Sisters of Midnight:Dark Moon
Author: Kimberly Diaz

Chapter 5
Chapter 5

Chapter 5

FRIDAY: Day of Homecoming Game

The next day at school, Cyndi was nowhere to be found. Rachel informed me that Cyndi and her best friend had stayed home to get their hair and nails done for the dance tomorrow night.

“Figures,” I rolled my eyes. I was thinking of how it was going to feel watching Nick play king to Cyndi’s queen after spending the last few days practically glued to his side when a muscular arm grabbed me around the waist.

“Hey gorgeous, are you telling your friends how great tomorrow night is going to be?”

“Tony!” I said, unable to hide the surprise in my voice.

“Expecting someone else?” he joked.

“No, I just forgot to tell you that my mom needs me home by 12:00. We have to go visit relatives out of town Sunday.”

“No problem,” he said.

I was surprised he was fine with it until he continued, “We’ll just have to leave the dance plenty early. You know this is already our third date.” He looked at me expectantly as if I was supposed to know what he was thinking.

I glanced at my friends nervously. Tony followed my eyes. “You girls don’t mind, do you? We’ll be wanting to spend some time alone.” His eyes narrowed in warning.

Help, I pleaded silently. Emily, reading my mind, said, “Weren’t you going to be my ride?”

“Yes!” I said almost too eagerly. “We’re her ride to the dance, remember Tony?” I knew then that I would have to find a way to make him leave me alone. I replayed Nick’s words in my head about Tony’s temper and shuddered.

“We can take you, he agreed, “but you’ll have to find another ride home. I have a surprise for Faith after the dance.”

“Lucky you,” Emily replied sarcastically. “Come on Tracey, Rachel, we going to be late for class.”

They left quickly before I could beg them to stay. After they turned the corner, Tony leaned into me till I was backed up against the lockers. When he tried to kiss me, I wasn’t expecting it and I turned my head at the last minute, giving him my cheek when I knew he had been trying for my mouth. I saw Nick walking down the hallway towards us, looking like he wanted to knock Tony out.

“Why’d you turn your head?” Tony asked defensively.

“I don’t like PDA’s” I lied, seeing Nick’s clenched jaw turn into a smirk.

“Oh I get it,” Tony grinned, not getting the hint. “You’d rather wait till we’re alone. What do you want Sullivan?” He finally acknowledged Nick standing behind him. I took that opportunity to move away from against the lockers.

“Coach sent me to look for you. He wants to talk to you in the gym about the game ASAP.”

“Bye.” I said to Tony and turned to walk away, feeling his hand on my backside.

“I don’t even get a hug?” Tony complained.

I was embarrassed by his groping me and repulsed by the thought of him touching me again so intimately, especially in front of Nick. “Now you have something to look forward to.” I replied sarcastically before Nick and I walked away.

Memo to self, do a spell to make Tony leave me alone. I asked myself why I even agreed to go out with him in the first place. “Thank you so much for coming to my rescue. My wonderful friends deserted me after he scared them off. What’s going to happen when he finds out you tricked him into going to the gym?”

“Actually, coach did want to see him. He’s going over stuff for the game tonight. And it looks like I showed up just in time. That jerk can’t take a hint. He’s lucky I didn’t lay him out when he decided to get over familiar with his hands.”

We walked down the crowded hallway. All seniors were supposed to meet at a pep assembly in the auditorium. “You’re right about Tony’s temper. He made it clear to my friends that he plans for us to be alone tomorrow and that he wants us to leave the dance early. I made up an excuse of why I couldn’t but he seems determined.”

Nick grabbed my hand and we stopped walking. His touch reminded me of yesterday and sent a delicious shiver up my arm. He pulled me into the empty history room.

“I thought we were supposed to meet in the auditorium?”

“We are. That’s how I know we won’t be bothered while we’re in here.” We sat at a table in the back of the room. I was hoping for another make-out session but he started talking instead. “Please try not to let Tony get you alone tomorrow.” He spoke firmly with conviction. “I didn’t want to give you anything else to be worried about, but I found out something today I think you should know, especially after seeing him with you just now.”

“You’re starting to scare me Nick. What is it?”

“Tony was bragging to some of the guys in gym today, some of his jerk friends, talking about how many girls he’s been able to hook up with this year, whether they wanted to or not. It sounded like he doesn’t even think he’s doing anything wrong. If he’s telling the truth, then I don’t want him to get a chance to hurt you. You know my friend Ryan; he’s taking Tracey to the dance, right?”

I nodded.

“He’s the only one I’ve told about us; he knows how much I care about you. Tony told him that he thinks you and he are going to get better acquainted in some hotel room he rented. He asked Ryan if he wanted to bring Tracey.”

I could feel my cheeks burning with anger at Tony’s assumption. “I knew he was a jerk who puts his hands on me every chance he gets, but I never thought it would go that far. A hotel room!” I was outraged. “I’ve only gone out with him twice. What is he thinking?”

“I can tell you what he’s thinking with. I told Ryan and Steve to look out for you.” Steve was Rachel’s twin brother who was also a friend of Nick’s. Try to keep your distance and dance with other people as much as possible. And save a dance for me.”

“I don’t think Cyndi will let you out of her sight, much less near me.” I didn’t even try to hide the bitterness in my voice.

“We will dance together at Homecoming, I promise. Cyndi could walk in that door right now, see us together and I still wouldn’t care.” I grew hot under his intense gaze. He was so close I could smell the musky scent of his cologne every time I breathed in. “Seeing you is the only part of Homecoming I’m looking forward to. I might be there with Cyndi, but I plan to be with you as much as possible. Tony has another thing coming if he thinks he’s going to be pawing you all night.”

With that, his mouth came down on mine possessively. I wrapped my arms around his neck, wanting to feel even closer to him. I melted when out lips met and his fingers traveled the length of my long hair. When he pulled back he said, “I don’t want you to worry about Cyndi or Tony. After tomorrow, we’ll be together and the whole school will know. Now we better go to the assembly before Mr. Harris notices we’re not there yet.”

“Should we be leaving together?” I asked as he took my hand. “What if someone sees us?”

“I’m tired of putting on an act and relieved it’s almost over. It’ll be amusing when Cyndi realizes that she can’t control everyone. Besides, I’m sure she’ll find someone else by the end of the month.”

We left the history room and headed down the corridor to the auditorium for the assembly. As we came around the end of the wing, no one was in sight.

“We must be really late,” Nick observed.

I looked behind me, having the overpowering feeling of being watched by invisible eyes. It wasn’t paranoia but a sixth sense. He was oblivious to my alarm as we walked, my hand firmly in his. We made our way into the darkened building and located our class, snagging the last two seats together. I looked around nervously, noticing that Tony was not with the class. He wasn’t anywhere I could see.

“Nick. Tony’s not here!”

“Good,” was his reply.

“I felt like someone was watching us when we left the classroom. If it was him-”

“Don’t worry. He’s probably still in the gym.”

I nodded, trying to let his words comfort me but a few minutes later, Tony came into the auditorium and sat in an empty seat nearby. Nick and I were no longer holding hands, but I could feel Tony looking at us. I sat back and tried to pay attention to the talent show on the stage.

I blushed when Nick whispered in my ear “I can’t wait till I see how hot you look in your dress tomorrow night.” He put his hand next to mine on the armrest, the back of his hand softly brushing against mine, and continued to look at the stage as if he’d said nothing.

I still felt like the last few days had been a dream that I was refusing to wake up from. I couldn’t believe that if I had just been upfront about my feelings from the beginning, Nick and I would have been together and we wouldn’t have these problems with Cyndi and Tony. Something terrible is going to happen.

The thought just popped into my head as if someone had said it out loud. I tried to think about anything but the unusual stuff that had been happening. I thought of Nick’s lips on mine, the way his muscular arms felt around me.

It was working. I looked at him, studying his chiseled face and handsome features. Captain of the football team, his body was like a Greek soldier, all hard lines and muscles like the statues we studied about in our art class.

Feeling my eyes on him, he turned to me with a dimpled grin. “We could just give everybody something to talk about and go to the dance together. It doesn’t feel right going with Cyndi when I really want to be with you.”

“I would love that more than anything Nick, but Cyndi would be livid if you dumped her right before Homecoming. Those recruiters for the scholarship committee are coming to see you play tonight. You don’t want to ruin that. And have you noticed the way Tony’s been looking over here? I don’t want him to know we’re together until after I have a chance to break up with him, to avoid any confusion he might have about our status since he thinks we’re an actual couple. As far as he knows, you and I are just friends.”

“Yeah, I know. I just thought I’d try to convince you otherwise.”

I flashed him a secret smile. “I will let you take me to the next dance though.”

“I won’t miss it,” he promised. It was like we were the only ones in the whole auditorium. It was so difficult to be sitting next to him and not be able to hug or kiss him.

Thunderous applause filled the room and I realized I had been so distracted, I missed the end of the assembly. We all got up to go back to class. As people pushed and shoved to leave, I turned to say something to Nick and frowned. He was gone.

Back in the history room, we listened to announcements and then it was time to go home. I walked to my locker, upset at myself for letting Nick’s disappearance bother me, wondering why he’d left in such a hurry and why he wasn’t in class for the announcements. I didn’t have to wonder for long. I found a single red rose in my locker with a card that simply said, “For my Queen.” I knew it was from Nick and not Tony. Tony wasn’t the romantic type; he was the get a room type. My heart swelled as I smiled to myself and inhaled the sweet scent, the rose evidence of how much Nick really did care for me.

Emily’s voice made me jump. “Present from loverboy?”

“I hope-” I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying who I hoped it was really from. “I hope Tony isn’t getting too serious.”

I wasn’t going to tell my friends about Nick and I until after the ceremony. Plus, I kind of liked keeping my relationship just between Nick and I. It felt like a wonderful secret I wasn’t ready to share with the world.

Rachel brought me back to reality. “Hel-lo! Faith, where are you?” She laughed.

“Sorry, my mind was somewhere else.”

“Obviously,” Tracey said as she joined us. “You’ve been spacing out like that for days. Are you thinking about the break-in?”

Good. They thought I was just worried about that. Across the hall I spotted Nick holding his football uniform, walking with two of his friends on their way to practice for the biggest game of the year. He kept walking when he saw me but his eyes locked with mine for several seconds, the corners of his mouth turning up into a sexy grin as he silently acknowledged the flower in my hand and I knew without a doubt why he had rushed out of the assembly. I mouthed a silent “Thank you.” before turning back to my friends.

After the guys were out of sight, Tracey, the flirting expert, exclaimed, “Something is going on between you and Nick! I know you saw the way he just looked at you but you don’t even seem surprised. In fact, you look like you expected it. Spill it! When did you guys hook up?”

“Okay,” I said drudgingly. “I knew I couldn’t keep it from you three much longer. I was going to tell you tomorrow, but yes, something has happened.” I couldn’t hide the excitement in my voice.

“So he’s taking you to the dance instead of Mr. Octopus arms?”

I took a deep breath knowing they wouldn’t understand. “Promise not to say anything until I finish.” When they all promised, I continued. “Nick and Cyndi are going to the dance and I’m still going with Tony. Wait!” I held up my hand as Rachel began to object. ”Give me a chance to explain.”

I told them about most of the last three days with the exception of the intensity of our lip locking sessions. Then I told them about Cyndi and the scholarship. “She thinks she’ll win because Nick’s a sure pick for king.”

“That’s because people actually like him,” Tracey retorted. “So then what, you’re going to break up with your dates after the dance?”

“That’s the plan,” I told them. “On Monday, everyone at school will know we’re a couple.”

I was glad to be able to talk to them about Nick after keeping quiet for days. I thought I had wanted it to be a secret, but talking about it had me feeling relieved.

He’s such a sweet guy.” Rachel loved any display of romance. “And he gave you a rose,” she squealed. “That explains why he was so concerned when you weren’t at school yesterday. Did he call you?”

“He did better than that; he left school to come over. My mom had to work and he didn’t want me to be alone. He is-amazing!” I gushed, unable to stop now that I started.

Tracey gave me a knowing look. “So that’s what you’ve been doing.”

I gave her a playful slap on the arm. ”We didn’t do that!”

“Yet!” Emily laughed.

“You’re all terrible!” I scolded. “But I did want to,” I admitted to them and to myself while rubbing the velvet leaves of my rose. “He’s so sweet and protective of me. He’s not like the other guys at school. It’s just like I imagined it would be. We went to see a movie and he took me to this amazing restaurant to get my mind off what happened Wednesday night.”

“Now do you believe in the spells?” Emily asked. “Tracey did a spell on him for you and now he’s practically in love with you.“ She sure knew how to put a damper on my good mood.

I pushed the thought of the spells out of my head. They didn’t know about the one I performed on my own. “That’s the thing, he said he’s been interested since we met but I had a boyfriend at the time then he was afraid to ruin our friendship. He wasn’t going to say anything, but because of the way I came onto him at lunch last week, he changed his mind. That was before any of the spells. I think maybe they just encouraged him to act on his feelings. I can’t believe I wasted so much time.”

“We’re happy for you Faith,” said Rachel. “How romantic, Nick nominating you for queen.”

“It would all be so perfect if this weird stuff wasn’t happening.” They were silent while I informed them about the picture of Nick and I that had been left at my house the night of the break-in and the theory Nick had that whoever it was would more than likely make a second attempt.

“Maybe we can ask about it at the summoning,” Emily suggested.

Rachel looked at each of us. “Do you guys still think Saturday is a good idea? I mean, considering all that’s happening?”

“Especially with all that’s happening!” Emily said. “We can use our power to find out who is behind the break-in. I’ll write a note in the book.”

I watched astounded as she turned to her locker. “You brought it to school?”

She shrugged. “I needed it for a spell to get Mr. Nichols,” she said nonchalantly.

“Our teacher!” I gaped.

“Are you crazy!” Rachel said at the same time.

“I’ll be eighteen in six months,” she defended herself. “And it’s his first year. I bet he’s only five years older than us. Besides, you haven’t seen the way he looks at me. I know if I wasn‘t a student he‘d have asked me out by now.”

What happened to your three dates?” I asked her.

“I’m keeping my options open,” she replied as she continued to rummage through her locker. “That’s funny.” I didn’t like the face she made. “I put it back right after lunch when we were talking about the dance.”

“So where is it now?” Tracey demanded.

“I-I don’t know,” she sputtered. “It’s gone!”

Not good. This was bad news.

“Are you saying,” I asked in disbelief, “that someone stole our Book of Shadows? Do you know what this could mean for us?”

“I know, I know!” She was nearly crying.

Rachel spoke. “We have to find it! Every spell we’ve performed, all our plans, it’s all in there! We‘ll be ruined if anyone reads some of the spells we‘ve done!”

Ruined. You’ll be ruined at school. The words were clear in my mind as I remembered the threat I received recently.

“Cyndi!” I spat out. “She promised to ruin me at school if I made a move on Nick. That was before she saw us sharing a dessert last weekend. This is the perfect way for her to do it too. If he finds out about the spells on him-”

“Spells? I only did one,” Tracey answered confused.

“I did one too, only I didn’t write that one down and I didn’t tell any of you,” I admitted, closing my eyes and sinking against the wall for support. “A Slow Seduction spell. But I stopped using it after Nick said he’s liked me this whole time.”

“And you guys were getting on me?!” Emily balked. “So we both went against the Free Will Law.”

“Cyndi didn’t do it.” Tracey stated matter-of-factly. “That would be the obvious answer to our problem but she’s not at school today, remember?”

“Son of a-, you’re right. But who else would want it?” I was at a loss for an answer, helplessness creeping all around me.

“So what do we do girls? We can’t just march into the principal’s office and say ‘Somebody stole our Book of Shadows.’ And if Nick reads about the spell you did for me Tracey, we’ll be over before we even get started. He’s going to feel like I tricked him! I don’t want him to doubt that his feelings for me are real. I didn’t write down the spell I did for that reason. Plus, I didn’t personalize it for him, exactly. I just performed it with him in mind.”

“I lied about the spell I did for you, Faith.” Tracey admitted. The afternoon just continued to spiral downhill. “What are you talking about Tracey?”

“Please don’t get upset Faith, I had your best interests at heart. I thought that if you believed I cast a spell on Nick for you, you’d gain the confidence you needed to be honest with him about your feelings.”

“Let me see if I’ve got this straight, you wrote the spell down but didn’t do it. And I did one but didn’t write it down. Why Tracey? He’ll never trust me again if he sees what’s in that book!”

“I’m sorry. But if it’s any consolation, you said how he was flirting with you after the nominations. That was before you thought I did my spell and way before you did yours.”

Was it true, I wondered? Were all of Nick’s feelings real? There was only one way to find out. I’d have to go to him with the truth.

“Since this is all my fault for having the book at school,” Emily reasoned, “Before the game, I’ll do a spell to return what was stolen. I swear I won’t rest until I find it.”

“We’ll decide what else needs to be done at the game. Let’s go home and get ready. Meet at the stadium at seven?”

We all went our separate ways.

I would have to wait until after the game to have my talk with Nick. I wasn’t about to upset him now, especially with the recruiters coming to watch him play in a couple of hours.

I drove home in a daze, unsure of how we were going to undo the mess we were in. I couldn’t let Nick find out from anyone else but me. I wanted our relationship, if it continued, to be based on honesty. I had good intentions Nick, I silently pleaded. Please believe me.

As soon as I had parked in the driveway, then a blinding pain shot through my temples. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing the pain to stop and remembered that we never had decided if the summoning would still be a good idea. That was the last thought I had before the premonition took over.

 

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