Twisted Fate

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Chapter 36

-Astrid-

Of course, I didn’t listen and kept running towards Blair. Bright red lights flashed as she fought off a warlock with her magic. I could see her witches trying to get to the house, but there were too many psycho Satan lovers running around.

“Dammit, Astrid! Stop!” Arlo growled, but I kept running beside them. We finally split as the trio headed for the house. At the scraping of my blade, the warlock snapped his head in my direction. I sliced his arm off. He got one more chance to use his lungs to scream before Blair cut them out with her dagger.

“What are you doing here?” Blair asked while she punched someone in the face and killed them with an explosion spell. She was covered in blood and tiny pieces of flesh after that. I can’t lie. It was pretty cool to watch her blow someone up.

“Saving you!” I shouted, killing three witches at once. “Watch out!” I shoved Blair out of the way and stabbed the warlock who almost attacked her from behind. She breathed a ‘thanks’ and smiled quickly before we both went psycho bitch and attacked anyone who dared to challenge us.

Never in my existence did I ever think I’d fight alongside a witch. But here I was, slaying these dark witches with Blair. She looked small and innocent but give her a dagger, and she was one mean killing machine. I could get used to this side of Blair.

At one point, we had our backs facing each other while we killed the last witches. Blood and silence took over from the outside, but it was just the beginning.

“Good work,” Blair said, out of breath.

I turned to see everyone running out of the house, including Nicolas and Louisa. I scanned the crowd, but Arlo was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, electrifying blue flames swallowed the coven house whole. The house crumbled and fell apart until there were only ashes left of its existence.

I watched with a combination of astonishment and fear. That weird attraction I had to the hellfire saw beauty while my rational side screamed danger. And oddly, there was a little voice inside me that whispered, “Touch.” How could something so beautiful be so deadly?

My breath hitched as Arlo came out on fire but without actually burning. He looked so menacing and sexy at the same time, even after he’d just burned down everything and everyone in the house with his hellfire. Arlo walked towards me with a blank face and put out the fire, leaving no trace behind. I thought he would say something after that, but he kept walking past me without looking my way.

Yup, he was definitely mad at me.

Everyone met in the center of the field for a group huddle, discussing the catastrophe that just took place. Louisa was standing in the center, breathing hard. Her forehead was slightly cut, and she looked as if she’d been rolling in the dirt. We all looked like a wreck.

“I talked to their leader. She isn’t the one who orchestrated the kidnapping or the million-dollar reward. But she knew we were coming. The messenger tipped her off as soon as we got here.” Louisa informed Arlo, tossing a small golden box. “The good news is we now have that.”

Arlo squinted, reading the engravements on the sides. His eyes widened with recognition. “It’s a message box.”

“Yes, and look what’s inside,” Louisa smirked, opening the lid. As the lid opened, a light flashed from Arlo’s hand and formed a floating letter. I stepped closer to have a better look. At the top of that letter was a big picture of my face and the reward amount at the bottom, inviting all witches and warlocks to participate in hunting me.

“I can track this back to the sender in my lab,” Nicolas confirmed. “Unfortunately, it won’t be easy to find them since they now are aware our coven is helping you.”

Arlo shut the box, tossing it back to Nicolas, “I don’t care what it takes. We need to find the remaining pups and the sender of that message asap.” He said, pacing back and forth. “Where is Sylvia?”

“Mom can’t make it. She’s been called by the council to help with a major issue. We’ll have to figure this out between the six of us.” Blair said. Well, that’s just great.

As I walked to the truck, I felt defeated and worried for the pups still missing. Their parents would be asking for them, and I’d only deliver disappointing news. Worst of all, I’m not sure how much longer they’d survive out there, wherever they are. This mystery witch knew about our plan, and now that the Salem coven is working in my favor. Things would only get worse from here.

By the time we’d left, it was very late in the night. Arlo didn’t speak or make any move to touch me like he usually did. Instead, he sat very still and kept his eyes glued to the road, keeping an eye out for any unwanted surprises. I could tell he was uncomfortable because he kept gripping the steering wheel, nearly snapping it in half. Almost like he was fighting an inner battle with himself to stay calm.

To prove this, his eyes began swirling with red the closer we got to Salem. I didn’t know why he acted that way, but it worried me a little. I hope he wasn’t mad at me for going to help Blair. I mean, he couldn’t be mad at me for something so little, right?

Wrong. He was mad and making a show of it to let me know. Arlo snatched the keys out of the ignition and slammed the door behind him, leaving the three of us sitting in the truck.

I sighed, and Kane picked up on my mood. “Don’t worry about it, Astrid. Let his pissy ass stay mad.” He joked, opening my door and helping me out. “The bar downtown still open, Blair?”

“Of course,” Blair said, getting out of the truck, exhausted. “They’re open 24-7. Please be careful and don’t stay too long, or we’ll have to come drag your drunk ass home like last time.”

“Yes, mother.” Kane saluted sarcastically. “You ladies want to join? I don’t mind the company.” He asked, hopping back in the driver’s side.

Blair and I exchanged a long, tired look and denied the offer. The only place I wanted to be was in my bed. Kane left after that, and Blair led me inside the house. We said our goodnights before I headed to the guest house.

Arlo was already in the shower by the time I got to the room. Ten minutes later, he came out of the bathroom, shirtless and shorts hanging low around his hips. I tried not to stare at the thin trail of hair disappearing under them or his v-line. But it was the first thing I’d noticed. And, of course, he caught me staring. But he still didn’t say anything to me. He turned off the lights and went straight to bed.

My feelings were a bit hurt as I went to the bathroom to shower. I wasn’t used to getting the cold shoulder. I didn’t like it because it made me feel like I’d done something wrong which I hadn’t. I was just trying to help. What did he expect me to do, let the coven and my pack do all the work while I ran off like a scared little girl? There was no chance in hell I’d ever back down from a fight.

The room stilled with silence as I exited the bathroom. Arlo had his back turned to me, but I knew he wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t stand him being mad at me, so I walked up to his bed, facing him. His eyes snapped open.

“Your bed is that way.” Arlo waved me off, turning around.

“Why are you mad at me?”

“I’m not mad at you. Go to bed.”

“Yes, you are,” I argued, walking around to the other side of his bed, facing him again. “You’ve been slamming things around, and you won’t even look at me. Tell me what I did that was so wrong.”

Arlo closed his eyes tight and then opened them. This time I could see the redness trying to take over the silver in his irises.

“Astrid.” He gritted through clenched teeth. “Leave me alone.”

Okay, now he’s just being childish. Good thing I didn’t give up so easily. I ripped the covers off his body and threw them across the room. His body tensed.

“No! Now stop being an asshole and tell me what I did to piss you off.”

I blinked, and Arlo was up close in my personal space. His eyes were now blood red, and his chest vibrated with a deep demonic growl.

The next thing I knew, he was pressing me down on the bed and kissing me fiercely.

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