The Hangman's Noose

Billie Black and her friends are closer than ever before to rescuing their loved ones whom were stolen from them years ago. A journey around the country proves perilous when the coven and their allies come face to face with their greatest enemies.

A band of men hell bent on killing all that is unnatural to them - Witches, Vampires, Werewolves and many other Supernaturals flee from their path or die at their hands.

Billie can't rest till she knows her lost loves are safe but new knowledge shows they are defenseless. Learning all they can about these men they seek a weakness a chink in their chain of command and only one man may show them mercy in spite of his beliefs.

Now Billie must lead them all to safety or perish in the Hangman's Noose...


1. Plan A

Opening my eyes in my college dorm room the pounding headache that followed each Ruby nightmare intensified each day as we got further ahead with our plans.  Of course they all thought I was nuts when the words ‘We’re going to wake up Ruby’ left my lips.  All the same I had just performed my very first Samhain ritual without a hitch so now when they think of me they’re thoughts are a mix up of impressiveness, intimidation and worry.  My family were proud of me and still are, so they’ll have my back no matter what.  As for my two best friends, Dulcie an Empath and Matilda a Pagan in learning, they assured me they’d be there for me if I should ever need them.


I dropped out of classes because the dreams affected my waking life so it was disturbing to say the least.  My college friends, Erin, Lee, Lexi and Drew, stopped by frequently to see why I wasn’t in class but my faithful vampire boyfriend, Riley, barely let them passed the door, depending on what kind of day I was having.  Whenever I suffered Riley too suffered with me, if I was too scared to go to sleep he’d stay up all night long with me.  His loving gaze and the thought of waking Ruby were the only things that kept me going.


Another thought that scared me most was the fact that Christian had now been sighted in Penn Gate.  Drew who once roomed with him until he came home one night to find blood on the floor asked for an exchange immediately.  My fears were confirmed when Matilda confessed she thought she was being stalked when she went to see Dulcie’s aunt Laura, another Pagan, in New York City for her weekly class.  Again she felt like she wasn’t alone in her rented loft room, in my Nana’s house in Penn Gate, when she arrived to an empty house.  When investigating with Nana, Brian and Dulcie later they didn’t find anyone but one of her favourite blue shirts was missing from her wardrobe whose door stood ajar.


Her fears chilled us both to the bone when I told her all about the vision I had of Christian draining Matilda of all her blood.  From then on she walked around with a stake, holy water and silver chains in her bag.  Nana was worried about how he managed to get into the house without her knowing considering the amount of protection spells she had around her home.  She doubled then tripled the spells till her hearts content although nothing could soothe Matilda except the insurance of a sharp, pointy piece of wood which was always close at hand.


Riley and I temporarily moved back to Penn Gate as we all readied ourselves to put our first plans, to wake Ruby, into action.  We’d gone over the layout of the hospital a hundred times over until we knew it as well as the backs of our own hands.  We’d located all the security cameras that I’d need to disconnect with my telekinetic powers and with the help of our friend, Alexa Cain, a Witch and a nurse at Penn Gate Infirmary, we managed to identify which members of staff Rowanne would have to influence with her special power of mind control.  Alexa offered her help to unhook Ruby from all the machines she was tied up to as well as any drips attached to her.  We were ready and prepared for any unfortunate instances, like being caught by the doctors or security.  So why were we so nervous?


For three years my cousin had laid in a hospital bed, her life draining from her.  We knew that her coma was false and that someone had only induced the coma, for reasons unknown, so all we had to do was get her away from the hospital and give her time for the drugs to leave her system and then she should wake up.  Hopefully.  Was it the fear of failure that kept us from excitement?  Fear our hopes would be dashed that we wouldn’t get our cousin back after all this planning?  Plan B and Plan C were in place if we failed today but could it really be possible to succeed?  Or were we hoping for a miracle?


“Stop fidgeting!  You’re drawing attention to yourself.” I said to Rowanne out of the corner of my mouth.

“I can’t help myself, I’m so anxious.” she hissed back.

We walked on through the shabby entrance and I flicked my hands to turn the security cameras from our gaze.  Every corridor we walked down I did this and Rowanne barely touching any security staff influenced them to forget they saw us.  Her powers grew stronger all the time, now she barely had to talk to them or make eye contact.  All she had to do was touch and think of what she wanted them to do.


Alexa met us on the coma ward as Rowanne and I stepped out of the elevator together.  Along the narrow corridor a small group of nurses stood talking to one another, blocking the way to Ruby’s room, leaning against the reception desk for comfort.  Rowanne stopped several feet from them before placing her right hand on the wall and her left hand on the reception desk.  A few seconds later the nurses stiffened and walked off in different directions no longer blocking our path.  Rowanne stood solitary for a moment staring at her palms.

“Cool!  Didn’t know I could do that.” she exclaimed.


Continuing down to Ruby’s room we stopped at a corner as we saw a familiar looking man enter the room with a frizzy haired nurse.

“I know who that is!” Rowanne whispered.

“I know, it’s Uncle Dexter.”

“I haven’t seen him for years.”

“Three years to be precise.” I agreed.

“Good morning, Doctor Kerr.” we heard the nurse say cheerfully.

“Good morning, Felicia.  No change?” we heard him ask.

“I’m afraid not.  It’s a real puzzler, we just can’t seem to figure out what’s keeping her asleep.”

As the young nurse left the room another tall fifty-something doctor in a lab coat entered as she left.  “Good morning, Felicia.” he said in a smooth voice.

“Good morning, Doctor Brody.” she said brightly.  “God, I love that tie.”

“Oh, thank you.  It was a gift from my daughter.”

“How sweet!  Have a nice day.”

“You too, Felicia.” he knocked on the frame of the door.  “Hello, Dex.”

“Good morning, Doug.” Dexter said taking Doug’s hand in his and smoothly passing a roll of dollars into Doug’s grasp.

“You’re killing me, Dex.” Doug said looking down at the large roll of money in his hand while mopping his brow.

“Our monthly deal.  You keep my daughter sedated and I keep you out of debt.”  Dexter said leaning on a walking stick.

“I told you last month was my last.” he said nervously looking around the room.  “I can’t do this any more, Dex.  I told you on your last visit I no longer need your money.”

“What?  Now you have a conscience?  For three years you’ve done this for me.”

“Look, at the time I started doing this for you I was desperate, in debt.  But now, the child will be eighteen soon enough.”

“Don’t tell me about my child, I know full well how old she is.”

“Yes, well, then you’ll notice she has aged these past three years, Dex.  We’ve both taken three years of her life away from her.”

“It’s for her own protection.”

“I’m certain she won’t see it that way no matter how you put it, Dex.”

“If I have to be cruel to be kind then I will continue to do so.  Please, Doug, one more month and I’ll find someone to replace you.”

Doug sighed looking back at the fat roll of money again then to gaze upon Ruby.  “One last month.”

“That’s a sport.  Did you bring the medicine with you?”

“It’s in my office.  Give me a minute to go get it.”

“You’re not going anywhere.” I said as Rowanne, Alexa and I jumped out to block the doctor in the doorframe.

“Yeah, we heard everything and you’re going down.” Rowanne informs Dexter.


Throwing my hands out both doctors flew into the corner chairs.  I kept them both there while Rowanne approached the doctor, whom Dexter had been bribing, she placed her hand upon his shoulder.

“Tell us why you are here?” she asked.

“I get paid to keep Ruby asleep.” he answered dreamily as his eyes clouded over.

“Do you know why she has to stay asleep?”

“Because some bad people are looking for her.”

“Anything else?”

“No, he always keeps me in the dark.”

“What would happen if she were to stop receiving these ‘medicines’?” she asked.

“She’d wake up.”

“With no complications?”

“No, there shouldn’t be.  She’s very healthy, all that’s keeping her in bed is the drugs.”

“Good.  Now listen very carefully.” Rowanne said making him meet her eyes.  “You won’t remember seeing any of us today.”

“I won’t?”

“No, in fact you never saw Dexter today either.  You came to see if he came today and when you saw he wasn’t here you were relieved.  In fact you’ll remember you received a message from him saying he’d found someone else to do his dirty work for him, that you were off the leash.”

“I am?” he asked smiling.

“Yes, you were very relieved.  Now you can get on with your life without having to worry about Dexter and knowing that Ruby would soon wake up and be with her family again.”

“That’s good.” he nodded.

“You’re going to check her out of this hospital and if anyone asks questions you tell them she had a miraculous recovery.”

“I don’t have to switch her results any more?”

“Never again.” Rowanne answered.  “As soon as you leave this room you won’t remember what happened here.”

“All I saw was Ruby’s miraculous recovery and her family taking her home.” he said.

“Exactly.  You may go now.”


Rowanne removed her hand and the doctor got out of his chair with a big grin on his face as he left the room.

“What are we going to do about him?” Alexa asked indicating Dexter.

“He wasn’t part of our plans.” Rowanne answered.

“None of us have seen him for years, we weren’t expecting to bump into him let alone discover he’s the one behind it all.” I said still pinning him to the chair with my power.  “You’re coming home with us.”  I said nodding at him as he trembled.  “Rowanne, call the boys, tell them to get some restraints out.”

“Will do.” she said stepping aside to let Alexa unhook Ruby from all the drips and monitors.  “Riley,” she spoke on her cell, “please be prepared for extra company.  We’ve found the culprit.” she said ending the call.


As Alexa disconnected the last of the machinery I pulled Dexter out of his chair and took a hold of his arm while gripping onto Ruby’s bed.  The other girls took hold of my shoulders as we teleported out to Nana’s house.  In the living room Riley, Leonard, Brian, Willem, Faith, Nana, Dulcie, Matilda, Torsten and Lee waited for our arrival with a hard backed chair, ropes and chains.

“Dexter!” Nana cried out.  “No, it’s not possible.”

“We caught him trying to bribe one of the doctors to do his dirty work for him.” I informed them.

“By the sound of things they’ve had their little arrangement for a couple of years now.” added Rowanne.

“And the other doctor?” asked Brian.

“He’s taken care of.” Rowanne answered.  “He never really wanted to take part in this, he was just so desperate for the money.”

“We won’t be hearing from him?” Riley asked.

“No, Rowanne lead him to believe that Ruby had a miraculous recovery and was reunited with her family.  She even told him to check her out of the hospital for us.”

“We never saw this coming.  We didn’t think to plan for this.” Nana mumbled.

“We planned on how to capture the culprit if we should run into him but we weren’t prepared to find out he was Dexter.” I comforted her.  “Winging it worked in the end.”

“Now we just need to wait for Ruby to wake up.” Alexa said.

“Do you think you’ll get a decent night sleep now?” asked Riley.

“We still have to wait for Ruby to actually wake up though.” I said not getting ahead of myself.  “When she’s awake, maybe then, I can relax.”


Brian, Willem and Faith tied Dexter to the chair removing him of his cell and any objects on him he could use as a weapon or to cut himself free with.

“Why would you do this?” Nana asked when he was secured.  “How could you do this to your daughter?”

“It was for her own safety.”  He said not meeting her eye.  He slouched forth in his chair, his sandy coloured hair falling over his hazel eyes and sweat already beginning to stain his tan polo shirt.

“We want the truth, Dexter.  Not some garbled version of it.” she shook her head.

“You believe him?” I asked.

“I believe that he believes it’s the truth.” she answered.

“Oh, I see.” I said, the penny finally dropping.  “It’s too much of a coincidence, isn’t it?  Ruby was in the car crash that killed my parents.  You were very quick on the scene that day to save your daughter, then mysteriously disappearing afterwards.  You arrived before the paramedics, Dexter.  That car crash was no accident and you were in on it, weren’t you?” I said towering over him.  “You knew that they were attempting to kill off some Witches.  Oh, yes, you know all about us too, don’t you?” I shouted when he looked at me in surprise.  “It would’ve been easy for you to slip down to the crime scene and resuscitate Ruby if you knew when and where the crash would take place.  You’re one of them aren’t you, Dexter?”

“No way!” Rowanne said covering her mouth.

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Bill?” Brian asked.

“He’s a Preacher.” The room stayed silent.  “Go on, deny it, I dare you.”

“I’m not one of them.” he said timidly.  “They were my friends.  They kept their activities to themselves till they heard about Sophia.”

“And how do you know about what we really are?” asked Nana.

“She told me.” he said looking up at us all.  “She said she couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.”

“And how did they find out?” I said kneeling before him.

“It was my fortieth birthday.  You remember, we had a barbecue.  Sophia and I had a fight and the ‘W’ word got dragged into it.”

“They were there?” I asked enraged.  “Those men were at your party.”

“I didn’t know what they were planning to do.  They heard me fighting with Sophia and they thought I was a Witch hater too.” he cried.  “They told me they wanted them all dead, I pretended to play along.  I pretended to be one of them so I could find out when they were planning on hurting my family.”

“So you found out they were planning on taking out Ruby and my parents.  Why didn’t you tell us?”

“I couldn’t alert any of you without drawing attention to myself.  I was being watched.  Not all of them trusted me.  I was married to a Witch after all.”

“But you got to the crash site, you saved Ruby.  Why didn’t you save our parents?” Brian yelled.

“I couldn’t, I’m sorry.  They were already gone.” he whimpered.

Brian quickly pounced on Dexter, grabbing the collar of his shirt and shouted in his face, “It should be you in the ground, not them!”

“Come on, Brian.  Calm down.” Said Riley and Willem as they pulled him off Dexter.

“Get off me!” he yelled before running upstairs to slam his bedroom door shut behind him.

“We know you induced Sophia and Vincent into comas also.  Where are they?” I asked calmly.

“I will not tell you.  They are safe, that is all you need to know.”

“Safe?  They’re sitting ducks is what they are!” Leonard boomed.

“I won’t tell you anymore.” Dexter trembled.


Leonard roared and grabbed Dexter by the collar, like Brian had, and lifted him high in the air.  “If you don’t tell us where they are…”

“Leonard, let him go.” I yelled furiously grabbing at his arm.  With a manic glint in his eye he reached out and shoved me into the opposing wall.

“Are you all right?” Riley and the others came to my aid.

“Oh, my back.” I said as the pain shot up my spine.

“Take it easy.” Willem said taking the pain away.  “You’ll be right as rain in a few.”


Leonard turned his gaze on me and the crowd around me as Dexter dangles limply in his grasp.  Leaping to my feet I threw my arm out wide before Leonard released our hostage from his clutches as he went flying into the dining room wall.

“If you can’t control yourself get out!” I shouted as he knocked his head against a wooden unit.

“Erm, Bill?” Dulcie asked.

I turned to see Dulcie and Matilda standing a few steps away from the pile that was Dexter on the floor.  Dulcie was waving her hand around her nose while Matilda wrinkled her own in disgust as she pinched her nose with her left hand.  “I think he’s soiled himself.” Matilda said squeakily still pinching her nose.

“Oh, god!  Could someone please take care of him?  I’m going to take Ruby upstairs before I pick Riona up.” I said putitng both hands on the metal rails of Ruby’s hospital bed.  Thinking of my bedroom I blinked to find myself exactly where I wanted to teleport to.  Dulcie, Rowanne, Riley, Matilda, Torsten and Lee came running up the last set of stairs.  “Keep an eye on her, will you?  I won’t be in Salem long.”


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