The Black Craft

How can I fear the end when I know that where I am
headed is to a new destiny?
Being a reincarnated Witch isn't easy. 18-year-old Billie
is struggling with coming to these terms. On the eve before her
eighteenth birthday she discovers she and her family are Witches,
her best friend is an Empath and the school Principal is a
Vampire.

The first eighteen years of her life she's been kept in
the dark all so that she and her brother could have a normal
childhood. But her fathers' choices has led to disastrous
consequences. Billie must learn to conrtol her powers and gain
strength as the first Vampire is reborn in the small town of Penn
Gate.

A lot of questions surround the new kids, Astrid, Christian and
Desiree. Billie doesn't trust them and likes it even less
when her own brother, Brian, begins to date one of them. But
what can she do about it when she has to keep her own secrets
safe?

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21. My Enlightenment

Nana, Riona, Rowanne and Brian had only arrived moments before I’d teleported into our living room.

“Good god, Billie!  What are you doing out of hospital?” Riona said holding a hand to her heart.

“When were you going to tell me that my parents’ deaths weren’t accidents?” I demanded.

“Where did you hear that?” Nana asked shocked.

“Nurse Cain is a witch.  She tried to hide it and when I questioned why she was hiding herself she told me about the ‘Preachers’.” I air quoted the word.

“What did she just say?” Brian spoke up.

Heavy hearted Nana began, “We have no proof that your parents were murdered by these men, Billie.”

“We’ve searched high and low for them the last three years but they haven’t left a single lead for us to follow.” Riona explained.

“Well, they’re surfacing again.  They’ve already killed three members of Nurse Cain’s family.” I informed them.

“Yes, I heard about their sister coven also.” Nana said sadly.

“What is a sister coven?” Brian interrupted.

“They are witches whom are very distantly related to her coven.”

“Do we have one?” he asked.

“Yes, but they mostly live in Salem or Boston.” Nana explained.

“So when were you planning on telling us?” Brian indicated the two of us.

“Neither of you should worry about this just now.  Your aunt and I shall see if we can find any new leads.”

“You’re not searching for them without me.” I interrupted Nana.

“Billie, you should be in a hospital bed so you can be out in time for Graduation.”

“And then what?” I demanded.

“Then during the summer you can help your aunt and I but when it’s time for you to go to college you leave it to us.”

“That’s it?!  That’s all I get to do in bringing justice to my parents’ deaths?” I said angrily.

“I want you focused on the future, Billie, your future.  I want you to graduate and go to college like any girl your age does.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about our suspicions but I wasn’t sure if you were ready.”

“Okay, in the summer I’ll work with you both then I go off to college.  But if I get into Salem State…”

“If you get into Salem State you can work with me.” Riona interrupted.  Nana glared at her despairingly.  “If I don’t agree with her we wouldn’t have heard the end of it.” She said to Nana.

“So, these people quite possibly killed our parents and, also possibly, abducted our aunt and cousin but I don’t get to do anything about it.” Brian said firing up.

“I would let you, Brian, but you don’t have any powers yet.  I’m sorry.”  Nana’s apology didn’t soothe Brian’s pain.  Instead he turned on his heel, ran up the stairs and slammed his bedroom door behind him.

“I just wonder,” I began, “are there any other secrets you’re keeping from us?” I asked the room at large.  “I hope you’re not.  It would save a lot of trouble if you’d just come clean.” None of them met my eye.

“We’re sorry, Billie.  We never meant to hurt you or Brian.” Riona said placing a gentle hand on her mother’s shoulder.

“Well, you did.”

“Then tell us how we make it up to you.” Nana pleaded with tears in her eyes.

“Teach me more about my parents’ killers.  That would be a good place to start earning my trust again.”

“Very well, we will teach you but not before Graduation.  Now, please return to the hospital.  We’ll come by tomorrow.” Riona said.

 

Without another word, I returned to my hospital room to find Alexa standing guard outside.  When she spotted me climbing into bed she walked off and I didn’t see her again for the rest of the night.  I pulled my covers high over my head and had a good long cry to myself.

 

Why my relatives seemed to have this habit of keeping things from me was oblivious to me but I had to believe that they had their reasons.  As much as their untruthfulness had hurt me I had never intended on hurting them.  The pain in their eyes, at my words, was unbearable and I couldn’t stand to cause them pain anymore.

 

All night long, whilst I cried, I kept thinking to myself the fighting amongst ourselves must end if we are to be successful in finding these ‘Preacher’ men for who knows if we will all come out of it alive?

 

In the morning when Alexa came with some scrambled eggs for breakfast she barely said a word to me.  She handed me a card with a list of meals with little ‘tick’ boxes next to them.  I checked off the vegetarian pasta and fruit salad for dinner that night and some wheat like cereal for breakfast the next again day.  I didn’t fill out the meals for the remaining days on the card because I was hoping I wouldn’t be in here that long.

 

Other than that Alexa just came around to the right side of the bed and healed my hand in her magical way.

“I’m starting to get the impression that you’re trying to get rid of me.” I said to Alexa when I began to feel the pain ebb away once more.

Alexa’s eyes met mine.  “Look, Billie, I’m sure you’re a very nice girl and that you’ve got a very supportive family behind you but I don’t want anything to do with witchcraft anymore.  It’s too dangerous just now and it hasn’t brought anything good into my life.  You’re constantly lying to those around you or your hurting them.  Plus, it’s just too dangerous to perform the craft right now.”

“So you only use your magic on patients that you pity?” I asked shocking her.  “Because honestly, Alexa,  you’re not doing yourself any favours.”

“Oh, really?” she asked bitterly.

“Really, you say you had to leave your family ‘cause it’s safer that way.  You say it’s too dangerous to use magic but you don’t take into account that the more patients you take pity on the more attention you draw to yourself.”

“Really?  How so?”

“Don’t you think the doctors and nurses are going to notice the rate of their patients’ recovery times?  For example, my broken wrist should take weeks, may be months, to heal, but with your powers I’m certain I’ll be out of this sling in a few days.  Now don’t you think if it goes public that the patients of this ward, of this hospital, are healing at astronomical rates that someone out there,” I indicated the window, “is going to pick up on that and put the pieces together to figure out there are witches in Penn Gate?”

 

Her expression after my speech was shocked and disturbed.

“How could I not think of that?” she said to herself.

“You were only thinking of your patients.  You have the power of healing, that’s an incredible gift that should not be taken lightly.”

“I should warn my family.” she said ready to run.  “They should be prepared.”

“Whoa, wait!  That’s so not necessary.”

“Why?”

“If you start sending smoke signal out your family will panic and that will most definitely draw unwanted attention.”

“But I can’t just sit here and do nothing.” she said impatiently.

“You can work with my family.” I said patting the bed for her to sit and listen.  “Look, my Nana and my aunt haven’t had any luck finding these Preacher guys for the past three years.  But if they are killing again then we all need to work together.  My Nana is pretty forceful about me still going to Graduation and college, the only way I get to help is during the summer holidays and if I get into the college near where my aunts stays.”

“Which college is that?”

“Salem State College.  My aunt Riona only lives a few minutes away from it.  My brother, Brian, and my cousin, Rowanne, aren’t eighteen yet so they can’t help either.”

“I thought you had another cousin?”

“I have two other cousins.  Vincent went missing shortly after my aunt Sophia and his twin sister Ruby is in a coma upstairs.  She was in the car crash that killed my parents.”  I paused.  “I don’t want to lose any more of those that I love and I’m sure you don’t either.”

“Well, of course not.”

“Then we should work together.”

“Hold up, Black, you may be a coven leader but I’m not.  I’ll have to speak to my sister, Tanya, first.”

“Is she your coven leader?”

“Yeah, I’ll speak to her and I’ll get her to contact you or your grandmother.”

“Good.  If we work together then maybe we can bring justice to those we’ve lost.”

“As long as you remember that its justice we want and not revenge.”

“Of course.” I said disgusted.

“Okay, now eat your eggs before they get cold.” she said pushing the table up to my chest.  “I’ll call my sister when I get off work tonight.”

 

Alexa left to perform other duties before returning to remove my dirty dish and filling up another jug of orange juice.  She checked on me a few more times before disappearing again when the morning visiting hours began.  Riley and Willem entered with several new balloons, a soft toy, puzzle books and a few thick envelopes.

“Looks like you got your pick of schools.” Riley said pleased handing over the heavy packs.  “Your Nana said they’ll come see you in the afternoon visit.”

“Good.”

 

I flicked through the packages, the names of each school had been printed onto the envelopes, until I found the one I was looking for.

“Yes!  Salem State here I come.” I said after tearing it open and reading the acceptance letter.  “How did you do?” I asked Riley.

“I got into Salem State, too.” he said grinning, leaning against my mattress.

“Guess you two will be rooming together off campus, huh?” Willem asked teasingly.

“Good bye, Willem.” I said motioning the door open with my index finger.

“Ooh, touchy!” he said, smirking, as he walked out the door.

“Beat it, bro!” Riley said closing the door on his brother’s back.  “I’m sorry about him.  I fear it’s only going to get worse from here.”

“Don’t worry about it, I know he can be a real joker sometimes.” I said sitting up straighter in bed. “Where are Leonard and Faith?”

“Leonard is trying to get the school repairs done before Graduation Day and Faith is at home packing.”

“Packing?” I asked confused.

“Yeah, school isn’t something we normally do.  Like I said before, we only came here to support Leonard when he got the job.”

“And now?”

“Now, senior year is almost over and Faith can’t wait to get the hell out of Penn Gate.” Riley sighed.  “She promised Leonard that she’d stay until Graduation was over but I wouldn’t be surprised if she disappeared into the night sometime soon.”

“She’d really just leave without saying goodbye?”

“It’s just who she is.  She was never one for goodbyes.  You might not believe it but she really is quite sentimental.”

“What, Faith?  No way!” I laughed.

“It’s true.” he laughed with me.

“What will she do with herself when she leaves?”

“She’s got friends in Venice and Rome, I think she’ll be heading there.  She always loved Italy.”

“Wow, Italy!  I’d love to see Italy one day.” I said admiringly.  “What about Willem and Leonard?”

“Willem has friends in Britain so I think he’ll go there for a while but he did promise to visit when we’re in college.  Leonard is going to stay on teaching.”

“I notice you’re not calling him ‘Dad’ or ‘Father’.”

“I know it’s weird, I’ve always looked up to him as a father figure.”

“But…”

“But I just can’t make myself call him anything other than Leonard.”

“Well, I suppose it’s pretty hard to break the habit when you’ve been doing it for about a century and a half.” Riley smirked.  “So, are Willem and Faith’s friends Sun-Walkers?”

“No not all of them.  A few of them are witches and a few are werewolves.”

“I thought vamps and werewolves hated each other.”

Riley cocked a brow.  “You’ve been reading far too many books.” he laughed.  “There was a feud between the vampires and werewolves a long time ago.  The world wasn’t big enough for us monsters, or so they believed.  But then evolution kicked in and things weren’t quite so simple.”

“What do you mean evolution?” I asked.

“Well, there haven’t always been Sun-Walkers.  The vampires began to think differently and started to mingle with the human world.  Some began romancing the humans and made half breeds like me and my siblings.” He explained.  “But of course the werewolves evolved as well.  They used to be just as monstrous as the vampires, but when they saw them mingling with humans, turning their back on the night and reclaiming their souls they thought ‘Well, if they’re capable of being benevolent, why can’t we?’”

“Wow.” I said in wonder.  “But not all of them turned their back on the night.  There are still Eve-Walkers in the world.”

“Yes, but Eve-Walkers are not the only evil in the world, Billie.” I frowned at his statement.  “There are evil werewolves out there and evil witches, amongst other things.”

“Such as?”

“Don’t you remember?  Desiree’s mother was an evil witch and she had a werewolf attack Kyle Reid.”

“I thought that was how a werewolf was created.  By being bitten by another?”

“Well, there aren’t that many werewolves left.  They have a sort of policy where it’s frowned upon to bite and change another human being.  Of course most of the time when it happens is during the full moon where, keeping in mind, they are more animal than man.  In which case, accidents happen.”

“So there are other ways of making werewolves?” I asked surprised.

“Werewolves can be born, just like us Sun-Walkers, but only when both parents are werewolves.”

“There’s never been a human/werewolf conception?”

“I’m not saying that humans and werewolves don’t hook up but it’s very rare when they produce a child that can turn into a cub.”

“But it’s not unheard of.”

“No.” he said thinking hard for the right words.  “The human would need to have the spark that we have.”

“The spark?”

“Magic.  You don’t feel the spark when you cast a spell, perform magic or use your powers?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Well, there are humans in this world whom may have had ancestors that were in fact witches.”

“I don’t follow.”

Riley climbed up beside me and put his arm around my shoulders.  “Well, the magical line has been forgotten but the spark still lives inside of them just waiting to be awakened.”

“Okay, so the only way a human can breed an offspring with a werewolf is if they have a magical element in them?”

“Yes.”

“But even then it’s still rare?”

“Yeah.”

“Huh.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked frowning.

“I just discovered, the day I received Josephine’s diary, that Rowanne’s father is a werewolf.” Riley laughed.  “What?”

“You think your cousin might be a werewolf?”

“Well, isn’t it credible?  Her father and his family are werewolves and her mother is an extremely powerful witch.  I always get the feeling that there is more that my family are hiding from me.  Isn’t it possible?”

“Billie, think about this reasonably.  Although your aunt’s magical spark is incredibly strong it’s still rare and your cousin stays with you every now and then.  Don’t you think you would’ve noticed if she had been sneaking out at night?”

“But when you guys heard rumour of a werewolf in the Penn Peaks it was around the time Rowanne was last staying with me.”

“Yeah, but the werewolf living in the forest is the one that attacked Kyle, I think.”

“And whose to say it wasn’t Rowanne?”

“Let’s say, hypothetically, that your cousin is a werewolf.  Do you really think she’d be so cruel as to inflict this upon another human being?”

“No.” I said deflating.

“Why are you digging into this so much?”

“I’d like to be able to say that I’d solved one of my families’ many puzzles.”

“What’s brought this on?” he asked concerned.

“Apparently my parents’ deaths weren’t quite so accidental.”

“What?!” he asked shocked.  “Are you saying you think they were murdered?”

“Have you ever heard of the ‘Preachers’?” I air quoted once more.

“Yeah, they’re a band of religious freaks that hate witches aren’t they?”

“Apparently, they’re responsible for a fair few witch deaths.”

“Including your parents?”

“Yes and possibly the disappearances of my aunt and cousin.”

“How did you learn this?  I’m assuming your family didn’t tell you.”

“No.  You know Nurse Cain?  Her family have all split up and gone into hiding because these Preacher guys killed a few of her relatives.  They also massacred her sister coven after they advised them to follow suit.”

“When did she tell you this?”

“She has the power to heal, like Willem.  I felt the familiar spark and confronted her about it last night.”

“So I’m guessing you teleported straight to your house as soon as it was safe?”

My mouth gaped open.  “What would make you say that?” I asked startled.

“We may not have been together very long, Bill, but I think I know you better than you know yourself.” he said cockily.

“Oh, really?”

“Yes, really.  But don’t get upset, I’m sure you could say the same about me.”

“No, you never cease to surprise me.”

“Is that bad?” he asked turning his gaze away from me.

“I like surprises.” I said making him meet my eyes before kissing him.

 

As he sat up straighter on my bed I closed the blinds and locked the door with a wave of my hand.  I returned to kissing him, my arms around his neck and his hands in my hair.

“Bill, we’re in a hospital remember?  My brother is right outside and he has excellent hearing.”  Riley said, his grey eyes shining as we heard the quiet soft chuckle of Willem outside the door.

“We never seem to catch a break do we?” I said as he lay back down beside me.

“All in good time, love.  We’ll go to college after the summer, go on a real date and…”

“And?”

“And maybe get a place of our own off campus?” he asked nervously.

“No offence, Riley, as much as I’d love to get a place of our own, I’ve always had this picture in my mind when I went off to college I’d be living in the campus dorms.”

“Oh.” he said dismayed.

“But just because it’s not off campus it doesn’t mean we can’t live together on campus.”

“But what are the odds of us getting the same dorm?”

“Well, a little magic goes a long way.”

 

By the expression on his face I was sure that he thought I didn’t want to live with him and that I’d try to find another excuse to get out of it.

“I’m pretty sure there are some magic rules your family have to teach you yet.  Wouldn’t that come under personal gain?”

“Well, then I’m screwed considering all the unimportant things I’ve been using my powers for.” Riley laughed.  “What do you suggest?  If we are to live together on campus how are we going to make sure we get allotted to the same dorm room?”

“I think a bribe ought to do the trick.”

“A bribe?”

“As you are well aware I’ve been around for quite some time and during that time have accumulated a lump of money.  A nice little sum of that money to the administration office of Salem State College could go down nicely for us.”

“Riley…”

“Just think about it.” he said kissing me quickly to sweeten the deal.  “So we were talking about Nurse Cain and I had pretty much guessed that you’d teleported back home.  Am I right?”

“Of course you’re right.” I said leaning into him.  “But when I got home we kind of had a fight and I’ve hardly slept because of it.”

“Well, they’ll be here this afternoon why don’t you all talk it out and then kiss and make up?”

“Do you really think it’s that simple?”

“No, but I know you.  You love your family too much to cause them pain.”

“What happens after that?”

“Afterwards you rest and then you’ll get to go home.  I think Eve’s funeral is tomorrow so hopefully they’ll let you out for that.  I’m sure you’ll want to pay your last respects to your friend.”

“Yes, I also need to speak to Christian… and Matilda.” I added.

“Matilda?”

“I think she deserves the truth, Riley.”

“How much of it?” he asked taking my hand.

“All of it.” I said meeting his shocked eyes.  “But I won’t, not without your approval first and my family’s.”

“You want to tell her everything?”

“Look, I know she’s never been friendly to you or your family but she’s trying to put her past behind her.  She’s already convinced we’re witches, anyway, and she had always been terrified of Nana until now.”

 

Riley and I lay in silence for almost the remainder of the visiting hours before he spoke again.

“There’s no way to erase her memory if she reacts badly towards the news?”

“Nana said it was dangerous using a spell to erase memories, yes, but she did mention that there were those with the power to influence minds.”

Riley sighed before meeting my eyes.  “Be absolutely sure that this is what you want, Billie.  If your family is okay with it then I will be too but be absolutely certain that this is the right thing to do.”

“I am certain, Riley.  I am more than one hundred percent positive.”

“Okay then.  I guess you’ve made your mind up.”

 

Just then Willem spoke through the door.  “Riley, times up, we’ve got to go.” came his muffled voice.

Riley clambered off the bed before giving me one last kiss.  “Think about that bribe, Billie.”

“I will.”

“Leonard said he’ll try to swing by later.  I think he’ll bring Christian with him.  We don’t want you being left alone with him just now.”

“Why not?”

“He’s a bit unstable.  We’re just being precautious, we’ll do our best to help him but if he shows any ‘Moon’ like personality traits then we’re going to have to put him down.”

“You’re talking about him as if he were a dog.”

“He is a dog.  He always was, even before Desiree tried to sacrifice him to the first vampire.”

 

After Riley left I slept for most of the day or did the puzzle book that he and Willem had brought in the morning.  I was surprised to see Dulcie’s aunt Laura sitting by my bedside at three o’clock when I woke up.

“Laura?” I said when my eyes focused on her.

“Hello, sweetie, how are you feeling?” she said looking over the top of a magazine.

“Better.  Willem used his powers and my nurse is a witch so she used her powers too, so I’m practically all better.” I sighed.  “I can’t wait to get out of these silly gowns, though.” she laughed with me.

“I brought you a fruit basket.  That’s what people usually bring when their visiting someone in hospital, right?”

“Yeah, that or balloons.” I said indicating the dozen or so balloons surrounding my room.

“So your nurse, who is she?”

“Alexa Cain.”

“Oh, yes, I’ve heard of her but we’ve never actually met.”

“She’s heard of you also.”  I said.  “She’s also heard of Dulcie’s parents.”

“What did she say?” Laura asked concerned.

“She said that their deaths weren’t accidental.  She also kind of said that they were witches.”

Laura lapsed into silence.

“She also said my parents’ death’s wasn’t an accident either.  That some guys called the ‘Preachers’ are responsible for a lot of deaths.”

“Have you told Dulcie any of this?”

“No.  Is it true?”

“Yes.”

“How is it possible?  I thought if one member of the family was a witch it meant they all were.  If your sister is a witch, shouldn’t you and Dulcie also be witches?”

“Our family is a little different from other families.”

“How so?”

“My parents were witches and they adopted my sister and me.  I didn’t come from a family of witches but I was raised the Wiccan way.”

“And Dulcie?”

“Dulcie was also adopted.  Her kind is very rare, their often abandoned quite young by their birth parents and are adopted by a witch family.”

“What do you mean ‘her kind’?”

“There are some people in the world who are neither witch nor mortal.  They have certain affinities or powers, like Dulcie an empath.”

“What else is there?”

“There are telepaths, precognitive and so much more than I have encountered.”

“Will you tell her about her adoption?”

“I don’t think I should.  When Dulcie was less than a year old my sister found her in a basket down a dark, dank alley with nothing to her name except the blanket she was wrapped in.”

“Oh my God, that’s horrible.” I said disgusted.

“Now you see why we haven’t told her.”

“Why did your parents give you up?  If it’s not too personal a question.”

“My mother was alone and young and poor.”  She said as her accent purred through her voice.  “She couldn’t afford to raise me and she wanted me to have a good life.  She didn’t make the decision lightly, she interviewed many families before choosing the one she thought was right for me.”

“Did you meet her?”

“No.” she smiled.  “She may have been the one to give me life but she’s not the one I love as a mother.  You were right about what you said before, Billie.  Family is about more than just blood.”

“Was my mother a witch?  It’s something I never thought to ask before because I knew my father was a witch.”

“No, but when she discovered what your father was she joined the pagan fold like myself.”

 

We both jumped at the knock on the glass panel door.

“May we come in?” Leonard asked as he stuck his head through the door.

“Of course.  I was just leaving.” Laura said as soon as Leonard entered with Christian close behind.  “You take care of yourself, Billie.” she said swooping in for a hug.  “If you need a summer job, just give me a call.”

“Thanks, I will.”

“Good bye, Laura.” Leonard said as she left the room.  “Right, I think Christian will probably want to speak to you in private so I’ll just step outside for a little while.”

 

Leonard strode out again without a word leaving me alone with Christian who came to sit by my side.

“How are you?” I nervously asked.

“I’m struggling… I’m struggling to keep my mind clear.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was touched by darkness, Billie, it’s not something that you can walk away from unscathed.  It’s hard when I’m alone but when I’m surrounded by people all I do is lash out.” he said fidgeting.  “I asked Leonard to accompany me here because I was worried I might hurt you if I came alone.”

“Because I killed your sisters?  I’m sorry, Christian, but they didn’t leave me with any other choice.”

“You could’ve saved Astrid.  You know you could’ve.” he said beginning to sob.

“I couldn’t, Christian.  That had to be her choice but she chose to become an Eve-Walker.”

“They were all I had!  They were the o-only reason I had to live th-this… life if that’s what you’d call it.”

“I’m sure that’s not true.” I said reaching out to him.  “Let me help you.” I said placing a hand on his consolingly.

“No.” he said shooting out his chair as soon as I touched him.  “T-too early, sh-shouldn’t have come.  I’m not in c-control.  Darkness follows me everywhere.  S-sorry, see you later.” He said sobbing hard and dashing from the room.

“Damn him!  I knew I shouldn’t have brought him, he’s unstable.” Leonard said as he came into the room and sat beside me.

“Shouldn’t you go after him?”

“No, it’s alright.  Willem and Faith are outside, they’ll take care of him.”

“Should we be worried?  What’s the worst that could happen?”

“He could either kill himself or turn himself.  We’ve been keeping an eye on him and so far he hasn’t attempted either.”  he paused.  “Whenever he thinks we’re not listening to him he keeps muttering about the ‘darkness’.”

“He said just now ‘Darkness follows me everywhere’ before he bolted out the door.”

“Well, I’ve arranged for a shaman to help him battle his inner daemons once Graduation is over.”

“Do you think that’ll work?”

“I’m hoping it will because I can’t think of any other solutions.”

I sighed.  “Could you find a doctor and ask him when I’m being released?  If I spend another day in this ridiculous gown I’m going to go stir crazy.”

Leonard laughed.  “I’ll be right back.”

 

Whilst Leonard was away looking for a doctor, my family filed into my small room.

“Hi.” I said sitting up straighter in bed.

“Hello.” they said timidly.

They were all still burned from the fight we’d had the day before.  “Okay, you all need to listen.  I am sorry about the row we had yesterday and I don’t want us to fight anymore.” I paused looking each of them in the eye.  “I realise you must have kept these secrets from me for a reason and I’m not going to hold it against you anymore.  So lets please forget it all and try to remember that we all still love each other.”

“Of course, dear.” Nana said leaning over to hug me.

“We promise not to fight anymore.” said Riona leaning into kiss my cheek.

“And you.” I said speaking to Brian.  “You’re the worst culprit here, no more fighting.  Promise me.”

“Alright, I promise.” he said unenthusiastically.

“Now, listen, Brian.  We’ve got a rough road ahead of us so we cannot fight amongst ourselves.  We love each other so let’s make sure we all know it.” I said arguing with him.

“Any news of when you’ll get out?” Nana asked to change the subject.

“Leonard left a few minutes ago to find out for me.” I informed them.

“Leonard’s here?  Who else has been today?” Riona asked.

“Riley and Willem were in this morning, Laura Cortes was for a little while earlier.”

“Why was Leonard here?”

“He brought Christian with him.”

“I’ll put a stake through that man’s heart.  I swear to God!” Riona said storming out of the room.

Josephine gave me a hard nudge that made me command Rowanne, “Go after her!”

 

Rowanne had caught up with her mother but evidently she didn’t do much about it.  As the doctor walked in Rowanne closed the door behind him so that it shut out most of Riona’s raving argument with Leonard.

“Well, Miss Black, according to the nurses your healing rather perfectly and I think you can leave here tomorrow if you feel up to it.” The doctor said smiling charmingly.

“Thank you, doctor.  I appreciate it.” I said as he turned to leave.

“If you could be so kind as to ask the lady and gentleman outside to save their argument until they’re off hospital premises I’ll see to it you get out of here in the morning.” he said gazing indignantly at Riona and Leonard through the sheet of glass.

“Absolutely.” I said excitedly.  I stuck my fingers to my mouth and wolf whistled to catch their attention.  “Oi!  You two knock it off now!” I said adding authority to my voice.

 

Once they’d both calmed down and entered the room more quietly and civilly I spoke again.

“There’s something I need to ask you all.  If you don’t like it I’m going to do it anyway, just to warn you.”

“What is it?” Nana asked concerned.

“I want to tell Matilda the truth.”

“How much of it?” Asked Leonard.

“All of it.”

They all gasped, shocked.

“Now, listen, she deserves to know the truth.  Her best friend is dead, amongst other classmates, and we’re all going our separate ways after the summer holidays.  What do you think?”

“You’re going to tell her about witches and vampires?” Riona asked.

“Yes, everything from the very beginning.”

“And there’s no way of stopping you.”

“Nope.”

“Very well, Eve’s funeral is tomorrow.  Perhaps you should tell her afterwards to get it over with.” Nana said on behalf of them all.

“Thank you.” I said solemnly.

 

We continued to speak about Graduation and when Rowanne had to return in time for her own.  Apparently, she had also been accepted by Salem State College so she would be attending school there after the summer holidays.  Leonard mentioned that Dulcie had been voted for the school’s choice Valedictorian.  They all left half an hour later once visiting hours were over so that I could rest and have enough energy for Eve’s funeral the next again day.

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