V. SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER LEFT UNRAVELLED
Carter rushed to his brother and immediately pulled him by his neck. He was about to leave the cafeteria, but not before yelling to everyone in a warning tone, “This news should not get to the authorities,” his tone suggested finality. And even if he didn’t mention it, but everyone knew better not to disobey him.
And then in a blink, he was gone.
Maria and I gaped at them as something snapped in me. I started moving towards the exit when a hand grabbed my arm.
I looked up to see the brown eyes of Christina.
“Krystal. As much as we like your concern please leave this matter to us now,” I was surprised at her curt tone. It was as if I had offended her or something.
“Chris-,” before I could complete my sentence, she held up her hand silencing me. This was the first time I have ever seen Christina being so serious and demanding. She had always stroke me as a sweet, innocent, and jovial girl; not the one I’m seeing at present.
Her tone is cold and her movements robotic. Like they were well-practiced. Her brown eyes lacked the usual warmth and her pink lips were set in a straight line. Her jaws clenched and her other hand was closed in a fist. It was as if she was stopping herself from doing something rash.
“Krystal, stay out of this,” and with that being said, she left the cafeteria with a population of students gaping at her back, including me.
Her words reminded me of the first day. Those exact words were said by someone who owned an extremely blue pair of orbs.
By the time she left, people had already started filling out as we were also making our way to the exit. My head was still spinning with a thousand questions, which I tried to ignore.
“Don’t you think that they are hiding something? I mean why wouldn’t they go to the nurse? And what the hell was?” Maria gave me an incredulous look as we’re moving by a fat boy who had decided not to move his ass till the end of the world.
Groaning, I finally yelled at him, “Could you like please move that, I mean, you know, move yourself? ”
The boy shot daggers at me.
“Hold on. I’m stuck,” he said and I gave him an annoyed look. After a while, thanks to the love of God, he finally succeeded and we moved along.
“And as for your question Mare, yes I think they are hiding something but then again, ain’t my business so...,” I trailed off.
“But I want to follow them and find out,” Maria whined.
“No. We’re not meddling into their personal matters,” I deadpan.
“C’mon just a sneak -”
“I SAID NO!”
Even though I said that I wasn’t so sure myself. Even I was dying to know what they were hiding, but I had read and seen enough of books and movies to know that a small act of curiosity didn’t usually end well; and you either end up being a part of the cult or worse, dead. So I didn’t want to side with my curiosity. It’s not that I’m a coward. I do know how to defend myself in need, but the thing is I respect someone’s privacy. I have always hated the fact that when someone doesn’t want you to involve in their private matters, you should leave that, not be the stubborn asshole and stumble into their pit of secrets, no matter how shady they act. It was what it was. Besides, I have already landed into a lot of troubles in my life due to curiosity, and I’m not doing this one. Although their shady behavior is only igniting my curiosity, I need to let it go. Whatever it is, I don’t need to know that. Probably.
The dimly lit hallways of our school were filled with students rushing to their respective classes. I had calculus now, and I wondered whether Carter would be there. Nobody had seen the Harveys since lunch break and this made me wonder if Cameron was all right. But they said that they had it under control. Right? That was a pretty deep cut. And now thinking about it, my mind went back to Taylor, and confusion and anger filled my heart and brain. But I needed to stop my train of thoughts before my brain gets more tangled in this mess of confusion.
Suddenly a hot, brown, and sticky substance filled my white top and I stared at it in shock. Beside me, Maria gasped. I was so busy in my head, I forgot she was here. I looked up to see Veronica Chaises. Or to be precise, the typical blonde bitch. Except she wasn’t the captain of the cheerleading squad. I was.
“Oops, I didn’t see you were there Krystal,” her extra shrill voice made me cringe.
“Better watch your step next time. I mean sure you don’t want to fail the cheerleader, now would you?” I teased her and looked her in the eyes which were so so green.
“Are you blackmailing me?” she gave me an incredulous look.
“Whatever way you want to put it as, sweetheart. And now give me your top,” I held out my open palm to her. Students have gathered around us, entertaining themselves from the show.
“What? Are you crazy?” she looked at me like I just grew another head.
“Well. You’ve got two options. You lose your beautiful top from Channel or you lose your position as a cheerleader,” I saw her grimace at the last part. I knew how much she cared about reputation and how her mom is going to be furious if she is no more a cheerleader, something about a long line of cheerleaders from their family.
“Well?” I indicated towards my palm.
She grumbled some incoherent curses. After going to the women’s restroom area, she handed me her top and I compelled her to wear my coffee-stained t-shirt. Tit for tat. Surprisingly she agreed because she knew there was no way out of this. After wearing the maroon colored silk top, I checked my makeup in the mirror and reapplied some red gloss before departing. I had already missed calculus, so I was grateful. Walking by Veronica, I murmured, “Payback is a bitch only when you are. Buh-bye. And thanks for the top by the way,” and with that being said I walked off leaving behind a glaring Veronica.
Sometimes I wonder how much of a bitch I can be.
While passing through the hallway, something outside caught my eye. I walked up to the window to get a closer look. That something was the back of someone wearing a leather jacket. Carter.
He was sitting on the roof of our building and from my side, I can only see him and no one else. Our building was five-storeyed and the restroom was on the fourth floor. Our building was closed at all the edges so it was like a room and hence I could see Carter through the window from the opposite wall.
And all the thoughts of respecting privacy and not being the curious cat flew out of my head. I needed to see them and find out what happened. Oh God, I sounded like such a hypocrite. Nonetheless, I slowly ascended towards the stairs and climbed up as quietly as possible. Luckily all my gymnast tricks and my lean figure was coming to work as I reached the gate of the rooftop noiselessly. The door never had a lock luckily and I braced myself for what I was going to see as I threw it open.
But as soon as I opened the door, sure enough, there was a problem. The problem that always refuses to dissolve. Carter fucking Harvey.
“Hello, Krystal. Was expecting you,” he gave me a devilish smirk.
I ignored him and tried to peek behind his large shoulders. Cameron was shirtless, and, in the process of frantically hurrying to wear his t-shirt back. It was not that, which perplexed me. It was the smooth skin of his stomach, elegantly showcasing his abs, where it was supposed to have a large gash. It doesn’t at all look like he’s just been stabbed. In fact, it looks like he has never been stabbed at all.
My eyes widened in horror.
Carter caught my reaction and spoke up, “Oops. You were not supposed to see that,” he started ushering me outside. I was so shocked that I obeyed him unknowingly.
“What? B-but h-how? I mean, how can...” I trail off, unable to form sentences. That wasn’t an everyday scene.
“It doesn’t matter Krystal. Now come on,” he demands.
“What do you mean by it doesn’t matter? He’s supposed to be injured? How -how can heal so fast? That’s unnatural,” my voice wavered. I was suddenly afraid of them.
“We heal fast. It’s absolutely normal. But-”
“What do you mean we? What are you?” I cut him off.
“-you’re going to forget everything so none of this matters,” he completes his sentence, entirely unaffected by what I said.
“What-” I never got to complete the sentence, because the next thing I knew, his heavy body was pushed up against mine- completely capturing me. I wiggled under his grasp as I pushed and hit him in the chest to get him to move, but failed. Hitting him was like hitting a brick wall. He looked deep into my eyes as if searching for my soul, and for the first time, I noticed how blue his eyes were. They were so deep that it looked like it held an unknown storm that was going to destroy everything which came in its way. Our chests were flushed against each other and my breath fastened at the close proximity. I knew that if I moved a bit, my lips would brush against his, and the thought alone sent shivers down my backbone. I angled my leg and tried to knee his groin but he stopped me at the right time by catching hold of my thigh. His long and strong fingers wrapped delicately around my flesh, causing my whole body to feel an unwanted heat below my abdomen.
“You never stop now do you?” he raised one of his dark and thick eyebrows.
“Never,” I scowled at him even though I was angry. At myself. I wasn’t supposed to have these feelings especially for someone like him. I disliked him. He’s been nothing but an ass to me since the moment we met and I am not supposed to feel this way. Yet my body seemed to have other plans.
Carter suddenly whispered, breaking me out of the trance, “You are going to forget about this. You are not going to talk about it or think about it. This never happened,” he spoke very slowly and uttered every word separately as if he was teaching a child how to speak. His eyes were narrowed, and if it was an alternate universe where he wasn’t an ass, I might have been captivated by them.
But not in the reality.
“What the fuck do you think this is? How can I forget everything? Are you crazy? What’s wrong with you?”
Carter’s eyes immediately widened.
“What but how?” he trailed off.
He cupped my face, and I stiffened but didn’t move from my position. I saw him gulp - his Adam’s apple bobbing down hard as his gaze momentarily flickered over my red parted lips.
However, quickly recovering, he again focused on my eyes and spoke the same thing. This time slower. But I felt no change, clearly indicating whatever he was trying to do, he failed.
“What are you trying to accomplish here?” I gave him a bored glance.
He moved away from me and I immediately missed his warmth. He looked devastated and baffled. For the first time, his cocky demeanor shifted to a vulnerable one.
“What the fuck is happening?” he grumbled as he frustratingly ran a hand through his jet black hair.
The door suddenly opened and Christina and Cameron barged in.
“What’s taking you so long?” Cameron asked Carter.
“Yeah what happened?” Christina roamed her eyes around and checked me from head to toe as if checking for any injury. She didn’t trust her brother either.
“She can’t be compelled,” Carter muttered so slowly that I barely heard him; but sure enough they did because they recoiled as if they had been slapped.
“I-what?” I spoke up but everyone ignored me.
“What? Are you sure? Maybe you are not doing it correctly,” Cameron looks just as baffled as Carter.
“I did it twice Cam. And you know I don’t do it wrong.”
There was a thick and heavy silence in the stairway and after a painful moment, Christina spoke up.
“Is she a witch?”
“Probably. Or a were witch,” Cameron replied thoughtfully.
“Could be a Siren too.”
" Ew. Please anything but not that,” Carter contorted his face at the mention of it.
“Guys. I’m right here,” I pointed out only to be ignored again.
“So....what do we do now?” Christina broke the silence.
I planned my escape and tried to move towards the staircase when a hand grabbed my arm and turned me around.
Carter gave me a roguish smirk.
“You’re not going anywhere, Krystal. In fact, you’re coming home with us.”