"Thank you so much for coming!" Eriko yelled in my ear.
I have to hold her upright to keep her from falling. Eriko is the strongest witch in her graduation class and yet she can't hold her liquor. Makes me worried that she's going to be one of the guards responsible for protecting us. Her curly black hair is in a braided ponytail, she has light brown eyes and lights brown skin from her black dad and her Japanese mom. Her dad is the High Priest of their coven and would probably not be too happy to see his daughter this drunk.
The scenery changed once graduation was over. It went from happy tears to drunk tears. Everyone changed into sexier clothes. Cynthia changed into a short silky light pink dress with thin straps. It shows off her figure. I changed into a black leather dress that gave me more cleavage than I thought I had. I'm surprised my ass could even fit. I felt like a can of Pillsbury biscuits but from the looks I was getting, I knew I looked hot. I just hoped my dress won't pop like the can.
Eriko goes off with her friends and I dance to the music with Cynthia. Familiar hands come around my waist and I breathe in the smell of his delicious cologne.
"That dress looks so fucking good on you," Jaxon whispered in my ear.
"Ready to take it off me?"
I feel his grin as he kisses my neck.
"In a second. Let me go talk to Kwan really quick and then we can go."
I nod and he leaves.
"Are you two dating?" Cynthia asked.
I shake my head. "Just friends."
She raises an eyebrow. "Does he know that?"
"Don't mhm me. We have sex and then we move on. Not that big of a deal."
"I came here to have fun. Not worry about my relationship with Jaxon."
"You're right. Let's get a drink."
She grabs my hand and leads me to the kitchen. That one drink turns into four and before I know it I'm on top of a table with Cynthia dancing for a crowd. I move my hips to the music and feel the energy in the crowd. Here and now nothing else better. I'm not the messed up witch, I don't have uncontrollable magic. I'm just a drunk girl having fun with people who understand her.
I start to feel a little lightheaded and someone helps me down from the table. I have no idea where Jaxon went so I made my way outside to get some fresh air. I stand outside letting the cool breeze calm me down. I'm about to walk back inside when I hear a deep voice.
I turn around to a guy with tattoos, wide shoulders, and a look that makes him look constipated. I didn't even see him approach me. I look behind him and a black SUV is parked right in front of the mansion.
"What? Are you crazy? I'm not getting in a car with someone I don't know. Ever heard of stranger danger?" My words come out slurred.
I get ready to call on my magic in case he tries to touch me when the window of the back seat rolls down and Cain is sitting there. He looks so different. His hair has been cut and brown loose curls rest on his head. His beard is gone and he looks clean and refreshed. Like he never came out of a hole inside my house.
"Hello, love. Already causing trouble?"
I can't help the shiver I feel when I hear that deep accent.
"Oh, it's you." I groaned.
He smiled at me. "Not happy to see me?"
I start to walk back into the house when the big guy grabs me and practically throws me into the car. I get ready to call my magic when Cain puts a hand on my thigh. I feel a rush of magic before I feel calmer.
"What was that?" I asked in a slurred voice.
"Something to help you relax. Don't want you fighting me. I'd get a hard on."
My eyes widen in fear and disgust.
"Not in that way. I'd never. I meant I would get off on pain."
My nose wrinkles. "You get off on pain?"
"Are you slut shaming me? I would have thought this century would be more open. I've seen so much already."
I roll my eyes. "I'm not slut shaming anyone. Did you see what went on in there? We're not exactly virgins."
"Yes, I saw it.“
He doesn’t say anything further as he grabs a bottle of water and passes it to me. I take it and drink it. It isn’t until the water is already down my throat that I realize how I didn’t even question if he did something to it.
"Where were you?" I asked.
Is it weird that I missed him? Yes, it's definitely weird. I only talked to this guy for a few hours and yet there is something about him. Maybe it's the bond between us.
"I had some business to take care of."
I hear the driver's side door open and close as the big guy starts the car.
"I can't leave. My friends are in there."
"They'll be fine. We have a lot to talk about."
"Oh no, we don't. You aren't my problem. I don't care about your curse or this key. I just want to go back to normal."
Thankfully I remembered to put a glamour over my tattoo. If Cynthia or Patrick saw the key on my wrist they would definitely ask questions.
"Really? Why did you try to find out where I was then?"
"You felt that?"
"Of course I did. I can't have people being able to find out where I am."
"I saw that you were in Arizona."
"Yes, that I allowed you to pass through to ease your mind."
"What's in Arizona?"
"A friend of mine. I had her catch me up to spend as much as she could. Sixty years isn't that long for me but things have certainly changed."
"What do you need me for?"
"I'll do what you want. I'll train you and in exchange, you help me find my Loyal."
My eyes widen. "How do you know about that?”
He smiles at me. "Just because you can't get in my head, doesn't mean I can't get into yours." He rubs my thigh and in a strange way it makes me feel even calmer, safer ."I can help you learn to control Elsie. I've been doing it for far too long."
He looks out the window, lost in his thoughts. It takes him a minute to answer and I wait patiently.
"The monster inside of me. Ever since I was a teenager it's ruled over me. It wasn't until I was forced in Hell that-" he shakes his head. "It doesn't matter. I know how to help you and I will."
"All I have to do is help find your Loyal?"
I contain the little bit of glee I feel. Can't let him know how much it means to me, it might go to his head.
"Who are your Loyal?"
"They're the people who have been by my side longer than anyone else." His expression turns serious and it's the first time I've seen him show true emotion.
"So, they are people? I remember you said they are a crow, a grim reaper, a banshee, and a demon."
"Yes, they are people. Or rather supernaturals. Pierre is a crow. He's my eyes above. There isn't anyone in this whole world that he can't find. No one is safe when he gets your name. Melantha-or Mel as she likes to be called is a grim reaper."
"A grim reaper? I thought there was only one?"
He shakes his head. "You live in a whole new world now Elsie there is a lot out there you have yet to learn."
He wasn't saying it as if I were a child, but rather he was worried about my lack of knowledge. Of course, I've learned about other supernaturals but I never looked further into what they really were. I was taught to focus on what I already knew.
"Mel originally belonged to Death. As do most of the reapers. But he owed me a favor so he gave her to me for free."
"Gave her to you? You can't give someone to someone else."
"You misunderstand. Reapers aren't flesh. They are spirits. Her coming to me, made her whole again. She was able to become a person once more. I would never own her. She's too headstrong to even listen to me half the time."
I see a hint of a smirk on his face but in his eyes are filled with sadness. I understand the look in his eyes. It's the same one I must have in mind whenever I think about mom and dad. The missing family.
"What did you do for Death that he owed you a favor?"
"I found his daughter."
"Isn't Death a spirit too?"
"No, he's a man."
Death is an actual person. It makes me feel stupid that I didn't already know any of this. Maybe Cynthia is right. I need to pay more attention in class.
"Keir is a demon. I went through Hell finding him. I searched for a dark soul in Hell who wasn't like the others. You see, Keir died for a selfish but yet noble reason. It's the same reason a lot of people are put in Hell."
"And what's that?"
He looks deep in my eyes. "Love. It's the most powerful emotion of all. Love is the one emotion that you can find in everyone. No matter the person, they will always love something or someone. Keir loved a man so much that he was damned to Hell for it. He ended a war just to be with him. Last but not least is Anastasiya, the greatest banshee to ever live. She's the last of her kind. Banshees are rare and are hunted down.'
I found myself so in tune with the stories that I didn't care about being in the car with him or where we were going. It was dumb, to be in a car with a guy I barely know but I for some odd reason felt safe with him. I'm blaming it on our bond again and not the haywire emotions that don't let me feel fear at an appropriate time. Or it could be that magic he used. Either way, I'll have to talk to him more about it but for now, I continue to listen closely.
"Banshees can do more than wail for death. They can make someone wish for it. Their scream is loud enough they could kill an entire room of people, doesn't matter what kind they are. When other supernaturals found out what they could do, they used them. They killed thousands of people and were then hunted down so they could never scream again. Anastasiya refuses to scream. She will tell someone's death but she won't scream it."
I think that has to be one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. To not only lose all of your kind but then to be so emotionally wrecked that you stop doing one of the things that she was made to do.
"Do you have any idea where they could be?"
"No. But we're going to find them." he sounds determined.
I don't know if it's the alcohol or what but I lean my head against the seat and close my eyes. Before I know it I fall into a deep sleep.
I wake up on something soft and comfy. I stretch and my silk nightgown rises up. Nightgown? I look down at the nightgown and then around the room. The room is twice the size of my room at the mansion. Gold lining is around the walls and curtains. It looks more like a room royalty would stay in. Where the hell am I? I feel fear and last night runs through my head. Cain. After the party, I was in the car with Cain. I get off the bed planning to go give that Hell a-hole a piece of my mind when a woman walks in with a bag in her hand and she startles when she sees me.
She gives me a bright smile. "Good morning."
"Morning," I answered absentmindedly. "Where am I?"
"Mr. Adam estate. He asked me to get you ready for breakfast."
"Who is Mr. Adam?"
She looks confused for a second before she smiles again. "Cain."
Cain has a last name? Well, I guess everyone has a last name but I figured Hell people didn't need one. He used the first name of his father. It makes me temporarily forget how mad I am at him. I could see the pain and love in Cain's eyes when he talked about Adam. It must mean a lot to him to use his name for his last name. But then I remember the whole using magic on me and I'm back to wanting to kick his ass.
"Where is Cain. I have a few choice words for him."
She walks over to open a door that I find is a bathroom. She sets the bag next to the sink before turning to me.
"Mr. Adam will see you after you've showered and dressed."
"No. I want to see him now so I can leave."
She looks a little upset before she smiles again.
"Mr. Adam will see you after you've showered and dressed."
"What are you a robot? I said no."
She ignores me and walks over to the door and closes it behind her. I try the door and find it locked from the outside.
I go inside the bathroom and open the bag. There is a pair of brown boots, blue jeans, and a white shirt. I pick up the jeans and they're my size. The shirt and shoes are the same. How the heck did they know my sizes? Just another freaking mystery. I felt like I was in an episode of Scooby-Doo. But at least they got clues to the mystery.
The bathroom is spotless, with marble flooring, white walls, and a shower that is calling my name. I start the water and the steam instantly feels the room. I wrap my hair into a bun before stepping into the hot steamy shower. I moan at how good it feels. When I'm finished and dressed I open the door and the woman is waiting for me. She doesn't say anything as she starts walking down the hallway, I figure that's my cue and follow her. As we walk, I take a look around. The walls of the hallway are dark wood with a couple of paintings. There are a couple of people walking around with trays in their hands and dusting a few statues. They don't pay us any attention as they continue their jobs. The woman ends up leading me to a dining room where Cain and a woman are sitting.
"Elsie, love. Thank you for joining us." Cain greeted like we're old friends.
"Why am I here?"
"Sit and eat. You must be hungry."
I stand there glaring at him. He gives me a dark look before looking behind me and nodding his head. The woman who brought me here roughly grabs my arm with surprising strength for her size and forces me into a chair next to Cain. A plate of food and a glass is placed in front of me.
I turn to look at the woman at the table with us. She looks in her late thirties, her hair is mint green and her skin is pale. She eats her food and glances up at me a few times.
"What am I doing here?" I repeated.
Cain looked pointedly at the food and I rolled my eyes before taking a bite of the eggs. It's good but I won't tell him that. After a few bites of everything on the plate, Cain finally answers.
"You fell asleep in my car so I brought you here."
"You could have taken me home."
"No, I'll be keeping a close eye on you from now on."
"Not this again. I don't care about our bond Cain. I said I'd help you find your Loyal but we don't need to be with each other 24/7."
"What I need to train you with is here. I figured it's better to get started now before we go searching for my Loyal. I don't want you to be too out of control when dealing with magic. These aren't just regular supernatural. These are things from Hell you haven't even heard of. I need you as strong and in control as possible."
"You could have just told me that."
He shrugs and resumes eating his food. The woman clears her throat and Cain turns to her.
"My apologies. This is Adelaide the woman who raised me."
"Raised you? I thought your mom was Eve."
His jaw clenches. "Eve is the woman who birthed me. I would hardly call her a mother. Adelaide is the one who helped me when I was forced in Hell."
Adelaide looks at him with an adorn expression. The kind that shows the bond between mother and child. It makes me miss mom. The pain in my chest is only temporary before it's gone. It's been too long since I've seen her. I wish they allowed me to visit her, just once.
I turn to her and smile. "It's nice to meet you."
"Likewise. Cain tells me you freed him. I can't thank you enough, Elsie. I had employed dozens of witches and none could free him. You must be very talented at your age." She takes a sip of her water.
"I do okay. I only got my full powers earlier this year ."
She chokes on the water and starts coughing. The woman who brought me here, rushed over to help her. Adelaide gets herself under control and waves the woman off.
"That's not possible. You're too young."
What was up with them and this age thing? That was the same thing Cain had said when I freed him. Do Hell people have a problem with how old I am? I'm definitely not mature enough to even be considered older. I may mess up a spell here and there, have a problem controlling my emotions but I am a good witch. It shouldn't be so surprised how young I was to do that spell.
"I am. I don't understand what's so hard to believe."
"It's hard to believe because witches far more experienced couldn't free him and yet you were able to after just reaching your full power. Did you have help?"
"No," I mumbled, suddenly losing my appetite. "I just found a spellbook in my house and Cain forced me into it."
"I influenced her." he corrected and I rolled my eyes.
This was starting to scare me. If witches way older than me couldn't free Cain, then how was I able to? She looks at me more closely and her eyes widen at whatever she sees. I see Cain lightly shake his head at her.
"What?" I asked, watching them exchange a look at each other.
"That's not possible." she stuttered out and Cain glares at her like she's said something she shouldn't have.
"Adelaide, maybe it's time for you to finish those errands."
Errands? What the heck? No, if this is about me then I need to know. Before I can voice my thoughts, Adelaide gets up and goes off.
I turn to Cain. "What's that about?"
He takes a sip from his cup. "Don't worry about it."
"Don't worry about it? She looked at me and practically ran out of the room. What did she see in me? Better yet, what did you? I remember that same expression on your face when I freed you."
"It's better you don't know."
I drop my fork. "Cain. I need to know. My powers and emotions have always been out of control and you seem to somehow know something. I also don't seem to feel rational fear right now. I feel comfortable with you. Safe even. That's not normal. I've always had a problem with control but this is something entirely different. "
Cain gets up from his chair and looks down at me.
"For the time being, you're my responsibility. I will keep you safe. Even if that means not answering every single question that seems to pop into your young mind then so be it." he seethed. "You will soon learn that the world around you now is a much different place than the one you grew up in. Asking too many questions will get you killed."
And with that, he walks out of the room and leaves me to focus on one of the millions of questions I have. What am I?