Chapter Twenty Six: Witch Hunt

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                                                                              Annalise 

"You!" Annalise cried, jabbing her hand out to point at Victoria angrily. Despite Victoria's ragged appearance, she kept her composure well, lifting up a hand demurely to cover the smirk growing on her lips. She chuckled sultry.

"Hello again, my dear ghost," Victoria welcomed, and Annalise took a second to really take in her appearance. Victoria looked like she had been dragged through hell and back. Her usually unmarred skin was smeared with running mascara and lipstick. On her delicate shoulders were blue and purple marred spots of bruises.

Despite herself, and despite what Victoria had done thus far, Annalise couldn't help but pity the woman. But it was still unnerving, she had been so sure that Eugene was blindly walking into a trap. Yet, here they both were. Like nothing had just transpired. Though Eugene couldn't look her in the eyes.

What had gone on while he had been out?

"Victoria," Dawn said in a way of greeting, drawing her lip into a snarl. Victoria scowled back, two pearly white fangs peeking out over her thin lips. Cassius put an arm between them, sensing the tense atmosphere.

Directly looking at Eugene, Cassius grunted "What are you both doing here?" Straight to the point as usual.

Annalise perked up at the question and piped in, "Yes, i'd love to know what she's doing here with you, Eugene," Eugene finally managed to summon the effort to look her in the eyes, and a whole conversation was spoken with just a look. Annalise could tell he was embarrassed, ashamed about how he had left her alone, writhing in pain. While he went of to meet with Victoria.

"She's here for a good reason, Victoria doesn't want to work with Vitus anymore. She's here to help us find your body Anna," Eugene breathed, as if he wasn't sure of it himself. And why should he be, Annalise thought. The entire time she had known of Victoria Taylor had been filled with veiled threats and warnings.

What could have made her suddenly change her mind?

"And we're supposed to believe that because?" Dawn demanded, taking the words directly from Annalise's mouth. Dawn crossed her arms over her chest, standing to her full height intimidatingly. Her face was drawn tight into a scowl, her vampire fangs flashing more than once. Suddenly, Annalise felt thankful that she was on their side.

"I think it would be best if we all sat down and talked about this over some tea?" Victoria demurred, twirling a strand of blonde hair around her fingers. 

"We can't drink tea," Cassius muttered, rolling his eyes frustratedly. Victoria waved a hand, as if to diminish his words. Pushing forward, she moved past them all and headed into the kitchen.

'How presumptuous' Annalise thought with a scowl. She felt a weighted stare on her back, while the others moved after Victoria to the kitchen. Turning around suddenly, she was met with a pair of forest green eyes and frowned even harder. She didn't even grant him a word and stormed after the rest.

Once they had all settled down, with Raul standing menacingly behind Victoria in case she made any moves, Victoria began to explain. She coughed into her hand, to clear her throat and Annalise felt the annoyance run even higher. Couldn't she just get to the point and then get out?

"As darling Eugene mentioned, I no longer wish to work under the thumb of Vitus Modesto. However this on its own, causes complications. Vitus was becoming suspicious of me and my movements. I was going to tell Eugene where your body lay, Annalise," She said with a seriousness that drove a cold stake through Annalise's heart.

Annalise's eyes widened, as she fumblingly grasped the kitchen table. Victoria gazed into her eyes, and she felt it piercing through her soul. This woman knew more than she was letting on. To so calmly bring up where her own body was-it was heart wrenching.

"I was going to, until Vitus caught wind. He had me cursed by this unsightly woman," Victoria growled, clutching the handbag she had brought with her tightly enough so that her fingernails pierced through the leather. Letting it go, as if the bag meant nothing she continued, "That witch."

"I brung something of hers with me, and I was rather hoping you, merry band of misfits, could help me find her. After all, if we find her. We find you, Annalise." Victoria pointed a slim finger at her, "We can get her to remove the curse she placed on me, and then i can tell you where your body is,"

There was a dead silence for a moment, as if no one could believe her. Annalise certainly didn't.

"Its true Anna, I saw it for myself. She truly is cursed. If we can help her, we can finally find your body." Eugene explained with a sincerity that cut through her heart. Annalise stared at him for a moment, calculating his look. Closing her eyes, she nodded, backing down.

"I believe you." Annalise said bluntly. "But that doesn't explain how we're going to find this 'witch'" With that a sinister smile bloomed on Victoria's face as she picked her bag up once more. Ruffling through it, she brought out a small outdated, pink phone.

She chucked it at Cassius, who caught it nonchalantly between his fingers. "I heard you're good at these things, take a look at it and see what you can find," Victoria noted. There was a loud slam, as Dawn brought her hands on the table, snarling at the woman.

"Who do you think you are! Coming in here and bossing us around when you've been cosying up to Vitus for the last 50 years!" She screamed, spittle landing on the dining table in her anger. Cassius unexpectedly, gently, pushed her back. Shaking his head.

"We'll help," He agreed with a firm nod, meaningfully looking at Eugene, who nodded in return. Annalise wasn't sure what they were communicating, but it only went to show just how long these two had known each other.

"Dont speak for me!" Dawn cried, turning her viciousness on Cassius. He stared her down with a stern look and begrudgingly Dawn settled back down. "I'll help," she groaned, "On the rule that i don't have to speak to that monster," pointing to Victoria, who simply smiled back.

"I would advise that all 3 of you leave the Modesto house. He'll soon know what you're up to. The minute he catches wind, you won't live to see another day," Victoria warned, eyes flickering between Dawn, Raul and Cassius.

"Where will we stay?" Cassius inclined, tilting his head. Victoria slyly turned to Eugene, who quickly looked away.

"Where i'm staying from now on, i do hope," She giggled, "Right. Here." Annalise snapped upright, like a volt of electricity had run straight through her.

"What are you on about!" Annalise shrieked, "Eugene is this right?" He nodded, and began to tap his hands on the table.

"I figured it only made sense? There's plenty of space, and it means we can find your body quicker," He explained quietly, staring directly into her eyes. Slowly Annalise nodded, setting back down on the chair jerkily.

"Before anyone moves in with us. Victoria, I need to ask you one question. You mentioned my friends the other time we spoke. Where are they. What did you do to them?" Annalise demanded, glaring at the woman in question.

Victoria eyed her calculatingly "I wouldn't worry, they are fine for now. I simply pointed them in the right direction while I still could." The anger that had built in her, simmered away to a mild annoyance as Annalise took in her answer.

"Does that mean they know who killed me?" Annalise murmured, unsure. She began to twiddle with her hands nervously, staring religiously at a dark stain on the table.Victoria shook her head.

"No, but they are close." Satisfied for now and reassured by the safety of her friends, Annalise relaxed.

"Right then, so you four are going to stay with us for the time being," Annalise said with a small smile. A smirk was firmly planted on Victoria's messy face.

"If i do say so myself, I think it's time for a witch hunt."  

Authors Note:

Hey all! How are you doing? I hope you like this new chapter! Give it a like and a comment if you did ;) 

Love ya'll

Sam.E

Word Count: 1361

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