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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8. Chapter 8


 

    The room began to fill with people and I suddenly, began to feel very unwelcome. My whole body felt weak and Archer’s hand in mine was, quite possibly, the only thing holding me together. The last person to walk in was an older man, who couldn’t have been any less than 60 years of age, but his pristine dress and rigid posture were clear indications that he was of an aristocratic background.

    “Archer, I hope you are aware that you have broken the code of the household by bringing her here.” The older man said coldly.

    “She had just seen Luc die. I had no other choice.” Archer argued, his posture becoming defensive as his grip on my hand tightened.

    “That was your problem to handle. You know as well as everyone else here that I don’t permit any of you to bring your human lovers into this household. This is why, Archer.” I felt any and all strength I had left in my body disperse as all the color drained from my face. Human?

    “I hate to break up this marital spat,” Luc quipped in an attempt to lighten the mood, “but I’m sure Cat has quite a few questions, so all in favour of telling her just what exactly she has gotten herself into?” My eyes drifted around the room  as all hands went up, except for the elderly man who had first spoken and the red-headed boy sitting next to Madelaine, at first I thought they might have been romantically involved based on how the two interacted with each other, but once I noticed the resemblance I knew they couldn’t have been anything more than brother and sister.

    “Very well, Arch. Care to explain?” Luc said, giving the floor to Archer.

    “Well, Cat. Why don’t you ask the questions and we’ll do the best to explain it in a way you can understand.” Archer said calmly, loosening his grip on my hand. I nodded my head and let my eyes scan over everyone, I only really recognized Luc and Madelaine and I had seen Eli before, but there were still a couple people I had yet to meet.

    “What are you, exactly?” I asked trying to hide the fact my hands were shaking.

    “Well, that’s a bit more complicated of a question. You see, we aren’t all the same being, we are in fact many different beings.” Archer said cryptically and then seeing the confused look on my face began to give further explanation.

“Luc and Jean-Phillipe,” I assume he meant the older gentleman, “Are immortels, they die as humans just like any of the rest of us, but something happened to them when they died, we aren’t sure what, but it gave them the ability to live forever. They age like an average human, unless the die and then their immortality clock restarts and they start back at the same age they were when they died.” I looked over at Luc, who winked at me, making me smile and then over at Jean-Phillipe, he was older than 60 which meant he was being extremely careful about not dying.

“The twins, Matthew and Madelaine, well…”

“We’re féeries.” Madelaine interrupted, “not the kind tiny kind with wings, but we do use magic and we do have control over nature.” She said smiling at me. I smiled back, looking at her more closely, Madelaine did have a magical sense about her, not one I could quite place, but it was definitely there.

“Eli and Grace are grands chiens.” Archer said, while Luc tried to stifle a laugh.

“Correction, we are wolves. Not ‘big dogs’” The girl sitting next to Eli, said bitterly as she shot a fake dirty look in Archer’s direction, who proceeded to practically double over with laughter, releasing my hand in the process. He walked over to who I assumed, could only be Grace, and wrapped his arm around her squeezing her in a side hug. She was stunning, she was tanner than Carson, which was saying something, her thick black curls tumbled down her shoulders, and her piercing blue eyes practically lit up the room. She was flawless and I couldn’t compete with her and her obvious chemistry with Archer. I sank back into the pillows propped up behind me as Archer continued to explain.

“And what are you exactly?” I asked Archer softly. In that moment the room that had been spinning with boisterous laughter and loud side-conversations ceased and everyone’s eyes were suddenly on me.

“Thank you for all of your votes of confidence in Cat, but I think I need to answer the rest of her questions on my own.” Archer said, addressing the other people in the room. Jean-Phillipe opened his mouth to speak, but Archer held up his hand to stop him.

“I will inform you of everything after I explain things to Cat.” Jean-Phillpe nodded and promptly strode out of the room, the others following close behind him and shutting the door once they had all left, leaving Archer and I alone, yet again.

“So wanna explain, exactly what you are?” I asked him again. Archer nodded as he walked back to the bed I was sitting on and sat across from me, taking my hands in his.

“I’m an angel, like a guardian angel. My job is to save other people from dying, like what Luc did today on the boat, that should’ve been me, but I was with you and if you had seen me walking around in New York instead of Luc things would be quite a bit more complicated.” Archer explained, as he squeezed my hands tighter, which I wasn’t sure of that was supposed to be comfort for me or him. “As a guardian angel, my whole purpose in “life” is to make sure other people continue to live theirs, even if it means sacrificing my life for theirs. You’ve been through a lot in the past four months, Cat. I don’t want to put you through the constant pain of me dying, but Cat?” He paused, his eyes meeting mine, “even if you decided to never come back here and never see me again, which I hope you decide differently, my secret, as well as the secrets of the rest of the household are in your hands. We’ve managed to remain under the radar for this long and we’d like to keep it that way.”

 

****

 

    My head was reeling, I felt like I was going to be sick from the information overload Archer had given me. Immortals? Faeries? Wolves? Guardian Angels? It was all too much. I thought to myself. I heard a knock on the door and Jean-Phillipe entered the room, I stood up and excused myself.

    “Go to the kitchen, Marie will fix you breakfast.” Archer said as he kissed my forehead.

    “Can’t I just leave?” I groaned. I was exhausted and I needed to get out of this apartment and clear my head.

    “Not yet, I’m afraid. I’m sorry, Cat.” Archer sighed.

    “You can’t just keep me here! What about my grandparents and Carson?” I asked frantically, realizing just how worried my family must be.

    “We texted your Grandmother from your phone saying that you were spending the night with one of your friends from school.” I rolled my eyes, ignoring the complete and total invasion of my privacy and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind me. I followed the scent of biscuits and the sound of laughter down the hall to the kitchen. When I walked into the room, I felt like I had disrupted the cosmos.

    “That’s my cue to leave.” Matthew said coldly, looking me over disapprovingly before fist bumping Luc and Eli and exiting the kitchen, knocking my shoulder on the way out.

    “What’s his deal?” I growled, rubbing my shoulder.

    “He just doesn’t like your kind.” Grace said deadpan, taking a bite out of her biscuit. I could tell she didn’t like me, her tone made that clear. It probably had more to do with the fact Archer liked me than the fact I was a human and didn’t belong.

    “You know Archer hasn’t stopped talking about you since he saw you.” Luc said trying to break the obvious tension between Grace and I. But i had a feeling that was just going to make things worse.

    “Luc’s right. We haven’t seen him this happy in a long time.” Eli agreed, clapping me on the shoulder.

    “Alright we get it! Archer’s infatuated with the poor, human, orphan-girl!” Grace snapped, standing up immediately. Her chair went flying backwards and broke against the wall. The room went silent and all eyes were on her as she stormed out of the kitchen and off down the hallway, moments later I heard a door open and slam shut.

“Drama Queen” Madelaine mouthed to me, making me snicker.

“What’s her deal anyway?” I asked, leaning back in my chair crossing my arms. Madelaine and Luc’s eyes flitted over to Eli who was shoveling down eggs. He swallowed and then looked over at me as he adjusted his posture in his seat.

“As wolves, Grace and I both imprint on people. We don’t mean to and it doesn’t even have to be because we have romantic feelings whatsoever, it’s just something we do. Grace, unfortunately imprinted on Archer when she first started living here. The older she got the stronger her feelings for Archer got, an imprint is like a supernatural pull to someone, whoever you imprint on is who you think is your soulmate. Before, you came along Archer was considering the possibility of a relationship with Grace, but then he met you and any considerations were off the table. It was clear to all of us that Archer had fallen in love with you the moment he saw you. That made me laugh, I remembered the day Archer and I met, he had been so rude and now I was sitting in his house talking to his best friends.

“He certainly had an interesting way of showing it.” I giggeled.

“The day at the coffee shop wasn’t the first time Archer saw you. It was the day you met him and the day you two actually had a conversation, but he had seen you weeks before, when you first moved here. Luc was actually the one who suggested that we go into the cafe that day.” Madelaine explained. My eyes went wide as I stared at Luc who was trying to stifle a laugh at me.

“You have been stalking me!” I gasped.

“Two beautiful girls move in down the street? Stalking is not the word I’d used Kitty-Cat.” Luc smirked. I groaned as my head sunk into my hands. Great. I thought to myself, If they’ve been stalking me since I moved here, they probably saw the dark cloud hanging over my head as I trudged my way through Maine.

“Cat?” I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around to see Archer standing behind me.

“You’re free to go, let me drive you home though.” I nodded and took Archer’s hand as he pulled me out of the chair and handed me my jacket. I slipped it on shivering as we stepped out into the chilly Maine air.

“Is it okay with you if we take a small detour first? I want to take you somewhere.” Archer said as he zipped up his leather jacket and tossed me a motorcycle helmet. I nodded and climbed on the back of the bike. After, what felt like about fifteen seconds, Archer stopped the bike. I looked up and saw a rusted wrought iron gate that had been decorated with fairy lights.

“What is this place?” I breathed, pulling my jacket tighter as Archer pushed open the gate.

Jardin des lumières.” Archer answered simply, as he turned back to me and took my hand, leading me through the beautiful botanical garden covered in lights.

“It’s beautiful.” I whispered as we came to a gazebo that was tucked back in vines and lights.

“You’re beautiful.” Archer said to me and then brought his lips to mine. In that moment all I felt was time stopping and Archer and I frozen in that moment, forever.

 
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