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...


9. Chapter 9

    My head was reeling from the next few weeks. I kept replaying the moment Archer and I had shared on the bridge in the jardin des lumières. Not to mention the fact my closest friends were magical, dead people. None of them had told me how they died, but they were simply dead and that how they died determined what they became.

    “Good morning sleepy head.” I heard Carson’s voice coming from the doorway. My eyes fluttered open pulling me from the beautiful dream I was immersed in.

    “Hey.” I said groggily, as I sat up.

    “Hey. Can we talk Cat?” She said softly. I didn’t even say anything, I just sprung out of bed and wrapped my arms around her.

    “You’re an amazing big sister.” I said as I buried my face in her hair. I hated when Carson and I fought, it felt like a piece of me was missing. Even though, Carson and I had absolutely nothing in common, she understood me better than anyone in the world. Sometimes I had to remind myself she lost her parents too.

    “So where were you yesterday? I didn’t hear you get in until late last night Kitty Cat.” Carson smirked as she sat on my bed, patting the spot next to her.

    “I was just with Archer…” I said vaguely, trying to avoid any more prying questions from my sister. At that moment my phone rang, saving me from my sisters impeccable investigation skills.

    “Maddy, hey.” I said into my phone walking out of my room.

    “Hey, Cat. Can you do lunch? I want to talk.” I heard Madelaine’s voice come through my phone and even though her voice remained steady I could tell she was concerned.

    “Absolutely. Where do you want to meet?”

    “Oceanview Restaurant in 20 minutes?”

    “I’ll be there.” Madelaine and I said our goodbyes and then the line clicked, ending the phone call. I quickly showered and changed before heading down to the beachside restaurant. I had gotten there 15 minutes, which wasn’t surprising to me considering I only lived five minutes away. I stared out at the ocean, the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean sparkling in the sun. I could smell the saltwater in the sea breeze that was blowing my hair around my face.

    Before I even knew what I was doing my feet were already taking me towards the water. I opened my eyes and found myself standing on the edge of the water. I kicked off my sandals leaving them in the sand as I took a couple of steps forward and felt the water rush over my feet. I sucked in a deep breath and amidst all of the white noise of my surroundings I could hear my mother’s voice.

    It’s okay mon chaton. The water’s not deep here. You don’t need me anymore. You can let go.” I felt a tear roll down my cheek as her voice disappeared. I felt a hand on my shoulder and my eyes snapped open.

    “You ready go to? Grace already got us a table.” Madelaine said. I wiped the tear from my eye before she could ask me what was wrong.

    “Grace is here?” I asked, confused. Grace hated me why in the world would she be having lunch with me?

    “She was actually the one who suggested it, but she knew if she called you, you wouldn’t come.” Madelaine explained as we walked back to the restaurant. Once in the restaurant Madelaine directed us to the table where Grace was sitting. Every time I saw her I still wondered how Archer could’ve chose me over her. She was a knockout and I wasn’t anywhere close.

    “Cat.” Grace said, acknowledging my presence.

“Hi, Grace.” I said as I sat down.

“So, by now I’m sure you know that I’m the one that organised this lunch.” I nodded, my hands fidgeted under the table. I could tell that Grace wasn’t about to apologize to me for what she said to me the other night and frankly, I wasn’t expecting her too.

“Grace, before you say anything I just wanted to say I’m sorry. Eli told me you imprinted on Archer and then while he was considering a relationship with you he met me.”

“My past with Archer has nothing to do with why I don’t like you.” Grace scoffed.

“Grace, don’t.” Madelaine said as she shot Grace a look, which was clearly meant to be a warning.

“No. She deserves to know why I don’t like her.” Grace said coldly to Madelaine, before redirecting her attention to me, “I don’t like you because your kind hunted me down for years and I had done nothing to them. Not to mention I don’t think anyone, especially a human should have access to our household’s secrets. And honestly, I don’t think you deserve Archer, he’s too good for you and he doesn’t deserve to put up with all your baggage. He has enough emotional stress of his own.” She snapped. I could understand her not liking me because I was human and I wasn’t like her or Madelaine, but I was taken aback by the last statement she said. I wasn’t planning on dumping any of my “baggage” on Archer in the first place, I didn’t want him to look at me differently. If he knew half of my story, things between us would be a lot more different. I didn’t want him to think of me as some broken toy who needed to be fix, I had done fine this far and I would continue to do fine.

“Does Archer know about your past, Cat?” Grace sneered, I could hear the threat in her voice.

“No. He doesn’t.” I said shakily, turning to Madelaine for some kind of support or help.

“And frankly he doesn’t need to know because it’s is none of his business and it’s definitely none of your damn business either Grace.” Madelaine snapped.

“Who’s side are you on, Madelaine?!” Grace shouted, drawing attention from the other patrons in the restaurant.

“No one’s, but let’s just be honest right now Grace. The only reason you’re being a bitch to Cat, is because she has the one thing you never will. Archer.” As soon as Archer’s name rolled off of Madelaine’s lips, Grace lost it.

“You just wait.” Grace growled before storming out of the restaurant and taking off.

“Are you okay?” Madelaine asked, drawing my attention back to her. I nodded my head yes, but in my mind all I could think was No, no I’m not okay. What if Grace tells Archer all the things from my past and it ruins any chance we have together?

“I see the way, Archer looks at her.” I whispered, turning my head back to where Grace had taken off.

“And the rest of us see the way he looks at you, Cat. He’s in love with you. There is absolutely no denying that.”



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