Detective Witch (Devil's Witch Book 2)

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Chapter 29-Newcomers

Today the new headmistress, Marcella Baneford, will be formally accepted into the coven. They’re hosting a sabbat afterward to celebrate. It’s what the older of the coven members traditionally refer to their own parties as. Both our coven and the one Marcella was previously part of will be attending the event at the town hall today. Will never was officially named head of our coven, he was more of a temporary substitute. So he didn’t get as much attention as Marcella will.

Normally, the coven selects someone already part of their own coven. Our town is the exception because of the amount of uprisings and violence lately. So Will got the coven to choose someone outside of town for the position. I’m supposed to meet her tonight after her sabbat. Will and I had already discussed it before our fight so I won’t have to call him about it.

We already both agreed it’d be best I sit the party out and just stay home.

I had planned on continuing my job search today. When I woke up this morning, I decided to take a walk outside and grab some coffee at the coffee house downtown. However, when I opened the front door, the small of the front yard was covered in tire tracks. I followed the tracks into our tiny backyard and found a bunch of creepy rag dolls that I’m guessing are supposed to look like me, the alledged white witch. There were easily over a hundred of them thrown all over the yard.

It didn’t take me long to clean it up because I had used my magic to pile them up and stuff them in the garbage can. It was still more of a hassle than I’d thought it would be. By the time I finished cleaning up the dolls, I felt like I needed a distraction from it all. I didn’t call anyone about it because I knew it would ruin the induction ceremony for the headmistress.

I suppose it may be an unhealthy habit, but I can’t be the only one with it. I look down at my armful of shopping bags not really feeling sorry for myself. Shopping has always helped ease my anxiety and distract me from my problems. Although, I might have a new one now after reading my credit card bill in a few weeks.

My arms start to get tired from carrying the five bags in my hands and I hurry over to an empty seat in the food court. I didn’t want to eat a burger so I just got a salad from the Greenery House. It’s a trendy little fast food joint that mainly serves salads of all sorts. I got a cob salad and a nice big lemonade to accompany it.

I put my bags down by my feet and take a sip of my drink while flipping through a magazine I bought at the bookstore. I don’t really like wearing hats often, but I’ve gotten used to wearing my big black floppy sunhat to hide my hair in public. I was already on the news before and since the whole town knows who Will is, a good amount of them know who I am too.

If someone notices me they may wonder why I’m not at the town hall right now and I just rather avoid the attention that would bring.

I poke my fork into the lonely boiled egg on top of my pile of fresh greens. Then I cut the egg in half and plop a piece of it into my mouth while wondering what Marcella will think of me. I actually better start heading back home. They’ll be there soon because the ceremony should be over in a couple minutes.

They have the sabbat afterward, but I doubt it will last long with such a long ceremony they had to go through for Marcella. Crystal will be staying at the house with me now too. Will’s apartment is a mess with papers everywhere for work and there’s no room for her there right now.

Darren used her and her family was right about him, he didn’t love her. I hope she’s realized that now. I’m not sure what her family has been telling her about the vampires, but I have a feeling she was still kind of afraid of them when she was dating Darren. They were all afraid of me too and made her afraid. I just hope she wasn’t the one who helped Darren disguise himself. Marcella is giving her a truth serum so we’ll know tonight for sure.

I don’t know if I can really blame Crystal for being scared of me before. She acted the way she did because of her parents. Will told me she’s not a believer in the legend anymore and so I’m willing to give her a second chance because if I don’t, the coven certainly won’t.

_______________________________________

Crystal

I’ve regretted a lot of things lately, but none of that compares to how much I regret moving away with my parents. I’m scared Valerie’s still going to be angry at me for being afraid of her, but my mom had me convinced she’d turn against our family and the coven. For the last few weeks, Will was calling me on the phone and telling me all about her.

My mother was wrong about her and my father was wrong to forbid me from moving back up here with my brother. They can’t stop me. Valerie and Will were right about Darren, he didn’t love me and just used me for an alibi while he went crazy trying to get Val killed! I had no idea he would go to this extreme and try to choke her. I didn’t even know he already found his way back to Wixton, Alabama. We were keeping him in the guest room in our house and he got no pity from any of us. He told me himself he despised me because I’m one of them, a witch.

Our love was a lie and I fell hard after I got my own reality check. Darren decided to push me down the stairs and that was my breaking point. I flew up here on my broom and it only took me a day. I didn’t stop anywhere and had my eyes glued on my phone’s map. It was painful flying with a broken leg, but I couldn’t stay around Darren or my biased parents anymore.

Will’s my only real family I got left and I’m hoping Valerie will find room to forgive me. I’ve always wanted a sister and that was what she really felt like to me while she lived with us. She was kind and I was too scared for myself to see the pain she was going through as my own fears worsened. I was selfish and naive at the time. I didn’t want to care about anyone, but myself and Darren. I remember when Darren and I would go out she’d be home alone and not allowed to leave.

The coven treated her like trash and I’m guessing it’s better now, but Will’s told me enough that I know she still has trouble. I don’t know what she is doing working with the police. If she doesn’t want people suspecting her to be the white witch then she should have stayed clear of the vampires. I should have too.

Will and I step out of his truck and he rolls my suitcase up the sidewalk ahead of me while I get my crutches from the backseat. Will wasn’t all for me doing this, but he already called Valerie and told me she was fine with it.

“What if she just shuts the door on us?” I whisper nervously while he helps me up the steps of the porch.

“I’m so intrigued to meet Valerie.” Marcella announces to my brother abruptly while jumping down from the back passenger seat of his truck.

I watch her strut up to him and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t know why she chose to dress so fancy today and in such a thin dress when it’s this frigid out too.

Her dress is red and it doesn’t do much to help emphasize her rather flat chest. It does, however, show off her tall thin body very well. Her long raven black hair is tied into a perfect braid. It trails down her back stopping just above the gap in her red dress. Marcella’s skin is flawless and her ethereal facial complexion would make any girl jealous, including me.

She looks like a model and has perfected her craft to keep herself looking that way. After all, her magic drifts around her like a second skin and it takes a lot of power to pull that off. She’s a few years older than Valerie, but she looks my age even though she’s Will’s age. Their birthdays even are on the same day as weird as that is.

What bugs me the most about our new headmistress though are her eyes. They’re a vibrant green and every time she looks at me I feel like she’s trying to pry into my thoughts. She somehow got me to tell my whole life story on our car ride here and it wasn’t even a ten minute drive! I’m not much of a talker either and I was surprised myself how much I ended up telling her while I found out nothing about her in return. I think it’s just who she is. She likes to know everything about everyone.

“Will, are you sure about this? She might just have been telling you she was okay with this to avoid conflict. I think I should stay at your apartment, I’ll just sleep on the couch.” I mumble while watching Marcella adjust the back of his cloak to sit better on his shoulders.

“Come on, now. I told you it will be okay. You’ll get a job somewhere and earn your keep. Her friends are missing, she needs the company.” He says just as the door starts to open.

The first thing I notice about Valerie is she looks a lot older. Her eyes look so tired. She doesn’t appear as laid back as I remember and seems more on edge. She has yet to open the door all the way and it remains only open by a few inches just revealing her face. Her hair neatly frames her face and has a slight blonde tone to it now from trying to dye it another color like Will told me about.

“Hi! Come in, come in.” Valerie beckons us in her fragile sounding voice.

It’s such a gentle voice and makes me feel even sadder for her with everything she’s gone through. She reminds me of a bird with a broken wing. Her movements are sporadic as she anxiously fumbles with the door opening it all the way.

She looks like a nervous wreck!

Will waits awkwardly by the door with my suitcase and I limp inside waiting for him to bring my stuff in. Marcella’s stare hasn’t left Valerie since she opened the door.

“You too.” Valerie says stiffly to Will seeing his hesitation to come inside and it makes me wonder if they got in a fight or something.

When Will steps inside Valerie guides us over to the living room. She sits down on a cushiony seat closer to the tv. Marcella, Will and I sit across from her on the couch. On the coffee table in the center of the room are a pile of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a pitcher of water with glasses around it for us.

“I’m Marcella Baneford, but please, call me Marcy.” The headmistress tells Valerie.

“So nice to finally meet you, Marcy. I hope the ceremony went well. You look wonderful.” Valerie compliments her and Marcella picks up a cookie. Will already ate four, he must think no one’s counting, but I am.

“It did.” Marcella replies while inspecting the cookie and setting it down on the armrest of the couch.

Marcella hands Will a flask and I take the flask from him sipping the clear liquid. It’s a truth serum they’re making me take just in case Darren glamoured me.

“Did you help Darren in any way trick Valerie into leading him to the portal?” My brother asks me.

“No.” I blurt out and Will leans back looking relieved.

I set the flask on the coffee table, glad it’s over with. I wish they could have just taken my word for it, but I understand why they are being cautious.

An hour passes and their boring conversation about Will’s campaign finally ends. Then they get up from their seats. My brother heads over to my suitcase he left by the door and drops it off by the couch near me. Marcella waits by the front door for him and Valerie tries to offer them more of the delicious cookies she made. Marcella’s cookie still sits on the armrest where she left it.

“Oh they were great, but I had too many.” Will laughs and Marcella waves her hand in dismissal of the plate of cookies.

“Will, I left the police department. I wanted to tell you in person. I think I’m going to go back to Wally’s to keep a lower profile.” She says and my stupid brother can’t see that she’s struggling to keep it together.

Marcella raises an eyebrow, but Will is practically pushing her out the door. Where is he in such a hurry to be? Why isn’t he comforting her? She looks like she’s about to cry!

“Alright.” Will says over his shoulder while stepping out the front door behind Marcella.

The door closes behind them and locks by way of my brother’s magic. Valerie walks into the kitchen and turns on the stove to heat up a tea kettle. Her hands shake as she twists the knob on the stove. She would have an easier time using her magic for such a simple task, but I know she doesn’t like using it.

“What’s wrong?” I ask her and she quits playing with the stove. She meets me by the couch and tugs my suitcase.

“Let’s put your things away, why don’t we? I’ll show you to your room.” She says while pulling my suitcase towards the steps.

Valerie makes it to the top of the steps first and then comes back to help me the rest of the way up. I carefully walk up the steps with her. My magic should be done healing my leg soon since the doctor put it in a cast.

“Oh, I’m fine! Really.” I insist while she helps me up the staircase.

After we get up the stairs, we go into a room that’s fully decorated with another witch’s belongings. The light green walls are covered with hanging dead plants. A bunch of rocks and minerals lay scattered on the windowsill and on top of the black painted dresser. An oval mirror hangs on the wall by the closet. This must be Stella’s room because her name is embroidered on a pillow resting on top of the black comforter of the bed.

I can’t take this room, not while she’s missing.

“I’ll sleep on the couch.” I say quickly, but Valerie walks ahead of me setting my suitcase down by the bed with a small smile.

“No, you’re still healing. She won’t even notice you were sleeping in here. When she comes back we’ll clear out the storage room at the end of the hall and make you your own room.” She replies warmly and I frown thinking Stella may never come back.

Can’t she see the truth for what it is? Someone probably killed her and Colin Wallace too.

Valerie’s quiet while looking around the cluttered room. She clearly still is devasted by their sudden disappearance. Will told me a lot of people have been going missing. They still haven’t found out why. It’d be nice if Darren was behind the disappearances, but he only escaped house arrest a couple days ago and some people have been missing for more than a month now.

_______________________________________

Will

Marcella just bought a home in Beth’s neighborhood on the other side of town. So I decide to cut straight through downtown knowing the traffic won’t be too bad since it’s a Sunday night. Marcella’s been staring straight ahead at the road since she entered my truck. She looks zoned out and I haven’t bugged her about it. I already told her about Valerie, but she looks shell shocked by something.

“What? What is it?” I ask her.

“I know she is your girlfriend, but you know this is illegal. Why have you resorted to such an archaic method of unification? I cannot be headmistress of your coven knowing you have deprived that witch of her independence to use her own craft! You disgust me!” Marcella snaps back.

“What are you talking about?” I scoff.

“I have a knack for picking up on concealments. Her aura is half hidden. Someone is concealing her magic so we cannot see it. I should be able to see her black magic, but I cannot. There is only one kind of craft that could hide such a thing. Haven’t you noticed? Don’t pretend it wasn’t you!” Marcy retorts.

“It wasn’t me. Her magic has always been like that since she was awakened. I don’t think anyone’s been able to see her aura, not even Patricia.” I reply bitterly.

“Well, perhaps she is not the innocent woman you think her to be.” Marcella boasts. Her voice is steady though as if already assuming Valerie’s a bunch of things she certainly is not.

“What are you saying?” I ask.

“Conjoined magic. Does anyone come to mind? Perhaps an old flame, high school ex or overly friendly neighbor of hers you might have heard about?” She asks me with suspicion as if suddenly interested in my personal life.

Of course, I had considered it before when I couldn’t see her aura and sometimes even her magic. I blamed it on the necromancer and I know there’s dark magic involved in Valerie’s awakening. There could be many reasons why no one can see it, but one person does come to mind.

It wouldn’t hurt to ask him for myself.

“Maybe.” I answer with my mind made.

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