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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14. Chapter 14

I walked through the door and let out a deep sigh of relief. I had found the answer, now all I needed was for Luc and Madelaine was to be on board.

“And where were you for the last hour?” I heard my grandmother’s voice and every muscle in my body tensed up.

“I went for a walk on the beach. I needed to clear my head.” I lied as I gave her a small smile.

“Is everything alright, mon chaton?” She asked, from the look of concern I could tell she believed my lie as she patted the seat next to her on our large leather couch.

Oui. It’s just there’s this girl. She and I Archer have been friends for quite a while and she has feelings for him. Something could’ve happened between them, but then he met me and now she resents me and is trying to break Archer and I up.” I sighed, sinking into the couch. What I was telling Gran now wasn’t a lie, Grace was making my life at Le Ménage a living hell and if I even tried to bring it up to Archer, he shut me down instantly. I understood that he and Grace had known each other for decades and that they had a history, but come on. How could he be so blind as to what she was trying to do? She pulled him away from me every chance she got, she was all over him at the house meetings, which I had now become a regular at. She would express her public distaste for me as if it were no big deal, she’s even fighting for me to get my memory erased. She was legitimately trying to sabotage my relationship and no one but me noticed it.

“Have you tried talking to Archer about this? If this other girl is a legitimate concern to you, he should know about it.”

“That’s the thing, Gran. I have tried talking to him. I have expressed my concern that she is trying to get between us, but every time I try he shuts me down. He’s too close to her, he’s known her for years. He won’t believe me.” I heard my voice crack, as tears started to well in my eyes and the once bright sky, darkened. Upon seeing my face my grandmother took my hands in hers, squeezing them affectionately.

Mi amour,” My grandmother cooed, “if he doesn’t believe you, then you have to take matters into your own hands. If this girl tries anything with your boyfriend...kick her ass.” My jaw dropped. Not only had my grandmother sworn in front of me, her seventeen-year-old granddaughter, but she also promoted violence towards Grace, not that I had a problem with that, but still.

“Good talk, sweetie.” Gran smiled, patting me on the shoulder as she grabbed her purse and headed out the door towards her restaurant, while I still sat shell-shocked on the couch.


 

 

****


 

    My conversation with Gran had been playing on repeat in my head all the way to Archer’s. I had decided to walk, it wasn’t that far away and the cold, December air would help me keep my focus. Although, I knew the moment Archer saw me he’d lose it, and that’s what I was hoping for. If I could keep his focus on me, I could hopefully talk to him about Grace.

    I walked up to the large iron gate that still reminded me of the day I learned Archer’s secrets. I pressed the buzzer and to my misfortune, Grace’s voice was the one that answered.

    “Oh it’s you.” She sneered.

    “Grace, please let me in. I need to talk to Archer and it’s freezing out here.” I sighed, pulling my coat tighter around my body.

    “I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again, stay away from Archer.” She growled as she rejected my button push and the gates remained closed. I groaned and pulled out my cell, typing in Archer’s number.

    “Cat?” He answered.

    “Yeah, hi. Can you buzz me in? I’m at the gate and it’s freezing.” I begged.

    “Did you walk here?” I could already hear the concern in his voice, I smiled wickedly to myself.

    “Yes.” I murmured. I could hear Archer sigh on the other end as the gates opened, granting me access into Le Ménage. The door swung open as I approached the front steps. I saw concern flash through Archer’s eyes, a part of me felt guilty for preying on his emotions, but I had to.

    Ma Belle.” He whispered, wrapping me in his arms, pulling me inside. The house was warm and it wasn’t until I was inside that I realized how cold I really was.

    “Why’d you walk here? What’s gotten into you?” He asked, brushing my hair out of my face. I could see Grace out of the corner of me, watching us intently a bitter scowl on her face.

    “I needed to talk to you. Can we go somewhere a little more private?” I asked softly, looking up at him. He nodded and took my hand, before we could even get up the stairs Grace appeared from her spot in the shadows.

    “Archie? Can I talk to you?” Her voice was shaky and I could see tears welling in her eyes. Oh, come one. How psychotic are you?

    “Sure, Grace.” He said, walking back over to her, “Cat, you don’t mind waiting do you?” He asked. I wanted to say no, to fight her, I was furious. I managed a weak smile and nodded lightly.

    “Yeah, I’ll just head up to your room.” I said softly as I started up the stairs.

    “Thank you Ma Belle.” I looked back over my shoulder and nodded, smiling slightly. I took a deep breath to calm myself. You wanna play dirty, Grace? Let’s play. I groaned softly as I gripped the banister, my body tilting back and forth.

    “Archer…” I said in barely audible voice as my hand released the banister and my body fell backwards down the stairs. My body crumpled on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. That’s gonna leave a mark. I thought to myself, I would definitely be laid up for a week or so and that would take some explaining to my grandparents.

    “Cat!” I heard him shout as he ran to my side. He scooped me up in his arms and carried me up the stairs.

    “What about me, Archie?” Grace pouted.

    “Not now, Grace.” He said deadpan as he walked into his room, shutting the door behind us. He laid me down on the bed, sitting next to me.

    “Cat, what happened?” He asked quietly, combing his fingers through my hair.

    “I don’t know,” I lied, trying to sit up, “I just feel so weak.”

    “I was afraid this would happen.” Archer said bitterly.

    “What?” I asked, confused. I was lying, but he was being serious. Was I actually at risk? I thought to myself.

    “I thought maybe you would be able to handle it, but it is possible this is my fault.”

    I was still confused, “What are you saying?” my mouth was dry as I scanned his face for anything that would reveal what he was about to tell me.

    “This is just another reason for your memory to be wiped.” The looks on his face was solemn as he looked at me and I couldn’t help, but smile.

    “I found something.” I whispered, my smile growing even wider.

    “Please, Cat. Now is not the time.” He said bitterly. I sighed, hopping out of bed and running down to the library, pulling out the book I had found about the magic transfer. I ran back to Archer’s room, flipping to the page and pointing to the passage about Signum Magia.

    “See? And Madelaine can preform the spell and I’ve already talked to Luc and he’d be more than willing to do his part.”

    “Luc knows about this?” Archer said, his voice raising.

    “Woah, woah, woah. Calm down I only showed it to him this morning and I made him and Madelaine promise not to say anything. I wanted to be the one to tell you.” I explained.

    “This morning? What time were you here?”

    “Um… 2:30 a.m.” I mumbled.

    “Cat!” Archer shouted. I grabbed his shoulders, forcing him to sit down on the bed.

    “Look it doesn’t matter what time I was here, or who knows about it. What matters is that we found a solution. Well, I found a solution.” I said proudly. Archer sighed, looking at me.

    “I don’t know, Cat. What if it doesn’t work?”

    “Then I’ll find something else. Please Archer. Let’s just try before we give up on it.” I pleaded.

    “Okay.” He nodded.

“Okay, let’s do it. Tonight. I don’t want to wait a minute more.” I said excitedly.

“Not tonight, in my experience, faerie spells are the most powerful on a full moon, especially when dealing with water. Something to do with the tide.”

“But the next full moon isn’t for another week and a half.” I whined, sinking back down onto the bed.

“If you want to have the best chance of this succeeding then you have to wait.”

“Fine, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.” I sunk back into the mound of pillows behind me, crossing my arms and pouting like a four year old, which made Archer laugh as he ruffled my hair.

“I’m going to go check on Grace now, do you think you’ll be okay?” He asked and then I remembered my whole reason for being laid up like this in the first place. Grace.

“Actually, I wanted to talk to you about that, her.”

“Cat, please don’t start with this again, we’ve talked about this.”

“No, you talked and I listened. Now it’s your turn.” I said sharply. I could tell Archer was shocked by my sudden command, but it was enough to get him to sit down and stay.

“I’m legitimately worried, Archer. You and Grace have a history, you two would be together now if it wasn’t for me. And let’s face it, Grace is a knockout who speaks three languages, probably more and I’m barely attractive and I speak two. You may not have picked up on it, but I have. She’s been all over you for the last couple of months and those tears from earlier were fake, trust me, Carson perfected the fake cry. She’s trying to break us up, Archer and frankly I’m a little worried because you don’t seem to mind the attention from her and you aren’t doing anything to stop her. She purposely targets me, she expresses her distaste for me, she’s fighting to get rid of me, hell she locked me out of the house this morning and you haven’t done anything about it! You sit by and idly watch, while she puts me on blast.” I could hear the shakiness in my voice, and if I could he probably could too. He took my hands in his, pulling me closer to him.

“Cat, I am so sorry. I had no idea.” His apology seemed genuine and it may have seemed selfish, but it just wasn’t enough.

“How could you have, it’s not like I’ve told a hundred times how much she bothers me.” I said bitterly, from the look on his face I could tell he was hurt. He already felt guilty about it and now I just made him feel even worse about it. God, what kind of girlfriend am I? I thought to myself. I sighed, leaning forward to press my head against his chest.

“I’m sorry, if you need to go talk to her that’s fine. I should probably get going anyway.” I said softly, standing up. He nodded, kissing my forehead slightly as he walked down the stairs.

“Grace, we need to talk.” I could hear his voice from up here, he sounded more serious than mad, but if Grace could push my buttons, I’m sure she could push Archer’s just as easily.

 
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