Hunted: Beth

Elizabeth Folks was 3 when she was found wondering out of Black Forest. Since then she has become the towns 'living legend'. Adopted by strangers to protect their only child, she became the 'bait' if anything were to happen...

Now at 18 years old, Beth still holds a secret she kept since the day she became a Folks-daughter. But since the downfall of the Grave Makers, witches have finally returned to Earth. Without the balance of good and evil, the witches are forced to choose a side, and once more, Black Forest is under the clutches of an evil witch. The numbers of missing children increase, slowly but surely, as time goes on...

Fighting to protect her adoptive sister, and keep her secret. Beth is thrown into the deep end when a stranger enrolls at Black Forest High School. His presence sparks Beth's fear of her secret being discovered.

When avoiding the stranger is deemed impossible, Beth puts in all the stakes to hiding from him. Yet is it him she should really be worried about?

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4. Danger

Luke's hand gripped mine as he pulled up the Chevy in the schools parking lot. After a night spent preparing for the oncoming rumours, I was still tired as ever as he leaned over to throw open my door for me, just as James did the same for Tori in the backseat.

"After you princess." James chimed way to cheerfully. Stepping out of the car, I winced as my heels met the silence of the car park with a sharp tap. Getting out, I readjusted my skinny jeans, and pulled my sweater over my tank top before grabbing my leather backpack, and slamming the door closed after me.

"We're late." I noted, casting a glare at Luke who shrugged.

"Fashionably so, it's not everyday you turn up late with the two hottest... Is that the new kid!?" Tori spoke out. Glancing over across the unnaturally empty school parking lot, I caught sight of a familiar face headed to the front door.

"New guy?" Luke asked, turning to cast me a slight glare.

"Yeah his name's Cade or something." James filled in. Heading towards the walkway to the entrance, I shut my eyes as Luke brought me closer to his side, his arm drawing me close.

"Please don't bump into him, please don't bump into him..." I seemed to repeat, just in time for the bell to ring. Opening up my eyes I watched slightly thankful, yet slightly feeling over exposed as what seemed to be the whole student body headed out the entrance instantly for what was probably the lunch break. Heads turned, and eyes seemed to burn holes in my sweater as Luke cast a few acquaintances a wave, Tori and James the usual topic of conversation, no longer under the watchful eye of the gossip column in the student newspaper.

 

Sitting down in the cafeteria, I winced as Tori slammed it down.

"You could sue. They said it was a pregnancy scare." Tori regretfully informed me. Wrinkling my nose, I rested my chin on the palm of my hand, leaning my elbow on the table.

"According to the football team you've been training for the Olympics. Makes sense since the last time you got put as a manager on that team..." James began.

'Do you mind shutting up?" Luke and I asked him in unison. James froze, his messy brown hair falling over his eyes as he paled.

"What is it...?" Tori asked, turning. Quickly, glancing over my shoulder, I exchanged glances with Luke at the sight of a figure dragging a bloodied body down the halls.

"Oh god." Tori groaned, coughing as bile rose in her throat.

"Wait here, we'll be back." I heard Luke say over my shoulder, as I leaped off my chair and began shoving my way through the frozen crowd of students. Running down the hall, I looked at the blood left on the floor, as the sound of dragging feet sent shivers up my spine.

 

Rushing down the hall, I pushed open the doors to the school doors, a scream rising in my throat before my hand slapped across my mouth.

"Oh god, oh god..." shivers ran up my spine as my legs turned to jelly. The familiar faces of the men hanging from the trees almost sent me over the edge. They were the men from the day I'd fainted. I collapsed to my knees, my hands lifting to run through my hair, every cell in my body shaking as Luke set a steady hand on my shoulder.

"It's an illusion Beth." Luke's voice echoed in the distance, as I stared at the blood dripping from their disfigured bodies.

"Oh god, they've found us Luke. What are we going to do!?" I whispered, so shell-shocked and numb. Helping me up, I didn't notice I was standing until Luke squeezed my shoulder.

"The people are frozen Beth." he informed me,

"Nobody else saw this but you and me..." I could hear him say as my eyes turned to glance over the completely frozen in motion students of Black Forest High School.

"Nobody else?" I whispered, shaking slightly, as I glanced swiftly back at the bodies.

"Nobody else." he replied. Nodding slowly, I found the tenseness in my shoulders easing, as I accepted the fact that even though we'd been found nobody knew yet of the horror that was going to come.

 

"We have to counter this." Luke voiced my own thoughts.

"And how are you going to do that?" a voice asked. Turning, we came face to faced with the new guy...

"Cade." I reminded myself, as I swallowed nervously. Not only was he clearly not frozen, his glorious dark, nearly coal, black eyes staring into my own, but in his right hand was a weapon I recognized all to well.

"Oh god..." I whispered, my eyes sliding shut.

"Who are you?" Luke asked, his voice loud and demanding.

"I am Cade. A Hunter. Yourself?" was the reply,

"I am Lucas. A Guardian." Luke replied, as I heard the unsheathing of his weapon.

"Stop." was all I could say, when I sensed Luke pause I looked up slowly at the stranger who held the same weapon that I'd feared my whole life.

 

My eyes opened to see the silently shocked face of Luke, who seemed to not be able to say anything as I stared into Cade's black eyes.

"I'm pretty sure they weren't that colour before." I thought, but brushed it off as I elbowed Luke to lower his blade.

"He can't attack anyone unless it's his actual target. If your looking for the witch that did this you've come to the wrong people." I informed the Hunter. His eyes seemed to narrow slightly, almost as if trying to catch me lying.

"Your not a witch then?" he asked, seemingly silently confused.

"I'm as human as the frozen people. No powers, no supernatural gifts, plus - as you saw on our first meeting - I get injured badly." I said, not sure if I was lying more than telling the truth.

"Apparently." Lucas muttered, earning another elbow. Cade glanced at Luke questionably before turning back to me.

"How come your not frozen..." he began,

"I'm a Guide." I cut in.

"Okay maybe that's the only major lie," I tried to convince myself.

"But then again, he isn't to be trusted." I reminded myself.

"I'm as human as human can be, but because of my 'use' I seem to be immune to the usual human effects." I said, knowing I didn't sounding convincing, but knowing it did make sense. Legends throughout time had mentioned the possibility, and if this guy was as educated with the different types of mediums as he seemed to be, he'd believe it anyway.

 

"How do we get rid of this?" he asked, nodding over my shoulder. Glancing back at the bodies, I shifted uncomfortably.

"A test." I noted. Before a slow, shiver crawled up my spine, my eyes blinking twice as I sensed a shift in the air.

"We don't." I said, suddenly hearing the noise of those around us suddenly getting their movement back. The bell rang, and my eyes turned to Cade as he stuffed his suddenly empty hands into his pocket and heading off. Turning back to Luke, I felt the tenseness in my shoulders as he slung his arm around my shoulders.

"Tori...?" I asked Luke, my thoughts turning to the single most important person in my life.

"She's fine - the freezing effect took longer on her and James because of the distance. They shouldn't have any memory." he assured me. Relaxing slightly, my mind flew to Cade and the realization that even before the bulldozer incident danger had already found it's way into Black Forest, and it seemed that danger had the perfect weapon to kill a witch.

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