The next day passes quickly and before I know it, it’s night. Mira, Cynthia, Patrick, and I gather our supplies to head to the graveyard. Cain made sure there wasn’t anyone working late that could catch us. When we have everything we need, Cain takes one of his cars and drives to the graveyard.
I hope he knows exactly which grave they’re in because I don’t want to dig some random person’s grave. Cain parks the car and we all get out. We walk around waiting for Cain to see something that could be Melantha or Keir.
I hear Cynthia chuckle behind me and I turn around to see what could be funny in a graveyard.
“One of these tombstones is named Melinda Gordon.”
“’That’s the main character of my favorite show. Ghost Whisperer.”
Ghost Whisper? Oh! Melantha is a grim reaper. It had to be related. It also felt like a dumb joke for someone who is supposed to be the queen of Hell.
“Cain!” I called him. He stops looking at tombstones and walks over to me.
“I think I found Melantha.”
He walks over to look at it better.
“Can’t you feel her? Like you did with Pierre.”
“If she’s buried too deep than no. With Pierre, the bond was barely there because of all the rubbish. I think I feel her energy but we’ll have to dig it up to be sure.”
We grab the shovels out of the car and start digging.
“Someone is buying me a new pair of shoes,” Mira complained. She had barely shoveled anything.
“We told you to wear shoes you didn’t like,” Patrick said.
She rolls her eyes at him. “Why would I ever buy shoes I don’t like. I would just throw them away.”
I wipe the sweat off my forehead. “Just keep digging Mira and I’ll buy you a whole closet of shoes.”
That has her digging. Cynthia hits something hard. We keep digging until we get to a wooden coffin the same as Pierre. But instead of a chain, it’s wrapped around with a string that has a bell tied up with it. That’s weird. Cain grabs the string, yanks it off and the bell rings. We get out of his way as Cain rips off the top. A woman with a dark brown skin , shoulder-length black hair and she’s wearing leather black pants, a black shirt, and combat boots. Cain lifts her from the coffin and sets her on the ground. Unlike Pierre, she doesn’t immediately wake up.
Cain places his fingers to her neck, checking her pulse.
“She’s alive. But why isn’t she waking up?”
“Stop touching my ass, Patrick.” Myra snapped.
“I’m not touching your ass,” Patrick grumbled.
If Patrick didn’t touch her ass and Cynthia is on my side then who did....we all turn around at once and a guy with rotten teeth and decaying skin moans at us. My eyes widen.
“Please tell me that’s not a freaking zombie.” I gulped.
“Hell no. I did not sign up for this.” Mira pushes away from the zombie and runs towards the car. And to think she’s supposed me here to make sure I don’t get killed.
I use my shovel and knock him upside the head. He falls and I use the shovel to stab his brain because you always make sure you get the brain.
“First hellhounds now zombies!?”
“Another one of Lilith’s games,” Cain said.
He looks irritated and we all gather around him because he’s the one with stronger powers. We hear the sound of dirt being moved and more moaning. Zombies start crawling out of their graves and they make their way towards us.
“We should do the spell we used when Elsie resurrected all those dead people,” Cynthia suggested.
“That was an honest mistake.”
“Whatever. We need to do it now before we turn into one of these.”
“I don’t think that’ll happen. They’d probably just eat us.”
She glares at me. “Either way let’s do it.”
We join hands as Cain throws whatever at them to keep them away from us. There are too many here for him to fend them off himself. We say the spell together and I hear a few bodies drop. I open my eyes, happy, the spell worked but the bodies just get back up.
“It’s not working.”
We break hands and throw whatever we can at them. Each time they get back up no better what we throw. I’m tempted to call on that darkness I felt a few days ago knowing it could help me but a voice makes me stop.
“Enough.” We all turn and see Melantha has woke up. Her feet don’t touch the ground and her eyes glow a bright white color. “You don’t belong here, go back where you came from.”
They must understand her because all at once they stop coming at us and walk back to their graves. Melantha’s feet touch the ground and she breathes out a sigh of relief.
“It’s been far too long since I’ve done that.” Melantha gave us all a big smile.
“Too long.” Cain said.
She looks at Cain and I see tears in her eyes. He walks up to her and pulls her into a hug. I don’t feel in jealousy seeing them. I know he cares about her as a sister. Melantha has an angelic face and her dark eyes look like their glowing with the moon.
He lets her go. “Keir is here somewhere. I saw them bury him.” Melantha said.
“Let’s find him.”
We all look around, making sure not to step on any graves. I don’t want anything popping out and grabbing me. Melantha stops at a tombstone and calls us over.
“He’s right here.”
We use our shovels to dig him up. Thankfully his coffin doesn’t have any tricks and Cain just rips the top off. Cain reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a jar. I move closer to get a better look. It’s that black jar of smoke. Keir’s essence is what Cain said it was. Cain opens the lid of the jar and like the smoke knows what to do, it floats to Keir and goes into his mouth. It takes a few minutes before Keir wakes up and looks around. His face hardens like he’s looking for a threat. His eyes meet Cain’s and his expression softens.
“Good to see you again, old friend.” Cain greeted.
“It’s about damn time.” Keir grumbled.
Cain laughs and helps him out. He’s a little shorter than Cain, has dark skin, brown eyes, and hair in unkept twists. He looks around at all of us and his eyes land on me. I smile at him but he doesn’t return it. Instead, his eyes darken and he lunges at me. He’s able to get his hands around my throat squeezing it so tight everything around me quiets. My eyes start to burn and I try to push him off of me. I’m about to call my magic when he’s thrown off of me. I fall to the ground and breathe in the fresh air. Cynthia and Patrick come to my side making sure I’m okay. I nod my head and look up to see Cain standing over Keir.
“Don’t you ever put your hands on her again!”
A rush of power flows through me and I know it’s not just me who feels Cain’s power because I notice Cynthia and Patrick tremble next to me.
“You’re protecting it!” Keir yelled.
It? Why the hell is he calling me it?
“Leave her alone.”
“No! It can’t be alive. I made sure to kill every last one of their kind.”
Their kind? What is this guy talking about? Witches? Maybe he hates witches. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve met a witch hater. Cynthia and Patrick help me to my feet and despite their protest, I walk over to Cain. Keir looks at me with disgust as I turn to Cain.
“Cain, what’s he talking about?”
I look down at Keir. “What did you mean?”
Keir looks away from me and at Cain. “She doesn’t know?”
“Know what?” they both ignore me. “Tell me!”
I feel a rush of anger and a couple of tombstones break around me.
“Elsie, please. Not now. ”
“Yes, now. You’ve been hiding stuff from me. I’ve tried to ignore it, thinking you would come to me at your own time but it looks like everyone knows what’s wrong with me except me. Now either you tell me now or I get on a plane and leave.”
Cain looks down at me and for the first time since I’ve known him, I see the fear in his eyes. “You’re not a full witch.”
I shook my head. “What do you mean? Of course, I am half witches barely have powers.”
“That’s true unless they have a very powerful another half.”
My stomach drops “What another half?”
He’s hesitant to answer.
“You’re half-demon Elsie.”
“You know I’m not. Some part of you has always known.”
I take a step back from him. He has to be lying. There is no way. I would have known. I would have felt it. Felt it. The darkness inside of me. Is that what that is? My demon part. I can’t believe it. I won’t. I take another step back and run. I hear my name being called but I don’t stop. I can’t stop. Their lying. I’m not a demon. I was raised as a witch. There is no way I’m a demon. My parents would have told me. It doesn’t even make sense.
I drop to the ground. I can’t breathe. It feels like all the air in the world has been taken out. I try to control myself. Breath in breath out. Calm yourself, Elsie. I hear mom’s voice in my head. Did she know? I think back to my life how different I’ve always felt and how she treated me. I wasn’t raised like the other witches I knew. They didn’t need to be taught how to control their emotions, they didn’t have stuff randomly break whenever they were too mad. She treated me as if she knew. She knew what I was and never told me. I feel everything building up inside of me. The lies. Everyone has been lying to me. My parents. Cain. And now myself. I don’t want to believe it. I want to forget I was ever even curious. Instead of holding back, I scream. I let it all out and feel the ground shake under me and the sounds of trees breaking. I lay on the ground and cry.
This was why I kept putting off confronting Cain. The answers were all there and I ignored them because the truth was too painful. I must have fallen asleep because I wake up to the sound of footsteps crushing leaves. I don’t even have to look up to know it’s Cain.
“How’d you find me?” my voice sounds rough.
“Was that a lie too?”
“You know it wasn’t. You feel it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I cried, standing up and turning to him.
He’s running his hands through his hair. He looks nervous. “I couldn’t. I didn’t know who could be listening. If they knew you were half-demon they would kill you.”
I can’t believe this. After everything, we’ve been through together. After the literal Hell, we’ve been through. He kept this from me. I was scared of myself and why I was changing and he knew all along. The man who claims he cares about me lied to me.
“There were plenty of times we were alone and you could have told me. I’ve been lied to for so long.”
Cain tries to reach for me but I back away. I can’t handle him clouding my judgment right now. One-touch from him and I’m afraid I’ll forgive him. Despite how heartbroken I am, all I want is to be in his arms and let him make me feel better.
“They’d kill you, Elsie.” I can hear his voice breaking along with my heart.
“Who would kill me?”
“Hunters who were built to kill half-bloods like you. Demons having kids are rare. They are too powerful and dangerous for Hell.”
“Kids? As in plural?” I asked. “There are more half-demons out there?”
“Yes, they were killed when Hell found out how powerful they were.”
“But it doesn’t make sense. I’m not adopted and both of my parents are from a long line of witches.”
“It’s your dad Elsie. He’s the demon.”
I shake my head. “That’s not possible. I look just like him there is no way. My mother would never fall in love with a demon.”
“Elsie, have you ever met any of his family?”
“He doesn’t exist Elsie. I’ve had my top people on this and he doesn’t exist. As if he were made.”
“Made? How would he have been made?”
“Higher people in Hell can create bodies for demons they deem worthy. You have to know royals to do it. It’s most likely that he worked for a royal.” he said in a way that tells me he knows who it was.
“Please don’t tell me it was you.”
“No. I would have remembered him. I think he was one of Lilith’s guards. He was the one who stole her spellbook. I’m thinking of insurance to be with your mother.”
“Why wouldn’t they have told me?”
“The same reason, I didn’t. To protect you.”
“You were the only other person besides my dad who understood what I felt inside,” I said, my voice starting to break. He starts to say something but I keep going. ” We both have no control over what’s inside us and yet I’ve never felt so in control when I’m with you. There has always been a missing piece inside me even with my parents there. It’s been, you Cain. You’re the only I’ve been missing.” He starts to come towards me but I put a hand out. “You broke my heart, Cain. I trusted you with everything I had and you threw it back in my face. You keep saying it was to protect me but you don’t lie to protect the ones you love. We’ve been fighting together this whole time and you didn’t think we could beat this together? You were selfish to keep this from me and I don’t know if I can ever forgive you.”
“You were never supposed to mean this much to me; I was never supposed to fall so hard. And to have you look at me like that hurts me more than any battle I’ve ever faced.”
I wipe another tear from my eye. “Why didn’t you just tell me? And stop giving me the bullshit excuse that you were protecting me.” I asked for what felt like the millionth time.
“Elsie, you’ve been watched ever since your mom went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit.”
My eyes widen. “What are you talking about?”
“Your Elders used her for whatever they have planned.”
“Why did they use my mom? They could have used any witch they wanted. Why her?”
“She’s a Clermont. Everyone knows that your family is the most powerful witches of them all. They threatened to expose you and your father.”
“That doesn’t explain why she acted so cold towards me.”
“They put a demon inside. I don’t think she knew that’s what they were planning.”
“How do you know all this?”
“I have people in Hell who are still loyal to me.”
I believe that. Mom never liked the Elders despite how we’re taught to obey and respect them for what they have sacrificed for us. A demon. They put a demon in mom. For the longest time I had this guilt feeling over mom being the one who killed an Elder and turns out it wasn’t her fault. Dad had to have known she had a demon inside her. But why did he allow it?
“This isn’t something I can just get over.” I said once again.
“I don’t expect you to but at least let me keep protecting you and please don’t go looking for answers. I’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
I let him walk me back to his car.
“Where is everyone else?”
“Back at the house. I had someone come pick them up.”
“Are they okay?”
“They were worried about you.”
“Is there anything else I should know?”
I wish I hated him but I don’t. I’m hurt. I’m hurt that he gave me one of the best nights of my life and then it turned into a throne of lies. It’ll take a while to build my trust back with him.
“I’ll still help you fight with Hell.”
His eyes widened. “You will?”
“Yeah. But after that, I’m going to need some time alone.”
I see his hands tighten around the stirring wheel.
“I don’t know. Maybe when the pain in my heart goes away.”