Delude

Casey just wanted to have a normal life. She would only be so lucky. She despises school, especially after she meets Evan Fynn. In seconds, he's undone everything she's worked hard to maintain; he's taken everyone from her, filled their minds with lies to drive them away. She is desperate to find out why, even if the truth is more terrifying than she expected.

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Three things happened simultaneously as I saw his cruel face loom into my vision: Nixon shouted for me to stand up, Noah tried to reason with Evan, and Jade screamed worse than ever.

She had been sent into the furthest wall, crumbling right near Noah; he had ducked just in time. I lowered my head, trying to see under the bed, to the other side. Even after everything Jade had done, I still--

“You can’t possibly care for her,” Evan snarled, glaring at me. His hand rose and my body went with it, unwillingly. I felt the tips of my sneakers touch the floor before I was righted, staring around me.

“What you did to her is fixable,” I said. “I just have to see--”

“You’re not going anywhere but with me.” Evan smiled, a lopsided grin that was anything but kind. He took hold of my wrists and yanked me out of the room. The door slammed behind us and locked.

“No!” I shouted, turning my head around. “Let them out!”

“No,” Evan said simply. He moved his brown hair out of his face and sighed. “I’m taking you to your mother, Casey.”

“My mother?”

I stopped walking.

Evan stumbled, but only slightly. When he turned around, he looked annoyed. He tilted his head at me, a malevolent gleam in his eye.

“Don’t you want to see your mommy?” he teased.

“Yes,” I whispered. “Take me to her.”

I realized at that moment he might be letting me go home. But, as we walked and passed the door to outside, my heart sank. He wasn’t going to let me go. He was intent on keeping me here. Perhaps killing me and"

“You were not just going to say and make my mother watch, were you? What is it with you normal humans? Did you watch too many horror movies before I sent Noah to get you?”

I frowned.

“Noah doesn’t want to do this,” I said.

“I know what you’re doing,” Evan said. “It isn’t going to work. Noah belongs to me. He does what I tell him, without question, or he pays the price. He knows what the price is for disobedience here.”

“Where is here?” I asked. “I recognize the outside.”

Evan smiled a little as he watched me. “You truly do not know anything about your past, do you? I would have thought Nixon told you. He is, after all, your protector.”

“He tried,” I said.

Evan scoffed and said, “Not hard enough apparently.”

“Why do you care? You’re just going to kill me after you take me to my mother.”

He stopped and feigned shock. “Did I say that? I don’t think so. I have some plans for you. You will do what I say if you want to get out of here alive.”

I stopped walking, tore myself from his grip, and glared at him. “If I do what you want, whatever it is, you have to let my friends and mother go.”

“Negotiations are useless,” Evan said, reaching for me. This time, he snatched me by my hair, his nails digging into my scalp. He pulled me close, his breath warm on my face. “Do as you’re told or I dispose of you.”

“Such a threat,” I snapped.

He glared.

“You need me, don’t you? So getting rid of me would be the wrong course of action.”

He growled and threw me from him. I hit the wall and winced from the impact, but didn’t falter. I wouldn’t let myself go down without a fight.

“Is that what you want?” he asked, smirking.

He advanced on me, took me by my shoulders, and slammed me into the wall again. My head hit it with such force this time that I thought I was going to black out. When I didn’t, when the dots in front of my eyes vanished, Evan wasted no time punching me in the face.

I went down, my scream ringing out as I fell, and brought my knees up to my chest. My vision was hazy again, but this time, Evan did not attack. He stood with his hands in his pockets, an uncharacteristic frown on his face.

My face ached and was probably bruising fast but I didn’t care. I struggled to sit up, my eyes still on him, on his dazed form. I looked down the dark hallway from the direction we had come and for once I didn’t know what would be coming at me.

The murmur of voices caught me off guard, and as I lay against the wall, gasping to breathe, they grew closer.

“Do you think I got him?”

“I don’t know. That’s why we’re checking.”

“Don’t be a dick just because you don’t trust me. I’ve proven myself.”

“Not to me.”

“Nixon?” I called weakly. “Noah " is that you?”

“Casey, where are you? I can’t see a fucking thing.” Nixon’s voice was rough, and as I heard him amble toward me, he struck something.

“Hey, asshole!”

“Well, what are you doing in front of me? Jesus.”

“Nixon,” I hissed. “What happened to the lights?”

“Shouldn’t we be asking you that, darling?”

“Noah, I really don’t know what happened.” I sighed. “Is there a light switch somewhere?”

Someone chuckled.

“In a house full of people with paranormal powers, she asks about light switches,” Noah said. “I’m sorry. We’ll find you. Nixon, start crawling.”

“Not a chance,” Nixon shot back.

His voice was so close that I reached out and was able to wrap my hand around his ankle. Then I heard the most ear-splitting shriek and almost fell over from laughing.

A ball of light flickered in the darkness, suddenly, exposing the two. Noah had his hand out, the fire hovering over his palm. He moved it to Nixon’s terrified face, his grey eyes narrowed at me.

“What did you have to grab me for?”

I rolled my eyes and Noah seemed to have the same thought as me.

“Some protector,” he said. He crouched down. “Are you hurt?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “He slammed me pretty hard before punching me.”

“He hit you?” Noah sounded disgusted. Carefully he picked me up. I placed my arms around his neck and looked back at Nixon.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

He nodded.

“What happened to him?” I reached my foot out and nudged Evan.

Noah smirked. “I scrambled his brain momentarily. Come on; let’s go find your mother."

Another step and the lights came back on, revealing another long hallway and another surprise; someone was standing at the end of it.

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