Twisted Fate

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Chapter 48

Astrid

We’re sitting across from each other, wondering who will break the awkward silence first.

She looks young- can’t be any older than sixteen, I’m guessing. And I know for sure she’s a witch. The magic radiates from her psyche. But she’s definitely not from the Salem coven and that worries me. I need to find out more about this girl. She could be a spy from the dark covens.

“What’s your name?” With my question, she sinks deep into her chair and gulps.

“Evelyn,” she says, nervously twirling the end of her braid.

“So, Evelyn, wanna tell me why you thought it was okay to sneak in Ms. Hattie’s office and go through her things?” She stays quiet. I know whatever she’s been trying to steal is behind the red door. That’s why she keeps looking down at the keys in my hands like they’re some golden treasure.

Her silence pushes me further into suspicion. “Look, I don’t want to be the bad guy,” I say irritably, “but if you don’t start answering my questions, then I’ll have to give Ms. Hattie a call. I’m sure she won’t be too happy about a thief sneaking into her office. A thief that she’s let off the hook many times before.”

Her shoulders visibly tense, and her face pales. I hate the idea of scaring a teen witch into talking. I’m sure she hasn’t even mastered her powers to their full potential. I mean, it didn’t take much exertion to get her to sit down. Of course, she tried to run away, but I was faster to the door, and she didn’t try to fight me. This girl is harmless, but I cannot take chances with outsiders. She isn’t exactly innocent here. At least not in my book…yet.

Evelyn glances down at the keys and then back to me without making eye contact. “You’re a she-wolf. You don’t even belong here yourself. I don’t have to answer any of your questions,” she tries to sound angry, but her voice falters. She wants to play tough. I can play tough.

“Under the circumstances, you are obligated to answer all my questions, and you will. You are trespassing on Louisa Rondell’s territory, and I have every right to interrogate you until I’m convinced that you are not a threat to the Salem coven or any of my wolves. So, if you would like to return home, I suggest you start talking, Evelyn.”

As a challenge, she narrows her blue eyes at me and crosses her arms. I’m trying to be nice, but damn, does this girl make it hard. My brow arches, and I take the same crossed arm, reticent position. We fall silent, and a few minutes later, I’m reaching for my phone.

Evelyn stiffens, placing her shaky palms on the table. “What are you doing?”

I roll my eyes, “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m done being nice. Ms. Hattie can deal with you,” I pretend to dial the numbers on my phone because Ms. Hattie doesn’t have a cell phone. She’s old-fashioned, and the idea of having a cell phone is execrating in her mind. But Evelyn buys my façade.

“You can’t do this. I’ve done nothing wrong!”

“Nothing wrong?” I repeat incredulously. “If you believe that, then you don’t deserve to be given any more chances.”

The chair scrapes the floor as she abruptly stands to her feet, tears swelling in her eyes. “Alright,” she sighs defeated, “I’ll tell you whatever you want to know, but you cannot tell Ms. Hattie. She’ll call my parents, and I’ll be in a lot of trouble. Please, I was just trying to help my sister,” she chokes.

I’m not sure if the tears or the small piece of information has won me over, but whichever of the two, it works. I place my phone on the table and point to her chair. “Sit down.” This time she willingly sits down, wiping her tears away.

“Okay,” I sigh, sitting across from her, crossing my arms and feet. “First off, where did you come from, and are you alone?”

Evelyn sniffs. “I’m from Georgetown- the Winston coven. And I came alone.”

“So, you’re not a spy working for Cassandra Jamerson?”

“Who?” Her forehead creases, “Do I look like a spy to you?” she asks, gesturing to herself.

I analyze her petite figure from head to toe. She is wearing ripped jeans, an old Guns N’ Roses t-shirt, and pink shoes. The black nail polish on her fingers is chipped, hinting at the nervous habit. Overall, the pink highlights are the biggest giveaway.

“Okay, so you’re not a spy,” I concede, “Then what are you doing here in Salem?”

“I told you already I’m here to help my sister.”

“By sneaking into Ms. Hattie’s shop and stealing her keys?”

Evelyn averts her attention at the sound of the keys jiggling in my hand and sighs, “I need the keys to unlock the red door,” she admits, holding up her hand, “and before you start lecturing me like everyone else, I’m well aware of the dangers behind the door. But it’s the only hope I have left.”

The dangers? What the heck does Ms. Hattie keep inside that room? I’ll admit that I am interested to know what magical object Evelyn has been trying to steal and, more importantly, how it could help her sister. Which reminds me-

“What happened to your sister?”

Evelyn’s eyes gloss over, and it takes a few minutes to keep her emotions under control. She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. When she looks at me again, she can’t help the tears that run down her cheeks. I grab a few tissues from the front desk and give them to her.

“Thanks,” she smiles, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. “My sister, Kelsie, went missing four years ago,” she explains, wiping her eyes with the tissue, “She went to a party with her boyfriend and some of her closest friends. It was in the next town over; a lot of witches and warlocks were going to be there. My parents refused to let her go, but she snuck out anyway. She was one of the popular girls in school and missing out on the party of the year would look bad on her.”

My mind plays a million different scenarios of that night, but only one makes more sense to me. I sit up straight. “They had to see something unusual that night. Maybe they’re afraid to come forward, trying to protect someone?” I assume, but Evelyn shakes her head.

“Kelsie wasn’t exactly the nicest person. She had a lot of enemies, but my parents trusted the small circle she kept around. Each of her friends had the same story- Kelsie and her boyfriend got into an argument, so she left the party walking and never returned home that night.”

“So, then he….” I trail off. Evelyn instantly sees what I’m trying to imply and shuts me down.

“My parents drilled him with questions for years. They even used magic on him, but he always proved his innocence. He and Kelsie fought a lot, but he’d never do anything to hurt her,” Evelyn assures, “My parents will say they’ve made their peace with it. I call it giving up. I wanna know what happened to my sister.”

Misery and grief cloud her blue eyes, and, at that moment, I know she’s in denial. Four years is a long time for a young girl to be missing. But it’s damn near eternity for a young witch to be missing. If the covens’ magical resources haven’t found her by now, I’m afraid something more sinister has happened to her sister.

But for Evelyn’s sake, I nod in understanding and keep my thoughts to myself. I sigh, contemplating my answer. “I’m sorry about your sister, Evelyn. The head priestess’ wife, Blair, is an empath. She can help you-”

“Empaths are for the dead. My sister is not dead!” she snaps, completely offended by the offer. Crap. This conversation isn’t going as planned. Turn it around, Astrid.

I raise my hand in defense. “That’s not what I meant. All I’m saying is there are other people who can help you track down your sister. Blair is good at finding the lost. I could talk to her for you if you want.”

Evelyn bites down so hard on her bottom lip; I’m surprised she doesn’t draw blood. A brief silence falls between us before she covers her face and breaks down. Her shoulders shake, and my heart sinks.

“Evelyn,” I reach out for her arm and gently pull it away to reveal her face. I hold her hand. “You don’t have to do this alone.”

She hiccups a few times and whispers, “I’m scared,” and I know what she means. She doesn’t want to know the truth because the unknown is easier to handle. So, I hold her hand and let her cry until her tear ducts have reached their limit.

Evelyn keeps me company for the rest of the evening since Ms. Hattie or Blair won’t be back until the later hours. She needs someone to talk to, and I don’t want to be alone. It’s a win, win. We chat about her life in Georgetown -school, friends, boyfriend, and the latest drama. And I tell her about my life as an alpha.

Later, her phone chimes with a text from her friend, and she stands to leave. I smile when she hugs me tight and thanks me more than a million times. She’s sure to fold the small piece of paper with Blair’s information and places it safely in her pocket.

“I wish things were different,” I say, walking her to the front entrance. There’s a beige car parked out front, waiting to take her back home. Evelyn arches a brow. “I wish I could let you go inside the red room and take whatever you want.”

“Take what I want?” she repeats, confused. Evelyn slants her head to the side, and her face changes. She stares at me for the longest time. “You don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?” I’m utterly clueless.

“I didn’t come here to steal anything. I came here to find the devil’s door.”

I chuckle nervously. “What does that mean…the devil’s door?” something about that way she says the name makes me uneasy.

“Some people have named it the devil’s door because of its special powers and others because it’s painted blood red….”

Her words drift in and out of focus as she explains some secrets of the mysterious red door. From what I can gather through my shocked state, she tells me many people have tried to find the devil’s door, but no one can see it because the further ones must choose you.

Evelyn came to the shop blind, but I was gifted sight.

I absently wave back at Evelyn as she gets inside her friend’s car and drives off. I’m alone again—the voices like when I’m alone because only my ears can hear them.

Astrid.

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