Complicated

Cataline Mercier Wintour had spent her whole life training to be an Olympic athlete, but when a tragic accident lands her and her party-oriented sister, Carson, across the country back in their old childhood home in Cape May, New Jersey. Cat can't help but give up on her dreams, but when she unexpectedly runs into striking, young, Frenchman Archer Corbett Henri Demonte and his group of strange friends her entire world is flipped upside down. Old secrets from the past start to unravel and when Cat becomes entrusted with the secrets of Archer and his friends things start to become a little complicated...

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10. Chapter 10

    I walked out of the Oceanview Restaurant shaking. The sky had darkened and the waves were beginning to crash against the rocks of the coast of Cape May. I could hear Grace’s voice ringing in my ears. Her threat about telling Archer all my secrets were the only words I could hear. Before I knew what I was doing I was sprinting home, as the sky opened up and rain began pouring down on me. Thunder crashed and lightning flashed up in the sky, reminding me of my childhood.

    Storms were always bad this time of year in Cape May, New Jersey. Winds were so powerful trees bent and snapped and the rain got so bad it would flood the beaches and the flatter roads. Another roar of thunder shook my surroundings and made me jump, even as child thunderstorms had always terrified me. The streets around me had cleared, not a person was in sight, not that I could see much through the rain. I was sure Madelaine had taken off by now or was stuck in the restaurant waiting for the storm to clear. The thunder and lightning continued and I ended up under a table that had previously been selling fruit. I pulled my knees to my chest and placed my head between my knees, hoping and praying the storm would pass soon.

    “Cat!” I heard someone shout. I pulled my head from my knees and squinted to see if I could make out the figure in the rain. But I had no such luck, the rain picked up and the figure disappeared from view. Another clap of thunder froze me to spot as tears continued to roll down my face. It wasn’t even the thunderstorm that scared me anymore, it was the fact that I felt completely alone. Every time I was stuck in a storm in Los Angeles I had always had my parents, or Carson, or even one of my friends to help me, but now Archer wasn’t here and neither was Maddy or Luc, no one probably even realized I was gone.

    “Come on Cat. Get up, you can do this.” I said to myself, pushing myself to help myself now. I slowly rose to my feet and walked back into the storm. I figured I wasn’t going to make home easily, most of the roads were covered in ankle deep water now and trying to climb a hill in sandals would be pointless, so I walked to the only place I felt safest, towards the water. I knew it was stupid to go into the ocean during a thunderstorm, since water conducts electricity, but my instincts told me I would be safe. I stripped off my soaking wet jeans and blouse and kicked off my sandals and wandered into the raging ocean.

    You’re safe here mon chaton. You’re always safe here.” My mother’s voice rang loud and clear in my ears as I walked deeper into the water.

    “Cat!” I heard the voice again and turned around to see the figure standing on the edge of the beach. The rain had started to lighten up and I could make out that the figure who had been calling out to me was Archer.

    “Get out of there! What are you doing?” He shouted. I nodded, acknowledging his statement. I did what I always did to get out of the ocean fast. I caught a wave. I leapt in front of a large wave behind me and let it carry me to the shore. I felt my stomach scrape over sand and sea shells, probably leaving a few cuts here and there. I finally reached the shore and I ran, I didn’t even bother with the clothes I knew had already been swept away by wind or rain. I wasn’t alone anymore, Archer was here. He wrapped me in his arms when I reached him and by that point the storm had stopped.

    “What in the world are you doing out here? Do you realize how dangerous this is?” His voice was dripping with concern as he led me towards a car, where I suddenly became very self-conscious when I saw who was driving.

“Um...Archer. I have no clothes on,” I said meekly, stepping behind him to shield myself from Luc. Archer shook his head, producing a low laugh as he shrugged off his soaking wet and pulled off his shirt, handing it to me. I shrugged it on over my head and smiled as it came to the middle of my thighs.

“Now let’s get you out of this cold. You’re soaking wet and probably freezing.” Archer said leading me to the car.

“What about you?” I asked, feeling slightly defensive.

“I’m dead. Remember?” He laughed.

“Oh, right.” Great now I felt stupid. It was hard to remember to he was dead most of the time, he just seemed so...alive. He was warm and his heart was beating, yet he wouldn’t age and eventually he would move on and live his life many more years after mine had ended. It was ironic that the one person who made me feel so alive was dead.

“Hey Kitty Cat.” Luc greeted me as I slid into the backseat of the warm car, tugging my arms tighter around myself.

“Hi, Luc.” I murmured, trying to keep myself from shaking.

“So now that you’re in the car, you want to explain exactly what the hell you were doing in the middle of the ocean during a thunderstorm?” I could hear the concern in Archer’s voice twist with anger.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” I said softly, my gaze shifting to the floor.

“No Cat. Were you trying to get yourself killed?!”

“Woah, Arch. Back off the girl okay?” Luc cut in, trying to defend me.

“No. Do you realize how dangerous that was? You aren’t like us. You’re still human.” Archer shouted. Luc brought the car to a stop and I stared at Archer. He had told me what he was about a month ago and he had never used the fact I was human against me and I never thought he was. From the look on his face I could tell he regretted the words as soon as he said them.

“Cat…” Archer started, but I held up my hand cutting him off before he could say anymore.

“You’re right I’m not like you. But I heard my mother’s voice, Archer. I haven’t heard her voice since before she died. She told me I was safe in the water and screw whatever science says, I trust my instincts. I knew I’d be safer in the ocean than I would be walking on the street in the storm.” I explained. The car had grown completely silent by now and Luc and Archer were both staring at me.

“Let’s get you home, I’m sure you’re grandparents are worried about you.” Archer said solemnly, turning away from me. I started to reach for him, but I recoiled my hand and shrunk back against my seat, waiting to get home, watching the rain start up again.

 

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