Chapter 52: Boys & Their Cages

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The witches basically just chilled in the cave for a while, relaxing and chatting and getting caught up. They had spent so long in male-defined spaces, or locked up by Cassio, or hiding from him and his bros, it was so nice to finally be able to be free to talk and hang out and have uninterrupted and stress-free conversation about whatever they felt like.

Maria had a lot of ideas about establishing more formality around their coven in order to improve communication and create better magical defense mechanisms should a man ever test them like this again. It was surely more a matter of when, not if, as far as any of them were concerned.

Kim was listening and agreeing but also getting caught up with Rani, who was the first witch captured by Cassio and had been present for many of his early experiments.

"Yeah it suuucked," Rani was saying.

"Oh, I used your necklace!" Kim exclaimed.

"Which one?"

"The one you gave me, the one that summons Regalia?"

"OMG YOU MET REGALIA DO YOU LOVE HIM?" Rani gushed.

"Yes! So much. We were in a zombie battle together in The Hamptons, it was off the hook."

"Whoa zombie battle? Really?"

"Yeah I think I have pics, hang on," Kim said. She began scrolling through her phone and so of course Kim was the first to notice that service had been restored and she could now check her social media again.

"Hey! We're back online! I bet with Cassio gone all the spells that were preventing us from getting service in Florence are gone. Yay. What'd I miss."

Kim refreshed her timeline and received a flood of updates from Willow Pape.

Loved reconnecting with my fans at 10AX. Your support means so much to me.

Kim jerked her head up. "Wait, is she...???" Kim looking around, doing a quick head count. "Is Willow not here? Did she LEAVE? When did she leave??"

The other witches shrugged and looked around but Willow was definitely not present. She had apparently ghosted them while the men were being selfie'd out of existence.

Kim felt like she was losing her mind. She scrolled back for more of Willow's updates.

I can't comment on the specifics but it's true tht I am no longer with Cassio.

I hope everyone will respect my privacy and grief at this time.

I've been through so much, and couldn't have done it without the strength and support of my fans.

I can't wait to share more of my personal journey with you.

There was nothing about Kim, nothing about Kimoji, nothing about Ash, nothing about the cave, nothing about saving the world, nothing at all about what they'd been through. It was just some vague tweets about her and Cassio not being together anymore, making it sound like they'd had some tragic romantic breakup, instead of the fact that Cassio was, you know, COMPLETELY EVIL AND ALSO DEAD.

"Holy shizzballs," Kim said. "Willow peaced us out to get a jump on her next arc and relaunch her personal brand. That's...." Kim shook her head, mouth agape, struggling to find the words. "...Infuriatingly hot."

A look passed between the other witches as storm clouds appeared over Kim's head.

"Ash isn't here either," Maria said. "Poor thing is probably hiding somewhere, I'm sure she's tragically overwhelmed by what she has been through."

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