust the police.

“I’m calling the high council.” Will states firmly as if already having made his mind.

“Why?!” I blurt out.

“I need to wipe my hands clean from their mess. You should have told me about this a long time ago. Anyway, how did you break the distance between each other?” Will asks me curiously.

“Stella helped with that. Really though, I haven’t even thought much about it since Stella pretty much fixed the issue. It was hard living with-” I begin to say and immediately I wish I would have just kept my mouth shut.

“He...he was...living with you?” Will says slowly.

“Yes, but it’s not what you think! I got him his own tank and he would just sleep in it.” I say quickly, but I know that’s not the entirety of it. Will relaxes a little and nods his head in understanding, but he still looks mad.

He didn’t always sleep in the tank, well, rarely did he ever truthfully. He normally slept curled up at the bottom of my bed, but if I told Will that he’d only get angry and assume a bunch more things.

“All this time, you’ve been upset at me for keeping some things from you, like my killing of Mr. Silvet. A convicted criminal at that. I did what the supreme told me, to protect you and my family. If I didn’t you’d be dead because someone else would have volunteered in my place in a heartbeat. Now, you can’t say it’s been fair for you to keep such a huge issue from me all this time and still be mad at me for fixing it.” Will explains and my lip trembles seeing the anger written all over his face.

He’s angry and has every right to be.

Who knows what he’s thinking now about Nick and the rest of the police station. If I told him immediately, all of this could have been avoided. He could have fixed it long ago. Maybe Stella told Will about Nick to protect me or maybe she just accidentally called him my familiar. Still, I don’t know why she directly called Will before calling me about the witches showing up at the house. She’s been acting strange lately. I need to check in with her tomorrow or as soon as the witches leave the house.

“Please don’t keep anything from me again. We need each other, so stop trying to shut out my help. The moment you turn away from me someone is going to hurt you.” Will whispers desperately.

I slump down on the couch and despite his comfort, I feel very alone.

“I know you’re scared, but I’m still here.” Will says gently while sitting down beside me and I lean my head against his shoulder closing my eyes.

There are days when I want so badly just to disappear. To blend in and be invisible among the other humans. Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough. Hopefully, tomorrow things will be different and I won’t have to try so hard to hide my identity.
_______________________________________

Will

The moment Valerie falls asleep against me I pull out my phone. It would be nice to get Nicholas removed from his position, but Val is right. I don’t want to mess things up when things are going okay between our two communities.

So instead of calling the high council of supernatural affairs, I decided to call him instead. I couldn’t let loose all my anger on Val when the real reason I’m mad is because of him. He also should have told me this, especially when he decided on giving her that job. To think at one point he was living with her!

Enraged, I wait for him to answer while Valerie softly snores against my arm.

He picks up on the fourth ring.

“Hello, Mr. McCaster. The house has been cleared. All witches were removed from the property as you asked.” The hybrid informs me.

“I can have you removed from your position, you work for me starting tomorrow. Don’t think you can count on her sympathizing with your kind anymore. I have undone your curse so stay away from her.” I tell the vampire remembering how my spell I used on her in the truck was very hard to do while driving.

I had to pull over at the gas station to concentrate. I’m sure her familiar felt something awful when I finally managed to break their bond. I made sure it was painless for Valerie, but he probably felt like he was getting electrocuted.

It was wishful thinking to think him to die over it, but familiar bonds are weaker and made mainly for small animals. A strong enough witch or warlock can undue the bond easily. I’m just glad it’s over with.

“Oh? She never told you about it?” He asks, his voice dripping with satisfaction and I imagine his smug smile.

“Stay away from Valerie.” I remind him.

“That might be hard to do, Mr. McCaster. She works for me.” The vampire chides back. Abruptly, the line goes dead and I glare down at my phone.

He has some nerve hanging up on me.

Suddenly, the front door flies open.I don’t move from my seat. The vampire marches inside my house and uses his inhuman speed to quietly shut the door. I carefully lay Valerie down on the couch and pull my stake out of my back pocket standing up.

“What do you want?” I scowl.

“Witches mean nothing to me Mr. McCaster. It is true she cursed me, but clearly the devil was on her mind when she did it. Do not forget the faith my community has so kindly given you. We already have a dark history and we do not intend to associate with the likes of demons or your meaningless witch tales.” The vampire tells me and I nod my head in agreement.

“I also wish to apologize for my behavior at the dinner, but you must understand how a vampire can act when threatened. Even the most disciplined of us can give in to our...instincts.” He says slowly and I narrow my eyes seeing his stare on Valerie.

How exactly did he feel threatened enough by me to nearly toss me to the ground?! I was lucky the table was behind me.

“It must have hurt something awful when I removed the bond.” I say while checking his aura to see how damaged his magic is. Which should be a lot since mine had to tear through it to sever the bond.

Of course, he is wearing a concealment again so I can’t see anything.

“How is she coping?” The hybrid dares to ask me, ignoring my question. I stand more in front of Valerie to cut off his view.

“She didn’t feel anything and she was happy to know I got rid of it just like you.” I tell him getting annoyed at him still being here.

“Excellent.” He replies looking careless.

I’m surprised he isn’t livid like I thought he’d be. Ticks me off even more. Well, at least it appears he really doesn’t care about the bond or Valerie. One less thing I have to worry about.

“I’d like to get some sleep. I suppose I will be seeing you at the polls tomorrow. So, please get out of my house.” I say.

A slow smile grows on his face, one I’ve learned to loathe. He knows something I don’t and my magic itches to force the information out of him.

“What!?” I holler getting thrown by my own magic outside. I land right out front below the house near my truck.

The vampire stands on the porch with a downcast gaze. His hands are tucked into his police vest and his gaze sweeps over the yard. After he makes his unnerving clicking sound with his tongue he looks right at me.

Responding to my outrage, my magic sails into the new ward around the house relentlessly. It’s useless though and I’m lucky he didn’t activate it while I was inside. My magic would have killed me, but it rebounded me out here for my own protection sensing his own concentrating heavily inside.

“Sorry about that, Mr. McCaster. I forgot to tell you. I acquired this house today. Your family must have just put it up on the market. Thought I’d take it before someone less friendly would. I’ll gladly give it back to you.” Nicholas tells me.

My phone rings and I answer it still watching the vampire closely.

“Will, where are you? You had an interview with the news an hour ago! They are still waiting here, but not for much longer.” Beth scolds me and I curse in annoyance.

I put my phone back in my pocket.

“Alright, we’ll discuss it when I return. Take care of her for me until then.” I growl up at the Silvet son with threat.

“It is my hope to care for all members of our community. You have nothing to be concerned about Mr. McCaster.” He says and it takes everything in me to turn away from the house.

It’s my turn to trust Valerie now. If she trusts him then I should too. He went out of his way to hold onto my parents’ house for me, maybe not all vampires are so conniving after all. I’ll swing by and pick her up after I’m done the interview.

Although it is strange. She should have gotten thrown out of the house too. So why didn’t she? Huh, maybe her magic was too dormant since she was sleeping. If it wasn’t active enough it wouldn’t pose much of a threat for the ward to react. Valerie’s magic is strong though and even in her sleep it sometimes is active.

I hurry up back into my truck and my eyes don’t leave the vampire until he closes the door to the house. Then I pull away, estimating the few hours it may take for me to get back.

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