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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12. Chapter 12

“Family comes first.” Archer’s words rang in my head over and over again. No matter how far my relationship progressed with Archer, assuming it ever did, I would constantly be one step down from Grace. He would always value her opinion over mine. He would always take her side, choose her over me. 

“Cat?” Archer’s voice brought me back from my racing thoughts and into reality, once more. 

“What if we can’t work through this? What if you adopt Grace’s opinion as your own?” I asked shakily, placing my head in my hands. 

“I’m trying, ma belle. Grace made a compelling argument for finding a way to wipe your memory, so you won’t remember anything we told you.” 

“She wants to wipe my memory?!” I snapped, clenching my fists tightly as another low growl of thunder erupted outside the library. I knew what this was, she didn’t care, nearly as much that I knew the secrets of the household. She wanted to wipe Archer from my memory. 

“Cat, calm down. It wouldn’t be the worst option, all things considered.” Archer said calmly, returning to the mountain of books behind him. 

“Do you think it’s possible that she doesn’t to wipe away the knowledge I possess, but she wants to wipe all memories of you from my brain?” I asked him, I was trying to remain calm, but he was acting as if this wasn’t all that big of a deal and then to make matters worse, Grace walked into the library. 

 
 

**** 

Archie,” She cooed, disregarding my presence in the room, “we need to discuss your involvement with the human.” 

I scoffed, rolling my eyes, and catching Grace’s attention. 

“Oh! Cat!” She exclaimed in faux-shock. She had known I was here the whole time and simply opened her mouth to get under my skin.  

“Hi Grace.” I said bitterly.  

“I didn’t see you there, dear. Can you give Archie and I a moment alone?” 

“No, Archer and I were in the middle of a conversation, one that does not include you. So, you may talk to him after I leave, but until then I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to give us the room.” I said, smiling fakely. I grinned wickedly as Grace stomped out of the room, in a child-like manner and Archer turned to me, slack-jawed. 

“You are so hot when you do that.” He breathed, as he strode toward me wrapping me in his arms. 

“I should be a lawyer.” I grinned, draping my arms behind his neck. 

“How would I manage to keep my hands off you?” He said in a tone that sent chills up my spine. I pushed back from him, remembering our conversation. 

“I know you say there’s nothing else I can do, but I’m going to find something. I’m going to find a way that doesn’t involve getting my memory wiped, so I can stay in your life.” I said confidently, I was determined. I would find something, I knew there had to be another option. 

 
 

**** 

 
 

I spent the next month researching and digging through every book in Jean-Philippe’s library; combing for any piece of information, any loophole that would permit me to stay in Archer’s life and retain the information about the renaître. 

“Still nothing?” Archer asked me one day, while I was sitting in the library. 

“No. I’ve read over every book in this subject twice and haven’t found anything. They all same the same thing: no human should have access to renaître secrets, any that do should be handled immediately.” I groaned, shutting another book and adding it to the enormous stack next to my chair. Archer leaned down to kiss my forehead. 

“It’ll all be alright, ma sirène.” He whispered. 

“What if it’s not? What if the only option is that you and everyone in this house are completely wiped from memory?”  

“You’ve only been looking for a month.” He reminded me, as I groaned and dropped my head into my hands. 

“Tell me something to distract me. How did everyone else die?” I asked, looking up at him. 

“You want me to distract you by telling you how everyone in this house was brutally murdered?” He asked in shock. 

“If my memory is wiped I might as well get in all the information I have access to now.” 

“Well…” He sighed, “JP died in World War One at seventeen, Luc was shot and killed in World War Two at eighteen, but they’ve both been able to resist the urge of dying for so long, or at least JP has. Luc was almost twenty until the boating accident.” 

“And everyone else?”  

“Well, Grace and Eli were mauled by wolves in Russia…” I stopped him for a moment, confused.  

“How is that murder?” I asked, looking at Archer who gave me a look that explained everything.  

“The twins were killed at fifteen during the Salem Witch Trials, so we aren’t really sure how they became faeries. JP thinks it has something to do with the magic they practiced before they died.” 

“And you? How did you die?” I asked, intrigued. 

“I was killed trying to save a family in France during World War Two. They caught me stealing food and found where I was harboring the family. The shot me in the square of Paris, to set an example for anyone else harboring Jews.” 

“Archer…” I breathed, wrapping my arms around him. 

“It’s fine, Cat. Really, I would do it a hundred times over again if I had to.” He said as he breathed in my scent, hugging me tightly as if he was afraid if he were to let go I would disappear.  

  

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