The moment my eyes opened; I regretted every single decision I’d ever made that led me to this point in time.Everything hurt.“Fucking hell.” I tried to groan, but my tongue stuck to the inside of my cheek.Clutching my head, I tried to turn over. Sharp, pulsating pain left my nerve endings blistered and raw. I swore I could feel my skull rattling in my head like it was full of rocks. Something was blocking me from moving, and that something immediately stoked my anger, not that there was anything I could do given my current condition.The second time I tried to pry my eyes open, I felt tears drizzle down my cheeks. What light surrounded me burned and made the migraine I had much worse. I was surrounded by a mass of color that moved and twitched. It carried the scents of Asher and Zeke, but they weren’t the only ones I recognized.“Let me up. Goddess, is there a boulder on top of me or something?” I snarled, my mouth bone dry.In the background, someone chuckled. I’m pretty sure it w
Asher grew still in his seat, chiseled from stone as he stared at Clara with a blank expression on his face. “How do you know this?”“They probably promised him power in exchange for his help, and like the dumbass he is, he accepted.” Zeke muttered under his breath. “They were probably going to kill him off once they got what they wanted.”“Yeah. Me.” I swallowed, glancing at him. “They would’ve used my magic, I’m sure of it.”“When you two were fighting, he had a witch using magic on you. I sent Mason off to find her, but he didn’t have any luck. Chances are she was being protected and whoever was doing the protecting pulled her out the minute you won, which shouldn’t have happened, by the way.” Clara replied to Asher’s question, leaning back in her chair.I swallowed the knot of unease in my stomach at the thought of Asher losing. “What do you mean it shouldn’t have happened?”Clara looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Your mate should be dead, but he isn’t and I don’t know why
It took Asher some convincing to leave the holding cell. The last thing he wanted to do was have another episode and wind up hurting somebody. The two of us planned on speaking to Cordelia and Rowena together.I’d bite the bullet and give Cordelia her spell book back, while also apologizing for stealing it, even if it had been unintentionally, and Asher would have Rowena check him over a second time for any hint of magic or spell work.We had a few hours to kill considering Rowena was currently with Holly for their training session, which gave me plenty of time to swing by the house to grab the spell book and to do something that returned just a shred of normalcy to my life.It had been days since I’d last stepped foot in a training class, and I was honestly beginning to miss sparring and testing out my skills. There was a comfort with training one couldn’t get in the real world. I didn’t have to think about losing my life on the mats, or whether or not my opponent was out to kill me.
Rowena answered the door when we knocked, and immediately took Asher into the den to scan him for any charms, spells, or curses. She pointed me upstairs where Cordelia was, and as I climbed the stairs, I searched for the words to say. It had been an accident, stealing the book, but once I had it I’d knowingly cast a spell from its pages.“Come in, Lola.” Cordelia called out, her back turned to me as she rummaged through the old trunk in her bedroom. There were stacks of magical textbooks, the entire culmination of Cordelia’s collection throughout the years. Most of which she’d gotten from her family, but there were a handful she procured from powerful friends and distant cousins. She’d told me previously that she had charmed the box to vanish should anyone try to break into it.When I entered her bedroom, which was a cocoon of tapestries and billowing fabrics, she had just snapped the lid shut. The bangles around her wrists were clinking as they hit into one another, playing the same
Dad’s grin didn’t falter, remaining intact while I picked my jaw up off the floor. He chuckled, the sound warm and throaty, while tugging Flora over to his side.The woman with the kind eyes and soft curls smiled at me, her pink lips matching the petals on the dress she wore. She was clearly nervous, twiddling her fingers and glancing around the kitchen with interest. I felt a tad guilty considering I hadn’t really spoken more than a couple words to Flora. The last thing I wanted her to think was that I had a problem with her and my dad being mates.“That’s great, dad! You’re like a whole new person, but how did this happen?” I had to ask, glancing over at grandma when she made a noise in her throat.She said nothing, currently hunched over as she stuffed our refrigerator full of her homemade sweets. There were tupperware containers stacked on the shelves, and from a distance I could make out a couple batches of cookies and even a plate of brownies. I’d have to sneak away later on and
A few hours after the sun had set and the chill of night kicked in, the rest of our guests showed up.Tristan and Holly stepped inside toting a cooler full of blood bags, which I eagerly took to the icebox in the garage. My reserved half-sister looked elegant as ever, wearing a midnight cocktail dress that somehow seemed to blend in perfectly. Her hair was identical to my own, falling down her back in long dark waves, only it was pinned back with a single crimson bow.She smiled shyly at everyone, but was quickly swept away by Cassidy, who had no qualms striking up conversation with anyone. Kendrick followed her around like a lost puppy, but judging by the cheeky grin on his face, he was just happy to be here. Tristan remained by her side, a detail I quickly noticed, but he too could only stay quiet for so long with Cass launching question after question at him.During their stay in Asher’s family home, Dad and grandma had become good friends with his parents and wandered into the liv
For the rest of the night we laughed, ate, and talked. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had this much fun, where there wasn’t some threat looming over my shoulder. Since taking on the responsibility of Luna and Queen of the Vampires, there wasn’t much time to kick back and relax.Even Tristan and Giovanni seemed to be enjoying themselves. The latter was absorbed in a conversation with Asher and his dad. Breyona kept her distance, but every time Giovanni’s eyes lit up with interest, she’d practically squeal. Tristan was elbows deep in whatever argument Zeke had incited, but judging from the occasional smirks they gave one another, it wasn’t serious enough to intervene.Before long, a few of us began packing things up. There were enough leftovers to feed a small army of humans, which meant there was just enough for Asher and I to last the week with. Grandma’s desserts, on the other hand. Those were gone before anything else.Dad and grandma, along with Asher’s parents, were the fir
After personally apologizing and promising Kendrick a plate of grandma’s lavender cookies, we headed back into the living room and continued with the game.Whether it was the blood, wine, or scaring the shit out of Kendrick, Holly had finally loosened up and no longer fiddled with her fingers or picked at the hem of her pj’s. She chose Breyona next, who quickly picked ‘truth,’ and proceeded to ask her about her relationship with Giovanni. There was a light blush staining my half-sister’s cheeks as she asked about the ins and outs of their relationship.Breyona, who answered Holly’s question gracefully, set her sights on Clara.“Clara, truth or dare?”The curly-haired witch set her glass of wine down and quickly licked the residue off her lips before smirking.“I’ll go with truth. I know you been chomping at the bit to ask me about my thing with Mason, so I’m giving you the chance for one question.”My eager best-friend gasped, clasping her hands together while contorting her face into