Sisters of Midnight:Dark Moon
Author: Kimberly Diaz

Chapter 6
Chapter 6

Chapter 6

There was a dark mist forming at the edge of the water on the deserted beach. The moonlight cast an eerie reflection and I could see Rachel, Tracey and Emily as if I were flying overhead, a silent observer to the ceremony that was being performed. The mist swirled faster and faster around until finally culminating into the shadow of a tall male figure.

My friends appeared to be welcoming the shadow figure into our circle. “Stop, no!” I tried to cry out. Now I wasn’t watching from above, I was back in my body, on the beach with the others. They didn’t notice my distress, didn’t notice the danger I sensed in the dark figure. It looked at me with a menacing grin.

“Come to me, Faith.” I watched in horror as the shadow hand reached out for me and my foot took a step closer against my will.

“No, please, no!”

Sinister laughter filled my head as the mist expanded, surrounding me, a strong wind whipping strings of hair around my face. “Get away from me!” I screamed, dropping to my knees and covering my face with my hands to protect it from the hurtful grains of sand. The mist blew past me and my hair settled back around my shoulders. When I dared to look up, I was alone and the beach was calm and peaceful in the moonlight, nothing in the air but the crashing of waves.

“There you are.” A voice as dark and warm as velvet spoke behind me. I stood and turned, strong arms pulling me against the owner of the seductive voice.

“I was waiting for you Nick,” I purred. “Kiss me.” I had just enough time before his lips descended on mine to take in his gelled back hair and the half open pirate shirt he wore. Why was he in a costume? Lord, he was sexy.

He bent his head down to mine. “Anything you want,” was his reply as our lips met in liquid fire. My eyes drifted closed and I surrendered to the flames.

His kisses grew harder and more urgent, demanding. I gripped his arms, trying to loosen the almost bruising hold he had on me. He refused to release me. Instead, he held me tighter, his kisses becoming sloppy and rough. “Nick, you’re hurting me. I can’t breathe!” I panicked as I pushed against his muscular chest. “Slow down, you’re scaring me.”

“I thought this is what you wanted.” The voice wasn’t Nick’s. It was rougher, sarcastic. My eyes snapped open.

“Tony!”

“Who were you expecting?” Tony sneered. He jerked his chin motioning over his shoulder. “Him?”

“Nick!” I screamed, seeing the lifeless body laying on the beach behind us, a large spot of crimson staining his white shirt. I pushed Tony hard and ran from his embrace, straight to Nick. I put my hands on either side of his face. “Nick, please answer me.”

“Help me Faith.” It came out as a cross between a groan and a whisper.

“Who did this to you?” I cried, turning to look at Tony accusingly.

“Me?” Tony laughed. “You did this to him.”

“No!” I gasped and my eyes opened. I was back in the garage, my breath coming fast, my body covered in sweat.

How long had I been there?

I checked my watch. Five minutes. Was that all? The premonitions, once only occasionally while I slept, were happening way more often than I could handle. I could still see the pained look on Nick’s face.

Was he in danger? What did it mean? Maybe it was just my subconscious showing me my fears about breaking things off with Tony because I loved Nick. Did I think Tony would hurt him?

I was now even more determined to find Nick after the game and tell him the truth. I swore to myself, as I went into the house that he would never get hurt because of me. I wished that I could do a spell to give me courage, but considering that spells were why we were all in trouble, I was sure another spell would be a big mistake. I filled a vase with water for Nick’s rose and splashed my face with water from the sink.

Think! I told myself. The Book was safe here. It figures that the one time it left the house someone would take it, but who? Who knew what the book meant to us and who was watching to know when one of us took it to school? Maybe it the same person who broke into my house two nights ago.

“Were they looking for the book?” I asked myself.

“Who are you talking to?” I jumped as my mom appeared on the stairs. I quickly regained my composure. “No one. Just thinking out loud.”

“I’m on my way to the gym. You’re welcome to come with me. I know we don’t spend much time together anymore.” She smiled and I studied her face. It had been awhile since I really looked at her. She was truly a beautiful person. She was a health buff who took care of her body inside as well as out. We were often mistaken for sisters.

I gave her an apologetic smile. “Homecoming game is tonight, remember. Usually you keep track of these things as well as I do.”

“That’s right, this is Homecoming weekend. Well, for what it’s worth, I’m glad you’re seeing Nick now and not Tony. He was too disrespectful to you the last time he was here. It’s good you and Cyndi got past your disagreement. I could always see you and Nick together.”

It was no use trying to explain the situation to her. I simplified it since she was on her way out. “Nick’s not breaking up with Cyndi until after the dance. I already promised Tony I’d go with him.”

She smiled knowingly. “You’re going to be such a heartbreaker, just like I was at your age.” She reached out and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear.

“Sure mom,” I answered dryly, as she looked like she expected a response. She sounded almost proud of the dilemma I was in.

“Just be careful when you’re out. There are so many crazy drivers out during these events. Don’t go with anyone who-”

“Who’s been drinking. Don’t worry. I know better than that.” I had heard that speech so many times. It would be plenty easy to get into trouble with the amount of time my mom was gone. I thought about Nick at my house yesterday after the break in. I didn’t trust myself alone with him.

“Take this I case you need a cab or for emergencies.” I took the bills she placed in my hand and put them in my pocket. No money could possibly help with the emergency my friends and I were facing.

“Thanks mom.”

She kissed my cheek and said “Lock the doors and set the alarm when you leave.”

We’d had the alarm installed after Wednesday night. I felt safer from burglars with the alarm but I had the uneasy feeling that it wouldn’t protect against any of the unusual things that had been happening here. I sensed a feeling of dangerous foreboding in the air. We had to go ahead with the ceremony. Somehow I knew it would bring answers. I just wasn’t sure I was ready for them.

Eventually my mind turned to Nick as it had often been doing the last two weeks. I thought about the conversation that I knew was inevitable. Just when I began to feel hopeless, the phone rang. I grabbed it and immediately held it away from my ear as the caller shrieked. I was about to hang up, dismissing it as a crank call when I distinguished something familiar about the person’s voice.

“It’s back! It’s back!” Emily yelled. Thankfully, she was relieved, not scared.

Puzzled, I asked, “What are you talking about?”

“The book.” she told me. “What do you think? I wanted to call you first to let you know you don’t have to worry that Nick will find out about the spells. I’m on my way to bring the book back for safekeeping.”

“Wait. This doesn’t make sense. Where did you find it? Was it in your locker after all?”

Silence.

“Emily?”

“It was in my car when I went out to the parking lot after drama club practice was over. There was a note on it that said-and this is the weird part-it said ‘Thought you’d like this back for tomorrow. Watch out.’”

The relief I felt moments ago vanished. Someone had stolen our book. But why did they give it back? ”You have no clue who left it?”

“No,” she squeaked.

“Emily, this is awful! Anyone could have seen it. And ’Watch out!’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds almost like a threat.”

“If someone meant to do us harm, they wouldn’t have returned it, right?”

“Don’t be stupid Em. It sounds like someone stole it out of your locker and returned it after they got the information they needed. We just don’t know who or why. How the hell are we gonna find out?”

“I don’t know Faith.”

“Keep the book with you for now. I’m still getting ready. I’ll get it from you later. See you in about an hour, alright?”

“Bye.” She hung up, not even trying to argue her point.

I knew I had been hard on her, but there were things in that book that could make a lot of people hate us, or even get us in trouble at school, even though we had never done anything to deliberately hurt anyone. An idea popped into my head. I called Tracey.

“It’s Faith. Do me a favor and call Rachel and Em. She got the book back.”

“How-” I cut Tracey off.

“I don’t have time to explain. But call them and tell them to wear any sapphire stones they have and compelling oil. Someone in our school is a thief and we need to uncover the truth before tomorrow.”

We got off the phone and I went to find the things I had just mentioned to Tracey. They were meant to bring truth and justice to light. Anyone we talked to would be forced to reveal the truth if directly asked a question.

Including Nick, I thought to myself. Would I be able to discover the real reasons behind Nick’s feelings?

Ignorance had me feeling anything but blissful. Still undecided, I got ready to go.

One hour later, I was back in the school parking lot.

“Faith, there you are! We’ve been waiting for you.” I looked at my three best friends. “Emily, did you tell them what you told me?”

“Mmm hmm.”

“And you all brought what I asked?” Nods all around. “Let’s go in.”

My heart beat a steady rhythm loud and fast in my chest, matching the thumping of the drums in the band that I heard warming up for the biggest game of the season.

Tracey grinned at me. “Think your honey is ready for his big night? He’s probably right in the middle of putting his uniform on over that gorgeous body of his.”

I felt my cheeks grow hot at her comment. “Should I worry about you too? ”I teased. We walked through the entrance and I could tell by the noise that the crowd was already pumped. Excitement was in the air and I couldn’t help but get caught up in it. I let it overtake me. The roar in the stands grew as, one by one, the players of Lincoln High’s winning team were announced and ran onto the field. My breath caught in my throat as I spotted the only player that mattered to me.

“Go Nick!” That was Cyndi from her place on the cheerleading squad. She blew him a kiss when he looked at her and I was reminded that my eyes would not be the only ones on him tonight. I recited a silent plea to the gods to let Nick receive the scholarship he so rightly deserved.

Most guys I knew were envious of the swift manner in which he could run. He didn’t disappoint tonight. Each pass he threw connected. He was totally in his element and the entire team was at its best, although it was Nick who stood out. By halftime, it was obvious that the other team didn’t have a chance.

I cast a wistful glance at Cyndi and the group of girls on the field, the elite in their fitted tops and matching skirts. A small part of me missed cheering; but I hated the superficiality of it all, being liked for only what you did, not for who you were. Some of the girls on my former squad followed Cyndi’s lead and snubbed me after I quit. I reminded myself that my job at the hospital, helping kids, was much more rewarding. Even so, seeing all Cyndi’s attention focused on Nick, I wished I was out there, not having to hide my feelings for him, screaming his name for the whole school to hear.

“I need to get something to drink.” I left before any of my friends could offer to go with me. I stood quietly by the concession stand drinking a soda, thinking about what Nick and I were starting. Was it possible to love someone so much, you had to be honest with them no matter what the cost? Even if it caused you to lose them? I was terrified to find out.

“I was hoping I’d see you tonight.” Nick appeared beside me, his hair wet with perspiration, green eyes blazing with fierce intensity. He had a Power-aide in one hand and a business card in the other.

“Are you kidding? I wouldn’t have missed your big night for anything! You were…amazing out there. So don’t keep me in suspense,” I gestured to the card he held. “What’s the word from Cal U?”

My heart sunk as his smile faded and disappointment appeared in his eyes. What was wrong with the scholarship committee? Had Cyndi done something? “I can’t believe those idiots! Weren’t they watching the same game I was?”

“I got it,” he said calmly.

My head jerked back up to look at his face, which had broken into an enormous grin. “You what?” I squealed and threw my arms around him, almost causing my drink to spill. He tossed his empty bottle in the trash and lifted me up into his arms. I caught him off guard when he released me and I playfully pushed him hard, almost causing him to fall. “You jerk! You had me scared for a minute!”

He was still smiling. “I did, didn’t I,” he responded, teasing laughter in his voice. “They offered me a full ride Faith. All four years! I’m going to college at Cal U!”

His smile was contagious. I had a matching one plastered on my face. I pushed back a lock of wavy hair that had fallen down onto his forehead. “I never doubted that you’d get it Nick. I’m really happy for you.” Sheer joy passing between us; I would have kissed him had I not heard a voice behind me.

“Sullivan seems to be forgetting that he’s not the only one playing the game. Thanks for keeping my girlfriend company.”

I answered angrily, remembering the hotel room he had rented. “I don’t recall ever deciding that I was your girlfriend, Tony.”

He regarded me with suspicion. “Well let’s decide now then. Do you think I’d take just anyone to Homecoming? We have something good. I just want to be with you and you want to be with me, don’t you.” It was a statement, not a question. One I refused to answer. Was I imagining things or did his hard eyes flicker towards Nick’s face?

I got a chill, but not from the air. I quickly cast a worried look at Nick, careful not to let Tony see. Tony wasn’t looking at him, didn’t see the clenched jaw and slightly narrowed eyes. He can feel it too, I thought, this animosity projecting from Tony.

“Tony, Nick and I have been friends since he moved here. I was just congratulating him on the scholarship he won tonight.”

“Nick has Cyndi to congratulate him.” I felt as if Tony were testing me to see if I got jealous so I didn’t give him the satisfaction. “I know. I bet you can’t wait to tell her.”

Please play along, my eyes begged him. “You’re right. I can’t wait to tell her everything. But halftime’s almost over and we need to be getting back.”

Nick looked on stunned as Tony, arms still around me, kissed me quickly on the mouth before I could protest. “Wish me luck babe,” he said arrogantly before running towards the locker rooms.

“I’m telling Cyndi tonight.” Nick’s mouth was set, determined.

“Nick, you can’t! The scholarship-”

“I don’t want something I didn’t earn. I only got that scholarship because of Cyndi. I refuse to owe her anything and I plan to rid Tony of that smug look permanently.”

I had never heard him so angry.

“Nick, you deserve that scholarship, you know you do. I’ve never seen a better quarterback. And I can handle Tony for one more day. You made a deal with Cyndi, to help her win Homecoming Queen, remember? If you wait until tomorrow, then you’ve fulfilled your promise and we can be together without feeling guilty.”

“I don’t feel guilty.” He looked me straight in the eyes. “Since I’ve been with you, I feel more at peace than I ever have before.”

“Me too, Nick,” I admitted. “But we need to make clean breaks, then no one will get hurt. Please.” I pleaded.

I let out a shaky breath as he nodded and squeezed my fingers, which I realized were holding onto his tightly. “Be careful.”

“I promise,” I whispered, and then he was gone. I returned to my friends who were unaware that anything had taken place by the concessions.

“Nick got his scholarship. And he loves me.” I spoke it just realizing what I had felt as we talked. “I could feel it and I was wearing the compelling oil. Maybe that’s why Tony was being more of an ass than usual. I had to talk Nick out of breaking up with Cyndi tonight. Tony was getting to him and he almost lost it. I wanted to slap the SOB.”

They nodded in agreement when I told them how obnoxious Tony had been. “What about things here? Any luck with our thief?”

“None, but at least we got the book back,” Emily said gratefully.

“I still have to talk to Nick about our spells.”

“Why?” Tracey asked. “You know how he really feels now.”

“It’s because of how he really feels. I can’t start this relationship based on dishonesty.”

“He pretty much admitted he loves you. Why ruin that?”

“There can’t be any lies between us, he has to know that witchcraft is a part of who I am.” Plus, I wanted him to hear the truth from me, not our book thief, whoever he or she may be. I could sense the genuineness of his feelings when we I touched him tonight. For that, I was thankful. “I’m still afraid he won’t want to be with me once he learns I put a spell on him before I knew how he really felt. I have to face the fact that he might not trust me anymore. I compromised the Free Will Law, I attempted to use control on him when there was no need to and now I have to deal with the consequences.”

“You’re being too hard on yourself, Faith.” Rachel tried to reassure me. “If Nick loves you, then he’ll accept you for who you are. Besides, he was at those parties where we used to do Tarot readings and stuff. It’s not a big secret, what we’re into.”

“I hope you’re right Rachel.”

“Girls, tonight is Homecoming. We need to lighten the mood a bit. It’s time for celebration. Lincoln High won! Let’s party!”

“Tracey’s right,” Emily agreed. “What do you have in mind?”

“Follow me, I have just what we need in the car.” The game was already won and I knew there would be no getting to see Nick after. He would be mobbed by recruiters and fans. As we climbed down from the stands, Jana Lewis, one of the cheerleaders, ran over to us. “Are you guys leaving?”

“We wanted to get a start on celebrating,” Tracey answered. “The game’s won and we’re ready for some fun.”

“Stop over when you get a chance. I’m having a huge Homecoming party and everyone’s coming around nine or ten.”

“What if the Panthers ended up losing?” Emily asked.

Jana laughed, tossing her auburn curls. “Then we’d have a ‘better luck next time’ party. It’s gonna be wild. Cyndi wants everyone there to support Nick. She has some kind of surprise in mind, in honor of his scholarship.”

I felt the others trade uneasy glances but I perked up at the mention of his name. “Tell Cyndi to count us in. I wouldn’t miss one of your parties for anything!”

“Awesome! C’ya there.” she ran back to her friends on the field.

“You’re so bad!” Emily complemented.

“Cyndi has some nerve. Jana is lucky that she had no idea about me and Nick the way she was talking about him and Cyndi.”

Tracey grinned. “She’s back.”

“Huh?”

“You are. The girl who fights for what she wants.”

“Funny,” I retorted, sticking out my tongue at her. “Now what are we getting from your car?”

Twenty minutes later we were all laughing hysterically in Tracey’s ride, passing a large thermos around. “Thought we’d need something to loosen our inhibitions and enhance our psychic powers,” she said.

“This is exactly what I needed, Trace. I feel better already!” We were drinking a non-alcoholic mixture with a few special herbs added. I felt ready to take on anything Cyndi had to dish out.

Before heading to Jana’s we stopped at each of our houses to change into party clothes.

“Wow, Faith!” Rachel appraised me. “Cyndi doesn’t stand a chance against you tonight. Nick had better watch out, you look very witchy.”

“I feel witchy.” Under my black satin trench that cinched at the waist, I wore a slinky spaghetti strap dress in lavender with layers of ruffles at the bottom that stopped at my thighs. Matching jeweled sandals were on my feet and an amethyst crystal was around my neck to promote feelings of peacefulness and enhance powers. My hair was pulled up and fastened with the same jewels. “Nick, Cyndi, Tony and I in a room together? I think we’re going to get a preview of what tomorrow night’s going to be like.”

I thought we all looked very witchy. We were wearing our power colors, looking extremely seductive with the exception of Rachel. She looked very earthy in a green blouse and suede skirt. Tracey, who looked hot even if she was at the grocery store, was in a red top and black mini, black boots up to her knees. Last was Emily, who looked sexy but playful in Capri jeans and a yellow halter that brought out her golden highlights.

I knew we brought attention to ourselves as we walked into the large entryway of Jana’s split-level house; but I was unaware of the extent to which we captivated our audience. I heard whistles from several guys in the room. Some girls eyed us appreciatively while others looked purely envious. We offered genuine smiles and thank yous to those who issued complements.

Jana appeared from the next room. “Hey, you guys made it!” There’s pizza and subs in the kitchen but the real party’s out back. Lots to drink and great music.”

I loved to dance and was ready to get out there. My friends went to follow her out and I stopped, noticing a chair next to the front door that was piled with jackets. I was just slipping mine off to go dance when the door opened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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