Detective Witch (Devil's Witch Book 2)

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Chapter 4-A Night Out

“Is this really the only dress included in the sale?” I wonder out loud, holding up the black dress.

The same color everyone else in the coven will be wearing tonight, including Will. Shockingly enough, the mayor did not rescind our invitation to the town hall despite the riots yesterday. I think he wants to use the ball as some sort of peace offering between all of our kinds. I have nothing against the idea, it’s just I don’t want to go.

Stella gives me a helpless look and raises her arms in defeat. Since she’s a sales assistant here she was able to give me an ‘exclusive’ discount on it. Well, really, she’s just using her store card to swipe for my dress at check out. I’ll be able to pay the rest with my debit card.

Heading over to the fitting room, I duck behind a curtain and begin to try on the dress.

I listened in on Will’s call with the mayor. Apparently, he promised the guest list included no news outlets so I shouldn’t be worried. Will explained my case to him, saying how the witches invited wouldn’t cause any scenes and that the ones sparking the riots were a mere minority.

While struggling to put on my dress, I try not to think so much about what could go wrong tonight and instead focus back on the dress. It looks formal enough, kind of like a business dress. The sleeves are long and thick. The dress fits my form, but is loose enough to not appear or feel too tight. It’s actually pretty comfortable too.

It reaches mid-calf and I’ve also tried on some latticework tights to give it a slight edgy look.

I step out of the fitting room wondering if it’s really appropriate to wear to the ball since the back has a really low dip.

“I don’t know if it’s the one, turn around,” Stella tells me bluntly.

I have no other choice. Every other dress in here is over five hundred dollars and there are no other places in town I can get a dress for any less.

I turn around in a circle and she crosses her arms.

“The dress dips pretty low in the back, but it will have to do,” she says after a moment.

“Wait, don’t you think I should wear another color? I don’t want to be associated-” I begin to panic.

“No, Val. Will asked you to do this. Your only going for him, so try to be supportive. It won’t be so bad. Besides, you already decided not to wear the cloak."

She gives me an encouraging look. I search through my tote to pull out the small brown case my family’s heirloom rests in. One of the only things I have left from them.

I’m sure everyone else invited from the coven will not be wearing any form of a brooch. If they were, it would be hidden under their cloaks and out of sight. Unlike most heirloom brooches, my family’s is pink and in the shape of a daisy. Its surface is glossy and its center is bejeweled in fake silver and white gemstones.

I hold it up to my dress to see how it may look, it really doesn’t look right being the only bright color on me.

She offers me a silver shawl. “I take back what I said. Wear this and it’ll bring out your eyes more and your brooch. It will cover the low cut in the back too and also keep you warm."

I let it lay over my shoulders and fall over my arms. It kind of is old fashioned, but I might be able to pull it off. I thought only rich people wore things like shawls. It’s very pretty and the material is super soft. I don’t know if it will keep me any warmer, it’s pretty thin.

I check the price tag then laugh, closing the fitting room door to change.

“Val! It was on the clearance rack, seventy percent off,” Stella chides from the other side of the door and I bite my lip.

Still, at seventy percent off it would be the same price I’m going to pay for this dress.

We walk around the store some more, but return to the check-out area with no other luck.

After talking it out with Stella, I give in and decide to just buy the black dress with the shawl. I can forget about buying the latticework tights. I have a simple black pair I can wear at home.

I don’t normally buy expensive dresses like this anyway and I’ve never had or worn a shawl before. It’ll be nice to have something a bit more up-scale in my closet.

By the time we get back home, I only have an hour to do my hair and makeup before Will arrives.

After I plug my phone in its charger, I go into the bathroom and get straight to work on my hair. It takes me a half-hour to straighten it and kill the frizz. If I was a skilled witch like Stella, I could use my magic to keep my hair in place all day. Instead, I rely on hair spray and bobby pins to keep my hair up into a lace braided bun. I pat some powder on my face too and put on black eyeliner and mascara.

When I’m done with my hair and face, I put on my dress and frown feeling the cold air of the house hit my bare back. I wrap my new silver shawl around me so my back is less exposed. It is mid-winter and I really am starting to see what Stella meant by the low back cut. It almost reaches my tailbone and without the shawl, it probably wouldn’t be a very appropriate dress for the town hall.

For the finishing touch, I pin my brooch on my dress and spray on some perfume. Then I pick up my old silver clutch to carry with me instead of my big tote and head downstairs.

“You look like a silver fox,” Stella says slyly, looking up from cooking bacon on the skillet.

“Isn’t that what they call men?” I laugh back.

“Well whatever, you know what I mean. You look stunning like a future supreme even,” she gushes.

If anyone around here would become a supreme mistress, it’d be her.

I kind of feel bad Stella wasn’t invited, she was Patty’s daughter after all. Her mom was an important woman in the community and so is Stella now too. She’s setting a good example and being a good role model. One the coven needs more of, but she has grown even more distant from the coven since Will took charge. I know she hated her mother, but a small part of her is still grieving. Maybe going to the town hall would be too overwhelming. Seeing the whole coven there I’m sure talk of Patricia Gild would be the main subject.

“Hey, you have fun tonight. I know you’re nervous, but most of them are just a bunch of rich old people. So relax,” she comforts me with a smile, flipping a piece of bacon.

The front door opens suddenly and Will gives me a dazzling smile, he’s dressed up in a black tuxedo and looks, like always, very handsome. My heart melts knowing his smile is for me and I mirror him, smiling back.

Will embraces me in a bear hug. "You look amazing!” he exclaims.

“You don’t look too bad yourself.”

After I wave goodbye to Stella, we hurry out to his truck and head all the way across town. A couple snow flurries pass over the hood of the truck as we travel downtown. It’s not very common for it snow in Alabama often, but we do get a couple flurries occasionally this time of year.

I help direct Will to the mayor’s house by keeping my eyes on the GPS and warning him about upcoming turns. Eventually, we make it to the mayor’s gigantic old stone house that looks very much like a modern day mansion. It’s even gated. We follow the line of limos and SUVS up the long driveway.

There’s way more people here than I thought, it’s like the whole town!

The parking area is in the grass and it looks completely full already. If we came a bit earlier, we probably would have found a spot. Will drives around the parking section and around to the front of the house where a few other cars are stopped, dropping off guests.

The steps up to the huge red double doors are made of marble and there’s even a valet service going.

I spot a huge chandelier through the giant wide windows of the house and the lit-up archway of the entrance. There’s banquet tables covered in divine looking food inside and my empty stomach grumbles.

I hop out of the truck, holding my phone and small clutch to my chest.

“Will!” I gasp feeling a wave of panic settle over me seeing him start to drive away.

“Wait for me inside by the water fountain!” he shouts after someone comes up to his truck and yells for him to keep driving.

Oh, this is so unbelievable. How will I ever find him inside?

Already feeling lost and out of place, I walk up the fancy steps and into the mayor’s mansion.

Classical music filters through the warm building and I follow the signs on the fancy red velvet ropes to a huge ballroom. The music gets louder when I step into the ballroom and I hold my shawl closer around me.

There’s dozens of coven members here. Naturally, I use my sight and find a good mixture of all different types of supernaturals too. Of course, a multitude of humans are here as well. There has to be at least five hundred people in here.

Everyone is expressing their wealth through their clothes, the diamonds, the golden rings, canes and luxury suits. The air smells of alcohol already and the ceremony hasn’t even begun.

The room is super noisy, filled with chatter and laughter and the sound of a timeless piano song playing through the speakers in the ceiling. The entire floor is made of a dark caramel-colored marble and the walls are covered with big landscape portrait paintings. There’s three chandeliers above the ballroom, their silver twinkling lights light up the room in such a lovely way.

Five long tables of food are set around the perimeter of the ballroom. I make my way around the crowd of people to the right of the entrance, where the water fountain is. Then I sit down on the ledge, trying to ignore the loud buzz of people around me.

The mayor walks by me and gives me a small wave, I smile back and he continues walking and greeting other guests. A couple police officers trail after him and I look by the ballroom entrance to see an officer on each side of the door.

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