1. Chapter 1

The hot shower water steamed up the bathroom, creating a mini sauna. Although the fluorescent light inside shone brightly, the early morning outside was still asleep, the early morning light had not yet come, and wouldn’t arrive for another few hours. The clock hanging on the wall read two am, a time that most resident’s of the silent town of Apple Blossom, New York were still happily tucked away in their beds contently dreaming. All except Andromeda Moonrider or as most of her close friends called her, Anna. Anna stood underneath the shower, her face tilted upwards towards the water as it ran down her perfectly shaped body. She had awoken an hour earlier from disturbing dreams which she could hardly remember, but that had forced her mind into over drive.

After several failed attempts to fall back asleep Anna had decided to roll out of bed. Downstairs in the kitchen a pot of coffee stood ready and waiting, the TV had been turned on low as the news played across the screen. A coffee cup sat ready and waiting with a power bar on the granite counter. All the blinds were drawn closed; it was still far too early to open up the apartment to the outside. Even the bathroom blinds were drawn. The shower water turned off as she grabbed a plush red towel and stepped out of the shower. Wrapping it around her body Anna stood on the bathroom rug and stared at her reflection in the full body mirror which hung on the door. After a second, she dropped the towel to the floor, barely giving it a glance as it landed on the crisp white tiles like a dark pool of blood. Instead her attention was focused on the reflection in the mirror.

She had a body most girls her age would die for. She was short at a flat five feet, something she despised and the reason she often wore heels, yet she could still turn the heads of not only the entire male population,but also the female. At the cup size of 36C her breasts were perfectly shaped and just the right size. Her waist was slim, her hips swished with grace as she walked. Even her legs seemed to be sculpted by the hand of an artist. Yes, her body was perfect if you didn’t look to closely at the thousand of tiny scars that ran up and down her back and arms. A small shudder rolled across her body as her eyes roved up to look upon her face. Anna was considered beautiful, in a haunted ethereal sort of way. Many had commented how much she resembled the fairy folk; she looked there yet not there at the same time. Her skin wasn’t just pale; it had a translucent quality to it. Her eyes often changed depending on her mood, some days they would appear a pale silver gray other days they could be as brilliant as sapphires.

Her lips were ruby red, full bow shaped and had a very kissable quality about them or so she had been told. Although Anna’s favorite feature wasn’t anything to do with her face, no, it was her hair which fell down in a wave down past her shoulders. She liked to think she inherited her hair from her mother; it was the same shade of copper red and had the same curl to it. Like her mother’s it was wild and unmanageable just like her. Every year during the holidays when her family would get together she would hear stories of her mother; the child of nature, and like nature she could not be tamed by any man, that is until she met Anna’s father. Suddenly angry with herself, she turned away from the mirror and towards the sink. Her hands grasped at the white marble counter, her knuckles turned white from the force of her hold.

In the mirror’s reflection the bathroom door opened, letting in a gust of cold almost frigid air. The silver blond head of her best friend poked in through the opening and grinned at her. “There you are, Anna. Pixie let me in through the front door, I hope you don’t mind,” She squeezed herself around through the open doorway and into the bathroom, where she proceeded to make herself at home. Anna smiled as she met Jesse’s gaze through her mirror. “What brings you here at two am in the morning?” She asked as she brushed a comb through her hair, “How did you even get your parent’s to allow you to leave the house?”

Jesse grinned, “Who said anything about being allowed? Besides I love living dangerously,” The grin slipped off of her face, “I came to check on you, how are you doing?” Anna plastered a wry grin on her face, “I’m fine, Jesse, really. I just couldn’t sleep.” She moved to squeeze around Jesse and walked outside the bathroom, naked, and down the hall to her bedroom. Behind her Jesse followed close behind a half smile across her lips as her admiring gaze took in every inch of Anna. “I know you love me, but please stop staring, you’re making me blush,” Anna flirted with Jesse just as she turned into her room. “Oh baby, you know I just can’t stand not to stare, you’re just so yummy,” She winked, “But seriously, Anna, you know better than to lie to me, I’m an empath I know what you are feeling, I can feel what you are feeling, I just don’t know why.”

Anna grimaced, “Jesse, sometimes I wish you weren’t a psychic. Would make life so much easier,” She sighed and pulled on a pair of thigh highs, “Don’t get me wrong, there are times when your psychicness is useful, like the time you informed the Parent's of Lauren, about her wanting to commit suicide just because she had a hard week,” Anna clipped her lacey garter onto her thigh highs, which matched well with her lacy silk black panties and bra. By the time she had her undergarments on she looked like a lingerie model fresh out of a magazine. “But honestly,” She continues as she slipped into a form fitting black dress, “I appreciate your concern, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t need you poking your head around my heart. Or making me feel things that I’m not feeling.”

Jesse gave a low whistle and grinned at Anna appreciatively, “Damn, you look gorgeous today, wait what am I talking about, you look good any day.” Jesse’s grin was replaced with a look of all seriousness, “But seriously, Anna, I would never mess with your heart, not like that, never like that. I respect you too much, besides I don’t need you to go all witchy on me and curse me.” She laughed, “Not that you would, you even refuse to read my future. But that is your choice, anyway what’s with the fancy get up? You are going somewhere today?” Jesse watched as Anna twirled her hair up into a bun, she was beautiful, in an ethereal sort of way. When Jesse had first met her, her first thought that came to her mind was that Anna looked just like a fairy. Standing next to each other, they made a great pair. Jesse stood at five foot eight inches, and had been recruited by several modeling agencies. Her silky smooth silver blond hair fell down straight past her shoulders.

Her forest green eyes held a hypnotic sway over those who stared to long or hard. Most of the female student body often commented how her skin always seemed to be blemish free. Her body was perfectly toned; Jesse was a gymnast and could often be seen practicing for three or four hour’s straight each day after school. She had always strived to take care of herself; both in body and mind. “Why are you dressing up all fancy for, Anna?” Jesse pouted, her lower lip pouting ever so seductively, “I almost believe that you're skipping out on a date with out me, haven't you forgotten that the school is taking the students out on a “Important educational experience for the Students.” Bull shit, in my own opinion, he's just has no back bone to the Parent's of the Students.”

Anna snorted and laughed, “My God, Jesse, are you quoting the head of our school? But, yes, we have a school trip because the school has a scheduled renovation today and it’s to “unsafe” for the students to hang about.” As she spoke, Anna dug through her closet to find her two inch black heels, “So while all of you have an “educational” experience, I’ll be taking care of some Coven business,” She slipped into her heels and glided to the chair in front of her Vanity cabinet, “its official business, so god knows how long I’ll be. Most likely I’ll be gone the entire day.” A sigh came from behind her as Jesse sat up and stared at her, “And you’ll be seeing your fiancé, well supposed fiancé, since you two don’t even love each other. It’s all just a farce to keep everybody happy. I don’t even know why you play a long.”

“Unfortunately I’m too high profile within the Coven and the general public that I have to act the way anyone in my position is expected to act,” Turning her head Anna examined Jesse, “Now, are you seriously going to go on the school trip looking like that? Look in the back of my closet, there is a little something there for you, but you are wrong,” She continued without skipping a beat as Jesse rustled through her closet, “Adrian and I may not have a relationship full of love, but you know what we do have? Respect. Respect and a sense of fondness for each other, I would still kill anyone who dared to hurt Adrian. And he would do the same for me, granted we don’t have a normal relationship either.”

Behind her, Jesse squealed with delight as she opened a thin box and pulled out a sparkling pink satin dress. Jesse took no time at all to strip out her comfortable clothes to dawn on her new treasure. Anna half smiled, the pink complimented Jesse’s skin tone just as she thought it would, it added a shimmer to her eyes. From the second box Jesse pulled out matching one inch heels, and slipped her feet in as if they were her glass slippers. Although October was waning to an end, there was still some warmth left in the air which would keep Jesse comfortable in the halter top. On Jesse the dress fell right down to her knees, the perfect length or at least Anna thought so. “OMG, Anna,” Jesse cried, “It’s gorgeous, thank you so much, but seriously this is too much. I don’t need you spending money on me.”

“Nonsense,” Anna twisted around in her chair to examine her friend, “I enjoy spoiling my friends, besides Adrian and I are inviting you and Drew out to lunch today. We found a new restaurant which we’re dying to try; unfortunately they couldn’t reserve a table for two, today so Adrian reserved a Table for four. So in all actuality you’re saving us some unpleasant trouble. Consider this a thank you.” Jesse grinned, “So I should text Drew and inform him to wear a suit today then. So you’ll be staying in New York City for the weekend?” When Anna nodded, “Yes, I’ve got some Coven business to attend to, a Funeral actually, they want security at the service. Which is why I’ve got my Beretta equipped.” A smirk crossed Jesse's smooth lips, “I don't see your Beretta, where do you have it hidden, in your bra?”

Anna was saved from having to answer that with a knock on the door, a second later Pixie entered the room her eyes wide, “Anna, you have a visitor downstairs in the kitchen.” Pixie, which as her nickname suggested, stood at a full 3 feet. She had large pale doe like eyes, her gaze was like the deer trapped in headlights which was fairly miss leading because as anyone who knew her would say Pixie was smart as a whip. Her hair was short enough that she couldn't pull it back, yet it always seemed to frame her face, and like most of her race was a bright vibrant color. In Pixie's case her hair was electric blue, which matched her light gray eyes. Imprints of white flowers bloomed across her pale skin. “And he seems to be impatient,” she whispered as if the mysterious visitor was right next to them, “I don't think you should keep him waiting.”

Anna Sighed as she opened the top drawer to her left and took out her engagement ring, slipping it onto her left ring finger. Turning her head to the right and then left, she examined herself in the mirror. Deciding that everything looked in place, she stood up and pushed her chair into the vanity, tucking it under the desk. “Jesse, I'm going to have to ask you to leave, I can't have you here with...whoever it is down stairs, but I wouldn't want you to set a bad example for your student's and be late for your excursion,” Anna smiled at her best friend, “I have better go attend to my guest.” She spoke as she opened her bedroom door and slipped outside. Anna knew her apartment was considered by most to be unwelcoming. With carefully arranged white walls, plush white carpets, white cupboards, white tiles, white curtains, with a few carefully placed red accents her apartment did not resemble a “home”, however that was how Anna liked it. Her apartment out side of the city was not home. Anna considered her work in the field and in the name of the coven to be home.

Day light was barely filtering through the curtained windows, dawn was just breaking. The two women followed the smell of coffee down into the kitchen where they found four steaming cups waiting. Jesse's mouth almost watered at the scent, she loved coffee and Pixie's coffee was just divine, “Wow, thank you so much, Pixie, unfortunately I do have to head out. Would you mind giving me a travel mug to take with me? I promise to bring it back as soon as I can,” Jesse's sing song voice asked Pixie. Jesse knew just how best to ply Pixie into giving her anything she wanted. When Pixie Nodded, and beckoned with her finger, Jesse Followed her around the corner into a different part of the kitchen. “You just wanted to listen in on the mystery Visitor, didn't you?” Pixie winked at Jesse conspiratorially, “Just stay quiet and don't make a sound.”

Once Jesse and Pixie were out of the room, Anna turned towards the figure standing with his back to her as he gazed outside the window. “I wasn't expecting any visitors this early in the morning, and certainly not you,” Her voice almost came out in an accusatory way, “How may I help you, Thorn, Messenger of the Council? You do realize that today was an important meeting day, and I would have seen the council anyway?” She looked at the clock hanging on the wall, her impatience lacing her voice. If she wanted to be on time, she had to leave now.

Turning Thorn faced Anna, his black eyes piercing her with concern. Anna met his gaze, her eye's the color of storm clouds. Thorn chuckled slightly, “As always you are so impatient, Anna,” His face turned serious, “It has come to our attention that there has been a double murder in the 24th precinct jurisdiction, the Victims description closely matches to that of a pair of twins who have gone missing over a week ago. 

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