I think my brain was going to burst. I groaned and turned to my side. I tried to fall asleep again, but my hangover wouldn’t let me.
I didn’t really know how much I had drunk the previous night. I just know it was a lot. I remember coming to the club with Nick. We went through security and said hello to Sebastian. He saw how pissed off I was, and he didn’t even try to talk to me. I saw him and Nick exchange looks. Nick just shook his head and Sebastian sighed slightly. Assholes. They think I don’t notice their silent conversations.
I didn’t let that bug me for long. I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s behind a bar and sat at our usual spot. Nick and I drank that bottle pretty quickly. He can hold his liquor better than me. Being half werewolf had its benefits. It took more for him to get drunk, and he didn’t have to suffer from a hangover after. Lucky son of a bitch.
I don’t remember much after that first bottle. Music was loud and the bar was packed with hot, slutty women who threw themselves at us all night long. Nick was getting a lot more offers. Probably because of how pissed off I looked. I saw a couple of girls look my way, but when they saw the look on my face they just gave up. I found it funny. Nick was having a blast, though. By the looks of it, he probably took more than one girl to a hotel the previous night.
I caught myself looking for her all night long. None of them had her green eyes. The more I drank, the more I was searching for her.
I tried to put my focus on something else. Nick tried to get me distracted by making two girls kiss and touch each other in front of us. I was slightly aroused, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already seen before, and it didn’t distract me. Which made me even angrier.
There weren’t any fights last night. It was disappointing because I didn’t get an opportunity to unleash my anger on some dipshits who were fighting over some stupid shit.
Around 2 am I was fucked up drunk. I made myself flirt with one of the human girls who didn’t find me intimidating and I took her home. I couldn’t be in that club anymore and I needed to blow off some steam. Sex was always a great way to do that. I projected an image of a hotel room like I always do and tried to distract myself from her.
We were laying on my bed, making out and she started to kiss and lick her way to my cock. It wasn't even hard. I just couldn’t focus. Before she could take off my jeans, I put a spell on her. I had a reputation to uphold. I couldn’t have her walking around telling people Gabriel Richardson couldn’t get his dick up. So, I projected an image of us having sex. She was laying on my bed, moaning. My spells were done to perfection. There was no way she would know it wasn’t real. Even if she was supernatural, she wouldn’t know. I was that good.
Her loud moans started to get on my nerves, so I went to my bathroom and took a cold shower.
I felt every emotion from the last couple of months boiling inside of me. Rage, sadness, guilt, weakness, everything was mixing and threatening to come out in some ugly ways. I have to keep my magic under control.
My grandma taught me to subdue my magic. So other supernatural beings and humans couldn’t sense my power. This ability kept me safe. Some inquisitors have learned to recognize supernatural beings just by feelings they had around them. Humans sensed we were different; they could feel our power. They just don’t know what it is. Inquisitors, on the other hand, have learned about what it means and how to recognize it and they know it is a supernatural quality. A lot of supernatural beings were discovered because of it. So, I couldn’t lose my shit. They would feel me. I have been successfully avoiding them for a year now. I was not going to reveal myself now.
I took a few deep breaths and let the cold water chill me.
When I came back to my room the girl was sleeping. The projection ended. I woke her up, called her a cab and sent her home. She was happy and kept telling me that was the best sex of her life. If only she knew...
It didn’t take me long to fall asleep.
I glanced at my phone and saw it was 10 am. I thought I would sleep a lot longer. I guess my headache woke me up.
I got out of bed, freshened up, put on sweats and a hoodie, and went downstairs to make myself something to eat.
I was in the middle of my eggs and bacon breakfast when Nick let himself in.
“Good morning, sunshine!” he greeted cheerfully. “Well, you look like shit.”
“Thank you, Nick. Not all of us have werewolf genes,” I said, smirking at him.
He laughed, “Not everything is about genes, my man. A lot of it is just about how incredible I am,” he winked at me like I was one of his sluts.
“How come I don’t see it?” I teased him while putting my plate in the dishwasher.
“Jealousy is clouding your vision,” he said.
I smirked and poured myself a cup of coffee. “Want some?”
“Sure. I need to be awake to search for your girl.”
“Yeah, I don’t know, man. Do I want to find her?” I asked him, hoping he would say something smart.
“Why not?” he looked surprised.
I didn’t know how to explain it. Nick was my friend and I have known him since we were kids. But we never talked about feelings. No guy talks about his feelings with his friends. We just joked around. How could I explain this without sounding like a pussy? I sighed and gave it my best shot.
“I’m not used to these feelings, man. I’ve never felt anything for a girl except a need to fuck her. And I don’t even want to do that to her. It’s confusing and I don’t even know if I want to find out why.”
“Well, maybe for the first time you see a future with someone. Not just sex, but like a relationship,” he shrugged.
“Don’t you have to get to know someone before you get these types of feelings for them? I was with her for about 10 seconds, give or take. I don’t even know her name.”
“Well, werewolves have mates. Maybe, she is your mate,” he stated.
That was a very freaky thing if you asked me. Werewolves had these instant connections to their mates, their other halves. It was magical and binding. They would die or go crazy if something happened to their mate. I was always glad we warlocks didn’t have to put up with it. Just thinking about caring that much about someone freaked me out.
Nick still hasn't found his mate. He was not sure if he would even recognize her. His father’s warlock side was much more dominant than his werewolf. He had his wolf. He could shift, but he didn’t do it very often. He says he wasn’t very comfortable in his wolf form. That sucked for me because his wolf Nate was more charming than Nick and he definitely didn’t annoy me as much as Nick sometimes. Because his werewolf side was weaker, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to recognize his mate. And he was fine with that. He was not interested in finding her.
“I am not a werewolf, Nick. And neither is she,” I frowned at him.
“I know that. But maybe witches and warlocks have something similar.”
“I have never heard about that,” I said, sipping my coffee, “and I hope it’s not true.”
“Yeah, that would be terrible for you, man,” he laughed, “but I think you should go find her. It is going to drive you insane. Find her, talk to her. Find out who and what she is. And then do the best for you. Either fuck her and make her yours or tell her to go to hell.”
I growled at him. I didn’t like either of these two options.
He laughed at me.
“Did you just growl, man? Nice job. Nate is impressed.”
“Of course, he is. Ask him if he could come out more. He is much nicer than you. I like him better,” I joked.
“Well, he says he will if you stop being a wimp. Go get your jacket. Let’s go find her.”
Well, I guess I don’t have anything to lose. Maybe just my sanity.
We got into Nick’s car and drove away to the hair salon. We will start our search there.
Annie’s house was near the forest. That was the first thing I remembered. She described the forest near her home, and I felt like I was there. Looking at a map of the city I saw that the forest stretched on the north side. Secondly, I remember her saying it was a nice neighborhood. Her parents are lawyers so it made sense that they could afford a nice living. I remember her saying her house was yellow and had a beautiful garden in front of it. Her mom loved flowers. She talked about other things, but I couldn’t remember anything more. I hoped it would be enough to find her. Still, it was a pretty big area and I had to narrow it down a bit more.
I decided to go back to the bakery and ask Pete for help. I hadn’t gone far so I was back inside in a matter of minutes.
“Forgot something, beautiful?” Pete smiled at me.
“I just wanted to ask you something,” I smiled back.
“Sure. How can I help you?”
I walked up to the counter and showed him my map.
“I am searching for a friend. She moved here with her parents a couple of years ago. I don’t know her address, but I know she lives near the forest in a nice neighborhood. Could you tell me in which neighborhoods I could look for her? It is a pretty big area,” I explained.
“Sure thing, sweetie. Do you have a pen?”
I handed him my pencil and he underlined a couple of street names on my map.
“There you go. These are some of the nicest neighborhoods in the city. Do you have a car?"
“No. I was planning on taking a bus there. Or walking if it’s not far.”
“It’s not that far, but better take a bus. It’s line number 13. Go to the last stop and start there. I hope you find her.”
“Thank you, Pete. You are very kind,” I smiled at him and folded my map.
“Goodbye, beautiful. And good luck.”
I waved at Pete and left the bakery.
The bus stop wasn’t far. After 15 minutes I was already sitting in a bus. I took my map and looked at the street names Pete had underlined for me.
Autumn Alley, Spring Alley, Summer Alley and Winter Alley. I smiled. I like the names.
The last stop was at the end of Autumn Alley. I was looking for a yellow house that had a garden in front. I hoped that they hadn’t changed anything. Maybe the house was painted in a different color now. I will have to check the mailboxes. Her last name was Powell.
I got off the bus and started walking. The Alleys weren’t that big. There were maybe 50 houses on Autumn Alley, and it took me about 20 minutes to walk and check mailboxes on the houses that looked like they could be Annie’s. I tried to be subtle about it. I didn’t want to scare anybody into thinking I was an inquisitor.
I was halfway into Spring Alley when a familiar surname caught my attention. Richardson. I froze. Could it be? I tried to gather my thoughts. Can it really be Claudia Richardson?
The house was big and modern, painted white. There was a big garage on the side of it and a big, black Jeep was parked in front. I was staring and trying to decide what to do when a woman’s voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Hi dear, can I help you?” a very pretty middle-aged woman smiled at me.
She was a werewolf. I could smell her. She was standing in the garden of a house next door. She probably saw me staring. I felt a little bit embarrassed.
“Hi. Sorry,” I smiled and walked toward her. “Does Claudia Richardson live here?” I asked politely.
“She used to.”
I was disappointed. I found her even though I thought I never would. And she wasn’t here anymore.
“Oh. Did she move away?” I asked, trying not to show my disappointment.
“No dear. She died.”
I froze. She died? How? Did my grandma know? What is going on? My head was full of questions, and I felt a headache coming. This was bad. What was I going to do now?
The woman in front of me teared up. She was probably close with Claudia.
“I am so sorry for your loss Mrs…” I said after managing to silence the screaming questions that were forming inside my head.
“Black. But feel free to call me Linda,” she smiled slightly.
“I am really sorry, Linda. I can see she meant a lot to you.”
“Yeah. She was a great friend. How did you know her?” she asked me.
Crap. What could I say?
“Oh. Um… She and my grandma were friends. I am visiting my friend here in the city and my grandma suggested I should visit her and say hello. My grandma said she would be glad to see me. Claudia knew me when I was a baby. My grandma will be sad when she hears Claudia is gone,” I said, hoping she couldn’t see through my lies.
I hate lying. I was terrible at it.
“Yes. We were all sad when she died,” she sighed. “What is your name?”
“Oh. I am sorry. It’s Aria,” I smiled, feeling embarrassed that I didn't introduce myself earlier.
“Well, Aria, you could always talk to her grandson. Maybe your grandma will be pleased to know about her family,” she smiled warmly.
She has a grandson? Maybe he knows something about this prophecy. Maybe I could talk to him.
“He lives here?”
“Yes. He lives alone. That is his car,” she pointed at the black Jeep parked in front of the garage, “but he isn’t here right now. He and my son Nick are in the city.”
Maybe I should talk to him. Carefully, without giving anything away. But maybe he knew something. I had to think this through.
“Thank you, Linda. You are very kind,” I smiled. “I would love to talk to him, of course. If I have some time before I leave the city, I will come by. I hope he will be at home.”
“Oh, I will tell him a pretty girl is looking for him. He won’t leave his house until you do come,” she winked at me.
“Well, I should go. My friend is probably waiting for me.”
“It was very nice to meet you, Aria. I hope I will see you if you come back to talk to her grandson,” She smiled at me.
“I will be sure to come and say hello,” I smiled back and started walking away.
I felt her stare as I was walking away. She knew I was a witch, but she didn’t say anything. We knew we couldn’t reveal ourselves just like that. You never know who could be listening. She was a nice lady. I would definitely go by her house if I decided to come back and talk to Claudia’s grandson.
It was now 2 pm and I was already at the end of Summer Alley when I saw it. Yellow house surrounded by flowers. Paint cans on the front porch and the surname Powell written in calligraphy on a mailbox. Annie’s work. This was it. I smiled and ran to the door.
I rang the doorbell and waited. After a minute or two Annie opened the door. She was wearing overalls and was covered in paint. There were headphones around her neck and her long blonde hair was tied up into a messy bun. Her brown eyes grew double in size when she saw me,
“ARIA!” she screamed and threw herself at me.
She was bigger and taller than me and I almost fell. I hugged her tightly and smiled.
“Aria?! What are you doing here?” she screamed.
I love her. She was always so warm, and she could always make me smile. She was also very loud. I had forgotten about that. I thought it was charming. It was just a sign of how passionate she was about life and the things she loved.
I smiled at her. I really missed her.
“Well, it’s a long story. Can I come in?”
“Oh, sorry, yeah. Get in,” she stepped away from the door so I could get inside. The house was very Annie. Colorful, modern and artsy. Her paintings were on every wall. I loved it.
She showed me to the living room and pointed to a big black couch.
“Sit. Would you like some coffee?”
“Yeah, sure. Thank you.”
She ran to the kitchen, and I took this opportunity to glance around. There was a piano in the living room. Her mom played and Annie learned a couple of songs from her. I remember her playing for me. She was very excited because I was a piano player and she wanted to impress me. I took lessons all through my childhood. I hadn’t played in a while, and I missed it.
Glass doors led to the back porch. It was big. Great for entertaining. I remember her parents always had people over. They are very social. They probably have big parties here as well.
She came back carrying two cups of coffee and she handed me one.
“Okay. Talk. What are you doing here?”
I sighed and told her about what had happened in our village. By the time I finished talking we were both crying.
“I can’t believe that happened,” she said with tears running down her face. “I am so sorry about your grandma.”
“It was horrible. I can’t believe it was only two days ago. I think I am still not fully aware of what has happened.”
“Yeah. It takes a while to accept it,” she said, wiping her eyes. “My parents died,” she added quietly.
“What?” I was shocked.
I didn’t ask about them sooner. I assumed they were at work.
“About six months ago. By inquisitors. They were caught outside of the city. They were coming back from their vacation, and they caught them,” she sobbed.
I felt tears falling down my face. Her parents were great. They always welcomed me with open arms. Helped me and my grandma. I couldn’t believe they were gone.
“I am so sorry Annie,” I said and sat down next to her.
I hugged her tightly.
After a couple of minutes, she let go of me and wiped her puffy eyes.
“Thank you, Aria. I am so glad you came. I was so alone. I need a friend,” she smiled.
I understood how she felt. I also needed a friend. She was alone for six months. I was alone for two days. What are two days compared to six months? Nothing. My heart ached for her.
“I am glad to be here. I am so happy I found you,” I smiled at her.
“Where is your stuff? Where are you staying?”
“At a hotel downtown. Moontel. Funny name, I know.”
She laughed, “Yeah, I know about that one. Come on, get up. We are going to get your stuff and you are coming here.”
She grabbed her car keys and we got in her car.
I felt peaceful. I was so glad I found her.
Gabriel’s POVWe went to at least six or seven hotels that were near my hair salon. It was pointless. She could have gotten on a bus and could be anywhere by now. Maybe she wasn’t in the city at all. She could have had a big bag because she was leaving the city and not just arriving here. Nick’s theory about her being in a hotel near where I last saw her was good and promising, but he could be completely wrong. We know nothing about her, and we are basing this theory on Nick’s eagerness to find her.He wanted to find her maybe even more than I did. Probably because I was afraid to know her. He kept lifting my spirits and rushing me around. I kept frowning and grumping. I wanted to punch every receptionist that said her description didn’t match any of their guests. It shouldn’t be hard for them to recognize her based only on my description of her. There weren't many guests in any of the hotels we went to. People weren’t really eager to come and stay in the city that was the center of a
Gabriel’s POV“What did you say?” Nick was the first one to respond.I was frozen.He sat next to me and looked at his mom, pizza long forgotten.“I said her name is Aria,” she said looking confused. “What is going on boys?”Nick looked at me with a bright smile on his face. “Do you think it’s her?”“Do you know this girl?” his mom asked, looking at us.“What does she look like?” I finally managed to ask.“She is very pretty. Short, small. She has brown hair and green eyes,” she said.“Oh, fuck it is her!” Nick yelled.I was frozen, my heart beating in my chest. She was here.“When was this mom?” Nick asked.“I’m not telling you anything more until you tell me what is going on. Gabriel looks like he is going to pass out,” she said, frowning.Nick elbowed me. “Tell her.”“I don’t know who she is,” I sighed. “I saw her a couple of days ago in front of my hair salon and I felt this connection to her. She ran away before I could speak to her. And it has been bugging me since. I feel somet
Gabriel’s POVI liked Annie. I could see she was scared of me, but she was still brave enough to stand up for her friend.I heard Nick trying to suppress his laughter. It was the first honest reaction out of him since we came here. He was too tense, and I couldn’t figure it out. I would have to talk to him after.I didn’t like the creepy comment, though. I knew she was right. It was a little bit creepy. But I pushed it aside and smiled at her.“I couldn’t agree more with Annie,” I told her. “I really want to get to the bottom of this, because I know there is something more here.”I turned to Aria and my heart warmed when my eyes met hers. It freaks me out, but I kind of love the feeling.“I need to know everything about you,” I told her slowly. “Who are you and why were you looking for my grandma?”She took a sip of her beer, put it on the table and sighed.“I am nobody,” She started talking. “I lived in a small village about an hour away with my grandma. It was burned to the ground a
Gabriel’s POVNick and I drove back in silence. I was exhausted, but peaceful. I could still feel her in my arms, feel her warmth.“Do you want to look under the floorboards tomorrow?” Nick broke the silence when we parked in his driveway. “When Aria said her grandma hid the safe under the floorboards it made me realize that is the only place we didn’t check in your house.”“Yeah, I caught that too,” I said. “I was actually thinking about doing it right now.”“Get some sleep, man. And get something to eat. We can look for it tomorrow,” he said, opening his car door.He was right. I was too tired. And hungry. I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast.I stepped out of the car and closed the door. Nick locked it and turned to go to his house.“Nick,” I called after him.“Yeah man?” he turned back.“Are you alright?” I asked, walking closer to him, tugging my hands down my pockets.I could see something was bugging him, but I never knew how to talk about feelings and stuff. It felt weird.
Gabriel’s POVI was angry as fuck. The thought of her being around someone I didn’t know made my blood boil. What if something happened to her? I will kill everyone.I could see Nick was also angry. He was frowning and staring through the passenger seat window. We both hadn’t said a word since we left the girls.Suddenly, I had a craving for Louis’s cheap shit he calls wine. I needed to go to his bar soon and drink until I didn’t care anymore.“Keep your phone on and close,” Nick finally spoke as we were pulling up my driveway.“Of course!” I grunted and left the car.We entered my house, and I went straight to the fridge. I pulled out two beers and handed one to Nick.“I have a bad feeling about this, Gabe,” Nick said, smirking.I sighed unhappily. “I know. Me too. But what can we do? They barely know us. And we barely know them. I get it’s weird for us to care this much already, and I don’t want to freak Aria out. Or Annie. I don’t want them to shut us out.”“I know, man,” Nick said
Gabriel plugged the USB into his laptop, opened the video file and pressed play. His grandma’s smiling face popped up and she started talking.“Hello, my dear grandson. If you are watching this, it means I am no longer with you. I am so sorry I couldn’t do this in person. I am so sorry I didn’t tell you any of this sooner, but I wanted to protect you. I couldn’t lose you too. I hope that by the end of this video you will understand my actions and you will not be angry with me. I had no bad intentions, I only wanted what’s best for you. I thought hiding this from you is the way to go, but I was wrong, and I am sorry. You know I love you. But, let me start at the beginning. I was a young witch, about 20 years old when I first heard of a warlock named Victor. Supernaturals were talking about him like he was their God. They were saying he wanted justice for our kind, that he was going to fight for us and improve our position amongst humans. I liked what they were saying, and I wanted to k
Gabriel’s POVI couldn’t breathe. The only thing I could feel was my heart beating. It felt like it was going to beat its way out of my chest.I don’t know how long I had been staring at my laptop screen. I don’t know what I was waiting for. Maybe for the video to start again and for my grandma to say she was kidding.Pure rage brought me back from the numbness. I wanted to kill. I needed to kill. I threw my laptop into a wall and screamed. Next thing I know I was on my feet breaking every piece of fucking furniture in my living room. The only thing I felt was rage.My knuckles were bleeding profusely, and I had a cut on my cheek from the broken glass when Nick stopped me.“Gabriel, stop!” he screamed at me and grabbed my hands, pulling me towards him and hugging me.I never cry. I never let anyone hug me. But I let Nick hug me. And I cried. Rage was mixing with sadness, and I couldn’t stop crying.“I am so sorry, Gabe,” Nick said quietly. “I am so sorry, man.”After a while, I stoppe
Gabriel’s POVI knew this was not going to be easy.I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair. A nervous habit I had picked up from Nick.“Why did I think she was going to agree?” I muttered after I heard her slam her bedroom door.“Yeah, why did you?” Annie said angrily and stood in front of us. “We don’t know you. Not to mention all the rumors I heard about you. How do we know we’ll be safe with you?”“Look, I know about the rumors, okay,” I said annoyed. “Most of them are not true.”“Oh, well, now that is a relief,” she said sarcastically. “I can now be sure that the one about you killing someone is not true.”I gritted my teeth together. “I never killed anyone, Annie.”Nick placed his hand on my shoulder, trying to calm me down.“Look, Annie, I’ve known Gabriel my whole life and yes, he can be rough, but he is not a murderer,” he said, looking at her intensely. “We need you to trust us about this and convince Aria to come with us.”“And why would I do that?” she asked glaring at