I’m Not Asking
Maybe Salem is a good person. Maybe I really do believe that. But if she were so good, how could she just give up? How could she not speak to me or her mother before she runs off, surrendering to the most heinous witch in the supernatural world?
I can’t deny that I’ve been worried sick about her. Before all of this insanity happened, I’d fallen for her pretty hard. Everything in me wants to find her and protect her, but I don’t even know how to do that. Especially if she doesn’t remember me.
“What’s got your undies in a wad?” Ezra asks and I realize I’ve been storming around my house, slamming doors, throwing my book bag around, and just sulking in general.
“Salem,” I sigh, grabbing a water from the fridge and sitting at my dining table.
“Ooh, I haven’t heard her name in a while. I thought maybe you’d forgotten about her.”
I almost chuckle at the irony. “No, it appears to be the other way around. She’s forgotten about ME.”
“I’m sure that’s not true,” he says. “Who could forget about your adorable face?” He teases.
“I’m being serious. There’s some things I haven’t told you…” I start slowly. “Salem has done some… pretty bad things in her past. I wasn’t sure if I could get past it, and that’s the reason we weren’t speaking for a while. It turns out Professor Marcus is her dad and he and Nathan are up to something that they wanted her to be a part of. She resisted at first but I think my disappointment in her pushed her over the edge. She went with them and now she either is pretending to not remember me, or they’ve done something to her and she actually has no recollection of ever meeting me.”
“Wow,” Ezra says, sitting across from me at the table. “Tough break, man. You really liked her.”
I sigh. “Yeah. I did. Now I feel helpless. I can’t do anything for her if she doesn’t remember me.”
“I think you just need to let this one go,” he urges. “It sounds like she’s in some deep shit. That’s too messy. I mean, you already have to put up with me. That’s enough trouble, is it not?” He laughs.
I frown at him. “I put up with you because we’re family. Like it or not, we’re brothers. Putting up with each other is what we do.”
He looks at the table and for a split second he almost looks… guilty.
“I still think she isn’t worth the trouble. I think you should leave her be. Do you really want to get caught up in all that? Our lives are complicated enough just being supernatural, do you really want to get tied up with a girl who can annihilate a whole town?”
I freeze, but only for a moment before I catch myself.
I never told Ezra about Salem being the one who massacred Hollowbrook. So how would he know? I have no doubt that Salem didn’t tell him herself. Which would mean what? That Ezra is somehow a part of this?
What could his motive be?
What could he possibly get from helping an evil witch become even more powerful? And how could he watch me torment myself over her knowing good and well that she’s in trouble?
How could he do this to the guy—no, brother—that cleans up all of his messes and loves him in spite of the death and destruction he leaves in his wake?
“I don’t know,” I sigh uneasily. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m too caught up in this. I like her but I don’t know if she’s worth all this,” I play along.
He nods. “I just don’t want you to get hurt. She’s in too deep, man.”
I nod back, stifling an intense fury. I could kill him.
My confusion is quickly turning into anger. How dare he betray me this way?!
“I think I’m going to hit the gym,” I tell him suddenly, needing to get away from him immediately.
“Good idea,” he laughs. “You look like you could really use something to punch right now.”
If he only knew.
When I reach the gym it’s mostly empty. It’s late so there’s only a few others, people just getting off work or getting done with late classes and study groups.
There’s Christmas music playing, which is not inspiring me to work out at all. I need something with a little more rage.
I drop my things off in a locker, almost bumping into someone as I go to leave.
“I’m so sorry,” she says, side-stepping me. “Oh,” she says suddenly. “It’s you.”
“Leo,” I say, reintroducing myself.
She smiles. “The guy who thinks he already knows me.”
“The guy who does already know you,” I correct her. “You used to be in the beginners class that I assisted.”
She laughs. “Why would I be in a beginners class? I am definitely not a beginner.”
“You were in the class to avoid using magic,” I inform her.
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you can’t control your magic.”
She narrows her eyes at me. “I can control my magic just fine. I’m not sure what game you’re trying to play, but it’s not funny.”
“No game,” I say, holding my hands up in surrender. “But I do miss you, Salem, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. I’m sorry I made you feel like Nathan and Vincent St. Clair were your only options.”
“How do you…?” She trails off, looking confused. “How do you know about Vincent St. Clair?”
“Because I was there with you when he confronted you. They’ve done something to you to make you forget me, and maybe you don’t want to believe me, but just think about it. Please, Salem. Whatever they’re telling you… it isn’t true.”
She stares at me for a long moment, her expression indecipherable. Finally, she flips her hair over her shoulder and narrows her eyes at me.
“You need to leave me alone. I’m not asking. If you bother me again, I can and I will solve this problem myself.”
Her eyes are black as she says this, and I know that she no longer has control over herself, but I’m pretty sure she’s still in there. I just need to figure out how to draw her out.